Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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A dress that Pinterest inspired



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If you follow me on Instagram, you may remember I posted about a quirky rabbit print fabric a while ago that I didn’t know what to do with.

The pin that started it all

The pin that started it all

After scouring my DIYs and Crafts Pinterest board, I remembered a tutorial I’d pinned ages ago for a V neck dress. The tutorial was for a maxi dress, but I don’t wear maxi dresses that often, so I shortened it quite easily. The whole tutorial was pretty self-explanatory and called for four rectangular pieces of fabric according to your measurements. Sounds easy, right?

I did have to make some adjustments, mainly to the arms and top, as otherwise the dress would have swamped me (it still needs a belt to give it some shape otherwise it kind of looks like a tent). I brought the arms in a bit, so the dress would have less of a cap sleeve look and brought the top in quite a bit too, but all in all, I really love this dress. It’s so versatile and has a nice drape thanks to the viscose fabric. I also love the V neck shape. And best of all, I can slip it over my head so no need for a pesky zip. Yay!

Anyone else use Pinterest tutorials for ideas? I’d love some more inspiration!

Also, sidenote: the belt was given to me by my Dad who wore it as a 13 year old!!

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Roses are… purple

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This Emery kind of reminds me of a 50s dress. I know that’s the look the Emery is going for anyway, but the fabric is very 50s inspired and seems to suit the pattern well. I initially picked it up as I loved the purple roses on a white background and thought it would make a great summery dress. There are also touches of green around the roses too, which I love.

The great thing about this fabric is that it is great for hiding a few errors. I need to redo the neckline at some point and hem it (I hate hemming!), but I may keep this version longer than the other Emeries I’ve made. What do you think?

I didn’t really love working with this fabric but I think that is because I used Liberty tana lawn for the previous Emery I made and that’s a dream to work with.

This one will probably stay in my ‘to finish’ pile for a little while while I work my way through the other sewing projects I have to do and I’ll hem it on a rainy afternoon sometime.
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A blue floral Emery dress

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I feel like my sewing style is very samey at the moment, but to be perfectly honest, I’m enjoying making fit and flare dresses and tops, as that is what I wear most of the time anyway. Therefore it makes sense to me to add them to my wardrobe. There are definitely more Emeries to come soon too. However, that’s not to say that there isn’t anything different in the making either. I’m currently planning a Francoise and another pair of trousers soon. And that’s after the next few dresses I have to post about.

This Emery is the wearable toile I made in preparation for my friend’s wedding and the first Emery I ever made (I’ve made three more since then). I used the same fabric as one of my peplum tops: a really lovely fabric from Ebay with a slight stretch.

I’ve mentioned my love for the Emery before, but I just find this style so easy to wear and it’s really classic. I have actually passed this version on to my Mum as she loved the fabric more than I did and loves wearing bright colours. So yep, more Emeries to come. Please stick with me for a while.


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The hunt for the perfect peplum top

Two peplum tops DIY

I’m sure you know by now how much I love Pinterest. I use it for general crafting inspiration or for looking up a pattern that I’m thinking of making before I take the plunge.

Lately I’ve been searching for the perfect peplum top pattern: one that isn’t too tight or structured but is a looser, more relaxed fit. Although I really wanted to like Republique du Chiffon’s Marthe top, the fit just wasn’t great at all on me and it was far, far looser than I thought it would be. So I went back to the drawing board and consulted Pinterest.

I’ve found some amazing peplum tops on Pinterest, the best of which I’ve included below. More can be found on my Pinterest board here.

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Image via Pinterest. Click for link

Pinterest is also how I found out about Cotton and Curls. There are loads of great DIYs on the website, including this one, which I loosely followedThe instructions say to copy a loose, boxy top you already have, so I kind of made it my own with a shop-bought peplum top I love and a bit of self-drafting thrown in.

Blue peplum top

I have self-drafted before and it is tricky to get something right (it’s far easier to follow a pattern). But there’s also a great sense of achievement when something you draft goes according to plan. This first attempt worked out well, although I did way underestimate the measurements of my top and had to add in extra fabric at the sides. This is covered by the busy print though so it doesn’t really matter. The only real problem I had with this attempt is that it is quite short, but I blame that on not having enough fabric to make a longer peplum. It’s still wearable with a high waisted skirt or jeans though and I even made a cute patch pocket to compensate.

Green peplum top

The brilliant thing about making a top is that you can use leftover fabric scraps to make it. I had plenty of this Ebay find left to make a top and could afford to make a longer peplum this time. For this one I wanted to make the sleeves shorter, lengthen the bodice and make it a little smaller. I quite like how it came out and the material is a lot lighter than the previous peplum top, although in hindsight I think perhaps I should have lined it. The fabric is the same as I used in my green gables dress, but I’ve realised that I don’t very much like the feel of it, so it may not be worn as much as I’d planned anyway.

I have plans to adapt this pattern to make a few different peplum tops next, including a long-sleeved peplum top from fabric I bought in London, a more fitted top and a sleeveless version. Any peplum tops in your sewing plans?


