Sew Gorgeous 2023 – Songlines Art

We had the honour of taking part in Sew Gorgeous which is a special collaboration between Songlines Art, Flying Fox Fabrics & Papulankutja Artists.  This is the second year we have worked alongside a great team of makers in this project led by Songlines Art. 


We chose to work with the Seven Sisters print by Anwari Mitchell of Papulankutja Artists.

It is a digitally organic cotton fabric printed by Next State Print in Melbourne. The classic cotton is made from organic yarn and woven in a satin finish at 140cm wide.

The artwork by Anwari explains the creation of two constellations: the Pleiades and Orion. Find out more about Anwari’s work and the story behind the design on the Songlines Art website.

For the pattern, we looked through our pattern collection for a design that had a bodice that would showcase the fabric. The trick to this was that it doesn’t have too many design lines. We found Vogue 9343 and adapted the skirt to be A-line to better show off the material.


Cutting this fabric it was really important that we considered the pattern placement in this beautiful work by artist Anwari Mitchell. Enjoy watching us debating the print placement in the video and then see the pattern placement in the skirt captured in the photos below.

Finished dress

Sew Gorgeous Photos

Seven Sisters print by Anwari Mitchell of Papulankutja Artists
Model: Jadene Croft
Photographer: Nicholas Gouldhurst

Sew Gorgeous Project Credits

Photographer for Two Sewing Sisters Photos: James Christie Media
Dress Fabric: Seven Sisters print by Anwari Mitchell of Papulankutja Artists Flying Fox Fabrics website
Patterns: Vogue 9343

Check out our project for last year’s Frock On project here.

Christmas Outfits for 2023

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

If you have been following along with your makes over the past few years you will know but this family tradition. If this is a new project for you we are excited to welcome you to our family Christmas! One of our favourite family traditions is that every year we make matching Christmas outfits.

Christmas outfits is something we’ve been doing in our family since our Nan made Christmas shirts and dresses for our Grandad and parents before we were born! You can see last year’s red Liberty outfits here and see the historical collection here. This get pulled out every year as every December you will see us wearing the outfits from previous years.

We continued the tradition of family Christmas outfits continued this year. This year we were all home together in North East Victoria for the first time in a long time. We celebrated this with a green backed echidna print by Jocelyn Proust.

Lauren and Fergus

Lauren made the cotton into Vogue 1723 and put elastic around the sleeve hem instead of using the sleeve stay for a more casual look

We have made this dress before but in more formal fabric for Lauren’s Myer Millinery Award entry and Erin silk fabric from @injalakarts for the Cup Eve celebration but in cotton. It is such a comfortable cut especially for that big Christmas lunch and the cotton sits so well in the dramatic sleeve and neck tie.

Fergus practised this posing and sitting very patiently for his photo his year. If you missed his efforts last year check out our blog post. Let’s just say there was a lot less handsome puppy face and a lot more fluffy happy tail. With his sit more solid than ever thank you to the team at ProDog training Fergus wore a Two Sewing Sisters original dog bow tie pattern that included a D ring for his lead and quick-release buckle.

Robyn and David

For Dad’s shirt, we used McCalls 6044 which features a shaped body, curved hem, collar with stand and front placket detail for the buttons.

This year Mum chose to create her Christmas dress this year using McCalls 7542 bodice and attached a box pleat skirt with pockets. We have made a few versions of hacking this McCalls pattern into a dress, the first was this blue checked number, check it out here.

James and Erin

James chose his go-to collared shirt pattern McCalls 6044 which is a popular shirt pattern in our make set at the moment.

Erin made a variation of the Schultzapparel Senna. We were part of the pattern testing team for this Schultz pattern, you can see this make here. For this Christmas version, we straightened the waist seam and created a tiered skirt but kept all of the great features of the bodice which include a fastening-free finish with very clever ties.

Photography Notes of Christmas Outfits

Photographer: James Christie

Dress Fabric: Jocelyn Proust green background with echidna with Santa hat Christmas fabric

James – McCall’s 6044
Erin – Schultzapparel Senna with tiered skirt
David – McCalls M6044
Robyn – McCalls 7542 with pleated skirt
Lauren – Vogue 1723
Fergus – Two Sewing Sisters drafted doggy bowtie

Stakes Day, Family Day!

Those who have been following us for a while will know our family loves an opportunity for matching outfits. There is no better opportunity than Stakes Day!  This year we went with a striped fabric that Erin sourced from DK Fabrics in Adelaide.  If you are in the area and looking for fabric stores check out her Must Visit Fabrics Store in South Australia blog.  

