Sunday, 29 June 2014

Crop top follow up

After recycling an old dress (see last post), I just adore my new crop top. It goes with just about everything and is super light weight and breathable for hot weather, will be great for my trip to Budapest. Here I teamed it with a body-con midi skirt and silver pumps, both from Topshop. The necklace is from BS8 in Bristol, a kind of cheap but chic boutique department store specializing in vintage, a must visit shop if you're ever in Bristol. 


Simples: Dress becomes crop top and skirt.

It seems I am forever spring-cleaning my wardrobe in a never ending quest to downsize. Some things I sell, some go to charity and some with a bit of imagination get up-cycled. The picture above shows what used to be a Miss Selfridge dress I bought for £5 on sale, intending to wear it for summer but of coarse it soon landed in the 'To be determined pile'. What made me want to change up this dress was the good quality lining of the skirt which gives it more fullness, thinking forward I imagined it going very well with a cropped jumper and boots. I'd also wanted a new summer top but couldn't find anything to my liking on the high street. 
Turning a dress into a crop top and skirt can really update your wardrobe at little to no expense. I'm far from being any kind of technical expert, I just do what works for me, nevertheless I have listed the steps below for a simple way of doing this that ANYONE of any ability can do!

Items needed:

  • A dress
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Thread (mines in matching white)
  • Waistband elastic, measure and cut so it clings comfortably round the waist (bought from any haberdashery or I took mine out of some old leggings)

Start cutting

Simply cut the dress in half. I without thinking too much chose to cut above the waist seam, however, I would strongly suggest you cut below. The reason for this is that if your fabric is already gathered at the waist seam (like mine) then this will eventually constrict the future waist band from stretching as much. Life is just easier when clothes can just be slipped on and off. 

The skirt

Firstly turn the skirt inside out, then fold the edge over an inch or so, flattened and pin in place. This is essentially creating the structure of the waist band, so make sure the width of the elastic can fit inside before pulling the waistband elastic through it. As mentioned before mine was already gathered hence the ruched look below, if you cut below the waist seam as suggested above it will look flat.

Pull the waistband elastic through, pinning one end of it in place to make it easier. When both ends of elastic meet simply sew them together.

Finally sew the fold down neat and straight following the edge, a sewing machine is more efficient but mine is currently out of action. 

Et voila! skirt is made 

The Top

This is the easiest part, turn the top inside out and fold over the raw edges twice, making it look neat and flat. Finish by sewing along.


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Slouchy Luxe in Noa Noa

Noa Noa the Danish brand isn't typically a 'fashionable' place to shop for young girls and women in my opinion, however, it's a brand that encompasses beautifully crafted apparel none the less. Established in the 80's as an alternative to the hard edged fashion around at the time, the name Noa Noa means 'simple and harmonious'. I walk past the Cirencester shop most days and to me Noa Noa is something between White stuff and Whistles. 
It's usually too expensive for me but today I noticed they had 50% off everything! In all honesty I'd never been more than 10 steps in before so I took the opportunity to explore through the rails and found these lovely tapered slouchy trousers. I'd been looking for a new pair of what I like to call 'Gap Yah' trousers (exaggerated southern accent optional) for summer and at £22.50 post 50% discount I was thrilled. What I love about this pair is that they aren't elasticated at the bottom like so many other Harem style trousers, therefore they feel more chic and streamlined. Of coarse they are very lightweight too, making it easy to transition from warm day wear to cool nightwear. It was the colour that seduced me in the end, the label calls it 'Geranium'.

Paired today with?

Sunglasses and earrings; Ebay. Top; AllSaints. Shoes; Kurt Geiger

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Bumble and bumble Surf spray + Spray chalk review!

Who doesn't love beachy hair? It's the epitome of summer beauty and personally I love it in the winter too. After contemplating for months over whether to invest in the award winning Bumble and bumble surf spray, I finally cracked when they announced a free spray chalk gift with every full sized product purchased. 

Surf spray

Starting off with the price, for £21.50 I felt this was quite expensive considering that when I first picked it up I mistook it for the small version. If it weren't for the spray chalk incentive I probably would have just bought the 50ml one for £9 to test it out first. I love the packaging of the bottle, it's not too glossy and not too plain and perfectly fits the 'Surfy beachy' not trying too hard aesthetic. 
I've been using it most day's, experimenting with different techniques. I usually use it on dry curled hair and found the best way it to just spray straight onto hair randomly then working the product in with hands, although you can also spray it on the palm of your hand and work it in that way. Iv'e felt in the past that salt sprays were very heavy but B.b Surf spray is super light giving a soft windswept texture to the hair without leaving it matted. I would like to emphasize however, that this will not give you any dramatic volume if that's what you're looking for. Overall this really is a wonderful styling product for natural daytime hair and going out hair, all year round. I just hope it lasts me until Autumn! 

