Vintage: The Real Deal

I’m questioning if “vintage” ever went out of style. These last few years, it seems like it’s taking over the world (again). Instead of ordering new, many of my clients prefer to op-shop, be it online, at the markets, or Salvos. Then they probably spend about the same amount of $ getting it altered to fit. On the other hand, there are countless shops selling vintage-inspired designs like hot potatoes. My grandma is probably the most stylin’ lady on her street.

One of my clients, Katherine, decided she’d get married in her grandmother’s wedding dress. Her grandparents tied the knot 62 years ago! My task: to mend the countless holes in an already hole-y lace dress, modify the design to fit Katherine’s body, and create a custom slip so that it was wedding-appropriate. To be honest, it was hard work. The fine balance between the physical act of mending, and know that the mending could break it even more. The lace had special superpowers that made other fabric/thread matter attach themselves to it. It gave me heart palpitations. Or maybe it was the really strong tea I took every morning.


Katherine + Grandparents


I want a beach wedding too, any excuse to not have to wear shoes.

In the end, it was worth the medical condition. The result was a sleeveless dress with a tear-shaped cutout at the back. I’m kicking myself for not taking a before-reconstruction photo. It would have been like those people who have cosmetic surgery.


Paper Dolls

This reminds me of the paper dolls I had as a child. Possibly the best things that exist in my 2D world. Although they never lasted long (kids+ play + sweat + dirt + jello), and not as beautifully crafted as Christian Tagliavini’s, appreciation was always evident.

Dame di Cartone - Christian Tagliavini

You can view the entire image gallery here.

Crochet Cosy = Cool

Last week, my phone case decided it couldn’t take any more abuse. It left me, fell to the ground and it’s battered body broke into many pieces. Not 5 minutes later, I went on Ebay to buy another one from Hong Kong, as you do. A few days later, unsurprisingly, I was still awaiting it’s arrival. By then, filled with paranoia about my phone jumping out of my hands, I decided to crochet a cosy for it. Then it would have something to absorb the shock if does jump. I started to Google “crochet phone case” at 1am.

Results came with speed and variety, Google deserves a pat on the back. These instructions caught my eye because it quoted “under an hour”. I can tell you now, this blogger misquoted. It should have said “under an hour, if you’re pro like nanna”. And the photo of her finished phone case had a face on it, even more appealing.

Two hours + one sleep + one hour later, I had my very own phone cosy. This was made from cheap 100% wool, so the phone could breathe. Cheap because it was $5, different colours, assorted lengths, itchy, and there’s enough in the bag to make 20 phone cases.

To keep my phone warm.


Introducing: Agnes

Good evening! Everyone, please meet Agnes. A very recent addition to the team which we recently coerced from the tip. If you have not visited a tip before, I would recommend it! It probably doesn’t sound too appetising at the moment, but as the saying goes, one man’s trash, another man’s breakfast. And you are doing a world of good by prolonging the life of a product, instead of going out to buy new. As with anything that resembles a pile of rubbish, you do have to use your brain and hands to pick out the good stuff, and be careful of ending up with an armful of stuff you want vs. stuff you need. Fortunately, my tip is very nice, they have organised everything into sections and use recycled shelving and furniture as shop display.

Back to Agnes, it looks like she’s been on long-service leave for a while. Although she has full mobility, it’s very likely she won’t be working until some essential parts of her are replaced. We managed to sneak a peak under her skirt, condition: dusty and need replacement limbs.

"Where are my teeth? goddamit!"


Q: How old are you?
A: I don’t remember.

Q: Where were you born?
A: In a bathtub, I was a water baby.

Q: Do you have grandchildren?
A: I do like pineapples.

Q: What’s your favourite hobby?
A: I only had one husband. Is it popular to have more nowadays?

The interview had to be stopped early, we apologise for any inconvenience. We have discovered that Agnes is not only missing vital  physical parts, she is also missing something upstairs. 

In other news: I made my first phone cosy! Photo soon 🙂


Introducing: Bob

Robert was born in a time when things were made to last forever. It was as though their makers thought technological development was at its peak and nothing could surpass what had just been achieved. In order to preserve this pinnacle, many things were engineered to outlive time itself. Bob is one of these beings.

From Japan, a natural warrior who never fails a mission. Strong, stealth, loyal.

Q: Full name?
A: Robert Sinclair Snr

Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Definitely when I’m working with some nice cotton or linen. They never argue, doesn’t rub you the wrong way like some of the others. So easy to get along with and every project with them goes without a hitch.

Q: You had some reconstructive surgery just last year. What happened?
A: I thought it was just a couple of loose bearings. Turns out I was falling apart! After finding bits of myself on the workshop floor, booked in to see the doctor, who also happened to be a surgeon. Dr. Chris took me off the splintering top, flushed out me insides and bolted me onto a new top. Real nice this new top is, smooth and all. The good doctor replaced my bearings too.

Q: Describe your perfect Sunday.
A: Sitting on the veranda, catching a breeze with a pint of premium machine oil.

Bob enjoys gardening, meditation and wearing clean underwear.

Introducing: Laurie

Thursday night is now Sharing Night. It will be like show-and-tell. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. Tonight, we are going to interview Laurence, the Shozaburo shears who’s been with us from the very beginning. Since he is the oldest (he won’t admit that), he gets to go first.


Laurence: He prefers 'Laurie', sounds younger and less like a senile old man.

Q: Where are you from originally?
A: Japan

Q: How long have you been in the industry?
A: about 40 years

Q: What’s your job description?
A: Fabric cutter

Q: Until recently, you were retired. What made you decide to rejoin the workforce?
A: Duty called, I suppose. Never actually stopped working really, I only worked less. Don’t think I could completely retire, I’d go mental. And rusty.

Q: What aspects of the job do you like/dislike?
A: To be frank, there isn’t much I don’t like. The work is simple enough, pays decent, plenty of coffee breaks, and something different everyday.

Q: Word around the office is that you’re a bit of a “lady’s man”. What does it feel like to be labelled as a sex symbol in the 21st-century workplace?
A: Ha! Well the ladies have good taste. And women don’t change much, in general, regardless of the generation. You know, always looking for Mr Perfect, or Mr Perfect-right-now. And if they have or haven’t got one, they’re just happy to look anyway. And who am I to deny them?

You can read Laurence’s blurb here