Hello to 2022! January 04 2022
Happy New Year everyone!
I hope the start of the year has been one of good health and joy for you all. Times of trial (as Anne of Green Gables loved to say) are still upon us, but the breath of a new year and new beginnings do make the days brighter.
I have returned to work today and am focusing on processing all of the orders from just before Christmas and over the New Year period. I should have everything posted by Thursday, at the latest. I will return to 'normal' days next Monday and will be uploading new stock from then.
There is one big change I will making this year and that is how I am offering the fabric for sale. I will no longer be offering uncut fat quarters (just the single ones should I come across them) and will now be selling in uncut half meter cuts. I will slowly be updating old listings and the price, of course, will reflect the minimum half meter cut. I will be launching more fabric packs over the coming months so there will be smaller pieces (some rare pieces including couture) for those of you who work with fat quarters or smaller.
All the best for a wonderful sewing year!
Christmas 2021 postage dates and a new Packaging Policy November 25 2021
I hope 2021 is ending on a happy note for you. I dare say we've all gone through levels of pure negativity, desperation and loss of faith this year. The area where we live is just coming to the light at the end of the tunnel. We're no longer in lockdown, local Covid cases are low and outside movements are relatively normal. In saying that, our little family truly suffered along with so many millions of others this year and we're limping rather than bolting to the end of 2021.
Retro Age took a back seat for me this year. With one son in Year 12 and the other in Year 8, I had to find my feet home schooling them for the majority of the year. Wow - was that hard! Full kudos to the teaching staff connecting through Zoom. But, through the trials and tribulations, we all made it and one son has graduated VCE and the other is looking forward to the electives in Year 9. The eldest also got his drivers licence so we're slowly making the adjustment of not 'playing taxi' on a day-to-day basis - that is very different, indeed! - although there is no such thing as 'spare' time.
I have also done a lot of thinking in regards to our Earth, environment and us, as humans. I've listened to what my sons are saying - their fears for the future for themselves, their livelihoods and their world. We've had bushfires, floods, a pandemic, terrorism, climate change - that generations is living in a world of fear and uncertainty. I need to show them we can all change, whether it's privately or in business, and that I care about our world and its future.
I have been making changes to our packaging, as you may have noticed. Our stock-standard packaging is a brown paper bag, a business card, a thank you note, a raffia tie and a plastic bag - all inserted into an Australia Post satchel or larger plastic satchel. Can I do better? Yes, I can.
The paper bag will stay - it's not bleached and can be recycled or cut down and used again. The business card will stay, however I will be re-evaluating the printer location, printing process and the stock for our next printing run. The thank you card will stay as I source these secondhand. The sticky tape has/is changing to paper based tape - I have been using washi tape for most of the areas requiring tape, however in the areas still requiring that extra stick, I have resorted to normal tape. I'll try and source a stronger paper based tape to change this. I have been using the raffia for the larger parcels but, once finished, I'll no longer be using this to 'pretty up' your parcel. Minimal packaging is best, I think.
The two areas I need to continue researching are the plastic bags and the Australia Post satchels.
At the end of the day, fabric can get wet and damage can happen in transit. Hence why I pack the fabrics in a plastic bag - for extra security against dirt, water and the like. The plastic bags are re-usable, however they are not recyclable. They break down eventually, but not fast enough for our Earth and for me. So I am now on the hunt for a fully recyclable plastic bag range.
The Australia Post satchels I use are LDPE - low density polyethylene. These satchels take up to 24 months to biodegrade. This can also be recycled at REDCycle bins at your local supermarket and can be turned inside out, cut to size and re-used for another parcel/bin lining etc. I have been told Australia Post are looking into fully recyclable/biodegradable satchels in the near future, whether paper or plant based. Unfortunately the ones I have tested that are currently sold on the market are far too flimsy, in my opinion - I need satchels that can withstand any duress after it leaves me and before it reaches you. I'll continue to research better satchel options as they come available.
There are many changes afoot for the business as we emerge from the horror of the previous two years and I'll announce them - or update you - in due course.
We'll remain open over the Festive Season. However, please note there are still Australia Post delivery days. The last postage day for 2021 will be WEDNESDAY 8 DECEMBER - this date will give your domestic parcels the best chance of arriving in time for Christmas. Any orders received after that date will be posted on TUESDAY 4 JANUARY 2022.
I hope you all have a Christmas with laughter, hugs and a whisky nip or two (or another beverage you treat yourself to). I will raise my nip to a better 2022, I can tell you!
