Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Old friends..Sat on their park bench like bookends..

Shoe Boots: Topshop
Sewing Machine Necklace: gift
Bardot Top: George@Asda
Skirt: Jigsaw
Eiffel Tower Bag: Topshop

With about ten minutes notice to get ready for an evening out, I decided to use a few of my absolutely favourite things to throw together an outfit.

This skirt is the only Jigsaw garment I own; a present from a shopping trip a long long time ago. One of those things I absolutely fell in love with on first sight. I still love it, with the embroidery, the ruffled waist and grosgrain ribbon detail over all of the layers.

These shoe boots (actually they're my replacement pair) are up there with my favourite pairs ever. I just love everything about them.

The Bardot top is a recent George purchase - I love Bardot necklines (mostly because I secretly want to be Amber) and these ones from George are great - £6 each and came in a variety of colours.

The Eiffel Tower has been my bag of choice lately and this sewing machine necklace seemed to be the perfect length and colour scheme to finish things off.

Do you have a fall-back outfit of old favourites?

Monday, 29 September 2014

Dreams floating away into the maze..

Dress: Handmade (New Look 6223)
Coat: Matalan
Got the Hump wedges: Irregular Choice

So, after making a list of what shoes I still needed to wear to complete my #irregularchoicechallenge, I knew I needed to start creating some outfits for them.

One of the pairs I'd not worn for the challenge, and in fact had never worn since buying them last year, was this one. Got the Hump. Wedges with camels on them.

Much to the amusment of the others there, I wore them to a party on Sunday, along with my panda print dress. I wore a petticoat underneath and felt the size of a house for most of the day, but sort of enjoyed the swooshiness. I also didn't really wear this coat; it's one which had been in my Instagram clothes sale and I just tried it on for someone who wanted some photos of it. It was almost a perfect match for this dress, though, hence how it made it into one of my pictures here.

Pandas and camels. They seem an unlikely combination, but anything goes in my world. #wardrobezoo forever.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

#irregularchoicechallenge Days 172-189..

ICC Days 172-180

ICC Days 181-189

I don't suppose this post needs a lot of introduction; it's fairly self-explanatory. And I don't suppose you'll have missed the challenge so far, as it seems to be fast approaching the big 2-0-0! I did a little count up last week and made a list of the pairs I still had to wear, so that at least I have it written down for the mornings, and can choose from the list, which has made choosing what to wear a lot easier lately, but it did surprise me just how many pairs I still have left - I thought I'd be done by now!

So, the recent wears: My final two pairs of Prom Princess, (days 181 and 185) and the other two underwear print pairs (days 187 and 175). Also my last two pairs of the kitty print flats (days 173 and 176). I thought I'd have a lot more pairs of flats left to wear at the end of the challenge, as I tend to favour heels as a general rule, but to be honest I've been wearing the flat pairs interspersed with heels, so I only have a couple left to wear.

One of my favourite and first-purchased pairs: the toadstool courts finally saw an outing for Day 189. Another long-time favourite, the Robot court shoe also saw the light of day for the first time in goodness knows how long and I finally got around to wearing Abigail's Party, which I bought in London that time when I was judged for  buying too many things by a stranger!

Any favourites in this lot?

Saturday, 27 September 2014

#PhotoAnHour challenge..

When I was reading Rachael's blog recently, I made a note that I should probably take part in my own #PhotoAnHour challenge. It's something I've seen on a few blogs in the past but have never remembered to do. I am pretty forgetful, so I made sure I set an alarm to go off each hour, which got me some funny looks when I was out in public.

As this goes live, my train should just be getting into London for a day of fun and frolics, but this is what I got up to last Saturday.

Photo per Hour 1
So, I didn't set an alarm to get up in the morning - I don't at weekends unless I really have an early start, but nevertheless I was awake and making my first coffee by 6. I sat down to some letter-writing and had a bunch of parcels to wrap for the folks who'd bought things from my wardrobe clearout, so thought I'd get those done before leaving the house.

By 9am, I'd done most of my chores, put some washing on and done a load of ironing, so I set about pining out and cutting the pieces for my next dressmaking project. I some progress on getting it together but didn't quite have chance to finish it before I needed to head out to run some errands in town at 11.

Photo per Hour 2

After managing to do all of my tasks, paying things in, posting parcels and resisting buying any new fabric in the haberdashery, I got home to sort through my charity shop purchases, and thought I'd better prepare some lunch, whilst considering how to go about another of the projects I'd earmarked for the day.

Next up I put the finishing touches to the Mortmain dress I'd started earlier. I love the Townhouses print best from this season's collection at Cath Kidston, so when I was in Leeds a couple of weeks back, I made sure to pop in and pick up enough for a dress.

Photo per Hour 3

Feeling productive, I began using the bias binding I'd bought from town to pin out a cream edging on this mint green coat I'd ordered from eBay. The plan was to edge the whole coat in cream, inspired by Gwen's coat in the Spiderman film. However, having not banked on how thick the coat was, it wasn't until I'd stitched most of it on that I realised I'd need to start from the other side, so I ended up unpicking most of it, and left it there after getting a bit ragey.

