Monday, December 14, 2009

On the Street….Everyday Couture, Sydney


Vintage lingerie is still easily available at most good vintage shops. It is always shocking to me the level of handwork that use to go into ,basically, everyday underwear.


For our lingerie experts

Do you think this is just a design detail or a very elaborate mending job?


When I was in college I learned a lot of couture sewing techniques. If I had ever turned in a garment with the hand-stitching so visible ,as the garment above, I would had gotten an F!

However, the fact that you can see the hand-stitching in a garment like this is what makes it so charming and romantic.

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172 comments

  1. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Stunning!

  2. najee

    December 14, 2009 at 11:54 am

    What delicate looking lace. Those boots make her look more real, without them she could look cartoonish.

    http://www.tresfraisnajee.blogspot.com

  3. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 11:57 am

    I love the color of soft orange!!

  4. Style Scanner

    December 14, 2009 at 11:59 am

    That's peachy.

  5. meraldia

    December 14, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Very romantic, I do love it!!

  6. VALMICHAELS_FASHIONBLOG

    December 14, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    looove vintage.
    i think its for both detail and the mending.but the truth comes from the person's vision of the lingerie.either way,the person purposely/not be a novice handsewer to create that emotional effect on the fabric.which i think emphasizes the 'soft romance' feel.

  7. Nick Leonard

    December 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Cute outfit.

  8. Francesca

    December 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    my mom used to always say, look at the work done in a piece of clothing so you can appreciate and respect it (she was also trying to get us to keep our closets tidy), but I always think about this when I buy embroidered pieces. The time and craftsmanship.

    xoxo,
    F

    lekisskiss.blogspot.com <–2 girls bloggin fashion from nyc and chicago!

  9. Well Done

    December 14, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    am I the only one who thinks the model looks like amanda knox?
    The lingerie is quite lovely too.

  10. Filuzi

    December 14, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Especially in lingerie it could have been completely homemade. I have some handmade shirts (which I used to wear as nighties) made by the generation of my great-grandmother. That stuff would show stitching- my grandmother who has been a milliner at her time would not have accepted that ;)

  11. Jay Tee

    December 14, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    I adore vintage undergarments. I have a handful of things passed down to me by my grandmother, and they are just so much fun.

    But that outfit is fabulous–never would have thought of it. Bravo.

  12. Alfred

    December 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    The level of handwork is amazing for a quotidian garment such as this. Good cheap labor made this possible, and it's what's missing in this country, where everyone thinks they have a right to riches. Great post!

  13. Thomas

    December 14, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    The notion of craft is today an undervalued commodity. Being able to evidence something that has been made by hand is still a thrill…

  14. Lisa Petrarca

    December 14, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    It reminds me of something my grandma would have sewn for me.

    Each stitch sewn with love, not perfection…much more meaningful and valuable.

  15. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    this is so beautiful. Much appreciated from a designer standpoint!

  16. Jacqueline

    December 14, 2009 at 12:27 pm

    Cute outfit. I love the lace detailing! xoxo

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  17. Alphonsine

    December 14, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    This whole look would be completely different without the boots. They balance the overly feminine silhouette!

    Superbe!

    http://www.alphonsine.ca

  18. Arlenesfelt

    December 14, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Yes, my mom, from the old school, would never let her stitches show. But I think a neat running stitch is lovely and have fortunately overcome her compulsive instruction in my own work.

  19. green lantern

    December 14, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Sart, I would not have given you an F. There are instances where I believe the integrity and allure of an item is enhanced by seeing detailed hand stitching. Quilts, button-holes, men's lapels and this bloomer are great examples of this. Excellent job! I believe everything will be going towards intended transparency. We will want to see that we are getting our value in clothing.

  20. Dagmar Amalia

    December 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    one word: smashing! :)

  21. openzedoor

    December 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    That's the way to wear bloomers!

    http://www.openzedoor.blogspot.com

  22. AC

    December 14, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    A deep breath… :) :)

  23. Laura Gerencser

    December 14, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    Just beautiful!!

