Thanks to Nuffnang and Spotlight

Sewing and DIY projects have fallen way down my list of priorities in the past year. I’ve been on such a decluttering and purging streak that the urge to create had been hiding. Now, with the clutter gone, systems streamlined and a much clearer head, I’m looking at my long shelved projects with new eyes.

Thankfully I didn’t purge my stash of beautiful vintage patterns in the clear out, and their time has finally come. There’s likely to be a bit of dust to brush off my skills, so I’m starting slowly and diving into the delightful rack of restorations I’ve been meaning to work on.

I bought this amazing 1960s sequinned top in Los Angeles over four years ago and haven’t taken the time to replace the silk lining; until now. While I was looking in the wardrobe for spring outfit inspirations and feeling the need for a bit of glitter, this little number was unearthed.

Sewing in the spotlight

I love the way the shine ripples off this blue like waves, throwing a rainbow of colours back at you. The bright morning light made it even more beautiful.

It isn’t just the spring sunshine that has me inspired to bust out the sewing machine again, but all the new fabrics from Spotlight! I’m incredibly grateful that they gifted me this little stash with the instructions to give it a fabulous life. Ummm.. yeah!

Sewing in the spotlight

If you’ve been following my Instagram you’ll have seen the pains I was in trying to decide which fabric to make this beautiful vintage shirt-waister pattern in. While the feedback was pretty much a spilt between the two, with many voting for me to make it in both patterns, I’ve decided to first tackle the flamingo print, then move towards the pineapple print for summer.

Sewing in the spotlight

I have to give myself plenty of time to get this done though, as rushing a vintage pattern can be disastrous. Measure twice, cut once. I was super keen to get started on this project but determined that the safer route was to start with the restorations, then move onto knocking up some new circle skirts in these stunning spring florals.

While I have loads of original vintage patterns for circle skirts in various forms, and again there are loads of tutorials online for DIY versions, without a doubt, the most simple way to make one of these is with this costume pattern from Spotlight.

Sewing in the spotlight

Sewing in the spotlight

If you can ignore the super cheesy images on the cover and get over the fact that they are in the “costume” section (we vintage lovers are easily offended when our daywear is referred to as a costume), you’ll have yourself the best go-to pattern in your range.

Having a group of friends, both virtual and real, who inspire me with their prolific ability to create, has made a huge impact on my motivation. The Facebook group where everyone shares their successes and failures is hugely helpful in keeping your projects in perspective, as well as getting the odd piece of advice or just venting at our tools.

We all share the “problem” of heading out to Spotlight and coming home with more fabric for more projects.  I’m trying to stay focused this time around and just buy the little bits I need in their online store instead of jumping in the car and being lost in the rolls and rolls of temptation.

I’m attempting to stay much more organised with my creating this time around, and not allow unfinished projects to become clutter. Instead I’m taking the opportunity to mend and remodel, then determine exactly wear these new fabrics are best used in my wardrobe.

I’d be interested to hear if you have a certain way you approach your sewing and design projects. Is it by pure inspiration or something more strategic? Also, if you have any Pinterest groups you’re involved in and know I must join, please let me know!



  1. Wish I had some advice. So haphazard here with sewing. I keep on buying fabric and patterns and not really completing anything.
    Probably does not help that we have just moved and I am resetting up my sewing space (hopefully with a new sewing machine 😉 )

  2. I find my inspiration from vintage magazines, catalogs and photos, then I piece together patterns mixing and matching to replicate what I want. Vintage fabric is a bonus . I scour op shops for metal zips and vintage buttons.

  3. Your comment about our daywear being referred to as costume gave me a giggle too – on the weekend I met up with a group of ladies for high tea. I was a little late arriving and the doorman informed me that there were a few other ladies ‘in costume’ who had just gone in 😉

    As for sewing projects, I love exploring pinterest for inspiration and Collette Patterns – they have some beautiful and simple patterns. Other than that, a trip to spotlight is sure to give me some ideas. It’s more finishing the project that is the problem as I quickly get distracted by the next one! My lovely friend Stacey (The Little Taylor) and I are going to start a sewing challenge soon – 1 dress a month for as long as we can keep it up. A bit like the sew weekly challenge but more realistic for us. It’ll good to have a sewing buddy to keep me accountable! Good luck with your sewing projects!


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