Sunday, May 8, 2016


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.
At a menswear event at Myer with Jules Lund & Jeff Banks
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.
L'oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival Red Carpet Runway parade
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
Only five?
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)
Black pants
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.


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