a pair & a spare http://apairandasparediy.com DIY Fashion Fri, 24 Jul 2015 04:18:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.6 WARDROBE REHAB: THE DENIM SKIRT http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/wardrobe-rehab-the-denim-skirt.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/wardrobe-rehab-the-denim-skirt.html#comments Fri, 24 Jul 2015 04:12:15 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15518 Denim skirts have been around in one form or another for the past 50 years, and I have to admit that when I first saw the 70’s inspired version on the cards for the coming seasons I was on the fence. But after hitting my local second hand store and finding perfectly suited styles that just needed a few lazy alterations (read: cutting to the right length), I found myself wearing them over and over – and an addiction was born.  They first came on the scene in the 60s when creative and resourceful hippies made full length denim skirts by opening up the inseam of old jeans (and my DIY idols are born!). Since then the denim skirt has managed to evolve with the times over and over. With the huge variation of denim skirt styles there are many considerations if you’re on the hunt for a modern version of this classic piece.

I have shared a few thoughts, ok ok some strong opinions, on the topic below. What can I say? I’m a denim skirt junkie!

Blue and white summer outfit

Choose the right genre

Relaxed 70’s styles like the A-line button down midi and/or the shorter grungier version from the 90’s are perfect. Opt for mid or high-waisted. Personally I would stay away from 80s styles that are too structured or fussy, like, for example, a stone washed pencil style with a peplum and the teeny-tight-low-rise minis we all had in the 00’s. Think Margot in The Royal Tenenbaums rather than Mariah Carey in Glitter.

High or low

Think of it the same as your favourite pair of jeans. Paired with a t-shirt and sneakers for every day, crop top and sandals for the beach or a silk shirt and heels for a night out. It can even be appropriate for an ‘on-duty’ look if you work in a casual or creative work place when styled carefully.

Don’t be afraid of

Double denim! Unless it’s a perfectly matching set like a cute dark denim crop and high waisted floaty midi, go for at least a few shades different between the top and bottom. The safest option is a light washed shirt tucked into a darker skirt.

Take it into next season (and beyond)

The best thing about the latest denim skirt styles is that they are totally trans-seasonal. Mid-length looks great with knee high boots, knitwear and a coat. While the shorter styles work perfectly with tights and ankle boots.

Don’t worry if

You have an outdated style currently in your closet. It is very likely to come back in fashion in a few years so pop it in storage. Or you can check out my denim skirt DIYs and give and old piece some new life!

Looking to add one to your wardrobe this summer, and your local thrift store not giving you any love? I love this longline version from Topshop, this flippy American Apparel one would be great for a festival, this Asos one would be great for casual Fridays, this J Crew one is so so perfectly styled for there weekend (they always get it so right) and finally this AG Jeans version comes Alexa Chung approved.

July  11Blue and white summer outfitBlue and white summer outfitBlue and white summer outfit

Wearing: Thrifted Denim Skirt (cut to the right length), Spell Designs top, Coach Bag, Daniel Wellington Watch, Panama bought in Athens.

Photos by Michelle Tng

Always with that blue and white these aren’t I guys? It’s so easy!

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A QUICK GUIDE TO CAMBODIA: PHNOM PENH & KEP http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/a-quick-guide-to-cambodia-phnom-penh-kep.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/a-quick-guide-to-cambodia-phnom-penh-kep.html#comments Thu, 23 Jul 2015 13:09:07 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15638 Cambodia, not the first place that I thought of when I pondered my Asian bucket list, but what I found on a recent trip impressed me much more than many of the recognised tourist destinations in the region have. Less discovered, with a faded colonial charm and the nicest people you’ll find virtually anywhere, it really is a place you need to visit before it ends up at the top of everyone’s hit list. I was lucky to visit with a friend who used to live there and got to see it through the eyes of a local, the best things to do and all the secret haunts. She also educated me on the tragic history of the country under the Khmer Rouge, which makes the warmth and hospitality of the people all the more astonishing. On out trip we visited the capital Phnom Penh and the virtually secret seaside town of Kep which is a couple of hours drive from the city. Next time I’ll definitely be visiting Siam Reap!