  24. Loonytick

    December 14, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    That first detail shot looks like hardanger embroidery, which is definitely done on purpose.

  25. MAISON CHAPLIN

    December 14, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Big nono. Does she still watch Beverly Hills 90210?

    The Fashionart Blog,
    MAISON CHAPLIN.blogspot.com

  26. annamargrete

    December 14, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Love her outfit. Very stylish.

  27. Susan

    December 14, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I love the hand-stiching in the last photo! Beautiful!

    http://mushitushi.blogspot.com

  28. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Lovely, but if an actual grandmother were wearing these granny knickers in the street, we would probably all think she was not quite right in the head.

  29. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    That's not mending, that's drawn-thread stitching — very time-consuming. And I would guess the running stitch on the hem was meant to show off the evenness of the stitching.

  30. Danielle

    December 14, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    this looks is so 90s, in the best way, like kim gordon, or kim shattuck.

  31. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    not in love with this outfit, possibly due to the fact that I see women schlepping around Seattle year round in this type of getup.

  32. goOodmorning

    December 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    this is so great!! i've very similar vintage lingerie piece from 30's, this is wonderful idea..

  33. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    Looks a lot like Billy Corgan

  34. nowaks nähkästchen

    December 14, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    My guess would be that someone turned a tablecloth or maybe a pillowcover into lingerie.

    I have quite some handmade things from my grandmother and my husbands grandmother and those details would be more likely to be found on a tablecloth.

    Plus knickers like that would have been worn more likely by my great grandmother, not by my grandmothers generation and for hygienic reasons lingerie at that time would have been white, as far as I know.

    Visible stitches at some places were okay, but at least on the pieces I have they are way more regular.

    But whether true vintage or made from vintage fabric…it's very cute!

  35. amalie

    December 14, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    lovely! she looks so laid back and relaxed. lover the color and texture

  36. Lions, Tigers and Fashion OH MY!

    December 14, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    beautiful detail~

  37. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    The hand-stitching is intentional and part of the preciousness of the pantaloons

  38. Bea.Gilabert

    December 14, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    Hi! I LOVE THIS BLOG IS AMAZING!OMG

  39. Vincent Skeltis

    December 14, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Interesting post. Great combination, esp with the choice of such a solid and sturdy boot. M/F.

    I'm wondering if it's possible to connect this discussion to an even larger labor conversation addressing all craft-based work?

    http://www.ted.com/talks/view/id/477

  40. Holly

    December 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I agree…So delicate, so romantic, and oh so charming…she is a ray of hope!

  41. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    Beautiful!
    She's absolutely delicious.
    Great shot.

  42. Adelaide

    December 14, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    I love this blog, such a fashion inspiration.

  43. Cristopher

    December 14, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    hey scott,
    i have been a big fan of your blog for a long time, and as such i felt the need to comment on something i have perceived for some time and that really bothers me.
    The Sartorialist has slowly been turning into another of the thousands of sites and magazines dedicated to women's fashion. I know you try to make it compelling for both men and women as well, but really, if i wanted to see so many women outfits i would buy vogue, cosmo, elle, glamour, etc..
    I hope you really take this into consideration, as i love your site but have found myself visiting it less and less for these few past weeks.
    Yours,
    Christopher

  44. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    I can't believe I am going to say this (because I am a man), but please Sart stop posting picture of women!!!

    Where are the Australian sartorialists???!!!

  45. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Great photo. To try to answer your question – it looks like the fagoting shown was originally decorative. I surmise this based on the view that it looks like the pulls were right on the warp and weft lines.

    I would also say that the exposed stitching was a shortcut way of finishing the seam – you're right – not a bad job – but not topflight workmanship either!

    Also, a lot of this work was done by the original owner as often people (women mainly) made their own undergarments (and outer garments!). Putting this kind work in a garment was considered part of one's basic skill-set and nothing out of the unusual.

  46. Le Fashion Intern

    December 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Love love love hand sewing that is showing, when it's well done and fits with the outfit. This is a perfect example.

