Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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A for Anna

DSC_0469Although I’ve been a fan of By Hand London patterns for a few years now, I’ve never sewn up an Anna dress. That changed this past week, when I finally got round to sewing up the fabric and pattern that White Tree Fabrics sent to me before Christmas.

I find the Anna dress a really wearable pattern and it’s quick to sew up too (perfect for beginners), so I’m surprised I haven’t made it before. I love the A line skirt and I love the length so I know I’ll wear this one again and again.

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I’m not too keen on the sleeves and neckline, which is what I think put me off to begin with. It’s not that I don’t like them. I do, it’s just that I don’t really wear cap sleeves and this kind of dress isn’t my go-to dress of choice. But I have really enjoyed making it and I imagine this will be one I choose to wear when I’m looking to wear something different. It’ll also be good for work.

I used the Tilda Olivia fabric in red as I have a shortage of red dresses and wanted to go a little out of my comfort zone. I’ve used Tilda fabrics before and they’re so nice to work with.

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Much like the other patterns I’ve used lately, I really like the fit of this dress. By Hand London patterns generally make great dresses and the Anna, one of their earliest patterns, is equally as lovely as their other makes.

I will certainly be making another Anna. I just need to work out which fabric to use next.

Pattern and fabric kindly gifted to me from White Tree Fabrics


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Why Pinterest is a great resource for sewing

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 15.46.38Pinterest is great isn’t it? I use it for so many things: pinning interesting quotes, outfit inspiration and most of all, for sewing and DIY inspiration.

I’m such a fan of Pinterest that I had to delete the app off my phone as I was always on it. Believe me, you can get too Pinterest-obsessed! Initially I started this DIY and crafts board as a place to store home DIYs and things, but it soon grew to accommodate my obsession with sewing and dressmaking patterns and it’s a great source for all sewing needs.

Below is just a small selection of how useful Pinterest can be for sewing inspiration, documenting and more. I really recommend it as a source for any sewing enthusiasts out there. Oh, and if you want to follow my DIYs and crafts board or follow me on Pinterest generally, please feel free to.

Here is why Pinterest is a useful resource for sewing:

To keep track of sewing patterns you already own:

This one might be an obscure one, but I really recommend keeping track of your sewing patterns in one place. Although I have a shelf space for all my paper patterns and another for the traced versions I’ve already used, it is so easy to check Pinterest when you’re in need of a sewing project and want to know which projects you’re yet to complete. For example, I have a copy of Burdastyle magazine from last year sometime, which I bought for the peplum top on the cover. The magazine isn’t where I can see it constantly and I still haven’t made the top, but by checking my own ‘DIYs and crafts’ board, I’m able to remind myself that I’m yet to make that top.

To document different versions of a pattern:

This one relates to the above point somewhat. Once I find a pattern I love, I like to keep track of the different ways I can sew it up. Pinterest is great for this, again because the patterns are in the same place (and as a visual person it really pleases me to track the patterns by image). Alternatively, if I’m obsessing over a certain pattern and haven’t made it yet, I’ll often look on Pinterest to see how other sewers are making it, particularly if there are different versions.

For sewing patterns I’m yet to buy or make:

This is the obvious one I guess, but it’s still useful to have a place where you keep sewing patterns you want to buy, but haven’t yet. Case in point: This peplum top.

To pin styles of clothing I want to make or for clothing ideas I’d love to copy:

I often go through phases of pinning specific things (peplum tops, co-ords etc). Pinterest is great for this. Additionally, it’s great for pinning clothes from a website that I want to make someday.

To locate online DIYs:

I only occasionally use websites for tutorials, and although I have a bookmark folder on my laptop for DIYs, I find it easier to check Pinterest when I need an easy top or dress tutorial. Seriously, that search bar is great and the site really comes into its own here. FYI, this pattern here is my favourite ever online tutorial!

For help with specific sewing techniques:

Sewing techniques can be a b*tch sometimes can’t they? As much as I love working from patterns, I have found some to be pretty sparse on giving details for some techniques and once I’ve googled how to actually sew a box pleat or whatever, I can then keep a record of it and check Pinterest when I need to revisit the technique.

To document fabric choices etc:

I’m often wowed by a particular fabric pattern and I can sometimes lose the exact location of that fabric (quite easy for a scatter-brain like me) and so at least if I pin the fabric I’ll always be able to find it again. I do try to keep another Pinterest board specifically for pretty patterns but sometimes I’ll pin them here too, especially if they’re relevant to my sewing plans.

For gift ideas:

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Pinterest is a great source for present ideas for your loved ones!

For home DIY inspiration:

Another obvious one, but what is Pinterest good for if not for pinning useful DIYs to brighten up your house?

What do you use Pinterest for? If you have any good sewing-related pins, please send them my way.


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The Sewing Bee returns to BBC Two

Photo credit: BBC

Photo credit: BBC

The Great British Sewing Bee is back! The show will return for its third series tonight at 8pm with a fresh lot of contestants and challenges for them to get stuck into. I, for one, will be glued to the screen for the next few weeks.

