Friday, December 31, 2010

A skirt for all occasions, and a dress that fits no one.

How was you Christmas and new years?
Just the right combination of glamorous and green I hope.

Here's me propping up the bar in my 'Ava' dress that Jennie kindly dubbed 'one size fits no-one'. I might need to spend a bit more time on the pattern, and less time at the bar. But after a few drinks, the fact that it keeps falling off doesn't really seem to matter.

Jennies skirt on the other hand is perfect. She wears it to work, drinks, weddings, everything.
A very handy skirt.
And it hasn't fallen off yet.

Now if that's not a selling point, I'm not sure what is!

Friday, November 26, 2010


A present for me?
Just your online purchase from eBay.

This is how your Cicciolina or Sunshine&Daydreams will arrive at your door.
All wrapped up in pink tissue paper, tied up with ribbon, and a little thank you note. Pretty, isn't it?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Help! I'm caught in a Time Vortex!

Where does my time go?

It has been two weeks since my last blog.

What do I do with the whole 9 hours a week I get to myself to work?

And I have just counted up the amount of hours I have until the start of the school holidays.

24 hours. Yikes.

Everything takes so much longer than I had imagined.
I have a lot less time than I need.
The setbacks have been numerous.
And my backer has run out of money.

Oh well, live and learn.

So I have set myself a little task, until child wrangling and the Christmas holidays take over.

I picked up these great 70's patterns from a vintage fair last week. I love their fluid elegance. Not sure that Ava does.

Two party dresses for me to cheer me up and get me through the holidays.

And after a relaxing break in Byron Bay,
The new school year will give me much more time.

I have found a fantastic manufacturer, but we now need a backer.

Any ideas?..................

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daddy, I want a pony!


Just in case we were looking like self indulgent narcissists, we would like to draw your attention to the good people at Quest Equine Welfare.

I have never been a 'horsey' type girl, and am in fact a little scared of them, but I have fallen in love with Mickey and Joy.

Check out their stories

Joy was found as an orphaned foal, and is now thriving in her new home. She is pictured here drinking out of the Melbourne Cup, photographed by the Herald Sun.You can read the whole article at

So spare a thought for what happens to horses after their racing careers have ended.

Maybe there is something you can do to help?


Never again will I attempt to make two head pieces, a bustier and a dress in three nights.
I did really enjoy hand sewing the head pieces late into the night, but I miss having my old assistant (Mum) to help.
I'm quite pleased with the way they turned out. The head pieces were made using vintage organza and silk satin, finished with costume pearls at the centre of each flower.
Next year we will start taking orders 6 months in advance. Hopefully we have our boutique by then??!!!
Live and learn....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Melbourne Cup.Just an excuse to dress up and drink an itsy bitsy bit too much?

Have you organised your outfit for Cup Day yet?

 Do you long for a made to measure dress and hand made head piece?

Well dear, it is WAY TOO LATE!

But luckily for my nearest and dearest family members, I am yet again going to attempt the near impossible (will I  never learn?) and make two dresses and two head pieces.

So look out for Miss Jennie and young Miss Bianca in the Bird Cage in Couture dresses and head pieces hand sewn in vintage fabrics.

Now I had better get started. Only five days to go.

Stay tuned..........

Friday, October 15, 2010

Prettiest pretty pretty party dress

I did it!

Well one dress anyway.

A dusty pink sparkly dress with vintage lace trim. A perfect party dress for any little girl.

And for me.. well thank goodness I have a few Cicciolina samples lying around. It comes in handy being your own house model.

The little girls range for Sunshine & Daydreams is finally coming together. It's taking so long I no longer know what season I am working on.

 Lets just call it trans-seasonal.

And thanks Jennie for the beautiful photos.

More to come soon.......

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I love Yarraville

I just bought all this for $12 from the delightful Green Collective in Yarraville!
A bronze platted wide belt, a silver chain necklace and a pearl ( I suspect fake) bracelet with a butterfly clasp.

This morning I walked to the village, bought a coffee from the fantastic Corner Store, had my hair done at one of my five local hairdressers, window shopped at Laquer (where we religiously buy our jeans) and browsed at the Sun bookshop (where we buy all our presents). And found the exact belt I needed for $6 at Green Collective.

How lucky we are to live here.

And seeing as I'm in a good mood, I'll forgive whoever took over the lease on the shop I had my eye on! To you I say "pooh pooh" and I really hope you put something interesting, independant and green in there. Please please don't let it be an out of the box juice bar, fast food or chain store. After going to Highpoint (the lowpoint of the week) I felt shell shocked, freak out and depressed. We don't need a little highpoint in our main street, quelle horreur.

And now I'm off to whip up Ava and myself dresses to wear to a wedding. Less than 24 hours to make 2 party frocks. Can I do it? I bloody hope so!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Our pre-opening sale! (Not often you see one of those....)

Thanks so much to the follower who kindly pointed out that we should be working a year ahead. That is true, but not in demi-couture.  We just make up pieces and put them out there, the way we used to work through the fashion incubator many  moons ago. If we feel like making a pink dress, we make it, put it out there, someone buys it -  done! Viola! We do not want to be dictated to by the big chain and department stores,  and that is why we a working to have our own stand alone and online flagship stores. And while you wait for those, you can find some pieces already for sale through ebay, stay tuned for more details, or feel free to email us/leave a comment and we will get back to you asap.

