Window Dressing


The sun is shining and by no means will I moan. I love it.

However the house is hot and we have found that shutting the curtains helps keep rooms cooler. At the same time I have been dyeing dyeing clothes in the garden and with some spare dye I decided to chuck in an crochet table cloth. My thoughts being that if it was pretty enough then it could be used as some form of net curtain…

I simply used some pink eft over hand dye in a bucket with salt. I added the table cloth and wearing rubber gloves - swished it around so that the table cloth was fully submerged. Next step was to check the level of colour suited what i was after and then straight into the washing machine on 40 degree wash to rinse any left over dye residue away.

Voila 💕

Voila 💕


Why Recycle Denim


I have worked with denim as a fabric in dressmaking. I have also used denim as a material to recycle, by which I literally take garments made from denim and remake them.

I great example of this is when I split 2 or more pairs of jeans down the front and back of each leg and then swop the pieces over.

IMG_0680-2.jpg

I have taken denim jackets and used the same approach. Simply cutting two packets in half and swop the left of jacket 1 for the left side of jacket 2. Simply two jackets makes two jackets and all you loose is the seam allowance down the back (approx. 1 inch if that).

IMG_9730-2.jpg

Denim is an easy and great fabric to recycle. It is robust and easy to cut. seams can be left raw and it will fray with great effect but still be wearable. Foe example simply cutting an old pair of jeans into a city short (knee length) or a classic beach short can be done with some sharp scissors and no sewing. The raw edge will fray for up to an inch but after that it will maintain its shape and stop fraying.

A little added information about denim - Named after Nímes in France. It is a hard wearing, twill weave fabric with a coloured warp and white weft, usually as we know made into jeans. Available in various weights, which when recycled only gets better and softer with age. Denim is known for being blue as its original origin but also can come in other colours. Denim take dye well and can bleached. 💙


Small Steps To Bigger Things


1470139782110.jpeg

Yesterday two things happened. One I had a random chat with the location manager of the film crew filming in the street and two, I answered some questions for an interview.

One of the questions that came up both times was how to could we the individual make a change or difference to fast fashion and recycling within the fashion industry.

I have a simple answer and maybe it’s too simple but I honestly believe if we stopped for a moment and took stock and appreciated what we have then we could reuse and or recycle things we already own.

I am not saying stop buying! We still need an economy and people still need things and actually the enjoyment of buying but the world has become so fast that I’m not sure if the moment we have something, we then lose interest immediately with it. And then want more!

Stopping for a moment and having gratitude for what we already have is a good thing. Some of the things we own we may no longer want and that’s totally cool. These items for example of clothing can be recycled, sold, given away or in my case chopped and re-sewn.

If we all do this once a month even, it would make a huge difference.

Small steps can make big differences ❤️


My Favorite Camden Charity Shops


Having been out of London and due to the school holidays not having to go to Camden every day it’s been two weeks since I had a wander around the area. Yesterday I had to head over to Camden to run errands and I popped into the local charity shops - Sue Ryder on Parkway and Traid on Camden High Street.

These are my favorite two haunts when I’m in Camden. They are very different Traid tends to get new stock in directly after their sale (once a month give or take a day or two) they then too it up as and when pieces come in daily. I find the best things directly after the sale ends. Sue Ryder on the other hand puts new pieces out daily, although I find the ‘vintage’ section tends to be topped up twice a week. So having been away I was happy to find a 1940s wedding dress, a cream silk 1970s maxi dress (I may or may not dye it…) and an Indian embroidered tunic which I will turn into a dress. All three pieces came to £36.

So if you find yourself in the area and you have time to mooch my two top Camden charity shops are Traid and Sue Ryder.

Traid - Camden High Street.

Traid - Camden High Street.

Sue Ryder - Parkway camden.

Sue Ryder - Parkway camden.


New York Refresh


IMG_1312.jpg

We’ve just come back from a 3 day trip to New York, which is no mean thing given that we live in London.

I love living in London, I love the hustle bustle and I also love the fact that I can get out of London time to time to the sea side. However there are times when I’m pleased to go somewhere different. New York always inspires me to be me - sound crazy? Possibly.

In London I get bogged down by routine, work, school run, food shopping. It can all feel relentless and bog me down without realsing it. New York is like London for me but different. Eveytime I go I come home feeling better about myself.

I find New York to be refreshing, people seem to embrace each other or be indifferent to each other - rather than being judgemental. A change of scene is always good, especially when your routine involves the school gate…

Back to London and we still have a week or so off school. I feel upbeat and excited to rexplore my own city.

Thanks New York for inspiring me to me again. ❤️

IMG_1511.jpg

100 Days of Buying Nothing New


T-shirt - Traid charity shop, Skirt - Ibiza flea market, Boots - Charity shop

T-shirt - Traid charity shop, Skirt - Ibiza flea market, Boots - Charity shop

100 days have gone by and I can honestly say I have bought nothing new. I can also say I haven’t missed shopping the high street. I have however had a good look online but more and more I find inspiration as how to wear the clothes I own rater than buy new.

