18th July 2014
Greetings from sunny (and alternately rainy) Phuket! For me, one of the biggest casualties when it comes to holidays is sunglasses, I honestly can’t help but lose at least one pair every time I travel. This trip I decided to get serious about holding onto them – partly because it’s an annoying waste of time looking for them in every part of my bag only to realise they’re long gone, but mainly because I couldn’t bear the thought of parting with my new Le Specs beauties. This is a very easy simplification of another strap I made, using a more simple chain that will go with practically anything!
1. Cut your delicate chain so you have around 1m (1.2 yards).
2. Add a jump ring to the end of the rubber fitting.
3. Attach the chain to the jump ring and press it closed. Do this for the other end of the chain.
Voila! Told you it was easy? No more losing sunglasses!
Follow my holiday shenanigans here!
17th July 2014
As I mentioned a few days ago, the whole ‘fingers crossed it doesn’t rain’ business didn’t even slightly work this year at Glastonbury – it’s the first time in my five festivals that it’s rained so hard that your skin actually hurts through your raincoat. Needless to say wellies were a must – oh how I alternately loved, and then hated, my little red hunters. Oh and did I mention there was thunderstorm and they had to close the stages for a couple of hours on the Friday afternoon? Luckily my attitude was that it allowed more time for hitting the organic felafel stand! Another upside of the mayhem was that stage times were a bit out of wack and we ended up seeing Polica in a tent with about 20 other people. THE moment of the festival. Oh and I didn’t let the mud stop me wearing my new DIY kimono (in action here and here)! The lovely team over at Free People asked me to share my favourite bits of the festival, so feel free to head over to their blog here to hear more (including my favourite acts) and see the rest of my pics.
There were times when the weather, and weight of the mud on my boots, got so bad that it had me thinking I may have to end my annual pilgrimage to the somerset countryside (a big commitment when you live in Hong Kong), but on looking back, I can only remember the good bits and am already planning next year!
16th July 2014
Because of travelling quite a lot recently I haven’t had the chance to hit my favourite thrift store as much as I would like, but a little while ago I got a chance to do a full afternoon wandering the racks and was rewarded with loads of cool pieces – and some not so cool things I thought might make great fodder for before & after projects. Once such item was this denim shift dress – long, unshapely and generally not something you’d catch me wearing. However, given the summer season I thought it might be fun to make myself a summer pleated dress, a little bit 90′s, and little bit Balmain and a whole lot of satisfaction when it was done. This was my first experience with pleating and let’s just say it was an eye opener!
This is said shift dress and what I did to it:
- A shift dress
- A sewing machine
- Needle and thread
1. I started by chopping the dress off at the point at which I wanted the pleats to start.
2. Because the shift dress was very long I was able to create two panels for the skirt part, allowing me to create much more volume with the pleats.
3. I then trimmed those panels to the same length and sewed them together so I had one long panel, then sewed the hem of the part of the panel that had originally sat in the middle of the dress.
4. I then took in the top so it was fitting on my body.
5. Now it’s time to create the pleats. I decided I wanted to create box pleats so they had a one over one under look (rather than side pleats like a netball skirt where they all face the same direction. What I did to do this was to measure both the bodice and the skirt panel, and decide on a pleat size that would divide perfectly (or approximately in my case) – thus allowing the panel piece of the skirt to fit together with the bodice. I worked out a pleat of 4cm wide (approx 1.5 in) would work well.
6. To create the box pleats I turned the fabric over to the wrong side and did two side pleats (that’s two folds) facing each other, turning over to make sure the resulting box pleat was around 4cm wide. At times it was approximate but I didn’t really mind!
7. I pinned as I went, but found when I got to the end the last pleat was a little short so I had to go along and redistribute a bit so I could finish the last pleat – very much a case of working it out as I went along!
8. I then pinned the pleats to the underside of the bodice.
9. Using the sewing machine, I secured the pleats to the bodice.
Outfit photos by Marion Tessier