Art Deco weekend 2015 in Pictures

Its a week late, but here is a brief summary of Art Deco Weekend this year. If you follow me on instagram (@kirsten52fancies, if you’re interested) you’ll have seen some of these pictures, sorry!


Every morning started with a cup of tea in my Carolyn jammies, sitting in the sun looking at the beautiful view from our deck. Quite a lot of the weekend was spent sitting in the sun on the deck, now that I think about it. Its a good spot to watch the vintage airplanes (Tigermoths, according to those who know these things…) which do regular flyovers and airshows during the weekend.


On Friday morning we had a wee adventure out to the port and Ahuriri, where the National Tobacco Building is. Its so beautiful, its a shame that its now a furniture storage warehouse! Better than making cigarettes though, I suppose.


Here are some detail shots from inside the foyer (this is a picture heavy post, sorry about that)



I love Art Deco and Art Nouveau architecture, its a shame that we don’t put that much effort into making everything aesthetically pleasing these days!

Friday was pretty laid back, I just wore a chiffon maxi dress I got off Etsy a few years ago. Its not vintage, but it has the right look! I made a belt to go with it, using a navy blue vintage bakelite buckle and some navy and white striped ribbon.


Saturday was my first outing in my Beach Pyjamas, they were a lot of fun to wear! Very comfortable, and I didn’t need to worry about my skirt blowing up in the breeze or getting caught in anything. I was pretty paranoid about sitting in something, or spilling anything, but I didn’t have any disasters!


Monsieur wore woollen socks, woollen plus fours and a woollen waistcoat, and nearly died of heat stroke, but he looked good! We wandered around and looked at the impressive collection of vintage cars which make their way to Napier every year, and I particularly liked this one. Monsieur tells me its a Cord from the mid 1930’s (I just nod and smile).


Then I met up with Leimomi from The Dreamstress, and we had a (Beach) Pyjama Party!


That afternoon we played a fairly epic game of mini putt, which I came last in. I have many talents, but golf is not one of them! At least I made the others look really good. Eventually, we got changed and headed down to the Sound Shell for the Air Force Big Band concert. I wish I had photos, but I somehow didn’t get any. Monsieur wore a tuxedo and everything! I wore another vintage dress, and my velvet Tokyo jacket. I’m glad I’ve had some wear out of it at last!


Sunday was another laid back day. We took a walk through the Gatsby picnic, with a special stop made at the Hendricks Gin tent…


…then we headed out to the Mission Estate Vineyard for a fancy lunch before heading home. I was planning to wear a skirt with my Sencha blouse (a pre-blog make), but my Holly Trousers were so comfortable I decided to just wear them again!


So that was the glitz and glamour of another Art Deco Weekend! Well done if you made it through all those pictures…

1930s (ish) Beach Pyjamas

After my last (whiney) post about not being motivated to finish anything (thanks for your advice and kind words!), I put my head down and got to work on my main outfit for Art Deco weekend. I’ve been wanting a set of beach pyjamas for ages, they just look like such comfortable clothes! Then i saw the amazing set that Anna made last year, and I was sold. I had a look around for some vintage patterns, but they were all unbelievably expensive! So I looked up some inspiration pictures, and fell in love with this photo…


How awesome are those hats? The set I particularly like are the white trousers and the chevron halter top. I wanted a two piece set, even though a lot of them seem to be one pieces, mostly for practical reasons, but also because a set of wide legged cream trousers will be a good addition to my dancing wardrobe! In the end, I decided to go with the By Hand London Holly trousers and the Sewholic Lonsdale dress bodice. Happily, both patterns were already in my stash!


After all of my procrastination, I’m really pleased with the result! Especially the top, I think its super cute. I haven’t made the Lonsdale up as a dress (mostly because I don’t like wearing things I need special underwear for…I need to get over that) but I might have a go at it next summer, because I really like it as a top! I cut the striped fabric on the bias, because I wanted the chevron effect up the front, but the lining is cut on grain to make it all a bit more stable. I pieced the lining with some of the striped fabric for the straps, so that they were striped on both sides.