COVID-19 Update - next postage day is Thursday 18 February 2021 February 14 2021
Victoria once again finds herself in lockdown due to COVID-19 - however, the different thing for us this time is regional Victoria has been included in the rules. Thus, I am unable to post until Thursday 18th February. In saying that, my local post office is still open and almost next door to my local supermarket, so I will try and drop off orders. Hopefully things will return to normal on Thursday, but I'll update on the blog if not.
2020 Christmas Postage Cut-off Dates and New Year Holidays December 01 2020
It appears we're back to Christmas time once again. This year is just one big blur to so many of us that it's very hard to believe the end of 2020 is nigh. I can't say I'll miss this year and am looking forward to a world free of pandemics in the coming year/s...
Australia Post is recommending standard deliveries to be posted on or before Friday, 11 December if you want it to arrive before Christmas. In writing that, the post is still slower than normal, so order for Christmas as soon as you can! The recommended cut-off for Express Post deliveries is Thursday, 17 December.
We'll be taking a break from Friday 18 December and will return to work on Monday 4th January. Australia Post is closed three days in-between those dates so there's not much use in posting parcels as they won't travel very far. If we get into the 'vintage fabric mood' we'll upload some new stock during that time.
Stay safe, all!
Website Overhaul September 15 2020
I hope you're well where-ever you are in the world. Our little patch of Earth is slowly returning to some normality and I am hopeful our children will be able to return to school in two weeks.
Since the onslaught of Covid19 our website has seen a sharp rise in visitors and sales - and, in truth, we've struggled to keep up. The inability to shop in person partnered with the pivoting of buyers to 'shopping small and local' saw our website inundated with people returning to - or learning - how to sew.
We had a large inventory going into the Covid lockdown and, due to the processing of orders remaining our first priority, we haven't found the time to upload new arrivals as often as we like to. Our inventory has gone down from 500+ items to just 200 in recent months.
This has opened up the perfect opportunity to overhaul the capability and navigation systems of the website. We are looking to simplify the website whilst expanding our products to include sewing related books. We would also like to offer some interior decoration pieces we find on our travels just for a little extra fun.
Over the coming weeks the website will not look as polished as it usually does - please bare with us as we streamline it.
I just adore this hat shape. It is so practical, yet this mid-century take on the traditional Oriental hat really makes it pop. This pattern is from Australian Home Journal, November 1st, 1951 and the copyright remains with the publication. I hope this pattern inspires you!
Covid-19 update and stocktake time July 07 2020
Hello fabric lovers
I hope you and your loved ones are all well and keeping safe in these hard times.
Victoria got the virus under control for some weeks there, but unfortunately we now have an outbreak in Melbourne. Lucky for us, as we're located on the Bellarine Peninsula, our business goes on as normal. I am unsure whether there will be domestic postage delays due to the state borders shutting Victoria off, but I'll update this as information comes to hand. Unfortunately international postage, including postage to New Zealand, remains on hold.
We are currently doing our stocktake and you may notice some glitches with the website. We're working hard to get this completed within the week. This stocktake will give us an accurate inventory of our current online stock.
Returning to normal - Mon, Wed, Frid postage days June 17 2020
I hope you're all well.
This is just an update on our postage days. When we were in the throes of Covid-19 and lockdown we reduced our postage days to two days a week - Tuesday and Thursday. As the threat of Covid-19 has lessened in Australia we're returning to our normal postage days of Monday, Wednesday and Friday. This is for all standard deliveries. If you select Express Post at Checkout, your parcel will be posted ASAP.
Please note Australia Post is still experiencing significant delivery delays around the country. Once a parcel is in their hands it's then out of our control when you receive it. Some parcels are arriving within days, others are taking several weeks.
International shipping is still in disarray so we are not accepting international orders until further notice.
Australia Post Express Post and standard delivery delays April 24 2020
Due to the current overwhelming demand, all deliveries within Australia are facing significant delays. This includes Express Post. While Express Post remains the fastest service Australia Post offers, it is no longer guaranteeing that your parcel will arrive within the designated 24-48 hours. Deliveries to remote parts of Australia are also facing delays of more than one week. For up-to-date information on Australia Post deliveries, please visit their Coronavirus Domestic Updates Page.
International shipping now on hold until further notice April 11 2020
Due to the worldwide disruption to just about everything we know as 'normal' in life, we've decided to stop international shipping until further notice. Parcel arrivals to all countries have been horrendously delayed or even rejected due to COVID-19. We all know the aviation industry has been decimated and all postal services worldwide have been disrupted - to some extent - or even stopped.
We are so sorry to do this, but we have no other option. If you're desperate for fabric and you're not in Australia (and are willing to wait weeks and weeks for your parcel to arrive) please message us with links to the fabrics you're interested in and we'll get a shipping price to you ASAP.
