Mirror Mirror on the Wall…

I finally got to the hairdressers today, so I no longer have racoon roots, yay! During one session Skyping with Carrie we said that it looked like I’d painted a dark line along my parting, haha. Not good! I do love having blonde hair, but my natural colour is so dark that when I get roots they aren’t exactly subtle… but my hairdresser is very nice and everyone in the salon is lovely (plus having your hair washed by someone else is A-MAZING!) so I don’t mind so much! Plus… they always give out free sweets, drinks and biscuits which is definitely something which is a perk! You know that they say, ‘little things please little minds’…

I’m traveling back to my little home town in Somerset tomorrow, which means cows, the Mulberry factory shop, and probably more cows! However, this is the first time in a year I’m going home without going back to my job at Tesco so I’m actually so excited to have lots of time to dedicate to my friends and family! And also, of course, time to dedicate to torturing myself over all of the amazing bits and bobs they have in Mulberry. Every trip gets more and more painful – no money = no fun! I am thinking about saving up for a bag though, because with the amount of binge buys I make (curse having Primark in my town!) I feel that its about time I save up for something I would really love and get a long term use out of… we’ll see how that one pans out!

I got this skirt third hand (third hand is the new second hand, people!) from my lovely friend the other day who was having a clearout, and have fallen in love with it! I do have a few black skirts but they’re much more boring and plain than this one, so its a great addition to my wardrobe… which incidentally needs a bit clearout itself. Or perhaps I just need a bigger wardrobe?! Wishful thinking… haha : ) My friend and I actually have a few things listed on eBay at the moment, check them out! Hope you’re all having a good week so far! x


DIY Tutorial: Ruff Collar

This tutorial will show you an excellent way of jazzing up any plain garments you have, which doesn’t require any real technical ability! If you’re scared of sewing – don’t worry! This is very basic stuff, as long as you can sew the pieces so that they will be sufficiently secure, it doesn’t need to be neat or tidy at all : ) the needlework will be hidden behind the ruff itself, so if its a bit all over the place, no one will ever know!

Stupidly, I accidentally deleted the photographs I took at different stages of the sewing process, booo! What we have here will be enough for you to be able to copy it yourself though so hopefully these won’t be missed too much : )

You will need:
– The garment you want to customize. I’ll be using this plain jumper from a previous post!
– Organza.
– Scissors.
– Needle and thread.
– Ruler or tape measure. (Not essential though!)

Step 1: Cut out a square of organza. I did mine approximately 5 x 5 inches, but it really depends how big you want the ruff to be, so this is up to you! I didn’t use a tape measure either, and made some of my squares different sizes so as to create a fuller texture, which seems to have worked quite well.

I cut my squares out one by one along the way because I wasn’t sure how many I’d need. If you’d prefer to cut them all out in one go, that’s totally up to you!

Step 2: Get your needle threaded up before the next step!

Step 3: Pinch your square in the middle. I pictured a flower head when I was fiddling with the shape, to get the right sort of ‘ruffliness’! You want it to look something like mine is in the image.

Step 4: You need to take your pinched square and hold it against the garment where you want to sew it. Now all you have to do is try and keep the square pinched in the right shape whilst you attach it to the garment. There is always the option of pinning it first! This is where my deleted photos would’ve come in handy! But nonetheless, its very straightforward, and if I can do it, anyone can : )

Keep on repeating steps 3 and 4 until you’re happy with the ruff!

Tips: As you can see, I started sewing mine on about 1cm down from the shoulder seam on my jumper. I started from the right side and worked over to the left side, it isn’t a precise art so you can start, really, wherever you want – although bare in mind that the pieces you will have sewn on already may get in the way if you do it in a really unsystematic way!

Like I said at the beginning, you don’t need to be too tidy with your sewing – as long as the ruffles are secure, its all good! Make sure you sew each ruffly square on as close as possible to the one(s) next to it, so you will end up with a nice full looking ruff with no noticeable gaps!

I probably used about 15 squares of organza to create my ruff. It wont take many before you start to see the results and see your garment’s transformation! Every garment will be different, and you can experiment with using different sizes of ruffle to get different results. Of course, you aren’t limited to doing this on the collar – you could try the sleeves, shoulders, or anywhere really, to create something that’s fun and unique to you!

Again, apologies if any of this seems confusing at any point – leave me a comment if anything is unclear and I’ll add further instructions into the post : )

TA DA! What do you think?

Happy sewing people! x

Limes and Violets

[Dress Vintage, Neck Tie Unknown]

Just over a year ago I went to a rummage sale at a vintage shop in Brick Lane, and whilst I missed the best bit of the sale on the first day (the queue was about a mile long, and I was ill so I had to leave before I even got in! Booo.) I went back the next day and had a good, less-crowded rummage through the leftovers. I do think I probably missed out on some really great pieces, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t manage to pick up a few good bits myself!

