Red shoes, No knickers

Did It Myself, Didn’t I Archive

Saturday

13

October 2018

0

COMMENTS

Can’t afford ~ Made my own

I grew up with nothing. Literally nothing.

Totally untrue of course but that’s what my ‘deprived’ teenage brain told me. It told me that I was at a disadvantage in the, seemingly, third world country I was living in as I didn’t have access to the things I so desperately needed. By third world I now mean developing, by things I mean the coolest clothes and accessories and by needed I mean wanted. SO BADLY.

Luckily for me the internet was merely a newborn baby foul just learning to stand on it’s own four bandy legs and so hadn’t made it to our conscious yet let alone our homes. If it had I would have been in a permanent state of wanderlust and withdrawel, walking my neighbourhood heavyhearted in the knowledge that I didn’t have all the great things other people did. Oh wait?! Isn’t that my current state now as a nearly 40 year old?

In the early 90’s, on a tiny island in the middle of the Mediterranean ocean, my want came solely from the Saturday morning magazine I saved my pocket money for and pawed over for hours. Just Seventeen {and sometimes More if I wanted to look at the position of the week and wonder when I’d be able to try that shit out} was what constantly gave me FOMO. Everything inside it was something I wanted. Everything was just so cool and so God Damn English. And England was the promised land. It had shops and adverts and concerts and rain and McDonalds and Monster Munch. These were things that I dreamt of and things I was dying to experience.

Lucky for me I went to England twice a year with my family. They were the highlights of my year and I would save those Cyprus cents {that my Father would exchange for us at a ratio of 1:1} so that I could head straight to Topshop, Miss Selfridge, New Look or Bay Trading Co {remember that old chestnut?}  and obtain the navy skinny rib scoop neck top I had coveted for months or the constantly asked for pair of black DM boots. My holidays in the UK where only Christmas and Summer though so if I wanted something in February I either had a very long and extremely painful wait or I had to do it myself, wouldn’t I?.

YES! I had to get creative and find a way to produce whatever it was that I wanted. One of my favourite examples of Did It Myself Didn’t I was when white Adidas shelltops became all the rage. Along with satin babydoll slips and pastel coloured mohair cardigans these pristine white trainers were the thing to have. Unless you took a flight out of the country to go and purchase these much sort after trainers they were not available to you. Well I REALLY wanted them so I found a way. I did have an old pair of Adidas trainers. Sadly they didn’t have the iconic shelltop but they did have the custom triple stripes on the side. In purple, green and yellow. No problem! I bought myself some black fabric paint and coloured those stripes in. I swapped out the laces for black ones {not sure why as shelltops had white laces?!} and voila! A new pair of trainers.

Another great example is when Take That burst onto our screens and into our pants. There was not a magazine going that Sister With Massive Laugh and her best friend didn’t buy that they were in. At the height of Relight my Fire one magazine photo shoot saw Mark doning an Antoni and Alison t-shirt. Antoni and Alison’s signature tops were {and still are} slogan t-shirts. We all wanted one. They were so frikkin’ cool. They were also so frikkin’ expensive and so frikkin’ far out of our reach. HEY! That didn’t stop us. No way, Josephine. I made three of my own Antoni and Alison style tops. I altered the necklines of old polonecks, chopped off their length, painted my own slogans and still to this day ~ 26 years later ~ wear one of them to bed. When I facetime Sister With Massive Laugh and Tiny Niece with one of my boobs hanging out the side of it she tells me I need to get rid of it and I ignore her. My Sister tells me, not Tiny. Tiny just points at my boob and says ‘Milk’

I am forever grateful for those lean clothing times of my life. Firstly I don’t believe that you should get everything you want because then we’d all be spoilt and it’s a known fact that spoilt people are bad in bed. Secondly it sparked my imagination. It made me creative and that Did It Myself Didn’t Istreak has never left me. I am still cutting up clothes and reworking them. I will not let a pair of shoes die on my watch unless I have exhausted all it’s potential possibilities. I have recently started wearing my Grandmother’s original Burberry trenchcoat {that I shortened years ago so that I would wear it more often} inside out. Ms.B Trench has a new lease of life and I have a new coat. Everyone’s a winner.

Don’t worry if you’re not an average to sometimes downright awful seamstress like my good self. You can always ask for help. If it’s too big a job for me I head to my local dry cleaners where I was lucky enough to find Moggi who is a seamstress superstar. When I needed to revive a pair of plain white open toe mules from Marks and Spencer my standard ‘superglue a pompom onto them’ wasn’t quite right. I turned to my friend Sophie Boustred of SGB Goods. She took my ideas and my screen shot collection of furry shoes. She cut up her varying colours of sample sheepskins and glued on strips to gave me my very own version of Rachel Comey style mules. Rachel’s cost over $300. Mine where the price of a two year old pair of faux leather M&S heels and £25 cash. BOOM. Mr. Tumnus eat your heart out! I’ve got a new pair of hooves.