Spray chalk

I used to have pink dip dyed hair last summer and loved it! Pink hair however isn't suitable for some working environments like mine, which can be a real 'ball ache' when you're desperate to try out the latest hair trends. Wash in wash out colours are hitting it big this summer in wake of all the festivals and Bumble and bumble have produced one of their own and for my free spray chalk I chose the colour blush.
 I've used hair chalks in the past such as the Topshop set for £7.50 so was very eager to see how the B.b spray version compared.
Putting it on at first can be very messy, a towel is essential for protecting clothes. The colour is very bright, Blush is a pastel pink that really pop's and you don't need much at all to cover a section. All seemed well at first but then when I went to feel my hair afterwards it was stiff and straw like. When I put a brush to it the colour came out and It reminded me of the cheap colouful dye sprays you get in Boot's or Superdrug. Is it worth £15? No and I wouldn't recommend it for a festival unless you had short hair or intended on keeping you're hair up the whole time. On the plus side it was free and I can see it working really well with up do style's , plaits and hair with lots of product in already so i'll keep experimenting!

If you've tried any of these products and have any tips for the spray chalk or want to join in on the love for Surf spray comment below.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Denims a bleach

When revamping boring denim, bleach can be a daunting thing. It's just so darn unpredictable! I get bored with denim very easily and I don't believe I have any jeans in their original state, they are all either dyed, ripped or tie dyed in bleach. Personally I love the stuff and so far it had never gone wrong for me, until now.

So I wanted to achieve the cloudy dip dye look on my Vintage Levi's jacket using a spray bottle filled with bleach and hot water. I then intended to apply pastel pink dye to the white areas. My jacket had other ideas. The bleach turned my denim YELLOW not white! I was horrified, I knew this sometimes happened but i'd been so lucky in my bleach experiments so far. This was not what i'd set out to do, but after I'd washed the jacket and let it dry the bright yellow had faded a little which looked a lot better. After getting a second and third opinion I decided to just go with it, I now love how it's turned out. It feels so crisp and summery and I wouldn't change it at all.

For me it's simple if I can easily do something myself, why pay the store price? I was being pretty brave doing this to vintage Levi's but it paid off. Alternatively if you don't want to use any of your current denim items then buy a cheap used garment on Ebay and do it that way. If you're considering trying out any bleaching techniques then seriously go for it! it's much more rewarding to know you've done it yourself and that no one else will have the same. I wanted to share my this bad yet unexpectedly good experience with you to show that when it comes to bleaching, sometimes a disaster can be a blessing in disguise. This was a mistake but if you wanted to create a yellow dip dyed effect on you're denim jacket then I can only advise you spray pastel yellow fabric dye on top of the bleach process after. I have listed the steps for creating the cloudy dip dye look below!

unfortunately I didn't take any photos of the process as it was a spontaneous decision but it was only 4 easy steps; 
  1. Fill an empty spray bottle with hot/warm water and bleach and shake to really mix it up
  2. (do this outside) spray the upper section all over to create a stone washed affect, do 3 coats of it
  3. Dip the jacket in a bucket of the same bleach solution only dipping it up the edge of where you've bleached it, this intensifies the bleaching on top creating a faded effect that runs into the stone wash effect. Leave for 2 hours.
  4. Wash in washing machine to clean off the bleach, dry and you're done!

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Feeling fresh in white on white

In the past I had always considered white jeans as a 'no go' for me, I like to buy clothes that will be forever stylish and white jeans just seemed too bright and impractical for my at times messy and clumsy lifestyle. I am also of the opinion that white jeans can sometimes look a tad tacky when styled mundanely with anything plain and bright.
Oh how wrong I was, after popping into Topshop to check what size I was for high waisted jeans I picked up the first pair I seen in my size which happened to be this white pair. Alas to my discovery I fell in love with the pure white innocent look of them. The super stretch technology (aka extra elastane) of the Topshop cropped Moto jeans clung to my legs and bum accentuating my figure. My imagination became filled with all the endless outfit combinations this could be incorporated into, therefore, as all girls do I eventually turned my 'want' desire into a justifiable 'need' and bought them at £36. Student discount at the ready of coarse bringing it down to £30!

The Product

They are not strictly jeans as far as traditional thick denim goes but the super stretchiness of the jeans is brilliant for every day activities that just seem a little too uncomfortable in normal skinny jeans such as sitting cross legged and bending down. If you are after cropped white jeans and you are petite then I suggest you try the petite section for them as these are full length on my 5ft 3 frame.

 My only complaint about these were that the stitching at the bottom of the jeans was completely loose and the hem as a consequence was left raw. I checked all the other jeans just in case it was just mine but they were all the same in this shop, my guess is that it was just a bad batch or poor manufacturing.
Topshop cater for the fast fashion culture, therefore quality of a product can sometimes be overlooked as long as it looks good. For £36 I expect the hems to be finished, luckily I am a dab handy at stitching so I will fix them myself.


Giving a fresh nod to the white on white trend I paired these jeans with a white ribbed cropped top also from Topshop. The great thing about high waisted is that you can get away with wearing crop tops without feeling like your showing too much off, especially flattering on curvy figures as it cinches you in at the waist creating a sexy hourglass shape. 
To keep the look chic and understated I chose to wear my favorite sandy coloured All Saints boots, they are a pre-owned pair from Ebay that I nabbed for no more than £20! All Saints boots in my experience are excellent quality and you can get some amazing deals on Ebay.