Seasonal Wardrobes


So it’s been a while but time to start talking about clothes and style again! There will be some outfit posts coming soon, I promise I just need to finish a few bits on the first and also reclaim my sewing room back which is currently a mess and being used as a temporary store-room!

Now that spring has emerged and summer is doing its usual hokey cokey of whether it’s going to be hot and glorious and wet and miserable, I thought it would be a good time to talk about seasonal wardrobes and switching them over. I think most people by default have at least two seasonal wardrobes one for winter and one for summer and probably like me tend to crossover in transitional months when the weather is a bit more temperamental. Of course this also depends where you live the world but I’m in the UK so we’re currently in nightmare what to wear season where it’s a toss-up between underdress and you freeze, over dress and you boil to death, looks sunny so risk not taking a coat and drown from spontaneuous downpours or if your lucky you might just get it right but this rarely happens in.

I’m writing these style posts as I’m trying to get my wardrobe that I’m making/putting together to not only reflect my personality and style but to also be functional and season appropriate. At the moment I have issue with fluctuating weight which is making sewing plans a bit difficult as I have no idea what measurements to go by but this is an issue for another day and I think I have the situation in hand and the problem is being sorted. I’ve also been in a bit of a style rut because a) I work at home and tend to just wear comfortable clothes and b) despite having a fabulous selection of clothes, not currently being able to fit in them is kind of annoying but as i said working on that.

Do you have a seasonal wardrobe?

So do I have a seasonal wardrobe? Yes I do, though at the moment I’m kind of in a wear what fits kind of stage so most of the winter I’ve been layering up summer clothes with thermal socks and woolly cardigans. I hope to get a few more winter staples made before next winter, that being a few layering jumpers, some long-sleeved cardigans and a few pairs of winter appropriate trousers.

Do you switch them over?

Most of them yes. I tend to pack away most of my dresses, especially strappy ones and things like shorts, thin blouses, light cotton trousers etc as they rarely get worn during the colder months. I tend to leave a few skirts and dresses out that can be layered. Now that it’s spring I’m thinking about things to put away, like my heavier coats, boots and thicker woollen tights. Now is a good time to do a stock take of what you have, clear out non repairable items, recycle or resell things you haven’t worn for ages and see also what needs replacing.

These days it’s so easy to go into a department stores and raid the racks because things look pretty and half the time they just sit in the wardrobe, I know I’ve been guilty of this in the past. As I spend most of my time working from home I’m looking to stock up more comfortable and practical clothing. The end of season sales are a good time to grab a few bargains in prep for next year like boots or a coat, or as I’ve done stock up on my underwear and exercise clothes once the Jan/feb fitness rush was over.

How do you store your clothes?

I store my clothes in a couple of old vintage suitcases which I’ve found over the years. Depending on how much space you have you could use shallow plastic storage boxes to store under the bed or on top of wardrobe. Or vacuum bags if you have a loft.

I launder all my clothes before storing them, I line the suitcases with draw liners and I also stick in a sachet of lavender or some cedars balls to repel moths. I also hang these in my wardrobe and clothes draws regardless of the season. Make sure clothes are dry, if you put them in even slightly damp they’ll smell musty when you take them out or even worse develop mould depending on the fabric content.

How to plan your seasonal wardrobe.

So pretty much the same rules apply regardless whether you’re purchasing or making your clothes. Think about your style, what do you like? What do you wear often? And finally what do you need? Always look to invest in your wardrobe, you’re better off buying one decent long serving item than five cheaper alternatives that fall apart after a few wears. When I was at University the first thing I bought with my student loan was snorkel/parker coat and some cat boots to see me through the winters. I still have the coat, it’s been twenty years and the best 30 quid I ever spent! I may not it wear it as much but it’s still there if I need it.

These days I try to be practical when spending money on clothes. Take my wedding dress for instance, generally that’s something you where once but I went for a cocktail dress instead so I could get more wear out of it as I hate to see clothing languishing in the back of the wardrobe unworn and I have worn it again. Although I tend to make more of my own clothes now I still apply this to the fabrics I purchase and the items I plan to make. I also buy a lot of vintage, part of this is to do with style, another part is to do with cut and fit, another part is keeping clothes in circulation and out of the landfill.

Do you have any tips to add about planning or storing your seasonal wardrobes?


