Friday, 30 September 2011

SSS11 Day 30

Well, it's not actually the last day due to all my pictures yet to be taken, but it is the end of the month.

What I wore
Top - Ness
Skirt - Wildflower skirt
Necklace - Debenhams

I love my blue Ness top so much I bought another one in the sale in pink-which I love too! I was feeling bold today (also need to do some washing) so I decided to clash my colours a little. Not that turquoise and pink really clash, but they are quite bright together. I feel very jolly in this outfit, and will definitely wear it again. And I remembered to put a necklace on again!

I am not getting much better at posing, its very hard to do without feeling you look like an idiot, or somehow deformed... Perhaps after my bumper 2 weeks of outfits post I will be feeling more confident!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

SSS11 Day 29

What I wore
Top - blue Grecian, Dorothy Perkins
Skirt - Totally Tropical
Cardigan - Green - H&M (on window cill)
Sunglasses - New Look

After all the terrible weather all summer in Edinburgh, it has decided these last few days to be glorious summer somewhat late in the year! After yesterday running around in Glasgow in my meeting outfit in the heat wearing heels and tights, I decided to go for something more suitable to the weather.

I hardly ever wear this top during the day, it's more of a evening top, but actually it's really nice and causal too, and it goes wonderfully with the skirt. The whole outfit is all stretchy and comfortable, yet looks quite put together. I shall have to do this more often - I think I usually find this top too much because I tend to wear it with a pencil skirt, at which point it all ends up a bit va va voom for the fairly casual office, but with casual skirt it has a totally different feel.

I am enjoying the sun, my office is very empty as most people are at a conference, and I can look straight out of the open balcony door at a lovely tree in the sunshine.

SSS11 Day 10, and 12/17

Well I have had a slight hitch with my Self Stitched September, namely that I lost my camera. I had gone home for a week and couldn't find it anywhere after the first day. Which foiled the daily photos somewhat. But do not fear-I have still been wearing my own stuff most days, so the challenge has a been a success on that front. I have only missed a few days, either through not getting dressed at home, (and my pjamas not being self made) and as I had to go to a proper meeting yesterday and realised that I just don't have any self made formal work wear.. Having said that, the top I wore had been taken in very slightly, and I had mended the skirt, so it almost counted! 

But then I found the camera-it must have fallen out of my bag in the car and was under the seat - yay! So the daily photos are back on. 

I will do a recap at the weekend about the intermediate days (I wrote them down in a moment of organisation), but here at the days that have already been photographed.

Day 10 
What I am wearing
Top  -  basic black vest from H&M
Skirt - basic skirt refashion 
Cardigan - turquoise  - Zara


I wore this to travel in. The picture was taken in a service station that was taking a really long time to bring me my food, hence the depressed attitude! Though the outfit doesn't exactly set the world on fire it is very comfortable and cool. and the skirt is definitely one of the most worn items in  my self made closet. 

Day 11
pyjamas only - nothing like the first day back home and Sky movies for relaxation

Day 12 (and also 17)

What I am wearing
Top - Navy vest - H&H
Skirt - Ginger Rosie
Sunglasses - New Look

When I got back to Sheffield after the chilly days of Edinburgh, it was suddenly summer again (Sheffield gets much better weather..). I say again, there hasn't really been a summer at all, so it was a bit of a novelty!  I wore this outfit twice, and both times it was admired by all (except my little bro who just looked at me and asked why I was wearing my skirt so high!). 

The next day, which I hadn't photographed outfit wise before I left my camera in the car, we went to see an old mill that has been converted into a museum and cafe where we had tasty salads. It was beautiful. 

Friday, 9 September 2011

SSS11 Day 9

Well, as you probably gathered from my earlier post, today I am wearing my shifting skies skirt.

What I am wearing
Top  -  lace embellished vest top form H&M
Skirt - shifting skies skirt
Underskirt- turquoise self made
Cardigan - Primark
Necklace - Marks and Spencers

I like it, I feel very comfortable and quite cosy, which is nice as the weather is not being very nice today and I am tired.

I missed the "work" shot suggested by the SSS11 flickr page on Wednesday, so here I am at work today. You can tell it has been raining as my hair looks rubbish and my workmate's cycling clothes are on the radiator behind me!

The "shifting skies" skirt

“This is a city of shifting light, of changing skies, of sudden vistas.  A city so beautiful it breaks the heart
again and again.”
Alexander McCall Smith, 2006

This skirt has been in the works a long time. It has become a bit of a Sew Weekly theme hotpotch over the moths. It was originally inspired by the Local Colour theme back in March. The idea was to make something that said something about where you lived. Debi, my fellow Edinburgher was off that week so I thought I should show Edinburgh somehow. Well that was then, it then got tinkered with during the UFO weeks, and then I added some machine embroidery as part of the Embellish This week, and now it is finished, it actually fits in nicely with the current week of To dye for!

