Friday, 24 April 2015

Little Crossbody Bags - got some bagmaking in!

These are my latest two makes. Thats the fabric I got from Voodoo Vixen popping up again!

These were a request from an old school friend. She wanted some simple bags for her girls just to carry their bits around. These have a zip on top, a zip pocket and removable adjustable straps.

At 7x9" they are big enough for a small tablet, but certainly a phone and other bits and bobs. 
These are lightly padded with fusible fleece, and I added piping. Just because.

I did use a pattern for these. Then immediately regretted bothering.
I use patterns because it takes a long time to acurately draught one, even a simple one. 

I bought this from and I couldn't make head or tail of the instructions. So I decided the best route to take was to bin the instructions and carry on with how I think the bag is meant to be constructed. It was pretty simple in the end - you just need to make sure everything is the right way up! 

If I did them again I would do curved corners, but I think these look ok.

On Makeup - Besame Compact and other ramblings...

***Update - before you read this, you should know that this caused a bit of a to-do on twitter. Besame aren't happy ( I got a lovely long telephone call from their EU rep) because the products are not the same as the top photo and are in fact old stock. (I didn't notice - takes someone who knows them well)
They have contacted LadyJoJosBoutique and requested that they remove the stock. LadyJoJos also contacted me and explained that they bought the stock from the previous EU distributor and have offered me a refund)
end update***

You will find I don't blog about makeup.

This is because a) I know little about it - I've been pretty much sporting the same look since I ditched the electric blue eyeliner for liquid black about 27 years ago and b) I'm pretty skanky and I don't buy much of it and what I do have I hoard for years.

I have discovered that I like Barry M Pillar Box red lippy (121) although there seem to be two shades of that about (I have both and one is more scarletty and one more orangey)

I have not found a black eyeliner that I am happy with. For short wear I love MUA (makeup academy) liquid eyeliner - it has the best applicator ever. Unfortunately it does start to crumble and flake after about 5 hours though. I also liked blinc because of its staying power, but I have found that my eyes are pretty sensitive to it so its no good for daily wear.

I still have the clinique face powder I bought over a decade ago and most of its still in there.

Nothing I own was bought for the prettiness factor.

Then the other day I happened upon the ladyjojosboutique  50% off flash sale, and fell for this little beauty.

So adorable, and a for a tenner I couldn't resist (free UK postage too) 

It arrived today. Beautifully packaged. Do I need to carry around a compact in a plush drawstring purse? Not really, but I shall anyway.

I didn't realise it was so small. I thought it would be normal compact size, however I really don't mind. Its so cute. 

The proof is in the wearing really. I bought 'medium' as I'm fairly olive toned in the skin department, and as soon as the sun hits my face it tans. There is no indication on the Besame site as to the actual colour/tone of the powder which is irritating, especially if you are going to pay full price. 

But all is ok. It suits my skin. These are awful, awful pictures (taken not long after waking on a work day so no time to worry about any other makeup) Sorry. But y'know, its me.

You can see in the first pic how blotchy and shiny I am.

Then add a bit of the Besame - and voila! shine and blotch free. I haven't put anything else on - just the powder. On a weekend /night out I'd use light foundation as well but this seems to work pretty well as a touch up. 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Plus Size Fashion: George at Asda - you beauty! Tu at Sainsburys - making promises you can't keep!

The supermarkets are coming out with some corkers at the moment. If you can manage to get hold of them.  A few weeks back I was desperately trying to get hold of this skirt. Twitter is an excellent way to get a response, but they said the nearest one was in Letchworth which is a bit too far to go.

So I was super happy when they appeared online (I'm part of the trial area for tu clothing online - its not available to everyone) Duly ordered two because I never know if I'm going to be a 16 or an 18.


Email telling me they aren't in stock. How can they not be in stock? I ordered them the morning they appeared on the website?! Frustrated. But hey ho its just a skirt. 

