Archive for the ‘ Fabric ’ Category

Tessuti Fabrics

I spent a wonderful morning with Lisa and Hannah on Saturday at the Melbourne Tessuti store. Although the weather was drizzly, the fabrics were hot!

Inside the tessuti Melbourne store

Digital prints are being seen a lot on the runways lately, and I saw some amazing examples in the shop. In chatting with Hannah she told me that it’s actually a much more environmentally friendly process to print onto fabrics digitally. Essentially it is a large industrial printer that the fabric is fed through, which significantly reduces the amount of water and dye required for the traditional screen printing.

This Etro print has this loose paisley print running through it, but also picks up on the animal print trend with flecks of leopard in the background.

This amazing ‘Avatar’ stretch silk and…

this ‘Two Faces have I’ print were mind blowing.

They require a bit more thought as to how to use them in the most effective way, but I think that’s one of the most exciting aspects. I would use either of these as a simple, flowy, sleeveless, longer vest to wear as an impact piece over a plain black outfit. Or how about using them as a gorgeous lining to a very special jacket?

Believe it or not but this too is a digital print onto stretch silk!

It is a Cavalli print and is called ‘New York’.

Or how about the creativity of this MacDonald print called ‘Nailed It’?

I think both of these would work so well as a simple top. With a print this good, you can let it do all the talking. Maybe even a short strapless dress…


Back into some colour,

This subtle Josh Goot print was my favourite of the day. If you are familiar with Goot’s work you will recognise it as one of the key prints he used in his recent runway show. My favourite look was this print made into a very loose tank top tucked into a simple white pencil skirt.

This name of this print was so perfect, it’s called ‘Shattered Glass’. It comes in three colourways, a pink, a green that are shown above and also a grey.

Wouldn’t it be amazing made up into something similar to this Zac Posen dress?

In other fabric news, sequins are still big for evening wear.

This clever little fabric called ‘Cameo Blush’ had sequins that were white on one side and black on the other. So if you run your hand down it one way, the sequins looked white, and if you ran your hand the other way they looked black. Very Clever! I asked Lisa what she thought this fabric could be used best for, and she suggested either a very simple shift dress or a simple evening jacket without a collar.

This was another favourite of mine, for an evening look. It is called ‘Croc Glamour’ and is a burnout silk (see through). I’d love to use it for a drapey one shoulder look!

Finally, this ‘Fantail’ was just so beautiful. The most obvious use would be for bridal wear, but how much fun would it be to make a little skirt out of this, or even a neck piece.


A big thank you to Lisa, Hannah and Tessuti for having us in, and showing us some gorgeous things. Everyone should pop on in or get online and feel inspired!




Colour me pretty.

How about a bit of embellishing with colour?

This Roksanda Ilincic gown looks so fashion forward. This would be easy to replicate on any dress you already own, with just a piece of matching (or contrasting) fabric. You could even consider a clashing print.

Give us some great fabric!

It can often be so hard to find fabric these days that is worthy of the time and effort it takes to create a one off piece. Unfortunately the big fabric chain stores very rarely have inspiring fabric available. Which is why we went on a mission to find the best Australian Fabric shops. It is by no means a final list so please feel free to add your favourites in the comments section!


Our favourite shop at the moment is Tessuti Fabrics. They not only have two physical shops (one in Sydney and one in Melbourne) but an online shop and an inspiring blog! Hours have been whittled away in their Flinders Lane shop here in Melbourne and the assistants are so friendly and helpful, but also very knowledgeable. It really does make such a difference. Head to their website to check out the online shop and location details,


The next two are also great for online shopping. Retro Age Vintage Fabrics ( has some amazing and unusual fabrics available. How can you not fall in love with this 1960’s couture silk?

Also online, and unusual is Sanshi Fabrics. Based in Perth, these guys specialise in Japanese fabrics. They have a gorgeous range of Kimono fabrics, along with old post card images found in Japanese flea markets that have been silk screened onto silk.

Sticking with the Perth theme, a few WA sewing friends have recommended Fabulous Fabrics ( which has an impressive amount of plain and embellished laces and trims. Also on the radar is Beautiful Fabrics (

Back in Melbourne, the original fabric shop that most will hear about is Clegs on Elizabeth St. Whilst still stocking a good range, it doesn’t pack the same inspiration punch that it used to. It’s worth heading over to Glenferrie Rd to check out Franke Stuart (, once again with brilliant staff, and also d’Italia, ( for some great designer fabrics, and some interesting video tutorials on their site.

Hopefully this helps some of the Australian sewers out there! Stay tuned to Texural Play as next we will explore the sparkly world of embellishments…

Sew, a needle pulling thread….

Welcome back to Textural Play! Today we are excited to show some of the inspired options we’ve put together for those of you with some sewing nous, or a good seamstress.

Some of you may remember this beautiful skirt on the right by Trelise Cooper at the DJ’s S/S show.

A similar look could be created using this Vogue Pattern (V8560).

You could do the main section of skirt in a block colour such as the white above, or mix it up with perhaps a pale pink or mauve. (Think Dion Lee’s pastel colour palette.) Then, use a complementing stripe running horizontally for the waist band and/or the strip around the hemline. Another alternative would be to make the whole skirt out of one beautiful fabric and then applique on some gorgeous metalic ribbon in varying widths.


Remember Jen’s stunning finale gown in the Myer show?

A great base to get a similar look is this pattern from Vogue (V8288)

The bodice could be in the strong nude seen on Jen, or a softer pink toned nude to compliment your skin tone. If you can find some wonderfully embellished fabric such as the silver metallic, it is an amazing combination, although any stiff textured fabric in either a metallic or a complimenting nude would look great. You could even add a single strap and sew on a fabric corsage, (very Carie from SATC.) The matching flowing side strip adds another element to the dress and balances the large corsage. A similar feel could be achieved with a long waist tie in the same fabric as the bodice, particularly as this vogue pattern does not have the horizontal detailing that Jen’s does.


Finally, this Ellery picture got us thinking about the power of an amazing fabric…

It needs quite a simple shape to let the texture and colour speak for itself. We will are coveting this great basic pattern by McCalls (M5881)

We are envisioning a strongly textured metallic such as that used by Ellery above in either Silver, Gold or Ivory depending on your complexion. Or maybe an unusual lace, a ribbon woven fabric, or some sequined georgette? No accessories needed with a fabric this fabulous…


Stay tuned for the next installment as we bring you our favourite Fabric providers. If you are in Australia we would love to hear of some of your never-fail fabric stores in the comments section!





There’s no other store like…

A few wonderfully wearable items from the recent David Jones S/S 2010 launch…




L-R Alex Perry, Willow, Sass & Bide, Scanlan & Theodore, Willow


The gold jacket on Abby-Lee is quite an unusual shape and would work fabulously as a statement piece. The corset style belts that are scattered throughout Sass & Bide’s collection add a great pop to simple outfits.




Alex Perry (left), Collette Dinnigan (right)


Lace overlays will be so big this summer, and such a romantic way to flash some flesh…




Trelise Cooper


What a modern and clever way to use stripes!


Looking forward to using these as inspiration….