Breeze Life

The heat has departed almost as suddenly as it arrived, and with it has gone my desire for floaty. Floaty is the worst in a strong breeze as it tends to make you look like you are hanging out on a washing line and getting a good battering, which can never be a good thing.

So, not very originally, I've gone back to fawning over vintage-style tailoring and dresses with ankle socks (pretty and useful, as toes get cold in sandals in the wind). I love the look of ankle socks, but I do always have the slight worry in the back of my mind that girls just want to revert to when they were four years old and life was simple and summers were long and you didn't need to pay any rent or £300 to fix your car's electric window... I half think of it as four-year-old chic, but then I stop thinking too hard about the psychological implications and just appreciate that it looks nice and being four was pretty fun actually.


Both images from margarethowell.co.uk

Judging by these lookbook pictures, I would quite like to live in nothing but Margaret Howell all summer. This is four-year-old chic that combines ankle socks with being a bit more grown up and possibly going on a yacht, or to a fancy French/Italian coastal town. Unfortunately it probably wouldn't translate to an inner hebridean coastal village so well, which is a pity as that is a more likely possibility for me this summer. Oh well.

My favourites are the white dress on the top row, the pretty shape of the look at the end of that row and the silk shirt slouchy trouser boy look on the bottom row. Perfect for breezy living and actually perfect for going to the Hay Book Festival which is my weekend destination. I'll see what I can find.



I've been feeling a bit 70s lately. This is unusual, as of all the 19... decades, I've spent the least time feeling covetous about this one. I think this is due in part to the fact that history seems not to have graced the 70s in any great ways, at least not in a social sense, which is the kind of history I like best. I am completely aware that I am glossing over the Apollo 13 mission, the Munich Olympics, Watergate etc, but events like these were 'world' events, and don't seem to have had an effect on real people, at least not in the same way as in my darling decades – the 1940s in particular. I like clothes that evoke a particular atmosphere or feeling, and wartime is quite an extreme example of that.

So it is to the 1970s that I am peculiarly turning for clothes inspiration now that the weather is quite hot. I'm starting to see that there is something really attractive about the slightly voluminous styling, something really alluring about revealing a shoulder and something cooling about floaty clothes in the heat.

Scan by MissMagAddict at TFS

There's a lot of drama in floaty pieces. The above is a scan from US Vogue May 1977, taken by Helmut Newton for a perfume editorial (the text, out of interest says almost word for word what perfume articles in magazines like Vogue still say these days) and is plenty dramatic!

Covetable 70s wear that I'm collecting (as jpegs on my computer, obviously) is really making me want a floaty white dress of some sort – another thing that is likely to be hard to find on my budget of zero. Will have to keep a look out for some vintage white cotton, chiffon, or, if I'm really lucky, broderie anglais!


Both images of Chloe SS10 from style.com


Velvet Bows

I received my chambray fabric in the post yesterday morning, after unintentionally starting a debate with the grumps at FabricLand who denied ever having stocking any... The internet rarely talks back though, happily, so all was well and I ordered some from eBay.

I've been wanting to try this out ever since my post on enviable chambray designs here. I haven't finished it yet, but in the fear that I'll make it worse trying to finish it off, and that this is the zenith of its attractiveness (combined with the fact that I'm terribly impatient), I'm posting it now.

I haven't quite decided what to do with it yet either. I've been tempted to put some more velvet ribbon around the neckline at the front and back, and also to put some around the edge of the armholes, which are a bit on the untidy side at present. It's a bit of a departure from Elizabeth Lau, but this version is a bit more my kind of thing (i.e. it's a bit more Mad Men). I think I'd quite like to make a version in black with a light blue velvet ribbon, and maybe one in white seersucker...

Anyway, untidy though it may be, I'm quite proud of it (especially the zip!) as a first try. Hopefully I won't ruin it, and it will be wearable. If it is, you'll see a picture of me in it – if you don't, don't ask!


Skirt and Cake

I finished my edit – these things always take me far too long, as I can always think of 'just one more thing' to do to them to make them better. So now I'm free for a few days before I go and do some research work at the Watershed (an independent cinema here) for a couple of days next week. Trying to think of something fun for Ben and I to do one day soon too.

I'm never sure what to do with myself once I've run out of work so at a loss yesterday afternoon, I made a cake (the remains of which are below – most of it went to the Doppkit studio – it wasn't me, honest). Today I've mainly been listening to Jarvis Cocker on 6music and David Jacobs' 'Broadway Classics' from radio 2. The former I've only just started listening to; the latter I ashamedly love, but only listen to every so often. I've also been taking eBay photographs of some pretty things that I hope will go to new homes soon.

I found the skirt above in a charity shop with the intention of selling it, but it's just too sweet to get rid of (I should probably be stricter with myself about this sort of thing). Looking forward to the weather getting warmer – please get warmer, weather – and wearing it with my men's chambray shirt that I picked up from another charity shop a while ago. It would go so so well with these shoes too... I'll just have to see how my credit card feels about them first...


Whit NY and I Shouldn't be Writing This

Image from Whit NY Facebook page

I really ought not to be writing this, particularly as it is 12.36pm and I have fourteen more pages of a book edit to go before I finish it. I really want to have it done by this evening.

Anyway, it's freezing cold in my flat, and freezing cold in Bristol and was so freezing cold in some places in Britain that there was snow yesterday. Consequently, all thoughts of summer have departed, and all I am interested in, clothes wise at least, is autumn.

In my procrastination, I stumbled upon Whit NY, which is all brand new and launches its autumn collection in June this year, I think. It's not the most exciting thing I've ever set eyes on, but everything seems to be quite 'quirky-basic' (which is a phrase I just made up) and useful I guess. There are navy and white polka dots too, which somehow always seem to draw me in.

Images from www.luckymag.com

What really caught my eye was the brown skirt/stripey breton top outfit, which is actually one of my own current favourite combinations (minus the pretzel hat), which will likely make an appearance here at some stage.

Anyway, it's pretty and fun, and has NY in the title, which always has me interested. Whitney Pozgay, the designer, also has a blog, which you can see here, if you are so inclined! Now I really must get back to matters of grammar.


Wedding Season

I was reading the other day that it is 'wedding season' and then this morning our third wedding invitation of the summer arrived through the letterbox, proving it exactly right. Sigh. I have no money whatsoever, so some seriously experimental dressmaking is hopefully going to have to come into play if I'm going to wear something nice to each of them... Or maybe it isn't really so bad to wear the same thing to each one?

Images from Western Costume Facebook page

The Zooey Deschanel wedding-guest dress from '500 Days of Summer' (above) is, I suppose, a highly unoriginal choice, especially if you are a girl with brown hair and a fringe (bangs!) but making it was my main long-game aim when I decided to do a dressmaking course. It's maybe a bit more bride than guest though perhaps... For the impatient, you can actually buy a replica on Etsy, here. I still hope to make one similar one day!



Yes 2

Lately I've been recalling my 'cats on clothes' phase of a year or two ago, as cats on clothes, and cats on glass tables are just about everywhere at the moment, and really making me want a little cat of my own. Anabela of Fieldguided's new Dreamcats tumblr is just the sweetest – my new favourite waste of time!

I'll just have to settle for this – my yellow cat skirt that I have been inspired to reprise...

Yes 33


I have a psychedelic cat scarf somewhere I think (I think it bridged the gap between my pink hair phase and my cats phase). Miu Miu is so passé.