Saturday, 29 December 2012

Christmas haul

There was just enough daylight through the clouds today to show you what's new. Some of these things are presents, while the rest I bought in Boxing Day sales.

Bag, bookmark, gloves, white bracelet: presents
Snake, tights: Next
T-shirt: present
Jumper: Next
Jeans: Topshop
The jumper I nabbed from the men's section at Next on Boxing Day. (It's size XS and fits me comfortably.) It's 80% wool so is really warm. Not the most fashionable thing I've ever bought but it's very practical. I'll style it up somehow, just watch.

I've only ever bought clothes online twice - some shoes I tried on in a shop, and a cardigan I bought on impulse - but jeans are the hardest things ever to buy when you can't try them on. These Topshop embroidered high-waisted skinnies were irresistible, however, so I went to the shop to try on all of their jeans to see how they fitted. (Unhelpfully, these jeans' product description didn't tell me they're the 'Jamie' type.) They arrived in just a day and fit me fine, though I wish they were longer. Never mind - I'll probably be wearing them with boots most of the time anyway.

Jeans: Topshop
Most of the time I can't stand Topshop - most overrated shop ever - but I have to admit that for £21.50 (£7.50 off from a gift card, £3 off from student discount) these jeans are awesome.

Friday, 28 December 2012

"The distance in your eyes"

This is just a revamp of a previous look with the dress Ginge got me for a birthday. To make myself a little more comfortable in it, I wear a vest and shorts under it. Monica D. commented on one of my looks that my DIY lace-trimmed cycling shorts looked part of my tights, since they sell tights like that, but my shorts can go on top of anything. Ha!
Cardi: mum's wardrobe
Vest: Esprit, China
Dress: Drop Dead, present
Tights: China
Socks: Pringle, TK Maxx
Boots: Doc Martens, eBay

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

The Snowmen

Clara Oswin Oswald. What an interesting one I'm hoping you're going to be. What did you think of this Christmas' Doctor Who? Overall I think I quite enjoyed it. Of course, there were a few facepalm moments - especially with the monsters - but I laughed out loud quite a few times, and spazzed out at how Clara sounds exactly like Melia. Jenna Louise Coleman probably hasn't seen nor heard of Xenoblade since she voice-acted in it, but it's a big deal to me.

As the story's set in the Victorian era, of course I had a field day with screenshots. Enjoy!


I spent a while trawling through the episode on BBC iPlayer HD, so if you're using any of these screenshots on your own site, I'd appreciate it if you link back to me as usual!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012


I hope you people are having an agreeable Christmas. Did you get any nice things? I'm not gonna lie - I like turkey and I like fairy lights entwined in an archway above the conservatory door, but what I love most of all is presents.

This year, most of the presents I sent out were little DIYs, like bracelets and chokers and things. I found a lovely origami box tutorial - complete with lid - on the internet, and if you make them from card, you get some very sturdy little gift boxes which you can decorate however you please. I'm lazy, so it was just felt tip polka-dots for my three friends' presents.

Just a note - when making the lids, don't underestimate the thickness of the paper. If the dimensions of the base box are, say, 70 x 70 x 70 mm, for the lid, the central square has to be something like 76 x 76 mm to fit over the box without warping it. You'll know what I mean if you make it.

Have a nice day!

Friday, 21 December 2012

Links à la Mode: 20th December '12

What a lovely Christmas present: that choker tutorial getting picked for IFB's weekly round-up. Have a good one, everyone.



Edited by: Emily of Sugar & Spice

Less than a week until Christmas, we’re all dreaming of what might be inside the beautifully wrapped presents under the tree come Christmas morning. This week’s collection of posts have a festive feel but will also inspire your crafty side this holiday season, how to recycle your summer wardrobe for colder weather, last minute gift guides for loved ones, or yourself and top tips on how to shop better particularly as the post-Christmas sales begin. So, whilst you enjoy all of the wonderful contributions this week, all that remains is to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE where you see “Links a la mode next week’s date (official)”. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode widget on the right side of the blog, and will be published later today. ~ Jennine

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Katherine Glendenning

Say good day to the painfully posh and even more excruciatingly well-dressed Miss Katherine Glendenning. Don't worry - the imperiously opaque almost-smile is archetypal to spoilt aristocrats such as her.
Katherine Glendenning, played by Elaine Cassidy
Photo from Inside Media Track
I've been deprived of all my favourite series these few months, so have been settling with mediocre ones. The Paradise is BBC's cashing in on the period drama craze, though they'd be getting a lot more money if they had bought Downton Abbey when it was first proposed to them.

The first few episodes were watchable, but it deteriorated steadily into unprovoked debauchery and an utterly confusing (but inevitable) ending. (Yes, I watched the whole thing. That's how desperate I am.)

But, with period drama comes period costume. The Paradise, therefore, is the perfect eye candy for lovers of Victorian gowns like me.

