Who are you?
I'm Miz Jayne.
I've been know by this moniker since I was at high school, due to an Australian children's tv show that feature Mr Squiggle, the man from the moon & his human companion, Miss Jane.
I am also know as the alteration queen to some & have been gaining notoriety as the Sewing Fairy Godmother. I started sewing at 5, taught by my great aunt, who was a seamstress. My great grandmother had also been a seamstress working for JC Williams, George's Department store & as a private dressmaker. My grandmother was a part time milliner & my Mum enjoys hand stitching, so I guess it's in my genes.
I really taught my self garment construction by following patterns & saving up my paper round money for fabric. I sewed most of my own dance costumes from about 12 & my own clothes in high school in the 80's. I went on to study textiles as part of primary art teaching degree at Melbourne Uni, which I never completed. Then millinery, patten making & garment construction at Melbourne School of Fashion for one semester.
When I graduated I immediately got a job as a sewing lady at Melbourne Grammar school in the senior boarding house, and on the side was involved in amateur theatre where I made all my own costumes for productions & took on some private clients making wedding dresses. About this time I also started some seasonal work as a dresser for fashion parades at Myer.
Over the years I moved up the ladder from dresser, to head dresser & backstage coordinator for Australian Fashion Week, Myer, Chanel, Melbourne Spring Fashion Week, David's Jones & Australian Woolmark Festival which is now Melbourne Fashion Festival. Of course it was only 3 -6 weeks work a year. The art teacher at Melbourne Grammar encouraged me to apply for a place at the Victorian College of the Arts in the theatre production course & I managed to secure one of 10 places.
I spent the whole year in the costume department & knew I had found my calling.
From there a secondment with Disney saw me move to Sydney to work in wardrobe department of Beauty & the Beast for 10 months. It was a magical & wonderful experience.
I moved back to Melbourne at the end of the season & there was a year where I worked as a cleaner & church secretary as well as my fashions gigs. I had always hemmed pants & done quick fixes backstage, but a stylist asked where he could get some petticoats made, & when I said I could do it, my role changed to on site seamstress. I also got a gig designing the costumes for a school production, that has turned into 18 years & 49 productions as of this month.
My work as a mobile seamstress has opened so many doors & lead me to meet some of the most amazing stylists, designers, models & celebrities. My hubby likes to name drop, but I am always a bit embarrassed. Maybe one day I will write a tell all book.
Four years ago my business Empire Room Bridal was born, at L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Red Carpet Runway parade, when they gave me 3 days to create 30 headpieces for the Bridal wear designs of Akira, Colette Dinnigan, Toni Maticevski, Rachel Gilbert & Aurelio Costarella
Describe your fashion style
Eccelectic. I mix my styles: vintage, modern, casual, mori girl, historical.
I'll wear a beaded 50's cardi with skinny jeans, or silk & lace top with a neoprene skirt.
This year I'm trying to be more conscious of being Eco friendly & sustainable in my fashion choices. So no fast fashion. I decided I can purchase from charity shops or vintage, upcycle, recycle or make things using my mammoth pattern & fabric stash.
Who is your favourite style icon & why?
I adore Audrey Hepburn, but ironically have never seen Breakfast at Tiffany's. She was petite, like me, a dancer & she just oozes style, elegance & class. She was never 'look at me' star. And I admire all the work she did for UNICEF. She was truly a wonderful woman
Name your 5 essential fashion pieces
It's really about fit. It doesn't matter how amazing a piece is if it is ill fitting.
Each year I like to have a nice white shirt (winter) & white tee shirt. (Summer)
Lovely skirt - either pencil or full depending what suits you.
A classic winter coat ( I have about 15, mostly vintage)
A range of cardigans (omg I have about 30!)
Do you have a special prized fashion piece in your wardrobe?
First thing that comes to mind is a cream bouclè 1950's coat with stunning a fur collar.
I feel like a Hollywood Starlet when I wear it.
I also picked up and Yves Saint Laurent Coat (!!!!) for $15 at the op shop & a Edwardian (1910-18 ish) embroidered tulle summer dress at Camberwell Market for $20. 6.
Do you have a favourite sewing pattern? What is it?
How could I ever choose?
My most treasured is a Norman Hartnell Woman's Day No 5 frock & jacket.
I haven't made it yet & I will never part with it, even though it must be worth a small fortune.