From drab to fab- Boater/Platter hat conversion

Like with anything you do, it’s fun to look back and see how far you have progressed. The same can be said for my pinup style. As I’m growing more into my own style I’m finding I’m wanting to try hats more and more, but finding pieces that I like that are also affordable can be quite the challenge.
Online searches just led to disappointment but being the crafty gal I am, I had an idea.
If I can’t find exactly what I want, I’ll get the closest thing and turn it into what I want!
I picked up this straw boater hat for under $10 on Ebay (you can find them even cheaper but I didn’t want to wait for shipping from China) and got to work.

To begin with you’ll need a few things.
-hot glue gun & glue
-Scissors & pinking shears (optional)
-Ribbons and embellishments of your choice- these are important as they will cover where we will cut and glue the hat back together
(I chose a cream colour ribbon and purple cotton velveteen)
-Needle & thread
-Hair comb and/or hat pins


Let’s get started.

Use your ribbon as an indicator for how tall you want your hat, mark where to cut.
Using your scissors, carefully pierce a whole in the hat and then cut all the way around.
Do this carefully and as neatly as possible, we will be using the top part of the hat that was removed. Since the hat is constructed by wrapping the straw strands in an upwards spiral motion, the cut won’t be level, just go over this to get it as even as possible.


To create the new top part of the hat, simply push the top piece that was cut away into the base.

*If you are not going to be covering the top with fabric, the way you will join the 2 pieces will differ from what I’ve done here.  If you are not using any ribbons or other embellishments, the top of the hat will need to go on the outside of the base where the seam can blend in with the brim. If you were planning or using ribbon, cut the base lower, leaving enough space to glue the 2 pieces together, and place the top piece on the outside as I have done. Your ribbon should cover the seam*

Once you’re sure you are happy with the new height, glue it in place. For extra security, I then hand stitched it together once the glue was dry. You can do either, or, or both.


*This next part is entirely optional.*
To create the fabric covered top, turn the hat upside down and use your marker to draw around the top of the hat leaving about a 1 inch gap. Then use your pinking shears to cut this out so that it won’t fray.


Next glue this to the hat using hot glue. Be mindful of the amount of glue you are using, as big dollops will give your fabric top a lumpy look.
Glue the top down first working in small sections, trim down a little of the excess fabric and then glue and smooth down the sides.


As you can see, it looks super messy and unfinished, this is where the ribbon comes in.
It not only looks adorable, but it also helps cover any unfinished edges and adds a more polished look.
Place the ribbon around the hat and glue in place. When you get to the end, trim the excess and glue down to secure.


To create the cute bow, tie a knot in your ribbon and then tie a bow to whatever size you like. Don’t forget to leave enough excess to create the ribbon tails.
Then just hot glue inside of the knot so the bow won’t unravel, then I attached it to the hat with more glue and for extra security, you can add a hand stitch to keep it in place.


Next came the tricky part. Working out how to secure the hat to my head.
I originally used safety pins and hair clips, this worked but didn’t feel entirely secure and was not fast car, on a highway with windows down friendly.
So after this initial test run I had a brainwave and found a better solution.
Sew hair combs on the inside of the hat!
To do this, hand stitch a hair comb on either side of the hat, keeping the stitches slightly loose to that the combs can be moved to make pushing them into your hair easier.


For extra security, you can use a hat pin at the base of the hat or add ribbons on the underside of the hat to be tied under the chin.

Overall I’m really happy with how it turned out and will be getting another to make a plain one without the fabric so I can wear it with any colour as the perfect way to top off a summer outfit.

Outfit details
Dress- Lindy Bop
Hair Flower- Regal & Roses
Sandals- Kmart Australia
Sunglasses- Boohoo
Wicker bag- Vintage 

Thanks for stopping by. Hopefully this helps you get your hat game on without breaking the budget. Feel free to tag me in your craft creations @missditamalteese
Aussie gals, if you want to make your own hat and don’t want to wait for the post man, Kmart have a straw wide brim hat that would be perfect for this project.

Miss Dita Malteese

Quick, easy pants alterations

It’s been a while since my last Sew Pinup post but here is another one!

In January this year I shopped the Collectif Clothing sale and finally picked up some of my must haves that I’d been dying for last year. One of those must haves were the Bonnie Trousers in blue Abstract Floral print (now sold out).
Based on previous experience with Collectif trousers, I knew I had to size up from my usual size 16 to an 18. This of course meant they were probably going to need some sort of tailoring to get the intended slim straight leg fit. Luckily for me the waist, hips and thighs were a nice fit with only the lower portion from the knees down being too big.


Yup, as you can see, the fit is kind of a mess.
Luckily I figured out the laziest, easiest way to fix this problem that is most definitely not the “right” way but it works for me and that’s what matters.

