It’s my sleeve party and I’ll smile if I want to

Settle in, human beings, it’s story time!

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Dress // Me-Made Dig for Victory Darted Bodice Dress
Shoes // None

When I first had an interview for my current sewing job I spotted this beautiful blue*, striped fabric in the window and immediately fell in love with it. Naturally, I later discovered  that it is an original 1940s rayon, so one could say that I know the good stuff when I see it. I was happily gifted a couple of metres of it a few weeks ago as we’re starting to run low and I suspect nobody wanted to see my (rather expressive) heart-broken face.

Since this fabric is so closely linked to my job it felt only fitting to use it to turn it into one of “our” dresses. Thus here we have a fitted bodice dress with butterfly sleeves and self-drafted A-line skirt. A rather unusual combination for out customers, but something to make my 1930s loving heart beat a little faster.


I used a walking foot and my “newer” Janome to sew this one up, because I was lacking trust in my charity shop Bernina’s (of dreams) ability to handle shifting rayon. Silly me, when I later used the Bernina to top-stitch the zip I realized I should have been using it all along. That baby sews like a dream!

Here come technical bits for those who care more about that part than my sentimental ramblings. It WAS a lot easier to sew this on a smaller stitch length (1.5 was the sweet spot) and the machine still kept insisting on occasionally swallowing some fabric down into the deep recesses of the bobbin.

My office job boasts quiet Sundays so I took the time to hand sew the hems of the sleeves and skirt. It came out beautifully invisibly and I’m always happy to practice my hand sewing skills. I say always happy, but my colleagues heard me swearing about, “Who’s dumb decision was it to make sleeves the size of small skirts anyway?!” Mine. All mine.


It was a complete joy to sew this and an excellent start back into the routine of sewing for myself. I put part of this down to being around these dresses every day and knowing how they’re constructed, but it was also nice to return to some couture, costume techniques such as hand sewn hems and tacking by hand.

As always, the dress journey can be found under my highlighted Instagram stories! I love looking at the behind the scenes and “in-progress” stages of people’s work. I hope you’re a fan of that type of voyeurism too!

Gruss und Kuss,

Twirling Nina

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p.s. In case you guys forget that I’m a great, big dork…


p.p.s. I tried to do the whole suave blogger photo thing, but three point lighting with just your home lamps is hard! Also, I really didn’t want to get the actual DSLR out. So, soz, but you can’t see the full length of the dress, because then you’d have gotten more “Nina’s kitchen” action than planned!

* It looks like my next two dresses will be blue as well. People, I had a bit of an epiphany two years ago that I. Like. Blue. At the time it was a fairly traumatising discovery. Do I even know who I am anymore?! I thought I hate blue. Who knows what else could change…




Remember me? Me neither.

Since we last spoke I’ve somehow moved house twice, graduated university and done costumes for my first Fringe show(s). I’m a real life adult with two (and a half) proper grown-up jobs now and living that millennial side hustle life like I was born in 1992 (which I was). Sadly my own personal sewing got lost on the way a little. That isn’t to say I haven’t been sewing. The occasional blouse and A-line skirt (I know *yawn*) has made its way into my closet and I’m still committed to making more, buying less. But…let’s be honest, as thrilling as my sewing prose may be, there’s only so many A-line skirts a dear reader, such as yourself, can look at. …she says into the deafening abyss of silence.

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all you lovely people who occasionally drop by my little corner of the interweb. I’ll be honest and say that I’m breathing a big sigh of relief that 2016 is coming to an end. Personally and politically it has all been one great big pile of…dirty laundry! I know that this year hasn’t treated many people well and hope that the coming months bring us all some peace and happiness.


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Dr. Crane Will See You Now

It feels rather strange to only be sharing this with you now, but the embargo on a photoshoot that I had the immense pleasure of working on has finally been lifted! Before Christmas I had the opportunity to create a costume combining classic Batman characters with Jacobean elements. I hope you’ll enjoy the following photos and allow me to introduce you to the deliciously dark world of Dr. Jonathan Crane, aka The Scarecrow.


Costume, incl. millinery, ruffs and magnificent cod piece // Nina Sidney
Acting // Joseph Jamfrey
Design // Will Hargreaves
Creative Direction // Mark Sephton, Creative Forager
Photography // Andy Bate
Make-up // Stacey Bedingfield
Editing // AUB Visual Communication Students

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Move over, darling, there’s a new favourite blouse in town!

A Christmas blouse, that is! I’ve never met a novelty print I didn’t like and after my first toile of Wearing History’s Smooth Sailing blouse went so well that I even wore it to uni (shh, it’s definitely  a faux pas to wear unbleached cotton) I decided I needed one in reindeer, snowflake and any Nordic pattern known to man kind. Too bad I ran out of time and only have this bit of loveliness to show for all my planning!


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Introversion and a First Look at Emery

Emery 1

Phew, phew! I’m coming off of a high of being unofficially back at university over the past two weeks. Being around a lot of people is very exhausting to this little introvert. I can easily talk to large groups of people and deal with their wants and needs, but by the end of the day I’m mentally dead and gone. Thus I’ve not had too much mental breathing room to do any of my own sewing.

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5 Favourite (Circa) Mid Century TV Shows

Mid Century Title

I’m more of a TV than a movie buff and especially love anything set between late 1930s to early 1960s. Here are five top starting points for anyone looking to watch a few great costume moments as well as humour, drama and wit rolled into one! I’ve tried to move these along chronically based on the time they are set and am proud to be sporting such a variety in countries of origin- two English, one Canadian, one German and one American.

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