  47. princess_of_mars

    December 14, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Even though these are "stitches that show," which, as you and some others have noted, would be a no-no in a couture or high-end dressmaker garment, look at how even and precise they are! My guess, as someone stated above, is that this was a home-made garment made with care and love by nonprofessional. Perhaps for a trousseau. Beautiful and charming, and yes, a reminder of the kind of everyday craftsmanship that's gone missing in our culture.

  48. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    I have a rural background. Beautifully even handstitching was & is highly prized in quilts, and hems, and hankies, etc. It is so immediate and personal and real.

  49. cox

    December 14, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    beautiful shoes on the first pics !

  50. The Photodiarist

    December 14, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    Love the colors in this photo. And the visible hand stitching.

  51. CW

    December 14, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    It's not just the lingerie on this look. She is apeing the 70s-80s look of work boots coupled with feminine garb. Not Doc Martens, but close enough.

  52. louise

    December 14, 2009 at 3:30 pm

    It's a detail I think. And it's very sweet.

  53. HicknStick

    December 14, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    Classic late 30s early 40s colour for lingerie. Back in the day sewing notions were a big deal. Women were always gifting exotic feathers, fine lace and needle point detailing. Adding beautiful lace was a way to pretty up your under things.

  54. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    blah blah, embroidery, workmanship. I just think she looks a little trashy (not to be mean). Maybe if she wore this dress with a sandal, and without that t-shirt. But as it is, nope, not feeling it. Come back to America, please. (I'm gona get it now)

    Energie

  55. Margo

    December 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Arlenesfelt said what I wanted to say: I love to see visible stitching. I find a way to topstitch many of the things I make. I love things with borders, trims, and outlines.

  56. diana

    December 14, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    I love the look of vintage clothing because the sewing isn't perfect. I love the lace stitching, the peachy pink color, and the boots.

  57. dy of ghost

    December 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    i love this picture!

  58. lily, rosemary and the jack of hearts

    December 14, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    agree!

  59. evalyn

    December 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    It's called "drawn work" where threads are clipped to form an open place in the weave and then hemmed with hand stitches to show the design and prevent further ravelling. It could disguise a mend, but judging from the embroidery, it's probably deliberate. The visible running stitch on the piece with lace is a nice countepoint to the machine lace.

  60. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    i'm sorry, but these boots are just no good.

  61. Jessica

    December 14, 2009 at 4:52 pm

    I love that you noticed this kind of detail! Just a guess, but it looks like the kind of a thing a young girl would do herself, maybe only with training from her mother, to make her undergarments "fancy."

    Its the kind of thing you get applauded for if you have a rational/design decision behind it (pique stitch?) but the lace to garment hem would most definitely yield a CCT F!

  62. Maria Ana

    December 14, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I completely agree with you!

    http://www.thebeautylover.blogspot.com

  63. Friend in Fashion

    December 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    a lovely vintage look here.

    http://www.friendinfashion.blogspot.com

  64. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I love that you showed us this and that someone commented on the fact that 'it is a thrill'…I love fabric,any hand-stitching etc. and it is a lost art, that we is both charming and time-honored ..
    thanks…L

  65. Collective Conscious

    December 14, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    great look!

  66. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    I love it when you write more. I am relatively new to your blog and loved rapidly reading all your posts from the earlier years when your authorial voice was more evident in words, not just the photos alone. I think your take on things is infinitely interesting and personal and is only enhanced by your comments.

  67. Jenny Kozlow

    December 14, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Anything made by the hand is to be treasured as it seems to be a lost art. If only people knew how much hand stitching went into a tailored jacket, it's what you can't see that is so impressive.
    This undergarment is exquisite but I feel that hand stitched detail detracts a little from the lace.

    By the way thank-you Scott for coming to Melbourne last week. What a pleasure to meet with a true artist and gentlemen.
    My signed book got 'Christened' by my friend's cat that I was staying with in Melbourne. I couldn't believe it but now just say it has more character than the others.

    All the best for the Christmas season

    JK

  68. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I know this girl and she's as lovely as she is beautiful.