So here’s how I did it.

I began by turning the pants inside out and putting them on. Then with some help, I pinned the inseam so it was fitted to my preference. I pinned one leg whilst wearing them and then pinned the other to match.


I popped them back on to make sure that they were the right fit before sewing.


Once I had everything pinned, I drew a guideline so I’d have a fairly straight line to follow and went over that with a basting stitch. Time for a quick try on to double check everything fits as it should before going over with a regular straight stitch.


After that, all you need to do is removed the excess and finish the seams either by overlocking/serging or using pinking shears like I do to prevent the seams from fraying.


And you are done!


See, it’s super easy (if of course you have some basic sewing skills).

Now of course, I realise this is not the “right” way to do things especially if your pants, like mine, have a centre seam/piping detail. Doing it this way by only taking excess from the inseam will cause the centre seam to be crooked. To avoid this you would need to take an even amount from the inseam and outer seam. I didn’t do this because the fit of the waist was perfect and I think if I were to take from both sides I would have lost room in the waist.

Miss Dottie DeMure 

Minxy Vixen Glamour Sleepwear

Vintage style clothes, shoes, underwear, accessories…
Check, check, check and check!
Wait, what about sleepwear?
Oh wait…it’s too expensive and not in my size anyway…never mind.

If that sounds familiar allow me to introduce to you Australian vintage inspired and reproduction sleepwear Queens, Minxy Vixen.
I discovered this brand a couple years ago and ordered myself a couple pieces that I’d originally intended to wear on stage in a pinup pageant. With routine set changes this never happened so my gorgeous 50’s sleepwear sets were hung away for safe keeping.
Well I’ve brought them back out now and seeing them again I’m reminded of  why I loved them so much in the first place!

Minxy Vixen offer various 40’s and 50’s sleepwear sets but my favourite for it’s understated glamour and playfulness is the 50’s Replica Nightie and Dressing Gown Set.
Made from a gorgeous light weight sheer tricot, this set includes a matching nightie and dressing gown.
The dressing gown and nightie both feature a scooped neckline trimmed with gorgeous lace that also adds a pretty finishing touch to the short flowing sleeves and the hem of both gown and nightie. The hem itself hits just above knee length on me for a fun, flirty look. The gown fastens with a double row of matching colour ribbon which looks adorable when tied in bows or left undone, depending on your preference.


Each Minxy Vixen piece is lovingly handmade here in Australia, and are available in a range of colours from soft pink and powder blue, to vixen red and black.
I had mine made in this gorgeous lavender purple because I had always planned to wear it with this purple lingerie set from Target, which I think compliments it nicely.
I’m wearing a size large which caters to an Australian size 14-16 which fits me really well, the sleeves of the gown are quite loose, and the nightie is actually sleeveless with wide arm holes for comfort.
The gown and nightie is designed to be a loose, flowy fit so if you’re unsure on the sizing it may be best to contact customer service for size advice.


The Minxy Vixen 50’s Replica Dressing Gown and Nightie retails for $100, is available in 8 gorgeous colours and sizes small (8-10) to XXL (20-24).
If the shorter sleeves aren’t really your thing, there is an equally glamours long sleeve option available.
To create a complete 1950’s lounge wear look, add a pair of the Minxy Vixen Kitten Slippers and be the glamorous dame your childhood self imagined you to be.

Another great thing about having something made to order is the sizing can be tailor made just for you!
Just pop through an email before placing your order to discuss sizing options.

Thank you so much Jill Kerswill Photography for these gorgeous photos!

Miss Dottie DeMure

Laura Byrnes California High Waisted Cropped Trousers

One of my very first Pinup Girl Clothing “oh God I must have it” must haves were the Laura Byrnes California High Waisted Cropped Trousers in parrot print.
But alas, like everything else in my life I was late to the party and my size sold out and then they were taken out of production *sobs*
Luckily for me, I managed to find a 2xl and snatched it up straight away.
I knew an amazing seamstress who was able to work her magic on bringing a size 2XL down to XL.
Even luckier for you, they’re now back in stock!


Since that first glorious pair, my LB Cropped Trousers collection has grown significantly and after some hesitation about sizing I bought the new Tiki Print in my actual size, XL. I say hesitation because a couple years back I bought a pair of LB shorts (basically same cut and fit as the trousers just in shorts) in an XL and I was horrified by the fit. I have a very round belly so they were just not flattering at all so I assumed it was due to me grabbing the wrong size. Since then I sized up all my LB trousers and had them taken in to ensure a good fit around my belly and rise.

