My sewing machine's been sitting neglected on the floor next to my desk for over a year, gathering dust. Lately it's been quietly calling to me.
I got briefly inspired to sew skirts for the girls for their birthdays. I got as far as buying the fabric and it's been sitting in a bag on top of the machine since April. There wasn't enough time to make the skirts for their birthdays and with no urgency or deadline, nothing is being made.
That all changed when I went to the Night Life: Fashion of the 1920s and 1930s exhibition at Rippon Lea Estate. On display were gorgeous evening dresses from the period. There were some stunning evening capes that I could have happily worn out - if I had a fancy ball or elegant dinner to attend, a la Miss Phryne Fisher.
The exhibition is housed in the large family house belonging to the Rippon Lea Estate. Built in 1876 by Sir Frederick Sargood, it's Australia's last remaining suburban 19th century estate and is set on 14 acres of land.
My favourite part of the estate was seeing the servant's quarters. I felt as if I was stepping back in time to a story out of the books I used to read as a child. The whole idea of servants and maids to do the work is fascinating. Especially as in this house I am nanny, chauffeur, cook, maid and gardener (to all the little pots on our balcony).
I felt as if all the beautiful fashions on display harked back to a more glamorous era. Or perhaps that's just my nostalgic haze for days I never lived through. I know those times had more than their fair share of troubles but I still would have loved to sip cocktails and dance the Charelston to the latest jazz tunes.
And those magnificent dresses with their glass beads, hand embroidery and silk? Stunning. Such exquisite workmanship and tailoring. How I'd love to try one on! I think the exhibition may just be the inspiration I need to start sewing again.