Frocktails 2023

It’s Frocktails time!  What an exciting time! Frocktails brings together local makers to celebrate their makes and enjoy a cocktail together. The event was hosted at The Bank on Collins and cocktail of the night was “Daylight Bobbin-ry” which was made with Jamaican Rum, Frangelico, Crème de Cassis, Dom Bénédictine, Cranberry juice and nutmeg. 

Is Frocktails the event where you can walk up and pat someone else’s fabric?  Yes, yes it is!  So why not wear texture?  We certainly leant into this with our fabric choices this year. 

From the left – Erin Butterick 6351 Crushed pleat The Fabric Lab, Lauren McCall’s 8213 tinsel fabric The Fabric Lab, Katelyn in By Hand London Flora tulle Spotlight, Eliza Know Me 2016 Spotlight, Robyn Vogue 1723 The Fabric Store

McCall’s 8213 in Purple Tinsel from Fabric Lab

Well it was love a first sight. Purple, sparkle, tassel, love. With the fabric purchased the next step was to decide how to best showcase this fabric. We looked to McCall’s 8213 for the bodice band and ties then gathered a tube of the amazing tinsel fabric onto the band.

 Butterick 6351 in a crushed pleat from Fabric Lab

Fabric Lab has an amazing selection of special occasion fabrics including amazing pleats! Erin found this sensational shot green in a crushed pleat. She stitched it up in Butterick 6351 with the elastic back waist and open draped section in the back bodice.

Vogue 1723 in georgette from The Fabric Store

Mum has created a stunning long-length version of Vogue 1723 in a stunning georgette from The Fabric Store that was lined in pongee lining to compliment the weight of the outer layer. Do you spot Dad there in his Stakes Day vest? That’s right, what a week, Frocktails was on the evening of Stakes Day, 8 events in 7 days!

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Butterick 6351, McCalls 8213, By Hand London Flora, Know Me ME2016 and Vogue 1723
Fabric: Fabrics from Fabric Lab, Spotlight and The Fabric Store.
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Looking for more Frocktails inspiration? Check out our 2022 Frocktails outfits here.

Matching outfits for Stakes Day 2023

Our family loves a matching outfit opportunity, and there is no better excuse than family day!  Stakes Day at Flemington is known as family day so here we go!  We selected our fabric for the year which was a floral polished cotton from Spotlight.  Mum created our outfit this year, what a task!  All five of us wore a garment in this fabric.  

From the left: James in a handmade tie, Erin in Butterick 6482, Mum in Vintage Simplicity 7083, Dad in McCalls 4321, and Lauren in Simplicity 8594

Floral Dresses Butterick 6482, Simplicity 7083 and Simplicity 8594

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Butterick 6482, Simplicity 7083 and Simplicity 8594
Fabric: Spotlight 
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Looking for more matching family inspiration? Check out our 2022 Stakes Day outfits here or the matching Christmas looks here.

Oaks Day Vogue 9021 and Vogue 9328

Oaks Day is known as Ladies’ Day at Flemington Racecourse during Melbourne Cup Carnival.  The fashion features lots of florals and soft colours.

Vogue 9021

Lauren wore a vibrant green floral polished cotton from Spotlight in Vogue 9021.

Vogue 9328

Erin wore a gorgeous blue polished cotton from Spotlight in view E of Vogue 9328.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Vogue 9021 and Vogue 9328
Fabric: Fabrics from Spotlight
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

VRC Kennedy Oaks Club Lunch at Crown Palladium in Vogue 1884 and Vogue 1723

We were very excited to attend the VRC Kennedy Oaks Club Lunch at Crown Palladium for the first time.  Where did we start with our outfits for this ladies’ lunch?  We went for a hunt in our stash and found two fabrics that were just waiting for the occasion.  We created two Vogue patterns for these fabrics Vogue 1723 and Vogue 1884.

Vogue 1723

We had seen a fabulous outfit of silk blue organza created by Laura Wolfgang on Instagram and set out to create our own version.  The outer dress is Vogue 1723 by Carlos at Vogue Patterns in embroidered tulle from New York when we were there earlier this year.  The underdress is Vogue 1834 in a peppermint rayon blend from The Fabric Store. 

Vogue 1884

The fabric for Lauren’s dress was purchased in Vienna and patiently waiting in our stash since 2018!  The border style print called for a skirt that would showcase the lovely design.  When Vogue 1884 came out we knew it was just the design for this fabric.  

Photo Credits

Pattern: Vogue 1723 and Vogue 1884
Fabric: We wish we could remember the locations but sadly all we can offer is New York and Vienna.
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

We also got see see fellow sewer Bryony Bourke who was wearing a fabulous me made outfit!

Cup Day in Butterick 6556 Vogue 9357 and Vogue 1883

Melbourne Cup Day, known as the “race that stops a nation,” is a renowned horse racing event and a showcase of fashion. Glamorous hats that complement vibrant and stylish dresses are a must! The style is generally of elegance with a focus on bold colours, intricate patterns, and tailored silhouettes. This year we lent into the vibrant pink tones of the day with three fabulous outfits. 