When I received them I couldn’t wait to rush home and try them on, once I did I knew made the right decision with the sizing.
The pants feature a true high waist which on me sits about 2 inches above my navel. Although they don’t come up as high as my Parrot print due to them having once been larger, they still sit nicely on my natural waist and create a really beautiful shape. The waistband itself is wider at the front than in the back and has a curve which I quite like because it adds to your shape. The waistband at the back features elastic panelling either side of the zipper closure. While I love how high up the pants come at the front, I wish this was the same at the back because they do tend to dip when you sit down.

The print is really subtle and wearable, I work in an office and feel like some novelty prints can be a little too loud for an office setting, so this makes me happy as I will be able to get more wear out of them.
The colours are so vibrant and match well together, giving you a few options for tops if like me, you like to match the colour of your top to one in the print. I’ve taken a more subtle approach and have gone with a black top and shoes, but the bright yellow, orange or blue in the print would be fun to highlight too as I’ve done with the Parrot Print pair.

The fabric itself caught me by surprise at how firm and thick it is almost to the point where it feels a little restricting around the thighs, especially compared to my Parrot print where the fabric after the last 2 years and lots of wears has softened significantly. Granted that my parrot prints were a size bigger and weren’t taken in all that much around the thighs, I’m hoping the Tiki print will give a little over time. I don’t know if it’s the firmer fabric or a change in the type of zip used but I think it’s only fair to mention that just as I was about to walk out the door to head to my shoot location, the zip burst open. Not unzipped, the zip was technically still zipped, it was the teeth that gave up and split open. I plan to replace the zip with ones I have used before that seem to be able to contain but booty. I’m mentioning this because if you are a fuller thigh gal, this may be something to take into consideration.
They do have side pockets though, so that’s always a good thing!


The length is perfect too!
I am 5’3 and the length on these is always spot on, hitting me mid shin.
I have tried a pair of cropped trousers from another brand and they were an absolute bust and came down to ankle length! So if you are a short gal I don’t think you will have much issue, but if you do find they are a little long, they would be easy enough to hem.

To style the Tiki trousers I chose the black Vamp top to go with the black background of the trousers so the print would do all the talking. Paired with black heels from Lindy Bop, some brightly coloured bangles and the Penelope Peony Baby Double in Yellow from Daisy Jean Floral Designs.

To style the Parrot print trousers I chose to highlight the subtle aqua tones in the print by pairing them with the Dixiefired bustier, Bloom heels by B.a.i.t. Footwear and Daffodil and red Carnation hair flower from Daisy Jean Floral Designs.

The Laura Byrnes California High Waisted Cropped Trousers for $88USD or $117AUD (not including shipping)and come in sizes XS-4XL.
While the Tiki print is now sold out, the Laura Byrnes California High Waist trousers come in such an array of solid colours and prints that you’re bound to find something you love. I know I’ve already spotted my next additions *cough* Pink Plaid *cough*.

Outfit details
Parrot Print:

Top- Dixiefried
Shoes- B.a.i.t. Footwear
Hair Flowers- Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Bangles- Ebay

Tiki Print
Top- Deadly Dames
Shoes- Lindy Bop
Hair Flowers- Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Bangles- Ebay

Miss Dottie DeMure

Collectif Clothing Maria Bloom Dress

I already have a lot of floral prints in my wardrobe but they tend to be more summery in both colours and style, so when I first saw the Maria dress in this gorgeous burgundy floral print last year I knew I had to have it! The darker burgundy background with the soft pink rose print makes it a print that can be worn year round and not look out of place.
But, alas  with deciding to cut down on my spending, I told myself to wait till the end of year sale. Since the Maria dress is a regular Collectif style that gets a new print/colorway for every season they are in a way “limited” so having to wait till the end of year was pretty risky especially just a few months into the new year print is now gone, luckily I snapped it up when I did during the December/January sale.


The Maria is made out of a thick cotton/spandex blend which again adds to the versatility of this dress because it’s perfect for Summer but also for cooler weather paired with a nice cardigan or coat.
The spandex adds a great deal of comfort but not enough stretch that you could size down unless you were on the smaller end of your size, so as always, it’s best to refer to the size chart.

I’m wearing my usual size 16 which caters to a 42″ bust and 34″ waist, my bust is 41″ and my waist is 33″ so it is a little big on me but nothing too drastic, which pretty much means the size chart is pretty spot on.

The dress features a gorgeous cross over bust with a deep V neckline which is very flattering. However, if you prefer a more modest look you could add a lace cami underneath which would compliment it nicely. The short sleeves are a good length sitting at about 2″ below my underarm. I hate being restricted around my underarm which is why I tend to prefer the Maria over the Dolores style which often gets featured in the same print.


The skirt is a full circle skirt which I like, however I do tend to prefer the exaggerated fullness of gathered skirts. This however is nothing that can’t be fixed with a fluffy petticoat. Something I have noticed on me with Collectif circle dresses is they do tend to run a little long hitting me at mid shin. I’m 5’3 so for those taller gals, this won’t be a problem. But again, wearing a petticoat underneath takes some of the length out so it’s not really an issue.