Sewing Patterns slowly being added to the store April 03 2020
We are very fortunate that our stock is with us in our studio and no longer in a storage shed offsite. In saying that, there are so many tubs I have to laugh at them or I'd just cry looking at all of the work yet to be done.
The sewing patterns are ladies, mens, teens, kiddies, toddlers and babies and there are also a lot of craft ones, too. They range from the 1930s to the modern era and are all checked before they are put on the website. A tedious job, but if I crank the music up a little and check them in little lots, I find it quite soothing after a while. I would never consider putting up a sewing pattern before checking it, so it's a job that just needs to be done!
Covid 19 : Postage Update March 27 2020
As I said in our previous blog post, the whole world is in uncertain times. Currently, Australia Post is open, delivering nationally and to customs internationally. However, there are huge international delays, so please be mindful your order may not arrive as fast as usual at this time. All of our orders have tracking, so you'll be able to check on the location of your parcel as it makes its way to you.
The Australian Government is asking people to stay at home as much as possible. So I have decided to limit my postage days to twice a week, down from the daily pick-ups I usually do. I've split the days to Tuesday and Friday. If you choose Express Post I'll get your parcel off to the depot ASAP.
This all may change if our State, Victoria, goes into lock-down. Should I need to adjust over the coming weeks, I'll update here accordingly.
Covid-19 Announcement March 23 2020
Never in a million dreams did we see this coming. But Covid-19 is here and is changing the world, so change with it we must until our scientists can eradicate it.
We are located in Victoria, Australia. While Australia is governed by a Federal Parliament, we also have States that are controlled by local governments. Therefore, both Prime Minister (Federal) and Premier (State) can bring in new laws to guide us through this virus nightmare.
At the moment, Australia is operating with necessary business only. Retail is still (mostly) open, but our social side of cafes, sporting clubs etc have all been shutdown or heavily reduced to take-away only.
Australia Post is deemed a necessary business. However, that may change in the coming weeks. If we are put into lock-down, we will be unable to leave our homes and Australia Post (among a plethora of business) will cease to operate.
Retro Age will keep open if/until that time happens. If it does indeed happen, I've also decided to keep the website open, even though I won't be able to post. You'll be able to purchase during this time, if you wish (or simply just look at the pretty photos), but I won't be able to get your order to you until Australia Post re-opens. For the latest domestic Australia Post information visit this page.
International deliveries are already being delayed due to the various Covid-19 restrictions put in place in each country. For the most up-to-date Australia Post information regarding your country visit this page.
Shopify, our website host, is also offering gift card usage to all businesses. It's one of Shopify's ways to help 'flatten the curve'. We've activated our gift cards here. They are fully digital and are a lovely way to brighten someones day in this current grey world.
More than anything else - I extend my sincerest wish for your perfect health in the coming months. I hope you and your loved ones are able to stay safe and weather these coming weeks with minimal impact to your health and wellbeing. If you find things too much, please don't forget to contact your local mental health agencies and advocates and don't hesitate to contact your local medical services should you show feel ''not right'. We're all in this together and, as a race, we'll get through this one day at a time.
With much love,
Possible postage delays due to Australian bushfires January 06 2020
We are back at work as of today, Monday 6 January, 2020. We'll be processing all orders as soon as possible and will also be replying to any enquiries received during the past two weeks.
As many people are aware, Australia is in a bushfire crisis at the moment. That's putting it mildly for our state of Victoria - up to 1/7th of the state is currently on fire or burned. It's been an awful time for many communities around our beautiful country.
Due to these fires, there may be postage delays for domestic orders (all dependent on your location). To keep abreast of Australia Post's latest information click here. International deliveries should be running as normal, however smoke haze around our international airport, Tullamarine, may delay some deliveries.
I wish you all a safe 2020!
The Festive Season is upon us! Christmas and New Year postage December 17 2019
Hello vintage fabric lovers!
It's been an incredible year and, once again, we find the Festive Season upon on. The website will remain open throughout December and January, but please remember the huge postage volume out there in postage land. Deliveries will take longer to get to you than usual. We're getting them posted as fast as we can this end and are currently upgrading orders to Express Post.
Australia Post is closed on Wednesday 25th December, Thursday 26th December and Wednesday 1st January, 2020. The post will barely move in the interim days, unfortunately, - and I dare say January 2nd and 3rd will be just the same.
So, keeping these above dates in mind, we'll be doing our final post for the year on Friday 20 December (no guarantees your parcel will arrive in time for Christmas, though) and will recommence postage on Monday 6th January. We'll still be in the studio, so feel free to contact us on email@example.com if you need something ASAP.
I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and look forward to spending our 17th year with you in 2020!