They also have some cute looking retro styled dresses. I do find though with Tu that they are generally less cute in the flesh. The one below doesn't have enough fabric in the skirt and is too long waisted for me. 

I'm wondering whether or not to order this one.

Anyway, I turned to George at Asda - they have these dresses at the moment in various colourways. They are lovely soft fabric, and only 20 quid. Very retro styling. I tried a black one on in store and it was lovely but too tight in a 16.

So I ordered an 18 online. Sadly when it arrived, it was just too big. Unfortunately my substantial waist means that what fits on the waist is hugely saggy in the chest region. 

But never mind because I'm keeping this one!

When I saw it advertised I was gutted there was only one left in a size 8, however they restocked and I again ordered a 16 and an 18. This is also £20.

Its so pretty. Exactly the kind of dress I like to wear. 

I had the same issues with the sizing. This is the 16. The 18 was just too saggy in the chest region. The 16 is a tad tight on the waist but I can live with it. 

The red belt is pinched from a Voodoo Vixen dress. I think it really makes it pop.
They've even lined it and put some net under the skirt. I don't think that was actually necessary (and I actually prefer unlined summer dresses) but its nice that they bothered.

I think that this is a standout buy. They also do a pencil dress in this fabric (which I know without trying would not fit me, because I'd probably need a 20 in the bottom, and 18 in the waist and a 16 on the chest)

Friday, 17 April 2015

The saga of the clogs ...Moheda Toffeln

I've been after some clogs for ages. I keep seeing pictures of people like Dolly Clackett  wearing her Swedish Hasbeens and getting all jealous. In fact I nearly bought some when they were on sale at office, but they were still 75 quid and its just too much. (Especially since I fairly recently spent 60 quid on my Miss L Fire shoes)

So I did some trawling of t'internet. Which is what I do best. Came up with lots of options. Then I found selling the Topzy in Red which was pretty much just what I was looking for, at the bargain price of £23. Then of course I noticed that you could get 3 for the price of 2. Oh dear. Unable to resist such a barg, I bought a red pair, a white pair and a black pair. Shipping is £10 to England, so the total cost for 3 pairs was £56.

They arrived within a week. I tried the red pair on first an fell in love. Perfect fit. I have since worn them for the day. Slight bit of rub on my 4th toes from the leather but thats ok for new shoes. Also walking on a wooden sole takes a bit of getting used to but nothing I can't handle. I love these.

The white pair I like but don't love. They also fit well but slightly tighter than the red pair. The leather is supple though so I think they will stretch. I may just sell them though. I'm not particularly a white shoe person.

The black pair don't fit. They've stapled the back straps on too far forward which means my foot is pushed towards the toe and they hurt. 

See the difference?

I contacted Moheda, and they responded really quickly. Because I used the offer, they can't refund, but I asked for a replacement pair of reds (not a fan of the black soles) and they are fine with that, and will pay my return postage for the faulty ones. Which is a good job as it was £8.26 to Sweden (gasp)

I will probably sell the red ones when they arrive. Much as I love, I don't need two pairs and I'd like to recoup some of my money.

Overall, love these. The price is amazing. 

Other shops/brands I considered: (who sell many brands as well as their own)

Crafty Post - Vivian handbag in Glitter Vinyl

I've had so much palaver with this bag for various reasons, but its finally completed and I'm pretty happy with it. I really hope the recipient is too. Vinyl is a b*gger to work with but I love the finished product.

Once I got my vinyl (managed to find a UK supplier - YAY) I cut everything out. I do quilt the vinyl as I think it gives a more professional finish. I have this marvellous contraption that came with my sewing machine that means I can do even lines without having to mark the vinyl (the first line is marked with masking or washi tape) I also use a teflon foot. These are about 17 quid but well worth the outlay if you're going to be using vinyl/leatherette etc.

I had a big old problem with dodgy rivets and had to wait till some new ones came. See the one on the left. That happened with every single one of the faulty batch. I can't charge what I charge with rivets like that. The one on the right is from the new batch.

