Saturday, 16 July 2011

Altering Patterns

Making clothes has always been a big part of my life, you need a lot of patience, which I have to say sometimes I lack, but the end result is rewarding and fun. It's nice to have the freedom and creativity to make whatever you want, I usually base the design on a pattern I already have (and believe me, I have a lot) or on something I've seen in the high street which I want slightly different.

About two years ago, I started a pattern-cutting course at South Notts, which was great since many people their had to pay but as a student under 18 it was completely free! I really recommend anyone to do this course who is interested in fashion design as it takes you through all the basics of adapting a simple pattern block for everything.

A poor example (using paint) of how I adapted this pattern to make the garment below.
Getting rid of things is easy. A zip simply has a extra 4cm on the front of the CF, Pockets are separate pattern pieces altogether, as are collars. Instead you have to make a facing for the garment.
The Centre Front pleat was more difficult than usual because the fabric was patterned and when the pleat was closed I wanted to the pattern to carry on as normal.

The problem also, is sizing. My parent's vast collections of old-fashioned patterns are always too big for me, despite a size 14/12 was much smaller than it is today. Still I usually have to take about 1cm out of the centre front and centre back, as well as shortening the shoulder line and lifting the dress.

I'd like to thank my grandma for picking out the fabric!

Green Grooves

Bag: Topshop, Shoes: KG by Kurt Geiger


Again slight alteration - I wanted to keep the gorgeous big colour, almost mini-mouse style, because it added character to a simple dress

 Pop Goes The Weasel

Headband Miss Selfridge, Collar: My Sisters Shoes: Paul Smith

I'm extremely influenced by the 60s, there's something about the era that emphasises how people found a sophistication in fun. The photography was exquisite as well with icons like Twiggy and Mary Quant, (pictured below),  captured the camera and made it their own. 60s photography truly evolved around capturing life.

I've been working at HOBBS for over 3 months now I love the shift dresses that we've had for Spring/Summer '11. A red tweed A-line with matching jacket, A navy tweed one, a multi-coloured one that looks like it has giant brush strokes on it as featured in the Main line collection campaign and finally silk one with a gorgeous graphic print of flowers with a touch of sophisticated dip-dye. I have to admit however the styles are popular with the customers, yet they only suit a certain body type.
Twiggy, the Shift and the circles
Vidal Sassoon - shaping the way women cut their hair
(I'm absolutely raring to see the film!)
Girls in groups with legs eleven
 images above courtesy of Google
E xx

Friday, 15 July 2011

BNTML launches a search for the latest Style Blogger

Britain & Ireland’s Next Top Model Live launch competition to find the UK’s newest style blogger!
In association with

The ‘search for a style blogger’ UK competition is open to anyone aged 18 and over who can ‘blog with a passion about style, beauty and fashion’, demonstrating a ‘genuine interest in the industry’ and with an ‘insight into the latest fashion and beauty trends on the high street’.
Well-known style bloggers: Gala Gonzalez aka am-lul
Well-known style bloggers: Susie aka Style Bubble
Well-known style bloggers: Tavi aka Style Rookie
The Prize:

The lucky winner will be invited to feature on as a guest blogger for three months. During this period they will receive tips and advice from the editorial team on how to find their own unique voice as a blogger and build their following.

They will also be mentored by top style blogger Emily Seares from, voted one of the most influential fashion bloggers in the UK, who will advise on how to make an impact in the blogging industry. 

Behind the Scenes of BNTM
Image courtesy of the Daily mail.

As an official BINTM Live blogger, the winner will be given a schedule of assignments ahead of the event including the opportunity to go behind the scenes at pre-event photo shoots and interview the contestants from this year’s Sky Living TV series. They will also go to this year’s BINTM Live to report on the hottest news and trends whilst interviewing more celebrity guests and performers, at this year’s show in October.

If that wasn’t enough, the overall winner will also receive £1000 worth of blogging gadgets including: a state-of-the-art Laptop, a top of the range digital camera as well as Access All Areas passes to this year’s BINTM Live event. 
Four lucky runners-up will also receive a pair of VIP tickets to the event. 

