Thursday, 28 August 2014

Seed stitch scarf

Here at last, my finished seed stitch scarf. I noticed from the first post in which I featured the scarf after I had completed a few rows that I have been knitting it since February, it really didn't seem that I had been making it for that long. The pattern was found on Purl Bee but I chose a slightly different colour palette. The original pattern has nine blocks of different colours but I left mine at eight because I felt it was long enough. At 99 stitches wide its pretty big, so I didn't feel it needed to be that long. I have just started my next knitting project which is an openwork pattern jumper made from off white linen yarn.


 




 
 



Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Floral pencil skirt

I finished this skirt a little while ago, the pattern came from The Great British Sewing Bee: Sew Your Own Wardrobe book. I have made a skirt with this pattern before, you might remember my boucle pencil skirt. This time I didn't shorten the pattern and I made it out of a fairly thick printed cotton. But when I put it on to take these pictures I decided that I should alter the middle two darts because at the moment the skirt slightly puffs out at the front. I'm definitely going to have to get some more tweeds and boucle fabric this winter to make a couple more of these, they are so simple to make but I love the finished result.




Friday, 15 August 2014

Fashion Friday: How do you organise your wardrobe?

Any wardrobe no matter how big or small usually has some kind of organisation system going on. I organise my clothes by garment, so I have all my tops hanging next to each other and my skirts hanging next to each other. It has a strict order, coats then jackets, dresses, cardigans, tops then shirts, jumpers, jeans and shorts and finally skirts. However, there are two exceptions, a jumper and top are at the end of my wardrobe because they are delicate and must be kept carefully. A few things, at the moment winter clothing, are folded in a drawer because hangers are scarce in my house. My Mum and sister both organise their wardrobes by colour, but maybe you organise yours into formal and casual or evening and daywear or maybe its an eclectic mix and has no order at all.
 
So for this weeks Fashion Friday I have opened up my wardrobe to show you how it is organised. Not everything is in there, it never is because of things being in the wash. But there's enough to show you a few of my favourites. When it comes to clothes I love a lot of things, prints as well as plain block colour and things with a little extra detail. I love classics with a twist.
 
 
The best wardrobe investment I have ever made was buying this trench with my 18th birthday money, it has proved itself very useful and importantly its pretty beautiful. My proper depths-of-winter coat is due for an update this year but I hope to find something similar to my current camel coloured style.
 
 
My favourite jumper is something a bit special. There is beading around the neckline and sleeves, the body is cashmere and the sleeves are sheer crepe. Perfect.
 
 
I appreciate little details on a garment, the elaborate collar tips are the crowning glory on this plain light pink and white chiffon shirt.
 

I have never before had a patterned coat but I absolutely love this one. Its a short duffle coat style and is perfect with blue jeans.
 



Jackets are necessary for awkward English weather, I have two, one a blazer in gorgeous tweed and the other a silky printed bomber.
 

 
I'm on the quest to fill my wardrobe with a few more dresses because they are an easy all in one look and there are so many beautiful ones around. Currently I have a few dresses which I wear in the day but this one I save for special occasions. It is made from the most beautiful fairly thick crepe which drapes so brilliantly and the cut is just perfect.
 
 
I'm a lover of cardigans, they mean minimal effort when I'm half asleep at half 6 in the morning standing in front of my wardrobe deciding what to wear before I go to uni. Its the most simple form of layering, I have cardigans in an array of colours, mainly neutrals. This 3/4 length sleeved one is my favourite. The pattern is so crazy and colourful, it makes anything you pair it with look fantastic.

 
This t-shirt is another garment to fall under the something a little different category. Its a plain white t-shirt, classic yes? But the bold embroidered lace around the sleeves and hem lift it to something extraordinary.
 
 
I've said this before but I'll say it again. When it comes to t-shirts Ted Baker is the one. Yes, they are fairly expensive (wait for the sale unless its an absolute stunner and you can't risk losing it) but they are so beautiful. The cut is fantastic and so flattering and they come patterned or plain. This dark floral print one is my favourite, I searched high and low for it because it was selling out at the speed of lightning and I knew I had to have it.

 
The sleeves on this shirt are incredible, they are massive and far from conventional sleeves. This paired with the gorgeous crepe fabric means they drape beautifully. Words can't describe it. 
 
 
I have quite a thing for shirts, there's just something about them which means a substantial proportion of my wardrobe is filled up with shirts. The pattern on this sheer shirt reminds me of delft tiles.


Jumpers are brilliant for layering over one of my many shirts, I wore this grey jumper to death last winter and will probably do the same this year.
 

 
 This navy blue 3/4 sleeved jumper is so classic but the bobbles add a little bit of unexpected interest.
 
 
Peeking out here are my dungarees, They are a very recent purchase but have already proved themselves to be a very good one. They are short dungarees and I plan to wear them in winter with thick tights, making them wearable all year round.
 

