Saturday, January 26, 2013

Australia Day Celebrations

Australia Day, 225 years since Captain Arthur Phillip sailed into Sydney Cove with the first fleet, mostly convicts, to form a settlement. Big Ted is celebrating the day with a new shirt, hat and sun glasses. Rescue Bear was asked along at the last moment and had nothing new to wear.
 When it got too hot they arranged themselves on the steps. Lots to see today with many boats and fishermen on the lake. Big Ted and Rescue Bear are now firm friends and often seen together since BT heard of RB's sad start in life. The other bears are too Royal to celebrate Australia day. They will have their turn on Queen's Birthday holiday in June.
 Had a bit of a panic when I thought I had no Australian books among all my Royal and cat books. Have manages to find a fair selection to show. I can include the Royal visit book because it is about the visit to Australia 1954. The small book on the right Transportation and Chains was written by a distant cousin about his convict ancestors.
 Here is a true blue Aussie dog. A brown Kelpie named Gypsy. Gypsy belonged to my father many years ago.
 An old Aussie holiday home. My mother always insisted on a waterfront with a rock pool and a boat included. We had a couple of holidays here as children, we always hoped the tide would come a bit higher and go through the floorboards, it never did.
Another house of mum's choosing. The tide is out here and oysters can be seen on the rocks. These houses never had a bathroom or much of a kitchen. There was always a stiff climb down from the road high above with our luggage. The toilet was a ramshackle building with a pan back up in the bush somewhere and in some of these houses a man and boat would call to take away the pan.
Different times. This is some of my family off to celebrate the day on the lake in their boat. I happily waved them off, someone has to stay behind and do the waving and I love my lake view but I don't want to be on it or in it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dressing Sylvia

 Well you've seen 'Dressing the Queen' but what about me? I had a dresser too. My mother.
I bought this knitting book at a second hand book sale recently. The book was released in 1954 to celebrate the visit of the Queen to Australia. You can see rampant lions on the front cover designs.
This design is named Heraldry and has the kangaroo and emu coat of arms.
 Look, here I am wearing the knitted jacket. Mum was an expert dressmaker and embroiderer but not much of a knitter so I'm sure she didn't knit this and I didn't. Mum knew an expert knitter who took orders so perhaps she did the knitting. I loved this jacket and wore it often, it was a deep rose colour in a fine wool. Wish mum was still here so I could thank her for my Royal knitting.
In the photo I am also wearing the wide eyed gormless or stunned mullet look on my face which I still wear sometimes now.
I made this dress. The fabric was rainbow coloured with glitter in the fabric. I never used a pattern but this style looks a little more complicated so perhaps I did. My usual dressmaking style was to look at me, look at the fabric and cut and sew. Being small and young I got away with dressmaking mistakes. I always favoured quantity over quality and my clothes often fell apart after a few wearings. My sandals are silver.
I had a very sophisticated paper doll with very nice clothes. Mum copied this outfit from the paper doll. The jacket was green with pale yellow blouse and embroidery. Mum didn't need a pattern, she could look, cut and sew but with more skill than me.
 Here I am bridesmaid at my older sister's wedding. I made the dress and mum made my younger sister's the same. Mine was blue brocade with blue nylon skirt and taffeta underskirt, my sister's dress was pink.
 Me at about age 3. I am wearing a red coat with yellow embroidered chickens. Don't know the history of this coat, it could have been a hand-me-down from my sister. I never minded hand-me-downs as I always felt I was getting bigger like my sister. Not sure about the rest of my outfit but note the boomerang brooch I am wearing.
My daughter about the same age as me in my red coat. Daughter is wearing a very pretty purple and white striped dress with matching underwear and a white apron. This was a gift from her grandmother. Lucky girl, mum had almost given up dressmaking by then so daughter was given-something I always wanted- A Shop Bought Dress. I continued to make clothes for daughter and me for a few more years and she still talks fondly about some of the pretty dresses I made for her.
I never sewed for my son, boys clothes are too difficult to make.
Now I have discovered comfortable jeans and op shop bargains my dressmaking days are over......Unless the Queen needs help, I'm sure I could still sew on a button...........

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dressing The Queen and a Pretty Apron

A just released in the U.K book by the Queen's dresser Angela Kelly and approved by the Queen. I bought my copy from Amazon U.K as I couldn't wait for the book to be released in Australia in February. All about the Queen's wardrobe from choosing fabrics and trimmings to fittings and final approval by the Queen of the whole outfit right down to jewellery, hats, bags and shoes and matching umbrella.
 I think this book is of interest to anyone who loves fashion and fabric, not just lovers of Royalty.
 A busy sewing room pictured here. There are some beautiful pictures in the book and explanations of why certain fabrics and colours are chosen.
This is the dress worn  for the opening of the London Olympics. Two copies of this outfit were made, one for the Queen and one for her double who jumped out of the helicopter.
My print has gone small again!! is it blogger playing with my sanity or is it my paranoia kicking in???
I have something in common with the Queen, she chooses a handkerchief from her large collection to suit her outfit.  I do the same. The hanky I show on the book was my mother's and she dyed it purple in one of her 'dying everything purple' phases. I carry mum's hanky to special family occasions.
I know handkerchiefs are out and sniffing is in  but I wish people would at least carry a tissue.  I also like to dye things purple sometimes
In the seventies when I lived in the U.K for an extended period I sold handkerchiefs  in the haberdashery department of  Bentalls, a large dept. store in Kingston Upon Thames just outside London.  I soon learned a lot about hankys. There were mourning hankys,  some for lipstick, hand rolled edges, whatever the customer wanted I had it or would order it in. I still dream about the huge stockrooms full of wool, buttons, trimmings, lace and ribbons. I first saw velcro there and have been in love with it ever since. The bottom left pic. shows the back of Bentalls in my day. The name is still there but Bentalls is now a collection of smaller shops and handkerchief counters and haberdashery depts. are sadly no more.
Latest  arrival for my apron collection is this pretty apron. I couldn't resist buying it because of the dog. Love the shoes the girl is wearing too and she is holding a bone for the dog. The apron came gift wrapped in pretty paper and ribbon. Love it when sellers do that and so few do. Thank you friendly seller.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Coronation and Apron Embroideries and Jubilee Cosy

 Still working busily on my Diamond Jubilee projects and trying to catch up on the weeks of stitching lost waiting for my broken elbow to heal.
Gina in Melbourne found this tea cosy pattern for me. Thank you Gina. I am not really a knitter but I hope I can finish this project. The cosy looks easier to stitch than the previous pattern I showed. I bought the wool from the U.K as I couldn't find it here and wanted the exact wool stated. Hope I can show this cosy finished by the end of this year.
 Started my Bothy Threads Kings and Queens, still a very long way to go. I still have Kate and William wedding projects to finish and I'm sure there will be baby samplers to stitch.
Another big royal year this year, Kate and William's baby. Also the 60th anniversary of the Coronation in June, sure to be souvenirs for that occasion.
Ruth over at Brit Samplers alerted me to these 1937 Coronation cushion covers. They are expertly embroidered, they are only small and I think I will frame them. I don't have space for all the cushions I have and don't want Charlotte and Emily sleeping on them.
 My latest 1953 Coronation tablecloth bought on Ebay. All four corners are the same and it's a large cloth. I was surprised I won this as it was a bargain.
 Haven't added much to my apron collection lately and was surprised no one else bid on this pretty apron. I have another very nice apron coming and is already in the post so will be able to show it soon.
As I said above this is another special Royal year so my Jubilee bunting must stay put for another year.....or even forever!!!