So the big job after creating the gusset (used two zips for this one so they meet in the middle) with piping and pockets, and the lining also with pockets, is sewing the vinyl to the gusset. This requires gritted teeth, and many passes in order to get the piping positioned correctly.

At this point the outer bag is complete, but there is no lining in it, and no handles.

I sewed the lining in by hand. Its easier, and neater and makes me feel like 'handmade' is more appropriate somehow LOL

Then I riveted the straps on, and ta-da. (There is also a shoulder strap which is removable)

I make these on a commission basis. They are £95 and you have a choice of vinyl colour, gusset fabric (the fabric you see on the outside), lining fabric, and if you wish to you can choose the piping colour and zip colour too or just let me find something that works. I am fully booked until July though!

handmade tags from

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Plus Size Fashion: Voodoo Vixen Ally Cat, Asda George Tropical top and Sainsburys skinny jeans

 First off - the Ally Cat dress. This was a bit of a gamble for me, because I did the initial fitting of this in a plus size, and it just didn't. At all. The neck was too high. The waist too low.

However it was sent off for adjustments and a good thing as well because this one fits me just right.

(Earrings by DeerArrow, brooch by Lucky Ladybird Craft)

Side view - yes I have a big old belly. Its had two kids in it so y'know. Whatever... The armholes are generous enough for my chunky upper arms. The length is good for me.

This is the standard Voodoo Vixen quality -thick stretch cotton. The neck is a good fit this time. The body is a bit too long as they all are for me, but he belt sits in the right place.

The only issue for me is the lack of pockets. They are faux pockets on the front. Mega disappointed in this. One of the features I like about many of the VV dresses are the presence of pockets. I might have to put some in myself. 

Overall though, I bought this because like the Tilly, its more of an 'everyday' dress for me. I would wear this to the park with the boys. 

Also , Easy Eds just opened in Cambridge. This is the perfect dress for a visit!


Asda. They are producing some bl**dy brilliant stuff at the moment. Their bardot dresses are beautifully cut and only 20 quid - sadly I can't get hold of one in my size in the black which is what I want, all they do have some left in the colourway below. 

Their seaside dress - its gorgeous. Its also sold out. All the time. I am determined to find one of these!

So whist I didn't get the dress I wanted when I visited yesterday, I did get this cut gypsy style tropical  jersey top. Elasticated at the neck and at the bottom, with fluted sleeves, its really pretty. I got the 16. I learned my lesson about their sizing the other day with the zebra dress. 

I also finally found a pair of skinny jeans I like. These are also of the supermarket variety. Tu at Sainsburys (who cancelled my skirt order as 'out of stock' even though I ordered it the day it turned up on the site - thats the one, below)

Anyway, lets gloss over it. 


The jeans are supersoft. Fit my belly without gaping at the back, and are the right length for wearing pumps. I'd have preferred an extra inch or two in length (I ordered 18 regular and I'm 5ft6) but they're fine. 

they are comfy and that's what matters. 

So this is what I'm wearing today :)

Plus Size Fashion - Voodoo Vixen Katniss. Does. Not. Fit.

I don't know what to say really. I have been waiting for this dress for so long. I first saw it early 2014 in the one direction shop, but of course it only went up to an XL. When Voodoo Vixen decided to product it in larger sizes I was over the moon.

When it arrived I popped it on immediately. Its the same good quality stretch fabric as usual. Quite thick. Don't actually need to use the zip as it goes over my head. And it looks ok on the photo doesn't it?

Its not ok though. Its really really gapey. Its just to big in the shoulders. I can't go down a size because it would not fit my belly, or, I suspect, my arms.

If I'm not striking a pose, it just slips down like this.

I don't feel secure in it. and the waist is too low as usual, athough I could remedy this with a belt. I'm really not sure what I can do about the shoulder fitting. Its not an easy fix. But I really want to keep it.

Bah. Humbug.