Sewing, stitching, baking, cooking, gardening, shopping and general homemaking.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Purple Jacket

My wardrobe is full so not much clothes shopping or making going on lately.  However, I was away for a few days last week at a Warner's Holiday Village on Hayling Island.  While away on these short breaks we have trips out each day and I usually find something to treat myself to.  This time I couldn't resist this jacket...
It fits better than it looks on my mannequin, I must get that sizing sorted out, the bust area needs adjusting.  Anyway, it feels great on and is quite an up to date style, it's thin enough to wear under a coat in the winter and warm enough for spring and autumn wear with a jumper under it.

It looks nice with the zip undone a bit too.  I'll wear it tomorrow with black trousers when I meet my friends for coffee, I'll see what they have to say about it.

The Warner's that we went to was great, it is chalet accommodation, which was warm and comfortable.  There is a complex of main buildings in the centre, the dining/entertainment room, a piano bar, a shop, a seating area and there is a nice cafe that opens at 7.30 in the morning, great for me as I get up early and can go over and get a cup of tea instead of messing around in the chalet and waking Graham up.  The food was ok, some good, some adequate but plenty of it if you are a big eater.  There are lots of activities during the day and early evening there is dancing and the entertainment staff put on some line dancing instruction.  The absolute best part was the entertainment in the evenings, there were ten entertainment staff and they put on some great shows.  One evening there was a comedy duo, we really had a good laugh that night!

Saturday, 13 September 2014

A Very Simple Blouse

This blouse only took a couple of hours to make.  I drew around a simple blouse I'd bought recently (it is the blue one from New Look) that has no darts and drop sleeves so it was a very simple design.  I didn't spend ages finished off the raw edges, I just sewed up the shoulder, turned a seam on the neckline and armholes, sewed up the sides and hem.  It wouldn't win any prizes for finishing off but it is wearable and fun to make.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Chiffon Kimono Jacket

It was a bit late in the summer when I bought this kimono...

I'd seen them in New Look and really fancied one but did I really need one and would I wear it I asked myself.  A lot of them were lined, which I didn't want and a lot of them had fringing, which I didn't like.  So when I saw this simple chiffon one I thought it would be useful over my sleeveless blouses.  Of course once I'd bought it the weather changed and I've been going out with a thicker jacket for warmth.  I will be able to wear it under a jacket or coat if I want to so it will come into use soon.

While I was at it I bought another sleeveless blouse - love these blouses - and wore it with another of those narrow micro-pleated scarves I've been collecting...
I have eight of these scarves now, all but one from the same charity shop.  There haven't been any more in this particular shop so I must have bought up all their stock.  Will have to look out for them in other places, they are so useful.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

1940s Retro Blouse

This Simplicity 1590 pattern was straightforward to do and feels comfortable to wear.  I did struggle with the fabric I was using, it is a sort of silky searsucker, not sure if it is viscose or polyester.  It tended to slip when cutting out, frays a lot, puckers when machine sewing and the peplum curve was a bit fiddly.  But I am pleased with it...

It doesn't look as baggy on me as it does on the mannequin, must have put a bit of weight on since I set the mannequin up!  If made with a cotton fabric this blouse would be very easy.

The next blouse I make will be a very simple one.  I want blouses in fabric that drapes nicely even though it is fiddly to sew.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Nail Varnish, Eyeliner, Eyebrow Definer, Lipstick

When I was in Wilkinson's I noticed a range of cosmetics I'd not seen before.  I did want some nail varnish so I had a good browse through this Essence range.  Well, the prices are perfect when you are on a budget.  First I bought two bottles of nail varnish...
This one is called Go Bold, it has a very fine glitter to it, it feels smooth when on, the glitter stays within the varnish.  I wanted something that looked beige and one coat of this was the look I was after.

This is called Be Berry Now!.  I love this colour, it has quite a high gloss and one coat looks good, plenty of colour.  I did put two coats on one nail just to see how it looked - very nice.

This nail varnish is only £1.50 a bottle so I decided to have another look at the Essence rack next time I was in Wilkinson's.

I've never used an unnatural nail colour before, you see all sorts of coloured nails these days so I thought it was time I gave it a try.  Haven't used this one yet, it's called Let's Get Lost.  Where they get these names from I don't know!

Next I thought I'd buy a new eyeliner pencil.  I did buy one the first time I looked at their rack but forgot to take a picture of it.  It was supposed to be grey but went on silver, I didn't like it so will probably blend it with another colour or something - or maybe not!