The majority of people must have a pair of blue jeans in their wardrobe. This washed out style are my best pair at the moment.  Finding a good pair of jeans is so impossible so I dread it when the time comes to get a new pair.

 
This pencil skirt is the best garment I have made so far, I have worn it so much and I absolutely love the fabric it is made from.

 
This skirt is a beauty, I definitely don't wear it enough. I comes to just below the knee and is gently flared.
 





 

Friday, 8 August 2014

Fashion Friday: Vintage clothing

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I was going to take a visit to some of the vintage shops in Bath to see if they are any good. Last Friday I went over to Bath and did just that. Firstly I must apologise for the fact that there are no pictures in this post, I should have taken some pictures of the outside of the shops but at the time I hadn't thought of writing this post. I went into three out of the four vintage shops that I know of in Bath, The Black and White Shop, Scarlet Vintage and Vintage to Vogue. I did want to have a look in Mint (which sells second hand designer clothes) as well but it closed down recently, although something good did come out of that which I'll get on to later.

But I'll start with Vintage to Vogue first, its a tiny shop tucked away down an alleyway at the top of Milsom street. This shop is the exact stereotype of a vintage shop that most people have, quite dark with everything crammed in. I had a flick through the rails but nothing caught my eye, I felt that everything had an old fashioned feel rather than vintage. What I'm trying to get at here is that without significant alterations you would look just like you'd stepped right out of the decade that your clothing was from. Also I'd say the majority of garments looked as if they'd be from the 40s/ 50s or later imitations which really isn't my style.
 
The Black and White Shop is described as a vintage shop everywhere but actually isn't. Its more like a charity shop but not for charity. There were items in there from Zara to M&S but nothing actually vintage. Second hand clothing from modern labels wasn't exactly what I was looking for so I ticked this shop off my list too.

Scarlet Vintage, however, was the best of the three and was exactly the kind of shop I was looking for. I could tell the clothing had been carefully picked out because it all looked very good quality with minimal wear and tear. The shop was very small but laid out nicely, the clothes were nicely arranged into day dresses, evening dresses, outerwear and tops. I did try on two dresses but one was several sizes too big (most vintage clothing seems to be sized as 10 or medium although modern sizes today are very different to vintage clothing sizes), and the other one wasn't right when I put it on. I will go back again because there will always be different clothes there, so you never know what you will find.
 
When I Googled Mint to see if they were still selling on their website I found another vintage website called Mint Vintage. The same name nearly, but a different shop. Their actual shop looks amazing but is in London but the website looks pretty good, lots of the clothes appeal to me and are well priced. So I haven't bought anything vintage yet but I shall keep my eyes on the shops I have found for now.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Colour tipped scarf

I mentioned that I was going to start knitting a scarf just before I went on holiday to the Isle of Wight. Well, I finished it a few days ago and here it is. I found the pattern on Purl Bee, which I think is the best place for contemporary knitting, crochet and sewing projects. The scarf is shown in two colour ways on Purl Bee and you can actually buy the exact yarns they use from their online shop, Purl Soho. But for me it is a little easier to just go out and buy them as Purl Soho is an American shop so delivery would be costly to the UK. I chose to knit my scarf in yellow, grey and white which I think is just one of the best colour combinations out there.  
 
I have so many patterns from Purl Bee lined up on my list to knit. But once I have finished the massive colour block scarf that I've been knitting I am going to make a jumper from a knitting patterns book I have. It will be the first garment I have ever knitted so I'm quite excited about starting it.
 
 





 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Amsterdam

This time last week I had just got back from a week in Amsterdam. I've never been before but now I want to go back, it is one of the best places I have ever been to. We were staying in a flat above a shop and the shop next door was an amazing craft shop called Handmade Heaven. We didn't even realise this when we booked the flat, I think I ended up spending most of my euros in there!
 
One day we visited a market which had so many fabric stalls and I came away with some blue jersey which I plan on making a dress with, if I bought enough of it. The Rijksmuseum was so massive that we spent almost a whole day there and didn't see it all. I was hoping to buy an old delft tile; in a guidebook we had it said you could get them for a few euros in a shop near the Rijksmuseum. But I think their idea of a few euros must be very different to mine. We also spent a day in the Van Gogh museum and visited Anne Frank's house. The café there makes the best hot chocolate I have ever had.
 
The pictures of butterflies and plants below are from a garden called Hortus Botanicus which is really worth a visit. They have a large garden which contains large glass houses some of which contained plants in different environments such as jungle and desert with the temperatures and humidity mimicking these places. There was a smaller glasshouse with incredible butterflies in. In the photos below there is one of a glass wing butterfly which has transparent sections on its wings.
 
The cat in the bottom photo was enjoying a snooze on one of the chairs in an ice cream café, it looks like it also enjoys a bit of ice cream to me!