A Quick guide to Cambodia Phnom Penh and Kep

The pier at the Sailing Club in Kep (heart eye emojis)

Phnom Penh

A great little stopover on the way to wherever you’e going (whether it be Siam Reap or a beachside getaway), I loved the quaint feel of the capital, with tree-lined streets, faded French-colonial buildings and hectic markets.


We stayed at Raffles Hotel, with it’s colonial vibes it’s the perfect place to kay your head. If you’re on a budget The Pavillion or Plantation are both lovely too.

Eat & Drink

Have dinner at The Common Tiger for something a little more modern. We loved! Have drinks and bites downstairs at Chinese House. Have late night drinks at Bar Sito. Have a delicious lunch or dinner at Romdeng (part of the Friends Alliance charity that trains staff – so you’re eating for a good cause!). Have happy hour at the Long Bar in the Raffles Hotel.

See & Do

Wander the waterfront during the early evening. Visit the Killing Fields Memorial just outside the city for a heart wrenching, truly chilling look at the recent history of the country. Take an afternoon to explore the French Quarter and imagine your life in one of those ramshackle french style houses. Go crazy shopping at the Russian Market – make sure you pick u some gorgeous crockery and drink a strong iced coffee.

Good to know

Restaurants shut around 9 in Cambo, so stop taking selfies in your hotel room and get out there!

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Wandering the city in Mister Zimi top, One Teaspoon shorts, Witchery flats, J Crew Bag and Nick Campbell sunglasses.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Raffles Hotel

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The beautiful colonial architecture of the city.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Mornings in Phnom Penh


All the amazing art deco architecture dotting the hills of this seaside town is a tribute to the area as a weekend haunt of rich French colonialists up to the 1960’s. However, during the Khmer Rouge’s rule the town was cleared out and destroyed. Whilst some redevelopment has happened in the last decade or so, the area still retains a melancholy atmosphere – crumbling mansions and wide, quiet streets. It was this sense of history and almost ghost-town-ness that intrigued me about the place. It’s a great as a place to relax as the pace is slooooowwwww (and there are limited things to do).


We stayed at the rather pricey  Knai Bang Chatt, a hotel on the water set across a series of art deco mansions – it had those Wes Anderson’y vibes that you guys know I love so much. Up in the hills, The Veranda is another option if your budget is a little less.

Eat & Drink

Seafood is where it’s at in Kep. Eat much. My friend swears by Kym Ly as the best place to eat amongst the seafood restaurants on the water. Up on the hill, the Veranda is a great spot for dinner and drinks, or go in the day for yummy croissants! My number one place for eating, drinking and general hanging out is The Sailing Club, a true gem amongst a fairly meagre set of dining options in the area. Have a top up at Kep Market, fruit and snacks perfect for taking on a little excursion.

See & Do 

Take a day trip to Rabbit Island, you can easily get a boat from the Kep Pier and set up at one of the restaurants there. We both got somewhat aggressive massages at the little stalls there, we had the stress literally beaten out of us! Organise with your hotel to do a took took tour of the local area, if you get someone good they’ll take you to all the hidden mansions that are crumbling since the Khmer Rouge let the area go to ruin. Take a full afternoon to enjoy the sunset at the sailing club, it was heaven!

Good to know

My friend is a foodie so helped me order the good stuff, number one tip is to have everything with the local Kampot Pepper – so so delicious. I also absolutely loved the traditional Amok dish, the prawn one at Knai Bang Chatt was next level.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The pool at Knai Bang Chatt

Cambodia Guide

Simple holiday outfits… DIY shorts and Her swimsuit

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Time to take a load off!

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The perfect place to watch the sunset.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

I loved all the details at Knai Bang Chatt.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Travelling with friends is the best (especially ones who say yes to lunchtime drinks!)

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Exploring run-down villas in DIY shorts, Club Monaco white shirt, J Crew Bag

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Hashtag serenity?

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Enjoying the sunshine in this.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Squid with campot peppers – amazing!

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

This is what I wish every weekend looked like…

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Dawson’s Creek vibes get me every time.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The sunsets were utterly amazing.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

The gorgeous Sailing Club. Every single detail was perfect.

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Gorgeous bungalows at Rabbit Island

A Quick Guide to Camobodia: Phnom Penh and Kep

Grab a boat to Rabbit Island. A great day.