I thought this one was a good idea, brown at one end and blond at the other, it's called Toffee & Sweets.  Only £1.50.

I bought an eyeliner brush to blend my eyeliner with, it has a nice wedge shaped brush, again £1.50.

My eyebrows these days are almost nonexistent so when I saw this I had to have it...

I thought it was just a brush but it is a pencil too.
I tried this out and it works great, I've got eyebrows again!  Again, only £1.50.

Then I saw that they do some longlasting lipstick, had to try that...

I've tried both of them, they do last longer than ordinary lipstick, even after eating and drinking there was still some colour on my lips.  They don't last as long as the Maybelline longlasting lipstick or the Maxfactor one but there is a better choice of colours and do last well, it means I can have a change.  These cost £2.30

So for less than £15 I got quite a lot of things.  It's years since I bothered about makeup and nail varnish or even clothes come to that!  Must be getting vain in my old age.  Still, it's better than walking round looking like a scruffy old hag.  Unless that is the look you are going for!  I do wish I had someone nearby who is also interested in this sort of thing, it would be great to compare notes and go shopping with in real life.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Packaway Showerproof Jacket

The weather is cooler but not so cool that I have to wear a coat.  I can still go out and feel warm enough wearing a cardigan or jumper.  Trouble is it is also quite rainy.  Luckily I found a nice packaway type showerproof jacket from Peacocks...
This jacket folds up really small so it will fit into my handbag   It looks a bit more stylish than some pacamac type raincoats I've seen.  Don't know how it would hold up in one of the torrential downpours but it does work well with showers.  It also has a hood...
The hood is nice and roomy, it doesn't feel as though your hair is being crushed.  Altogether I'm pleased with this jacket, apart from keeping the rain off it also keeps the breeze out, it has been quite windy as well as rainy.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Chiffon Blouse

The hot weather continues so more cool blouses are what I'm looking for.  I now have five new blouses, wonder if that is enough!  The trouble is, I'm finding some very pretty ones that I just can't resist...
These chiffon blouses are great with a thin camisole top under them, really pretty and cool.  At £14.99 they are affordable.  I remember at least 20/30 years ago blouses cost the same amount, it's so nice to find clothes I can afford these days.  I know there are sweat shops around the world where these clothes are made and they have my sympathy, years ago I worked in a clothing factory, maybe not quite the sweat shops in other countries but near enough - I'm talking fifty years ago.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Pretty, Cool, Outfit For Summer Days

The weather is still hot here, 20C, and it is nice to have a prolonged spell of good weather so that I can go out without having to wear a coat/jacket.  Very unusual!

This little blouse only cost me £8 from the sale rack at New Look and the palazzo pants were £17.99.  The have pockets and a couple of pleats at the front, very nicely designed in my opinion.  Can't you tell I'm now a fan of New Look.  The pants don't dangle on the floor when I'm wearing them like they do in the picture, I'd just had trouble with my mannequin, it had slipped down a bit and I couldn't pull it back up.  I love the nice little collar on this blouse, reminds me of a 1950s design.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

More Palazzo Pants, Another Blouse And A Bag

This is another outfit to keep cool in during the hot weather...
The blouse is really simple and would be easy to make.  It cost £12.99 from New Look and will be very useful with my other trousers.  The palazzo pants are from the same shop as my other pair, once again made of viscose so are nice and drapey.  They look a bit crumpled from hanging a bit bunched up in my wardrobe.

Found this little handbag in a charity shop...
The chain shoulder strap is detachable, I will probably use it without the chain as a clutch bag.  It was new, the original shop ticket was still on it.  I paid £4.99, it probably cost something like £12.99 from the shop.  A very pretty bag I thought.

Adding this picture later than the above, forgot to show my new hairdo!
A bit blurry but the best I could do, not used to taking my own picture, see the concentration on my face!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Clip On Earrings

Clip on earrings are really difficult to find in shops these days, so when I was in Tenby last week I was very happy to see that T.P. Hughes has a good selection of them.
There wasn't a big choice of low nickel ones but I'm hoping they will all suit my skin.  Nickel allergy is the reason I stopped wearing pierced earring.

Love those leaf shaped ones!

