Stakes Day

Seppelt Stakes Day at Flemington Racecourse is a fun family day.  What this screams for us is matching family outfits!  Unfortunately, Mum and Dad were not able to join us like last year.  Luckily (or unluckily for her) Sophia was able to join us and helped design her own dress for the day. 

We purchased the navy and white gingham from Spotlight.  We wanted to ensure that there would be a contrast in the scale of the pattern to add some textural interest to the outfits.  

The great gingham scale debate of 2019 captured by James Christie

Sophia’s Outfit

Pattern: Bodice Simplicity 6408 and skirt Vogue 9349
Fabric: Navy and white gingham from Spotlight
Lexington Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie

Bodice pattern Simplicity 6408
Skirt Vogue 9349

Lauren’s Outfit

Pattern: Flint Pants by Megan Nielsen with Drop Sleeve Top by The Avid Seamstress
Fabric: Navy and white gingham from Spotlight
Starlight Headband by: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner

Stitches and Sutures

Our dear friend Dr Kate, also known as Stitches and Sutures comes over for Sewing Sundays. The champion helped us with the sewing for this week. Taking on challenges such a large amounts of hand sewing, advanced Vogue Pants and welt zippers. Her dedication can be best demonstrated by her commitment to Lauren’s straight hems on her pants. Thank you Dr Kate!

Erin’s Outfit 

The Myer Millinery Award is a prestigious competition that is open to Milliners across the globe. A selection of 60 of the best applications are invited to present a piece on Kennedy Oaks Day. This year Lauren created this stunning red tulle piece titled Mayfair. Erin modelled the piece and wore the red tulle dress that was created for an event earlier in the year.

Design: Bodice pattern Vogue 9355 with circle skirt with quarter circle godet
Fabric: Navy and white gingham from Spotlight
Abby Bow Headpiece: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Wittner

Bodice pattern Vogue 9355
Cheers to a wonderful cup week! We hope you enjoyed seeing our outfits and we look forward to near year’s racing season.

It was a wonderful week to create outfits for Stakes Day.  Check out our Melbourne Cup Day and Derby Day looks to see what else we made for the week. 

Kennedy Oaks Day 2019

Kennedy Oaks Day is also known as Ladies day.  It is a day that celebrates great style with the National final of the Myer Fashions on the Field and the Millinery Award.  Through Lauren’s millinery work she was invited to present a piece as part of the Myer Millinery Award.  See the outfit Erin wore to model the piece further down.  It was a fantastic day with two contrasting outfits by the Two Sewing Sisters, take a look. 

Lauren’s Outfit


Pattern: Vogue 9355
Fabric: Reversible fern design jacquard from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Bristol Boater Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Brooch: Rob Humpries Jewellery
Shoes: Wittner

Vogue Sewing Pattern 9355

Erin’s Outfit 

The Myer Millinery Award is a prestigious competition that is open to Milliners across the globe. A selection of 60 of the best applications are invited to present a piece on Kennedy Oaks Day. This year Lauren created this stunning red tulle piece titled Mayfair. Erin modelled the piece and wore the red tulle dress that was created for an event earlier in the year.



Design: Two Sewing Sisters original
Pattern: Drafted by Lauren
Fabric: Red Tulle and cotton drill from Spotlight
Mayfair Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Self covered belt: Buttonmania
Shoes: Wittner

Stunning work with the self covered belt with round buckle by Buttonmania

It was a wonderful week to create outfits for.  Check out our Melbourne Cup Day and Derby Day looks to see what else we made for the week. 

Lexus Melbourne Cup 2019

Melbourne Cup is known as the race that stops a nation.  The day is about celebration and vibrant colours.  We wanted to outfits that had feminine lines with full skirts while remaining true to the spirit of the day.  

Lauren’s Outfit


Pattern: Bodice Vogue 1172 and skirt Vogue 1486
Fabric: Darn Cheap Fabrics
Beret Hat: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Siren Shoes
Earrings: Timber and Cotton

Erin’s Outfit 

A modern day Marie Antoinette out for Erin was inspired by the stunning shoes from Irregular Choice. The quirky design and hues gave a striking base for this outfit.

The cobalt blue fabric was a challenge to work into the curve of the pattern we chose. Both great elements however for future makes we would use a natural fibre for this pattern to be ensure the line around the bust sits flat.


Pattern: Mccall’s 7187 with adapted waist line.
Fabric: Unique Fabrics Brunswick
Marie Topper: Lauren J Ritchie
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Brooch: Rob Humphries Jewellery

See the outfits we wore to last year’s Melbourne Cup here, or check out our other outfits from the 2019 Spring Racing Carnival. 

