Saturday, April 14, 2012

I was recently invited to spend a whole afternoon in the glorious sunshine with a group of women sipping tea and nibbling on wee little sandwiches. The occasion was a fundraising high tea for an orphanage, the location was a country residence in NW Tasmania,  and the dress was vintage. The only requirement was to bring along our own teacup.

Look at these divine teacups! I know some were precious family heirlooms....mine was actually a Noritake coffee cup and saucer from the 70's (?) that I bought recently as part of a set of 6, but it might become a family heirloom from now on.....who knows.

I must ask the hostess how she was able to secure the cup to the saucer as I intend on pinching this idea for sure! And btw, those custard quiche thingies were to die for.

Wee little bottles with genuine iced tea....chicken and walnut sandwiches. Yummy!

And in the background, a collection of food, jewellery and stationery items that were used in a silent auction to raise more money for the orphanage.

In the week leading up to the event I decided to dust off my sewing machine and make my own 50's inspired was one of those experiences in life where things just come together....where all the moons were aligned and working for me not against me...... I cant explain it, but I am very grateful! 

I didn't have a sewing pattern to guide me. I made the bodice from calico first, then unpicked it to form a basic pattern. The skirt section of the dress was done by trial and error. Although I bought 5m of netting to poof the skirt out in true 50's style, it appears my hips were able to do the job just fine. Netting anyone?

When my dear Nan passed away I was lucky enough to be given some of her jewellery. It has alot of sentimental value to me, although very little monetary value I would assume. In her collection was a pretend diamond bracelet and pair of drop earrings. I've not had an occasion to wear them before  now, and the fact that the bracelet went around my chubby wrist perfectly was another "wow" moment.

Here is the completed dress. The material came from Spotlight - a gorgeous sateen stretch cotton.  As you can see I was going for something sophisticated like the women in MAD MEN. However, with my curvy bits to consider, the waist-line was elevated to and under-the-bust line. (Im sure Im not the only one to look at a photo and be surprised by my appearance - ie who the heck is that person and when did she get so round?)

I had a ball sewing the dress and wearing it with pride to the high tea. Thank you to our special hostess for having us and thank you to my lucky stars for ensuring the kids left me alone, the sewing machine didn't have her usual tension problem, and the lack of pattern didn't seem to be an issue! Thank you also to Nora Jones for relaxing me with her lovely voice - maybe the dress should be called Mrs Jones?

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