Inspire A Style: Miss Fisher

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My love of vintage style has infiltrated almost everything. From my obsession with classic novels to the period TV dramas that are pretty much always on my television, bygone eras are well-represented in my daily life (in fact, I’m watching Mad Men as I write this). But no show has influenced my adoration of vintage fashion to quite the extent of the incredible Phryne Fisher from Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries.


Phryne Fisher is the main protagonist in the Australian murder mystery series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the show follows Phryne as a private detective and total badass. An incredible feminist, Phryne is also the embodiment of the flapper style.

There are many reasons to love Phryne other than her other-wordly fashion sense (although that will obviously be the focus of this post). She is a beautiful middle-aged woman, liberated from the confines of society’s traditional gender roles, and unapologetically determined to retain ownership of her life. Although this is obviously a fiction – divorced from the reality that even the most liberated women of the 1920s were limited in their autonomy – it is one that I love to take refuge in.  Watch it and, trust me, you will feel the same way.

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 13.59.59Make sure to particularly enjoy Aunt Prudence’s face on the right of the shot.


So back to style. Why does Phryne Fisher deserve a particular place in my heart as fashion inspiration? The 1920s are, undeniably, a little outside of my usual era of reference. But part of the excitement in designing and constructing your own outfits is the ability to handpick a tailored combination of garments, accessories and eras. For my part, I love to extract key details from a variety of vintage periods and Phryne Fisher provides the perfect variety of ’20s evening and day glamour from which to draw inspiration.

For many present-day lovers of vintage style, the 1920s is intimidating territory. It has such a distinctive look and would be, in many respects, difficult to integrate into the everyday life of a modern woman. But Phryne Fisher’s look provides a few key details that would work perfectly for anyone inspired by the glamour and sophistication of the 1920s.

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Other than a sleek bob and some gorgeous red lipstick, there is a lot to be learnt from Phryne’s embodiment of the ’20s. As spectacular as the high-glamour looks are the simple and uncomplicated garments that are very present throughout the series. The sailor smock shown in the photo above, made up in a silk/satin, shows that the 1920s were not all beads and feathers. Take this gorgeous Godet dress pattern from Burdastyle, make it up in navy silk with white detailing, and you’ve got a stunning replication of Phryne’s chic look.

Simple garments made up in interesting geometric patterns are also a key facet of Phryne’s wardrobe:

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An outfit like the above is simply done. A plain skirt paired with a bold vintage-style blouse – such as the Anderson blouse from Sew Over It – would make the perfect work-ready outfit. If you wanted to go authentic, vintage fabric that would work for this look is available from multiple sources. I’m particularly in love with the selection available at ‘Til The Sun Goes Down.

There are just so many options, all of which are totally viable for a woman who doesn’t necessarily want to look as if she’s just walked out of a costume drama. That said, always make room in your life for a long necklace and a jewel-dripped hair accessory. Phryne would.

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In the meantime, make sure to set aside some time for a Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries binge session (I know for sure that it’s available on UK and US Netflix) and give in to the fabulous Phryne Fisher.

“Beside every good man is a good woman, and she must always be ready to step in front.”

– Phryne Fisher

New Projects

Happy Wednesday, lovelies!

Congratulations on making it half-way to the weekend. It’s been a truly miserable week in Colchester – pretty standard for an English February, really. The major downside of cold and rainy weather is that I revert back to standard leggings/flannel combo, abandoning my lovely vintage wardrobe. But spring will be here soon! I’m waiting for the sun!

I’ve got lots of exciting things coming up sewing-wise. Hopefully one of these things will be getting around to properly hemming my Joan dress (hand-sewing is not my forte) – since I’m planning on wearing the dress for Valentine’s Day, I should probably actually get on this. But I’ve been too excited planning out my new projects!

For a while now, I’ve had the Eliza M Alma Wiggle Skirt pattern hanging around.* I bought a fabulous tweed fabric at the Twenty-Something Sewer Meet-up in Walthamstow, which I earmarked for this skirt. But I’ve been avoiding getting started until I found a pattern and fabric to make a complementary blouse. I finally found it last week in the Clara Bow Blouse from ‘Til The Sun Goes Down, which I’m going to make in a dark blue silk.

Hopefully this will make for a perfect combination! I was planning to have these made by next week for a work trip to the International Criminal Court (by day my life is VERY different) – I figured it would make for a great work-smart outfit. But it’ll require a massively productive sewing weekend, so we’ll see! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Enjoy the rest of your week and I’ll be back soon with more vintagey updates!

Laura x

* I’ve not been linking to Eliza M because of a malware warning on their website. But the patterns are available for purchase elsewhere. I’ve been purchasing mine through Fabric Godmother.