  69. Rosa

    December 14, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    OMG its so beautiful… she put the romantic dress with an awesome rockerish twist with the booties I love it!!!
    xx
    Rosa

    http://mystylishlittlesecret.blogspot.com/

  70. Bob Mack

    December 14, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    I think this is one of my favourite pictures, and I would have never thought lingerie could be readapted in such a way. Great job spotting this, as it was a fascinating history lesson.

  71. marciglenn

    December 14, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    Love it. I would much rather see the loving hand made stitches on a garmet than something that was mass manufactured.

  72. Dejana • shopsterium.blogspot.com

    December 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    i don't mind the stitches, like you said, it goes so well with the rest of the outfit to create this romantic look

  73. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I think we value evidence of the hand now, which includes imperfections. When this stuff was made, anything handmade would have been more highly valued if it did not appear to be handmade.

    I used to wear a lot of stuff like this bought from second hand shops in the 80s and while the labour in the embroidery and lacework used to amaze me, I also found lots of really dodgy repairs and alterations. I used to imagine the girls who did them were of the 'fix it and get out the door to that party' type rather than the 'fair hands embroidering flowers' type!

  74. Haley

    December 14, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    I could not agree with you more!! GREAT post! I am a collector of old linens/garments/textiles myself. It is also fun to take these old items and dye them outrageous colors…like chartreuse, or a firey orange. Unexpected things like that are really charming.

    Thanks again

    Haley Wulfman
    http://the-second-look.blogspot.com

  75. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 7:42 pm

    Absolutely amazing! Her name is Venice and she has the cutest boutique on William St.

    J'Adore xx

  76. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Love the contrast of the serious, heavy duty boots and the feminine lingerie.

    ~ Blaumax

  77. Sasha

    December 14, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Mending, no question. Because the original work would not have shown. Or if it was intended to the stitches would have been tinier and more even.

    (That is all from my grandmother, the seamstress, who often sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear.)

  78. Sunshinemom

    December 14, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    I like the peach but would have liked it better teemed with chocolate brown or white tee. She is cute so I guess she can carry off something like this!

  79. Vinda Sonata

    December 14, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    that look is great and very old-school. i adore the knits very much. i have always wanted to do knitting but is never been diligent enough for such thing ;)
    great combat boots too.


    vindavindasonata.blogspot.com

  80. SNLombardi

    December 14, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Get out of Sydney – fast! – YAWN

  81. Kat

    December 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    The slip is so delicate, it's really lovely. And the way she wears it, I don't know, it's very whimsical.

  82. Katherine

    December 14, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    The 'mending' is in fact a kind of cutwork which is common in Australian handmade embroidered items of the period. I have table clothes and cushions which my grandmother and mother made with this design–and those exact roses. I seem to recall my mother said she learned how to do it in needlework classes at school (in the 1960s).

  83. The Bambina

    December 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    I love vintage slips! This one is so pretty.
    I like the little stitching detail, however imperfect it is.

    bambinababy.blogspot.com

  84. Zero

    December 14, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    romantic is definitely the perfect word for this look and type of technique!

    ultra chic

  85. belladonna

    December 14, 2009 at 9:35 pm

    what a strange beauty.
    i would re-think the grey leotard, but all the same, she looks delightful.

    the vintage bloomers resemble a NOM*D design, especialy in the lace trimm.

  86. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    This type of detail is called 'fagotting' believe it or not- and is deliberate, a garment like this was probably part of a brides trousseau….so delicate!

  87. Daniel

    December 14, 2009 at 10:02 pm

    This so light, so tender and so PERFECT. It's in fact a truly inspiring outfit.

    Let's grow up Later

  88. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    I adore handcrafted vintage pieces such as these but I hear you on the turning in the visible stitching of the lace to the hem and getting a big 'F' but my teachers always said "its important to know/master the rules of your craft, so you can then choose to follow the rules or create your own" I now understand how true this is in my own business!(thanx Glenda and Jean!)

