Swept up in Floral Feathers

Monday, 24 November 2014

What I'm Wearing - 50s Floral Feather Dress from Retrostar Vintage Clothing, Pink Freshwater Pearls from Unknown, Lace Socks, Woven brogues from Op-shop.

I purchased this dress in Melbourne (if you missed this check out this post) and it's proving to be one of my favourite purchases. It actually came without a button on the front sash, but I thought it looked as though it was missing something - I think the little brown button topped it off well. I was particularly excited when I found this dress as it had a matching belt, and a velvet one at that! It seems so rare to find the original belt for vintage dresses, most only have belt loops that once held a pretty pair. I wore this dress for my grandma's birthday, which I also made a cake for aswell. I am putting together a little recipe for the cake (so many blueberries!), just for something a bit different on the blog. So keep an eye out for that.

What's your favourite vintage find? And your favourite part about finding vintage?

P.s: Photos taken by my lovely boyfriend Blake

Melbourne Travel Diary: Light shades and Laneways

Friday, 21 November 2014

What I'm Wearing - Lulu & Rose Flower Tee from Topshop, Black and White Floral Sheer Blouse from ASOS, Culottes from Portmans, Black Leather Converse, Neon Belt from Jacqui E, Neon Earrings from Etsy.

The photo above is from a favourite vintage store of mine, one I wish I could teleport from Melbourne to my area. It's called Retrostar Vintage and I highly recommend it if you're ever in Melbourne. To get there walk along Swanston St and walk into the Nicholas Building, catch an elevator up to the first floor and voila! Vintage heaven! The photo is taken in their 1920s to 1950s room, which I obviously spent a lot of time in and bought a gorgeous dress from.

What I'm Wearing - Paint Palette Shirt from H&M, Silky Shorts from Tokito at David Jones, Pink Blazer from op-shop, Yellow necklace from vintage store, Neon belt from Jacqui E, Neon Shoes by Gallaz.

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Can you believe it? It's been a whole month since I last posted. To be fair, a lot has happened since then - including finishing my high school studies completely, attending the formal (post coming soon hopefully...) and of course travelling to Melbourne to celebrate it all! I've put together these pictures from the trip so you can see a few of the things I wore while shopping and exploring. Most of these photos are from our wanders around Fitzroy, Brunswick and surroundings - where we walked a really really long lane way and passed the time by taking photos. 

Tips & Tricks #1: How to Experiment with Clothing

Sunday, 19 October 2014

What I'm Wearing -  ASOS Sheer Floral shirt, Misc belt, Black culottes from Portmans, Strappy heels from Sportsgirl.

Okay, so I'm not normally a 'tips and tricks' kind of girl - but I acknowledge that my approach to dress is a lot different than most peoples. In fact, I think we all come to approach fashion and dress in different ways depending on our background, our self-esteem and even depending on the day. Nonetheless, one thing that remains true no matter what the day is, is that I want to get the most out of my wardrobe. By this, I don't mean that I will hold on to a piece of clothing forever - I mean that clothing, to me, is not just a matter of matching and pairing. It's more than that - it's layering, wearing things backwards, inside-out, wearing a dress as a skirt and so on. In doing this I get a lot more use out of an item of clothing. I realise that I digress from the outfit photos above, and you're probably wondering what I am going on about - this post is part of a two part (maybe more) series on how to get the most out of your clothing in an unconventional way. (The photos above are just an outfit I have worn recently - culottes are amazing!)

1. Wear it Backwards
Garments, believe it or not, can be worn in any way you like. Regardless of the fact that blouses, jackets and skirts can fit other parts of your body, so many people only see the garment for its intended purpose. 
Wearing things backwards allows garments to be seen in a whole new light - shirts with button down backs, skirts with interesting features, dresses, and just about anything that isn't pants can work backwards! Some garments may look a little awkward backwards because they were, of course, made to fit you the other way around. However, to hide darts at the back and odd kinks and kooks, just throw on a jacket or blouse. It really is about experimenting, some of my favourite outfits have come from something I didn't think would work. 

2. Jacket as a blouse
Wearing a jacket as a blouse may not work for those chunky, thick, wintery jackets (you can sure give it a try though!), but anything light to medium weight will work. In this post I wore a blazer as a blouse, this jacket works particularly well due to the absence of lining. All you need to do is put it on, button/zip/secure, and then pin through the bottom layers to keep it closed if the neckline is too low for your liking. I recommend tucking the jacket in to give it more of a blouse illusion.

