Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Wednesday Wants

I have really struggled putting this wishlist together, there really isn't much around that is making me go ooooooh! that I haven't already shared.  I am sure the start of September will see Autumn Winter stock in abundance and I for one cannot wait, I am especially excited for all the party dresses! 

This week I have focused on pretty skater dresses instead and no one does them better than asos.  If the sun decides to make another appearance this year they will be perfect as styled in the model photos.  They will look just as good with tights and a cardi when it gets a bit colder (or now even!)  The first one is my favourite, the colours are awesome.

Dress: asos

 Dress: asos

Dress: asos


Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Fashion Blogger Trumps

Some of the opportunities blogging brings are pretty surreal.  Like when you get asked if you would like to be part of a Brilliantly British Fashion Bloggers card deck.  I mean, seriously?!  I would say it is something to show the grandchildren but as I don't actually want kids that's not going to be possible so I will have to make do with my Mum loving them instead, haha. 

I answered the questions and then forgot all about it until I had an email letting me know they had been printed and were on their way.  I had a flick through the cards and found some of my lovely friends had taken part too.  My cups of tea per day trumps yours Lyzi!

You can view the whole deck here and even print it off if you fancy playing.  Or if you would you can apply to be part of 2015's set if you want in on the fun or nominate someone who you think should see their face on a playing card.  It's pretty special.  Thanks for inviting me to be part of it StyleFruits!


Monday, 25 August 2014


Did I really have to choose such a miserable day for my first outfit post in a while?!  It was so much fun standing in the rain snapping these.  Actually it wasn't too bad, it did help that I had this beautiful dress to share with you all.  I featured this dress in a wishlist recently and when Yumi dropped me a line asking if I fancied featuring one of the dresses from their new collection I didn't even need to visit the site to know which one I needed.  I did visit the site though cos their dresses are always super pretty.  I adore this one and this one, perfect shapes and prints.  Yumi have just launched their Autumn/Winter collection and revealed Lilah Parsons as the face of Yumi.

The dress has been hanging on my wardrobe door since it arrived so I could marvel at the beauty of the print.  Though I am dressed like it is the depths of winter (it is sooooo cold today!) this dress is perfect for regular August weather too.  The dress is nice and lightweight and has cute sleeves so would work just as well without the cardigan and tights.  It comes with a skinny belt too but I am not a belt person so left it off.  I am hoping the weather will sort itself out and I can get my act together and take photos of lots of the me made dresses I haven't yet blogged.  It feels like I have a mountain to climb, 36 unblogged dresses and no doubt counting.  I am so much happier now I can wear my contact lenses again so hopefully that is enough to spur me on.

Cardigan: Primark
Shoe boots: Clarks

I am now the lucky owner of a Shore Projects watch.  I have been admiring them from afar so was thrilled to get to choose my favourite and a strap to make it really mine.  The first collection of four watches are inspired by the British seaside.  I went for the Portland - white face and gold detailing.  I decided against one of the polka dot straps that I was initially drawn to and kept it classic with a grey nylon and leather strap.  The strap mechanism is truly a thing of beauty, you can easily change the strap in a few minutes and it's foolproof meaning you don't have to worry about it then falling off.  I can do it easily even with my nails!  They are longer than normal as my nail tech is on holiday so they are just over three weeks old and it's taking me longer than normal to type.  Not used to the length and keep hitting two keys at once.  I really love the packaging too, well thought out and really compliments both the brand and the watches themselves.


Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Wednesday Wants

I'm struggling at the moment you guys!  All I want to do is create a wishlist full of snuggly winter coats but I am way to early to be able to do that.  They have started hitting the new in section but nothing has taken my fancy yet.  Except this but obviously not in that fabric as it would go with almost nothing in my wardrobe.  I did promise Gray last year that I wouldn't buy any coats this year... think I can keep that promise?! Hehe.

Even though I am not one for florals I cannot help be be drawn to this Modcloth number.  I think it's the combination of the retro fabric with that big chunky collar.  Makes me want to grab a pinny and be a good housewife.  I've started to keep an eye on the Bea and Dot range as they use some commercially available fabric including ants and galaxy prints!  Might get some inspiration from their choices.

Dress: Modcloth

I have been hunting high and low for a fabric half as beautiful as this one.  I want some lovely jacquards/brocades/taffetas to make some occasion dresses but just cannot find any.  Almost contemplating buying this skirt and the matching top and turning them into a dress.   Expensive option but just look how beautiful that skirt is!! 

I am being pulled back to the pink side, guess it is Wednesday after all.  I avoided it for so long after going ginger but think it works now my hair is paler.  This Zara dress is a lovely shade/shape/length.  Just lovely actually.  And the textured fabric is just perfect.   Jewel colours FTW!