Britain's next top model live catwalk event
 uploaded by user luciebartlett

Want to know what the last event was like? See our post

How to enter:
If you’re looking to forge a successful career in the fashion and beauty journalism industry this is a great place to start. Entrants are required to submit a 200 word piece of editorial on the latest trends and how to wear them, along with a photo of themselves that illustrates their own style.
Entries will be judged by a panel of esteemed experts including: our expert style blogger Emily Seares of; Suzy Pallet, Show Manager of BINTM Live; and Rebecca Holman, Editor of, who will pick five of the best entries to go into the shortlist in September.

The five shortlisted entries will then go head-to-head in a ‘Street Style’ challenge, to find the most stylish fashionistas on their local High Street, the results of which will then be posted on for readers to vote on their favourite. 

Rebecca Holman, Editor of commented:
"Social media is an increasingly important platform for our fashion conscious generation and blogging is a fantastic way to express views and opinions as well as interact with audiences around the world."

Emily Seares of commented:
“If you’re a budding fashion blogger, this amazing competition will give you the ultimate kick-start to a successful writing career. The hunt is on to find the UK’s newest style blogger, so if you’ve a passion for the latest trends, a flair for writing and bags of enthusiasm we want to hear from you!  This competition is a brilliant opportunity to show off your writing skills, make contacts within the industry and learn how to develop your own blog to make an impact."

The Judges from left to right:
Charley Speed, Elle Mcpherson, Julien McDonald and Grace Woodward
“We’re looking for entertaining and insightful entries that display a real passion, from people of all ages and from all walks of life... so get writing now!”
·         The competition is open to anyone in the UK, aged 18 or over.  UK residents only.
l  Entrants must submit a 200 word piece by 31st August, with an accompanying photo.
l  The competition opens on 7th July and closes on 31st August 2011.Entries after this deadline will not be accepted. 
l  The shortlisted 5 entrants will be notified of their ‘street style’ challenge in September, to decide who wins the ultimate prize of being a BINTMLive blogger.
l  The general public will then be able to vote for their favourites from (date here).
l  The winner will be announced and a schedule of BINTMLive assignments confirmed between September & October 2011
l  Entry details can be found on 
l  VIP Tickets won are non transferable

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Evolution of florals

Forget prints, florals are taking new shapes and forms

 i-D magazine, the exhibitionist issue no.312, Spring 2011
Photography by Karim Sadli
Styling by Sarah Richardson
Flower harness Naza Yousefi & Flower bra What Katie Did. All flowers on harnesses by Hiden Floral Desi
gn and all other flowers by Lachaume.

Marc Jacobs introduced us to the flamboyant, fericious and utimately fabulous 70s floral this Spring.

I came across these vintage-style bikinis in River Island in Harrow, London. I was slightly overwhelmed that I should find such jems in River Island, they seemed far from their usual gold lame highly cut-out swimsuits (similar to the revealing style above). But they had a different sort of high matience about them; more Marilyn Monroe than Fergie. Even my parents thought they were special, and that was saying something. The 3d floral effect reminded me so much of 50s swimming  or synchonorised siwimming hats - who knew swimming caps could be so glamorous...
All 1950s images above are from

Sophie Davison (portfolio pictured below), recently graduated from Westminster in which her final collection showcased various garments with real flower and dried fruit sewn on. My sister, Daisy, also studying design at Westminster helped to make her final collection in which during the process she BBM'd me pictures of these platform shoes and the flowers she had individually sewn on.

I even spotted this light in B&Q! This may be taking it a bit too far however...

There's something about flowers, when they become more than a textile print and take hold of the fabric itself, that turns a typical A-line dress into something rather special.

3D floral cream dress £20, topshop. Orange seude platform sandals £20, River Island. Clip on flowers, various.

Photograph above, taken on my phone on a gorgeous summers evening, I love it because the colours look as though I'm in the South Pacific, rather than England.

E xx