Friday, 31 July 2015

5 Things To Do This Weekend

We’ve had a busy few months with our weekends booked up ages in advance and a fair bit of travelling around so are now looking forward to some downtime, we have a whole month of free weekends and I cannot wait!  Gray likes to know roughly what we are going to be doing so I have put together a list for him, kinda like what I guess mums have to do for the school holidays!

Enjoy a good walk – Since I got my FitBit we have been walking every evening and I am really looking forward to having the time to go for long walks at the weekend and up my step game.  Going for walks not only clears your mind, it’s also the ideal aerobic exercise for me. Combine it with a pub lunch and you’re onto a winner.  We plan to retrace our steps along the canal this weekend and weather permitting are also hoping to get up on the Malvern Hills.

Visit an Escape Room – Escape Rooms are team games where you have to solve the clues to escape from the room usually within an hour, kinda like Release the Hounds without the dog chase bit.  Or the gore.  Okay maybe not that much like Release the Hounds though I certainly pretended we were on the game show when we recently visited one in Manchester. 

Have a movie night – While I do love a trip to the cinema I much prefer watching a film from the comfort of my sofa.  Grab some popcorn and snuggle up on the sofa with your favourite film or two.  Last Saturday we ended up watching three films - Pride, Pitch Perfect and Mean Girls.  I’m sure you can work out that was a night in with the girls which also included lots of cake.  Yum.

Have a Game night – Get out the board games you have and see how much fun will come out of it, there is nothing like a bit of Monopoly or Cards Against Humanity to play at the weekend with your friends.  Or how about a bit of online bingo where there is a vast variety of games to play and enjoy. You can explore the 75 and 90 ball bingo games or even play on their progressive jackpots to win cash in the comfort of your own home.

Do a bit of Baking – We were away for Gray’s birthday so I didn’t get to bake him a birthday cake this year and I feel a bit guilty about it.  The whole art of baking can be very therapeutic though obviously the best part is you get to eat the cake after you have baked it!  Now do I go for Gray’s favourite cake or mine ;)

What have you got planned this weekend?

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Wednesday Wants

Lots of lovely new season goodies have been arriving online in the last couple of weeks.  Although I have taken advantage of the sales I always wish they would hurry up and finish so I can see what's coming in next.  Forever impatient!  I'm really looking forward to seeing the AW15 shoes, I am hoping for lots of mid block heeled goodness but then when am I not?! 

I'm not really a fan of the bodice on this asos number and cut outs really have had there day but I am drawn to the colours and that full skirt.  I would stick a cropped jumper over the top and let that awesome fabric swish around my knees.

 Dress: asos

I love seeing what Cath Kidston have in store for us and from the new dresses online this one is my favourite.  I love polka dots and absolutely adore the little scalloped neckline, too cute!

 Dress: Cath Kidston

Oasis are back with another V&A collection and it is stunning!  This top and skirt are my favourite from the collection, the colours are just perfect. 

Top & Skirt: Oasis


Monday, 27 July 2015

#BloggerLodge - 48 Hours In York

This time last week Gray and I were on our way to spend a couple of days in York. I love York but haven't managed to visit in a good few years so was really looking forward to wandering around and rediscovering the beauty of the city as well as eating my way round!  We stayed in York Central Travelodge*, it is a couple of minutes walk from the impressive Clifford's Tower which provides panoramic views of York and a nice bit of cardio from walking up all of those steps!

We were lucky to have a  room with a view, we were overlooking the mill which is part of York Castle Museum.  Unfortunately it's not a working mill having been moved from elsewhere in Yorkshire and rebuilt alongside the River Foss but it sure made for a pretty view each morning.  We really enjoyed our trip around the museum, they have just installed a new exhibition marking the centenary of the First World War which was really interesting along with the Victorian Street.

My favourite part of the exhibition was the The Sixties, I loved looking around the fashions, homeware and listening to music of the decade.  There is even a little section on home sewing and a 60's Singer sewing machine.  Gray's favourite bit was looking at the children's toys through the ages.  It did make us feel old though seeing toys we played with in a museum!  Oh hello, Care Bears!!

We wandered round the City Walls, felt like we had gone back in time walking down The Shambles before being left speechless at the magnificent York Minster.  The Minster is truly breathtaking, it always amazes me how buildings this grand were built without all of the equipment we have now.  They really were a labour of love.

My favourite place to visit has to be the Museum Gardens.  The botanical gardens are set in the medieval ruins of St Mary's Abbey and are simply stunning.  We had a good walk around the gardens as well as a little stroll alongside the river.