Lauren and Erin’s Outfit 

For our stakes day outfits, we chose patterns with panelled sections so we could play with the direction of the stripes in the fabric.

Lauren wore Vogue 9357 which is designed by Carlos at Vogue Patterns. We took the band out of the waistband as we didn’t need the extra panel or else it became too busy with all of the stripes. We utilised the front seam and cut the panel on a 45-degree angle and matched the stripes up the middle when it was stitched together (a nervous but rewarding moment)

Erin created a striped version of the Vicki Sews Lorraine bodice and added a gathered skirt with a horizontal band around the hem. The hem panel was the width of the crinoline we had on hand, we like adding crinoline into the hems of some of the dresses to give a fuller hem to some light fabrics.

Robyn and Davids’s Outfit

We don’t often have the opportunity to share what we sew for our parents, but after ourselves, they are the people we sew for the most!

With all of these garments, we were looking for a chance to showcase the panelling with the stripes of the fabric. For Mum, we returned to Vogue 1312 which is a pattern we had made for her in a light blue textured linen we love the bottom band and then insert the chance to cut it with the stripe going around meeting an up and down of the bodice running into the skirt was a great combination.

We love making Dad a matching shirt but for this occasion, he wanted to wear a tie so we created a self-drafted, Two Sewing Sisters tie that he could wear with tan chinos and a white shirt. The weather was surprisingly cool and we had just finished making him Simplicity 9191 in blue wool which we quilted.

Stakes Day Family Outfits

Kennedy Oaks Day

This year we were so excited to put together our outfits for Cup Week this year.  After two years of fashion on your front lawn creating the floral Stitch Witch Atlas top and blue tulle Gertie Princess Coat we were excited to be back in person this year.  We headed into our stash first to see what gems we could find and build outfits from there.  Melbourne however in its classic weather fashion threw us a curve ball and rained for most of the week. 

Erin’s Outfit 

This didn’t impact too many of our outfits but if you were in Spotlight South Melbourne on Melbourne Cup Day afternoon you will have spotted the Two Sewing Sisters (still in their Cup Day outfits) on the hunt for fabric for Erin’s Oaks Day outfit.  The original yellow and white lace choice was in production but the prospect of wearing it on a breezy wet day for Oaks Day was ideal.  

So continued the week of jumpsuits. We used the same patterns as the purple jumpsuit earlier this week, hacking together Vogue 9327 and Vogue 1647 – just swapped the peplum for sleeves and patch pockets! A strong and vibrant print came together with an exposed purple zipper.

Erin paired the dress with pointed black patent shoes, a maroon leather headpiece made by Lauren and gold earrings.

Fabric: Spotlight
Pattern:  Vogue 9327 and Vogue 1647
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Lauren’s Outfit

This traditional yet bold floral print was calling for a pop of red. This wonderful colourful print is quilting weight cotton that joined the stash at some point (we can’t remember where or when) so to lift the surface finish we used satin piping around the collar and a red belt to enhance the colours.

Lauren paired the dress with navy patent tan and lavender headpiece that she made.

Pattern: Vogue 9201
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Vogue 9327 and Vogue 1647 in purple with white pinstripe

Melbourne Cup Day Outfits

We love putting together our looks for Cup Week and heading out to Flemington Racecourse.  Melbourne Cup is hosted on the first Tuesday in November and is known as the race that stops the nation.  The day is filled with bright vibrant colours and we pick our fabrics to reflect this.  

Erin’s Outfit 

This dress is a classic hackathon from the Two Sewing Sisters. The bodice or Vogue 8494 with the sleeve of New Look 1619 and the skirt from Vogue 1486. All are individually great patterns but had elements that we wanted to bring together for this dress. The fabric was a velvet-textured material that gave a lush finish and was rich in colour. The combination of pink and red is a common mix for Melbourne Cup with similar hues tieing the outfits together.

Erin paired the dress with a tan shoes, a magenta and red headpiece made by Lauren and coordinating earrings.

Fabric: Spotlight
Pattern: Vogue 8494 (bodice), New Look 1619 (sleeves) and Vogue 1486 (skirt)
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Lauren’s Outfit

This week quickly became a week of jumpsuits with pockets! For this bold colour blocking look, we hacked together Vogue 9327 and Vogue 1647 (also used for Lauren’s Cup Eve outfit – see the blue jumpsuit here) with free-form peplum.

Vogue 9327 has three sleeve options, but sleeveless isn’t one of them! We want to use this pattern because we loved the neckline and darts. In addition to making it sleeveless, we also reshaped the sleeve head to bring it closer to the neck.

