Thursday, 31 December 2009

Last purchases of 2009!

The other day I braved the 'January' sales armed with a £10 Topshop voucher. Topshop was shockingly busy - I couldn't even bear to look around the sale rails for too long. I hate it when shops are like that! Eventually I decided to ignore the sale and ended up buying this purse, which has been on my mind since I bought it as a gift for my french friend. Isn't it cute!

Just before Christmas I also treated myself to these patent loafers from Clarks. They're so comfy to walk in, and have the added bonus of a chunky heel so I can stand around without falling over.

These are the last things I bought in 2009. And they'll be the last things I buy in a 'real' shop for another 2 months! All will become clear in my next post...

Happy new year everyone!
(Hasn't this year gone quickly...)

Sadie xxx

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A Boxing Day walk

It has to be said - I'm not much of an outdoorsy type. I'd rather be snuggled at home with a cup of tea than roaming around in fields - but as today was Boxing Day I decided to put on my 'sensible' boots and venture into the countryside with my family. I had no idea that the place we visited existed - it's amazing what you can find on your doorstep really!

Anyway, it provided many opportune outfit-photo spots - although I really hate posing for photos with my family behind the lens.

The walk was an excellent chance for me to wear my new thrifted coat. It's made from wool so its ultra warm! The sleeves needed to be taken in a bit to stop it swamping me, but apart from that it was a bargain at £15.

I need to stop buying coats...

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas! My parents gave me my own sewing machine! I can't wait to get started on my next project :D.

Sadie xxx

Monday, 21 December 2009

Will it be a white Christmas?

I'm pleased to announce that snow has arrived in my part of England! Its only a smattering, but enough to keep me content. Last year, I had horrible tonsillitis throughout the snow 'week' so I'm glad to be able to catch up on my dose of snow this year.

This is the tartan dress I mentioned - made from exactly the same pattern as the floral dress, but with a fuller skirt section. It's the perfect winter dress!

I styled it up with a patent leather belt and a vintage velvet jacket. Needless to say, I was a just a bit cold when I took these photos...

Have you had any snow where you live?

Sadie xxx

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas Present Idea: Upcycled Chair

I was in a chairty shop the other day and overheard a discussion about Christmas presents - the lady in the shop thought that Christmas presents were all a waste of time and money. Her reasoning was that if you buy something for £5 for someone, they could easily have afforded it themselves and got themselves something they actually wanted. Which is probably completely true!

This inspired me to have a go at a 'handmade' Christmas present - something with a little bit of thought and that cannot be bought elsewhere. I bought this rather worse-for-wear chair for a mere £2 (then carried it all the way through town back to my house, trying not to laugh, haha). Then I got some leftover glossy white paint and some spare material to cover the seat, and got cracking on upcycling the chair!

I wanted it to have a 'shabby chic' look, so as the paint was drying I used a slightly damp sponge to rub bits off.

This is going to be my mum's present - we were having a discussion the other day about the huge lack of decorative furniture and ornaments in our house, and I thought it would be a good start on adding a bit of personality to the rooms!

What do you think about giving upcycled or handmade things as presents? Is it stingy, or are they better than conventional gifts?

Sadie xxx

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

1920s Flapper Dress - Homemade!

After the 1960s, the 1920s are probably my second favourite era. I'm not a big expert on the decade, but my perception of it is that it was an age of liberation - in clothing (Chanel), civil rights (suffragettes and the vote) and the era when women truly began to get a good education.

To me, one of the iconic 20s fashions was the flapper dress. According to Wikipedia, 'The term flapper in the 1920s referred to a "new breed" of young women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered acceptable behavior.' I completely love this image, haha - there's definitely a rebellious side in me! Anyway, I've been looking out for a wearable flapper style dress for a while now - then it suddenly occured to me; why don't I make one!

Criteria: Drop waist, muted colours, sequins, ruffles...

I bought the material for £5 on the market, and the splashed out on the sequins, which were also £5. After spending so much (yes, that's a lot!), I decided that I'd make the dress properly, with lining and everything, which makes a change for my usual slightly 'bodged' jobs. Here's the result of my efforts! I'm rather proud :)

I had enough material left over to make a matching headband - it's not very clear in the photo but it's two 'flowers' attached to a string of black sequins.

I might wear this as my prom dress!

Sadie xxx

Saturday, 12 December 2009 Giveaway Winner!

Just a short post to announce the lucky winner of the £10 e-voucher for The Wellington Boot online jewellery store!

The winner was comment number 9:
Harriet, from the blog Inevitably Modful!

Sadie xxx

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Dress #2!

On my giant charity shopping spree the other week I made some time for a quick (...long) visit to a material shop. After 40 minutes I emerged from the shop with some green tartan, some grey suiting material and this spectacular, reversible, floral fabric!