And don't forget to become our facebook friend

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Set back number two

oh dear,

we have had another slight set back.

Just when Jennie is starting to look a little less green, my darling daughter fractures her foot on the first day of the school holidays!

She has to keep off her foot for another two weeks, so it looks like I will be hanging out at kindergarten making paper plate people instead of sampling the new ranges.

Maybe if my paper plate people are any good I'll get Jennie to photograph them and we can sell them?

And just incase you thought something is terribly wrong with Jennies photography, I took this snap of Ava and her sore foot. Can't you tell?

Stay tuned.........

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Go the mighty Nutcrackers!

We love Melbourne......

Sunshine and Ballet one day
Rain and footy the next

On Wednesday I took Ava Sunshine to the Australian Ballet's Nutcracker. Boy oh boy what a visual feast. Tulle and sequins on the beautiful ballerinas, tights and thigh high boots for the oh so fit young men. 

And on the subject of fit young men, GO SAINTS! (or Collingwood,  if you're that way inclined!)

So in between all this excitement we're off to check out a couple of shops in Yarraville, so keep a look out.

When we do open our doors, we'll be offering not only demi-couture womens and childrens wear, green objects of desire but also Jennie's photographic skills. We hope you'll enjoy!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Set back number one

Day 21

Miss Congeniality

Jennie ill. Not with anything serious, just disgusting. But enjoying the drugs.
We will have to halt looking for a shop for at least two months , while she endures triple doses of antibiotics and all the lovely side effects that entails.
On the bright side(and I'm sure there is one) I have longer to get the two ranges together, finish the business plan and source stock.
And it looks like the shop might end up in Yarraville, Melbourne's best kept secret.

Above is a photo from my very last Cicciolina range that I have re titled 'why you shouldn't try to go back to work when your new baby is waking you up every 40 mins through the night'.
Somebody did love this dress and bought it for their 18th birthday party. Bless her whoever she is.
But I am very glad that Ava now sleeps now and I can spend a little more time on each design. I don't miss having to design and sew a range in a week.
Good things come to those that wait.
Stay tuned.......

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I have a vision......


........Getting the feel of the shop together. While not wanting to give too much away, the vision board has helped to give a feel for what we are trying to achieve. This stays in front of me to keep me inspired while completing feasibility studies, break even analysis, cooking dinner, between ballet and kindy drop-offs, entertaining five year olds, dragging the sewing machine to the kitchen table, and desperately trying to come up with catchy blogs, to drum up enthusiasm for a business that doesn't exist yet. To whet your appetite, here is our vision board and more delectable Cicciolina pieces. Jennie will photograph the new range as it develops, with the lovely house models Bianca MIranda and Ava Sunshine.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nobody puts Baby in the corner!

Day 13

I stayed up way beyond my bed time last night.
I couldn't help myself.
Flicking from channel to channel- I hit Gold!
Dirty Dancing was just starting.
A film I had so despised growing up presented itself to me as a revelation.
Everything that was good about  80's and 50's fashion all wrapped up in Patrick Swayzes more than capable, exceptionally toned arms.
High cut long sleeve leotards,crimped hair pulled up tight with enormous scunchies, sheer black stockings and of course full circle skirts.
Here comes summer 2010.
Bring it on.
Stay tuned..........

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Many Moons Ago

So so long ago, way back in the olden days, so far back young folk have only heard whispers and rumors, there was a cult label called Cicciolina.

Cicciolina was a beautiful demi-couture women's wear label specialising in one off party/cocktail dresses. We used vintage fabrics and hand beading to create sumptuose dresses for It Girls and It Girl wanna bees.

After 5 years maternity leave, I can't wait to start again!

Here are shots from Cicciolinas last range. Spring Summer 2004.

New range coming soon.............


The title I have given our new little girls party dress range.

Designed while helping my daughter make ginger snaps and discovering the joys of an afternoon Gin.

Have you tried working from home with an energetic, attention seeking pre schooler?


It is a known fact that I have no waist. But that's not what is important.

Waste in garment manufacturing is a problem. So much fabric is thrown out. Not to mention the terrible habit some people seem to still seem to be inflicted with. BUYING CHEAP DISPOSABLE CLOTHING.

Stop it now.

Live with less. Investment buy. Buy with a conscience.

Sunshine & Daydreams and Cicciolina will use all our fabric and manufacture locally. The garments are to be worn over many years, and handed down or given away to be loved another day.

When we open flagship store Sunshine and Daydreams later this year we will support  other locally made quality designers, as well as especially selected vintage and recycle pieces. And look out for luxury green essentials.

Stay tuned for more........ 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day three...

We are..........

a little bit green,

a little bit family,

a little bit couture,

a little bit recycle,

a little bit Melbourne

and a whole bit lovely.

An oasis of beauty

For big and little girls

Thank Heaven.

Sunshine & Daydreams is to open its doors soon.
Follow our blog while we over come our many obstacles we choose to ignore on our journey to open our first Melbourne Boutique.
Can we do it???????
Yes we can!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010