I just need some [p]inspiration

Thank you all for your lovely words on my last post - I've decided to put myself on a bit of a sewing ban until the new year, I find whenever I can't sew is always when I want to the most so hopefully that helps!  

As for my wardrobe slump, well, sometimes you just need a bit of inspiration - like this lovely photo of a model from the 50's I've had on my Pinterest board for ages. I was looking through my boards hoping something would leap out at me, when I realised I had basically this outfit, but in reverse..

I tried to copy her pose but forgot what she was doing.. close enough! 

Thank goodness for Pinterest and copying vintage outfits! Not thank goodness for brightness and windiness...

Jacket, trousers and scarf - thrifted/vintage, blouse c/o Dangerfield, shoes - Wittner

just dandy

I've been in a bit of a slump lately. I've started yet another new job (well, it's actually my old job again) and am as usual finding my wardrobe lacking in basic pieces to create outfits with. Obviously I've been wearing clothes to work, but not a great deal of inspiring or "blog worthy" outfits.

I've also been having a bit of a crap time with my sewing. One of those periods where nothing you make turns out right and you encounter all kinds of silly issues, so I'm taking a break from that so as not to stress myself out or waste any more fabric/money.

But on a lighter note, it's Christmas time! I have to admit to feeling a bit cheated living in the southern hemisphere and therefore having Christmas in summer - all of the photos I've been seeing of people up north looking cozy in ugly sweaters, ice skating, building snowmen, having roast meals and hot drinks are making me very jealous. Usually this time of the year is all dry heat and blue skies for miles, afternoon drinks in the sun and days at the beach but we're having a pretty dreary December in Melbourne this year (as I type it is 16 degrees, overcast and drizzling.) Hm. That lighter note turned out heavier than intended.. must be the weather.

Ok, here is an outfit I cobbled together that turned out well, coupled with a good hair day and some smiley faces - I'll leave you with that while I go and eat cookies and try and build up my positivity reserves again!

coat - given to me by a friend, blouse - made by me, pants - Vivien of Holloway, shoes - custom made in Bali

florals for spring...

Dress made by me, everything else vintage.

I made this dress from Simplicity 1159, a lovely and easy to make 50's dress with a V neck and short kimono sleeves. The fabric I bought last year some time and ferreted away, bringing it out only on occasion to stare at and stroke it … my precioussssssss…. it's a gorgeous, slightly shiny coated cotton and the colours are just beautiful - I was too afraid to "waste it" so was waiting for the "perfect" pattern. In the end I bit the bullet because this pattern is just so simple and pretty, so how could it possibly go wrong?!

In general life news; I've just started a new, full time job at a very faaancy store, and I am completely exhausted and out of whack, so expect the sporadic posting to continue for a while until I work out some kind of routine. I've realised that my downfall with keeping up this blog, even while I was unemployed and had all the time in the world, is lack of routine (also lack of money) so thats something I'm going to try and work on!!

stripes + engagement photos


Long time no speak (write? read??)
The last month has been crazy, turns out I just didn't have the energy to plan our wedding, work and keep up the blog so I apologise for leaving you guys out of the loop.

We've just gotten back from our honeymoon this week, and Eli has been whisked off on a tour with his band so I'm without my trusty photographer for the moment.. which is all good really because it gives me an excuse to play catch up and reminisce about our wedding a little.

At the start of the month we did an "engagement" shoot with our wedding photographer - our friend Aleksandar Jason. I ended up whipping up a dress for the occasion, modifying Simplicity's 1873 from the Cynthia Rowley collection to feature a bateau neckline in this blue and white stripe fabric I found at my local op shop.

I had some issues with gaping at the back of the neckline, which I didn't have time to fix for the shoot so had to cover with a cardigan (I was sewing right up until we left!!), but having since washed the dress that problem has resolved itself so I guess I'll put it down to the fabric stretching slightly as I was sewing and/or the bias binding around the neckline.

It also has the fullest skirt I've ever made - perfect for twirling! It's definitely become my new favourite warm-weather dress.

Here's some photos from the shoot, Eli looked particularly dapper in his blue houndstooth suit from ASOS and matching stripes :)

Guest post: 5 Summer Trends for 2014 - Vintage Style

Today I have a post brought to you by Nick from Mela Mela Vintage, which will especially appeal to those of us in the southern hemisphere easing (eeeeasssing) our way into warmer weather. I used to be an avid follower of "runway trends", always interested in what styles stores would be trying to convince us to buy in a few months time (and then work out how I could find and wear them in a much more economical way.) I must confess I'm pretty clueless about the trends these days, so it is interesting to see just what will be "in" this summer, and how you can adapt these styles to suit your vintage style!