When I have been tempted by something fantastic< have simply turned this around into inspiration and idea for sewing projects and recycling.

Yes, I am sure at some stage I will be sorely tempted but the enjoyment of simply using what i have and reusing second items is actually way more fun!


Holiday Mementos


Dress - Coco Fenell, Leather Jacket - New York Flea Market, Shoes - Isabel Marant.

Dress - Coco Fenell, Leather Jacket - New York Flea Market, Shoes - Isabel Marant.

I love traveling and finding new flea markets, charity shops and any form of vintage retail therapy. I research avidly before traveling for our if town places to visit, antiques fairs and sometimes factory outlets - think Mui Mui and Prada in Florence - amazing!

I try not to come back with too much, I limit myself to a sensible level. Too many times I have had to pay extra luggage fees (think Mui Mui!). Last year I had the opportunity to travel to New York for a 3 day trip and we took hand luggage. Note to self this meant not bribing anything to big back, needless to say because I had to carry it.

Whilst there I came across a vintage pop up flea market - hello heaven! And I came across the leather jacket I’m wearing above. Super awesome and as equal in super weight!

I could not leave it. Every time I wear it I get loads of compliments and you can see why. It’s incredible and cost me 50 dollars plus I lot of strength but the strength was worth it!


How To Wear Lace During The Colder Months


IMG_2637-1.jpg

Lace is always a winner and even more so this season if you follow trends. However with the turn of chillier weather it can seem an out choice… but not if you later up with thermals and throw an arran jumper over the top.

Im obsessing over recycling lace at the moment and I’m loving being inspired by Pearl Lowe and her own love of lace and dying it black. Which is going to be my project for this week - over dying lace black 🖤.

IMG_2649-1.jpg

Chloe Inspired


IMG_2202.JPG

As the weekend approaches and with a realisation that the little one is away for the day at a party and the husband is away at rugby, I have the matter of a few hours to myself. There is a whole long, laborious list of chores I could do and normally thats exactly what I would do.

But not tomorrow, there are a couple of markets I would like to visit - Portabella Road for one, there is also a shop there that sells dead stock and numerous vintage and charity shops - one place with lots to do.

Plus a Happy International Womens Day - big shout out to all the wonderful women in our lives known and unknown that get us through each day ♥︎.


Brightening Up Monday


Coat - 1970s Dead stock, Jeans - last season McQueen, Shoes - Sophia Webster

Coat - 1970s Dead stock, Jeans - last season McQueen, Shoes - Sophia Webster

Blimey it’s cold. I thought for one disillusioned moment that spring weather had arrived and would stay. I was wrong storms rolled on last night and in with the cold weather. Not to be too disheartened I opted for warm clothes, back on went the coat but this time with some colour.

i picked up this coat last year from a place in Weatbourne Grove that has some amazing 70s and 80s dead stock. I mixed it with last season McQueen jeans I bought in the sale - a few sizes too big but I split them down the back and made a seam which allowed me to take them in. All in all even with the bad weather, I felt pretty good today 🌈.


Spring Skulls


IMG_2062.jpg
IMG_2017.jpg

Spring is here, it’s the 1st of March and I’m two months into not buying anything new. Which means I have bought no new clothes for the past 59 days. I have bought a few items from the local charity shop which I have either used as is or upcycled - see dress above. I reused a tulle layered skirt and old t-shirt. I am feeling good. I have barely looked at the online shops and instead i have sent more time with friends. All in all I’m not missing shopping for ‘new stuff’ and I’m loving making new from old.


Fashion Magazine Inspiration


IMG_2066.jpg

Over the last few years there has been a change in ‘coffee table’ magazines. The likes of Vogue and Elle have survived but many have gone solely online . As much as I love online resources, I miss paper magazines. Nothing beats a good cup of tea and a browse through a magazine be it a sunny afternoon or rainy morning.

Which leads me on to a new ethos of magazine I’ve found full fills my coffee table desires.

Oh Comely - a beautiful magazine focusing on stories, culture, curiosities, makers, crafts and ideas.

And my second magazine - Frankie, focusing on design, art, photography, fashion, travel, music, craft , home and life - which pretty much nails it all. Both magazines are printed on paper worthy of keeping and the least you can do when you finished is keep on your coffee table or share with friends!


Two Denim Jackets That Give You 4 Jackets!


gif_1550853116.GIF

I had this idea to spilt denim jackets in half and be able to reattach a different half. I have tried this numerous times with zips but I could never get the zips to sit flat - not sure if it’s my sewing skills or the fact that I use different weights of denim… dodgy excuse even to my ears - zips aren’t my greatest skill set!

Anyway, totally unexpectedly my subconscious came with the answer. Popper studs. I’d previously bought a length of popper studs to make bodysuits and by the time they arrived I’d gone off the idea (maybe nows the time to relight that idea!). So I decided to use the popper studs (which come in a length of black tape) to reattach the two pieces to make a complete jacket.

Jacket 1.

Jacket 1.