 Dress: Zara


Monday, 18 August 2014

Hello Autumn Winter!

The weather has taken a turn and I no longer feel like a total wally for starting to plan my Autumn/Winter wardrobe.  To be honest it has kinda crept up on me after all my procrastination and I feel like I should have made more of a start. What's the betting we end up with an Indian summer now though?!  I still have a few summery dresses I want to get made but I couldn't resist making a few of my new fabrics up now, I mean just look at them!!  The prints are AWESOME.

I seem to be drawn to checks/spots and graphical prints at the moment.  I didn't really think I wore a lot of blue but if there is a choice of colour ways blue wins almost every time!  All of these are going to look great with my new Clarks shoes.

I have still got some ace prints planned and am on the look out for more to add to the to make list.  I rushed through the above dresses as I just had to wear them now.  I have already bought a few Christmas fabrics ready for this years Christmas dresses (Jumpers?! Pah!)

And I want to get my party dress on!  I cannot wait to make the silk taffeta and purple shot silk dresses, they will be perfect for twirling around in.  The bottom two are pretty special too, both use gold ink, yummy!

I have sorted out some shoes ready, I have already mentioned my new Clarks.  They are the shoes I have been dreaming of!  I need these shoes in every colour please Clarks.  I bought the navy Converse Dance Lace whilst in London.  I wanted these in red too but they are only available in a burgundy red now, boohoo.

Clarks   |   Converse

I have also found an ace plaid bag with lots of pockets and a gorgeous blue lining to be my work horse this coming season.  I usually end up going for a bigger bag than the cute ones I carry round in summer even though I have less to put in it as I no longer need to carry my sunglasses round with me.  I love the cord detailing, I really need to take some time to work out how to add a pleated skirt to the Emery bodice so I can use some fab corduroy fabric I have in my stash. 

Now all I need is a cute pair of boots and a knee length waisted coat, let me know if you spot something I might like!!  Autumn/Winter I am so ready for you.


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wednesday Wants

I can't believe it's Wednesday again already, time is flying by!  I promise I will be back with a few outfit posts soon, not long til I can wear contact lenses again and hopefully that will be the kick up the bum needed to get back in front of the camera.  I am sure Gray will be thrilled to be back behind it.  Ha!  I wore black tights on Monday you guys and it felt good!  Autumn/Winter stock is just starting to trickle through online and I am getting excited.  I keep having a quick look at winter coats but nothing has caught my eye yet, I want something nipped in at the waist with a full skirt and knee length - let me know if you see anything please.

If you are lucky enough to live near an Aspire Style store you need to get yourself there this Thursday after 5pm for their sale preview.  Their sales are great, straight in there with 50% off all sale items.  If you can't make it to a store it starts online on Friday at 10pm.  Fingers at the ready!

I have had a good browse through the new arrivals and fell for this beauty from Uttam Boutique.  I mean, just look that that print!! I need to go see it in real life and have a little fondle of the fabric to see if it is as perfect as it looks.  So beautiful! 

Some of the new season Emily & Fin stock is now available to pre-order, exciting!  My favourite has to be this super cute Lucy, little love notes and 'yours truly' text make for the perfect print.   I am being drawn to anything that will work with my red Clarks!!

 Dress: Emily & Fin

A pie in the sky final offering for you, a cute little Orla Kiely number.  To be honest I am more excited about the next collaboration with Clarks than I am about most of the dresses but that is only because I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THE SHOES.  Have you seen them?! I don't know how I am going to decide which ones I need.  Back to the dress.  I love the simplicity of the cut combined with the cutsey cat print and think it will look great come winter with a pair of black tights and ankle boots. 

 Dress: Orla Kiely


Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Wednesday Wants

I realised that in all my excitement I hadn't actually shared this with you guys - I have had a dress named after me!  100%, genuinely named after me and not just a coincidence, I had to show Gray to prove it as he didn't believe me. The dress in question is by Duck and Duffel and came about after I contacted Debbie to have a dress custom made as a pressie from Gray for our second wedding anniversary.  You can see my previous blog post here.  Debbie loved the design so much she decided to include it in her recent collection and I was thrilled to find out she had named it after me.

Make sure you check out the rest of Debbie's collection too, I love the Jessica and the Charlotte dresses and both can be made in any of Debbie's custom designed fabrics.


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Falling for Paris?

I have a confession to make, last time I paid a visit to Paris I just didn't get it.  Sure Paris is absolutely beautiful and full of pinterest worthy photo opportunities but I didn't get the hype.  I didn't understand what makes people fall in love with the city and return year after year.  It might have been because we stayed in an absolute dive and had no knowledge of the city so were pretty much reliant on what we stumbled on whilst travelling from one tourist attraction to the next.  I want to change this.  I want to visit Paris and fall head over heels in love with it.  I want the whole fairytale god-dammit!