3. Blouse as a jacket
This might be stating the obvious, but anything with a button-down front or back can double as a jacket or extra layer. Even button down dresses work well for this one!

4. Jacket as Skirt
This one is a little trickier to do and requires good shuffling, adjusting and positioning skills. For this outfit, I tucked the sleeves in to create little 'drop-holes' and positioned the velvet collar as a waistband. Do up the buttons and pin where necessary - if it feels a little unstable, it probably is, so try to avoid this one on occasions requiring lots of walking.

5. Try Anything 
Experimentation really is just that - you can do anything with any piece of clothing regardless of it's category of apparel. A lot of my outfits develop as I get dressed, seeing what works and what doesn't. An example of this is from this post - I am wearing a shirt backwards, a dress and a nightgown... The nightgown's sash was used as fake braces and to tie it all together - the nightgown itself was bundled up to make a mish-mash belt/peplum. All of this was helped by a few safety pins and ties - taking me to my next tip.

6. Safety pins and Sashes are your friends!
While stylists swear by safety pins, this doesn't mean they aren't useful in your wardrobe. Safety pins are wonderful for cinching in that second-hand skirt you bought but never altered, holding a jacket together to make it a top and much much more. Just try not to pin to a fragile area of a garment and be extra careful with vintage clothing(!). I have an array of different sashes, ties and scarves collected from various garments and second-hand. You would be surprised how useful a black or white sash is! If you can't find any and can sew a straight line on the sewing machine, try making your own - check out Liberty blog's tutorial here.

Through this series I hope you'll be able to implement some of these ideas for yourself, or even just be inspired to be a bit more daring. 


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Looking very authoritarian for no particular reason...

With under a week until the start of the month-long exam period that is the HSC (it's sort of the be-all-end-all of Year 12 for those who are unfamiliar with it), study and stress levels are going right up for all involved. I thought I'd offer give you guys a heads-up if I am M.I.A for the next few weeks - I have been trying to get back into blogging regularly but studying takes first place. It's only a few more weeks until I have free reign on my education and life (sort of...)

I've been reading a fair few lifestyle blogs lately and have realised that my blog so far has been largely pictures of me with little context or relevance to my actual life. In regards to this I thought I would put together a quick Frequently Asked Questions post (some questions haven't actually been asked, but I figured I may as well cover them while I'm here). Apologies for the generic-ness of this post, but hold tight - I'll be back after the HSC with a two part series on tips and tricks

How old are you?
I am 17 at the time of writing this - I was born in 1997 just in case some of you are reading this after 2014.

When did you start 'Sew Overdressed'?
 I started this blog in November 2012. I had the blogger page set up way back in 2011 but didn't get the hang of blogging until a year after.

Why do you stop blogging every now and then?
To be honest - its either one of two things. Either I've become bored and uninspired with blogging and need to look elsewhere for inspiration and creativity; or, school/life has taken hold. Either way, I don't feel it's useful for me to be blogging on auto-pilot. I would prefer to take the risk of losing traffic and readers every now and then instead of resorting to producing bland content.

Where are you from?
I am from a town/city/area about 2 hours from Sydney in Australia.

What do you do?
I am currently a student in Year 12 (technically I have graduated but am yet to sit exams). Next year I hope to study something design or arts related at university (hopefully if you're reading this in 2015 that's what I am doing!)

Why did you start blogging?
I don't think there was a specific reason why. Other than the fact that I wanted to be able to document my outfits as I felt proud of an outfit and didn't want it to go to waste just after a trip to the supermarket (seriously, I wear these outfits anywhere and everywhere). I never really read blogs until I started blogging, which could be a bit of a faux-pas but I think it helped me steer clear of writing generic trend-pieces and shopping hauls.

What's your favourite food?
Depends. If i'm out to eat I will most likely order chicken schnitzel, unless there's something else awesome on the menu. I also love risotto, wontons, cupcakes, cupcakes, cakes, cakes, cakes!

Where do you shop?
I don't shop as much as it would seem, or at least that's what I would like to think. I'm not the type to go on large shopping sprees in chain stores and what not. These days I tend to shop exclusively online and in op-shops (with the occasional Portmans or boutique purchase). I spend a long time making decisions on what to buy on Etsy; I will spend hours and hours assessing all of my options to get the best deal. For op shops, I generally buy things that catch my eye and snag a vintage piece here or there. I used to buy a lot of 80s secretary blouses but have collected way, way too many. You can actually buy some of my pre-loved, op-shop clothing on my Etsy here.