Choosing a Colour Palette For Your Wardrobe

How do you choose a colour palette for your me made wardrobe?
Although I’m specifically talking about your me made wardrobe, these principles could easily be applied to choosing colour palettes for a bought wardrobe as not everyone has the time or inclination to make their own clothes. There are several ways you can do this, you could do it by what’s in trend for this season. Pantone’s colour of the year is greenery, whilst I like bright jewel colours, I, myself  have found myself opting for more subtle shades this season.

Is it by season?
Colours you pick can easily be influenced by the season, I tend to go for brighter colours in the summer and more muted tones in the winter and kind of mixed in spring and autumn.I think the weather does sort have an influence over the colours I choose,e even with my choice of hair colour.

Is it by your favourite colours?
Oddly I don’t. My favourite colour is pink, yet it’s a colour until now I don’t have much of in my wardrobe. it’s easy to keep picking your favourite colour and then you end up with a monochrome wardrobe, which I try to avoid.
Or by occasion?
You might find that your work wear wardrobe takes on a completely different palette to that of your out of work clothes, or they might not depending on your line of work. As a freelancer I can pretty much wear what I want but when working for someone I less frivolous in my choices of office wear.
I’ve always struggled with colour palettes because my tastes and influences vary wildly. As you know I’m pretty much influenced by every decade and trend that’s passed by and cherry pick from each one, which leads to quite an eclectic wardrobe.
Recently I got back into Pinterest. Pinterest was one of those things I got into when it first started and you had to request an invite. And then I just kind of forgot about it and when I came back everyone was a profession pinner and had thousands of followers and I’m like trying to play catch up ( this sums up every social media trend I have joined!) but I’m not trying to be an influencer and like Instagram and everything else there are courses you can do to make you a better pinner, to make your pins more pinable etc but to be honest i think I’m too far behind to catch up or care about catching up. I need to do stuff at my own pace.
Anyway I digress (as always)! I started using Pinterest to record colour combinations and compositions that I liked as a way to help with my photography and this inadvertently ending up influencing other aspects mainly my choice of colours for this years wardrobe. I’m obsessed with colour, I always have and recently this has been showing up in my colour choices for clothes through bold colours and prints but towards the end of last year I started making some softer additions to my colour palette choices.
I’ve never really been into pastel colours, I’ve always though of them as too soft and girly which is complete bullshit, I think that stereotyping brainwashes in to believing that colour has some sort of gender significance and they don’t! Anyone can wear any colour regardless of their gender, it does not mean anything other than you like that colour!
So I generally buy the bulk of my fabric during Black Friday and the January sales (or basically when there is a discount or sale on) and I noticed that I had changed my usual colour choices quite a bit to a more softer/neutral palette. Even with my wool choices.
I bought some paintbox yarns and picked five colours that were the complete opposite of the colours I picked last year. Last year were all very bright jewel colours, this year they were more mute. Now I could say that it’s down to trend but to be honest there is such a wide variety of colours and prints to choose from it probably more down to preference that influence.

Like anything and you I probably mention this too often on here but style is not static. yes you probably have a core style but things do change, you add, you take away, you’re forever experimenting, pushing the boundaries of who you are.
So maybe Pinterest taught me to give those pastels and metallics a chance, or maybe because it’s because it’s been so on trend it’s subliminally influenced me, or maybe I’ve just decided to add a softer element to my wardrobe.
There are still prints in my choices for this years wardrobe, though I did take a slightly different approach in that I pretty much bought with specific projects in mind, and didn’t stick to my usual 2ms which actually turns out is quite limiting in choice especially with the vintage patterns I have in stock.
There are more colour pops than colour blasts. Rather than go for an all over bold print, I’ve picked with subtle pops of colour instead.
I’ve gone for more cream and white bases. This is highly unusual for me, I do no own very many white items, though I have noticed a few cream pieces have crept into my wardrobe as of late. And more pink because this is my favourite colour.
And florals have been making a comeback.
And I’m still obsessed with grids!
There are a few wild cards thrown because variety is the spice of life, though I’m not sure whether to use this fabric with lines vertically or horizontally. I guess that will depend on pattern chosen.
Have you chosen a colour palette for your wardrobe this year? If so what did you choose?


Who You Calling Girly?


Sunday’s posts are where I want to talk about style and issues surrounding fashion and style, and although I’d like to be objective on these issues they will in all honesty just be opinion pieces but hopefully not controversial or offensive, if anything a little helpful but sometimes might be ranty. I realise after writing this, they will probably end up as none of those but a bunch of word hastily and haphazardly strung together but here goes.