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DIY COPPER CLOTHES RACK http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/diy-copper-clothes-rack.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/diy-copper-clothes-rack.html#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:33:06 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15658 We’ve been playing around with copper in the studio a lot recently, it’s just such a great material because it’s so incredibly cheap from your local hardware store, but it adds a sense of elegance  just about any project you use it in. Hanging copper racks aren’t exactly new but we recently created a layered one in a triangle shape and I thought it would be worth sharing with you. As a lover of symmetry I can’t help but be drawn to the shape,  and the best thing about this rack is that it looks a lot harder to make than it actually is! And did I mention it costs $10 in total to make? Read on to see how.

DIY Copper Hanging Clothes Rack

On my rack (what I’m taking to Vietnam): Top to bottom – DIY cut off shorts (3 pairs!), Faithfull Romper, Zulu & Zephyr Top, Faithfull Crop Top, Spell Designs Crop Top, Grana TankWinona Romper, Faithfull striped romper, Leopard print flats (my own design – stay tuned!), Market Panama Hat, Coach Bag, Furla Make Up Bag, J Crew flats.

I’m heading heading to Vietnam this weekend and the above is what I think will be coming along with me – I’ll be following my recent travel packing guide obviously! If you have any tips for Hoi An I would love to hear. :)

DIY Copper Hanging Clothes Rack

You need:

  • Two lengths of copper pipe (ours were 1.2 m and 60 cm – 1.4 yards and 0.7 yards)
  • Rope

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

How to:

1. Cut your rope to size, we used about 5 metres (5.5 yards) for this. Then, thread it through your longer piece of pipe until the pipe sits roughly in the middle of the rope. Then, thread the smaller piece of pipe onto the rope at one end.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

2.You then want to add the other end of the rope through that same small piece of pipe so that the smaller piece of pipe has two lengths of rope going through it in different directions. We added a chop stick to the second end of rope to get it through past the first piece of rope.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

3. Feed the rope through the other end of the shorter pipe.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

4. Connect the two pieces of rope at the top to form a triangle.

DIY Layered Copper Hanging Rack

Hang it and away you go!

DIY Copper Hanging Rack DIY Copper Hanging Clothes RackDIY Copper Hanging Clothes Rack

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THE TWO MINUTE FLORAL ARRANGEMENT http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/the-two-minute-floral-arrangement.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/the-two-minute-floral-arrangement.html#comments Mon, 20 Jul 2015 10:49:53 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15650 If you’d said the words ‘flower arrangement’ to me a few years ago, I would have broken out in a rash. I guess it conjured up images of crazy aunts with strict rules about flower placement as well as people being done away with in Midsommer Murders (always in the greenhouse right?!). Anyway, if you’ve been tuning in recently you’ll know that I got over that a while ago, in part because of working closely on a few projects with the lovely Gemma, who showed me that flowers needn’t have any rules, you can be as creative (or lazy) as you want and it will usually work out. Unless of course you leave them out of water… That doesn’t work so much. Last week I was excited to get back in the studio with Gemma and create some more projects that we’ll be sharing over the next few months. And although this particular little arrangement isn’t a ‘project’ so much as a few flowers in some mismatched jars, it was one of my favourite things we did on the day – proving yet again that what you do with your blooms doesn’t have to be tricky or ulcer inducing.

Quick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting idea

There are pretty much no rules to creating a simple multiple vase arrangement here but a few pointers from Gemma are:

  • Choose flowers that stand alone well such as roses or hydrangeas.
  • Go for a mix of bottles in all different sizes.
  • Cut all the flowers are different heights and trim downwards on the stem.
  • Add flowers as you go to fill in the gaps.

Quick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting ideaQuick and easy rose table setting idea

Photos by me.

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HOW TO REPOT SUCCULENTS AND CACTI http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/how-to-repot-succulents-and-cacti.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/how-to-repot-succulents-and-cacti.html#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2015 10:56:38 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15620 With our appetite for cacti and succulents in the studio (seriously, it’s like a nursery in here now), it’s no wonder that we have to spend a bit of time repotting. It’s honestly something I really dislike doing but it’s kind of a necessity, so sometimes you just gotta get down and dirty and repot. Read on to see how.

How to repot succulents and cacti

When should you repot?

