Thursday, 29 October 2009

'La dentelle de Calais' - Making use of my free lace!

My first sewing project since returning home from France was to make use of the free lace that I was given at the factory in Calais. I made this dress using the spare material from the corduroy skirt, and I thought a nice bit of lace was just what it needed! The dress is literally two identical pieces of fabric sewn together - I traced around my floral pinafore to get the shape right.

I made a little collar with the lace and sewed it on with a simple running stitch, and finished the look with some white buttons. Can't wait to wear the dress out!

I had a little photoshoot today with my friend who's a photographer - hopefully I'll be able to show you the pictures when they're ready! The theme could best be described as 'book worm' - meaning lots of poses with vintage books and thick rimmed glasses!

Sadie xxx

Wednesday, 28 October 2009


I'm back from France! I thought I'd write a blog on all of the fashion related things I saw :).

But firstly, as you can probably see in the picture... I ended up choosing the black coat, despite an overwhelming response in favour of the red one. I realised that I really really needed a black coat, because it can double up as a smart one and it will go with everything. However! I'm going to take Hannah's advice and change the buttons to make it look a bit more 'up market'!

And now back to the French trip! I was staying with my french friend in Calais, where there is a huge lace industry, selling to companies such as M&S, Agent Provocateur, Victoria's Secret and even the big fashion houses like Dior. We went to a lace factory (and got lots of free lace - I'm going to incorporate it into my next sewing project!) and a brilliant lace museum, where there was a working loom and lots of historical costume made with lace. It was really interesting seeing all of the different styles of lace - literally 1000s.

Shopping in Lille

On Monday we went to Lille for a spot of shopping. Despite having loads of French brands to choose from, we ended up buying most of our things in H&M! I bought a winter hat and some gloves, and a nice cardigan - I'll show you them later!

We also visited the most beautiful haberdashery I've ever seen. The walls were lined with glass jars of beads - it felt like a sweet shop! I really regret not buying some lovely black velvet buttons for my coat. They also had some beautiful corduroy from Liberty, but it was a bit pricey at €28.

Most of the 'friperies' (vintage shops) were shut but we found a nice one tucked away down a little alley way. It was so much cheaper than English vintage shops! I bought a green winter jumper for €5 - which I'll do a blog about soon.

Don't you just love rails of clothing when they look like this:


The Beach

We couldn't go to Calais without seeing the sea. Apparently, there is a tradition for chips and icecream at the beach in Calais - I suppose thats because it's so close to England!

This bird was quite happy to pose for a photo :D...

Sailing into the sunset on the ferry ♥

I think I ended up buying too many things, because my suitcase was extremely difficult to carry around the London underground on the way home! That might have been partly due to the 8 thick French magazines I bought - unbelievably, Elle magazine was just €2! How unfair is that?

Since returning home I keep wanting to say things in French. I think another visit to France is in order!

Sadie xxx

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Two new coats - but I can only keep one! Help!

The other day I was browsing the New Look website when I came across a coat that matched all of my 'criteria' - long sleeved, mid thigh length, rounded collar and with an A line shape. I have been on a search for the perfect coat since last year, and I seem to keep buying ones that aren't quite perfect - meaning that I have about 7 coats, but none that I am 100% happy with. (Don't worry - most of them cost under £5!).

With the winter approaching I could justify spending a little bit more, so I decided to order the coat from the website. But I couldn't choose between black and red so I got them both! But now it's decision time - which one should I keep, and which one should I return?

I really love the red one but practicality is telling me to keep the black! What does everyone think?

Top - Vintage
Skirt - American Apparel
Belt - M&S
Cardigan - H&M
Coats - New Look

(You can find the coats here)

On Saturday I'm going on a little trip to France to stay with my french friend. I'm going to start planning my outfits now :D

Hopefully I'll be able to show you some photos from my trip when I return - and I've also got a DIY jewellery post planned, so keep checking back!

Sadie xxx

Saturday, 17 October 2009

A Simple Skirt Tutorial

Hello! I have just finished writing the tutorial for the skirt that I made. Its quite simple to make - so much so that I even decided to make another one (see above!). My instructions aren't very professional but I have tried to explain everything in the simplest way I can.

One word of advice though: I used really thick corduroy for this green skirt, and ended up breaking THREE sewing machine needles because they just wouldn't go through the fabric. So try to buy thin material if you can!

You will need about 1m x 1.5m of fabric, some matching cotton, a 15cm zip, some pins, scissors, and a sewing machine.

(The red bits are the 'nice' side of the fabric and the white bits are the reverse.)

Good luck! If anyone makes their own skirt, let me know how it turns out!

Sadie xxx

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A night out

Yay for terrible posing! Haha.

This was my outfit from a party on Saturday. I thought this gold brocade dress would be perfect for the occasion! I really like its 60s shift dress shape. It was bought on eBay for about £10 but it was originally from Warehouse. I shortened it a bit because the original clearly wasn't designed for short people like me haha. Unfortunately its now a little bit too short and the whole dress lifts up if I put my arms in the air (as you do).

These are the highest heels I own and they were causing me a fair bit of pain by the end of the night. Luckily all the girls were in the same boat! I really don't know how people manage to wear heels all day every day, but I have great respect for those who can. Time to train my feet up a bit?

I'm working on a tutorial on how to make the skirt in my previous post, so it should be up soon :D.

Sadie xxx

P.S. Sorry for being so terrible at replying to comments recently! I do read them all though and will try my best to reply :)

Friday, 9 October 2009

Homemade skirt and a thrifted coat

Back in July, I mentioned that I'd quite like to try a few more sewing projects with corduroy. It is definitely the easiest material for making clothes, in my experience - it just kindof 'behaves' itself. So the other day, I ordered a meter of navy corduroy from eBay and it arrived this morning!

I made this skirt in about an hour, and it was very very simple to make. Basically, its a thick waistband with a gathered panel of fabric stitched into it. The 'design feature' is an exposed zip down the side, mainly because I'm not very good at doing hidden zips!

I wore it with my favourite top and scarf, which was a hidden treasure from my old dressing-up box.

The burgundy coat was thrifted at a carboot for a grand total of £1.50. It was originally from Primark! They really do make some very nice things. I have to say, I'm not 100% keen on the coat because it's a bit too 'victorian' for my tastes, but I'm going to see if my opinion changes when it gets a bit colder.

I've also ordered some moss-green corduroy fabric which should arrive fairly soon. I'm probably going to use it to make an identical skirt - and I might do a tutorial on it if anyone would like one?

Sadie xxx

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Bobble hats

Very sad to say that the weather's getting a lot colder here in England! But I don't mind so much now that I've seen all of the great knitwear up for sale this A/W. And I have to say, one of the most exciting items for me is the classic bobble hat, which I'm glad to see back in the shops!

There's something so great about wearing bright hat on a dreary winter day. They're a good way to add a bit of individuality - and 80s 'ski-chic' - to your attire when you've covered up the rest of your outfit with a long coat!

As it happens, I bought this bobble hat way back at the start of the summer, from a charity shop in town. (Don't worry - it has been thoroughly washed! Theres something especially creepy about charity shop hats. It's the same thing with shoes. I don't know if anyone else feels the same way...). It has been sitting in my wardrobe ever since, waiting for it's first wear.

It's covered in golf balls on golf tees - something I didn't actually notice when I bought it, but it adds to the charm! After having a little look around on the internet, I found some other beautiful knits that I thought I'd share. I especially like the fair-isle styles like the red one from Asos...

Have a look on for a big selection of winter accessories!

Sadie xxx

P.S. I have another thrifted coat to show you all :D. So stay tuned!