What's your wardrobe like?
I am lucky enough to have a walk in wardrobe - it's not amazingly big but it's big enough to get dressed in. I hang the majority of my clothing and every thing is relatively in colour-coded order. There is a small set of shelves for shoes (I don't have that many shoes) and another set of shelves/drawers I store makeup and casual clothes in.

Has your taste/view on fashion changed?
Definitely. I wouldn't say my view on fashion has dramatically transformed while blogging but it's definitely made me realise some things. For one, I really really am uninterested in trends. After accidentally jumping on a few fad bandwagons (ahem, creepers...) I have become selective in what I buy and why I am buying it. 
In terms of the fashion industry, I have certainly become aware of the reality of the industry. This isn't because of blogging, but due to research and otherwise I have realised that fashion is an industry encompassed by competition, politics and consumerism. I love fashion just as much, but have come to view and consume it from a more critical stance.

What type of music do you listen to?
I listen to bits and pieces of different styles, to name a few - Lily Allen, M.I.A, Azealia Banks, Kimbra, Basement Jaxx, some K-pop and K-indie, etc...

Do you sew?
The short answer is - yes, I do and can. However, I don't sew as regularly as I would like, mainly due to school commitments. However, you will probably see my school textiles project in a post later this year. 

Are you a feminist?
Yup - certainly am. It's definitely influenced some of my perspectives on fashion, culture, etc.

Any book recommendations?
I haven't read very much this year, except for school-related texts. Nonetheless, my favourites are Haruki Murakami novels - I've read Kafka on the Shore and Norwegian Wood to date. Both are great reads, I'd recommend you start with Norwegian Wood to familiarise yourself with Murakami, though.
Moving away from fiction, I have read a fair few feminist books for my school research project. My favourite is "Your Skirt's Too Short" by Emily Maguire - it's a great introduction to feminism and contains lots of great information relevant to youth.
Also, I am currently reading "Not That Kind of Girl" by Lena Dunham; I am almost half-way through and so far, so good.

** I hope to add updates to this post as regularly as I can. Feel free to email me questions at lillianmcassidy@gmail.com or comment below, post to me on Facebook - anything!

Hopefully this post wasn't too boring to read. Here is a question for you guys - Are you a feminist? If so, has this influenced your perspective on fashion?

Chaos in Disorder

Sunday, 14 September 2014

 What I'm Wearing - 1940s Wakes Floral Dress, $40; Random white sash.

I found this wonderful dress while on my trip to Sydney last week. Initially I was undecided on whether the dress was 80s or 40s; the shoulder pads made me think 80s but the tag and material were reminiscent of 1940s day dresses. Nonetheless, I did a Google search for the label 'Wakes Multiple Fitting'. My favourite part about finding vintage myself is scouring for history of the label (another example of my love for this is here). As it turns out, Wakes is a label from Melbourne; the 'multiple fitting' part of the tag refers to the godet in the waist to allow for more room if needed! 

Super cute 1940s Wakes dresses (source)

If this dressed turned up I would be so happy - sheer, black, full skirt! (source)

These dresses are similar to the one I own + super gorgeous! (source)

In other news - check out my 8tracks mix HERE. I hope to have another post up soon! So hold tight. :)

Laced Up with Fame and Partners

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Worn by me: Looped Heartline Dress | Worn by Liz: Susan Dress

Worn by me: Young Love Dress | Worn by Liz: Frida Skirt and Crop

These images are the result of a shoot with Fame & Partners last week and with Liz from PS It's Fashion. I am wearing some lovely pieces from their latest collection which you can find on their site or on The Iconic. Fame & Partners stock dresses in all shapes and sizes and they even do custom sizing! Liz is wearing pieces from her collaboration 'The X Collection', it's a wonderful collection for sizes 16-26. Even better, it's inspired by powerful and inspiring women like Frida Kahlo and Susan B Anthony - who said a bit of history didn't mix with formal wear?

** This post is not sponsored by Fame & Partners, however I am affiliated with them**


Saturday, 30 August 2014

What I'm Wearing - Jumper from Dotti; Scarf from Aldi; Pants from Best & Less; Belt secondhand; Slim Black Hi-top Converse from Surfstich; Sheer white socks from Topshop.