This post is named 'Dress #2' because the dress is made with exactly the same pattern as the tweed one. I plan to make yet another one with the grey suiting material - to be my 'business dress' for university, haha. And today I finished making a slightly adapted version out of the green tartan fabric (I'll show you that one later!). They're the simplest thing ever to make - two identical panels sewn together, with little 'princess' sleeves (I traced the sleeves roughly from one of my shirts). Who knows, I might even make my prom dress using the same pattern!

In keeping with the 80s style fabric, I styled the dress with my denim jacket and thrifted purple belt. And voila - an outfit suitable for day and night :).

Anyway, I've been thinking - this blog has started to focus a lot more on thrifting & sewing in recent months. And so I was wondering what you'd like to see more of! Style icons, how-to guides, photoshoots, debates (!), film reviews, giveaways, favourite designers - or more of the 'what I wore' ones?
What are your favourite things to read about? Tell me what you think - I'm listening :D.

Sadie xxx

P.S. To any UK residents... Keep entering the giveaway for a £10 voucher for!! You have until Friday 11th!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Christmas Giveaway: Win a £10 e-voucher for!

We’re now in the run up to Christmas and no doubt you’re all busy shopping for presents and putting together Christmas wish lists! Personally, I’m always on the lookout for quirky handmade jewellery – and the beautiful creations in The Wellington Boot online jewellery store definitely fit the bill!

Fern, the jewellery designer, launched The Wellington Boot earlier in 2009 – and since then she has been selling a wide range of hand made jewellery styles, offering an alternative to the mass produced options on the high street. The jewellery contains anything from fabric flowers to vintage brass charms, and from Swarovski crystals to freshwater pearls.

And the best thing is, they’re all at affordable prices, with free postage to anywhere in the UK!

Some of my personal favourites from the shop are this Classic Cameo Necklace, Rose Stud Earrings, and the Choo Choo Necklace (isn’t it adorable!).

How to enter the giveaway

To be in with a chance of winning the £10 e-voucher, all you need to do is visit The Wellington Boot, then leave a comment on this blog post telling me which item is your favourite! Simple!

I’ll randomly select the winner on Friday, 11th December. Make sure you leave some way of contacting you in your entry – blog address/email is fine! - competition now closed!

Please note: The competition is open to UK residents only!

Good luck :)

Sadie xxx

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Mod ♥

I am absolutely delighted with my most recent charity shop 'haul'! It included this gorgeous red coat (extra happy because its nearly the same style as the one I fell in love with back in this post!!). It has a cute peter-pan collar, a flattering shape, and gold buttons - & you definitely can't go wrong with gold buttons! All for a mere £6.50. Kerching.

And I also found this 60s style tunic for £3. When I saw it hanging there in all of its silky geometric glory, I knew it had to be mine. ♥

I am so attracted to the 60s mod look. There is just something about it that makes me want to purge my wardrobe of anything modern and replace it with A-line mini dresses and patterned shirts.

^ This was the view out of my window when I woke up a few mornings ago. Despite my half asleep state, I just HAD to take a picture of it. I've never seen the sky like this in the morning - although that might be because I'm usually asleep!

Sadie xxx

P.S. I've got an amazing Christmas giveaway coming up in the next post!!

Sunday, 29 November 2009

From trousers, to shorts - with the help of some scissors

I went on a giant charity shop shopping spree on Saturday, to three different towns! I came back with 5 bags filled with vintage goodies - it was very satisfying! One of the shops, Cancer Research, had live mannequins in the window wearing some pretty nifty vintage outfits... definitely different to the usual window displays.

One of my purchases were these highwaisted trousers, for £5. As soon as I saw them on the hanger, I had envisaged a DIY for them - to turn them into shorts! I've been after some shorts with 'rolled up' turn-ups for a while now. I love the shape they make - its almost like a highwaisted skirt, but there will be no worries about a sudden gust of wind blowing them up (very useful in the weather we currently have).

This was the easiest DIY to date - just a case of chopping most of the trouser part off and rolling the remaining material up, with a little stitch to keep them in place.

So here are some 'before' photos...

And after the transformation...

Shirt - Thrifted Jaeger, £2
Belt - Vintage
Shorts - Racing Green, £5

It has to be said, I do feel a little bit like a character from the BBC show 'Land Girls' - but maybe thats not a bad thing? Did anyone else watch it?

Sadie xxx

Thursday, 26 November 2009

My new, homemade, tweed dress!

On the weekend I was wandering around a market when I saw some fabulous woolen tweed material poking out from a shelf of fabrics - and just had to buy it!

As it was quite expensive (when you're a poor student, anything over £5 is expensive), I wanted to make something special, so I actually tried out a few designs before jumping in with the scissors and sewing machine. One thing that I definitely wanted it to be was 60s style - so my original ideas were to make it quite mini, possibly with a bit of a peterpan collar or some little pockets.

They were all quite tempting to make, but what I REALLY wanted to do was make something with sleeves - a bit like this beautiful Calvin Klein shift dress that Alexa is expertly modelling here. I had always thought that sleeves would be hard to do, but I was feeling up for the challenge - so 6 hours later, I had finished my own version in tweed!