From Facebook
From Tumblr
From Facebook
Full-body shots were sparse in Google Images, but her hats and the collars of her dresses are already enough to look at. Most of the time, she's in a cream dress with trimmings in purple, orange or pink.

From Inside Media Track
From Tumblr
From The Culture Concept
From What We Are Wearing
I think my favourite kind of collar, however, are these ruffled swan-necked kind of collars of the three pictures above - is that an accurate way to describe them? I just find it so elegant. In one episode she wears a dress with a bertha collar, which is also gorgeous - I love off-the-shoulder stuff, as long as it's both shoulders - but I couldn't find any photos of it.

You will also notice that she is almost never seen without a choker on - she must have one in every single colour of the rainbow. Just a simple band of velvet ribbon adds such sophistication to her already exquisite ensembles. She was a major inspiration in my making of my own lace and velvet ribbon chokers.

From What We Are Wearing

From What We Are Wearing
From What We Are Wearing
From What We Are Wearing
From What We Are Wearing
From What We Are Wearing

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Choker tutorial

Gripped by a sudden desire to make jewellery, I did some research and did some thinking (a dangerous pastime, I know) and made my parents drive me all the way to Hobbycraft to buy some ribbon and lace.

I'm not a frequent DIYer but these chokers I made are so crude and simple and awesome, I love them. Originally I wanted to make an all-black one, but there wasn't any black lace, or cream lace - only white.

First I made a navy on white choker, with white satin ribbon ties. Next was a burgundy on beige one, with cream gauze ribbon ties, which I purchased to go with the tea-dyed lace. I didn't sew the gauze ribbon on securely enough so had to fold and resew them on in an ugly way, but I took more care with this next emerald and cream one.

  • 30cm velvet ribbon
  • 30cm galloon lace (with symmetrical edges, i.e. double-edged)
  • 2 x 30cm gauze ribbon
  • needle and thread
  • teabag
  • candle
If you're thin-necked, or want a gap between the velvet ribbon at the back of your neck, use slightly shorter lengths for the velvet ribbon and lace. For my red choker and blue choker in my previous post, I used 25cm.

Buying white lace instead of cream lace opens up more colour combinations, because you can leave the lace white, or dye it with tea.


If you can't find any cream-coloured lace, you can very easily dye some blinding white lace using a teabag. Pour some hot (but not boiling) water into a small bowl or yoghurt pot. (If it's a yoghurt pot, try not to melt it.) Pop in a teabag and give it a good squeeze. Leave in for a couple of minutes.

Submerge the length of lace into the tea, and leave for five minutes or longer, depending on how dark you want it. Once, when you fish it out, it's a shade you're satisfied with, leave it to dry on the windowsill.


Light the candle and run the ends of the lengths of gauze ribbons near the flame. Watch the ribbon melt and recede from the flame, to stop the ends fraying. If you're paranoid, have a jug of fire-extinguishing liquid (like, water) nearby, for peace of mind.


Here's what we've got so far.

Fold the end of the gauze ribbon over a few times, and stitch the folds to the underside of the end of the velvet ribbon. Because the gauze is thin and weak, folding it will hopefully secure it from being pulled out. Repeat with the second length of gauze ribbon, on the other end of the velvet ribbon. Now you have the ties.

Sewing on the ties

Front view
 To attach the lace to the velvet ribbon, make tiny stitches along both edges of the velvet ribbon. When sewing the first side, I found that I had to sew the velvet ribbon a little closer to the edge of the lace than I thought I should, in order to keep the velvet ribbon central. What's it called, straight stitch? Who knows.

Back view
In the photo above, look closely to see the stitches in dark brown. (I don't have any dark green thread.) Once you've sewn down both edges, you're done. That's it. Congratulations!?!

Katherine Glendenning from BBC's The Paradise
If you want more Victorian fashion goodness/British drama rubbish regarding The Paradise, stick around for my icon post on Glendenning.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Dumb Ways to Die

Oh, those Aussies. Metro Trains in Melbourne is responsible for this amazing song and this amazing video, Dumb Ways to Die. The morbid cartoons remind me of Roald Dahl's Guide to Railway Safety, in which Quentin Blake illustrates a vivid image of decapitation which remains, to this day after something like eight years, branded on my brain.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Xenoblade doodles 2

I got a few more of my little doodles from school scanned. All Xenoblade Chronicles, of course.

Melia sketches on DeviantART
My favourite armour set of Melia's is the one called Heavy. It's purple and silver and really awesome-looking. But it has no slots and isn't end-game gear, so I will have to make do with the coveted Ledios set's blue colouration, if and when I get my hands on it. I'm still unsure of whether a non-respawning quest unique monster is the only thing to drop slotted Ledios stuff. I really hope it's not.

Sharla and Riki sketches on DeviantART
Unlike the Melia drawings, these were done without references so are very inaccurate. But I found an awesome combo of armour for Sharla: Rex top and bottom with Hierax headgear, tying in the purple flower with purple gloves and bots from Rafaga set. It looks damn good!
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