  89. GM

    December 14, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    NO NO NO, these boots aren't working and unless the shoes are really feminin, the black won't work, the change is just really agresive, I think some degrade is needed, besides it's not only the dress the delicate part, the skin is really soft it contributes with the soft colors of the clothing; and everything (especially the vintage lingerine) works with the gold necklace, my point of view: Socks…maybe knitted, it'll help the vintage…
    check fromGtoM.blogspot.com

  90. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 10:55 pm

    Have you ever heard of Alabama Chanin formerly know as Project Alabama…….should check them out and their amazing hand work……there is no machine sewing in any of it!!!

  91. Lady Danger

    December 14, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    beautiful and understated, i love the country stitching with the urban biker boot- very fresh and seems effortless

    http://are-the-night.blogspot.com/

  92. Anonymous

    December 14, 2009 at 11:45 pm

    This is fabulous. Glad you got some great pics in Sydney.

  93. AnastasiaC

    December 14, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    cute look – its amazing to see the time and effort that was put into clothing of past eras…most people didnt have huge amounts of clothing in their basic wardrobes but everything they wore just looked so well made!

  94. janu

    December 15, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Level of handiwork… It's a combination of the following three facts- The lady of the house had leisure or spare time, she had an excellent command over the medium, and more important than the above two reasons, she had to demonstrate her love tangibly towards some one.

  95. Emily McGuire

    December 15, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I don't think the black works with the varying pastel shades.

    The undergown is very charming, however. The stitching adds a very heart-warming and personalised touch.
    It's uncanny how we now have appreciation for things in fashion once frowned upon!

    http://www.whatinthenameoflove.blogspot.com

  96. Anonymous

    December 15, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Pretty Pretty Pretty. Not for mending, I think , just for beauty! THIS is why I thrift shop!

  97. Vitrinen

    December 15, 2009 at 12:58 am

    I get to think of my great grandmothers pieces. She made tablecloths, pillowcases and you name it, embroidering the fabric. Craftmansship is very rare these days, I try to knit and handsew as often as I have time, in order to keep the craftingskills alive.

    I think the stitching of this peice where the lace is attatched to the fabric is not made very well, and I bet the lace is not handmade. However the feel and look from afar does not change, it is very beautiful.

  98. what dia like

    December 15, 2009 at 12:59 am

  99. Stephen

    December 15, 2009 at 1:14 am

    i love handmade pieces and the thought of something being crafted vs fabricated . . .

    . . . but your comment on vintage lingerie being available at vintage shops – well, that concept has always been weird to me. wearing someone's undies from 5 decades ago is weird concept to swallow. now if it was deadstock stuff, go for it, but someone elses used drawers, yikes.

  100. Guga

    December 15, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Its like…
    - take a picture of me… and sart said…

    - no…ur just average…

    - Oh am I? look at my undies…

    and If it wasnt for the undergarment… this entire look would be ordinary… even for the boots…. this is so predictable…but who would even guess..than underneath this …lies an embroidered dated and comfy undie? glad she showed that to us…..this is something that agynnes deyn would wear….

  101. Ammu

    December 15, 2009 at 3:11 am

    Gorgeous detailing – and I love that shade of pink – it's universally flattering.

  102. Cecylia

    December 15, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I love the peach and grey combination! Cute pinafore dress!

  103. Lucy

    December 15, 2009 at 5:24 am

    Ripper!! Our Aussie gals are so fresh.

  104. Anonymous

    December 15, 2009 at 6:01 am

    as I know this is called "AMF stitching"…I work designing mens tailoring and this kind of stitching is very common in the suits and blazers lapels and pockets; i don't have idea how the factory sew it, handmade or mechanically?, but it's a very sofisticated and expensive detail, cheap suits don't usually got it.

  105. Hawa

    December 15, 2009 at 7:13 am

    l'amore, this is pure romance…the details and imperfections are part of the allure!

  106. Karin

    December 15, 2009 at 8:18 am

    Thankyou for sharing thoughts and pictures with so much beauty and respect for the individual. People are beautiful and fascinating. I love your eye!