Butterick 6556

Erin’s outfit was a top and tiered skirt with multi-coloured layers.  The pattern used for the top was Butterick 6556 with the addition of a sleeve from Schultz Apparel. The skirt is a self-drafted skirt which is basically just lots of gathered rectangles together to create the wrap skirt. 

The Inspiration

Early this year when we were in New York, just casually strolling along 5th Avenue, this fabulous outfit caught our eye. Thank you to the windows of Bergdorf Goodmans for providing us the inspiration!

Then the challenge began to find the fabric. It was important that it was all the same fabric type so we needed to find a supplier that had the same fabric type if a wide range of colours. We wanted to find a light taffeta to provide a luxe feel to the finish and a full body to the skirt.

We hunted far and wide and ended up finding a range of taffeta from Minerva based in the UK. See the fabric here.

Vogue 9357

Lauren’s dress was created as a polyester jacquard from Spotlight Pink for Cup Day, which was not a wise choice for such a humid day! Anyway, next year we will be wearing cotton. The dress was a combination of the top pattern Butterick 6134 with the skirt from Vogue 9357.

Vogue 1883

Lauren presented her entry for the VRC Lillian Frank AM MBE Millinery Award track side on Cup Day so we got to have the fabulous Molly Richardson with us! Molly wore a vibrant coral crepe from Fabric Minerva in a dress pattern Vogue 1883.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Butterick 6556 Vogue 9357 and Vogue 1883
Fabric: Taffeta from Homecraft Textiles, pink jacquard from Spotlight and crepe from Minerva
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Cup Eve Reception in Vogue 1802 and Vogue 1578

We had the honour to be invited to attend the Cup Eve Reception at Government House. The evening celebrates the first Melbourne Cup run in 1861 when Victoria only began to find its feet as an independent colony. We chose to pull Vogue 1579 out of the cupboard and created a new Vogue 1802 for the occasion and pair it with pieces from Lauren’s millinery collection. 

Vogue 1579 in Fabric Deluxe

Lauren wore a fabulous bird and butterfly with blue detail and a black background jacquard from Fabric Deluxe. We used Vogue 1579 to create the straight skirt with a fitted bodice and cape detail.

Vogue 1802

Erin wore Vogue 1802 a dress pattern from Sewdirect Australia that has a loose-fitting bodice with a neck tie and gathered dropped skirt. She stitched it up in a floral polyester crepe that we found in Spotlight.

Photo Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Vogue 1578 and Vogue 1802
Fabric: Blue and Black Jacquard from Fabric Deluxe and floral crepe from Spotlight
Millinery: Lauren J Ritchie Millinery

Frocktober 2023

Frocktober is Australia’s is a month-long fundraiser created by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) to raise awareness and funds for vital ovarian cancer research.    If you have been following for a while you will know that we have taken on the Frocktober challenge of wearing a different dress every day in October.  We take the challenge of wearing a me made dress every day in October in support the OCRF. 

Looking for more frock inspiration? Check out our 2019 Frocktober here, our collaboration with Alexandra Nea with a Frocktober Fabric print here,

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. 

Fabric

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.

Construction

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.

Winter Vogue Wedding Guests

We had the honour of being invited to our dear friends Max and Cassidy’s Wedding in New York! This called for new dresses, a winter black tie wedding in New York isn’t something we have hanging around in our closest.  This was a wonderful opportunity to tackle more advanced Vogue Patterns!  Off we headed to the fabric stores to find some inspiration for some wonderful fabric and patterns. 

Erin in Vogue 1520

We couldn’t think of anything more fitting for a winter wedding than a full-length velvet dress!

We’ve seen Vogue 1520 by @badgleymischka in the pattern books for a while, but never had the opportunity until now to make it!

The pattern only has 5 pattern pieces for the outside layer, each a really unique shape given the side gathering! We sewed about 70% of the dress just on the four-thread overlocker and completed gathering stitches and hems on a domestic sewing machine.

We deviated from the pattern in two ways:
1. added gathering around the wrist (by extending the sleeve piece and using the same method of the side waist of the dress) instead of the lace feature.
2. removed the train to allow for maximum dance floor moves but kept the shaping at the back

Lauren Vogue 1908

A winter black tie wedding in New York was an excellent opportunity to tackle Vogue 1908 in a challenging fabric

This pattern is a wrap-style dress with a button-bodice closure and a wrap skirt. We loved this pattern for the self-covered button and collar feature, even though the self-covered buttons were challenging in the metallic georgette!

This fabric was tricky to work with and looking at the photos afterwards could use a popper on the left side seam to help hold the wrap strap into place. If you would like to follow along with the construction of this dress check out our Instagram Highlight here.

Credits

Photographer: James Christie Media
Pattern: Vogue 1520 and Vogue 1908 

The dapper cameraman himself

Christmas Outfits for 2022

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 in Vogue 1723 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 in McCalls 7542 and David McCalls 6044

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 in McCalls 6044 and Erin in Schultzapparel Senna

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
Patterns:
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