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


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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describe merchandise that was never sold to or used by consumers before being removed from sale, usually because it was outdated.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.


No 'New' Clothes Challenge 2019


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Having taken the challenge not to buy anything new for the year of 2019 (now being Thursday December 27th) it feels wrong to be shopping - even though in theory I could have a few days to pack in some serious shopping.

Instead, I am having a de-clutter. I am reorganising my wardrobe into different zones.

Everyday clothes - to keep.

Vintage clothes and collectables - to keep.

Items to be re-cycled / cut / re-sewn.

The thought behind this, is that it allows to me to work out what I actually have that I want to wear as is.

And more importantly what I have that I don’t like - i.e. clothes and fabrics that I can start to play with / re-cycle. For me this is the fun bit! I don’t have to have any guilt saying I don’t like an item of clothing, or that it doens’t fit me any more or that perhaps it isn’t in fashion.

Where as in the past I may have felt guilt for dismissing things I’ve spent money, now there is no guilt because nothing is going to wasted - Everything and anything can be re-made!

I never thought that by curtailing my love for shopping that I would feel such a refreshing sensation, perhaps I’d even go as far as to say a feeling of lightness / weight removed! 💚

My future wardrobe relies on the Eagle!

My future wardrobe relies on the Eagle!


Getting Christmas Party Ready


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As Christmas approaches so do the Christmas parties. I always look at jumpsuits I love them but they tend to drive me mad when as the night wears on - either due to a drink to many or being over tired - they are in increasingly difficult to zip up / use the zip at all - unless the are front fastening of cause!

So taking on two tends ‘Christmas sparkles’ and ‘Leopard print’ I came up with the dress above. Its a take on my t-shirt dress idea which simply involves adding a skirt to a top - See Design Projects above The Up-cycled Bodysuit Dress.


5 Undeniable Reasons to Love A Recycled T-shirt


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I love second hand t-shirts. So much so, that I prefer them to new.

  1. They have been washed to the point the fabric is a soft a baby skin.

  2. The brash level of colour has been taken out and the colour - even black - has soften to a flattering level.

  3. Pretty much there won’t be many people with the same t-shirt as you - so enjoy your unique t-shirt.

  4. Depending where you shop, second had t-shirts can be far more affordable than buying new.

  5. Like me, second hand t-shirts seem more accessible to being changed. There for snip away, change the length, cut out the sleeves or like me today as a piece of fabric and turn one into a dress.

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The One Great Thing To Know About Recycling


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The simple rule that I find about ‘recycling’ is that any goes. Recycling and up-cycling are easy if you don’t start off with rules.

With this denim jacket I simply knew that I wanted to see what would happen, if I combined a denim jacket and an old military band jacket. The band jacket was passed its best but I loved the details. The denim jacket was in great condition and as denim is pretty much indestructible I wanted to use it as a base and add details from the band jacket.

The left overs form the band jacket have not been waisted or thrown away. Instead I bag up everything that is left over - fabric, buttons etc so that I can use them on another project.


Game Changer - Jumpsuit


Jumpsuit - Traid Charity Shop Camden, Trainers - Addidas.

Jumpsuit - Traid Charity Shop Camden, Trainers - Addidas.

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Super sonic velour tracksuit - aka. It can only be described as #SchoolMumOnTheRunComfort ❤️


The Accidental Halloween Outfit


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I had no intention of making a halloween, I love the excitement the kids get and the fun of the community doing fun stuff together (so often especially in cities we don’t know everyone on our street) but frankly I find halloween rather scarey. Costumes and make up can be so realistic!

But, indvertantly whilst pursuing my new love of dying using neon dyes I had (according to our 8 year old, created a rather skeleton like dungaree costume… With a sqint of the eye he could be right…


Ann Arundell Animal Antics


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I have a new found love for these mohair Ann Arundell jumpers.