So some one the other week on twitter lamented that they really liked a dress but it was too girly and they probably couldn’t pull it off. In reality the dress wasn’t too girly at all and they could have totally pull it off but the thing that got me was the use of the phrase ‘too girly’. Although want constitutes as too girly is subjective, as someone who is very against gender stereotyping, I feel that when using these phrases sometimes have a negative connotation attached to it, even when none is meant. As a child and teenager I was called a tomboy and this annoyed me to no end but then being called girly also made me wince just as much because to me I was being neither, I was just being me and just got annoyed for being criticised for either being too much of one and not the other, which in turn is actually a criticism of me. It comes no surprise then that I rejected both and just kind of blended in anonymously so people would stop judging and labelling me. As kids we pretty much taught to seek approval and if we don’t fit in, the effects can be long standing.

Developing your personal style can be hard, in our teen years we tend to rebel against whatever it is that our parents have taught us about how to dress because we assume they are trying to dress us like them and who wants to be like their parents? Until I was in my twenties I had all but stopped wearing dresses because they were deemed girly, then I realised people were wrong, they were just dresses. Being a faithful disciple of the gen x grunge era, my uniform at this point was jeans and baggy band t-shirts because it basically meant less objectification of my body, the less girly, the less hassle in my books. My weight was under constant scrutiny as was the way I dressed, it was never right and someone always had an opinion. Most of the time I would be staring back at them silently wondering what on earth made them the expert and other time it was a very vocal fuck off!

Embracing my femininity was probably the most rebellious thing I could do in regards to myself, it broke all the rules in my book, the fact that I’ve always liked dresses was almost a dirty secret. Weird I know. But I also think confidence was major part of this and making my own clothes which in turn helped discover that I don’t need to fit into everyone else’s perception of me and that just because I listen to heavy metal doesn’t mean that I have stick to the perceived dress code for that ‘tribe’.

I decided to treat my clothing taste the same way as I treated my musical taste, everyone thought that I’m was solely into heavy metal but actually my music taste always has been quite broad, in the sense that if I like it, I’ll listen to it. To be honest my favourite genre of music is movie soundtracks but that’s a post for another time. I adopted the same attitude towards my clothes, in that if I like it I’ll wear it or make it. This was a slightly harder process as people can’t judge what you’re listening to on your iPod (or walkman) as easy as they can judge what your wearing but as I’ve grown older fitting in has become less of a priority.

I think one of the main reasons I got into vintage scene, a way to be embrace my femininity after being inspired by old movies, you could be smart and sassy and glamorous all in one look, plus I liked the fit and style of the clothing from certain eras. I have never been one for traditional office wear, I’m not even sure how I managed to stick out an office job from hell for 13 years but needs must and all. Some of us are not meant to work in offices but that doesn’t mean you have to blend in. When I got more confident in my making skills, I got more confident in wearing my stuff and dressing to my taste and moods, some days would be a one flower in the hair day, others a pin curl and all the flowers, some people would say I looked nice, others would look at me and why are you dressed that way, or where are going to be dressed all fancy like that, or aren’t you so girly now, like they needed to voice their approval of this new found confidence. At the end of the day their opinions were none of my business!

We use phrases like too girly, too tomboy, you’re fat etc like they are insults and they’re not. We should be embracing our inner girlies and tomboys and be proud of them, just like we should be proud of our bodies no matter what they look like. So one day you want to wear a pink frilly dress, the next New Rock or DM boots, the next both, it doesn’t matter whether it’s too girly or not. To be honest I think we should all, no matter what our gender is, embrace whatever makes us feel comfortable the most and not what makes other people comfortable, which is what I think we’re sort of trained to do. We spend so much time trying to seek other approval and fit in, we all just end up miserable.

My annoyance is not the fact that items are too girly or too butch but they way these phrases are conveyed as a criticism of the style itself. It is important not dismiss something based on a stereotype that has been attached to it, as to be honest there is nothing wrong with being dressed too girly or too butch if this is who you are, if you don’t like it then so be it but to say you can’t get away with wearing something because it’s too girly or too butch etc is bullshit! In a world where fashion choices are being increasingly being stereotyped from such a young age, it makes it harder and harder to break these stereotypes when we become adults.