  107. Carole

    December 15, 2009 at 8:51 am

    like in every art and craftmanship, you have to master elaborate techniques before being free to do whatever you want, in a deliberate way.

  108. iida

    December 15, 2009 at 9:37 am

    While I adore recent lingerie-inspired styles, I think this is taking it a bit too literally. I find the outfit a bit tacky. Why the grey t-shirt?

    Also, japanese girls have been doing this for ages, and doing it better.

    As for the bloomers: I suspect a mending job. A nice mending job. Although Im not quite sure what would have caused such a rip…

  109. remaja muda

    December 15, 2009 at 9:45 am

    beautiful.
    blog spongebob http://oke-sexoke.blogspot.com/

  110. lacee swan

    December 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

    love the colors! maybe i can pull that off under my winter coat!!

  111. Marta Represa

    December 15, 2009 at 10:07 am

    The colours in this picture are so lovely.

    xx

  112. Maria José

    December 15, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Yes, I'm agree with you. Makes it charming.

  113. Boudoir Lingerie

    December 15, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Love it! Fine lingerie is our best reminder of romance these days!

    http://www.dansleboudoir.com

  114. Fashions By Lozano

    December 15, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I can't wait to start Fashion school! and I do like the outfit is very cute and effortless. plus, the ankle boots are cool.

  115. stylespotterfashionblogger

    December 15, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    She looks charming. this look is just right but sitting on the edge of wrong. I love the lace detailing! The boots give it a little grunge!

  116. Paige

    December 15, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    i think she's really pretty, but I'm not a fan of the boots at all. It is nice to see so many people who appreciate the running stitch. I use these a lot in my work, and have often wondered whether or not people like it as much as i do.

  117. L

    December 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I miss Sydney!! Lovely boots.

  118. anthony

    December 15, 2009 at 3:38 pm

    She is supremely cute which makes the F for hand-stitching entirely bearable. With those boots, any granny would have adored her too and stitched another charmingly flawed undergarment.

  119. Joy Mars

    December 15, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    The hand-stitched handkerchief-like work here is something that you would only see in an former British Empire culture.

    I had a housemother once. A totally repressed old-time Brit old maid. She hated children. Why she ended up being a housemother to the younger girls (she called us "gulls") at a private boarding school is beyond me. But I did learn something from her.

    Everyday after school we were to sit in her parlor and learn handkerchief making. The rolled edges, the open work. We were reprimanded for shoddy stitches. I hated it. But looking back on it all I can see what a time-warp it was even back then. I had my own experience of the Victorian era.

    Therefore, seeing this work on that hip young lady is doubly cool!

  120. garry

    December 15, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    So I have to ask :

    Does the question "you are a very stylish beautiful woman, may i take a picture of your lingerie?" always work for you?

    It has never worked for me!

  121. mplsmplsmpls

    December 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    a mending job? hardly. the stitching technique is a lot like:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardanger_embroidery

  122. Abby

    December 15, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Even if it was an addition, that stitching is far too good and too close together to be done 'not on purpose'. For a hem stitch it's a bit wider than what it could be, but it adds character to the garment.

    And there is nothing wrong with seeing stitching if it's done well. Is that not why top stitching so crucial to men's wear? And that it also adds an extra detail to the beauty of the garment. Good hand stitching…it's so misunderstood and unappreciated today…

  123. Legiterally

    December 15, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    love her boots and that shade of pink is stunning!

    http://legiterally.blogspot.com/

  124. e

    December 15, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    that is a classic sydney inner city look – close t shirt, lingerie, butch boots. you've made me nostalgic for my home town!

  125. e.m.c.

    December 16, 2009 at 12:11 am

    This is NOT a mending job. This belongs to a whole tradition of lace open work – specific to embroidery from the era.