I have found some on eBay and I have also bought some directly from the etsy website. They are ‘keepers’, they aren’t ‘in’ fashion and they certainly aren’t ‘out’ of fashion - they are a slightly quirky classic.

I not only loe the design but I’m also loving mohair, it is so warm. I used to find tricky and scratchy and slightly uncomfortable - i’n not sure what changed me obviously!

Mohair is usually a yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. It is durable and resilient, mohair is notable for its high luster and sheen which has helped gain it the nickname the "Diamond Fiber", and is often used in fiber blends to add these qualities to a textile.

Mohair can by dyed exceptionally well. Mohair is warm in winter as it has excellent insulating properties, while remaining cool in summer due to its moisture wicking properties. It is durable, naturally elastic, flame resistant and crease resistant. It is considered to be a luxury fiber, like cashmere, angora and silk. It is usually more expensive than most wool that is produced by sheep - which is possibly why the ‘vintage’ Ann Arundell that I have found on eBay are in impeccable condition!


How To Create The 'Preen' Hemline


Preen - Fluted hem.

Preen - Fluted hem.

Preen - Hancki-chief hem.

Preen - Hancki-chief hem.

Preen - Asymmetrical hem.

Preen - Asymmetrical hem.

Skirt hems are changing, they no longer need to be one length or symmetrical. See above for Preen’s fantastic skirt lengths and designs. They use a traditional ‘hankie chief hem’, a 'slightly ‘fluted’ hem and then they cut an ‘asymmetrical’ hem.

These are great inspiration for updating a dress or skirt with very little skill needed or much sewing. I decided to try changing a hem on a maxi dress.

I cut a moon shape out of the front the hem deliberately off centre - i.e I didnt measure, I just cut and what was, will be. Simply with this style of hem - nothing can go wrong. I then simply double turn the hem of the fabric and sewed into place. I cant wait to wear this dress with thick socks and boots 👢.

Dress with uncut hem.

Dress with uncut hem.

Hem cut out on the right side of the dress.

Hem cut out on the right side of the dress.

Hem detail.

Hem detail.


Here's Why Denim Is So Awesome To Recycle


Jeans - East London Style (Home made), Trainers - Fila Disruptor II

Jeans - East London Style (Home made), Trainers - Fila Disruptor II

I love working and recycling with denim. The main reason is that pretty much denim is indestructible. You can sew and re-sew and un-do and re-sew again pretty much on the same spot and the fabric will not give way and rip.

When and if you do get rips, patch it! Or leave it as a rip and incorporate this into what you are doing.

Recycling jeans is great, there are so many ways that I can’t wait to show you on this blog.

You can bleach, dye, over dye after bleaching, cutting, sewing, making into - dresses, skirts, shorts, new jeans, bags, pretty much anything and the great thing - yep - it’s pretty much indestructible.

With the jeans in these photographs, I have incorporated a pair of cargo pants (another very tough fabric that is great to work with), I have also added ribbons and tape.

And just for fun I didn’t bother having a plan or making them symmetrical in design - sewing is so enjoyable! and there are no rules as to what you can and can’t do.

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A Vintage Dress Success Story You'll Never Believe


Dress - Paper Dress Vintage, Trainers - Fila Disruptor 2

Dress - Paper Dress Vintage, Trainers - Fila Disruptor 2

I knew that on Saturday our local vintage clothing store ‘Paper Dress Vintage’ was holding a sale. I’ve been before and these sales are great, cheap clothing but unlike an enormous ‘kilo sale’ this sale is well curated and manageable (on a hangover…). However I’m not in need of any more clothing, vintage or otherwise. In fact I’m clearing out, I’m putting everything into piles - keep, store, recycle and OUT.