With the vibrant colours in this print, I chose a mix of green and pink accessories to highlight those colours. White would look lovely too as a bold contrast to the dark burgundy.


The Maria dress is available in sizes 6-22, and retails between £60 – £62.50
For those lucky gals who are heading into Summer, the Maria English Garden print is a must have. This one is a personal favourite of mine so I’m so sad that pale colours just don’t work on me. The pastel colours are just so bright and cheery!
If you love the Maria but perhaps full on florals aren’t your thing you may like the new Maria Toile Floral print or Maria Charming Bird print.

Outfit details
Belt & Petticoat- Hell Bunny
Custom shoes- B.a.i.t. Footwear 
Hair flowers- Daisy Jean Floral Designs

Thank you to  JRM Photography for the amazing photos in the gorgeous sunshine at Footscray Park.

Miss Dottie DeMure

Sponge roller wet set for vintage/pinup hair (heat free curls)

In this tutorial I show you how I set me hair using sponge rollers to create my everyday vintage hair look.
I’ve been setting my hair with sponge rollers for a couple years now as I find it is easiest for me and works best for my hair. I’ve done a lot of trial and error and have had a lot of practice and have improved a lot!
My first ever set was done on WET hair.
Surprise surprise, by morning it was still damp and the after a mild freak out, it went up in a pony tail. Not to worry, mistakes serve their purpose. Now I start on dry hair and use my setting spray (vegan & cruelty free DeLorenzo Mudslide styling paste which I dilute with water and put in an old spray bottle) to add the moisture to set the curls.

I had filmed the brush out video….or so I thought! It turns out, I didn’t hit the record button. I shall film this again and post it when I can.

If you’re new to pinup/vintage hair styling, or like me you just like to see how other people do things, feel free to watch!
Hopefully this is helpful to you!

Miss Dottie DeMure

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Lola Von Rose Precious Purses

Before entering the wonderful world of pinup I never fancied myself as a “bag girl”, there wasn’t much of a focus on matching bags to outfits so I was all about shoes! Fast forward a couple years and my oh my, how things do change!

You see, pinup/vintage fashion for me is all about being bold and making a statement about who you are.
Obviously fashion is a great way to do this, so while finding the perfect outfit used to stop at clothes and shoes, as a pinup it now continues onto the perfect accessories and purse too!
For me, the perfect vintage purse isn’t vintage at all!
If you’re an unlucky ducky like me, you either always miss out on vintage lucite purses or find that they are just out of your budget. Finding a brand that could bring your vintage lucite dreams to life would be a wonderful alternative, wouldn’t it?
A scroll through on Instagram provided just that in the form of Lola Von Rose.
A relatively new company, Lola Von Rose is baseD in America and launched their gorgeous range of  vintage inspired purses in July last year.


The purses feature a large handle in that curved iconic vintage purse style that is attached to the base with sturdy hinges. Depending on what colour you choose, the purse locks with either a silver or a glamorous gold buckle closure.
As for colours, I assure you, you won’t be short on options!
The Lola Von Rose purses are available in a gorgeous high gloss opaque acrylic in 6 colours!
Black, red, white, pink, lilac, and launching in April, seafoam green.

I had the pleasure of being able to choose my favourites to take home, and while I am a pink girl at heart, but I seem to have more purple in my wardrobe so I chose the lilac along with classic red and elegant white.

The opaque colour is something that appeals to me much more than true vintage lucite which tends to be clear. The contents of my purse are very much at odds with the glamour of pinup so the Lola Von Rose purse is perfect since I really don’t want the contents to be on display to the world. And while they may look small for a modern day woman who needs a bag big enough to fit all her secrets in, I had no problem fitting all the bits and pieces I need to survive the day.

Something else I love about these classic styled purses is their versatility.
These purses can be styled to suit you, what ever style you may call your own. Whether you’re a rockabilly chick, pinup doll or elegant dame, Lola Von Rose purses can be styled for a casual feel or more formal affair and still be the perfect eye catching accessory to complete your look.

The range of vintage inspired purses retails $64USD and offers worldwide shipping!
Shipping prices start at $12 for US dolls, $23 for Canada and $25 for the rest of the world.

With such an affordable and accessible way to add a bit of silver screen glamour to my outfits, I think it is safe to say I am well and truly a “bag girl” now and for ever!

Thank you so much JRM Photography for the amazing summery shots! 

Miss Dottie DeMure

A note to my dear readers.
These purses were gifted to me so that I may share my views of the product and the brand. I do not accept any item from brands I do not admire and products I personally wouldn’t use or wear. This is important to me as I believe it is in keeping with my integrity as a person and my love of sharing my pinup lifestyle with others.