Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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People Tree sample sale

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I cannot resist a good sample sale. Since I was in London anyway, last weekend I went along to the People Tree sample sale, just off Brick Lane. It was full of lots of beautiful, ethical clothes and there was even some of their designer collection on sale. I’ve featured People Tree before here and here and I really love their clothes. Plus, I have a hard time saying no to cat print dresses like those featured above.

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There were some lovely designer pieces on sale, including a range of Orla Kiely collaborations

The thing I was very surprised about was that there was hardly anyone at the sale. I’m used to sample sales where everyone is scrambling around, almost pushing everyone else out of the way to get that knocked-down dress (a bit like this scene from Friends), but happily, there was none of that and everyone was so kind and polite.

I was torn between these two skirts, but in the end I went for the one on the left

I walked away with a really nice, past season, polka dot skirt and a hat for the colder weather. I already own a pair of People Tree gloves and I bought some hand-knitted woollen socks some years ago, so I know that their wool lasts.

I kind of wish I could have bought more but with an already too-full suitcase to take back to Wales with me, plus a trip to Renegade craft fair immediately after the sale, I knew I couldn’t.

If you missed the People Tree sample sale, there is another one coming soon. More details can be found here.

Have you ever been to a sample sale? What has your experience been? I’m genuinely curious.


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Wednesday wishlist: My pick of the best Chelsea boots

Sadly, this week I’ve noticed that my old faithful pair of Chelsea boots, that I’ve literally worn to death, are finally falling apart (the weather in London certainly hasn’t helped), so I’m on the hunt for a new, sturdier, pair to take me through this horrible autumnal weather. So here goes for this week’s Wednesday wishlist.

Flora boot, £110, Dr Martens

Flora boots in cherry red, £110, Dr Martens

I first saw this lovely pair of boots in the Cardiff Dr Martens shop a couple of weeks ago and instantly fell in love. Then, a couple of days ago, I saw a woman wearing them and now I absolutely want them. They’ll go well with dresses and jeans and are definitely sturdy, so I won’t need to worry about rain seeping into them.

Cadogan Chelsea boot in oxblood, £215, Russell & Bromley

Cadogan Chelsea boots in oxblood, £215, Russell & Bromley

Next up are these beauties, which are a bit on the pricier side, but still a lovely pair nonetheless. Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for classic shoes and I have loved Russell & Bromley’s brogues for a little while now. But for the autumn, these brogue style Chelsea boots will do the trick nicely, plus they come in many different colours, although I clearly have a thing for oxblood at the moment.

Dark red patent chunky Chelsea boots, £27.99, New Look

Dark red patent chunky Chelsea boots, £27.99, New Look

Finally, I’ve also been lusting after these boots which, let’s face it, are much more within my budget. The colour is drawing me in once again and I really like the chunkier sole. And, best of all, because of their price I can buy them in black too.

What’s on your wishlist this week? I’d love to know.


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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part two

IMG_1900If you haven’t caught up with yesterday’s Made by Hand post, please click here.

As I mentioned yesterday, there were some great designers and products at the Made by Hand craft fair. So much so, in fact, that I’ve decided that the fair warrants two posts.

I’m often drawn to colours and quirky designs, so I was glad to see plenty of products that fitted the bill at the fair. This time I’ve featured my favourite jewellery, ceramics, prints and embroidery. Have a read about each artist and click onto their sites if you’d like to know more.

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Ellymental lives and works in Cardiff where she sells jewellery pieces inspired by animals and collage. Her work is stocked in shops and galleries across the UK and it’s easy to see why. Each piece is lovingly made and whimsical. You can buy her work on her website or her Folksy shop and you can follow her on Twitter here.

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Bryony Stanford is based in Shropshire and graduated from Birmingham’s School of Jewellery with a BA (Hons) degree in Jewellery and Silversmithing. Her work, such as the animal pins featured above, often features the relationship between construction and deconstruction and she uses different textures and finishes to make each piece unique. You can find her on Twitter or Facebook and she also sells on Not on the High Street.IMG_1865

What I particularly loved about Esther Connon’s work is that she creates children’s books from her beautiful drawings. Esther works from a studio on the north coast of Cornwall which actually happens to be her old grammar school. She has always had a passion for storytelling but uses minimal or no text, instead using her drawings to tell the story. You can find out more here.

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I’ve encountered Alice Shields’s work before, last year. The ceramicist’s products are inspired by the outside as well as the eccentricities of British style and she creates beautiful pieces for the house, the garden or for adorning clothes. Each piece is handmade and you can follow her adventures here or here.