At the end of the day clothes are what they are and that is clothes, they are a way to express our individuality not define our gender! Personally if I had my way all clothes wouldn’t be gendered but then I’m not in charge. They are a reflection of our personality, a small glimpse into our own private world.  These days I tend to sway between the feminine and masculine but I think the cut of the clothing or how the clothing has been produced is more important to me these days than whether it is feminine or masculine. I’m just as in love with a well cut traditional three piece suit, as I am a haute couture dress! All I can really say is invest in your clothing as you would invest in yourself, wisely!

What’s My Style Again? Autumn Edition!

Summer is blasting out it’s last few days and although it’s still relatively warm it’s time to start thinking about my autumn winter wardrobe. So instead of frantically finishing my summer wardrobe, I’m just finishing up what’s been started and moving onto my autumn/winter makes. I used to question what my style was constantly but these days I try and take a more relaxed approach and if I like it, I go for it, and if I don’t, not give it a second thought. I’m trying less and less to worry about whether it is age appropriate and what people think, and care more about whether I feel comfortable wearing it and also be more fearless in wearing things that I like but used to dismiss as being to bold for me! I recently read this article by Stacy London and inspired me to go on with my style quest and building my dream wardrobe. Which I’d like to cover more in this blog in the future, so I’m gonna!
There are too many articles out there telling us how to dress or dress like a grown up, or dress for our age but what we should be concentrating on is what we like and do we feel confident and comfortable in it and not just because some magazine tells us so. Style I think is something that is interchangeable, you reinvent yourself as many times as you like, dress a different colour for every day of the week, or even wear the same outfit every day if you like, it’s no one’s business but your own. I get that on some occasions we have to wear a certain style of clothing, like at work or an event, or for health and safety reasons but that doesn’t stop you making it your own.
I’ve been thinking about my style a lot recently especially since I started working from home, my daily work attire has change completely. I used to be a lot smarter and take time to plan my outfits but working from home and working with creative materials means I’m usually a jeans and t-shirt person most days. But that doesn’t mean when I’m not working I can’t not dress up, I think I’m just out of the habit. So I’m doing a seasonal wardrobe change over to give me a kick up the derrière, fill in the gaps and get me going to sew my autumn/winter. My wardrobe is already very much a mix of handmade, vintage and second-hand, except for shoes, underwear and t-shirts but most of those are band t-shirt’s anyway, and music is something that influences my style a lot.

I’ve been collecting a lot of patches for indie brands over the years, pins and bands badges. I’ve been looking for the perfect jacket, I’m not really a denim jacket type of person but after visiting the Rosehound Apparel pop up shop, I swung by Beyond Retro as it was round the corner and they usually have a healthy supply of coats and jackets in. I originally tried on some bomber jackets which were too big but then found this khaki army jacket that my grunge teen self has forgiven me for not getting way back when! So that’s my autumn and spring coat sorted.

I actually saw the handbag first but I think even though they’re a contrast one being grungy, the other sparkly, I’m totally going to be rocking these two together for my trips to the post office and then totally wished I’d bought the ghetto fabulous earrings last time I was in Rokkit!

So I went back to Rokkit and bought the not so big earrings but big enough for me and a new kimono.

I get that kimonos are so last season but I refused to fork out 100 quid for something to be on trend! I’m happy to wait and let the prices drop and then add it my wardrobe. I’m building up a collection, a sustainable, interchangeable wardrobe and my clothes are for keeps (or as long as they last) and not just for seasonal trends. To be honest I’ll never be on fashion or on trend but I’m okay with that and so should you (not about me but about you!)

One of my winter staples is a faux fur. I’ve had many over the years in different styles and colours but eventually they just fall to pieces. I wasn’t sure if I was going to get one this year but then stumbled across this is a charity shop for £11, I don’t usually keep stock for myself but I made the mistake of trying it on and it fell into my wardrobe. It’s a 70’s Bickler faux fur and I’m really liking the 70s style at the moment so this fits right in. Should I ever shrink down enough to fit into my flared jeans, this will look great with a t-shirt and some big hoops and wavy beach hair!

I’ve been on a bit of skirt making spree lately, I just felt like a change from all the dresses I’ve made over the years and feel I need to up the skirt inventory a bit. I’ve also been wearing a lot of trousers over the summers with sandals, but going to switch to skirts as I have a huge tights collection languishing in a vintage suitcase somewhere and boxes of shoes collecting dust.
Other things I want to make are
  • some more skirts, I have some lovely pink Tweed that is begging to be be used.
  • a pair of trousers, probably wide leg as they have a more retro look.
  • a pair of jeans as the crap they stock in shops these days lasts about one season because everything has to have Lycra in it! I have my eye on the Ginger jeans.
  • a few blouses and tops
  • and some more knitwear, probably Untangling Knots patterns because they are lovely and so easy to knit.
Well I think I’ve rambled on long enough but writing this post has given me some food for thought and that is I’ve always been interested in fashion and style and that is one of the main reasons I took up sewing and making my own clothes, so I definitely like to get back into writing about that more and obviously posting about my makes and maybe even some more outfit posts.