Surprisingly enough, nearly all of the items in this outfit came from chain stores (cheap ones at that!) - just goes to show that you can co-ordinate an outfit regardless of price! Here's a few tips and tricks I use when styling/dressing:

1. Match, Match, Match:
As I said above, all of these items were quite cheap (under $20, excluding shoes) - you can easily create an outfit just by picking items from your wardrobe that share a common denominator. Try spots, dots, stripes and florals - match from head to toe, or try pairing them with a block coloured pant/skirt/jacket.

2. Monochrome: 
Going monochrome is of course a form of matching; yet using blacks, whites and greys can give your outfit a more modern feel. Monochrome grid patterns are everywhere this season (I even have a phone case in a grid pattern), but any combination of black and white will work. As I have done here, try swapping and reverse monochrome prints to introduce some contrast into your outfit.

3. Belt it:
I know this one sounds pretty obvious but you'd be surprised how useful belts can be. I have a collection of different coloured ties, sashes and belts that come in handy when layering (disguise the bottom of a shirt by tucking it under and belt-ing it! layer a shirt over a dress and tie it!). Belts are wonderful at adding a bit of a waist to an otherwise bulky outfit, or just tying the whole outfit together!

4. Cuff it
The pants in the above outfit are old work pants from Best & Less; elastic waist, tapered leg, extremely high waist. All I had to do to make these pants look a little more styled was fold them up twice. This super-duper-easy technique works for daggy pants, pants that fall at an odd length, or for winter pants you want to wear on warmer days. If you want the cuff on the pants to stay permanently - just press and slip stitch.

Listening to - 90s Music by Kimbra

4 Ways to Choose Your Formal Dress

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Casual Formal - Wearing the 'Backless Lover' and an ASOS blouse.
I realise formal dress posts are a tricky topic for many reasons; do I stick to my Australian lingo and call it a 'formal' or go the American route of 'prom' or 'graduation'. Nonetheless, the hardest thing about formal dresses is simply picking one. I've narrowed the options down to four categories to help you with your search. Bonus: none of them tell you what dress is best for 'your body shape', it's all down to what your personal style is!

1. Store Bought
This is the go-to option for most people; it guarantees you a good fit and satisfaction with the style. If you live in a place with a bustling fashion scene, buying in-store is a great option for you. In Australia, most formal dress stores are independently owned boutiques, so you could be paying a hefty price for your gown; yet, buying in-store gives you the luxury of lay-by. Larger retailers such as David Jones and Myer also stock options for your formal occasion, allowing you to choose among designers.

2. Online
From a small town? Not into dragging your feet around the city for hours on end? Simply can't find your style in store? Online shopping offers a much, much wider range of dresses. Unlike the store bought option, you can browse happily from the comfort of your own bedroom. While online comes with some risks (it doesn't fit...it takes too long to ship), online-shopping is an increasing choice for graduates (or anyone who wants clothes, really) of the 21st century. 
Like buying in store, there is a similar choice among online retailers - you could buy a $300 dress for $50 on eBay or you could shop directly from sites such as Fame & Partners. Fame & Partners is one of many online retailers offering a more personal shopping experience - an important feature when investing in such an important dress. They also allow you to make alterations to style and fit, ensuring you won't get a nasty surprise when it turns up in the mail.
ASOS, Modcloth and, as mentioned before - eBay and Fame & Partners - are great options. 

3. Vintage 
Want something a little more unique? Vintage dresses are gorgeous, individual and there are so many of them! If you are lucky enough to live near some good vintage stores and want a beautifully old dress for your formal, be sure to check them out. Otherwise, sites like Etsy allow you to pick and choose your individual style from thousands of dresses. Find your favourite era - do you like the full skirts of the 50s or the flowing dresses of the 70s. Either way, vintage shopping requires a lot of patience. It can be frustrating trying to find the right fit, finding a dress that isn't damaged/stained/too-fragile-to-wear, and on top of all that -  finding a dress that you love! 
If you are shopping online for vintage I can not emphasise enough, the importance of knowing your measurements. Make sure you know your bust, waist and hip measurments, and if needed, an approximate/desired length of dress. Compare these measurements with those listed by the seller and if you are unsure, contact the seller. Most sellers and shops are only happy to help, and they understand that with vintage sizes and modern bodies, a bit of mayhem can arise.

Here are some of my favourite Etsy shops for your perusal, or just search 'vintage prom dress' and browse at your leisure.

- 1919 Vintage: A lovely array of dresses, mostly from the 20th century; loads of dreamy muted tones and pastel hues!