  126. Lucas Jones

    December 16, 2009 at 1:22 am

    scott! how do you notice such details waltzing along! good gravy.

    sometimes, tho – to be honest, i think you find such terrific characters that they could be wearing burlap sacks and be terrifically interesting and worthy of revelry.

    this woman – the face. the shoulders. the calves. SO intriguing.

    i hope to God ur blog never dies.

    http://www.lucasjonesart.blogspot.com

  127. Anonymous

    December 16, 2009 at 3:38 am

    Those boots spoil the whole outfit, otherwise it's sweet in a kindergarten-teacher way. Sweet but very average

  128. Couture

    December 16, 2009 at 4:03 am

    I've always adored vintage and own a few silk slips with the most exquisite hand embroidery.
    However the contrast, here, with the boots is too predictable and banal except for the lingerie themselves.

  129. Alice Deluxe

    December 16, 2009 at 9:46 am

    the top one is a design feature not elaborate mending. its a stitch called faggoting . its not often you get to use that word in polite society.

  130. phyllis

    December 16, 2009 at 11:00 am

    The whip stitching on the Alencon lace is definitely a mend because it’s just in that one section. The running stitches in the seam allowance above looks to be a design element. By my standards it's a bit of stretch to call this couture sewing but it *is* very lovely.

  131. hi-d

    December 16, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I love the hand pick stitch! Very cool…

  132. phyllis

    December 16, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Actually I disagree if I may, its not a pick stitch; a pick stitch is a tiny dot of a stitch sitting on top of the fabric and the stitches are widely spaced, this stitch is bigger and more evenly spaced, hence it being a simple running stitch. They look similar but are actually sewn quite differently. A running stitch is not strong and is used for basting mostly; pick stitching is quite strong is most often seen on the lapels of fine tailored garments and it is also used to install a zipper by hand. Also – the little red roses in the first detail photo are made from several combined stitches called “bullions”. Ralph Rucci calls them “worms” and he uses them singly to hold together the piecing in his tailored couture cashmere garments.

  133. D9Robot

    December 16, 2009 at 6:40 pm

  134. Johan Donald

    December 16, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Stylish and romantic, I do love it!!

    Sydney attractions

  135. izzit

    December 16, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    At one point, a girl was encouraged to prove that her stitching was regular & even (like the newfangled "machine-made" stitching).
    Additionally, if anyone saw enough of your knickers to judge your stitchery, you'd be guilty of more than poor sewing!

    -Izzy N.

  136. Julie

    December 17, 2009 at 1:30 am

    You ought to come to Atlanta. We have tons of "stylish weirdos." Love your blog.

  137. Anonymous

    December 17, 2009 at 4:05 am

    how encouraging to see someone young appreciate traditional craftsmanship & swing it into the 21st century.
    and yes, i've also noticed the lack of males from sydney! is that meant to say anything?!

  138. Anonymous

    December 17, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Dear Sart, Had no idea you had studied sewing technique. What fun. My mother was a seamstress so I grew up in fab, Vogue stuff she sewed for us. I have a machine but only occasionally the time.

    It occurred to me that this underwear is home-made, hence the little stitches. I have bought some before and noticed the tell-tale signs, plus no label. In those days (and up until fairly recently) women's clothes were largely hand-made.

    The lace on this is a treasure! (I have old bits of family lace which was always taken off worn things and recycled.)

  139. Bratique Helene

    December 17, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Design detail.

  140. Jamie

    December 17, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    These fabrics look light and comfortable. The shirt and dress look similar to designs by Mike Vensel. He has a selection of sustainable, versatile, organic pima cotton clothing. Check out his collections at http://www.mikevensel.com

  141. Kiwi

    December 17, 2009 at 10:32 pm

  142. rhai♥laborte

    December 19, 2009 at 1:08 am

  143. Bubbly Ideas

    December 19, 2009 at 6:16 am

    I love this one. :) Great outfit.

  144. Sandra

    December 19, 2009 at 7:28 am

    love this all exept the boots, yet its good that its imperfect

  145. Lillian Davenport

    December 19, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I absolutely love it! Pretty and easy, with a shot a jet black to keep it from going too far into the realm of "precious". And the whisper-thin tee is perfect underneath.

  146. Anonymous

    December 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Meh, this look is so 90s grunge. been there, done that.

