Monday, April 30, 2012

candy stripes

My spontaneous sewing ventures seem to turn out quite nicely these days. I've been wanting to do something with this striped cotton for a long time, whether that be upholstery or clothing I just wanted to make use of it somehow. I only had about 1.5m so was originally going to just make a skirt, but upon cutting decided there was enough for a full dress. Turns out my subconscious knows what's up, because it seems there are completely accidental similarities with a dress I've had my eye on for ages now, Josh Goot's Float mini.
It's an extremely summery fabric, which is very unfortunate as Melbourne gets colder by the hour, but I'm quite certain it will get a lot of wear come spring!

[Wearing with Asos cuffs and boots, Tatty Devine perspex bow ring]

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

marguerite's menagerie

I'm completely obsessed with Hermione de Paula's exotic prints at the moment, they're the ultimate florals on acid. These images are my collages of some shots from the latest collection for AW12 titled Marguerite's Menagerie, photographed by Kristin Vicari and featuring some gorgeous shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood. Some of the most inspiring and original prints I've seen in a long time!

Images from Hermione de Paula

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Very much in love with my beautiful hydrangea blazer from Staple the label. It's the perfect understated floral print in a lovely purpley-blue, plus it's cut nice and long making it that little bit formal. I'm looking forward to winter so I can wear it with this White Suede dress I picked up at their Melbourne warehouse sale recently which is made of the coolest perforated suede-like fabric with mesh detailing on the neck and down the arms.

[Wearing: Staple the Label hydrangea dress blazer from The Iconic HERE, White Suede dress, Asos thin silver cuffs, Office London boots]

Thursday, April 19, 2012

dream state

The result of some serious boredom. I love moodboards, if all I ever had to do was make them (and get paid for it) I would be the happiest girl alive!

[All pictures used sourced from tumblr]

Saturday, April 14, 2012

midnight velvet

 So how do I avoid working on important uni assignments? Procrastination in the form of sewing! I came home from the Ellery sale yesterday and all I could think about were peplums, so rather than forking out a few hundred dollars I'd rather keep in my pocket I thought I'd try my hand at replicating one of the tops there. I was going to do a toile, but they always seem like a waste of time and fabric... I found this beautiful midnight blue cotton velvet in my collection, it's got a very small pile and feels lush and thick, exactly what I needed to hold fairly stiff gathering.
It's a pretty basic design, two sideless bust pieces with darts running down the front and a peplum. I left the hem raw to get a good fraying effect, similar to the Ellery ones, and added an invisible zip and a couple of hook & eye clasps down the centre back.
I'm looking forward to giving this piece a work out soon, probably will be wearing it with a bra though, just in case I twist the wrong way and flash some poor unsuspecting citizen.

Wearing with: Country Road jeans, H&M cuff, vintage bracelet and watch, necklace from Vietnam

Friday, April 13, 2012

ellery armour

This morning I dragged myself out of bed to get down early to the Ellery pop up sale in Melbourne's GPO. I'm glad I did as there was some pretty good stuff, but I held off temptation to buy everything in sight, settling on yet another little black dress to add to my collection. Not your average black dress though, it's made of this wonderful ponte fabric that looks and feels a lot like neoprene, but a lot less heavy! It also features the incredible armour sleeves which played a huge part in the Spring 11 range (HERE), which makes this dress so striking.
So if you're in Melbourne I highly recommend you check out the sale quick smart, it ends Monday!

Wearing: Ellery ponte armour sleeve dress, Windsor Smith Loren heels in cobalt, DIY copper choker (tutorial HERE), Ebay cuff

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

in search of the perfect silk shirt

I've recently been on the hunt for the perfect silk shirt. Quality is something I'm willing to justify forking out a lot of money for, so when I see something is 100% silk I'm very happy to pay the price. But this often isn't the case for a huge majority of big-name designers who are more than happy to make a fully polyester shirt and slap a $250 price tag on it. I'm not an idiot, you may have called the fabric 'crepe', but I can read a label and it definitely doesn't doesn't say anything about silk. I'm not trying to hate on polyester, it has it's place in a vast amount of my wardrobe and it serves it's purpose well, but it's just not a fabric with which I associate luxury prices and quality fabrics.
So the dilemma still stands as to what's a reasonable price to pay for a silk shirt. Plain, single colour fabric I would be willing to go up to $150, but I'm more interested in printed silk, namely digital, as I know this a hell of a lot more expensive to produce. Depending on how nice the print is, $300 is about the ball park for me, but that's honestly not the sort of money I have to throw around at the moment.
I thought long and hard about buying the Sara Phillips printed dress shirt in the top image, which was $495 down to a sweet $250, but decided it was probably best to wait until I'm feeling a little more affluent! For now I might settle for the beautiful green water print shirt from Asos, a steal at $73!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

splatter skirt

 My latest DIY involved reviving this nursey-looking navy blue pencil skirt I bought years ago from an op shop with the full intent of doing something creative with it. I went into this insane painting phase after getting all Van Gogh on my jeans in my last DIY HERE, and now I see a vast majority of my wardrobe as having the potential to look amazing if I splashed some paint on it! These urges must be reined in though, or else I will end up looking like a walking canvas (that a 2 year old painted).
So I promised myself this will be the last garment I paint for a while now. I started off with an ocean greeny-blue background and went a bit Jackson Pollock over the top of it. Unfortunately some of the white splatters look a lot like a bird pooped on it, but that's just the price you pay for being an inexperienced paint-flicker.