Patch It Up!

Pins and patches are all the rage right now, I’m not one to usually jump on a bandwagon but to be honest I don’t ever think I got off this wagon and have just been hoarding over the years instead waiting for the ultimate bag or jacket to put them on! Plus there are some amazing designers out there right now, so amazing that high street shops feel the need to rip them off rather than higher them or licence their work!

I’ve collected various patches over the years, some of them are quite old now but over the last few weeks and several months (even year) of lusting after some independent brands I decided to up my collection. Then I discovered that Rosehound Apparel were holding a pop up shop at Lazy Oaf on the 2/3 September, so I swung by to add even more and spent the shipping and custom duties I saved on a few extra bits. I really don’t mind spending a few extra quid on my fave designers especially when they’re constantly being ripped off by high street brands stealing their designs and producing shit reproductions and then claiming they don’t care because they’re bigger. If you haven’t head of the David vs Goliath saga that is Tuesday Bassen being ripped off by Zara, you should really go and catch up. In fact Zara have ripped off so many designers that designer Adam J Kurtz set up a website called pointing where you could go and buy the originals to help support the artists affected.
So I’m starting with Rosehound Apparel who are a Canadian, Toronto based brand that produce clothing and apparel. So here is what I got.

I’ve mainly been after the What’s Your Damage patch because Heathers is one of my all time favourite films, I have watched it so many times I can almost quote it word for word and it’s one of those films that was way ahead of it’s time and has actually stood the test of time. I also really liked to Give ‘Em Hell big patch to stick across the top of my jacket, so these were the first two I picked up, the chenille mushroom patches were new stock.

This goes without saying really, I love a good play on words especially when it’s sweary because I’m actually quite a sweary person.

I couldn’t decide so I got both, one for each handbag!

 Whilst I was there I also picked up these mini patches by Lazy Oaf.

And also got some free stickers which are totally appropriate for me!

Of course I ordered some stuff from Tuesday Bassen, a L.A based artist/designer who now has a brick and mortor shop called Friend Mart and has the cutest dogs evah!!

After much toing and froing I went for the Take a Stab sticker patch, Mean Rainbow sticker patch, Ugly Girl Gang patch and fuck you very much sticker. The sticker patches are great because you literally peel and stick the patch instead of sewing or ironing on!
I found Sara M Lyons work on Instagram as I think I did with all the rest, the internet truly is a great place (when it’s not being used by total dicks to ruin everything), she is  based in Anaheim California.

I ordered some of these cute Lenormand fortune telling cards and a Whatever Forever patch because I will always be that surly teenager at heart!

I’m not really into fortune telling but these cards were just too adorable to pass up.
Some other patches I bought a while ago are these patches, the two on the right are from Stay Home Club, another Canadian based business, who unlike the bigger brands actually works with other independent brands and officially licenses their work. See high street brands, it’s not hard!!!

I have fair few of their t-shirts and tote bags because I’m a little in love with this brand. But here are the patches I need to find room for on my coat, or maybe I might just put them on the tote bags!
The Tough Little Self Employed Bitches is from Vichcraft, her calligraphy is amazing and the rose patches I bought from my first trip to Viva Las Vegas and are by Kruse at

The Iggy Pop one is going on a different jacket I’ve had sitting in my wardrobe for ages waiting for a restyle (and also for me to lose a little weight so it will fit again!), so I guess I’ll be busy stitching on all these for a while.
I know that pins are also a big thing right now and I have a few and also badges/buttons as well but maybe I’ll do another post for that. The great thing about pins and buttons is that you can just move them around and onto different items but with patches you know I’ll probably spend the next three weeks working out the perfect placement for these on my dream jacket I bought, which will be coming up in another post although right now it seems all I do is go shopping! But that’s the things when you’re rebuilding a wardrobe, so there will be more outfit and style posts.
Anyway here are the designers Instagram’s which is where I discovered most them.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, all items were purchased with my own cash for personal use.