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With the Summer upon us, it’s time to start thinking about our warmer weather wardrobe. We’ve picked out some of London’s hottest vintage Summer trends that will see you through the months to come. 

1. Low heels

For Spring/Summer 2014 your shoes need to be flats, low heels or chunky platforms.  Low strappy heels are a Summer essential, they add femininity to any outfit and work well with skirts as well as cropped, tailored trousers or shorts.  Pick some strappy low-heeled sandals in a metallic shade for extra kudos and style points, and an all round versatile Summer shoe. 

These gold leather strappy sling backs by Stylo are the ultimate Summer shoe, and being original 1950’s wear; they are achingly on trend.

2. 1950’s dresses

1950’s style dresses are massive Spring/Summer style must haves items.  Emilia Wickstead featured them heavily in her SS14 shows.  Opt for debutant style dresses with full skirts and a flirtatious 1950’s style silhouette.  The skirt must reach to below the knee, and you ideally want to choose single coloured silks or satins. 

This 1950’s vintage dress from Mela Mela in burgundy satin is just the ticket.  I love how the cream embroidery lifts the depth of the satin.  The fitted bodice and full skirt are beautifully feminine, and are the perfect 1950’s shape for the Summer ahead.

3. Block colours

Block colours are huge right now after Ralph Lauren went crazy over them in their runway shows.  Opt for 1980’s style power dressing, or simple yet striking monochromes.  Vibrant contrasting colours will really set each other off and make a powerful fashion statement, while monochromes will look classic and sophisticated.

This 1950s shift is a stunning statement dress that is bang on trend for Spring/Summer 2014.   The shot silk really illuminates the dress, and the figure-hugging style is a flattering and alluring cut for the Summer months. 

4. 1930s and 1940s trench coats

As seen on the runways of Dries Van Noten and Carven, the trench is the way forward.  Trench coats are worn open, and loosely belted.  It is far more about being draped in fabric that staying warm or layering up.  Opt for trench coats in jewel shades or tones of grey, rather than dull browns.  Belted dresses are a beautiful way to wear this style as day wear.

This 1940’s coat from bottle green gabardine is the perfect Spring/Summer coat for cool evening walks along the beach or statement wear. 

5.  Florals

Florals are always big news in the warmer months, and every year designers think of new and fresh ways to re-introduce them.  Going vintage with your florals is the perfect solution, as vintage clothing lends itself perfectly to flowery motifs.  The big colours this season are icy pastels, pinks and orange.  So why not pick a vintage floral frock that includes these colour-schemes to be sure to really rock the current floral trend. 

This 1980s taffeta floral dress not only includes the perfect colour palette and a striking floral design, it is also a gorgeous tulip shape that will really make you stand out from the crowd.  The off-the-shoulder neckline adds a sexy allure to the feminine prettiness of the layered skirt and flowery print.  Wear it with low sandals or ballet pumps in soft pastels shades. 

This article on London’s vintage summer trends was written my Nick Williams at Mela Mela Vintage. Mela Mela Vintage changes their stock seasonally, so now is a great time to find that vintage coat or jacket.

Sun Days.

(everything thrifted)

My new neighbourhood is so lovely. These photos were taken at the park by the river near our house, while we looked for branches to take home for our bird cage.
I'm so excited to be able to have picnics here once the sun is out a bit more and I have more free time!

springtime plaid

Hat & belt - thrifted, scarf & gloves - vintage, dress - made by me, shoes - Urban Outfitters

Hello! It's been a while!
I know I've already talked about how much I love winter, and I do, but this time of year is always so exciting - spring is here!
I tend to get a wee bit sick of the cold by the last month of winter and find myself daydreaming of warmer weather, floaty dresses and picnics with friends. 

This year I'm determined to actually get my wardrobe sorted in advance, before the hot hot weather sets in, though I say this every year so who knows if I'll actually stick to it… That said I've made a bit of a start with this pretty dress I made - the fabric is a marvellous find from the op shop around the corner from my house that I knew what I'd do with as soon as I saw it. I used the same pattern as I did for my yellow flower dress (Simplicity 2539). I actually made it exactly to the pattern size that I have this time, which is for a 31 1/2 inch bust, despite my 34 inch bust since last time I made it a little bigger and it just ended up too roomy.. this time it is actually quite fitted (which I prefer). Just goes to show that ease is as much an issue in vintage patterns as it is in modern ones!


