Saturday, 23 January 2010

A Charming Stanhope

My hunt for an interesting charm necklace has ended... with the discovery of this little gem on eBay!

These miniature binoculars caught my eye whilst scrolling through the 'antique charm' listings, and I'm very glad I found them because they have a hidden secret. Concealed inside are two stanhope lenses, meaning that when you look through the binoculars you can see little scenes of Mont St-Michel in France! They're the perfect thing for a francophile like me.

Stanhopes, otherwise known as 'photomicroscopic jewels', were invented by René Dagron in 1857 as a way to view micro photographs without using an expensive microscope. The Victorians soon realised they had great novelty value and incorporated them into all sorts of things, including rings, toys, violin bows and souvenirs.

I attached the binoculars to a chain to make them into a necklace - a nice quick little re-fashion!

Stanhope - eBay, £11
Top - Topshop via eBay
Skirt - Laura Ashley via Charity shop

Belt & Cardigan - M&S and QS via Mum's wardrobe
Tights - New Look

The top picture reminds me that I desperately need a hair cut...

Sadie xxx

P.S. I've got exams this week so I might not be back blogging until next weekend, but I'll do my best!

Monday, 18 January 2010

'She wore blue... satin!'

Hello! I've been sat infront of my sewing machine for every spare minute this week, with numerous projects on the go! My family said that my room has pretty much turned into a clothes production line, and I think that's quite a fair assessment...

The latest addition to my homemade clothes pile (and it really is a pile... my wardrobe seems to have just exploded all over my bedroom floor, woops...) is this blue satin dress, very loosely inspired by that beautiful silk TBA dress which I've been lusting over for far too long. My own version is lacking a peter-pan collar and generally lacking everything that is lustworthy in the original (the silk, the cut, the colour, the details...), but at least I managed to add some lace to the sleeves!

I copied the pattern from this tunic and made some adjustments. The entire thing cost £2.35.

I planned to make a matching waist-tie as well, but I ran out of fabric...

Dress - Homemade
Hat - H&M
Scarf - Mackays via a charity shop
Tights - H&M
Shoes - Clarks

I'm very excited about finishing my current project! But I'll leave you all in suspense about what it is :) hehe.

Sadie xxx

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Something nice and bright for these dreary winter days!

I've been wandering around in wellies all week thanks to all the snow that was dumped on the UK last Wednesday! We had a bit more last night but it's all melting now - it's in that horrible brown slushy stage. Quite a relief really, as I'm seriously running out of practical 'warm' outfits... but I will miss the snow!

Apart from going out tobogganing (and losing many snowball fights), I've been using my 'snow days' to do a bit of sewing. This dress is made from a huge sheet of teal corduroy that I found in a charity shop for £3. I have enough left for several other projects - I'm thinking of maybe making a cylindrical gym bag!

I used an actual pattern for this dress. It's the same pattern as this dress, minus the halterneck and bow.

As it was too cold to wear it on its own, I wore a striped t-shirt underneath and my favourite thrifted cashmere cardigan (originally from Jaeger) on top.

It's quite a bright ensemble - do these colours work together?

Sadie xxx

Sunday, 10 January 2010

A 'Thrifty New Year' Challenge!

I was recently challenged by to come up with a 'Thrifty New Year' guide to 10 cheap & chic items that I think will be popular in 2010! I was pretty pleased to do this as previously they've saved me a lot of money on meals at ASK restaurants (hello, 2 for 1 on pizzas!). I didn't realise that they have a whole load of discount vouchers for clothes shops - (don't worry, I'm not going to break my promise to Wardrobe Re-Fashion) - but these vouchers could save loads of money at places like Uniqlo, ASOS, TopshopNew Look, Dorothy Perkins, and GAP.

I had a little scan through trends for SS10 and picked out some of my favourites - nudes, parisian chic, polkadots and err... nautical! Everything is under £40.

Trend #1 - Nudes
It's quite nice to see some more delicate colours in the shops this year - especially when combined with lovely lacey items that we had last year! I'm really loving all of the 'flapper' inspired fringing as well. I thought these two items would be perfect pieces - the Topshop dress could work as both day wear and evening wear, and I'd feel so luxurious clad in the fringed ASOS crop top (although admittedly, I would have to tuck it into a skirt - not daring enough for stomach flashing!).

Trend #2 - Polkadots
I'm quite partial to the odd polkadot here and there - especially if they're in navy and white! What could be more perfect for SS10 than a polkadot mac/trench, or a frilly umbrella for the rain showers that we'll inevitably have? The delicate polkadot blouse is another personal favourite - perfect over jeans or tucked into a skirt.

Trend # 3 - Parisian Chic

Being a French language student, this is probably one of my favourite trends. I've always been a fan of anything with a splash of that French 'je ne sais quoi' and I think these items definitely fit the bill. I've had my eye on this bicycle necklace for a while now - it'd look perfect teamed with the Eiffel tower playsuit! And of course, a tan coloured military dress with a slight nod to the classic trench. Olala.

Trend #4 - Nautical

It seems that the nautical trend just won't go away, and I'm not complaining. My absolute favourite nautical item (in fact, my favourite item of all time) is the 'breton' top, as made famous by Coco Chanel herself. They go with everything, look simple yet chic, and are extremely comfortable. Here are two versions of the classic, one from Topshop and one from New Look.

I'll be back very soon with another Wardrobe Re-fashion, but in the mean-time... what's your favourite SS10 trend?

Sadie xxx

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Hello snow, & hello new dress!

I'm so happy it's snowing again! I know that some of you get snow all the time, but the novelty never seems to wear off for me! I rushed out to take some photos of my new dress whilst the snowflakes were still falling from the sky (possibly a mistake because my camera got soaked and all the photos are covered in little white dots). It has stopped now, but hopefully there's more on the way later.

This is my second dress made for Wardrobe Re-fashion. You may recognise the pattern from some of my previous projects! Unfortunately, I won't be able to make any more dresses like this as I've lost the sheet of paper that I made the pattern out of :( - what a disaster. Anyway, I used black velvet material for this one and lined it with silky cream coloured fabric - a rather luxurious combination!

The coat in the pictures was an eBay purchase from a few weeks back. It's a little bit too big for me when it's done up properly, but I'm really in love with the colour.

And these are the (snow covered) gloves I bought in my pre-Christmas shopping spree. I couldn't resist the bows...

Sadie xxx

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Wardrobe Re-fashion

Wardrobe RefashionAbout a week ago I stumbled upon a blog called 'Wardrobe Re-fashion'. It's filled with inspiring DIY sewing projects, based on the principle of refashioning, renovating and recycling clothes. The bloggers who contribute to it make a commitment to 2, 4 or 6 months (or a lifetime!) during which time they don't buy any clothes from shops. I thought it was a great idea... so I signed up for 2 months! What could be more appropriate for a girl who received a sewing machine for Christmas?

So... I'm not allowed to buy manufactured clothes from now until March 1st. And I've got to sew my own clothes. Aaah!

This rather dazzling silver dress is the first thing I made... you almost need sunglasses to look at it, haha. It was based on this beaut from Dahlia, which at £60 was rather expensive for me. My own version cost me £4.70 and about 3 hours of solid concentration. I was going to wear it on New Year's Eve but I chickened out because it's so bright... but it may be making an appearance some time in the near future!

I'm so pleased with how the waist band turned out!

Sadie xxx