  

The teenage days of longing and envy have sadly managed to stay with me just on a much larger, lifestyle stage as shown {off} to us on Instagram. I’m ok with that though because the Do It Yourself attitude has also stayed with me. The Make Do and Mend. The I’m Not Missing Out Just Because I Can’t Afford It.

I’ve recently bought a hot glue gun and the world is my stitched-together-from-an-old-pair-of-jeans oyster. I’m off to make an outfit for my 40th birthday party.

Posted in Beautiful shoes, Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Inspiration

Wednesday

23

October 2013

0

COMMENTS

Rise to the occasion ~ Cocktail week

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It’s been a while since I’ve had to Rise to the Occasion ~ HA! Who am I kidding! Every Wednesday is dress up day for me!! No but seriously, I mean an actual occasion when other people might dress up with me. London cocktail week seemed like the perfect opportunity as we had a personally selected liquor  for our store and served Elderflower and Prosecco cocktails for a couple of days. In my head I merged cocktails and couture as I headed to my closet.

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{grandma wyn’s burberry trench coat, hobbs cardi, #diditmyselfdidnti may dress, gifted belt and net skirt, m&s petticoat & sunnies, kg heels, reworked leather bag from rokit {remember her from here?}}

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I’d been wanting to wear this Did It Myself, Didn’t I dress, by May, all summer but there just never seemed the right occasion. It’s racer back, tight and short. Had I taken her to old Sunny Spain she might have got an airing but alas she didn’t make the cut. Teaming her with not one but two skirts {you know I love a double skirt action HERE, HERE& HERE} I added a slip and a gifted net skirt to make my outfit wearable, comfortable and cocktail ready.

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Posted in Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Inspiration, Outfit city, Rise to the occasion

Wednesday

4

September 2013

2

COMMENTS

Summer breakers

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Much to Tim’s disdain, who loves a tight and a coat {STAY AWAY!!!}, the heat of summer is here once again..YIPPPEEEE!!! An Indian summer has graced our shores and although it seems inappropriate to still be wearing bright, printed, strapless dresses with white and gold flip flops ~ I DONE IT! I layered my neck in paper beads, jumped into my d.i.m.d.i dress {see HERE} &, although you can’t see it, crayoned my eyes with a purple eyeliner.

I’ve never seen the film but for some reason I feel like I’m a Springbreaker! {minus the violence!}

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{rember2morrow paper beads, gifted yellow vest, d.i.m.d.i dress, gifted flips from cyprus}

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Posted in Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city, Printastic

Thursday

29

August 2013

0

COMMENTS

Morning light

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The town was glad with morning light; places that had shown ugly and distrustful all night long, now wore a smile; and sparkling sunbeams dancing on chamber windows, and twinkling through blind and curtain before sleepers’ eyes, shed light even into dreams, and chased away the shadows of the night. 

~ Charles Dickens, The Old Curiosity Shop ~

Having been a sun worshipper, a summer lover and a heat seeker all my life I thought I was down at the beginning of the year because it was cold for SOOOOO long. Because my limbs were bound tightly in coats and layers and boots. Because my summer wardrobe was lying dormant in an outhouse crying out to be worn and loved. Then the weather got a little warmer but the skies stayed a deep shade of grey and I realised that what I needed was light. I craved the sun, not necessarily for its warmth {although that certainly doesn’t hurt} but for it’s brightness, it’s brilliant light and to feel it’s rays on my saweeeet body.

The light of a great days morning is what I love the most. It’s a time to dream, to prepare and to hope for a fabulous day ahead.

Stay with me summer….don’t ever leave…

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{self designed skirt, reworked velvet boobtube from a karen millen dress, m&s heels, vintage sunnies}

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Posted in Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city

Thursday

15

August 2013

0

COMMENTS

Mellow maxi

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One of my favourite things in the world is simply people watching. I recently went to Spain for a week with Bestie From Africa and every evening, in the sweltering heat of Northern Mallorca, we would trip through the little town of Pollenca, where we were staying, to the local plaza, wander past the restaurants and simply sit and people watch…with an ice cream. I love to see other people in their finery and their own personal take on summer gear.

Tim and I will often do it at work too. Sit on the sofa, look out of the large shop front window & check out how people dress for extreme temperatures in the centre of town. We both have the same no no’s ~ no flipflops & no maxi dresses ~ but Tim’s tolerance for a maxi dress is not extended to any time or place. I, on the other hand, am not as offended by them. They were incredibly oversaturated a couple of summers ago and were the go to dress for WAG’s & out of towners on a hot day at Ascot but when you’re tripping around the house, pottering in the garden & lounging on the sofa I’m quite partial to a maxi or two.

My good friend & bon vivant extrodinaire Kass gave me this little freebie~from~a~mag a couple of years ago. I trimmed and branded her with a little left over java print material & made her my own…all in a days tweaking no? YES!