Although many succulents and cacti actually like a tight pot, there will come a time when you need to repot, or maybe you just want to take it out of it’s placates pot and put it in something nicer. But how do you know when a succulent or cacti needs repotting? Here are a few signs:

  • If you can see that the roots are tightly packed or sticking out of the drainage holes
  • If when watered the water just sits at the top of the soil and doesn’t soak through
  • When the plant looks like it’s too big for the pot
  • Or if the soil has become poor quality, such as it dries out quickly or has come away from the sides of the pot.

A general rule of thumb is to repot every two years, at least as a way to provide fresh fertile soil. The best time to repot is at the beginning of a succulent’s growing season for the highest chance of survival. Early spring is the optimal period for most cases but take note, some do start growing in autumn or winter.

How to repot succulents

You need:

  • A soil mixture that is 1/3 sand to 2/3 soil
  • Your succulents
  • The bigger pot

How to:

1. Remove the plant from its original pot. You’ll see that the root system is really packed and has probably been choking in that pot!

How to repot succulents

2. Open up the compacted soil and try to gently spread out the roots. Clear away the oil soil but be careful not to pull too hard or break them. It’s helpful to use a stick like a chopstick or stick to remove the old soil. Also look out for dead roots, which should be pruned off. You’ll want to choose a pot that’s bigger than the current one, but not too big.

How to repot succulents

3. Place a few rocks at the bottom of the pot for drainage. Fill the pot about ½ full with potting mixture, put the plant on the mixture and add more of the potting mixture. You want to press the soil gently down so as to make it compact again. Do not water the succulents immediately after repotting. Wait a week to give them some time to adjust to the new soil.

How to repot succulents

Voila! Enjoy. Read more succulent tips here.

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

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5 STEPS FOR RESEARCHING YOUR NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION (SO YOU FIND ALL THE COOL PLACES) http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/5-steps-for-researching-your-next-travel-destination-so-you-find-all-the-cool-places.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/5-steps-for-researching-your-next-travel-destination-so-you-find-all-the-cool-places.html#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:03:59 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15592 We’ve all been travelling before and felt as though we missed out on seeing the best things, those hidden places that sometimes you stumble upon if you’re lucky, but otherwise you won’t ever find. That’s why research is absolutely key to getting the best out of travel. It’s the difference between sitting in front of the Trevi fountain and wondering why the food isn’t great, and finding that secret nook of a restaurant that only the locals know about. Sadly we can’t all travel with a local (that would be my number 1  tip), but by doing some research before you go you can find these places yourself. And although we all used to travel with guide books and they were the number 1 source of information, the internet has brought a million different travel voices – many of which that are probably more attuned to your personal interests than a mass market book could ever be. So below I’ve listed a few of my go-to places for travel research which help me get to the heart of the place, and the way that I put the ideas together and hold onto them.

How to research your travel destination (so you find the cool spots)

You’re probably groaning at the thought of research – ‘Geneva I left high school a while ago and I don’t wanna hit the books‘. Luckily for you, I’ve listed a few of my favourite ways to quickly research a place for results that don’t take all day. Cheers to your next trip!

Step 1. Set yourself up on Pinterest (and maybe google…)

Ok so it won’t come as a surprise that I’m a Pinterest freak, it’s the number one source of referral traffic to this blog, so that’s something you can’t sneeze at is it? Anyway, amongst other things I find it invaluable for travel. The first thing I do is create a secret board with my destination. This will be my go to board when I’m on the road, the place I save off everything I find while researching. No more printed pieces of paper that always get lost! The downside to this is that it really does require you to have a working phone with internet access, so this will depend on your destination but generally is ok – most hotels have internet these days.

The next thing I do is trawl Pinterest itself, searching my location, towns I might visit, places to eat etc etc. I use lots of different search terms when  I’m doing this and keep on scrolling down – you can find find hidden gems on Pinterest that link to blogs or obscure websites if you look beyond the obvious photos and search terms.

And yes yes naturally I google, but these days Pinterest is my go to search engine, I think it’s because I feel Pinterest is a better (visual) curation of things that might interest me?

Step 2. Instagram

Instagram is also another really useful tool for researching places things to do at your destination. I’m a screenshot freak and always save off inspiration from other people’s holidays (yep, that’s me, creeping on your holiday photos from Barcelona in 2012), and in addition I always check hashtags for the places I’m going. That will usually allow me to find geolocated places for the hotel I’m thinking about staying or the restaurants/ activities I want to do. Instagram is also often a really sharing community so connecting up with someone who is on the ground and asking them for some tips is a great way to go – and has worked for me so many times! Kinda like getting a local view before you’ve even arrived.

