Saturday, October 25, 2014

New York High Line

Outfit details: Jacket, Red Light; sweater, Boden via charity shop; skirt, made by me; handbag, charity shop; shoes, Office.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Pumpkin picking

I cannot TELL you how excited I was for my first visit to a pumpkin patch. We don't really have them - not in the same way as America has them. All the years I've spent envying the pumpkin patch photos of scrapbookers and pinteresters...

So when we took a day trip to Long Island, pumpkins were high on the agenda. The pumpkins at Schmitt Farm did not disappoint. It was brilliant, and we went on the hayride and everything. And the size of those things! "Look!" I'd exclaim, "giant pumpkins". And he'd say, "no dear, those are just pumpkins".

Outfit details: Dress, handmade by me (blog post coming soon); Celluloid leaf earrings (worn as dress clips), ebay; Jacket, Red Light Clothing Exchange in Portland; Shoes, Office; Bakelite and plastic bangles, various; Earrings and necklace, gifts from my sweetheart.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New York New York

NEW YORK!!! Can you believe the hotel didn't have free wifi so I'm only now catching up with my blogging from my NY trip last week.

Oh yeah, also I have pink hair now.

Some of you who follow me on instagram have already seen my new pink hair (a little windswept in these pics from the boat trip!). I can't tell you how much I LOVE it! I've wanted pink hair ever since I saw the ethereally beautiful Marianne go pastel pink, oh, ages ago. Some of you may recall I put a in pink streak last year. My pink obsession was reignited when the fabulous Gertie went pink, followed by the equally awesome Gemma. I got a pink streak put in in August, and loved it so much I decided to take the plunge to coincide with both Breast Cancer Awareness month -- and my trip to NY.

Anyway, back to the matter in hand, NEW YORK, BABY! Statue of Liberty and everything! The cityscape skirt in the city that inspired the cityscape skirt!

I met my gentleman there, and we spent a week together in the big apple. We packed a lot in - from the Empire State Building to rowing in Central Park, fabric shopping in the garment district and pumpkin picking on long island (so exciting - photos to follow!).

God bless America. You're great.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Oh my god I have found the luggage of my dreams!

I enjoy travel. I travel a lot. Especially being in a transatlantic long-distance relationship for the past year (sounds super glamorous and jet-set - and actually yeah it kind of is - but let me tell you it is hard. And expensive). But my luggage is, well, not exactly glamorous. I've had my little black Samsonite for going on 15 years now, and it has served me dutifully and uncomplainingly around the UK and Europe, through far-flung corners of Southeast Asia and back and forth to California. But at this point it has seen better days, and as I'm preparing to go to New York next week (oh yeah, I'm going to New York next week - any vintage-y recommendations?) I've been thinking it's about time I got something a little more, you know, me. My vintage luggage is gorgeous and wonderful, but those suitcases are heavy enough empty, and when stuffed with clothes they weigh an actual ton - and since I sadly have to travel without a butler it makes them more than a little impractical.

So - and forgive me if I'm a little behind the curve here - enter Steamline Luggage, suitcases which combine vintage glamour with the modern practicality of wheels and a pull handle.

Seriously, perfect. Yes, they do also carry quite a price tag, but since my last case kept me going for 15 years I figure I can allow myself a bit of indulgence. I might have to get one. And I might have to get some retro luggage labels to go on it.

So now I just need to decide on a colour...

Monday, September 22, 2014


Another recently completed project, the Carousel skirt, had its official debut at our staff conference last week (quickly followed by its second outing, to Goodwood Revival).

Some notes for those interested in the construction: To draft the pattern I took a quarter circle and folded it into three. I drew in the curve of where I wanted the 'canopy' sections to fall, then traced the two pattern pieces, adding in seam allowances. I cut the canopy pieces (six red, six white), cut a template of the curve out of a cereal box, and used that to iron the curve on each piece. The canopy pieces are topstitched to the blue sections with the gold rope sandwiched between them (which was then handstitched in place). The last seams to be sewn were the vertical/radial seams to assemble the skirt. I assembled it into two half circles, then cut out the waistline, then sewed the two halves together, inserted the zip and attached the waistband. After hemming the skirt I pinned the 12 felt horse appliques and hand stitched them (I kind of like how it looks on the inside, with all the little dotted outlines of the horses!)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Anchors Aweigh

I didn't sew anything for months, then embarked on several projects simultaneously. It's actually quite satisfying working on several things at once -- when you hit a difficult bit on one project, you pick up an easy bit on another, which re-energises you to go back and tackle the hard bit. Or it does for me, at least. So I was working on three circle skirts and a dress. The first to reach completion was this nautical number, with which those who follow me on instagram will already be familiar. I made it because I wanted something to wear with my sailor sweater, although I've mostly worn it with this tattoo print top so far.

It's a medium weight cotton, the same as I used for my cityscape skirt - it's the perfect weight for a circle skirt, and although it starts out a bit stiff it softens nicely with repeat laundering. The felt anchor applique and 'rope' trim are all hand stitched in place (that's 6 metres of hand stitching, for the rope!).

Oh yeah, pink hair (and major regrowth, which I hope you'll forgive). Toying with the idea of going all pink next -- but then again I've been toying with that idea for about four years, so we'll see!

Outfit details: Skirt, handmade by me; sweater, H&M via ebay (and customised by its previous owner); shoes, Marks & Spencer; necklace, purchased in Thailand.


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