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{reworked maxi, gap flips & m&s sunnies}

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Posted in Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city

Monday

29

July 2013

0

COMMENTS

Shorts week ~ High waisters

DSC02695When the weather decides to finally answer my prayers and grant me with a succession of weeks that firstly make everyone so God DAMN happy and secondly allow me to wear all my ‘summer summer’ clothes then I thank it’s pretty ass and make the most of this precious time.  As with Pants week {I’m sure you’ll all remember those good old days} I laid out all my shorts on my bed and each day made sure they got the showcasing that they so rightly deserved. A brown leg and a heel was all these high~waisted D.I.M.D.I shorts needed. I ran around town all day in this comfy, chic outfit. CHIC???? Gurrrrrrrrlllll…YES! I know they’re cut offs but with a sleeve, a heel and a high waist I made these badboys work for central London.

Nice.

Thanks.

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{forever 21 top, d.i.m.d.i shorts, melissa plastic heels, green wooden beads from bondi beach market, gifted promise2morrow paper beads, orla kiely}

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Posted in Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city, PANTS!, Wardrobe work

Thursday

11

July 2013

0

COMMENTS

Hidden gems

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{gifted & then reworked zimbabwean dress from bestie from africa, vintage pink dress from sydney, vintage birds of paradise dress from san francisco}

I’ve done my homework that I set myself yesterday and have been hunting and discovering and loving finding my summer specials. They’re out, they’re going to be worn and their accompaniment will be a big fat smile on my face.

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{black and beige flip flops from gap, only hearts cotton vest top}

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{gifted supre dress from ms. kass, orla kiely clutch}

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{£1 hat from cyprus}

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{dimdi dress}

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{dimdi grey shorts, self designed playsuit, vintage leather visor, ancient cut off jeans, gifted accesorise sunhat}

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{vintage top from nyc}

What have you been unearthing my Shoelets?

Any hidden gems that you’d forgotten about?

Tell all…

Posted in Africa-ca-ca, Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Kaspia Calypso, Outfit city, Printastic, Summer plans, Wardrobe work

Tuesday

25

June 2013

0

COMMENTS

Take me to Africa

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When the Zimbabwean’s are in town there is nothing I like better than cracking out my African print dresses and showing them how much I love their material.

When Bestie From Africa lived over in Zimbabwe {technically she should now be called Bestie From Streatham} I was very lucky to receive many beautiful gifts in the post. Often it was simply material that she knew I’d like and would make into something fabulous. Other times it was actual dresses. This beauty came to me one birthday with the note attached

‘Yes, it’s huge but it’s the smallest I could find. I know you’ll be able to do something with it’ 

Huge was an understatement. It was probably a size 26! You know I love a challenge. I took it up, I took it in, I chopped the sleeves and I hemmed the shit out of it. Paired with a floral belt it was perfect for these far eastern style wild summer days.

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{reworked gifted african dress, belt from this dress, m&s suede wedges and sunnies, vintage bag from rokit}

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For wild adventures in the actual Africa and not just a garden in South London check out here

Posted in Africa-ca-ca, Bestie From Africa, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city, Printastic, Rise to the occasion

Tuesday

18

June 2013

0

COMMENTS

Cray Cray Kookaburra

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“Kookaburra sits on the old gum tree,
Merry merry king of the bush is he.
Laugh, Kookaburra, laugh, Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be!”

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This weather is making me crazy! I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, jumpering or bare arming, legging or trewsing???? What I do know is that it has to be about the layers…layers, layer, layers.

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{american apparel cardi & tee, dimdi waistcoat, vintage skirt from hk, hobbs leopard print flats, m&s sunnies}

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Posted in Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Outfit city

Wednesday

5

June 2013

1

COMMENTS

Lace and Legs

I was in a big dilemma.

A fashion dilemma which never bodes well with me. I like to know where I am and what’s occurin’ when it comes to special occasions. I have been known to plan an outfit up to a year in advanced. I can’t help it. I like to be organised.

Bobbi’s wedding is coming up this weekend. I’m doing a reading. I’m really bloated at the moment. Like REALLY. I had visions of black lace {see here} and had visions of reworking {stitching in a strapless bra to hold it up and taking out the sides to accommodate my expanding derriere} this little lace number I own below.

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It’s 20’s inspired, is a nice length but low and behold does it hug and like to show off the bloat belly or what?? I wasn’t happy…I was making do and I didn’t want to be making DO! I wanted to be DO DO DOING in my wedding clobber!

Then I saw this on my beloved Ann Street Studio blog:

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SWEET BABY JESUS!

A poorly fitted, uncomfortable mediocre~outfit~for~this~occasion would not do. I wanted there to be swathes of gorgeous lace and I needed an injection of sex as opposed to bad digestion.

I went shopping.

I went 60’s…..

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{vintage dress from black out}

The bow sleeves are going, much to Tim’s disagreement, and a big high heel is needed due to the large amount of leg that will be on show but I like it. I feel comfortable in it. There’s nothing restricting my waist {a common problem for me at wedding’s. See here} so I am happy to eat, drink and dance the day away…what else are wedding’s for?!

Headgear still to be sorted but I’m on the case…..watch this space

Posted in Bobbi's wedding, Comfy chic, Did It Myself, Didn't I, Inspiration

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