Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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Strawberry Thief Liberty Emery dress

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I haven’t done any sewing for a few weeks now, what with being in London for work and all, but I did make this beautiful (if I do say so myself) dress before I went. I don’t really know what to say about this dress, except that it’s another Emery pattern, in a Liberty Strawberry Thief print. I really love my Liberty print!

Despite making quite a few of these dresses now, this Emery still turned out differently, even though I followed the same instructions. I’m not sure whether I was a little bit tighter with the seam allowances but this one was bigger in the waist and bodice than any of my previous attempts. Hmmmm.

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I’m also a massive fan of the length of the Emery dress, but the last one was just a little bit too long. So I shortened this one quite a bit and now the length is perfect for me.

I loved working with the Strawberry Thief fabric and I loved that it had quite a straight print as it made me really take notice of how I cut it and of making each part match up. I’m really pleased with how it turned out.

The only thing that’s slightly annoying me is that I made a facing for the neckline. Although I love facings generally, this one seems a bit bulky in the front and needs pressing down. My initial plan for this dress was to make matching bias binding for the neckline and arms, but I cut out the facing before remembering my plan and didn’t really want the beautiful fabric to go to waste. I think, in the future, I may take it out and try the bias binding option.

Like the other Liberty fabric, this one too is very thin but I’m sure I’ll get a lot of wear out of this dress. Plus, it’s Strawberry Thief! Who doesn’t like birds picking fruit from a tree on their clothes?

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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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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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Wednesday wishlist: The best of Boden

Happy Wednesday! In celebration of this brand new year and the first Wednesday wishlist of 2015, I thought I’d focus on some of the pretty dresses currently on the Boden website. I’ve always heard good things about Boden and their amazing clothes. I’m an avid reader of Rosie’s blog and she always seems to be wearing something pretty from Boden. I’ve also heard good things about their Johnnie B girls range and, in particular, their shoes. Did you know that Johnnie B shoes go up to a size 42? That’s equivalent to an adult size 8!

First up is this apple print dress in a bright blue for spring. I really love the classic shape of the Beatrice dress as it’s versatile and can be dressed up and down, as well as layered for all those rainy days we’re sure to have. Plus, it also comes in orange too! The apple print always seems like quite a retro print (do apples on clothing remind anyone else of 50s aprons?) and in this colour combination it’s definitely something that can be worn time and time again.

Beatrice dress in bright cyan apples, £89, Boden

Beatrice dress in bright cyan apples, £89, Boden

Another vintage looking design that Boden have brought out this season is the spring dress in a plate design. I love this dress simply because it has floral plates all over it and who doesn’t love floral plates? I imagine that you could (if you wanted) wear this while hosting a tea party in the summer, or just for fun, you know. The dress also comes in two far less interesting floral designs and in a grey colour too, so there are plenty of options to choose from. Alternatively you could buy them all!

Printed spring dress in blue plates, £89, Boden

Printed spring dress in blue plates, £69, Boden

Finally, the dress that first made me swoon this season is the Kiera dress. I like the summery yellow colour and the bird design, but I’m in love with the shape of this dress. The almost tulip-like skirt and the high neckline are real winners and I definitely want to buy this one! This dress also comes in white, lavender or a geometric print, but at £139 it’s a little bit pricier than the above two.

Kiera dress in sulphur botanical, £139, Boden

Kiera dress in sulphur botanical, £139, Boden

I hope you like my Wednesday wishlist choices for this week. Previous wishlists can be found here. I certainly know what I’ll be spending my money on this month. All images courtesy of Boden.


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Pattern mixing: Elisalex meets Vogue V8723

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A little while ago, I took part in this competition run by the lovely ladies from By Hand London but because of London and work in general, my laptop breaking, Christmas, New Year and various other things, it’s taken me a while to post it.

The brief for the competition was to make a modified version of any By Hand London pattern and so I decided on using the Elisalex pattern. It is probably my favourite By Hand London pattern as it’s so classic and vintage in style, plus I love the shape of the skirt.

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Having made an Elisalex dress fairly recently, I thought I’d forgo on the skirt this time and just use the top pattern. I mixed this with the skirt from my new favourite pattern (Vogue’s V8723 of course) and used a sweet hedgehog fabric which began life as a duvet cover.

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A close-up of the hedgehog fabric I used

I really like using duvet covers and sheets as fabric as they’re cheap and versatile. The quality of this type of fabric isn’t always great as it can tend to be quite thin, but as long as the dress is lined it’s generally ok. Plus, duvet covers and sheets also work really well for any muslins you make.

I’m really happy with this dress. I love the fit and it feels summery and wearable. Initially, I added sleeves, but they didn’t look right this time, so I took them out. Plus, the pattern matching doesn’t look too out of place and that’s always a winner, right?


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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

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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The birthday dress

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I’m pretty sure I haven’t mentioned this yet but I’ve teamed up with the lovely people at White Tree Fabrics to become one of their bloggers. This is so exciting for me as it gives me a reason to sew and blog lots of dress patterns, on a semi regular basis.

I finished the above dress the weekend before last which also happened to be my birthday weekend, so I’ve aptly named it the birthday dress. I already love it so, so much and will definitely be using the pattern again. Next time, though, I think I’ll make it slightly shorter and size down a bit as it’s slightly too big. I might also lengthen the straps a bit and bring down the neckline.IMG_6755

White Tree Fabrics kindly supplied me with the fabric, pattern and notions of my choice and I sat down and made it. I chose the Vogue 8723 pattern because I liked the high neckline and thick straps and I don’t have anything like this in my wardrobe already. Although I loved the pattern (it reminds me a bit of the By Hand London Flora dress), gathering the skirt was probably the worst part. I’m a pleats kind of girl, so I suppose that gathering will always seem more fiddly. I also had to put in an extra panel in the sides of the dress as the fabric wasn’t wide enough but it turned out fine in the end.

I chose the Tilda Martine fabric as it just appealed to me. I have such a love for florals and the fabric is so lovely that these photos don’t really do it justice.

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A close-up of the fabric. Isn't it a beauty?

A close-up of the fabric. Isn’t it a beauty?

I’m looking forward to trying out some more patterns in the future. In the meantime, why not check out what other bloggers have made, here.


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By Hand London Sabrina dress

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Today the lovely ladies at By Hand London have released their newest pattern –  the Sabrina dress. The dress comes in two variations – the strappy, button down version and the sleeveless dress with the bateau style neckline. It’s a beauty and is the perfect start dress for anyone keen to get into sewing.

Sabrina comes as a PDF only version and is available directly from the By Hand London website, priced at only £9. Buy it here. I’d love to know which version you will be making up. I’ve got my eyes on the sleeveless version in an autumnal colour or print.