Excitingly, there are TWO sewing bloggers appearing on the series this year. Sew Deputy, aka Amanda, who spoke about her excitement here and Deborah, or DFabricate. I’m really excited to see what Deborah will come up with as she has great style. She spoke of her experience with the programme here.

Will you be watching too? I wonder if there’ll be a clear favourite from the start? Personally, I will be rooting for anyone who is that passionate about sewing (that’s all of them then!).


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The green gables dress

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Can I firstly just say I love everything about this dress? The style is perfect for me, it fits really well and I love the fabric. Since making the birthday dress last year, I’ve wanted to use the Vogue V8723 again and, although I mixed it with By Hand London’s Elisalex here, it’s not quite the same as making the full version.

I think the skirt in this version is slightly less gathered than in the birthday dress, but I think I almost prefer this version as it feels more wearable. It actually looks quite weird in the below photos (and I promise I have hemmed it properly), but in reality it looks ok.

Since I made it before Christmas, I don’t actually remember what it was like to sew up but I’m sure I’d remember if it was a nightmare. Plus, I always think that sewing something the second time around is easier, as you’ve made the notes/adjustments you needed to the first time.

The fabric I used is from one of my favourite fabric stores on Ebay, but I’ve seen it in other places too. Here‘s the link. I love its colour and it really suits the pattern. I’m so happy with the way this dress turned out and I know I’ll wear it again and again!

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In honour of Anna

I’m currently sewing up my first Anna dress for White Tree Fabrics. It’s not a style I particularly wanted to make when it first came out to be honest (I always preferred the Elisalex), but the pattern has definitely grown on me and I’m excited to sew it up now. I have some lovely Tilda fabric* and I plan on making the shorter version. Perhaps I’ll even make the maxi version for the summer.

The Anna dress has recently moved up my to-do list, purely because I’ve seen a few really great versions online lately (most recently Roisin’s version). So, having taken to Pinterest, I’ve chosen a few, really inspiring, Anna’s. Maybe they’ll even inspire you too. Please click through for links to the original pins and blog posts. All images are courtesy of the bloggers, of course.

1. Anna from Paunnet‘s beautiful navy blue Anna dress

Anna's beautiful Anna dress

2. This lovely graphic print maxi version

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3. Jenny’s two-tone Anna dressdb0f2fd3fe28a4b8196ea7787a724b98

4. And finally, Roisin‘s floral number

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I’d love to see more of your Anna dresses, so send links this way please. In the meantime I’ll let you know how I get on with mine.

*Given to me by White Tree Fabrics as part of their blog team


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Wednesday wishlist: Crazy for Cath

I was lucky enough to be invited to the Cath Kidston SS15 press event just before Christmas and, of course, I happily went along. For a long time Cath Kidston has been a brand that I’ve loved and I have many a staple piece from past collections that I love. So it seems fitting that this week’s Wednesday wishlist celebrates my love for the brand.

This cloud print is everywhere lately and seems to be the signature style for Cath Kidston this season. When I went to the press event there was even a cloud print bike outside, welcoming us all inside. The shape on this dress is really flattering and would make anybody wearing it break into a smile I think. It’s not really a dress for wearing when feeling under the weather (no pun intended, honestly), is it? Although, what better excuse is there to buy it to cheer ourselves up during these gloomy, waiting-for-spring days?

Clouds cotton dress, £60, Cath Kidston

Clouds cotton dress, £60, Cath Kidston

I love everything about this next dress. The floral pattern, the red trim, the ric rac and the cute sleeves. Again, it seems that ric rac is a big part of the spring/summer collection and I can see why. It rings back to beautiful childhood dresses and adds a special something to outfits. I also adore the colours and can see myself wearing this constantly in the summer, with a pair of white socks and brogues.

Paradise bunch button front dress, £90, Cath Kidston

Paradise bunch button front dress, £90, Cath Kidston

Look at this beauty of a skirt! Isn’t it lovely? I remember seeing this at the event and making a mental note to purchase it when it came out. Again, this skirt keeps up with the ric rac theme and is basically made up of the colourful trim. At £85, it’s a little bit pricier than other skirts on the website, but as is the case with Cath Kidston clothes, I’m sure it’s long lasting and it’ll go with most things in your wardrobe, as there are just so many colours there! So price aside, it’s guaranteed to be a good buy.

Ric rac hem cotton skirt, £85, Cath Kidston

Ric rac hem cotton skirt, £85, Cath Kidston

All images courtesy of Cath Kidston. To be taken to all Wednesday wishlist posts, click here.


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Saturday

DSC_0262After having an unexpected day off at the weekend, no plans and the house to myself, I thought I’d take myself off for a walk and enjoy the day. I thought it might make a nice change to document what I got up to, lifestyle style. So here are just some snippets of my day. All photos are taken using my camera or iPhone. I hope you enjoy!

Eating honey and banana porridge while watching Youtube videos

Eating honey and banana porridge while watching Youtube videos

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Cat cuddles with Speckle

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Leftover vegetable curry and a coffee for lunch

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Going for a mid afternoon walk

An after walk snack of mini eggs

An after walk snack of mini eggs

Drinking hot mulled apple in the evening

Drinking hot mulled apple in the evening




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