I decided not to include photos of the food we enjoyed as this post is already pretty photo heavy.  York has a nice mix of high street chains and cute independents.  We ate in both Byron and Bill's, Byron because we wanted an awesome burger and don't have any branches near us and Bill's because their breakfast is tasty though I am not sure about the apple, carrot and ginger juice!  We also had a lovely Thai lunch at Evil Eye Lounge followed by a trip to Betty's on Gray's birthday, you can't really go to York without going to Betty's after all.  We also treated ourselves to a hot chocolate at York Cocoa House which was practically liquid chocolate.  We had a little walk around the shops too, I found some fabric I had been trying to track down for ages (result!) and got a pair of Cath Kidston PJ bottoms in the sale that I hadn't been able to find in my size.  We had a thoroughly enjoyable stay, thank you for having us Travelodge.


Monday, 20 July 2015

Made By Me #154

Unfortunately these photos haven't come out as well as I had hoped, the only problem with Liberty Tana Lawn is how lightweight it is - the slightest breeze and it just will not behave and sit where it is supposed to!!  I have a few photos where the skirt is round my ears but thought I would spare you those, haha.  That aside I really do love Tana Lawn, it is easy to wear and a joy to sew.  This fabric was kindly provided by Fabrics For Sale, I very nearly went for this awesome print but was swayed by the berries.  As Liberty fabric is wider than standard I didn't use the full width of the fabric for the skirt, I went for two 100cm lengths instead as I didn't want it to be overly full.

Fabrics For Sale have recently opened online offering a range of fabrics including Liberty Tana Lawn and a section of vintage fabrics, I really love this one.  They have kindly offered up a 10% discount code, the code is AMILLIONDRESSES is valid from now until 26th July.

I am currently on my way to York for a couple of days, let me know if you have any recommendations please :)

Dress: Made by me using Liberty Wiltshire Fabric
Pattern: Emery by Christine Haynes 
Shoes: asos

Friday, 17 July 2015

Made By Me #150

I thought it was only right that dress number 150 got it's moment to shine on the blog!  I had a few fabrics lined up ready for this dress and was having a hard time deciding which one was right, that is until I had another fabric delivery and this beauty turned up.  I have mostly avoided border prints as I am never too sure they will work being turned into a dress but this one mostly does.  The skirt is perfect, I love it.  I am still not sure about the sleeves but didn't have enough of the rest of the fabric to avoid using the border bit on the sleeves.  Unlike the rest of the dress the bodice is cut on grain which I much prefer but it's not without issues.  Ideally I would have ordered another yard of this fabric so I could cut it all out perfectly but never being too sure how deep the border part of the print is makes it difficult to estimate just how much fabric you'll need.  I have a few bits of tree greenery around the bodice side seams, most of it is around armpit level so not that visible but knowing it's there annoys me.  I might order an extra yard when the fabric comes back into stock and change the sleeves but I really can't be bothered with remaking the bodice, that's far more work than it's worth.  I do still love the dress just not quite as much as I thought I would when I set out making it.

I actually like the way my glasses work with this outfit rather than wanting to take them off or not have my photo taken like usual.  I think the colour of the frames works perfectly with my beautiful tan shoes and the tree trunks in the border.  These are defo my most worn frames, they blend with my hair so feel less obvious.  My FitBit Flex has become my most worn accessory recently!  It is doing it's job and getting me motivated, I have to reach my daily steps target everyday or I feel that I have let myself down.  If you use one too and want to be friends send me a request to the email address in my sidebar.

Shoes: Bershka

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Wednesday Wants

First and foremost I need to tell you that I got my yellow Clarks x Orla shoes!!  Yayyyyyyy!! I decided that if they still had my size by the time they went down to 50% off I could have them so when they did I placed my order as fast as I possibly could to secure my pair.  I finally have yellow shoes and I am very excited about this.  There are still quite a few of the Orla styles available at the moment and they all have 50% off.  I promise I haven't put this wishlist together with my yellow shoes in mind.  Okay maybe I have... hehe.

First up is this lovely dress from MaryJane Fashion, a wholesale fashion company.  I love that although the yellow in the print is subtle it would work really well with the shoes.  I cannot get enough of navy at the moment and love the cute bow - will be so cutesy with my new shoes.

Apologies for picking the armpit shot, it really was the best photo to show off this pretty dress - honest!!  I tend to stay away from lighter colours but think this dress is stunning.  I have a yellow cardigan so can be all matchy matchy with my Orlas.

 Dress: asos

This Boden dress has such a lovely retro vibe about it.  It is the perfect length and I really love the neckline.  Obvs yellow!  The colour palatte is quite unusual and I really love how the colours are blocked.  Boden have some lovely prints in their new collection.

Dress: Boden

Are you sick of hearing about my new shoes yet?!