Wearing with: Asos top and boots, necklace from Vietnam, vintage ring and bracelet

Saturday, April 7, 2012

the faraway tree

I've been wanting somewhere to hang my more delicate jewellery on for a while now. I have this big empty wall in my room which was crying out for some attention so yesterday I finally got around to making my own jewellery tree. It's the perfect way to display my favourite pieces and create a feature out of what is essentially an old branch! Not to mention the fact that it cost me ZERO DOLLARS, considering what you can pay for some of those flat pack cardboard trees I reckon I did pretty well.
The important part is getting the right branch! I scoured my local park after a very windy day and found a heap of great branches from gum trees and paperbarks. It was hard choosing just one branch as they all had elements that I really liked, but I settled on this paperbark one which has 3 main 'prongs' (if that's what you call them?) and a fantastic, almost right angle, in it. It had heaps of spindly twigs on the outermost branches that wouldn't of been able to hold anything up so I cut off most of them, leaving a few interesting twigs for visual impact. It was really hard to know what to leave and what to prune to keep the whole thing looking fairly natural. After pruning I smoothed it down with sandpaper to get rid of any loose bark and naughty spiders lurking about, then, with the help of my handy-man father, found a piece of wood for the base and drilled a hole in it to fit the branch. The hole had to be on one side to counter-balance the sharp angle of the branch, adding to the asymmetry of the whole piece.
I was going to spray-paint the tree and base white, but decided against it when my dad told me I would probably need more than one coat of paint... Laziness prevailed, but I stand by the benefits of leaving a piece of nature in it's natural state because I love how organic it looks.

Friday, April 6, 2012

wild horses

This is the dress that arrived from Asos the other day called the Zoe dress which I did a post about HERE, in which I voiced my concern over having to get a medium as all the smalls were sold out. Well, I'm pretty glad they were considering the minuteness of this 'dress'!! It is serious flasher material, and for that matter I'll probably be wearing it with tights in winter to avoid any unwanted body exposure.
Other than the size, I'm totally in love with the greyscale horse print. The scene reminds me of one of my favourite books when I was a child, The Snow Pony, which made me want to become a horse whisperer so I could tame wild brumbies and ride them across picturesque fields.
Hope everyone is enjoying the Easter holidays!

Dress: Motel Zoe dress, from Asos

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

paint pants

All my creative energy had been bottled up inside me for so long until I finally got around to doing a long awaited DIY painted jeans project yesterday! So so simple I'm not sure why I didn't think of it earlier, but I guess it's true that the best ideas are the ones you leave brewing for a while.
I bought these jeans from Primark when I was in London in February. I'm sure most people know about the craziness of Primark and how you just don't bother trying to line up for the change rooms, so it's all a bit of a lucky dip sizing-wise. Thankfully these jeans were a perfect fit, although for £11 it wouldn't be much of a loss if they didn't!

Any odd pair of jeans (light colours work best)
Acrylic paints
Textile medium (I used Chromacryl)
Paint brushes (various sizes)

No prep required, but if you are using brand new jeans it's probably a good idea to put them through the wash first to get any excess dyes out.
Lay your jeans flat on a surface with newspaper or a drop sheet underneath, slot extra newspaper inside the legs so the paint doesn't seep through either side.
Mix up your acrylic colours with textile medium in separate disposable tubs/bowls (the medium should come with instructions, mine said to use 2:1 parts paint to medium).
If you plan on using light colours or not covering the entire fabric with paint put down a thin base coat in white or any background colour you like.
Then, go nuts! But not too nuts, you should try and just stick to a few complimentary colours and have a theme going (mine was inspired by lush tropical rainforests). It's really easy to go overboard with the paint so step back every now and then to think about your work (sorry if I sound like your 8th grade art teacher!).
If you're not very artistically confident and are lucky enough to know an abstract painter, get them involved! But I'm pretty sure anybody can whip around a paintbrush as I've done, so don't be afraid.
Hang the jeans up to dry. When the paint's completely dry iron the jeans under a tea towel or scrap fabric on the hottest setting to set the paint. Hand wash them in cool water to make sure the paint doesn't run (if it does though, there's basically nothing you can do except try and set the paint with the iron again). If you're paint runs it means you haven't used enough textile medium, so my advice would be to try and wash it all out and start from scratch unfortunately.

Wearing with: Style Nanda top, COS necklace, DIY perspex cuffs (as seen HERE), Windsor Smith Loren heels.

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