Who are you?
I'm Bree, a mum of 2 beautiful girls (10 & 6), a housewife and vintage hair and make up artist on the Gold Coast.
Describe your fashion style:
I float between the mid 30s and mid 60s with a strong preference for the war time era of the late 30s to early 40s. I dress in a vintage style everyday and with 2 kids that means practical garments.
But when I visit a client to do hair and makeup I like to glam it up a bit, it's the perfect excuse to get a little more dolled up than usual.
Who is your fashion style icon and why?
I'll be honest I don't really have one.
Don't get me wrong I love to drool over old movies and dream about plundering the wardrobe department, but my is based on practicality more so than glamour so I tend to look to the everyday women of the 40s and 50s for fashion inspiration.
I made a few Swirl inspired dresses this past summer which proved to be very comfortable to wear while performing my housewife duties.
I used Simplicity 1692 for the bodice and changed the neckline, added a simple gathered skirt and pockets. You've gotta have pockets!!!!
Name your 5 essential fashion pieces:
I make almost all of my own clothes excluding a few cardigans and knit tops I've mostly found in op shops, undergarments and a couple t-shirts from Atomic Swag and Miss Lady Bug.
But these are my "can't live without" items:
1. A good pair of jeans is a must! I used Gertie's Butterick B5895 for these ones.
2. A gathered skirt....with pockets. Can be teamed with a tailored blouse, peasant top and more.
3. Cardigans. I LOVE cardigans!!! I have over 50 yet seem to wear the same half dozen or so.
4. Scarves. I pick them up from op shops for an absolute steal and they're perfect for covering pincurls while they set, or for those days when I don't have time (or engery) to style my hair.
Plus who doesn't love a 40s style turban!!
5. A "Bree Top"...or 20.
These are essentially a peasant top that I make from a knit fabric rather than cotton and are more fitted than the traditional peasant top to reduce bulk around my rather large bust. I made my first one a couple summers ago and found it to be so comfortable and versatile that I've now made 20.
They were named the "Bree Top" by a couple cheeky ladies in my sewing group on Facebook as a bit of a joke since I'd made so many (only 16 at that stage) but the name stuck and now I find it hilarious that there's women all around the world talking about Bree tops and looking for the pattern.
What is something surprising about you?
It's not all that surprising but I'm mostly a self taught sewer.
My mum and Nan taught me how to use a sewing machine as a young girl and I did attempt to make a few (terrible) items of clothing through my 20s, but I didn't really fall in love with sewing until I was 31 and I've been addicted since. I had a couple lessons with Marianne from Rockababy Couture who taught me to use an overlocker but I've really just learnt by making mistakes and pushing my skills with each new pattern I attempt. I've had a lot of guidance from Jayne Coyne (the Godmother of sewing) through our wonderful sewing group on Facebook, Those Darn Sew and Sews, and I find all her pearls of wisdom inspiring.
Do you have a favourite pattern? What is it?
I have many. If I find a pattern I love I tend to make it again and again (case and point the Bree Top).
But one I always turn to for 40s trousers or an A-line skirt is Simplicity 40s Retro 3688. I'm yet to make the blouse or jacket but I've made the trousers many many times and I just add pockets or widen the leg to mix it up. The skirt is super easy too and a few times I've joined the middle and side pattern pieces together to make a simple 2 gore skirt rather than a 6. And of course added pockets because, well, POCKETS!