  147. darlene

    December 20, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Beautiful handiwork. I guess it is possible that the stitching over the lace could be an elaborate mending job, but the stitches are so small and even that they are decorative. Clothes (especially underwear) are seen as disposable items now that they are mass produced and cheap. It's a treat to see how much care people used to invest in their clothes–and how much more individual they used to be.

  148. Aych

    December 20, 2009 at 2:25 am

    So beautiful!
    I am so excited that all this recession doom has lead us to an love of craft *:-) x

  149. Anonymous

    December 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Love your blog and 99% of the time I agree with you but she just looks silly in my opinion!

  150. jagoda

    December 21, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Drew Barrymore style ;)

    a nice tribute to early 90's

  151. margi

    December 25, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Real Nice Catch!!

  152. Big City Nights

    December 26, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Lovely outfit.

  153. thom

    December 26, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    delicate lace and tough-as-iron boots… THAT is style :)

  154. Flying Whale

    December 28, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    i covet this outfit. is that a slip or bloomers? methinks i need to get some bloomers.

  155. Rebecca

    December 29, 2009 at 7:39 am

    those pictures are super lovely!
    xx

  156. www.page3fashion.org™

    December 30, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Nice top..
    What fabric is this?

  157. Anonymous

    December 30, 2009 at 11:45 am

    The tshirt makes it look soft and undeniable, where the boots get her a firm stand with the lace and linen. i love it!

  158. Anonymous

    December 30, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    The 90210 comment made me laugh. :)

  159. Tati M.a.b

    December 30, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Great colour combination!

  160. Raji

    January 11, 2010 at 7:58 am

    So beautiful.
    Like the shoes

  161. Anonymous

    January 11, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hello,
    It's called hardanger embroidery. My mother is sitting beside me and has many table cloths with this pulled threadwork on it – usually white on white. It's absolutely a design detail NOT mending!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardanger_embroidery

  162. emily Heston

    January 11, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    wow. aren't you a talented photographer. Do you ever come to Seattle?

  163. Anonymous

    January 12, 2010 at 8:05 am

    how encouraging to see someone young appreciate traditional craftsmanship & swing it into the 21st century.
    and yes, i've also noticed the lack of males from sydney! is that meant to say anything?!

    Starnberger Land | Esoterikportal | Maschinenbau | Geistiges Heilen |Heilerschule | EsoterikBlog | Wellness

  164. Anonymous

    January 20, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    gorgeous! where would one find boots like this?!

  165. la femme

    January 23, 2010 at 11:13 pm

    I have a shelf full of slips from the 30s and 40s. They are made better than most dresses today.

    Lovely girl.

  166. Minu

    January 31, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    i love those roses …
    i also know how to stitch them…Scott

    Vens

  167. robbie

    February 20, 2010 at 6:58 am

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Lucy

    http://cellularaccessoriess.com

  168. Блузка

    September 19, 2010 at 9:20 am

    Love her outfit. Very stylish.

  169. LENCERIA ONLINE

    September 20, 2011 at 7:29 am

    It´s amazing. I love lace detailings in lingerie. It seems so romantic!

  170. novelty items

    November 23, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a risky determination outstanding post! .

  171. tim

    November 23, 2012 at 11:24 am

    “It is always shocking to me the level of handwork that use to go into, basically, everyday underwear.”

    That’s a surprising comment. I would argue there is not enough. Is there really such a thing as basic underwear? Is lingerie not THE most personal of all garments?

    Sad your street-style can never really catch the beauty below the outerwear, I’m sure if it could you would.

    Really enjoying your work.

  172. anon

    December 1, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    What a silly thing to say (your remark about visible stitching). Obviously there are times when stitches are meant not to show and times when they are. The last picture shows a top stitched finished. It isn’t bad sewing but rather nice even work actually. Hand top stitching is one of the hardest things to do evenly and to get to look nice on the back. Basically you have to do a very time consuming stab stitch. It would be far easier to make a hem invisibly. That was very obvioulsy not the intention here as they are not badly done hem stitches but well made and placed top stitching.

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