I have been browsing gorgeous hotels on Hotel Direct and looking up prices for the Eurostar with a plan in mind.  Gray and I have no more holidays to look forward to after our staycation earlier this year and couldn't decide where we want to spend our third wedding anniversary so why not Paris.  It might be a bit clichéd but I am picturing us strolling around Paris hand in hand celebrating our love whilst falling for Paris at the same time.  I am also picturing me eating lots of salted caramel macarons at Laudree but that is a totally different story!  I want to lose hours sitting drinking coffee in a pretty cafe whilst watching the world go by.  I want to be asking everyone what beauty products I need to be buying from the French pharmacies.  And cheese.  I want to eat all the cheese.

This summer I feel like I have seen another side of Paris living vicariously through Roisin and Christine's instagram feeds.  And it looked magical.  With a sprinkling of fabric shaped goodness on top.  Not that the potential fabric shopping is swaying me, honest.  Okay maybe just a little!  I really do not need any excuse to add to my fabric stash and I really need to go here.  Roisin filled me full of the tales of her cheese eating, rabbit watching and jazz listening honeymoon in Paris and it sounded perfect.  Just look at those happy smiling faces.

I really enjoyed going on the Eurostar last time I visited, we drank pink fizz and had a little train picnic whilst watching the French countryside roll past.  It was unlike a regular train journey, stress free and totally relaxing.  On my last visit we didn't have chance to go in the Moulin Rouge only to stand with the other tourists taking photos of the iconic signage so I would really love to go and experience the show.  We did a river cruise by night which was really idyllic so I would love to take this trip again, the Eiffel Tower is especially beautiful at night. 

I never seem to find the bits I would really enjoy, the little hidden treasures and that's where you guys come in.  I am after your recommendations - where is best to stay, to eat and drink etc etc.  The must visit places that you won't find in a guide book or whilst on a tour bus if you have forgotten said guide book!  If you have blogged about Paris please link me in the comments especially if the post features your happy face!


Monday, 4 August 2014

Janome 3300 Review

This is not a review in the traditional sense, I have only used a few sewing machines so am not qualified for that.  It's more of a comparison of computerised versus mechanical sewing machines from a beginners perspective.  For those that do not know I started sewing in February this year and the dress I made on the Janome 3300* for this blog post is my 64th dress.  I only ever use one stitch (it's all I need) and I prefer to sew woven cotton fabrics.  My computerised Janome is a SMD3000 and cost £249.  The mechanical Janome is a 3300, exclusive to Hobby Craft, and retails at £80. They are pretty similar in size and weight with the 3300 being the lighter of the two machines.

I spent the weekend sewing before getting the 3300 out of it's box to give it a test run.  My SMD3000 has a top loading bobbin so I had to refer to the manual to remind myself how to thread a front loading bobbin.  Once that was done I was away.  I missed a couple of the features of my computerised machine, the needle up and down button is one of my most used features along with the speed limiter.  I think the speed limiter had made me a bit lazy though, always foot to the floor on the foot pedal! I really enjoyed having to vary the pressure and gaining back a bit of control.  I did notice that when on full speed the 3300 slipped away from me across the table which the SMD3000 doesn't do, guess there is a downside to being lighter.  I didn't like the position and ease of use of the thread cutter on the 3300 but that's just personal preference.

One big plus for me of the mechanical machine over my computerised machine is zipper insertion.  I use regular dress zippers over invisible zippers as I just don't get on with invisible zippers.  They were the bane of my ready to wear dress wearing - always getting stuck and generally being a pain to zip up even in the loosest of dresses so I decided I wouldn't ever use them.  I don't mind the stitches either especially when sewn using the 3300. 

The zipper foot is narrower than the one on my computerised machine so it glides past the pins holding the zip in place with no issues at all.  I pin right on the edge of the zip ribbon and sew my lining down at the same time and occasionally the zipper foot on the computerised machine would knock into one of those pin heads and throw a little wobble.  Sometimes it would annoy me enough to need to unpick the zip and do it again, other times I would just think hey I can't see it when I am wearing it anyway!

I also preferred hemming on the mechanical machine.  Not sure why as it is pretty much the same thing but I found it easier to keep it under control and ended up with a perfectly straight seam.  Below is the finished dress.   I can't tell any difference between the construction of this dress and one of the ones made on a machine more than twice the price.  If you want to sew pretty dresses in non stretch fabrics and make things like cushions and iPad cases then the Janome 3300 is the perfect starter machine for the price.  I am keeping them both set up in my sewing area and will be using the 3300 for all zips and hems from now on.

*Written in collaboration with HobbyCraft.


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