I swapped the zip for buttons up the back, mostly because I think it looks cute, but also because I couldn’t find a separating invisible zip. It does make it more difficult to get into it on my own, but I managed! I shortened the bodice by almost an inch, because I have a really short torso, but it could probably do with being a bit shorter. This was also pointed out by monsieur, so it must be quite noticible! (Honestly, he watches one episode of the Great British Sewing Bee with me and now he’s an expert…)


The Holly Trousers were really simple to put together after the top, I knew they would fit after making my Flolly Playsuit last year. The cream linen/cotton blend I used was beautiful to sew with, and presses really well, but doesn’t stay wrinkle free for long! I’ll try to press some nice sharp creases down the fronts of each leg, but I’m not sure how long they’ll last. I used my invisible zipper foot for the first time to put the side zip in, it looks so neat and was so easy! It looks like the foot will be a good investment.


They’re super long trousers (even taking my lack of height into account), I’ve already taken a 4″ hem up on them! I’m trying to decide if I should hem them to the right length, or turn them up and cuff them like oxford bags. What do you think?



So there we go! I’m glad they’re finished in time, they’ll be nice and cool to wear on a hot day in Napier! I think I’ll make a navy and cream headscarf to wear with them, rather than a hat, since I’ll have my parasol with me. Such a shame that they’ve gone out of fashion!

An untimely sewing slump

Why is it that you always run out of steam or lose inspiration when theres a deadline approaching? I’ve been sewing like a maniac all year (and all of last year too!), but now that there is only three weeks until we make our annual pilgrimage to the beautiful Hawkes Bay for Art Deco Weekend, I just can’t be bothered sewing up any of the things I had planned to wear. (More information on Art Deco Weekend in this post, but the short version is that every year the swing dancers of NZ head to Napier during their Art Deco festival which commemorates the earthquake which flattened the city in 1934. Its pretty much just a weekend of dressing up, meandering around and eating gelato in scorching sunshine, and dancing to various jazz bands throughout the city. Its good fun!)


I’ve done the planning stage, and I’ve bought and prewashed all of my fabric, I just…can’t be bothered sewing any of it up. Its terrible! I don’t even have that much to do, just a top (an Afternoon Blouse), a slip, and the Beach Pyjamas. I already have the skirt to go with the blouse, and the dress which needs the slip. I’ve made a start on the halter top for the pyjamas, and its looking ok. I’m struggling to see if it fits, its hard to hold it closed and see what it looks like! I’ll need to get Monsieur to pin me into it so that I can have a play. Its going to have buttons up the back, and I don’t want to sew all those button holes if it doesn’t fit quite right!


I think its the Afternoon Blouse which has put me in this sewing slump though. I really like the pattern, I think its cute. I bought it last summer, at the same time as the Bronte, and immediately cut it out of some pretty cotton lawn. Then it got cold, and I never sewed it together. I whipped it up last weekend, and immediately noticed a few things…mainly that I had taken absolutely no notice of pattern placement or matching when I cut it out! The second thing was that it really didn’t fit…


I have a really short torso, so a lot of RTW clothes are too long in the upper chest and shoulders if they’re sitting correctly at my waist. I’ve never had this sort of problem with something relatively unfitted though! I had enough room in the upper chest area to fit a fist in each side of the neckline, it was definitely too big. So I lifted it up at the shoulders, so the neckline sat flat against my chest, and pinned it along the shoulders…


I sewed it along the new, flat shoulder seam (I tapered it from about 3cm at the neckline to nothing at the sleeve) and trimmed the back neckline down so it was the same shape as it had been originally, then trimmed and resewed the facing. I tried it on, and some of the excess fabric had all disappeared from around the shoulders, but now the neckline gapes open like nothing I’ve ever seen! I have no idea what happened or how to fix it, I think I may have killed it…I don’t have any photos, because I was so pissed off that I just stuffed it into a bag and tossed it into the corner. I’ll go back to the drawing board, and make another one using the navy seersucker in the photo above. Any ideas how I can fix it? I was thinking that I could take a wedge out of the pattern where the neckline gapes (either side of the “V”) and then redraw the curve of the neckline…or I could just try going down a size in the shoulders/bust, and grade it out to the right size in the waist and hips. What do you think?