- Geronimo Vintage: Here you can find dresses from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and more. Each dress is unique and stunning so you can be sure you'll stand out

- Croatia Vintage: This one is a personal favourite of mine - if you're looking for something gorgeous but in a lower price range try out some of their day dresses and style them up with accessories.

- Great Lake Outfitters: Dresses from many different eras - keep your eye out for the gorgeous 50s and 60s prom dresses.

4. DIY
If you can't find anything in the shops, online or anything vintage, chances are you have a definite idea of what type of dress you want but just can't find it. As disheartening as the search for the perfect dress can be, there are tailors, friends and even you, who could whip up a dreamy dress.
Have a sketch of the dress you want? Take that masterpiece straight to a tailors or find a friend who could sew it for you. While the price of tailor-made garments can be high, you can often avoid the dissatisfaction that could come with finding the perfect sizing and style of other options. You will most likely be required to supply fabric, so you can be quite creative with this option.
If you still quite aren't sure what type of dress you want or haven't quite found anything yet try searching for sewing patterns. The luxury of sewing patterns is that you can choose from old and new, and you can get someone to make it for you or make it yourself! You can search Etsy and eBay for vintage sewing patterns galore - as with vintage dresses, remember to check the sizes provided. Or, head into your local sewing sore - here in Australia that's probably a Spotlight or Lincraft - and browse through the pattern books.
If you've decided to sew a dress yourself but aren't too crash-hot with sewing skills - google and youtube are your friends. Not sure what a dart is and what it does? Not sure how to finish up raw edges?

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P.S - There is one day left to vote for me on Fame & Partners for the Fashionista 2014 Competition; you can vote for me HERE. (disregard this if it is too late to vote)

P.P.S - This is not a sponsored post. However I am a member of the Fame and Partners Fame Chain.

:) Good luck!

Fame & Partners Fame Chain Official Blogger

Our Time

Saturday, 2 August 2014

 What I'm Wearing  - Embroidered Shirt from Topshop, Pink Taffeta Midi Skirt from Topshop, Shoes from Topshop

Topshop, topshop, topshop. I actually didn't intend on wearing all things from topshop; it just so happened that the things I ordered a few months ago turned out to be a nice outfit. This skirt is one of my favourite skirts ever, ever, ever; the taffeta and pleats make it sit out amazingly without needing a crinoline. 
Anyhow, I will stop apologizing for the lack of posts as it's pretty standard I have a few months between posts thesedays. As I keep saying though, I hope I can pick up the pace after school is over...which is dauntingly near.

 Since last posting on here I've seen Lily Allen live (again), baked lots of cakes and taken pretty pictures. You can see them on my Instagram, where I post pretty regularly: http://instagram.com/lilysew @LilySew

Refine and Define

Sunday, 13 April 2014

What I'm Wearing - Key Hole Peplum top from Portmans in Black, Price: $49.95; Pink Peach skirt from op shop, also worn here, Price: $7.00; Peach Blouse from op shop (for sale on my etsy here) also worn here; T-Strap Pumps in Black from Yeswalker (similar on sale here and here); Slice-shaped Peach Earrings from a vintage store, Price: $5.00.
These photos really don't do this top justice ('twas hard to photograph alongside such a light pink); it has such unique details like the keyhole back and split and angular peplum. I think my style has not simplified over the past year...rather it has refined. I appreciate details, construction and fit more than being outrageous or daring (even though I do value those qualities in an outfit, they are less and less of a priority). I prefer a garment that is unique and detailed over a stock-standard trend. However, I find that with personal style blogging the notion of an ever-evolving style often goes amiss. We tend to forget that people's style changes as they move, live and are inspired. People's priorities change, and their style follows suit; as this IFB article states "when a brand is locked in with a particular lifestyle, changing that without losing your readers is not so easy." To wrap it up, my style may seem different, but the way I go about styling, dressing and photographing follow the same procedure; I still believe in wearing anything as long as you like it, and following no rules.

Hopefully these photos are an improvement from my last two lazy posts. I'm not too sure what else I should write here anymore so I'll put it over to you; what are your favourite details in a garment?

Quick Links:
- I recently listed some more clothes on my Etsy store, with more to come (a few of the items i've worn in previous posts).
- Follow me on Instagram here.
- Check out Fame and Partners new range (you'll hear about them again when my dress arrives)
- Check out South-Korean indie-electro artist Neon Bunny's new video below.

Listening to - Neon Bunny's It's You: