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!