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

Two Sewing Sisters - Frocktober - Day 23 Frocktober Alexandra Nea prink dresses (2)

Alexandra Nea Frocktober Print Frocks

What could possibly make a frocktober even greater than wearing a frock everyday?  Wearing a frock you have made everyday?  That is pretty exciting for us.  What what could take this one step further?  Wearing a frock we had made that has a print of the frocktober girls by Alexandra Nea on it! 

We first met the talented Alexandra Nea through Frocktober, first as a fellow frocker and then through her work with the OCRF creating the stunning frocktober girl illustrations.  

With Alex’s blessing to use the frocktober girl illustrations we set to work creating the fabric print.  It was important to consider the scale and spacing of the sketches so the formatting showcased them.  Lauren created the fabric repeat in Photoshop and used the colour splashes thanks to the OCRF.  

For our fabric selection we prefer to work with natural fibres in a sturdy weight fabric.  We chose to print through Spoonflower, selecting their organic cotton sateen.  

Once the fabric arrived we had fairly good idea of the frock styles we wanted to created.  How could be go past making our favourite, Butterick 9764? Lauren made the bodice has a flat front with the bust value taken up by tucks in the shoulder.  The skirt is an A line style with tucks mimcing the shoulder detail in the waist seam. 

Inspried by the Review girl Erin created a fitted bodice with full skirt.  With a double bust dart and bodice dart the curved bust line we used Butterick 9771 to create the dress.  The skirt features darts and gathers with crinoline in the hem to help the volume of skirt sit out.  

Smooth FM hosted their annual Frocktail event at The National Trust’s Como House.  Hosted by Mike and Jen the evening featured it was the perfect opportunity for us to wear these wonderful frocks.

To see the rest of our frocktober frocks visit our Frocktober blog post here

Visit Alexandra Nea’s website here

Day 1 Butterick 9764 - Two Sewing Sisters - Frocktober OCRF

Frocktober 2019

Frocktober is a community fundraising initiative for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) – you can find out more about the cause in our Frocktober post.

This year are taking on the challenge of wearing a different Two Sewing Sisters made frock each day in October.  If you have followed along on our Frocktober journey before you may recognise some pieces but we look forward to sharing the making details of the frocks with you. 

You can see our frock here on the or follow along on our Instagram and Facebook Page.

We hope you enjoy seeing our frock collection and will make a donation to support this cause.  Research is the answer and your support of the Ovarian Cancer Research enables this.  

Frocking for a Cause - Frocktober - Two Sewing Sisters

Frocktober – Frocking for a Cause for OCRF

Two Sewing Sisters sketch by Alexandra Nea with Frocktober dresses
Two Sewing Sisters sketch by Alexandra Nea with Frocktober dresses

Frocktober is a community fundraising initiative for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF). The aim of the campaign is to start important conversations. The campaign that empowers women around Australia to channel their creative flair through their favourite frocks, all while raising urgently-needed funds for the OCRF’s innovative research projects that help to shine a light on ovarian cancer. You can make your donation here.

The challenge of Frocktober is to take on a frock challenge during October.  We first became involved with Frocktober in 2013.  Our challenge was to wear a different frock everyday in October.  We took a photo each day to share on our social media pages.  With a love of frocks this was an exciting challenge to help fund research into early detection test.

Two Sewing Sisters and Frocktober

This will be the 6th year that we have Frocking for a Cause - Frocktober - Two Sewing Sistersdonned a frock everyday of October with our team Frocking for a Cause.  Between us we have completed the equivalent of 7 Frocktobers without repeating a frock.   It’s a lot of frocks for an important cause.

The frocks were a combination of ones we had made, purchased new, purchased second hand/vintage, family collection and borrowed from friends.  Check out the frocks we have worn over the years.

There is still a chance to become involved in Frocktober this year.  Wear a frock, host an event in your work place for a Frock Friday or start the important conversation to raise funds and awareness in your network about this insidious disease.

With a revised look for Frocktober Illustrator Alexandra Nea created the frocktober figures to provide the new stunning faces of Frocktober.  This wonderful fashion illustrator works capturing luxury events across the country and you will find a stunning sketch of the Two Sewing Sisters was created by Alexandra.

The challenge we are taking on this year is to wear a different frock each day that we have made. 

We would love you to be part of our ‘Frocking for a Cause Team’ – follow the link to join us! 