Step 3. Check the blogs

The best thing about blogs (and presumably one reason for you reading this blog in the first place) is that bloggers show a unique perspective which is individual to who they are. I have lots of different bloggers I (internet) like and would trust with their recommendations, so I always google ‘blog name + destination’ in the event that they have done a travel guide – or even better, live there – that might be helpful. Even if it’s two years old chances are it will give a view more relevant to what I like than a guide book aimed at a more general audience. Anything I find on these sites (or anywhere online) I’ll pin to my board, for easy access when pre-planning and when I’m in at the destination.

Step 4. Websites

You will have stumbled upon a zillion great websites through your Pinterest search, and so when I look at mainstream websites I like to focus on ones that I know have great content that will be aimed at someone like me – much the same as how I choose which blogger’s travel guides I will take to heart. Websites I  will check for coverage of my destination are magazine websites like Conde Nast Traveller and food magazines like Gourmet Traveller (they understand that for me, it’s all about food), accommodation websites that have travel guides such as Air Bnb, The Luxe Nomad and Mr and Mrs Smith and Tourism Board websites.

Step 5. Ask your mates

And lastly, nothing beats real live experience from people that you know and trust. Right? Just make sure that the person you’re asking is similar to you in their tastes and interests, just because you’re friends it doesn’t mean you both want to go and get pineapples painted on your nails at Bangkok’s best underground nail salon.

Naturally I also check user review websites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, however I am always a little careful when using them these days because I feel that sometimes they are the target of spam and fake reviews. So use carefully!

Once I’ve got all the ideas, together, it’s all about culling them down and planning the perfect schedule! Feel free to let me know if you can think of any other sites I should be checking, I know there are lots of great sites out there!

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WHAT TO WEAR ON A BOAT http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/what-to-wear-on-a-boat.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/what-to-wear-on-a-boat.html#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:19:02 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15577 I know I know, ‘What am I going to wear on the boat’ is pretty much at the top of the list of First World Problems, up there with inexplicable anger when your phone battery dies and eating so much you get sleepy. Regardless, if you’re lucky this Summer you might get invited on a boat. Yay! Rejoice because a) drinking Aperol Spritz’s in the sunshine on the water is what Summer 2015 is all about and b) you don’t own said boat (ask anyone who owns a boat and they’ll tell you that it’s like throwing money out the window).

And considering all that, naturally you’re going to want to look good on this venture. You deserve to! And although I didn’t start out always being good at dressing for a boat – my earliest experience was a work trip in which my dress blew up constantly and showed everyone my knickers – recent experience in Hong Kong, where many people own boats and thus lots of opportunities to make plenty of other mistakes, has helped me shape a few rules for dressing for a boat. In a nutshell it’s about striking a balance between looking good, comfort and the practicalities of the boat. Read on for a few thoughts.

What to wear on a boat

Wearing: Denim DIY cut offs, Her one piece, Ray Ban sunglasses, Market Flats, Hat from Athens

Plan for all weather conditions

No matter what the forecast says, or what the weather is like before you leave, be prepared for both cold and windy and blazing hot sunshine. Pack sunscreen and a hat (make sure it fits properly as that pesky wind can strike at any time) as well as something warm to throw on like a denim shirt (like this one) or utility jacket (like this one).

Choose the right footwear

Make sure it’s something that can slip on and off easily and something with a bit of grip. I’m all about a flat but a wedge could also work (although is much less practical). Sandals (like these) or converse (like these) are perfect – just make sure they have light coloured soles. Black soles that mark the deck are a big no no and the first rule of boating etiquette.

Keep clothing basic

Don’t wear anything that is too precious so avoid silk and anything that you wouldn’t want getting wet – Denim is a great hardy fabric to wear – these denim shorts or these ones would be perfect. Hats and discarded items of clothing are notorious for flying off the boat too, so be careful!

Take a big bag

I always take a few outfits with me when I go on a boat, mainly because sometimes your clothes get wet or you want something more comfortable to wear. That’s where a big bag will come in – a large tote that can handle a few changes as well as your magazines and beauty products.