Just a quick post to say I'm still here. Since I've gotten back from Bali (it was amazing!) I've been sick, working a lot, and doing a lot of wedding related crafting...

I also received a very special dress in the mail :)

I'll be back with more outfits as usual as soon as I can!

Fantasy summer vacay wardrobe

I don't actually know if I've mentioned this or not, but at the end of this week I'll be heading off on a week-long vacation to Bali, Indonesia.

My family and I went two years ago, and while there celebrated my sisters 18th birthday, so she decided this year for her 21st that we should all go back and relax in the sun once again.

I've been trying to get my brain into holiday-wardrobe planning mode, but with the extreme cold in Melbourne at the moment, and the extreme lack of funds in my bank I'm finding it to be a very difficult task indeed!

I thought I'd have a bit of fun and create a fantasy holiday wardrobe for my trip - I don't own any of these items, sadly, but maybe this will give me a bit of inspiration so I can get myself organised!!

For hanging out at the pool or beach:

beach outfit
Hat and pattern from Etsy, bathing suit and wedges from Modcloth, sunglasses from Nasty Gal

A cute, bright bathing suit, fun wedges, sunglasses to hide your hangover behind, a glamorous hat, and I'm thinking this cute beach robe in a matching or contrasting colour to the bathing suit.

For wandering through markets looking for bargains:

shopping outfit

Sunglasses, shoes and belt from Modcloth, top and skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing, hat from Etsy, bag from Golden Ponies

A floaty skirt and peasant top combo, low-heeled comfy sandals, a shady hat and a cross-body bag.

I said 21st, right?:

party outfit

dress from Catnip Reproductions, shoes from Modcloth

A beautiful, Shaheen inspired tropical pinup party dress, simple but pretty wedges and the perfectly accessorised undo.

For sightseeing and fun activities:

pattern, hat and blouse from Etsy, sunglasses, shoes and bag from Modcloth

Casual-but-cute blouse and shorts combo, comfy walking shoes, bag that holds all the essentials for a full day away from the hotel.

Lounging around the hotel/cocktail hour!:

blouse and wedges from Modcloth, trousers from Vivienne of Holloway, sunglasses from Nasty Gal

A glam-sailor-resort vibe with pristine white wide-leg trousers, comfy but chic shoes, grand hat, mysterious glasses and of course, cocktail in hand!

What are your holiday wardrobe must haves?

autumn leaves in winter time

Everything thrifted/vintage

Last weekend Eli and I hit up the Dangerfield garage sale that I had previously posted about. The weather was rather awful, cold, raining on and off, but we were determined to score some bargains!

I've been pretty obsessed with this sweater lately, it's super cosy and warm and looks cute with just about everything I pair it with. Yay!

How freaking cute is this little bike brooch? I got it from the op shop around the corner from my house a few weeks back. 

P.S, the Dangerfield garage sale has been extended until Sunday 13th July. It's open 9-6 every day so if you missed out last weekend you still have a chance to grab some bargains!

Guest post: Emileigh of Flashback Summer on Finding Your Vintage Niche

Hello everyone! Today I have a special post for you, written for your reading pleasure by the lovely Emileigh of Flashback Summer.

Emileigh has written a brilliant post that I know Past Taygan, who was just getting into vintage, would have loved to have stumbled across, and even now I can still take on a few of her (Emileigh's, not Past Taygan's) tips.

Make sure you head over and check out Flashback Summer! I've been following for a little while now - Emileigh's blog has an emphasis on uniqueness, craftsmanship, and authentic relationships through vintage lifestyle and hospitality, and as well as this she is quite the wiz on the sewing machine and has some greatly inspiring outfits!

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Hello friends!  I'm Emileigh from the blog Flashback Summer, and Taygan has graciously allowed me to write a guest post to share with all of you!  I discovered her blog somewhat recently, and I fell in love with her style pretty much immediately.  I love the simplicity and versatility of her pieces that, when combined, make the most marvelous outfits!  She has the gift of ensemble-creation, I think.

Then, as I thought of ideas for this post, my mind circled back to different people's styles in the vintage world.  Although vintage is considered a fashion "niche", there's a lot of diversity on how it is worked out in the wardrobes of individuals.  There's rockabilly, hipster, hardcore 1940s, head-to-toe 50s, twinge-of-60s, and so many other style representations.  How do we in the vintage world come around to finding our own "niche" in the vintage niche?  I thought I'd share my personal journey with you guys.

