Great Big Sea is Great: or why I’m really in Melbourne

So, I’ve been telling you all about coming to Melbourne for weeks, and about the corset class I’m teaching.  And I am super excited about the corset class, but it’s not why I’m in Melbourne.  Oh no, teaching at Thread Den is just an awesome bonus.  The real reason I am here is quite a story.

You see, there is this Newfoundland folk rock band called Great Big Sea.

These guys:

And they are amazing.

Love their music, own every CD, listen to them constantly.  And that’s great.  But what Great Big Sea is really known for is their concerts.  They are supposed to be phenomenal live.

And I’ve been trying to see them live for years.

I’ve had tickets to their concerts three times, and have missed them at the last minute due to traffic jams/flight delays/strep throat/tornados/volcanos/killer jellyfish swarms etc. etc.  (OK some of those are exaggerations).

And now I live in New Zealand.  And Great Big Sea has never performed in the Southern Hemisphere.

Do you know how far New Zealand is from Newfoundland?

A long, long, long way.

There is way more ocean between Wellington and St John’s than between Boston and St John’s.

So every time I head overseas I check the  tour schedule, just in case I can make my trip cooincide with a GBS concert.

I’m planning a trip home to California and Hawaii in a few months and checked their schedule as per usual.  The only venues they have scheduled this year?  Australia.  Yes.  Great Big Sea is coming to the Antipodes!

So my first reaction was “OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG…I want to go!”

And then my second reaction was “Crap.  Going to a concert alone is no fun”

And then I had a brainstorm.  The fabulous Theresa lives in Melbourne.  Theresa knows everyone, does everything, and is just so fun to be around.  So we had this exchange on facebook:

Yes.  I am a dork.

Anyway, from such small seeds Theresa mentioned that hey, she could interview Great Big Sea for Time Out Melbourne (told you Theresa knows everyone!) and maybe we could get to meet them.  Would I like that?

Would I!

So a lot of money in airfares later, I was going to Melbourne to see Great Big Sea.

And I saw them.  And they were AMAZING.

And I met them (well, Alan Doyle and Murray Foster).  I didn’t just get to meet them, I got to really spend time with them.  And they were AMAZING.  Just the loveliest, most humble, kindest, most gentlemanly, interesting, intelligent people possible.

It was totally worth the wait.

Here are some photos of the concert courtesy of Theresa, who was smart enough to bring her camera, and sweet enough to let me have all the photos.

So, so amazing.  If you ever get the chance to go to a Great Big Sea concert, DO IT!  If you already have – lucky you!

Corset classes in Melbourne!

DISCLAIMER: This post is ‘sticky’ and will stay at the top of my blog for the next week – but don’t worry, there is plenty of fun new content below, just scroll down to see it!


Super exciting news!

I’m going to be in Melbourne (for the first time ever) the first week of April, and…

(super, super exciting news)

I’ll be teaching a corset making workshop at Melbourne’s fabulous craft lounge, Thread Den on Friday the 6th of April!

How exciting is that!  (Especially if you are in Melbourne).

It’s an all-day workshop, so we’ll have plenty of time for each student to make an entire corset, learn some corset history, work through all the techniques, discuss the different materials available, look at some of my corsets, get to know each other, and generally have a fabulous time.

The workshop will be based around this corset:

It’s a simple, flattering underbust  corset that can easily be fitted to a huge range of shapes, and that can be adapted to a lot of styles.  Once you have mastered this corset it is easy to add cording, piping, quilting, and to use all the same techniques to make an overbust corset.

To read more about the course, check out Thread Den’s class description, and then rush over and book it.

The price is Au$200 – $175 for the workshop, + $25 for the materials kit (your pattern, busk, boning, grommets and lacing).  This is a really fabulous deal for a full day workshop, and for all the materials.

Spaces are very limited – only 9 students – because I want to make sure that I can give each of you lots of personal attention so that you go away from this feeling very confident about making lots and lots of your own corsets.  This does mean that its very important that you book right away, before  the class fills up.

I’m really thrilled about doing this: I love teaching, Thread Den is such a fabulous space (I follow their blog over the internet and drool), and corset making is so fun!

Will I be seeing you there?  Hope so!

(random corset goodness. The Cymbidium Orchid corset)

I feel like the old lady who swallowed a fly…

I need to finish the corset I am working on (and which I am so over) so that I can…

…Make the shorts I really want to have done by Monday, so I can…

…Make the panniers I need done by Thur, so that I can…

…Add a little more trim to the Lady Anne Darcy dress and petticoat which go over the panniers, because until that is done I can’t…

…Fix all the bits I wasn’t happy with with my Art Deco Wardrobe, which I really should get done before I…

…Start working on 1911 evening gowns, which is what I really want to be working on!


And that’s not even counting the stuff I’m working on for clients!

Sigh.  I love my job so much I hate it at times!

I also need to schedule in time to do this


Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

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