This dress was one of them, and whilst I realise now that it isn’t very flattering on me, its definitely grown on me! With a little bow neck tie I think its quite ‘me’. The main reason it doesn’t really look that great is because the skirt is a strange length, so I always end up tucking it up over a belt to shortyen it up a bit – which in these pictures makes me look realllly wide, haha. I’m going to be setting up my sewing machine soon hopefully (which will probably end up causing me some kind of stress related trauma… eeeek!) so I’m probably going to re-hem it, because in the summer it is a cute little dress with potential!

Speaking of fixing up clothing, I have a great little kind-of-tutorial on the way to you tomorrow; something I wish I’d done ages ago, that can really help transform plain, generic clothes from high-street to high-end without much effort or technical ability required, I really hope you’ll like it!

P.S I’m really diggin’ these necklaces on Etsy at the moment, what a clever idea! Where is your heart? Mine is definitely in Florida… I’m such a big kid, Orlando is my escapist haven!

See you tomorrow. Love! x

The Glitterati

[Jacket Primark, Top Forever21, Skirt Next, Lipstick Revlon: Cherries in the Snow, Nails Barry M: 294]

Its quite unfortunate that Chanel is one of the most exclusive and expensive labels out there, because it also happens to be my favourite, because its the label that really got me into fashion in the first place! On the other hand, one of the more fortunate things is that Chanel is having its second ‘boom’ time, and I suppose I’m kind of in the right place at the right time, so Chanel inspired pieces aren’t that hard to come by – good news for me and anyone else who’s a few thousand short of a Chanel 2.55! It isn’t often you hear the words ‘bargain’ and ‘Chanel’ in the same sentence, but luckily this Primark jacket will do for me until either 1. I win the lottery or 2. Karl Lagerfeld decides to send me a goodie bag – both scenario as unlikely as one another! Sob…

I’m no Ke$ha, but admittedly I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to clothes and accessories, so I love to have a bit of glitter in my life. You may have spotted this by now with the lairy earrings I like, which have meant comparisons have been drawn between myself and Pat Butcher from the British soap Eastenders (For anyone outside the UK, she’s known for her ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ style which includes crazy big earrings, haha… lucky me!) what can I say, we’re like two peas in a pod! *scared face* But I do love how this jacket has a glitzy thread running through it, meaning that not only does it spruce up a plainish outfit nicely, but it also translates from day to night easily too.

I’m such a sucker for a Primark bargain, although it kind of makes me sick to think how much of my current wardrobe comes from there… think a ban may be in order.

I’m umm-ing and ahh-ing over these amazing shoes at the moment! They’re actually kind of my perfect shoe, and I can definitely visualise a lot of outfits they would look great with, but having been broke all year its hard for me to to want to part with £50 for anything at the moment! That said, I haven’t been able to spend my birthday money yet, because I’ve had to use it on other more important/boring things, so perhaps a belated present is on the cards? What do you all think?

Stomp It!

[Dress Primark, Boots Unknown]

I’ve had these boots for a while now, and by far they’re the comfiest heels I own! I love platforms for that reason – although being a 90’s girl, whenever I hear the word ‘platform’ I immediately picture the horrendously high anklebreakers the Spice Girls used to wear, PVC-licious baby! Despite looking quite clunky these are actually really light, and they also have some good grip on the bottom too, which always helps, especially when you live in a mega-hilly area like I do! Booo hills. They were only £20 from a shop in my town, which I don’t even know the name of! Oops…

I rarely actually ever buy shoes, I’ve always been more of a handbag kind of girl, and whenever I go out I always love buying new tops, dresses and accessories, but often, my feet go neglected. Lately, perhaps to make up for this, I’ve had an urge to get a pair of some really great heels. I do think that with most items of clothing etc its hard, especially nowadays, to tell whether you bought it expensive or very cheap, but with shoes you can always tell. Being a part of the blogosphere, as well as studying Fashion, means that I’m having constant shoe-envy at the moment… sigh.

I’ve actually been very pleasantly surprised by Jessica Simpson’s footwear line that I’ve discovered through blogging, and have my eye on a few pairs on the website – gotta give the girl credit, her shoes are pretty high fashion looking and actually very reasonably priced. Perhaps she’ll have a little bit of my money coming her way soon, watch this space Ms Simpson!

