Friday, 30 March 2012

One Week, One Pattern – Renfrew

I’ve been quietly playing along with Tilly’s One Week, One Pattern (OWOP), but couldn’t commit to posting about it each day because of my surprisingly time-consuming, yet incredibly fun Mad Men style files. Instead, I’ve gone for the overkill approach of posting a week’s worth of Renfrew outfits in one go - don’t worry, I washed the repeats mid-week! It's the first time I’ve taken part in anything like this and it’s been a really interesting experience.

Before bombarding you with my photos I must admit that on the Monday and Tuesday I had to change out of my cowl Renfrews due to the freakishly warm weather we’ve been having in the UK. Oh, and I couldn’t resist including a snippet of my boyfriend’s thoughts for each outfit because they were so amusing...you’ll see what I mean as the week progressed! Just to clarify, he’s pretty awesome - as long as I’m happy with what I’m wearing he’s happy - but it was so entertaining to force his honest opinion out of him.








Day 1: Saturday 24 March 

TopFloral Renfrew 
Jeans – ASOS
Shoes – Office
Necklace – Primark

Boyfriend's opinion: This is his favourite of my Renfrews, so the outfit got a big thumbs up.









Day 2: Sunday 25 March

TopPurple Renfrew 
Cardigan – Primark
Jeans – Topshop
Shoes - Office

Boyfriend's opinion: Another thumbs up! He's a fan of colourful outfits.









Day 3: Monday 26 March

SkirtAubergine Ginger 
Tights – Primark
Shoes – Miss Selfridge

Boyfriend's opinion: Not his favourite outfit ever, but not for any specific reason.









Day 4: Tuesday 27 March

Dress – Topshop
Tights – H&M
Shoes – Office
Belt - Primark

Boyfriend's opinion: He was unsure of the summery dress layered over the wintry top.








Day 5: Wednesday 28 March

Cardigan - Primark
SkirtWestern Ginger 
Tights – Primark
Shoes – Topshop

Boyfriend's opinion: “It's like you're a 50 year old in the 1940s about to call the kids in for dinner.”







Day 6: Thursday 29 March

Skirt – Primark
Tights – Primark
Shoes – Primark
Necklace – Primark

Boyfriend's opinion: “It looks like you're wearing a fat girl's school skirt high up on your waist.”








Day 7: Friday 30 March

Cardigan – Primark
Jeans – ASOS
Shoes – River Island

Boyfriend's opinion: “Hmm, it looks like you're off to the gym, but not when you've got your cardigan on.”





Six things I learned from taking part in OWOP:
  • I adore the Renfrew pattern and my mind is overflowing with future versions. I’m not so keen on the cowl detail for myself though, so these are likely to be scoop and V-neck from now on.
  • I would love to have more me-made clothes that match. Instead of always being drawn to prints, it would be good to sew with some plainer fabrics now and again or to even sew a capsule wardrobe...although I wouldn’t know where to begin with the latter! 
  • I like to ‘pose’ with my hand on my hip...a lot! Maybe it’s an insecurity thing, but I don’t have a quick remedy for this I’m afraid, so you’ll have to learn to deal with it ;o)
  • I’m lazy when it comes to accessorising – I must work on this.
  • I really, really need to do more with my hair! I’ve been growing it out for that precise reason, but I’m still as rubbish with it as ever. 
Did you take part in OWOP and if so, was it as fun and educational for you too? 

If you're joining Karen for end-of-OWOP-cocktails tonight, I hope you have a blast!

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Mad Men Dress Challenge - all done!

Unless you've been hiding under a rock, or have been avoiding my blog for the last month, you'll know all about Julia Bobbin's Mad Men Dress Challenge - chances are you're even taking part! Today, I'm super excited to  finally reveal my dress, which is inspired by Jane's character.

Please let's not play the 'who wore it better' game! I did go for more neutral make-up like Jane, but I much prefer myself with a brighter lipstick...

I'm such a sap, but when I finished this dress I burst into tears! I've had a pretty bad record of fitting dresses to date, (evidenced here) so I was unbelievably relieved and overwhelmed that it actually fit well!


What?!? I'm just hanging out with my dress, admiring my awesome neckline ties!

I used Simplicity 4905 to recreate Jane's look and it was a dream to work with – all notches lined up perfectly and instructions were clear. I made my regular adjustments, taking an inch off the bodice to fit my short torso and ½ an inch off the armhole seam and sleeves for for my narrow shoulders. 

Despite wanting to do Jane's dress justice, I also wanted to end up with a dress I'd wear, so I opted for a fuller skirt than hers. This is the part I'm most proud of, because instead of using the pattern's gathered skirt pieces, I decided to draft my own circle skirt and it actually worked. Hurray!

Still riding on a jersey high from my recent Renfrew addiction, I opted for it again. It's the best decision I could have made - my jersey was thick yet ridiculously forgiving to work with, I didn't have to worry about finishing seams and I got a great fit without a single button or zip in sight! Better still, it was £4 a metre, meaning this dress cost less than £10!



Isn't the colour pretty? I opted for a darker blue than Jane's to suit my complexion better. Also, I only decided to omit the button front after I cut my fabric out, so I sewed it all down instead. It looks quite neat though and it's mostly hidden by the ties to be honest!

The back darts are flattering and I'm glad I added a sweet little touch to the hem, 
it makes me smile...

I couldn't help myself - here's one last Jane vs Marie shot ;o)

There's already been an array of beautiful Mad Men themed dresses popping up all over the blogosphere, but do make sure to stop by Julia Bobbin's blog on 1 April for her big reveal of all the dresses!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Mad Men style files #7 - Betty Francis (nee Draper)

Friends, today's post sadly concludes my Mad Men style files...for now at least! I'm so pleased to now have such rich inspiration at my fingertips and I know I'll be referring to these images often. I hope you'll find them useful in months to come as well!

