DIY TIE FRONT TOP (FROM A MEN’S SHIRT)

Right now, it’s all about the statement shirt.  Which is perfect for me (and you), because a simple men’s shirt is the easiest thing to get your hands on – whether it be your Dad’s, brother’s, post man’s or from a local thrift shop. All you need once you’ve got your hands on the shirting goods is a little imagination and a sharp pair go scissors. This isn’t the first time I’ve got creative with a shirt, in fact it’s been something I’ve been experimenting with over and over lately, but in many ways that’s a testament to the adaptability of shirting. Go on, get creative!

DIY Tie Front ShirtDIY Front Tie Shirt

You need:

  • A shirt
  • Scissors
  • Unpicker
  • Sewing machine and thread

DIY Front Tie Shirt

How to:

  1. Cut or unpick the sleeves from the shirt.

DIY Front Tie Shirt

2. Decide how high or low you want to place the sleeves. I put mine around the height of my waist but make sure to put them in the part of your torso you want to cinch in.

DIY Front Tie Shirt

3. Pin the sleeves in place at the side seams

DIY Front Tie Shirt

4. Sew the sleeve down and voila! If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands you can also do this part easily by hand using needle and thread.
DIY Front Tie ShirtDIY Tie Front Shirt

And of course we had to make a few…

DIY Tie front shirtDIY Front Tie ShirtDIY Tie Front Shirt

If you’re all about shirting, head here and here for more.

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

CLOSET STAPLES: DIY SILK CAMISOLE

Welcome to a new series of projects all about making the basics in your closet! If there’s one thing you need in your wardrobe, it’s a silk camisole – just the first of thing you can throw on and go no matter the situation… Including fashion week! This was me last Thursday in between shows, I always feel most comfortable in my skin when wearing something I’ve put together myself.

You’ll know I have an addiction to all things silk (as you would have seen in my last post) and recently I decided it was time to tackle the basics myself – the silk square neck camisole. In the past I’ve shied away from these due to the need to (in all likelihood) put a zip in it. Pretty much laziness of my behalf! But with the help of the girls in the studio we realised that as long as you’re going for flow and oversized, you don’t need a zip at all. Read on to see how.

DIY Silk CamisoleDIY Silk CamisoleDIY Silk Camisole

Wearing: DIY camisole and DIY shorts, Mango Trench, Furla bag, Witchery Belt, Asos necktie, Manning Cartell shoes.

For this project we used a French Seam – something that is so incredibly easy to do and will change the way you think about sewing.

You need:

  • Silk fabric
  • Woven cording
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine and thread

DIY Square silk camisole

How to:

  1. Cut the fabric into a square, a little bigger than half your bust measurement. We cut ours 42 x 42cm.

DIY Square silk camisole

2. Place the wrong sides together and pin. We are going to create a french seam!

DIY Square silk camisole

3. Sew the sides together with a 1cm seam allowance then trim back to about 3-4mm.

DIY Black Silk Tank

4. Turn the seam around, pin and sew with a 5mm seam allowance so that the raw seam is now enclosed.

DIY Black Silk Tank

5.  You can see the french seam below. The next thing you want to do it hem the fabric at the top and bottom of the tube. Do this by folding the fabric over twice and sewing down.

DIY Black Silk Tank

6. Cut the woven cord to length for the straps and sew to the top edge.

DIY Square silk camisole

Voila!

DIY Silk CamisoleDIY Silk Camisole DIY Silk Camisole

Photos by Annie Huang, Holly Burgess and Rachel Yabsley. 

QUICK DIY: THE ROPE HEELS

Hey guys! Whew last week was a crazy one, fashion week down under is fun and exhausting, and tbh I have to stop myself from curling up on the couch half way through and binge watching British Bake Off. But I got through it! And I’ll be sharing a few more of the projects I made through the week with you. Hopefully those of you that tuned in enjoyed the ones I shared on snapchat! This is just a quick one, an easy update you can do yourself regardless of time or talent. xx

DIY Rope Heels Update

Wearing: Dress from English Factory, DIY heels, Celine bag, sunglasses from the market.

DIY Rope Heels Update

This little DIY is what I like to think of as a ‘find and replace’ – find the right heels and replace the ankle straps. I doubt you need any further explanation other than that :). I used simple shoe laces for this one.

Quick Heel Update

Wrap and go!

DIY Rope Heels Update

I also turned my bag into a bum bag / fanny pack (why has nobody come up with a more palatable name for this style?!). It turned out to be super practical because: look mum no hands!

DIY Rope Heels Update

Photos by Hanna Roche

HOW TO PLAN THE PERFECT GIRL’S TRIP

Travel is a mix of excitement, adventure, planning and, lets be honest, in some cases stress/anxiety.  It’s those things that when shared, act to take friendships to the next level. Every time I go away with friends I come back having learnt so much about them and also myself, more so than when I travel with family or my boyfriend who I already know inside out. Whether you’ve got friends you’ve known for years, or new friends you’ve just met, now’s the time to plan your next girls trip – take it to the next level! That being said, it’s not always the easiest thing to do, particularly if you want to do it with more than one person. Having been on more than a few girls trips I thought I would share some of my thoughts.

