27 August, 2015

5 Ways to get Fashion DIY Inspiration

Fashion DIY

When I look into my wardrobe and lack outfit inspiration it's usually time to get fashion DIY-ing. Since I'm usually on a budget I see what I can do with the clothes I have rather than heading out to the shops and filling my basket - as much as I would always love to do that! When I'm lacking fashion DIY ideas I always look to the same sort of places. From a trip down the high-street to a virtual visit to a favourite blog, inspiration is never far away. Here are a few of my favourite places to gather fashion DIY inspiration*.

*Wonder if that's a world record for the amount of times the word 'inspiration' has been used in one paragraph?

1. Raid the Vintage/Reclaimed section of Urban Outfitters

Fashion DIY

One of my favourite high-street shops is Urban Outfitters. When I'm able to splurge (which isn't as often as I would like if I'm honest!) then I like to head to this high-street haunt. However, one of my favourite sections of the shop is the vintage corner. With DIY'd Levis to cut-off t-shirts, there is all sorts of inspiration to be found on these rails. I often emerge from the vintage corner with mental notes to cut all my t-shirt's, add a lace trim to all shirts and dye all things denim. I'd better get DIY-ing!

2. Re-watch Friends episodes from the 90's

Fashion DIY
Fashion DIY

I LOVE 90's fashion. It's fun, quirky and anything goes. After falling in love (again) with Rachel Green's wardrobe of checked dresses circa. 1995 I stitched together a few of my own last year. With a simple pattern, a sewing machine and some checked fabric, it can take as little as a few hours to re-create dresses/tops good enough to sit at the forefront of Rachel's wardrobe. 90's enough for her to wear on her date in The One Where Ross and Rachel...You Know. Other 90's fashion icons include Drew Barrymore and Cher (Clueless).

3. Browse brilliant web-logs on the inter-web

Fashion DIY

This little space known as the internet is packed to the brim full of inspiration. A Pair and a Spare is my favourite virtual destination when lacking Fashion DIY inspiration. Geneva has so many tutorials - and I want to attempt them all. I clicked across this blog a few years ago and immediately made an easy-to-make tartan skirt. Since then I have been a regular visitor. A few of my current favourites which are on my 'must sew' list are this DIY Off The Shoulder Top and this DIY Lace Up Dress.

4. Get Pinning on Pinterest

Fashion DIY

My Fashion DIY Pinterest page is full of DIY ideas waiting to be completed. From simple DIY ideas (like this tank top decorated with a lace skull) to projects which would require a pattern and a little sewing (e.g. culottes), I can never wait to get DIY-ing after virtually visiting Pinterest. The only problem I'm having right now with this is that I can pin a lot faster than I can sew!

5.  Just start cutting

Fashion DIY
Fashion DIY

Sometimes when lacking inspiration it's just good to get going. Get cutting, start adding trims and all that jazz. It's even easier with denim as I feel that the whole fraying look is okay so minimal effort is required. I've recently cut a shirt and dress, both of which I left fraying - fashion DIY-ing at it's most simple!

Where do you turn to when you're looking for some fashion DIY ideas? 
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24 August, 2015

Charity Shop Green-ness

Charity Shop Blog
Charity Shop Blog
Dress: Prospect Hospice Charity Shop, Boots*: Shoe Zone, Bag: Modalu, Belt: Oxfam

On a teeny-tiny detour to work the other day I stopped off at my local Prospect Hospice charity shop and picked up this dress. The hot weather mixed with the inappropriately stuffy shirt/trouser combo I was wearing contributed in my decision making when it came to deciding whether to purchase a floaty, fuss-free dress. It was a no-brainer. Originally from ASOS, this dress feels as though it is worth a lot more than the £5 I paid for it. 

I have spent the past two weeks helping out in the wardrobe department on a production of Hairspray which was great fun and having every single song on repeat in my head for 14 days straight was a small price to pay. I'm kinda going to miss 'I CAN HEAR THE BELLLSS' and 'A LITTLE TOUCH OF LIPSTICK NEVER HURT NO-ONE' and 'I'LL EAT SOME BREAKFAST THEN CHANGE THE WORLD' and well, you know the rest!

Charity Shop Blog
Charity Shop BlogCharity Shop Blog
Charity Shop Blog
Charity Shop Blog
Charity Shop Blog
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17 August, 2015

Sewing on a Saturday

Sewing
Sewing
Dress: Handmade, Belt and Top: Oxfam, Shoes: Dr Martens

Before last year I could just about thread a sewing machine. I had to have my Mum on hand so she could repeatedly talk me through each step.  After quitting my job in Finance and deciding to pursue Costume I thought I should probably brush up on the ol' sewing skills so I signed up for sewing lessons at Saturday Sewing Session (which I mentioned in my last post). As well as being located in the dreamiest of sewing rooms, and being supplied with tea and biscuits whilst stitching, it is also run by the lovely Arianna from Dawn O'Porter's 'This Old Thing' on Channel 4. The class in which I learnt to sew this dress was called Chic and Shifty Dressmaking. Patterns were supplied and each stage explained. Following the class we were able to keep the pattern so I made a checked version of this dress which I have also worn a fair few number of times.  Following the classes I felt a lot more confident in my sewing abilities - just in time for September when I went back to school for the first time in 6 years! 