I absolutely had to round this journey off with my ultimate Mad Men style icon, sugary-sweet Betty Draper. I cringe at my own predictability, but even though I love many aspects of different characters' wardrobes, Betty's is the one that truly makes my heart sing. I love how she is still very much a 1950s dresser resisting the more looming styles of the 1960s. And even though I'm not a huge fan of 1960s styles, when Betty occasionally succumbs to them, she pulls them off flawlessly. Then there's her underlying loneliness and sadness that makes me want to look after her and tell her that everything's going to be ok and that Don is a baboon.

Knowing the depth of my feelings for Betty, you can imagine my devastation after discovering she didn't feature in the 1.5hr Season 5 premier. I'm hoping she'll come back with a bang soon - although admittedly most of the latter 1960s fashions in this episode (and entire series no doubt) left me cold.

Anyway, feast your eyes upon some of my favourite Betty outfits – I struggled to even narrow them down to this number, so be grateful there aren't more!

Images courtesy of Tom + Lorenzo.

Trudy is the only one who could probably give Betty a run for her money in the shirt-dress stakes, if only she had as much air time. Betty is seen wearing them on countless occasions - from light, summery ones, to darker and more sombre looks.


Worryingly, Betty's casual outfits are glamorous compared to mine! Doesn't the blue blouse look like a Sencha (Trudy also sports a similar one) - I really like the embroidery on the front and the back buttons.


This is just absurdly cool attire for a spot of rose-bush-clipping!

Chic is definitely a word that comes to mind when picturing Betty. Her use of scarves, neutral colours, nautical details and classic make-up is such a winning combination!

This little pink scalloped suit she wore in Italy has been beautifully recreated by Tilly and the nautical outfit (and its variations) seen in the series of photos below, is one of my favourite of the entire series!



Betty also has an array of pretty dresses that she wears during daytime outings and less formal events. This dotty one has been widely admired.

One day, I'd love to make myself a wiggle dress like these - I even have a similar blue-rose-print vintage fabric in my stash!

The sweet pink floral number below has been replicated beautifully by this gorgeous lady

To me this dreamy floral number is pure soft porn!!!

Just when you think it can't get better, there are Betty's divine evening gowns

She looks cute as a button in her lacy maternity number, glamorous in her long gloves and sophisticated in red

Didn't I tell you she does 1960s well!?!

I've left this for last because it's the edgiest and most stunning Betty's looked to date, which perhaps is an indication of what's to come in Season 5...

Is Betty amazing or what? Don't worry if you disagree, I won't hate you...much ;o)

I'm sad that this series is now over, but happy that I'll be sharing my very own Mad Men Dress Challenge post tomorrow. It's been so exciting seeing what you've all been making and I suspect there'll be a lot more posts popping up throughout the week!

*****
Fancy ogling my previous Mad Men style posts? Look no further...


Mad Men style files #1 - Faye Miller


Mad Men style files #2 – Jane & Megan  


Mad Men style files #3 – Rachel Menken  


Mad Men style files #4 – Trudy Campbell


Mad Men style files #5 – Peggy Olson


Mad Men style files #6 - Joan Harris (nee Holloway)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Mad Men style files #6 - Joan Harris (nee Holloway)

**Outrageous declaration warning**
Until I put this post together, I don't think I fully appreciated Joan's style. Yes, I knew she was hot and that her clothes were nice, but I think I was too hung up on the fact that they weren't necessarily styles I would wear.

Can you believe this? I'm finding it hard to understand myself! I mean her style is incredible - the stunning cut and fit of her clothes, the array of gorgeous colours, the incredible little details and not to mention her perfect pout and feline eyes. Oh and I love, love, love how she dispels all those ridiculous myths that redheads can't wear certain colours...Joanie looks great in pretty much all colours!

Right, so now I've discovered and declared my new obsession with Joan Harris (nee Holloway), I think it's only fair that I share some of my most favourite outfits of this saucy, sexy, sultry office temptress - images courtesy of Tom + Lorenzo

Joanie sure does rock hues of blues and purples

Just look at the neckline detailing in both these photos - so sweet!

It's not often you see Joan vulnerable, but she's even more lovable for it

Who said redheads can't wear pink and red? An idiot, that's who! She looks sweet as a pie in this pink number!

And isn't the low back of this dress and the bow detail too cute for words?!?

Despite the tears, Joanie's makeup is still flawless! I also love the asymmetric neckline and brooch.  

Another sweet neckline and brooch on the olive green dress!

Aqua is also a flattering colour on Joan and I particularly like the ruffled detail on the dress on the right - delicious!

It's not often you see Joanie wearing prints - she loves a good monochrome - but I'm pretty sure that there's nothing this gal can't pull off. Both outfits below totally float my boat!

Oh and did I mention that she also has a nice blouse or two?

Of course this post would not be complete without a few of Joan's signature dresses. The blue one has inspired lovely creations by the likes of Julia Bobbin and Joanne. And the black and rose print has been masterfully recreated by Gertie. You really must check these ladies' dresses out, you won't regret it!

And finally, my personal favourite! I love the colour, the sleeves and how silky the fabric looks. Just scrumptious!

Phew! I don't know about you, but I'm all fired up for Mad Men Season 5 now...just a few hours before we UK folk can get our fix!

Also, have you seen all the Mad Med Dress Challenge posts popping up all over the place? It's exhilarating! Have you taken part and will you be posting about it soon? I'll be sharing mine something this week for sure.

*****
Fancy ogling my previous Mad Men style posts? Look no further...