You may (or may not!) have spotted a little change I’ve made to the blog… its bigger! Although I enjoy waffling on when I’m writing the blog, the visuals are always the part I love on other blogs, so now I’m able to post images that are a little bit bigger, I’m a happy bunny! Also, its the first time in a while that I didn’t end up tearing my hair out over CSS coding, so that’s always something to toast to, haha : )

Hope you’re all having a good week so far, I’m enjoying being back so much, love! x

DIY Tutorial: PomPom Necklace

Ever since House of Holland sent an array of rainbow bright PomPom earrings down their S/S 2011 runway, I’ve been craving some pompom action of my own! After stumbling upon Craft Gawker the other evening, I spotted a tutorial that could help make my pompom dreams come true! With cheap, basic materials required, I felt that this was a more cost-efficient and fun way of embracing clown-chic… and who doesn’t feel proud strutting about wearing something pretty you’ve made yourself?! I thought I would share it with you because if I can manage it, anyone can!

You will need:
– T-shirt (mine was £2 from Primark)
– Cardboard
– Fabric Scissors
– A Pen
– 2 round based objects to draw around. (One needs to be atleast 1/3 smaller than the other.)
– A necklace chain. (Mine is a pearly one I broke, you can get all sort of cheap necklaces also from Primark, and take the pendants off like I’ve done!)

Step 1: Draw around the circular based objects you have found. The size depends on the size you want the pompom to be! As you can see mine is quite small. I used the base of my glass candle pot and a nail varnish bottle for the smaller circle inside.

Step 2: Cut your circles out, into ‘C’ shapes like I’ve done. Both need to be the same size! : )

Step 3: Now you need to get your t-shirt fabric ready! I cut across the t-shirt under the armpits. Because we don’t need loads of fabric, I cut the front and back panels so they are separate (you’ll only need one) and cut any hems/seams off so it was just a plain piece of material, as you can see!

Step 4: You need to cut your fabric longways into strips which are roughly half an inch (about 12mm) thick. I didn’t use a ruler so my sizes weren’t exact, and certainly not all the same thickness, but this doesn’t matter too much!

Step 5: Take one of your strips and sandwhich it between your two templates, making sure you match them up again!

Step 6: Take another strip and start to wrap it around your ‘C’ shape. Make sure you do it quite closely and tightly, I kept pushing mine up to make sure I could wrap as much around as possible – you want a nice full pompom, not a little straggly looking one!

Once you get to the end of one strip, just overlap the next one and keep going, and so on, wrapping the strips over eachother until you’ve got 3 layers. Like me, you’ll probably be left with a fair few strips of fabric at the end – but don’t worry, you haven’t done anything wrong, its just excess material thats all! : ) It should end up looking a little something like the picture above, although if you use a different colour it probably won’t look as much like a prawn as mine does!

Step 7: IMPORTANT: It isn’t clear in the photograph, but you need to tie a knot in your ‘sandwhiched’ strip. Take both ends and tie them together at the break in the ‘C’, this is really important because its what will keep the pompom together! Tie one knot, you will need to tighten it again later so don’t be tempted to double knot it just yet.

Step 8: This is the fun bit, where you finally see your work pay off and see the pompom coming to life! It can get a bit messy too, although mine wasn’t too bad. You need to hold the pompom tightly in your hand to keep everything together! With your other hand, cut around the outside edge, in between the 2 pieces of cardboard. As you do this you will start to see the results! Don’t get too excited just yet though, you need to keep holding it together until after the next step!

Step 9: This is the important bit now! Pull the ends of what has been the ‘sandwhiched’ strip, which is now knotted (Step 7) very tightly so that it closes up around the centre of the pompom. Double knot it so your pompom won’t loosen up and fall apart! This may seem a bit fiddly, but you don’t need to worry about it being too neat because it’ll be hidden inside the pompom anyway.

Step 10: Take away the cardboard templates once you’re happy that the pompom is secured, and chop the long ends from the strip you’ve just tied up, and ta da! One perfect little pompom : )

Step 11: All you have to do now is find the strip which you’ve been working with, which is tied around the centre of the pompom (what I’ve been calling the ‘sandwhiched’ strip!) and loop this over the end of your necklace and slide it on down the chain, and you should end up with a nice new necklace ready to wear!

They look really cute worn with a collared shirt! Obviously, there are many ways you can wear a pompom, you don’t have to put it on a necklace… let your imagination run wild, and if you come up with anything fun, let me know!

For example, if you want to make an inexpensive little treat for a friend, you could do what I made for my housemate – make a little pompom nosed creature! Quite cute and a nice idea for recycling cardboard you might have left over : )

I hope my instructions haven’t been too confusing… if you have any issues, you can refer back to the original tutorial I’ve been working from courtesy of the lovely Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous, or leave me a comment and I’ll do my best to help!

As for me, I’m off to go and make some more to use up my excess fabric – you can expect to be seeing pompoms on every item of clothing I wear from now on! Haha. Good luck everyone, hope you’ll have fun if you decide to have a go : )