To start, I love a head-to-toe 1930s/40s look for everyday.  Hair, shoes, clothing, underclothing too, if I can get it.  However, I sure didn't start out that way!  When I first pondered the idea of actually wearing vintage, here was my idea of a great vintage outfit for myself:

And it was fine, but now this is a typical everyday outfit for me:

I've moved in a very different direction since those first outfits.  (Now, the 60s isn't even on my radar.)  Below, I have three stages (the Baseline, the Building, and the Box) that have helped me narrow down my "niche" in the vintage niche:

The Baseline - Building a foundational starting point
- Education:  To know what vintage styles look best on your body type, you have to know what trends were popular at which points in time.  I was helped a lot in being able to find vintage clothes I preferred by first learning the trends then discerning which ones initially appealed to me after seeing pictures of them.  Personally, I love the simplicity of the 40s and the flouncy, slinky looks of the 30s.  I don't particularly love the boxy, Jackie Kennedy-style suits or mod looks of the 60s.  I discovered this in simply looking at examples of these decades and following my gut reaction.

- Measurements:  I became very familiar with my own measurements and body type and the challenges and strengths associated with it.  For me, it can be easy for my larger hips to "outweigh" my top half in proportions.  I combined this with my knowledge of decades that can be "hip-focused" (such as the 1920s and 60s with drop waist trends) and contrasted them with decades that are "hip-friendly" (like the 1940s with its large-shouldered silhouette that would balance out my pear shape).  Although garments' individual looks varied vastly, decades tend to have certain trends nonetheless.  Knowing which eras are more likely to have more garments that would flatter your body type can help you choose a niche you love.

- Investment:  The next thing I considered was how much time and money I am willing to spend on my wardrobe.  I ADORE the 1920s, but it simply isn't in my budget to buy 1920s dresses to wear every day.  I also love very va-va-voom, fitted 1950s wiggle dresses, but they're a bit high-maintenance with undergarments, fit, etc. if I want the very wasp-waisted, Marilyn look I like.  This made these kinds of clothes impractical for me.  However, the 30s and 40s are both highly fabric-efficient in their patterns and involve a "make do and mend" element that is friendlier to my budget.  They don't require such special undergarments, and they are somewhat easier to find.  This lower investment of time and money make these decades more appealing to me.  (Remember, though, that it takes a long time for most people to build a whole vintage/vintage-style wardrobe.  Most people can't do everything all at once.)

The Building - Constructing your unique wardrobe
- Trash everything I just said:  Well, in the case of if your initial preferences for a decade don't seem to match your measurements.  Are you a pear shape but still love the 1930s?  A bit on the lean side but love a sexy 60s look?  DO IT.  There was every type of body shape present in every decade, so it isn't impossible to shore up an era's trends in a way that flatters your body type.  It may just take a bit more experimentation and creativity on your part to find the garments that do so.  But if you love it, it's worth it!

- Involve your fixations:  So many vintage wearers have discovered that they just adore certain things, maybe even for no reason!  Pick some things in the vintage world that you can fixate on, collect, and love to death.  For some it is a Lilli Ann suit; for others, plastic novelty brooches.  Personally, I'm a sucker for a 1940s tilt hat.

- Incorporate your memories, personality, and passion:  Don't just recreate period-accurate catalogue reproductions!  Even women back in the day infused their outfits with personality.  Include things that show off where you've been in life or something you're passionate about, all in a vintage-friendly way.  I used to live in the Middle East before college, so I am crazy about Middle East themed novelty prints, like in the skirt in the picture below.  I've begun collecting Middle Eastern and ancient Egyptian-themed vintage pieces for my wardrobe.  I also incorporate modern and antique pieces from the Middle East into my vintage outfits, like the bedouin necklace and bracelet below, too.  It gives me a focus and makes my wardrobe something specialized and unique, even in the already specialized vintage world.

The Box - Putting together your wardrobe without putting it in a box
- DO WHAT YOU WANT:  Who says you can't mix vintage and modern?  Who says a 40s tilt hat can't go with a 60s sexy secretary dress?  Who says you can't knit a 30s sweater with tiny hedgehogs around the neckline?  Who says you can't wear cowboy boots with an Edwardian gown?  No one.  There are no vintage fashion police.  Do what you want.

By finding what you prefer, what flatters your body, and what you're willing to invest in your wardrobe, you create a good baseline from which to work with.  Then, as you get to know vintage more and would like to personalize and tailor it to your unique self, you can incorporate your counter-intuitive era choices, fixations, and passions.  This gives you a personal, unique element to your clothing.  Then, lastly, you do what you want!   Don't be bound by unsaid rules or regulations you think the vintage world has; there are none!  Stay true to yourself and create a wardrobe inspired by yesteryear's trends that is uniquely all your own!

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