Take a pair of sunnies (or three)

Forgetting to bring a pair of sunglasses will truly ruin your day. I always take more than one pair because I find that friends sometimes don’t bring their own – sharing is caring! I just make sure I get them back at the end of the the day :)

Arrive with your swimsuit already on

Space is a big issue on boats and the changing facilities are usually below deck in the toilet. Small and cramped and terrible if you get seasick so spend as little time in there as possible. Bikinis are just as appropriate as a one piece, but I love that my one piece doubles as a bodysuit as soon as you throw on a pair of shorts. This looks like the perfect one piece, and I love this nautical swimsuit.

Consider Short Skirts or dresses carefully

Not only are these a bad idea in windy conditions but boats are often 2 levels. You spend a lot of the day climbing up and down the ladder between them so don’t wear a skirt of dress. The upper deck is where all the sunbathing happens too! A romper  like this one is a great alternative.

Other tips

If you arrive in your swimsuit don’t forget to bring your underwear. A kaftan is great for throwing over your swimsuit while in the cabin or eating lunch (and is super sun smart). Don’t be afraid to get into the boating spirit. Nothing says nautical like blue and white with a touch of red and some tan accessories. Oh, and on the practical side – fashion doesn’t apply when you feel like there’s a need to put s life jacket on (when you’re inverting or traversing the seaway for example), and don’t ever get in the water when the engine or propellor are still on.

What to wear on a boatWhat to wear on a boatWhat to wear on a boatWhat to wear on a boatWhat to wear on a boatWhat to wear on a boatWhat to wear on a boat

Oh to be back on the water!

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DIY OFF THE SHOULDER TOP http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/diy-off-the-shoulder-top-3.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/diy-off-the-shoulder-top-3.html#comments Mon, 13 Jul 2015 09:38:23 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15579 In case you haven’t noticed, off the shoulder silhouettes are my jam. Maybe it’s that they remind me of a past life as a German Beer Girl, orrrr bring to mind holidays in the sun where tops and bras with straps are banned. Either way, I find them endlessly easy to wear, and also to make (!). I’ve crafted a few styles in the last year or so, and each one has been a little easier to make and to wear than the last. This one is my favourite design yet – a gathered waist skirt neckline with arm holes sewn on. Easy! Read on toe see how.

DIY off the shoulder topDIY off the shoulder top

Wearing: DIY top, Riders by Lee jeans, Celine Bag, Mode Collective heels & Daniel Wellington Watch

You need:

  • cotton fabric (or any natural fabric with a nice drape)
  •  scissors
  • elastic
  • pins
  • sewing machine

DIY off the shoulder red top

How to

1. Cut two squares of fabric approximately the size of your shoulders to your waist. If your piece of fabric is wide enough you can fold your fabric in half and then cut along the fold. I used the selvage edge of the fabric for the bottom on the top to avoid hemming.

DIY off the shoulder red top

2. Measure how long you want your sleeves to be and then cut two smaller rectangular pieces of fabric which will form your sleeves.

DIY off the shoulder red top

3. Fold your rectangular sleeves in half and pin the open sides to the side seams of your top, aligned with the top of the garment.

DIY off the shoulder red top

4. Sew your sleeves to the body of the garment whilst also sewing the sides of your front and back pieces together.

DIY off the shoulder red top

5. Once you have finished sewing everything, turn the top inside out.

DIY off the shoulder red top

6. Measure your elastic and double that measurement. Fold the top of your garment inwards according to that measurement. Sew along the bottom of  the folded section to create a fabric loop leaving room between the start and finish.

DIY off the shoulder red top

7. Take something sharp like a wooden screwer or safety pin and attach it to the elastic. Thread it thought until the elastic appears at the other end. Sew the elastic together.DIY off the shoulder red top

8. Adjust and loosen the gathered fabric and voila!

DIY off the shoulder red top

I decided to leave the bottom hem raw a to add a bit of an edge to the top, but you can hem it if you prefer.

DIY off the shoulder topDIY off the shoulder topDIY off the shoulder top

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

See last year’s off the shoulder top here.

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DIY HANGING LEATHER PLANTER http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/diy-hanging-leather-planter.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/diy-hanging-leather-planter.html#comments Fri, 10 Jul 2015 01:50:50 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=14951 Because the studio is absolutely overflowing with plants these days, it seems silly not to experiment with as many different types of planters as possible. It’s pretty clear that you can fashion a planter out of pretty much anything, rope, chain and now a square of leather! Read on to see how you can make your own.