Photo per Hour 4

I had a birthday party to go to the following day, so needed to make a final present for the guest of honour, so about 7pm I got to work cutting out a pattern to size and whipping up this phone case for her from some of the fabric in my scraps pile. I finished it well within an hour and stitched a vintage button on as a finishing touch.

Time for a final project - when I was in the V+A back in March, I saw the prettiest, sparliest fascinator in one of the fashion rooms. I saw this purple base in the craft shop and bought it along with some sequins, although I also already had a lot of beads and sequins. I did some hand-sewing of them, whilst M and I continued watching Breaking Bad. There are still a lot to be stitched on, but it's one of those easy little projects which I can pause and pick back up when I have a spare few minutes.

So, a fairly boring Saturday really. How did you spend yours?

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday Favourites 114..

001: Chelsea Doll Daphne Necklace, £14
ASOS Sequin Jacket
002: ASOS Sequin Jacket, £48
Ever feel as though your week would be better with just a little more...sparkle?

001: I love the colours on this necklace and the fact that the jewels go all the way round, like a proper collar. I think it would finish off just about any outfit to give it that little extra detail. I've not ordered from Chelsea Doll for a while, but have always found them very helpful and their deliveries very speedy in the past.

002: I know, I have a sequin jacket. Or three. But this one has been saved in my favourites for an age. It's sparkly, yes. But it's also floral. And dark-coloured which I think makes it more wintry. Is it a jacket, is it a bolero, is it a coat? It's some kind of sequin hybrid, which I think I could find a place for in my wardrobe for sure.

Are you all about the sparkles, as well?

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Will there be a picture left to snap..

Grafea Pink Leather Camera Bag
This has to be one of my favourite new things for a very long time. Since the first time I spotted this pink Grafea camera bag, I knew that I'd need to get my hands on one at some point. So when I found myself with a bit of an unexpected bonus and a discount code which expired at the end of the week, I took the plunge and hoped it would prove to be as lovely as it looks in the pictures.


When it eventually arrived (I definitely wouldn't recommend either or Yodel for actually being able to give any accurate information regarding the delivery, but I managed to contact my usual driver directly and track it down!) I was pretty pleased, although the colour was a little brighter than I'd expected.

The bag itself is absolutely lovely. The main compartment has two moveable velcro dividers and is plenty big enough for my Canon 1200D with it's lens on. Then there are side pockets which fasten with buckles and a zipped pocket and a smaller pouch pocket to the back. The main section of the bag is a sort of liner, which has it's own zip, then there's a main buckle to the front.


The camera bag comes with a top handle and a detachable shoulder strap, which again has a buckle in order that you can alter the length to suit you. I've found it comfortable to wear on my shoulder, or across body like I would a satchel.


There's no doubt that this is one of those investment pieces which is going to last a lifetime. I certainly hope so, anyway. I was even more pleased with it when I realised that it was the perfect size to fit in the basket of my bike!

How do you carry your camera around with you? This has to be a huge step up from just throwing it in my handbag, which I'd been doing.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

We were the happiest rabbits in the happiest cage..

Dress: Handmade (Simplicity 2444)
One of my most co-ordinated outfits for a while now. This rabbit print fabric is another which has been sitting around, waiting to be made up into a dress for a few months. I am finally making some proper progress with my fabric stash and this became a(nother) Simplicity 2444 when I was in the midst of #OWOP. I actually didn't get around to wearing it until the following weekend, when the challenge was over, so it didn't make the round-up, but I'm still glad I got around to making it.

Satchel: Brit-Stitch* // Prom Princess heels: Irregular Choice

I decided to wear it with pale blue to match the print of the rabbits, and dug this cardigan out of storage - it has sequins within the knit and I'd totally forgotten about it until I saw something similar in M+S a couple of weekends ago.

Cardigan: Primark
My shoe choice was pretty easy; this being my third and final pair of Prom Princess which are such a pale fabric that I wanted to get them all worn before the weather turned a little more rainy and risk ruining them outside. The inverted heels are something I've mentioned before - still SO comfortable to walk in, even though they may not look it!

Birdcage Necklace: Miss Selfridge
As for accessories, this birdcage necklace is years old and I don't think I've worn it for a long time. And finally, I finished off with my Brit-Stitch half pint satchel, which is the perfect size for all the essentials.

I felt a little matchy-matchy in this outfit, but sometimes that's OK. Right?

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tic Tac Toe Townhouse..

Dress: Handmade (Gather Kits Mortmain)
I think this is one of my favourite outfits for a while. I mean, it's a dress and a pair of shoes, so hardly an outfit. But I'm pretty pleased with it. 

I was a little worried about making this dress. Because, y'know, I could have just bought the Townhouse print dress from Cath Kidston and know that it would fit, the same as all of my other ones. Instead, I decided that I'd like something a little different, so I waited until the fabric was released and then waited some more until I could get to a store. 