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Becky Crow’s wonderful silver jewellery is definitely something to put on the Christmas wishlist. Becky uses sheet silver and copper to create her unique pieces and works from a studio in Brighton. Her work features images of nature and people and you can find out more about the pieces on her website.

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I just loved the colours of Megan Alice England’s hand printed textiles. Megan creates each piece from scratch, designing, printing and sewing from her studio in Cheltenham. You can buy her work on Etsy and Not on the High Street and follow her on Twitter here.

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Creator of Boop Design, Laura Pearcey, uses stories from her childhood to inspire her ceramics and jewellery. I particularly loved Laura’s bottles, like the ones shown in the above photo, for their individuality and sweet floral and button designs. You can find more of Laura’s work via her Facebook or Twitter.

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And finally, I somehow managed to miss By Kirsty on my first trip around, but I’m so glad I went back for a second look as I ended up buying one of the wooden alphabet brooches from here. Designer Kirsty Patrick specialises in wood and acrylic and also has a shop based in the Cardiff arcades (one of my favourite places) selling homeware by British designers. You can find out more here or here.


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Made by Hand craft fair 2014: Part one

IMG_1852Last Friday I was lucky enough to be invited to the Made by Hand craft fair in association with The Contemporary Craft Festival, held in Cardiff’s City Hall. With 140 stalls on two levels and work from ceramicists and jewellery makers to printers and stationery designers, the fair was well-worth a visit. The work featured at Made by Hand was well-made, exquisite and unique and I went away wanting far more than I’d actually bought.

The fair was held on the 31st October until the 2nd November and, as well as the stalls, there were plenty of expert talks and workshops for participants to try too. Workshops included making miniature story books, mosaics and embroidery with Craftivist Collective founder, Sarah Corbett.

Although some crafters had come from further away, there were quite a few local and Wales-based designers, which I was particularly happy to see, and overall the standard of stalls was brilliant.

There really was a lot to see and the event is annual, so I’ll definitely be going again next year.

But for now, here is a selection of some of my favourite exhibitors. As there were too many for one post, part two will follow tomorrow.

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Virginia Graham creates her range of colourful ceramics from a studio in Cardiff. Her work includes mismatched teapots and mugs, floral coasters and even ceramic brooches. Her work is sold throughout the UK and a list of stockists appears on her website. You can keep up to date with her news via her Facebook page here.

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Helaina Sharpley is a wirework artist based in West Yorkshire, who specialises in detailed and beautiful wall art. Her work ranges from postcard sculptures to more intricate posters, like the above. Helaina says it takes her many hours to make each piece of work. You can follow her on Twitter here.

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I really loved Ruth Green’s screenprinted notebooks and cards. The artist sells on Not on the High Street and works from her studio in Birmingham to create prints inspired by the flora and fauna of the British countryside. You can see more of her work here or here.

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All of the items sold by Grace & Favour Home are handmade in Devon. Creator Rachael Rowe works from her studio on the edge of Dartmoor to make unique products, including bunting, cushions and stationery. You can follow her work on Facebook or Twitter.

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I’ve come across the work of Mid Wales based company Llynfi Textiles on many an occasion before and their work is always lovely. Specialising in woollen garments, the brand is run by Sue and Emily James, a mother and daughter team. Llynfi Textiles also has a Twitter, Facebook and a blog, so follow away.

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I just loved the ice lolly necklaces that My Bear Hands was selling. Jewellery designer Sally Haysom’s pieces begin life as a watercolour painting or a sketch with digital colour and she then turns them into wearable jewellery using digital or hand applied techniques. You can follow her adventures on her website, Facebook, Twitter or blog.

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The work of Plymouth College of Art students Luke Axworthy and Nieve Perry really impressed me. Luke’s jewellery pieces were very innovative and I loved Nieve’s ceramic milk bottles.

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I absolutely love screenprinted posters like the ones on sale by Print Garage. Each design was different and I particularly loved the colours of the prints. Creator of Print Garage, Iain Perry, also runs a selection of workshops for anyone interested in learning the craft which you can find out more about here. The Print Garage Facebook page can be found here and its Twitter is here.

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I can imagine having a lot of Katie Almond‘s ceramics in my home as they’re incredibly lovely. Inspired by vintage textiles, Katie creates jugs, cups, plates, teapots and cake stands full of colour and with quirky designs. Plus she also does commissions! Keep up with Katie’s work through her Facebook page, Twitter or blog.


