OOTD – Simple Workwear

Just a quick one today to share my OOTD. I felt pretty good in this simple outfit today, and am especially pleased with my new ruffle neck top from New Look; a bargain at £12.99! I love the cute ruffles round the sleeves, and the attached neck tie is a nice touch (I’ve been making my own recently and adding them to blouses). This is pretty similar to a ‘blogger’s  favourite’ they had in Zara a while back, which I’ve always regretted not buying!

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I’m all about the swing coat this season too. This one is a hand-me-down that my mum bought a few years ago and was getting rid of, but it actually goes with pretty much everything, and the style means there’s enough room for a chunky jumper underneath when it gets colder. I’ll be teaming this with a knitted beret in winter.

Top: New Look; Coat: Primark; Jeans: Next Clearance; Loafers: Zara
Top: New Look; Coat: Primark; Jeans: Next Clearance; Loafers: Zara

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Envelope Cushion Cover (no skills required!)

I bought a new sofa recently, after my beloved second hand sofa that served me well for about 7 years finally gave up on me.

I fancied some new cushions, but couldn’t quite find anything I liked at the right price. While browsing the haberdashery stall in a local market, I found some printed cottons that I thought would look great, so thought I’d have a go at making my own.

I was surprised at how easy this actually was to make, I think I was done in about 15 minutes! It’s extremely basic, but I didn’t want to have to fiddle around with zips or buttons, so went for the envelope style, which actually looks really neat.

I didn’t expect this to work as well at it did on a first attempt, so didn’t take many photos as I went along, but here’s a quick step-by-step guide:

Materials required:
1/2 metre of whatever fabric takes your fancy
Small scatter cushion pad (I got mine from eBay)
Tape measure
Pins
Scissors
Sewing machine or needle and thread

  1. Cut the fabric to about 2 1/2 times the length of your cushion.
  2. Neaten the 2 shorter raw edges by turning the fabric over 1 inch, and sew.

WIN_20150920_1216113. With right sides together, fold the fabric like and envelope, so that you’re neatened edges overlap, and your cushion fits comfortably on the fabric.

WIN_20150920_1226044. If the fabric is a lot wider than the cushion, trim the raw edges so that the fabric will fit nicely round the cushion. Remember to leave a seam allowance.

5. Sew the raw edges of the fabric.

6. Turn inside out and insert cushion!

7.Find more pretty fabric and make far more cushions than you will ever need…

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Charity Shop Style: Part 3

Prints and Florals

My three most recent charity shop purchases have had a bit of a theme. I seem to have gone for prints and flowy tops/dresses. As much as I love my basics, I can never resist a pretty print, and these three items (for a grand total of £3.99) certainly fit the bill.WIN_20150920_111439

First up is this Hearts & Bows smock top, found for £1.99. It’s probably meant to be worn as a dress, but it’s a bit short for my liking, so I decided to pair it with skinny jeans instead. I remember back in the late 90s/early 00s that dresses over trousers was a ‘thing’ for a while, and I think it can still work! It certainly gives this otherwise mini-dress a ‘grown up’ look.

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Next, I found this F&F top for £1. I loved the almost watercolour like print, and the fit is quite flattering. The drawstring at the bottom is a nice touch too.

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Finally (saving the best until last) is this M&S Autograph boho style floral print dress, again for just £1! You may think M&S is just for your Grandma, but I’ve found myself shopping there recently, particularly their Limited collection.

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Although not quite ‘this season’ colours, when I put this dress on it reminded me of the 70s boho dresses that are everywhere at the moment, with its wide sleeves and flowy smock-like cut. I love the cute pockets at the hip, and the length is just right. I’ve channelled the 70s vibe a bit here with some tan ankle boots from Topshop. I’m hoping it will look ok with tights and a big cardigan, as it’s not exactly bare-leg weather at the moment!

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TV Review: An Inspector Calls

We don’t live alone on this earth, we are responsible for each other.

On Sunday evening, the BBC screened their adaptation of J.B. Priestley’s An Inspector Calls.

I’d been looking forward to this for months, after seeing some of the outside scenes being shot in the beautiful World Heritage Site of Saltaire, which I’m lucky enough to live nearby.

I have to admit that having never read the play, I wasn’t familiar with the story before watching this adaptation, but for once, I’m actually glad that it was completely new to me as the twist in the story is fantastic.

Continue reading “TV Review: An Inspector Calls”

THE Skirt

Whilst browsing the internet on my lunch break last Friday, Stylist magazine kindly brought my attention to this folk-inspired embroidered skirt from Warehouse.

Said skirt then became the subject of much ‘oooooing’ and ‘ahhhhhing’ between myself and a fellow fashion-loving colleague who just happens to sit next to me. (Warning: this situation proves to be dangerous and results in hard-earned salaries being spent on pretty things).

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Anyway, by the time I got home that evening, I had convinced myself to order the skirt, to see whether it was actually as beautiful in real-life as the model online had me believe. (I must admit that the fact that it was ‘limited edition’ lured me in a bit as well). I promised myself that it would be returned if it didn’t meet my expectations 100%. No harm done!WIN_20150914_181214

Before I get into the actual skirt, I have to say I was impressed by Warehouse’s delivery. I placed the order on Friday evening, probably about 6ish, and it landed on my desk this afternoon. Pretty speedy!

I couldn’t resist opening the parcel at work, and without evening taking it out of the packet I was impressed with the detail of the embroidery. At £65 this isn’t cheap, but there’s a lot to it, and it does kind of feel worth the money. As this is a simple mini skirt, I actually looked at prices for embroidered fabrics before I bought it to see if I could make something similar for a fraction of the price, but I was looking at a minimum of £30 a meter for a fabric that wasn’t anywhere near as nice.

My main worry with this skirt was the size (this is also my only complaint about the Warehouse website). The skirt comes in sizes XS, S, M, L etc. yet the description tells us that the model is wearing a size 10 (how?!). The size guide they provide also doesn’t cover S, M, L, only the usual British, American and European sizes, so that wasn’t much help either. I’m a size 8-10, so I took at guess at small, and it just fits, the waistband measuring 27 inches. It’s a little snug with my t-shirt tucked in, but maybe it will be my incentive to lose that last few pounds that I’ve put on recently.

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I feel a tiny bit guilty about spending so much on a skirt (to the point that I’m in 2 minds about whether to keep it), but it is a beautiful skirt after all. I love the folk-inspired design and simpleness of the cut. Plus, the assortment of colours in the embroidery give endless options of what to wear this with.

Lastly, the attention to detail on this is fantastic, from the embroidered lines on the hem and waistband, to the pattern matching on the back seam (unfortunately not so much on the sides…). This feels like a skirt I’ll love for a long time.

DIY Denim

The denim jacket. Never goes out of fashion does it? I’ve had an on-off relationship with mine, as although I always love how they look on other people, sometimes when I put mine on I don’t feel very comfortable. Something about wearing it makes me feel a bit un-feminine, and I wear jeans a lot and have never embraced the double-denim look.

Anyway, that’s why I thought it was about time I gave my jacket a re-vamp, to try and turn it into something I want to wear more often.

Continue reading “DIY Denim”

Charity Shop Style: Part 2

This weekend I headed to Bingley Music Live, for a fantastic three-day music festival, with acts including Cast, James, Embrace, Ash, Idlewild and Peter Hook and the Light.

Whilst I spent most of the festival in the obligatory jeans and Breton top, as I dressed for day three I realised that my entire outfit, including my handbag and scarf, came from a charity shop, and I have to say this is now one of my favourite outfits. Continue reading “Charity Shop Style: Part 2”