Check out our past years Frocktober to get you inspired. Stitching, shopping or borrowing to get your frock collection ready.

Sophia’s Transforming Navy Law Ball Dress

Sophia is in her penulimate year Law at Deakin University.  We worked with Sophia to develop the design for her Deakin Law Ball dress for this year.  Starting with images Sophia had found we sketched up the design.  Speaking with Sophia we wanted to make something that could transform so she could also wear it to the after party.  With the tiered skirt this was perfect!  A zipper!  

Construction of Navy Transforming Dress

The tulle layers of the design were a key feature and the lengths needed to be suite for both the full length look and the shorter zipped version. The trick to this was the length of the lining. The zipper was concealed by the hem of the top layer.

Making a strapless bodice stable is important; the choice of lining, stabilisers, interfacing and boning need to considered. The ink blue velveteen and navy cotton drill fabrics sourced from Spotlight was cut in Vogue 8849 . For this velvet bodice the velvet would not carry the weight but this would be the job of the lining. We chose to create the lining in cotton drill that was interfaced and boned.

Four layers of tulle sourced from Remnant Warehouse made up each tier of the skirt and was gathered onto the cotton drill base. The closure of the dress was a welt zipper at the center back with the tulle skirt loose over the top.


Pattern: Vogue 8849
Fabric: Ink blue Velveteen and navy cotton drill from Spotlight, Navy Tulle from Remnant Warehouse 90cm open ended zipper from Premier Group

Transforming – The great unzip

After party ready

Check out Georgia and Erin‘s Law Ball outfits. 

Georgia’s Jungle Green Silk Satin Law Ball Dress

Georgia has studied Law at Deakin University for the last six years.  Also with Erin this would be her last Law Ball.  We wanted to make her dress something special.  We started with some inspiration and Erin’s key criteria for Georgia was she had to choose a colour that wasn’t black.  

Construction of Jungle Green Silk Satin Dress

The bodice for Georgia’s dress started with Simplicity 6408 as it had a beautiful back shape and the gathered front seam created the perfect neckline. The skirt needed to be cut on the bias to create the drape and fall Georgia was after so we used Butterick 5710 as the base for this.

Erin and Georgia went on a fabric hunt and found a beautiful jungle green (not black) silk satin at Rathdowne Fabrics in Brunswick.

The design of the dress evolved from the original sketch. We chose to remove the bottom ruffle section and keep the straps travelling straight over the shoulders.

The thin straps were created using the fabric, creating a thin tube. The strap was turned through using a bobkin sewing needle (a needle without a point used for sewing chunky knits).

The dress was constructed to a point that meant Georgia could try it on. At the fitting we decided that fully lining the bodice would be the best course to finish it off. The lining of the bodice was interfaced with whisperweft interfacing. A piece of plastic boning along the side seam position to provide some stability. The skirt side seams were finished with a french seam to provide a neat finish. This reduced any damage that might be cause to the fabric by placing it through an overlocker.


Pattern: Simplicity 6408 and Butterick 5710
Fabric: Jungle green silk satin from Rathdowne Fabrics

Lace Blue Deakin Law Ball

This year Erin graduates from her studies at Deakin University which means this year is her final Law Ball.  Over the last six years we have created a new outfit for the occasion that has included navy sequins, red lace, pale blue flowers.  This year it was time to mix things up.

We started by collecting some images on Pinterest,originally we had purchased a gold fabric to make a draped bodice but after Erin was nominated for the Lawyer’s Weekly Award this dress was created for that occasion and this opened up the possibilities.  

Law Ball sketch - Blue Lace - Tessuti Fabrics - Erin Ritchie - Two Sewing Sisters


The bodice for this Law Ball outfit was cut from McCall’s 6331 in cream coloured drill to create a nude effect to be layered with Billi’s Royal Lace from Tessuti Fabric . The lace comes in 50cm wide panels which meant strategic placement of panels on the pattern. The bodice was heavily boned to support the strapless corset style and the key design lines had matching blue ribbon top stitched on them.

Why a two piece not a jumpsuit? If you have to ask that question, chances are you have never been to the bathroom in a jumpsuit. The pants are created from Megan Nielsen Flint Pants as a base with removal of the pockets for a smooth line in the lace.

Details of the Outfit for Law Ball

Pattern: Bodice McCall’s 6331 and bottom Megan Nielsen Flint Pants
Fabric: Billi’s Royal Lace from Tessuti Fabric
Shoes: Florsheim
Clutch: Olga Berg