So, back to the beginning we go. I think in many ways I completely failed to do Edinburgh any justice, so most of this is going to be about Edinburgh rather than the skirt! Until recently there was a building in the city centre that had big quotes about Edinburgh printed in the windows. The quote above by Mr McCall Smith has always been one of my favourites, as I feel it really sums up Edinburgh's weather, which is a really important part of the city's atmosphere. Due to the proximity to the sea, and the crazy hilly nature of the city (for those that don't know, Edinburgh is built on and around the remains of a volcano) the weather is VERY changeable and can be dramatic and beautiful and then just plain miserable all within half an hour!

Here are some lovely pictures from Flickr to demonstrate:

Craig Walton 
Sunny and beautiful

Stunning and changeable

katya zharova
Uh oh, its going to start chucking it down!

So I wanted to make a skirt, which was grey, definitely the standard colour of Edinburgh, what with all the old stone buildings and cobbles and crazy clouds. I decided to use the cotton sheet I had dyed initially as part of my weeping angel Halloween costume, that had gone the wrong colour (it was meant to be a dull grey but came out a blue/grey with a slightly massive scale uneven tie die effect, mainly due to me know making the effort to dye it properly as it was only for a costume).

Edinburgh is also somewhat notorious for its unpredictable winds, I have never been anywhere more inclined to blow your skirt over your head on a day with no wind at all seconds before! This is mainly a result of the crazy weather and the fact that the city, due to the hills, is built on several levels, so you can be walking along a normal road with normal height buildings and then realise the whole thing was a bridge bounded by high rises, half of which you cant see, which has another road running across underneath. This does tend to lead to unexpected drafts. I considered making a tight skirt so this couldn't happen, but then I thought, what the heck, I will embrace it, so I made a circle skirt instead. I have also made a flouncy underskirt to wear under this to accentuate this effect, but I need to make it a few inches shorter.

looking down off George IV Bridge onto the Cowgate,  Erke
the Upper Bow and Victoria Street   - Mach 3.25

So, the skirt. I followed Casey's tutorial for circle skirts (she is now also doing a circle skirt sew along), which was very straightforward. I didn't bother with a pattern for the middle, I folded it into 4 and kept cutting strips off the middle until it was the correct  size (I had learned from a sad exercise with the underskirt that not erring on the side of caution with this leaves you with a really big useless piece of material with a really big hole in the middle of it..). I managed to get this just about right, easing the skirt into the waistband was pretty successful, I only have one really wrinkle..shame its right at the front.. sigh, never mind!). 

I then considered doing some machine embroidery. As I don't have a clever machine, by this I mean using a stitch on my normal machine to do things it wasn't designed for. I tried out all the stitches on different lengths to see what they looked like (quite interesting in itself!)

I decided to go for the weird almost hexagonal stitch second form the bottom on the right. It is possibly meant for smocking.  I then sewed some lines up form the bottom of the skirt to random heights to give the skirt a bit more interest. 

So all in all, a pretty simple skirt, considering how long it took me to make it! At least I can now say that I definitely hung ti long enough to stretch out! It is very comfortable however, and swirls beautifully.

Pink Pencil skirt refashion

Well, as promised yesterday, this was a super basic refashion. I picked up the skirt at a charity shop. I was attracted by the colour, I am developed a bit of a fetish for brightly coloured pencil skirts! It was also the correct size, or so I thought.. When I tried it on, not only was it (as I had realised) a grannyish midi length, it was also a little bit tight across the top, and kept sliding up and wrinkling.

When I had looked more closely at it, I realised that it had the same problem that I have with most pencil skirts, but slightly more so. As most fabrics have a little give in them, they stretch over your hips a bit, which if you like a snug fitted pencil skirt is ideal. However, if they are lined, the lining does not have this give, and the lining is also usually slightly smaller than the outer skirt. Every skirt I own with a lining now has a rip down the side of the lining. Which makes the lining useless as the non lined bit catches. therefore, as I am not one of those young ladies who is horrified/bemused at the need for slips (we did a poll at work, it was weird how many girls didn't own one, I am not sure how they manage..) I just rip out the linings and wear a slip underneath instead. Clearly a potential problem with the pink skirt was that the lining was too small, so I took it out, which was really easy as it was just stitched onto the inner flap of the waistband.

bye bye lining

I then cut off the bottom (really easy again as it is a straight skirt) and rehemmed. 

And it now fits extremely well, and I just wore a slip under it. 