Sewing
Sewing
Sewing
Sewing
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14 August, 2015

From Business to Bardot

Charity Shop BlogCharity Shop Blog
Shirt: Oxfam (& a little DIY), Shorts: Urban Outfitters, Shoes: Dr Martens, Sunglasses: ASOS

After loving all things Bardot in the top/dress section of the Topshop website I decided to do a little 'make-do-and-mend' with a shirt I picked up from the Men's section of Oxfam. I have done a tutorial on how I turned this shirt into a Bardot-inspired top which is over on the Oxfam Fashion Blog. Although the warm days are becoming a little less often now, I have still been wearing this up-cycled shirt with jeans/denim shorts whenever I can. I'm so glad I have finally got round to altering it to a top as I can now happily wear on a much more regular basis.

I learnt how to sew to get the gathered effect (known as shirring) used at the top of this altered shirt at Arianna's Saturday Sewing School in Chelsea. Last summer I attended a fair few classes and enjoyed every single one of them. What better way to spend a Saturday than to drink tea, eat biscuits, learn a skill and end up with a bloomin' beautiful skirt/dress? If your weekends are made only for Netflix, HobNobs and copious amounts of tea then she also runs weekday evening classes :)

Charity Shop Blog
Charity Shop Blog
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10 August, 2015

All things Charity Shop

Charity Shop Outfit
Charity Shop Outfit
Shirt & Shorts: Oxfam, Shoes: Dr Martens, Bag: Modalu, Sunglasses: ASOS

On Saturday I opened the curtains to see only blue sky so I took the opportunity to dig out these shorts I bought from Oxfam about 3 years ago. I still love 'em today as much as I did way back when. The shirt is a fairly more recent purchase which justified its worth on holiday when it provided a perfect light cover-up for someones (?!) sun-burnt shoulders. I love the big pointed collar and the lightness of it. It enables me to comfortably venture outside in the summer whilst feeling somewhat dressed which I probably wouldn't feel if I paired these lovely shorty shorts with a equally skimpy top.

Last week I was helping out with the costumes for a theatre company in Covent Garden so it was a requirement that I wore only black clothing which was bloomin' boiling in the heat so shorts and the lightweight shirt made a welcome change on Saturday. This week I am helping to make costumes for a production of Hairspray which is great fun as I LOVE the late 50's/early 60's fashion but it does mean that I have been singing 'Welcome to the 60's' over and over and over and over again...it's a small price :)

Charity Shop Outfit
Charity Shop Outfit
Charity Shop Outfit
Charity Shop Outfit
Charity Shop Outfit
Charity Shop Outfit
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07 August, 2015

Sri Lanka: A Photo Diary

Sri Lanka

As I've mentioned many (possibly too many) times on my blog I have recently returned from Sri Lanka. I have never been anywhere other than Europe, America and Australia - all of which are culturally similar (ish) so Sri Lanka was a real eye-opener for me. Shortly after landing, before the seatbelt sign had been turned off, the pilot welcomed us to 'paradise' so expectations were per-retty high. 

Negombo

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Situated around 30 minutes from the airport, Negombo was the most convenient first stop of the trip. This area is known for its fishing. The main attraction is a big ol' fish market situated by the beach. The fishermen head out every morning and, upon returning, a lot of the fishermen sold their fish at the market. The bigger fishing boats dock around 6am so keen beans can head down to the harbour around this time and see some impressive ol' fishing boats docking - I can't tell you much about this sight though as I slept through it, the good intentions had most definitely been there the night before!We stayed in Negombo for two nights before moving on. This was enough time to explore the area. 

Kandy

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Before heading to Kandy, I thought London was a loud city. Man, I was wrong. Kandy is loud, intense and busy but it's bloomin' good fun. With car-packed roads to the hustle of the streets to Pizza Hut, Kandy felt the most urban out of all the places we visited in Sri Lanka. The uncertainty of the weather meant we could leave the hotel sweating and complaining about humidity (as if I would do that!?) but we could return to the hotel soaking after being caught in ten minutes of torrential rain. But that's all part of the fun in Kandy!  

Royal Botanical Gardens: Kandy Road, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka  

Sri Lanka

We couldn't have stumbled across this peaceful botanical garden at a better time. As well as being a welcome sanctuary from the noise and business of Kandy, it also had some pretty impressive trees too. I don't know much about plants (honestly, next to nothing) but I can tell you this place is worth a visit. And if peace and trees aren't your thing then there are hundreds of big ol' bats flying around which is also made for a pretty great spectacle.

Uppuveli

Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Our longest stop on our mini tour of Sri Lanka was in Uppuveli (near Trimcomalee). The main aim of this stop was to chill out on the beach - and chill out on the beach we did. The beaches along this coast are so beautiful. Lined with palm trees and cute little huts to roll up to when hungry, this place is what I imagine the pilot was referring to when welcomed us to 'paradise' on our flight over. 

Columbo

Barefoot: 706 Galle Road, Columbo, Sri Lanka 

Sri Lanka

Since Uppuveli was so far from the airport we decided to stop over in Columbo (near the airport) on our final night. Outside our hotel was this shop/cafe, Barefoot. From the outside it looks small but it was like a whole new world as we entered the shop - and the air conditioning hit (always a pleasure). Barefoot is a maze consisting of beautiful, bright furnishing fabrics, clothes, pottery, books, pictures and much more. We spent a good ol' while heading through the shop, gawping as we went. Out the back of the store, as well as people actually weaving the upholstery fabrics, there is a beautiful cafe. We got comfortable with the best ice coffee I have ever tasted and reflected upon our time in Sri Lanka. It was the perfect end to a brilliantly colourful and interesting holiday.

Sri Lanka

Thank you so much for reading my (very mini) guide to Sri Lanka if you made it this far! x
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