DIY Leather Box Planter

See yesterday’s post for details on buying the perfect white romper.

DIY Leather Box Planter

You need:

  • Succulents
  • Leather
  • Rope
  • Scissors
  • Multi Hole Punch
  • Ruler
  • Chalk Pencil or Pen

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Measure the base and height of your plant pot.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

2. First, draw a square based on the measurement of the base of your plant pot. Then add square wings on each side of the square according to the height of your plant pot.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Cut out your box template and punch holes 1cm (around half an inch) from the corner.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Cut 4 pieces of 90 cm (36 in) rope.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Attach the rope through the parallel holes with the know facing the inside.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

6. Once you have attached all your pieces, it should look like this.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

7. Place your succulent in the centre.

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.com

8. Hold up all your pieces of string to create your hanging leather box planter

How to make leather box planters www.apairandasparediy.comDIY Leather Box PlanterDIY Leather Box Planter

Photos by Nicola Lemmon

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WARDROBE UPDATE: THE WHITE ROMPER http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/wardrobe-update-the-white-romper.html http://apairandasparediy.com/2015/07/wardrobe-update-the-white-romper.html#comments Thu, 09 Jul 2015 07:16:08 +0000 http://apairandasparediy.com/?p=15513 What might have seemed like a passing one season wonder has turned out to be  a summer staple for a least 5 years. What originated as a historian undergarment (yep really!), is now pretty much my uniform for a hot summer’s day. Not only are they fun to wear, rompers (or playsuits) are perfect for those of you who are as lazy as me and can’t be bothered finding separates that match when the beach (or bar) is calling. The words ‘resort collection’ come to mind whenever I wear mine – I’m transported to a tropical destination and memories of days spent at the beach – even when I’m stuck in the city on the way to the studio or a meeting (although, to be fair, I generally wear more clothes to most meetings…).

Although they can seem scary if you’re new to the romper game, I promise you can pull one off. It’s all about finding the right look and fit for you. Read on for my tips on how to find and wear your next capsule wardrobe piece – the white romper.

White romper summer outfitWhite romper summer outfit

Wearing: Spell Designs Playsuit , J Crew Bag, Daniel Wellington Watch, Market hat, Ray Ban sunglasses

Choose the right fit

The playsuit is meant to bring to mind casual days on a tropical island, which is why I like to stick to ones that are floaty rather than tight. A design that has a drawstring at the waist will give you shape without giving everything away, and also lengthen your legs (at least, it will look that way)!

Torso to leg ratio

Torso to leg ratio is an important consideration when choosing the right fit for your body type. For those of you with long torsos, you’re going to want to choose a design with some flexibility, like adjustable shoulder straps or a looser fit. Make sure the waist of the romper actually sits on your waist otherwise, keep looking.

Versatile vs vibrant

Although I’m a huge fan of fun prints, choosing a block colour will make your romper infinitely more wearable. For your first foray into romper-dom, go with white or black for versatilities sake. Once you’re a romper convert, pretty floral prints are perfect for summer shin digs like weddings or long lunches.

Consider your exit strategy

Make sure you can get it on and off easily. Going to the toilet isn’t as dire as romper haters make it out to be – unless of course you struggle to get in and out of it. A c-word to consider when wearing a romper is CAMELTOE! Tugging at it all day is not comfortable so if it rides up, just don’t go there. Often picking a low loose crotch (like the one I’m wearing) is a great option if you find you have this problem.

Keep it simple

When in doubt, go for a simple style with not too much going on. You can always accessorise it later. Although, in my books a lace style is always a winner!

If you’re looking to get your hands on something like this for summer (do it!) we’ve chosen a few for you. This Clove one is gorgeous, and this Asos one is a good budget option, this Topshop one has a bit of length in the legs for a more refined look, this Vero Moda one is almost the same as the one I have on. This Saylor one has the cutest back, whilst this Cameo one is perfectly minimalist for evenings, and this Stone Cold Fox one is off the shoulder perfection. If you’re feeling flash, this Zimmermann one is perfect.

White romper summer outfitWhite romper summer outfitWhite romper summer outfit

Photos by Michelle Tng

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