Jacket 1 &amp; 2 combined - front.

Jacket 1 & 2 combined - front.

The other halves combined - front.

The other halves combined - front.

Jacket 2.

Jacket 2.

Jacke 1 &amp; 2 Combined - back.

Jacke 1 & 2 Combined - back.

The other halves combined -back.

The other halves combined -back.


Should I Start A Blog?


I have found myself over the last few years putting other people first. I have silenced my voice at times and let others take the lead so that they stay happy. Now is the time to reclaim my voice, to put myself at the front of my life and give myself some time.

Prior to this I have blogged for many years. I have blogged about my fashion, family, style, sewing and my dogs.

With the silence of my voice, I also felt a loss to write. I have contemplated whether I wanted to continuing to blog although my resolution to not buy anything new stands.

I googled ‘Should I start a blog?’ and I was inspired by the breadth of reasons to start or in my case to cognate to write. These were the top reasons that came up…

Blogging is easy.

Blogging makes you a better person.

Blogging helps other people.

You can make money with blogging.

Use blogs to stay in touch.

You can make world a better place.

Blog can help to grow your business.

Blogging can become your hobby.

Blogging helps to improve writing and argumentation skills.

Having refreshed my thoughts blogging and having such an inspiring project as not buying anything new for a year, it seemed rather sad not to continue documenting my thoughts and findings. So its with new and improved vigour that I continue this blog.

IMG_1961-1.jpg

What Drives Us To Shop?


Homemade dress - East London Style.

Homemade dress - East London Style.

Yesterday I rustled up this dress. It is made from a t-shirt and two aprons. I had bought the aprons from a local charity shop some time at the start of last year. The t-shirt was a more recent purchase from our local Traid just before Christmas. As soon as I saw the t-shirt I knew that it would work with the aprons.

I often buy things that I love from charity shops without knowing how I will use them. I trust my instinct that there will be something I do it them. I trust that the reason I am drawn to what ever the item is, is because it is beautiful.

I love this quote by Willian Morris…

Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.


My West London Happy Place


IMG_0435.jpg

I love this photograph! This is one of the places I feel happy, content and totally immersed in ‘stuff’ that makes me feel happy. I.e Dead stock from the 1970’s think cheese cloth, maxi dresses, hand embroidered corduroy blazers and some massively over worn & patched denim - heaven!

It is in fact a shop in West London that I stumbled upon, nothing special from the outside. It sells Portabella Road bags, t-shirts, some 80’s bits and general Westbourne Grove memorabilia but look slightly beyond this and your eyes will rest on some super cool stuff. Look even further to the back wall and you’ll see some stunning examples of Afghanistan textiles and dresses.

As I write I’m already mentally planning a trip to mooch and find inspiration, maybe tomorrow…

Dead stock definition - A term used to describe merchandise that was never sold to or used by consumers before being removed from sale, usually because it was outdated. Dead stock is often warehoused, but it can also subsequently be offered for sale and typically retains its original package and tags.


Emergency DIY Jewellery Storage Makeover


As everyone was back to work today, my mental to do list was ‘remove Christmas’.

I’m not as miserable as I sound but the year has started and I’m determined to achieve something this year other than house work…

And I did achieve!

I have been bugging myself silly over the picture frames I created to hang earrings from. It’s a simple idea where you simply staple gun mesh wire to the back of an old picture frame. Simple and very effective, however previously when I had time I had painted the frames to match each other but when I made the second batch of frames I ran out of time.

Today armed with an extra shot of coffee, a paint brush and some acrylic gold paint - I simply painted the frames (carefully) whilst hanging and within two hours and 3 coats pf paint they are done!

Before painting the pictures frames…

Before painting the pictures frames…

And after ❤️

And after ❤️

A simple and small job but one that has made me super happy. Plus I already had the paint (which from memory was £5) and a paint brush. The job took a small amount of time and no extra money being spent.

#NothingNew seems to be creeping into other parts of my life and its fun!


New Years Day 2019


Rixo x Laura Jackson - Dress, Mui Mui - Boots.

Rixo x Laura Jackson - Dress, Mui Mui - Boots.

New Years Eve and New Years Day (apart from my birthday) are two of the hardest days of the year for me. I simply find them over whelming at the start of the day and then only end up feeling under whelmed by the end of the day. The pressure to perform, achieve, list, analyse ourselves only serves to simply freak me out! So as I type this as the clock just approaches 5.30pm - I am glad to say that the day is nearly over and I have survived. In fact I’ve had a great day walking dogs, generally chatting about very little and baking fresh bread.

Last night was spent at the London Palladium, where I wore my last purchase of 2018 a Rixo X Laura Jackson sequin dress. It’s a great dress that is timeless and will last years, in fact I’m keen to try wearing it again and again daytime and evening in so many different ways.

It is a super simple, rather 1930s inspired shape and has set my mind thinking about what direction my first recycled / up cycled sewing project should be… as 1920s and 1930s clothing is becoming so hard to find and because its in such a delicate condition now, It has inspired me to think along these lines for the silhouette.