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

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.

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

Millinery Association Drinks

The Millinery Association of Australia is a not for profit organisation. It encompasses a diverse range of millinery, from traditional hats to costume. They host events that showcase quality millinery with professional and enthusiastic members that unite to raise the profile of millinery in Australia.

Each year at the end of the Spring Racing Carnival at Flemington the Millinery Association hosts an evening event for their members. As Lauren is a member the Two Sewing Sisters attended the event.

Erin’s Outfit

Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070
Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Bag: Olga Berg
Earrings: Northside Southside

Lauren’s Outfit

Pattern: Over layer Butterick 9764 Under layer Simplicity 4070
Fabric: Spotlight, South Melbourne
Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner
Bag: Oroton
Earrings: Northside Southside

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!