26 May, 2016
18 May, 2016
I received this dress for my birthday last October and, although I have been wearing it with tights during the winter, I have been looking forward to busting it out in the spring to wear sans tights. It's one of those I Could Be Dressy dresses but I took it for a spin during a daytime ponder around West London last weekend with my most favourite blue boots (if they're good enough for Kendall...) and glittery socks.
With this dress being worn throughout the winter and the boots being a fair few years old now they are definitely tallying at 30+ wears each. I have mentioned the 30+ wear rule a fair few times on this blog. Lucy Siegle established the 30+ wear rule in order to prompt us to question whether we would wear an item over 30 times. If not, chances are you don't love the item and it's not worth buying. Other tips for shopping smarter can be found on The True Cost website. Last week I picked up People Tree's Safia Minney's book called Slow Fashion. Following Fashion Revolution week I got to thinking how I could do more. My first stop on this mission to find out how I can do my tiny bit to help the fashion industry become safer and transparent is to understand what Slow Fashion. I'll update you with my progress as I go!
15 May, 2016
I imagine if Wednesday Addams went into her local charity shop looking for a summer outfit, she would emerge with something not to dissimilar to my outfit when attempting to dress for the increased temperature last weekend. Whilst the rest of the country wore smock dresses, shorts and skirts beautifully, I, once again, looked into my wardrobe wondering how on earth I have survived the slightly warmer weather in previous years. Always being the gal to sit in the patch of shade to avoid an excessive sweaty situation, I put on a slightly-floatier-than-usual but entirely second-hand outfit last weekend. With the skirt and shirt being from Oxfam, the Dr Martens were an eBay purchase and the top was borrowed from my lovely sister.
As for dressing for the rest of summer, I'm thinking of going into hibernation until the warmer spell is over. Or as Greenday put it, just 'wake me up when September ends'. I'll be well ready and rested with an appropriate wardrobe for the months of all things toffee apples, sparklers and bonfires.
11 May, 2016
Although my struggle with blogging throughout the winter is over (it is light enough for over an hour to allow a little picture snapping), I still thought it was time for another Insta-update. With Instagram being my favourite of the social medias I try to post over on my Instagram most days, although somedays this can be a little tricky as occasionally I am at home all day, sewing alone with just a cactus to talk to. Recently on the ol' feed I have been posting my latest charity shop purchases, sharing a few outfit pictures which haven't been featured on the web-log and waffling about my favourite second-hand shops in London (FYI, a favourite includes TRAID in Shepherds Bush). There has also recently been my first attempt at a selfie for Fashion Revolution Week. Spoiler alert: I'm not a natural selfie taker - they're bloody difficult so they won't become a regular feature so it'll be safe to follow over here!
08 May, 2016
I have been planning a few clothing up cycles for a while now. Whether that be for the Oxfam Fashion blog, the CLIC Sargent blog, Fix Up Look Sharp, or my little ol' blog. My last posts for both Oxfam and CLIC Sargent were in February and my last fashion DIY for this blog was in December - how has it been 5 months already?!
I have had my sewing machine out a lot but it has been for costume purposes only. A few Sundays ago I had a day free so I set about completing a little fashion DIY. Origionally this top was an old dress which has been sitting at the back of my wardrobe for a longer time than acceptable. I decided to do something about it so I got cutting, pressing and stitching.
To complete this fashion DIY the dress needs to be slightly bigger. If the top of the dress is fitted then it may be hard to get into the top once the zip has been shortened.
Ingredients for this DIY
- An old unloved dress
- Sewing Machine
I began unpicking the skirt from the top at the waist. There was a zip in the side seam to I cut the zip to slightly shorter than my new top length and secured the end of the zip with a few stitches. I then stitched a small distance from the bottom of the zip to the new hem. I hemmed the bottom if the top.
I then unpicked the sleeves and hemmed them.
I measured the length of where I wanted my frill to sit across the chest of the dress. As well as measuring the back and front I also added extra to account for the frill going around the arms. I then multiplied this measurement by 1.5 - this is to account for the gathering on the frill. Using the fabric from the skirt I cut a strip of fabric for the frill making sure I was happy with the depth of the frill.
Since I used the bottom of my skirt for my strip of fabric, one width was already hemmed. If it hadn't been, now would have been the time to hem one width of the strip of fabric.
I then did a long machine stitch (with no back stitch at the beginning and end) along the top of the strip (with the raw edge) and pulled the loose ends to gather my strip to the measurement I found after measuring where I wanted the frill to sit (with the excess for the arms).
I then pinned the strip with the right sides of the fabric together. I pinned along the raw edge of the frill (with the wrong side of the fabric facing up). I left enough either side of the top for the arms. I then stitched along where pinned, folding the frill over the stitch line so the right side of the frill was now shown and the stitch line was hidden underneath the frill.
I tried the top on at this point. If you are happy with the way the fabric of the frill around the arms falls then you can leave it at this point. I wanted the frill to be fitted around my arms so I zig-zagged stitched a piece of elastic which was a few centimetres shorter than the width around my arms, from the front of the top to the back of the top. The zig-zag stitch was okay to use on my top as my fabric was patterned so the stitches aren't too visible through the top. However, if your fabric is plain you could use a herringbone stitch on the inside of the top, just catching a tiny bit through the top so it's not visible on the right side.
And that's it. It was the time to take the top out for a spin!
05 May, 2016
T-Shirt: Shaw Trust, Skirt: Topshop, Bag: OLD but Similar, Shoes: Dr Martens, Bracelet: Oxfam, Necklane: Urban Outfitters
A few weeks ago a good friend a I did our usual round of the charity shops in my local area. I picked up this Topshop t-shirt from Shaw Trust for around the £2. I love the trim and can't wait to wear it all throughout the summer with all things denim, skirts and shorts. It was also on this shopping trip that I picked up a skirt not to dissimilar to a skirt in Alexa Chung's collection for Marks and Spencer so it was a good trip all in all. With this outfit being a little 90's inspired I thought it was only appropriate I wear a chocker style necklace made with a little leftover ribbon.
I love the whole 90's fashion vibe - not only because it reminds me of growing up and leading the simple life (finishing school at 3pm with the biggest decision of the evening being whether to have fish fingers or chicken nuggets), it is also an era which I think the perfect look can be achieved using the simplest of fashion DIY's. For a little inspiration I ventured into Urban Outfitters (for upcycling researching purposes only...) and headed to the vintage section which is always full of items which could so easily be achieved with a charity shop purchase. As well as cut-off t-shirts which would be super easy to achieve for around £3 with a thrifted t-shirt and a pair of scissors, I also noticed a fair few scrunchies around the shop. If you're after a cheap way to inject a little 90's ness into your life I posted a simple scruchie fashion DIY a few years ago. Or, you could skip the DIY and make yourself fish fingers and chips to eat whilst watching Sweet Valley High. Take me back to the 90's now!
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