Thursday, 8 September 2011

SSS11 Day 8

Well now we are on the second day of my late starting challenge, and so far it's going OK. I am still wearing (some) makeup, even though I have a steaming cold, but I have not managed jewellery-but I have managed a belt! I got sick of having no belts so I ordered a few form ASOS, expect to see the others as the month progresses.

What I am wearing
Top   - Ness (Debi has got me a bit hooked! even though I am not a huge tartan person, they have some really nice separates! Plus I walk past the shop when going to and from work everyday so it is so easy just to pop in).
Belt  -  ASOS
Skirt - refashioned from a charity shop purchase. (a bit wrinkled, I should have ironed the hem again I think!)

When I put this on I remembered I hadn't blogged about the skirt (it is a pretty basic refashion). I have a before picture somewhere, but not on this computer. It was just much longer and kinda grannyish in style because of it. But it is a lovely bright pink!

I like this outfit a lot. I haven't worn this top much yet because it's slightly short, which makes it perfect for pencil skirts (most of my tops tend to be quite long so that they don't continually ride up round my middle, but this looks a bit odd if you want to tuck them in to something!). It is very cute though, it's a fine stretchy knit with decorative weave (I can't really describe it, like a really horizontally stretched rib that's now completely flat but still stretchy..) It's super soft, the neck has contrasting decorative lingerie elastic trim and a little ribbon bow. I like the colours together in the outfit, you can never have too much colour! I need to put some belt loops on the skirt though, luckily I have lots of the material left from the bit I chopped off!)

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Self Stitched September day 7 (except it's day 1 for me!)

Well here we go. I can say that it is a bit of a culture shock to get up, consider what I am going to wear beyond it looking all right and being suitable for work, and then take a picture of it. All I really grasped when I looked in my wardrobe was that I really need to do some washing and that I have no idea how style bloggers do it!

Having said all that, the weather is being obliging, and sticking to nice sunny summery times, pity that all the summer bits are the bits that are in the washing basket! So all in all there wasn't a lot of choice this morning! But I am wearing make up, and a necklace! (I always forget to put jewellery on!)

What I wore
Top -  H&M
Cardigan  - Charity shop
Skirt  - So long sarong  - Refashioned from charity shop

I quite like this, I had only been wearing the skirt with darker tops in a less summery way, but this is nice. It is a pretty basic start, but it is typical of the way I tend to dress (barring my usual lack of jewellery despite having tons of the stuff!)

On a more practical note, I really have to work on my photography/posing skills, I had to sneak this picture quickly this morning as people kept walking past and I didn't want to look like an idiot. This is the best of the few I got, I was leaning against the wall, but that doesn't really come across and so makes my arms look a bit odd!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Self Stitched September - a bit late

Well, I have been busy, and I haven't done any sewing, even though I have a list as long as my arm. I am in  a complete crunch point this month as I have loads of uni assignments this week, and exams in a month for which I need to do some serious revision, as well of course as the day job. Plus, as I will be applying to teaching school this month, I have also been visiting schools and need to write a kick ass personal statement. sigh. So all in all, I have a slightly better excuse for not doing any sewing than usual, in fact, I shouldn't do any (which of course makes me want to!).

To attempt to get the blog going again, without taking time away from everything else going on, I have decided (slightly late in the day) to do something I have always meant to do, take part in a self stitched month! For anyone who doesn't know, this a month where you make a pledge to wear things you have made yourself, in an attempt to wear them more, and work out what else you need. You can do this to varying degrees, depending on how much stuff you have! You also try to take a picture of yourself wearing your outfit and post it on your blog. It's all being run by the lovely Zoe, who was one of the first blogs I found. She describes the whole concept much better than I can here. A lot of people are quite hardcore about it and don't wear non-hand made stuff, but as I have only made about two tops that isn't going to work for me! (there is a lesson already!). therefore, here is my pledge (for the rest of the month!)

'I, monkeysocks, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-Sept '11. I endeavour to wear at least one hand stitched or refashioned item each day for the duration of September 2011'

This is going to be interesting, as I am not really sure how much stuff I have, it may get very repetitive. Also, if the weather gets nasty that is going to be tricky as a lot of the stuff I do have is quite summery! On the plus side, it will hopefully make me put slightly more effort in, and attempt to style myself/wear makeup! (I have been getting rather sloppy of late!)

As I decided this today after I got dressed, I don't have a picture for today (and in any case my hand stitched stuff is limited to the zip I mended (badly) on my skirt, and the bag my mum made, which is cheating!). Never the less, the bag is really nice, my mum made it as part of a run of them inspired by a bag my sister had that she wore to pieces. Now everyone my mum knows has one in different colours! It is cord on the outside, cotton on the inside, with pockets, and crocheted flowers. It is a great size as it just looks like a normal handbag, but you can fit masses in, including A4 things.