When I got back from Tenby I decided to look in charity shops for clip on earring and found these two pairs, I'll wipe them with an anti-bac wipe but they look new anyway.  Not sure what they are made of.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Smart Jacket

I was away in Tenby last week, the weather was beautiful so I was able to go out without a coat/jacket.  However, when I visited Haverford West there was a bit of a cool breeze so I started to feel rather chilled.  What a good reason to look out for a jacket!  Once again I went into an Edinburgh Woollen Mill branch and found a lovely jacket on the sale rack...
When I buy coats and jackets I usually have to buy a size bigger than my usual because of my broad shoulders and long arms.  This jacket is a size 12 so I was very surprised, and pleased, that it fitted perfectly, even the sleeves were the right length.  I love the tailored style of it and the back is very nicely shaped...
I saw it on the rack and was about to dismiss it because of the colour until my DH pointed out that it is a colour that would go with a lot of my clothes.  DH is very helpful when I go shopping, it's like having a personal shopper.  I hate traipsing around shops that's why I just have the few that I will go into.  Going into too many shops really gets on my nerves and shops like TK Max confuse me with the vast amount of items they sell, I don't even try to look in that sort of shop anymore.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Palazzo Pants And A Blouse

This outfit is so comfortable in the really hot weather we've had recently...
I bought two pairs of palazzo pants, they are made from viscose so are quite comfortable as they don't make you feel sweaty.  I needed to find a couple of blouses and was having trouble finding something that wasn't made out of tee shirt fabric.  New Look is a shop I never go in but decided to have a quick look round in one branch last week and found two blouses that were just what I was looking for.  I always thought New Look was just for trendy youngsters.  The young lady who worked in the one I went into was very helpful and friendly so I didn't feel out of place.  This blouse is polyester and drapes very nicely, it cost £14.99 and was just the sort of thing I was looking for.  I didn't want a bright, white cotton blouse that would look like part of a uniform, this blouse is slightly off white and has the sheer detail on the yoke.  In future I won't dismiss shops that I consider too young and trendy for us oldies.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Dress And Cardigan

That little cardigan is coming in very handy.  This dress is sleeveless so the cardigan is just right for me to feel comfortable.  I've added a belt to the dress, being a straight body shape the belt helps me look as though I have a waist.  If you want to know your body shape here is a useful calculator .

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

A Comfortable Outfit

I was meeting friends for coffee yesterday and, because it was a nice sunny day, I knew we'd sit outside in the garden of the coffee shop.  My scalp gets sunburnt easily these days so I wore a hat.  Still feeling a bit self conscious doing this though.  Anyway, I had a walk around the shops first and checked out how many women were wearing sun hats - none!  Quite a few men were though, I wonder how long it will be before women start wearing them.  I know a lot of younger women like to wear hats but women my age are rarely seen in hats.
I love this skirt but it is a bit tight around the waist, it should be easy to alter it as it is elasticated.  The little cable knit jumper was bought a couple of years ago, I bought two, a pink and this green one.  I think this is the first time I've worn it because I forgot I had this spotted skirt that it would go with.

I did read that A line skirts, pastels (and some other fashion advice for older women) are ageing and make you fade into the background.  I don't believe this.  Also, the advice is that narrow legged trousers are a must but not for me, the narrow legs crush my knee caps and make my knees very painful.  I won't put up with pain no matter the fashion advice.  My advice would be to wear what is comfortable for you.  I'm making an effort to coordinate colours, probably this would be against the 'fashion experts' advice.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Short Sleeved Cardigan

Our summers rarely get very hot so I usually have to wear a cardigan or light jacket over a short sleeved top when I go out.  Also, I get a bit cold around the neck, this is where a thin scarf helps.
I rarely wear white tops or cardigans, they look a bit like uniforms, but this little knitted cardi comes in very handy during the summer and it hides most of the top of my arms (which now look old, yes, I know, they are old!).  The scarf is light enough to wear to stop any coolness making me feel uncomfortable.  Here's a close up of it...
These narrow, pleated scarves are really handy for the summer.  I have several of them, all bought from charity shops.  I found two more yesterday, only 99p each.  I always wash them before wearing, they tend to smell of the perfume the previous owners wore.

Talking of vintage, I watched on Wednesday on channel 4 at 8 pm.  Really enjoyed the programme.  It was aimed at people much younger than I am but well worth watching at any age.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Blues And Red

I think a paler cardigan would have looked nicer than this very dark navy blue one.  Or even a linen mix jacket like the cream one I bought recently.  The canvas jeans match the blue in the tee shirt but they do tend to bag at the knee after wearing them for a short time...
I used the red, charity shop, bag and the new red shoes hoping it would match in with the red stripe in the top.  It is a comfortable outfit to wear, though I did have to use a belt on the jeans, they fit perfectly on the hips but the waist is a bit big and they tend to slip down without the belt.  Trouble is a size 14 (UK) is tight on the waist and the 16 (UK) is big.  Never mind, I'd rather have the comfort of a wider waist.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Orange Accessories

Orange isn't a colour I usually choose but this jacket and the trousers needed something to brighten it up.  I saw the bag and then the scarf in a charity shop and straight away decided to try orange for a change.  Both together, the bag and scarf, came to less than £5.  The bag is great to use, it looks smallish but holds plenty, think it is the long, shallow design that makes it seem roomy..
Not sure if I like the style of the scarf, those bobbles around the edge make the scarf fabric sort of billow out.  I'll look out for another orange scarf that hangs smoother.  The patterned top is quite a good match to the jacket and trousers, plus it has a bit of colour in it.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Talking of Hats...

