Monthly Archives: August 2014

What I Wore: Reworked Watercolour Dress

One of my favourite things about reworking and updating vintage clothes is hunting for the perfect new project to work on. There are a few things that make me pick a dress over all the others. A unique detail or an unusual pattern are the key things, but if you find a piece of clothing that is well-constructed it is all the better.

I picked up this frock from St Ann’s Hospice in Stockport for a whole £8. I just loved the abstract watercolour like floral print, but also it is really well made, with a bit of structure in the corset and a nicely gathered waist.

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Somebody had already shortened it at some point, saving me a job, but there was still some work to do. Those big puffy sleeves were a bit too 1980s prom/bridesmaid dress for me.

I had two choices here, to reduce the sleeves or remove them completely. I went for the latter as I wanted to make the dress as simple as possible and let that lovely fabric take centre stage.

Removing sleeves is one of the simplest things you can do to transform a dress, but it’s not always quite as straightforward as just unpicking a sleeve and creating a hem. You often need to reduce the armholes and, because this dress was a little too big for me on top I needed to reduce the amount of fabric in the top half.

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I also chose to create a facing, rather than a visible hem, but fortunately there was more than enough fabric in those sleeves to create one.

The result is a rather nice little summery dress which I wore for my birthday meal.

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What I wore: Reworked Lanz Originals vintage dress / Gold bow necklace, Ladybird Likes / ASOS sandals (last year)

What do you think? Do you modify your own clothes or would like to learn? I’m thinking of sharing some tips on the blog of simple alterations you can do. Let me know in the comments below if there’s anything you’d like to see.

Music Monday: Wilderness

One week after I left Wilderness Festival behind and I’m still longing for the sun on my face and wide open spaces.

Sadly, it’s back to the real world for me, but I still have a lot of great memories, not least of all seeing live performances, so I thought I’d share some tunes from some of the favourite acts from the festival on this musical Monday… enjoy! x




Back from the Wilderness

Well I have made it back from Wilderness Festival. Looking like some kind of slightly sunburnt reject from Woodstock, but most definitely more relaxed and refreshed. I didn’t want it to end.

Wilderness is 15,000-capacity festival set in the stunning grounds of Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire, and brought to us by the same minds behind the Secret Garden Party. Over four days, it brings together music, food, wellbeing, debate, nature, literature, vintage, crafts. Kind of like a mini Glastonbury. I was in my element!

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Not a seasoned camper, I was kind of dreading spending my nights in a field, but my friend Emma is a pro and her bell tent served as a cosy home for four of us for the weekend. It was even better once I’d bought some earplugs. Plus, we weren’t too far from a hot shower, bonus! (I did have to pay for it, but some luxuries are worth it, no?)

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Wilderness lived up to it’s name, totally taking us back to nature, including strolls through fields, woods and a morning swim in one of the on-site lakes. After the initial shock of jumping in a lake, it was actually a really beautiful experience.

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By day, the festival had a sort of village fair kind of feel to it, with tons of stuff going on at stalls and tents. Particular favourite spots included the free guided meditation sessions, listening to some local acts in the folk tent, and to debates in the Secret Forum.

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By night, the festival turned into a magic moonlight party. There were headline gigs from Metronomy and London Grammar, plus I managed to catch some pretty stunning sets from Jessie Ware, Joan as Policewoman and Gregory Porter.

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But the best thing was stumling upon parties in the woods where you could dance until dawn.

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Thanks to some stunning weather (it only rained once, how lucky!) I managed to wear most of the vintage outfits I took with me. By far my favourite was this gorgeous 80s Susan Freis dress I found for a mere £10 in a charity shop.

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I accessorised with a sequined butterfly mask borrowed from my 5-year-old niece and a can of Tetleys. Pure class, I think you’ll agree!

If you’re looking for a festival to go to in 2015, I can definitely recommend Wilderness. Brilliantly organised (if not a bit strict on the booze limits) and in beautiful surroundings, it’s the perfect mix of partying and chilling out.

Did you go to any festivals this year? Which is your favourite?

P.S. Thanks to Emma who took most of these photos!

Music Monday: Burt Bacharach

I love an old tune or two, and there is really no one who wrote them like they used to than Mr Burt Bacharach. It’s actually amazing once you start looking at which songs he wrote, how many classics are in there.

I’m off to Wilderness festival later this week and the great man himself is playing (along with more modern acts like Metronomy and London Grammar – I cannot wait). This prompted a rather hilarious game of guess the Burt Bacharach song at work the other day as my colleague hummed everything from The Carpenters to Dionne Warwick.

But here for your listening pleasure (thankfully not hummed) are two of my favourites…

Some great 70s styling in that first one!

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