The fabric was a deep purple with white pinstripe that had been sitting in our stash for some time.

Lauren paired the dress with tan shoes and a marigold boater that she made.

Pattern: Vogue 9327 and Vogue 1647
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

See Fergus on Melbourne Cup Day.

Cup Week Drinks at Government House

We had the honour to be invited to attend the Cup Eve Reception at Government House this year.  Lauren was invited as President of Millinery Australia and showcased a piece of millinery as she was a finalist in the 2022 Millinery Australia Design Award.  This celebration called for a new outfit and we hit the fabric stash to find something special.  

Erin’s Outfit 

When Mum and Dad were travelling near Darwin they found Injalak Arts which is an Aboriginal-owned organisation with the community at its heart, that strives to deliver positive social, economic and cultural outcomes for all involved. They produce beautiful unique hand screen-printed designs on the fabric in their workshop in Gunbalanya.

Mum and Dad selected a piece of fabric for each of us and we were waiting for a special event to use this fabric. Erin found the stunning gold screen printed Dupion which she decided to use for this event. As the fabric has a great structure and we wanted the print to be the hero of the garment so she used Vogue 1732 with an A-line all-in-one bodice and large statement sleeves.

Erin paired the dress with a matching clutch from the same fabric also purchased at Injalak Arts, black shoes and a black headband made by Lauren.

Fabric: Injalak Arts
Pattern: Vogue 1723
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Lauren’s Outfit

Lauren wanted to create an outfit that would compliment the stunning print of Erin’s gold silk and show respect for the design. We came across this blue crepe fabric with a water-like print. When looking for a pattern for this fabric, Lauren looked back on some previous makes and loved the line of a red floral jumpsuit we had made a few years ago that combined the bodice of Butterick 6410 with a pant to create a jumpsuit. For this combo we used Vogue 1647 as it has a wide leg but flat front to make the most of the fabric.

To show off the design lines of the patterns we inserted black piping around the collar edge and horizontal bodice seam. In-seam pockets are a must and remove the need to carry anything and Erin was inspired to continue the piping theme and inserted it into the side seam as well. A tricky conquest given the pocket as well.

Lauren paired the dress with taupe and black piped shoes and a black riding-style hat she made.

Fabric: Spotlight
Pattern: Bodice Butterick 6410 and pants Vogue 1647
Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Derby Day 2022

The Melbourne Cup is here, get ready for a big week of hats and fashion! After the last two years of lockdowns, Melbourne is ready to showcase Spring Fashion at its best!

Derby Day kicks off the week, with Melbourne putting on a very cold and wet day. Traditionally the dress code for the day is black and white with all racegoers wear the monochrome palette.

The Two Sewing Sisters both opted for fun, yet classic fabrics paired with matching millinery which stayed firmly within the Derby Day monochrome dress code. 

Lauren’s Outfit

The underdress is Gertie Butterick Pattern B6453 made for the Little Black Dress MIMC Competition (Read more about the garments made for that competition here)

The overcoat is black tulle made in a vintage coat pattern and plays on the effect of layering the tulle to create different textures and density in the fabric.

Turban: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Irregular Choice

Erin’s Outfit 

This dress started with a moment of Erin say, “Loz, I’ve had a vision”. Which usually results in a great feat of sewing marvel and a hopefully incredible outcome.

There were two key inspirations for this dress:

(1) So many scraps left over from 2019! When Erin made the hexagon quilted dress in 2019, we thought “surely this will use up all of our black and white fabric scraps” – only not only did it not use up all of the scraps, we’ve created more scarps over the past two years. See more about the 2019 hexagon dress here.

(2) @fromcarlyb reel of scrap busting by making your own textile

(and yes, for those who followed along the hexagon dress for two years this was done in time)

We created this fabric by marking out the shape of the pattern pieces on a base of a white upcycled sheet as a base, arranged the scraps which was then sandwiched with two layers and tulle and stitched into place. Enter the industry sewing machine for this quilting step. Once each piece was “quilted” we cut the piece back to the pattern piece shape and constructed the dress.

The features of this dress included a band across the bust and in seam zipper pockets.

Pattern: Hack of  #b6410 bodice and circular skirt
Brimmed Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Earrings: Pigeonhole

Melbourne Frocktails

In July we headed to Melbourne Frocktails!  We have seen this wonderful event for several years but this is the first time we got tickets.  Melbourne Frockails is an annual cocktail party for people who enjoy sewing their own garments so the stakes are high for the dress code.  Obviously, me-made is a must!  