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Wednesday wishlist: Summer prints from Seasalt

It’s been a while since I did one of these, hasn’t it? Not to worry though. This week I’ve been on a hunt for summer clothes and I found myself on the Seasalt website, thanks to longtime fave dressmaker Isabel Knowles. Seasalt is a brand local to Cornwall and was started in Penzance, where there’s still a shop, in 1981. Many of the Seasalt garments are certified organic by the Soil Association and there is even a range of locally made products too. I love discovering brands that really care about the ethos of their company and I’m sure that I’ll be buying a lot from Seasalt in the future.

Trenython jumper, £55, Seasalt

Trenython jumper, £55, Seasalt

Starting with the Trenython jumper, at £55 this one is a little pricey for any old top but has the cutest little boat print on it. Who doesn’t love boats on their clothes? Not me, that’s for sure. This one is perfect for covering up after a day at the beach or for those chillier evening walks. Channelling the Cornish coast, this top will be making its way to my basket shortly.

Rosina dress, £65, Seasalt

Rosina dress, £65, Seasalt

Stripes ahoy for my next pick, the Rosina dress. I’m reminded a little of Cath Kidston, in both colour and style, with this dress and I love the strong print too. Plus, stripes are my staple pattern of choice at the moment. I can imagine wearing this dress to all those summer parties I’ll be invited to (yeah right!).

Lookout crops, £55, Seasalt

Lookout crops, £55, Seasalt

Lastly, these Lookout crops come in two colours, but this vibrant floral print is the best by far. Team with a white tee for the ultimate outfit to relax by the beach in. Add in a pair of white converse, and the trousers will give a pop of colour to any outfit.

Have you ever bought anything from Seasalt before? Are you a fan of their ethos? I’ll definitely be buying from the brand soon.


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An Emery for a wedding

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Anyone who is anyone in the sewing world has attempted an Emery, haven’t they? Yep, it’s one of those classic dresses that everyone goes mad for and I, of course, lag way behind (like I do with 90s TV shows too by the way – so at least there’s a pattern).

Anyway, the story behind this dress is that my good friend Phoebe got married last month and I decided to set myself the challenge of making myself a dress with only about a week to spare (great planning there!). I didn’t want to use any of my tried and tested dress patterns and I knew I wanted to use a Liberty fabric, so enter months of debating over which pattern to use and telling everyone I knew about my plan to make a dress, and I had finally decided on the Emery.

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In the end I think I had about four days to cut and trace the pattern, make the muslin and sew the final version. But I managed it and the dress is a firm favourite now. I think the Emery, although suitable for a wedding, is also wearable in a casual way. I’ve been adding a cardigan and flats and wearing it that way ever since.

The fabric is Liberty’s Tatum, which I pored over during my last visit to London but ended up buying online in the end. It is quite thin and creases a bit, but is a really good quality tana lawn. I love the colourway as it is summery, floral and perfect for a wedding, but I’m definitely tempted by this colourway too.

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I now know why everyone raves about the Emery. It’s such a lovely pattern to work with and so versatile too. I’m longing to try out the longer sleeved version ready for the autumn and I already have plans for more Emeries.

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I bought my Emery pattern at The Village Haberdashery and my Liberty fabric at Shaukat.


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Wonderwool Wales 2015: A review

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Wonderwool Wales, an annual wool and crafts festival held in the picturesque mid Wales countryside, is somewhere I’ve never been before, despite (shamefully) only living just over an hour away from it.

The festival is now in its tenth year. I finally got a chance to visit it last month and I wasn’t disappointed by the stalls and demos that I saw. Although there were plenty of wool stalls, different types of yarns and even some actual sheep and alpaca, it wasn’t all about the wool. There were also spinning demonstrations, fabric stalls, clothing, buttons and accessories, a ‘sheepwalk’ catwalk and lots of atmosphere, spread across three halls of the Royal Welsh showground.

A cardigan for Cardigan, knitted in celebration of the Welsh town's 900th birthday

A cardigan for Cardigan, knitted in celebration of the Welsh town’s 900th birthday

Members of the town came together to knit the five metre wide cardigan

Members of the town came together to knit the five metre wide cardigan

There was also ‘A cardigan for Cardigan’, a giant knitted cardigan made for Cardigan in west Wales by people from the town and organised by community artist Lisa Hellier, as well as Alison Murray‘s gingerbread house, a life-size knitted house complete with interior, exterior and even a garden.

Alison Murray's giant knitted gingerbread house

Alison Murray’s giant knitted gingerbread house

There were plenty of yarn related names that I recognised too, including BaaRamEwe, Toft and Coop Knits and some that I didn’t, including Jenny Barnett‘s needlefelted sculptures and The Lost Sheep Company, who had two live spinning demonstrations outside their stall. I love discovering new crafters and there was definitely enough at Wonderwool Wales to keep all ages entertained.

The festival itself was started in 2006 to promote the Welsh wool market and covers everything from the start of the creative process to the end. For more information and news on future events, visit their website.

I really enjoyed myself at Wonderwool Wales and I’d very much like to go again next year. There really was something for every kind of crafter there, not just the knitters!

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