I'm really pleased with how it turned out, but there just seems to be something missing. So I need your opinions! How should I style the dress? Does it need a scarf? A belt? A jacket? Or a cardi?
Also - is it too plain? Should I add something like a black velvet collar?

So many questions! It's just not quite perfect yet!

Sadie xxx

Sunday, 22 November 2009

A homemade scarf, just in time for winter!

Remember those amazing knits by Rodarte from their AW 08 collection? After seeing them, I fell completely in love with the whole concept of shabby chic knitwear, and just HAD to have something similar in my wardrobe. So, after a year of knitting... haha... I have completed my own version of their woolen creations.

I present to you my new, 3m long homemade scarf!

None of my family seem to understand it and instead think I'm just rubbish at knitting - which is true - but this is actually how it was intended to come out. I incorporated bits of ribbon and different thicknesses of wool to add to the look.

The colour scheme was based on the colours of wool that I had available - mainly 'baby' colours because the wool comes from my gran's old knitting box and she knitted baby clothes! Thats why I added in a some dark blue, to give it a bit of an edge.

Making the scarf was veryveryvery easy. Even if you're a complete beginner like me, I definitely recommend having a go! It doesn't even matter if you drop a stitch, as it just adds to the whole look. Use the widest knitting needles you can find and it should work really well!

Sadie xxx

Thursday, 19 November 2009

One velvet LBD, two different looks

- Bit of a picture heavy post I'm afraid! -

I acquired this black velvet dress in a charity shop recently (another ankle length atrocity that underwent treatment with my sewing machine!). I'm really pleased with it - it fits like a glove! I've noticed that I seem to be building up a big collection of eveningwear in anticipation of going to university - I'll probably show you some more of my new 'going out' dresses in future posts.

But I was thinking, just because it's a velvet LBD, does it need to just be for going out? Definitely not - that would be such a waste! So I styled it up for casual wear as well as an evening look. And here are the results...

Look #1 'The evening look' - this was mainly an opportunity to show you my new faux fur coat, picked up from a charity shop for a mere £8. It's top quality, vintage Marks & Spencer's (or St Michael as they used to brand their clothes). I'm rather delighted with it! Saying that, I can't actually imagine wearing it out as it's a bit over the top for my usual dress sense, but its nice to look at! Excuse the wayfarers... I wanted to style a really 'extreme' going out look, haha.

Look #2 'The casual look' You can't get much more casual than a plaid shirt and Converse! This look is a little bit different to my usual high waisted skirt and heels ensemble, but I quite like it! The Converse are sneakily borrowed from my sister (hopefully she's not reading this). She bought them in a vintage shop in Brighton, and I've been secretly admiring them ever since. I like how the red piping matches the shirt!

Look at the beautiful label! ♥

Which look is your favourite?
Sadie xxx

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Dancing shoes

As 6 year old, I did ballet lessons - and stopped about a year later when I went into the 'hating pink' phase. It's a bit of a shame really, because I can't help but feel I'd be a lot more elegant and a lot less clumsy than I am now if I had carried on!

These photos are inspired mainly by a Repetto advert that I saw in a magazine, showcasing a beautiful pair of white leather shoes that I instantly fell in love with. Unfortunately I couldn't afford the €160 price tag, but when I saw these slightly similar ones in H&M for £10 I was over the moon.

Repetto specialise in ballet supplies (hence the ballet theme to the photos) - but they have a beautiful collection of shoes and bags that wouldn't look out of place in any fashionista's wardrobe. I particularly love their T-bar heels and brogues - not to mention pumps in every colour imaginable.

I took these photos on self timer - it took so long to get the right look!

Sadie xxx

P.S. I have absolutely no idea when the bookworm photos will be ready! It could be a few weeks...

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Winter Tartan

I had hoped to be able to show you the photoshoot pictures today - but they're still not quite ready! So instead I thought I'd show you the photos of my outfit from the other day :). It's quite a preppy look, mainly due to the loafers and the tartan skirt - hopefully it's not too 'school uniform' though!

The skirt, believe it or not, is a size 18! It needed to be folded under and held up by my belt haha. I bought the skirt in a charity shop and it was very very long, so it had a bit of my re-hemming treatment and now it's a much more wearable length. The worst thing about re-hemming it was ironing the new pleats in - such a nightmare. I may be avoiding pleated sewing projects in the future because the ironing takes such a long time... & I'm really scared that the pleats will wash out when it goes in the washing machine.

In other news, I did an interview over at Miss Onic! Definitely check her blog out if you haven't already, its absolutely beautifully presented and she has great style!
(To read the interview, go here).

Sadie xxx

P.S. I am considering getting a hair cut - possibly a long bob! But I really don't know it it would suit me! I just want to add a bit of volume and stop my hair being so flat really. Does anyone have any thoughts on what would look nice?