The brief was “Sew your finest outfit, and come to chit-chat to sewing peeps from near and far, over cocktails and canapes.” Th event was hosted at The Bank on Collins Street in the heart of Melbourne. Eliza joined us for the event creating a stunning version of By Hand London’s Anna dress in dark green velvet.

Lauren’s Frocktails Dress

We started this dress in 2019 for an event but didn’t get it finished in time – so it got its first outing for this event. I wanted to create something whimsical with a maroon striped lace I had found a Darn Cheap Fabrics and the vision became creating a “maroon fairy”. I was particularly inspired by Needle and Thread dresses with the light lace in gathered ruffles. I had been collecting some images on our Pinterest Board to bring together the concept.

The Pinterest Board

Once I had picked some elements to focus on I started with the bodice of New Look 6494. I liked the rounded bodice detail and sleeves. To test the design lines I took the line drawing from the pattern, which you can just see a faint line of in the sketch and overlaid the additional ruffles.

I wanted to create a soft neckline so I opened up the neckline line and added some gathering into the pattern piece then I used these stand collar pattern piece back to front and added a ruffle at the top edge.

The skirt was formed with three gathered tiers onto a poplin backing (thank you gathering foot, you lifesaver). I wanted to make sure the backing material was not too heavy and take away from the light characteristics of the lace.

The bodice was constructed with the lace basted on a matching poplin which was then treated as one fabric and bagged out with an interfaced support that included boning.

The finished dress

Erin’s Frocktails Dress

Having created many amazing formal dresses for events across the last few years Erin pulled out a favourite that she originally made for the Women in Law Awards when she was nominated for Law Student of the Year. The pattern is Vogue 9343 and we altered the bust to allow for an overlap of the bodice pieces. It is constructed in a printed taffeta weight fabric that was sourced from Darn Cheap Fabrics.


Photographer: James Christie
Headpieces: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery
Erin and Lauren’s Dress: Fabric from Darn Cheap Fabrics 
Lauren’s Bodice Pattern: New Look 6494
Erin’s Dress Pattern: Vogue 9343
Eliza’s Dress Pattern: By Hand London Anna
Eliza’s Fabric: Spotlight

Australia Sews Podcast

We had the honour of being a guest of Louise Sherry’s Australia Sews Podcast. The podcast celebrates the Australian home sewing community with stories from everyday sewers transforming their lives and their wardrobes.

We got to tell some tales of some of our favourite makes and how we live together, sew together, sew each other’s clothes and bounce off each other for creative ideas on what to sew next. It usually comes as a vision that you will hear about in the episode. Sometimes quite an ambitious one.

Pale blue silk dress with hand-stitched flowers

Each year during Law School Erin we created a new dress for the Deakin Law Ball. This pale blue silk each flower on the overskirt is individually made and stitched on (…yes, it did take some time) and we talk about the inspiration and process for making this stunning dress.

Red tulle dress and matching hat

This dress has become a little iconic! It was originally made for the ALSA Conference in Melbourne and then inspired Lauren’s Millinery Award Entry which is the final look you see here.

Hexagon dress

This was ambiguous. So much so it took an additional 12 months to finish. Check out the blog to see the details behind the make and tune into the podcast to hear the story.

Edith Smock green floral dress with pattern from Pattern Union

For our green floral version of the Edith Smock from Pattern Union which for this zero waste design we chose the low waisted version with a self made belt.

Metallic quilted puffer jacket with fabric from Minerva

Living in Melbourne, puffer jackets are commonly worn everywhere. To the local market, at a cafe or on a morning walk – puffer jackets can be seen everywhere! Typically people wear black puffer jackets. When we saw this Metallic Quilted Coating Fabric on Minerva we thought, why not embrace the Melbourne puffer jacket style but with a fun metallic twist.

Fabric provided by @minervadotcom
Pattern: @mccallpatterncompany 7695

Froctober dresses photographed in a Coles supermarket

Frocktober raises awareness and support for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF), we have taken part for many years and this photo was taken for the Herald Sun in a Coles Supermarket.

Frocktails dresses made from Spoonflower fabric with illustrations by Alexandra Nea

We first met the talented Alexandra Nea through Frocktober, first as a fellow frocker and then through her work with the OCRF creating the stunning frocktober girl illustrations.  

With Alex’s blessing to use the frocktober girl illustrations we set to work creating the fabric print.  It was important to consider the scale and spacing of the sketches so the formatting showcased them.  Lauren created the fabric repeat in Photoshop and used the colour splashes thanks to the OCRF.  