Monday, 13 July 2015

Lilac Rose

I feel really fortunate where I live.  Not only is the area incredibly beautiful, it more than makes up for the high street staples it lacks with cute little independents which do a much better job of catering for my tastes.  A trip to Leamington often involves one of the many independent cafes followed by a browse of shops such as the awesome Berylune (which really is a pint sized department store) and a long time favourite, Lilac Rose.  Their first store opened in Leamington in 2005, followed by a store in Cambridge in 2010 and now 10 years after they first opened they have just launched their website meaning you guys can also get in on the act.  Lilac Rose stock lots of my favourite brands, from Emily and Fin to Closet and Fever.  They also have a lovely curated collection of accessories and gifts meaning I don't often leave empty handed. 

Lilac Rose kindly offered up a dress to feature on A Million Dresses.  I popped in one lunch time pretty sure I knew which dress I was going to end up taking home after having a browse online.  It wasn't an easy choice but this large checked Emily and Fin Abigail dress was the winner.  I was wearing the Cath Kidston trainers I have on in the photos and I think that might have helped swing it, the laces work perfectly with the blue of the dress.  If only I had have managed to get my hands on a pair of the cloud ones, how awesome would that look?!  If you know anyone who is up for selling a pair of the clouds trainers in a size 5 point them my way ;)  The Abigail never fails to please, the bodice darts are so flattering over the bust.  It doesn't have sleeves, hence the cardigan, but it does have pockets.

Trainers: Cath Kidston
Cardigan: Old

I have been a really lucky girl recently, UK Swimwear have sorted me out for my holiday later in the year with this retro beauty.  I was toying with a bikini but as we are having a staycation it's not that likely that I will need to worry about tan lines and I couldn't stop thinking about this retro swimsuit.  It might only get worn in the hot tub this year but at least I will look glamorous whilst sipping a G&T!  I need to get thinking about the rest of my holiday wardrobe asap.

 Swimsuit: UK Swimwear*


Friday, 3 July 2015

Made By Me #136

I've been meaning to share this dress for a while but kept forgetting I had photographed it!  As you can see the photos are pre-haircut.  Looking at these photos I am glad I got that haircut.  And the plants in my garden have grown so much since, easy to forget how small they started off now they are in full bloom.  I made this dress to wear to my lovely friend Rosie's wedding in April.  I struggled to decide what fabric to use and even bought a couple of others with the impending nuptials in mind but totally lucked out when I found this vintage beauty on Etsy.  I snapped up about 3 metres of immaculate condition vintage barkcloth for a mere £16 including shipping from America.  Pinch me now!!   

Before I made this dress I took a bodice fitting class at Sew Me Something in Straford Upon Avon with the expert tuition of Jules and Heather Jacks, the winner of the second Great British Sewing Bee.  I made up a toile ready for the class and Jules helped me work out some of my issues.  It turned out the alterations I had made to the shoulders to stop the gape had in turn caused issues around the front of the arm.  With that fixed we carried out a 1" Full Bust Adjustment which meant the bodice fitted perfectly in the calico and in the below barkcloth dress but left me with a way too full bodice in quilting cotton.  Thankfully though I had listened and learned so was able to do a 1/4 FBA by myself which is perfect for the quilting cottons and voiles I usually use.

Jules also showed me how to turn the two darts on the back bodice into a seam and reduce the gaping I get at the back of the neck.  I had been doing this by graduating the back seam when putting in the zip but wanted to learn a more professional way which means I could pattern match on obvious prints if I choose to.  I enjoyed my day at Sew Me Something and love that Jules has lots of tips to avoid unnecessary hand sewing, that's definitely my preferred option!!  I really loved wearing this dress, I also made a bright pink silk jacket to go with it and felt great!

Dress: Made by me using vintage barkcloth found on Etsy
Shoes: New Look
Necklace: Tatty Devine (old)

A couple of close up photographs of the front and the back of the bodice, I was really happy how this one turned out and as you can see the extra fabric fold I sometimes get where the front bodice meets the sleeve has gone!


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Wednesday Wants

Mid season sales are in full swing so I have browsed my favourites to find my highlights this week.  The only thing better than a pretty dress is a sale bargain pretty dress! 

Oh my look at this print!!  I love anything geometric and with the colours chosen this one has a really retro vibe.  Well played, Boden.
 Dress: Boden

Whilst I am not a massive fan of florals I couldn't resist this asos dress, I love the cut and the colours.  Oh the colours!  Whilst the dress is lined and supported by a bit of net it is described as a soft prom dress so I bet this feels lovely to wear.

 Dress: asos

Unfortunately I decided too late that I need the Cath Kidston x Gola cloud trainers and they have totally sold out in my size.  I did manage to snap up both colourways of the floral ones though and have my eye on a sweet spotty pair from their AW15 press day.  You can't beat polka dots which is why this beauty is my pick of the Cath Kidston sale rail.  The shape is oh so flattering and I love the colourway on this one, green I am warming to you!

Dress: Cath Kidston


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