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Happy 3rd birthday Street Style Wales

Photo credit: Will Clayton (creative commons)

Photo credit: Will Clayton via Creative Commons

Today marks the 3rd anniversary of the day I set up this blog, or its 3rd birthday. I almost can’t believe it’s been that long, but on the other hand it feels too short. I suppose it’s because I’ve been blogging for far longer than that – since 2007 in fact – that blogging has almost become like second nature by now.

When I first started this blog, I was a journalism student and on an adventure to a career that I knew I’d love as soon as I got to practise it. 2011 was such a year of change for me in so many ways (not all of them good, sadly) and one of the main reasons for that is because I stepped out of my comfort zone, from a secure job that was paying the bills, into a career and a city that were both new to me.

I’d worked so hard to get to that point and I was determined to make the most of it. Living in Cardiff was such an experience and gave me a great set of friends and I really enjoyed my time there.

The blog started as a university project although I was so excited to get back into blogging. I wanted it to be a change in direction from my previous lifestyle blog and I first set out to make it a street style blog. It soon became something completely different though and now I write about crafting, independent designers and fashion, mixed in with a bit of lifestyle.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the direction I’d like this blog to go in and I will soon be updating it and changing its name. Street Style Wales has always been a little bit restrictive and it hasn’t been a street style blog in a long time. I want to keep all things crafty, as that is my passion at the moment, but I’d also like to throw in some more lifestyle and other things.

Don’t worry, I’ll let you know when all these changes occur (in the next month I’d imagine) but, I think, after three years, that it’s time to spruce things up.


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Wednesday wishlist

The Wednesday wishlist this week has a bit of a knit theme going on. It’s cold outside (isn’t it always now?) and the leaves are falling all around us, so we can all be forgiven for wanting to put on our thick cardigans and woollen tights while lighting the fire and reading our favourite book. Ah, what a life! But anyway, this Wednesday wishlist includes knits from People Tree, a brand I’ve loved for many years, starting from when I first bought myself a pair of their woollen, hand-knitted, slipper socks.

Right now, my clothing item of choice would have to be a thick jumper and People Tree have such a lovely selection of knits that it’s hard to choose which ones I love the most (I promise you People Tree haven’t paid me to write this – I just really like the brand).

Holly vintage cardigan in teal, £150, People Tree

Holly vintage cardigan in teal, £150, People Tree

First up is the Holly vintage cardigan in teal. Reminiscent of your Grandma’s knitting, this cardigan would happily take you through to the early months of next year and, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be wearing it well past when you should. Plus, best of all is that it’s hand-knitted and those wooden buttons make such a sweet addition to its overall look. This is the cardigan I can imagine wearing on a winter’s night by a roaring pub fire.

Heidi twist yarn jumper, £42.50, People Tree

Heidi twist yarn jumper, £42.50, People Tree

I adore knitted jumpers in multiple colours and this mustard Heidi jumper is perfect for those days when you simply have to leave the house but don’t want to make too much of an effort. I always want to wear deeper colours like reds and mustards during autumn and this jumper definitely fits the bill. Best of all though is that it’s currently on sale, making it a really affordable piece to buy now in preparation for the even colder months.

Star jumper, £87.50, People Tree

Star jumper, £87.50, People Tree

Perfect for Christmas Day, this star jumper is really versatile and can be worn with jeans or a dress. It’s a brilliant piece which goes with almost anything, so you could wear it as a cover-up for walks in the countryside, complete with Hunters and a dog, or for seeing friends for that all important catch-up over a pumpkin spiced latte. But snap it up quick because it’s also on sale.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Wednesday wishlist. I know it’s not really a weekly wishlist but I enjoy doing these types of posts. Of course the best part of all is that I get to look at loads of clothes in preparation.

Any themes you’d like to see covered in future Wednesday wishlists? Let me know!


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Sewing co-ords

For a little while now I’ve toyed with the idea of making a co-ord top and skirt. I’ve seen others wearing them together and they look great, but I’m not sure I could pull of the whole midriff-on-show thing, so I think my best bet is to make an overlapping type of garment.

Perhaps something a little like this (click through for the original link – found via Pinterest):

I like the idea of a pale blue, but I would like to make something a little more wearable this autumn/winter. A darker gingham would be perfect, don’t you think? I really love this one in navy blue from Ebay. I might even make another in this tartan because tartan dresses always remind me of Christmas for some reason. I think it’s because the classic Yellow Pages advert was always on when I was a child.

As for a pattern, the top is made using this sewing pattern and this Salme skirt pattern could also work for the bottom. I think it would even be achievable to make my own skirt pattern.

If you want any more co-ord inspiration, I’ve pinned lots on my ‘DIYs and Crafts’ board. See here.

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