Family Christmas photo in matching outfits

We continued the tradition of family Christmas outfits continued this year. We took to the beach in Apollo Bay in our matching Christmas print to celebrate together. This year we used a red background printed Liberty Cotton to create our festive outfits.

Frock On! 2022

We are thrilled to be selected to be part of Frock On 2022!

Frock On! 2022 is a collaboration between Flying Fox Fabrics, Ikuntji Artists and Songlines Australia to showcase hand-printed Indigenous designed fabric.

Fabric from Flying Fox Fabrics

As part of being involved in Frock On 2022, we selected a fabric from the collection to create a garment that showcases the fabric.

It was a tough decision working out what fabric to select – the main types of fabric to choose from are a cotton drill, linen or silk dupion.

We were instantly drawn to this lovely design hand screen-printed on superb Princess dupion silk called ‘Silk Rockholes’ created by Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon.

The base silk is burnt orange, with ink colours of metallic gold and pink.

A wonderful feature of the Flying Fox Fabrics website is that they share information on each of the artists. For the artist, Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon, who created the fabric we used, they shared:

Alice was a Luritja and Pintupi artist; born in 1943 near Talaalpi: country east of Walungurru on the Western Australia / Northern Territory border… Prior to painting, Alice worked for many years at the Kintore School teaching the young girls dancing and the traditions of the desert people. Alice remains an active “dancing woman” who travels widely to participate in annual ceremonies and “Women’s Law” meetings. She was a lead singer in the Sydney 2000 Oympics. Alice’s personal Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) is Tjilkamata – the porcupine. Her story is told in bright colours often utilising orange and yellow to mirror the ochres that are used in ceremonial body painting. In her Tjukurrpa story there is often the porcupine scurrying about rock holes and hiding places looking for tucker while nearby the women are themselves hunting, laying in wait for the porcupine”


We love ‘hacking’ together patterns – it allows you to create unique and individual garments which really suit your style, without the need to make your own patterns!

We were initially going to be a fitted bodice dress with thin straps. After the fabric arrived we knew we had to change our plans – this fabric needed to become a big, beautiful sleeve!

We decided to hack together:
1. Butterick B5850: For the front draped skirt.
2. Butterick B5880: For the wrap bodice.
3. New Look N6694: For the sleeve and back skirt.

You may be thinking, “how do you figure out what patterns to join together?”. Great question, it usually involves a lot of brainstorming our “vision” and folding together the front of patterns (just like the photo to the left).

The other thing we should mention… Butterick B5880 is described as a ‘mock wrap’ and utilises a side zipper closure for you to get in and out of the dress. Only… we hacked it into a real wrap rather than a mock wrap!

The construction on the shoulder pleating, neckline and finishing off the arm wholes is relatively consistent with the pattern. However, this hack does take some creativity to make work. Broadly it involves closing off the side seam where the zipper would usually be, not closing off the waist seam so that the right and left bodice pieces are free to wrap around the waist.

Construction on our Frock On creation

Once we had decided on our patterns, we cut and hacked them together. The key tip to hacking together is making sure all the key seams match like the waist theme and sleeve head.

After the key pieces of the fabric were cut out, we turned our minds to construction. The key issue we faced it not having enough matching thread for the overlocker… this problem turned into an opportunity. From the fabric straps we had, we could make bias to finish the internal seams of the garment and finish the hem of the skirt. On reflection, this bias created the perfect edge of the fabric and a clean finish to the seams.


No special outfit is complete without a Lauren J Ritchie Millinery headpiece!

Plus – a headband is a perfect way of making the most of fabric scraps!

This headband is the same shape as the base of the Stanley Bramble and Harrow Headband – only we stripped back the desk to remove the additional embellishment.

As an easy to wear style, this headband is perfect in the silk dupion – which allows the fabric design to be the feature.

Finished Dress for Frock On!

We are so excited for our garment for Frock on 2022 turned out! On a fresh Sunday morning in June we look the dress for a trip to the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne to take photos.

With the colours featured in the fabric, we wanted to find something complimentary yet contrasting – we thought the Arid Garden was the perfect place. The garden features around 3,000 cacti and succulents from approximately 400 species, so many different textures and colours.

We can’t wait to see all of the other fabulous entries into the Frock On 2022 competition!

Photography Notes

Photographer: James Christie
Dress Fabric: Silk Rockholes by Alice Nampitjinpa Dixon in gold/silver on burnt orange available on the Flying Fox Fabrics website
Patterns: Bodice B5850, Skirt B5880 & N6694 and Sleeve N6694
Headband: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery