Seeing photos of vintage-clad cyclists on their bikes, wheeling their way around historical Ballarat, made me want to be part of the “Ballarat Tweed and Ride”. I’ve always been a lover of vintage style, so this event was something that I just had to go and see. Unfortunately, covid hit the first year I planned to go, followed by having to work the following year. This year, the date was finally free for me to attend the event! The weather was just perfect for a trip down to Ballarat.
There’s something special about dressing up in vintage style and roaming around a city like it was the normal thing to do, as it used to be in the past. Having so many other like-minded people coming together is pretty unique. There are not a lot of events of this kind, but there really should be! Being dressed up in vintage wear wasn’t only an enjoyable experience for us. Onlookers enjoyed seeing us in our vintage wear as well! We had so many lovely people stop to chat with us about what we were wearing.
So what did we choose to wear for the event? I had some gorgeous bouclé fabric lying around, which would be perfect for a dress for this occasion! My calendar doesn’t have events that call for a beautiful dress, so it looked as if the fabric would sit there for a while longer. Then I remembered that the Ballarat Tweed and Ride was on!
The sewing machine came out. I sewed like a madwoman that week. Let me tell you that working with this particular fabric was a challenge! The bouclé fabric is quite thick, perfect for cold Ballarat. Sewing thick fabric tends to break needles! So it was a slow and steady sewing experience. The bouclé fabric also sent red dust all over the place! It stained my hands for the week! Following a pattern to the ‘T’ would have been easy. Being the perfectionist I am, I decided to rework the dress pattern to create a unique design. Designing a dress pattern can be challenging – especially when you’re a self-taught amateur!
I also had to allow a day or so to create my pillbox hat! Luckily it all came together the night before the event! I had a pillbox base, blocked and ready to go. All I had to do was add the fabric and gorgeous silk flowers! My Jackie O look came together just how I had envisioned. Wearing the outfit was a wonderful experience. So many strangers stopped to pay me compliments. The loveliest compliment came from a lady who told me that my smile made the outfit more beautiful.
Ballarat Tweed and Ride
As this was my first Ballarat Tweed and Ride event, I was keen to go down as a spectator. The event was giving out awards to well-dressed riders and spectators. To our joy, my daughter and I walked away with the ‘Most Elegant Spectator’ and the ‘Most Magnificent Millinery’ winners! We were so pleased to receive some gorgeous commemorative ribbons. We wore them proudly all day!
After the ride, everyone headed down to the Ballarat Tweed Ride festival, held at the Civic Hall. There were various stalls offering food and beverages and some local produce. A band entertained, and so did an attendee dressed up in a vintage police uniform who tried to confiscate my commemorative ribbon! He wanted it for himself!
The ‘Dressing Room Recycled’ is a place to visit for those who love vintage clothing and accessories. This place is jam-packed and full of vintage clothes and jewellery. There are two storeys of vintage goodies. You will need all day to get through it all! The prices ranged from very affordable to more rare and pricey vintage pieces. If I had more time to spend there, I would have tried on a vintage Burberry tweed suit.
The Ballarat Tweed and Ride is a fabulous event for vintage fashion and bike lovers. It was a lot of fun to be part of it. Next year, we will return to participate in the ride! I already have a vision of how to style my bike for it! Hopefully, these photos of the Ballarat Tweed and Ride entice you to come along to the next one!