Styling Little Black Dress for MIMC

The Melbourne International Millinery Competition (MIMC) is hosted by The Essential Hat. This year was the sixth year the competition has run and invited milliners from across the globe to respond to the theme. For 2021 the theme was Little Black Dress. The idea is that everyone will have their own ideas of what Little Black Dress means then design and make a hat to suit it.

Two Sewing Sisters was thrilled to be invited to be part of the team and style the photoshoot for the competition. See all of the entries and photoshoot here.

For us, the Little Black Dress meant something that had diversity and could be styled in different ways. Each milliner was creating a piece to represent what the theme meant for them and we needed looks that could transform to match each hat.

Base Dress

We created a base slip black dress for each model. This would form the foundation, a classic fitted bodice shape to be able to style piece over the top. We selected Gertie Butterick Pattern B6453 as the base and constructed it in black polished cotton for each model.

Chic Jacket

This black lattice lace formed a textured finish to create an iconic Little Black Jacket to be worn over the dress. We used the Pattern Union Felix Jacket with square neck and satin bound collar.

Floral Tribute

Keeping a diverse range of options in front of mind, we wanted to create a very pretty and floral option. We used a vintage Simplicity pattern with ruffle features that allowed us to showcase the fabric’s scalloped edge.

Striking Leather

A strong and striking leather cropped top using Vogue Pattern V1486 created a bold option for a modern aesthetic. The top had raw edges and an exposed open-ended zipper down the centre back.

Starsation

We wanted to make sure we had an option with large sleeves to balance the presence of larger hats or headpieces with a modern fabric choice. We found this star tulle fabric and created a combination of Schultz Apparel patterns using the bodice from the Ottilia Top with a long sleeve from the Minna Dress. We have made these before in striped cotton and strong blue print.

Glitz and Sequin

We could not have a sequin option! We took the cape of Vogue Pattern V 1579 and bound the edge with a satin bias. We have made this pattern before in jacquard and loved the line is created.

With hats and headpieces for all occasions we called on a few pieces from our collection including a vintage top Mum wore to work in the 1980s, a textured knit and tulle overcoat vintage pattern.

Congratulations to Catherine for her work hosting the MIMC competition and The Essential Hat Team. The crew for the photos included
Photographer: Stavros Sakellaris 
Stylist: Two Sewing Sisters
Location: LCI Melbourne
Models: @_simran._ @federicacosino@trulycharliejean
HAMU: TCAamakeup_hmua

Lauren with Catherine Ellen

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. 

Magenta Lame – Lawyers Weekly Law Awards – Simplicity 1651

When your sister is nominated for National Law Student of the year it calls for a new dress for the occasion. Erin was nominated for the award as part of the Lawyers Weekly Law Awards with the presentation hosted at The Star in Sydney. Mum, Dad and I were lucky to be able to attend the awards.

Construction

Looking to show off the stripes of the fabric the detail in the pattern, Simplicity 1651 has a twisted feature and center front panel. This meant the front panel could have the stripes run vertical while the side panel the stripes could sit horizontally and run through the twist.

The skirt is a rectangle that had a series of 16 darts stitched into the waist line before being gathered. The hem was supported by wide width crinoline.

Details of the Outfit

Pattern: Simplicity 1651
Fabric: Black Cotton with magenta lame from Darn Cheap Fabrics
Shoes: Wittner
Headpiece:  Lauren J Ritchie

The 2019 Lawyers Weekly Law Awards were hosted at The Star in Sydney. See Erin’s outfit for the event here.

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

T-shirt dress – Literally

Looking to create the ultimate casual dress, semi fitted, stretchy, sleeved with high neck with protection from some sun the first thought that sprung to mind was a tshirt dress… literally.

Starting with two preexisting tshirts meant already finished seams but also a great chance to develop some upcycling ideas. To get enough length for the skirt it started with the largest size that could be found and a medium that was the best size to fit across the bust.

Cutting the smaller size to waist length with enough extra for seam and allow for slight blousing. The larger shirt was cut across below the neckline then to the hem. Closing up the sides using the existing hem before joining the bodice to skirt.

To pull in the waist, keeping with the use of only one machine in this case an overlocker, elastic was secured on the seam.

Royal Ascot 2018

The outfit for Royal Ascot all start with the shoes!  Irregular Choice shoes to be exact, and aren’t they amazing!?   

The dress was made from McCall’s 7279 with a circle skirt added for a softer line to match the delicate lavender lace sourced from Spotlight in Melbourne. Construction involved tacking the lace to the matching poplin backing before stitching the darts of the bodice.

  The details of the make included black piping around the cream Peterpan collar and turned up cuffs

The finished look for Royal Ascot was paired with a black Review belt to highlight the piping and worn with a Lauren J Ritchie Lenox Boater.