Derby Day 2019

The Melbourne Cup is here, get ready for a big week of hats and fashion!

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 race goers wear the mono chrome palette.

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

Lauren’s Outfit

Pattern: Project Runway Simplicity 1610
Fabric: purchased at Komolka while visiting Vienna, Austria 
Beret Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Earrings: Tigalf

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. The vision this time was a patchwork dress in which we make hexagons that are then fused to fabric with vlisafix then stitched to the fabric then constructed into a dress. This process started over a year ago with a stack of black and white fabric.

Hexagon construction started but with a few days to go until Derby Day last year we realised it wasn’t going to be possible to finish the dress in time. So in came our black a white version of Vogue 1566, which you can read more about in our post here. This year with a little more planning the dress returned and with a lot of determination and hexagon sewing on trams we made it!

Pattern: Vogue 8494 (bodice) and Vogue 8849 (skirt)
Fabric: various fabrics from Darn Cheap Fabrics, Spotlight 
Brimmed Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Gloves: Millinery Online
Earrings: Pigeonhole

Colourful Cup Day

Melbourne Cup is known as ‘the race that stops a nation’. It is hosted on the first Tuesday in November at Flemington Racecourse. The style of the day is know for its colour; bright and vibrant. Looking to create something that reflect this Lauren was inspired by a dress from designer Roksanda. She collected a few idea on Pinterest to collate the concept.

I liked the idea of creating something like that with the block colour and design lines looked like an exciting challenge.

Using the Roksanda dress as inspiration was a great base but it was important that it wasn’t an exact replication with alterations to the shapes and colours.  Having a play with the shapes in illustrator and exploring different colour combinations in fabric stores in Sheppards Bush in London the final design and colour way was set.  

Taking on the process of drafting the pattern, Lauren constructed a toile of a basic block to test fit. From this block she created the geometric design lines. The final pattern had over 30 pieces. Each piece of the outer shell had to be cut separately due to the design lines.

The construction took time to ensure the sharp corners were achieved but exact pivots and the dress fully lined. For colour consistency the threads were changed between panels. Such as down the side seam navy was used to join the navy and white thread to join the white section. If all was constructed in the bright blue you might have been able to see a slight fleck of it in the seamline.

The Final Look

Pattern: Two Sewing Sisters
Fabric: Sheppard’s Bush London
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Jo Mercer
Clutch: Jo Mercer
Earrings: Northside Southside

Boater filled Derby Day

Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse is part of the Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival. Traditionally the dress code for the day is black and white with all race goers wear the mono chrome palette.

This was not the original plan. It is not often when we decide to abandon a project because it is not turning out how we want it or we will not get it finished in time. However, this was one of those rare times where we abandoned the project the day before… this meant we need a new vision quick smart! Insert short amount to time collecting some images on Pinterest and away we went.

Flash forward to 8 pm Friday night before the races the next day. Erin on video call with Lauren is walking around Spotlight collecting every viable black and white fabric option available. After a solid 30 minute debate over patterns, fabric and ‘visions’ it was time to check out and get sewing.

As the photos showed, the dress was finished. With two of us with hands on deck, we even managed to be in bed by midnight.

Pattern: Vogue 1566
Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne
Boater Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Gloves: Millinery Online
Earrings: Northside Southside

Mod inspired Derby Day

Derby Day at Flemington Racecourse is part of the Melbourne Cup Spring Racing Carnival. Traditionally the dress code for the day is black and white with all race goers wear the mono chrome palette.

Inspired by a mod vintage feel the idea was developed to compliment a pillbox style hat. Having worked on the aesthetic of the look on Pinterest we used a vintage mod sewing pattern Style 3759 that we found in a vintage store in Stockport (England) on a trip earlier this year. The focus of the look is the gold detail of the hat, so the dress needed to compliment the style.

Lauren found the texture black fabric at Prime Fabrics in New York City. The two rows of gold top stitching detail was added in accent the unique bodice line to complete the Derby Day look.

Pattern: Style 3759
Fabric: Prime Fabrics, New York City
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner Shoes
Earrings: Northside Southside

See what Erin wore to Derby Day here!