As I mentioned in my previous post, I'm looking out for a hat that is quite understated so that the hat doesn't become the most noticeable thing I'm wearing.  Most hats I've seen (and bought) all have high crowns.  Here are my hats...
This is a very useful rain hat, doesn't stand out too much when I'm wearing it.

This is showerproof and has a wider brim that keeps rain off my glasses, and it's quite warm.

I like this little grey felt hat, nice and warm and quite unobtrusive to wear, wish it came in other colours.

This sunhat has had a lot of use, it folds up for putting into my handbag and the brim is nice and wide to keep the sun off.

Haven't worn this one yet, a bit prettier than the previous hat.

I bought this plain straw hat so that I can put ribbon/fabric around the crown to match what I'd be wearing.

Couldn't resist this one - a hat in a bag!

The brim is huge!  Might feel a bit self conscious in this one.

I've got several knitted/crochet hats as well.  Oh dear, I do get a bit carried away!  I'll still treat myself if I see another one I like though.

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Navy Blue And Red Outfit

Yesterday was a lovely day so rather than wearing my winter cagoule I was able to go to meet friends for coffee wearing a jacket...
 We sat on the patio outside the coffee shop in the sunshine.  I wished I'd worn a hat, the sun was very strong and my scalp gets sunburnt easily, I'd like a flatter style of hat, something that doesn't have a high crown, a hat similar to what they wore in the 1930s/40s/50s, I don't want it to be the only thing that is noticeable about what I'm wearing, which hats can be.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Striped Tee Shirt

I sorted out my tee shirts recently and realised most of them were plain colours and some were very old.  Got rid of the old ones and started looking out for new ones.  This striped one caught my eye straight away, I like stripes, they go with a lot of things...
It will go nicely with navy blue trousers, my pale blue jeans and the darker blue ones.

I like the button detail on the shoulder...

Longer sleeves to the elbow would have been better.  The tops of my arms don't look very attractive these days, it's not that I have 'bingo wings' but the skin is a bit lined looking, almost like cellulite on the inside area.  Not much I can do about that, older skin is very strange, it sort of goes like a balloon that was blown up ages ago and is starting to deflate.  Accepting who we are and growing old gracefully is how I prefer to be, those women who have plastic surgery can look very strange can't they.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

A Cream Jacket

I've been looking for a light weight jacket to wear this summer and managed to find the perfect one...
It looks like linen as it is a linen and viscose mix.  I'm very pleased with it, I don't like pure linen as it creases so easily but linen mix still has the look but not the bad creasing.  It doesn't show in my picture but there is top stitching along the seams and pockets.  I must try and get a better picture of that detail.  Also, there are button tabs at the ends of the sleeves - a nice touch that I thought.  I got it from the shop that a lot of women scorn, Edinburgh Woollen Mill.  I've got some nice things from this shop so I really don't understand their aversion, maybe it's because I'm not a posh person like they are!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

A Jacket

Six years ago my husband retired and for his retirement do I bought a jacket to wear with the skirt and top I'd chosen.  Yesterday I decided to reorganise how things were hung in my wardrobe.  Winter coats and posh outfits are stored in hanging garment bags.  On checking what was actually in these bags I came across the outfit I'd worn to that do.  I took it out of the bag to have a good look at it and what did I find - the red jacket!  What a waste of that jacket, I could have been wearing it all this time...
It's a darker red than it looks in this picture, not so tomato.  It'll be very useful, I've got a few things that it goes very nicely with.

The weather is a bit warmer today so I'm thinking about being able to wear summer skirts and dresses.  One thing I will be doing which is totally unfashionable is that I will wear sheer tights (pantyhose).  I really do not like the fashion of wearing dresses/skirts with bare legs, unless you are on the beach that is.  Most women's legs are not perfect and sheer tights help hide imperfections.  It's rarely hot enough here to make this a problem with overheating.