I decided I wanted longer sleeves, as well as that I would go with the Mortmain pattern. This was mostly down to the fact that the fabric is a lot thicker than the cotton on the original dress (it's furnishing fabric) and it wouldn't gather in the same way as regular cotton. I followed the Mortmain pattern to the letter, until it came to the sleeves, which I didn't put cuffs or buttons on because I don't really like them. 

Townhouse Print Fabric: Cath Kidston
The fabric was a lot better to work with than expected (I have used CK cotton duck in the past but it was a while ago and I couldn't remember how well or otherwise it worked). A couple of tips if you're thinking of doing the same - being furnishing fabric it's wider than regular dress bolts, so you may need a little less than you'd usually buy, but if you're buying online, you can only by per metre on the website. That's why I waited until I was passing a store to pick up 1.5m, which was still quite a lot more than I needed. 

And, most importantly, I was really glad when I'd finished making the dress that I'd chosen to do that rather than buy the website version.

Tic Tac Toe sandals: Irregular Choice


These shoes are a fairly recent addition to my IC collection and were one of those pairs from their AW13 collection which I'd never really expected to buy. However, I was waiting for another eBay auction to end, for a pair of Antonella sandals, and was having a cursory flick through the seller's other items, and it turned out she was also selling these, in the same size. I won them both for the starting bid price and like these a LOT more in person that I'd thought I would. Also, both pairs turned up in absolutely brand new condition, which I'd not been expecting, so I was even more pleased! 

And I figured that they went rather well with the colours in the dress. I also felt really tall in them all day, which was cool. 

Would you make your own version of a dress you liked? Or would you just buy the original?

Monday, 22 September 2014

I heart robot..

Bag: Pepa Loves
Amy Dress: Boden*
This beautiful Boden dress turned up a few weeks ago and has been hanging around willing me to wear it ever since. But then the weather got all warm and stuff and I didn't think it was quite the thing. I had visions of leafy outsidey-ness for this dress, as Boden makes me think of the out of doors and exploring. Not that I was really exploring this garden, but still.

Heart brooch: present from Sarah
So, what can I say about the Amy Dress other than I absolutely adore it? The colours are beautiful blues and sea greens on a pale grey background, which I think just work so perfectly together. It's sleeves are the perfect length, which is praise indeed coming from me, who doesn't often wear dresses with sleeves! The skirt is such a fabulous full, Fifties style that it makes you want to twirl. 


I wore it with my Irregular Choice robot heels, which are almost the same blue and have tiny red robots printed on them, so I decided to add my favourite red heart brooch to the dress to match them. Whilst on the heart theme, I figured it was the perfect opportunity for my new Pepa Loves clutch to have it's first outing. 

Robot court shoes: Irregular Choice
I know I'm going to wear this dress a LOT this coming season. I've already added it to my virtual wardrobe app and have been trying it out with mustard cardigans and all of my coats. I think it's safe to say that you'll be seeing a lot more of it. And that's only partly to do with the fact that it's one of my best twirling dresses...

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunday Shoes 059: Irregular Choice Toadstool Heels..


I've not done one of these posts in a little while because to be honest, I've not bought a new pair of shoes in a while. I know, that might sound impossible to believe but it's actually true. I think that the realisation of how many pairs of shoes I own has sort of sunk in a little and I'm not sure that I need or have space for any more at the moment. I counted up how many pairs I have left to wear for the #irregularchoicechallenge and it was more than I'd thought by quite a way, and I guess whilst I'm feeling restricted to wearing that particular brand, I've not been that interested in purchasing any other shoes.

That said, I don't think my Sunday Shoes needs to be saved for new pairs. Instead, for this week's post I'm sharing one of my absolute favourite pairs of Irregular Choice. These toadstool court shoes were one of the first pairs I bought and I've almost worn the soles right through, I've worn them so much!

Even now, they stain my tights turquoise when I wear them, but I consider them one of *those* types of pair which go with just about any outfit. They've explored new cities and danced until the small hours of the morning in dingy nightclubs as well as attending meetings and popping out for dinner.
One of the toadstool charms always spins around as though it's going to fall off, but it hasn't yet.

Do you have favourite shoes because of the memories they hold?

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Three sleepy kittens..

Box bag: Primark
Slingbacks: Irregular Choice

Dress: Handmade (Betty bodice w/ gathered skirt)
I guess sometimes not being able to sleep can have it's uses. On Tuesday morning I woke up really early and felt inspired to sew. So I made this dress from some kitten print fabric I bought from The Running Chicken's stall at the Festival of Quilts. 

I'd been hoping for a Mortmain, but that seems to take up too much fabric and I've been quite stingy with my purchases lately, only buying 1.5m of most of my recent buys, so I went with a Betty bodice, and put a gathered skirt on it. 

I wore it to work that very morning, with a trusty red cardigan which is older than most of the things in my wardrobe, and a pair of underwear print slingbacks: an old favourite from Irregular Choice, of course! 

That is probably my speediest dress made this year. I don't know where the motivation has been since then, either, as I have so many things I *should* be making, and haven't sewn since. Maybe I'll get some time at the weekend. 

Cardigan: New Look
Heart Necklace: White Stuff