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I thought it rude not to go, they had kindly sent me an invite, at least go and have a look…

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AND - yes I came home with a bag full, in fact 6 dresses and 1 skirt better off. Nows here’s the thing, I genuinely thought at this price that I would be looking at pieces that I could and perhaps would have to recycle but oh no. Each piece is fantastic in its own right. I may still recycle a couple of the dresses, the skirt will be made into a t-shirt dress for definite. So all in all an absolute success and the next sale… I’ll be there at the opening time of 10am on the nose!

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N.B - I kept the tags and did a quick tally up when I got home. The full price total of my bag would have been £236 😊.


Knitting Goals - Ann Arundell Knitwear


Jumper - Ann Arundell, Dress - Ibiza Flea Market, Shoes - Isabel Marant, Socks - M&S

Jumper - Ann Arundell, Dress - Ibiza Flea Market, Shoes - Isabel Marant, Socks - M&S

I am so excited to have found Ann Arundel Knitwear. It is hand knitted in the united Kingdom and is amazing. This is my first piece and I have subsequently found a great elephant piece on eBay and I have commissioned a lion jumper.

This is hand knitting at its best, not only re the designs quirky and fantastic quality but the mohair yarn is dare I say delicious! absolute quality.

An absolute must, is to look at the animal jumper gallery on their website. For me its like being a child in a candy store all over again. Goals to knit like this would be amazing but in the short term I cant help but dream…


An 'Off To Get A Tattoo' Outfit


Velour Bottoms - Traid, Jacket - Isabel Marant, Shoes - Acne, T-shirt - Charity Shop, Bag - Fendi (ebay)

Velour Bottoms - Traid, Jacket - Isabel Marant, Shoes - Acne, T-shirt - Charity Shop, Bag - Fendi (ebay)

So day 2 back to school and I have a cheeky tattoo booked in. This didn't happen on purpose just confidently. I love having tattoos, as a general rule as long as I am minus stress, I actually find them relaxing. Rather like enforced meditation. 

I am partlcar about what I wear to go for a tattoo, comfort is key. I take a pair of shorts and socks and I wear a body, this means most body parts can be accessed with ease. I like to wear comfy track pants and a loose top so that after the tattoo nothing feels tight or restricting if the skin is tender.  

This time I had a tattoo on my lower leg and upper arm which meant I left the tattoo parlour slightly rustling but in extreme comfort 😉.

Parliament Tattoo Parlour.

Parliament Tattoo Parlour.


Back To School


We made it. We made the coach, we ran. 

Jeans - East London Style (Home-made), Dress - Vintage Dead Stock, Jacket - Isabel Marant, Trainers - Nike.

Jeans - East London Style (Home-made), Dress - Vintage Dead Stock, Jacket - Isabel Marant, Trainers - Nike.

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I can't believe the summer is over. I love spending time with Lyric, he is a joy to spend time with and a fun travelling companion. But with the summer holiday comes a lack of time or at least I loose time and this blog looses its self... 

But I'm back and I have a new schedule. I have decided to try achieving tasks, jobs, chores and the fun stuff in 30 minute slots. So I write this with a timer next to me, I don't have to finish but I am going to stick with one thing for half an hour and whatever I achieve is great. The idea is that I can manage big jobs by breaking them down into manageable amounts. 

And each half hour achieved is a bonus and to be celebrated 💕.


Denim Shorts


Shorts - Dead stock Notting Hill, Blouse - Traid Kingsland Road, Boots - Isabel Marant.

Shorts - Dead stock Notting Hill, Blouse - Traid Kingsland Road, Boots - Isabel Marant.

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A few years ago I stumbled along upon a shop in Notting Hill that sold dead stock from the 70's and 80's. I tend not to go shopping there too often as I have a tendency to get over excited. At the start of the summer holidays I popped in to treat myself and the owner mentioned he had a bag of old denim shorts. They were old jeans from the 70's that had been worn out and in the 80's cut into shorts and patched. They were super cool and at £5 a pair it was hard to not to explode with denim happiness! 

Dead stock definition - Brand new, never worn and from a decade before or earlier.