Thursday, September 30, 2010

Curiouser and curiouser...

Hi, the last day of Self-Stitched September; and I’m coming to you live from sunny Melbourne!  Haha.  That’s an in-joke amongst Australians, as Melbourne is … er, not very sunny.  The weather here is notoriously fickle.  The sky today is white white white…  But dearth-of-sunshine notwithstanding, I still adore Melbourne.  This is the shopping capital of Australia, and I’ve already laid down the plastic in two fabric stores and a wool store, and also visited what must be the most kitsch-ily fabulous (but kinda pricey) second-hand shop in the whole of Australia, the RetroStar Vintage Clothing Company, and therein bought a pre-loved maroon velveteen jacket and a beaten-up (in a good way) pair of shiny black men’s brogues.. hola!!  It’s been a very successful day.
And as if the haul wasn’t enough, I spent the morning in the Royal Botanic Gardens and was totally spoilt for choice when it came to stunning locations.  And the soft grey light that this city is famous for (thanks to the cloud cover) makes for dreamy photography.  Win!
Today I feel a bit Alice-in-Wonderland-ish, wandering through the beautiful other-worldly treescape of the gardens in this floral floaty dress with black tights and booties (for warmth, I did say Melbourne is dismal, today is 18C or 66F, freezing by current Perth standards)  It reminds me of the illustrations in my old copy of the book, by Arthur Rackham, and which shaped my childhood imagination of the dreamworld that Alice visited.  My mother once said this dress was one of her favourites (thankyou Mum)  It is based loosely upon Vogue 7748, a basic wrap dress pattern, but with a two layered frills around the neckline, a deep frill around the lower edge, back waist ties and sleeve ties added.

Dress; partly my own design, based upon Vogue 7748, printed polyester chiffon, with petticoat (not seen) my own design, pink jersey knit, seen first here
Tights; Kolotex
Booties; Django and Juliette, from Zomp shoes

Illustration below by Arthur Rackham, from Alice In Wonderland, published 1907


  1. I'm with your Mum. It is a beautiful dress and the jersey knit is absolutely delicious. Melbourne is my favourite city. My DD is going down there next year to study - I'll be delighted to visit.

  2. You do look Alice - in - wonderlandish. A lovely outfit, as you said one of my favourites. And what of the location!! I can hardly believe that you now wander around botanical gardens. We must go together again one day, and to those great shops as well

  3. A lovely dress - an a wonderful old tree!
    *from Gummersbach, the Melbourne of Germany - concerning just the weather ;) *

  4. Oh, it sounds like such a perfect day, shopping and the gardens. That is such an interesting tree and so perfect for a photo shoot. I can imagine my little children climbing all over it and running here and there through the gardens. Your dress is just divine. I love wrap designs and floral, so perfectly feminine.

  5. Carolyn...I'm still getting used to your fantastic photos..the composition of them always amazes me!

    I'm so impressed by the content of your blog, your sewing, writing, and photography that I gave you the Kreative Blogger award. I don't know if you receive awards or already have them. I'm not expecting anything in return.

    Truly, I just wanted to direct my readers to a few (only five) blogs that I thought were exceptional and worth a visit.

    Yours was one of them.

    Your new friend,
    Donna @ Comin' Home

  6. PS. You do look just like Alice in interesting and beautiful. The colors are just right.

    My husband visited Australia for a week (boy was I ever jealous!) and all his photos were bright and shiny sunlight. I don't know if he ever visited Melbourne or not though. Funny the misconceptions people have about a place.

    My German daughter-in-law expected to see everyone riding horses and carrying guns when she first arrived in Texas. That is certainly not true...except maybe where I live (in the country). Ha!

  7. It sounds like you had a delightful day and just the right dress to enjoy it. What a perfect tree for a wonderland shot.

  8. Your dress does look quite like Alice's. What a neat looking tree - and a trip to the botanical gardens, wherever they are, is always a treat. :) Kevin and I were walking around in the botanical gardens in Clemson when he "realized I was a girl" and got very nervous and left suddenly, 11 years ago. :)

    I am eager to see what you will do with your new purchases! Kevin is giving me a day to go thrifting for my birthday, I'm pretty excited. I'm going to try not to buy too much fabric until I use some of my stash and work on some of my refashions, but I'm sure I still will ...

    How far is Melbourne from Perth? Is it a day trip? I'm thinking not, I guess I could google earth it. :)

  9. and "what did I wear to mow the lawn"? oversized adidas soccer shorts, a camisole like running top, sneakers .... I would wear my nice clothes, but it is usually so hot here that I'm soaked with sweat and need a shower and change afterwards ... so I'd rather change out of grubby clothes than my nice ones, and I'd rather put my nice ones back on afterwards. Maybe sometime I should do a "what I wear when I'm NOT making a blog post that day!" he he....

  10. Beautiful as usual. I love seeing the different trees that grow in other climates; something about them really drives home the difference. I'm tickled... our daytime high today was supposed to be right around 16, although it's sunny so I expect it made 18. Which considering the time of year and the weather we've mostly been having, is awesome. There can't be many times of year when our temperatures are close to Australia's ;).

  11. What an awesome looking tree and such a perfect place for a picture.
    Your dress is very lovely.

  12. How lovely. I looked very closely at your original post about the dress and am struck with copy-itis.
    Which wool shop? Did you visit Cleggs? I love shopping in Melbourne. My sister lives there, and I always take 2 woolen jumpers and a raincoat, even when visiting in January - there is always miserable weather for my trip!

  13. Absolutely fantastic photo Carolyn!

  14. Gorgeous - I have also just returned from Melbourne - the place is wonderful, totally enjoyable!

  15. dreamy photo really wish i could have dropped my studies for the weekend and gone along with you!

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