To celebrate the launch of new silk colours over at Grana, Nicola and I recently embarked on a very fun girls trip to Chiang Mai in Thailand, where we lived and breathed what is was to hang with the girls. Truly a magic journey, a travel guide for which I’ll be sharing soon!

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana silk tank in marzipan, Grana silk trapeze dress in off white.

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana silk shell top in aqua, Grana racerback camisole and Grana silk shorts in lilac.

Half planned, half unplanned

While a girls’ trip that has been planned down to the milli-second sounds closer to a list of chores than a holiday, neither is leaving everything up to fate a good idea either. There is nothing more exhausting than having to make decisions every other minute that are fair and favourable to what each of you want. The key to a great holiday is to  go 50/50: sprinkle a restaurant reservation or a pre-booked day trip here and there, and intermix that with free time and relaxation. It gives you all something to look forward to and with a little structure, you’ll find it actually gives you more freedom to choose where you want to spend the rest of the trip

Size matters

I always air on the side of caution when it comes to the size of the trips I plan – the larger the group the harder it is to manage everyone’s expectations properly. You’ll find that the best trips with the girls are those that are tighter, with perhaps a max of four. If you want to do something bigger (say a hens party or a birthday) my suggestion is to keep the format and movements simple and plan for even more relaxation time than usual. And finally, in a bigger group, make sure it’s understood that it’s ok for people to split off at different times. This will keep everyone chilled!

Strike a balance

One thing that’s major when travelling with friends is a sense of balance  – and that includes everything from planning the trip, paying for things, who does the driving, to who packs the dishwasher in the apartment before you check out. This means, essentially, that when you’re travelling with friends it’s important to be more aware than usual about who is doing what on the trip. Obviously there’s going to be times when things are out of balance, i.e. your friend drives the whole time because they’re happy to, but a little acknowledgement goes a long way to them knowing you appreciate what they’re doing. This actually applies in all aspects of life, but is particularly poignant if everyone wants to feel good about the trip in the end.

Pick your girls (well)

This pretty much goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. The friends you choose to travel with are just as, if not more, important as the destination you choose to go to. I mean,when you’re with that friend even a trip to the grocery store can turn into an adventure of epic proportions. The trick is to know which friends you are more likely to travel well with, based on what you like to do. Travel with friends who you share common interests with (or be prepared to split up on your trip) and chances are you’ll cement the friendship even more.

Short vs Long Trips?

Energy levels take a nose dive later into the trip, so my advice to is keep your girls trips short, or be prepared to have a down time day where you get to separate and relax. And, IMHO, don’t go on long trips with people that you haven’t travelled with before – test it with an overnighter first. As a rule of thumb, 2 or 3 nights with any group of girls is a great way to have an amazing time and also have everyone still energised (aka not hating each other) at the end.

Set a date ahead of time (and stick to it)

Life will always come up with a reason to put off that trip you’ve been meaning to take with your girls. Mark a date in your calendars in advance and plan all your other engagements around it. Sadly if you’re travelling with a few girls you may find someone drops out from the trip due to an emergency or something, but I suggest you all go ahead with it anyway if most people can make it. Even though the dynamic may be different, chances are this change/shake up will help you live outside your comfort zone!

Keep calm and carry on

Finally, understand that sometimes missteps and changes happen despite your best efforts to plan and have things run smoothly. Remember to smile about it, because sometimes the most unforgettable experiences and the ones you will laugh about later are the ones you don’t expect. And whatever you do, try not to start blaming anyone for problems that may arise, or lose it when you’re not happy. Travel is stressful so before you go off like a rocket, take a deep breath and remind yourself no one is perfect (even you).

Finally, If you’re keen to stock up on some pretty silks yourself from Grana, make sure to use the code apasxgrana for 10% off!

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana silk tank in marzipan (shorts a DIY coming soon!) and Grana racerback trapeze dress in off white.

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana silk tank in marzipan.

I’m sure that by this stage you’re pretty familiar with Nicola and her work, and in the two years since we started working together I couldn’t be happy to say that we’ve become such amazing friends – a testament to all the fun trips and adventures we’ve had together! The best thing about doing the work I do is getting to meet and get to know inspiring women, and Nicola stands out as one of the best. Technically she is more of a wedding photographer, so I feel crazy lucky to get to travel and explore with her in her down time. One a side note, if you’re ever looking for a wedding photographer who is kind, easy to work with very very talented, I recommend her whole heartedly.

Travelling with friends

 Grana silk shell top in aqua, Grana racerback camisole and Grana silk shorts in lilac.

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana racerback camisole in vineyard green and Grana silk shorts in off white.

Travelling with friendsTravelling with friends

Wearing: Grana silk tank in rose dawn.

Travelling with friendsTravelling with friends

Wearing: Grana racerback camisole in off white and vineyard green, Grana silk shorts in navy and off white.

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana racerback camisole in off white, Grana silk shorts in navy.

Travelling with friends

Wearing: Grana racerback trapeze dress in off white.

Photos by Nicola Lemmon and myself.

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