Street Style Wales

Knitting, stitching, thrifting, crocheting


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By Hand London hack: Turning the Anna dress into a skirt

DSC_0797 editedYou all know by now how much I love the By Hand London sewing patterns. The Anna dress is a firm favourite, with its beautiful A line skirt. Having made quite a lot of dresses lately, I thought it was about time I mixed it up and made something different. I really love the shorter skirt from the Anna dress and it’s a great length for wearing to work, so I thought, why not make it into a skirt of its own?

I was lucky enough to be given some fabric remnants from the sewing editor at work and managed to cut out the skirt pattern using pretty much all of the fabric (I had to be quite crafty with my cutting skills). I altered the waistline and added in a shorter zip and here you have it, one Anna skirt.

I followed my normal size but somehow the skirt ended up being far too big, so I had to bring it in quite a bit. The length is great and I really love the print so overall it’s a really lovely skirt to wear, but next time I’ll definitely be a bit wiser when cutting the strips and measure my waistline correctly.

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Simple A line skirt

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Before I came back to London for work, I whipped up a simple A line skirt out of some remnant fabric I got from a favourite fabric shop of mine in Wales. This is the result.

I always knew I wanted to make a skirt out of this fabric. It’s a lovely, quite thin, tweedish material, which wasn’t the greatest to work with to be honest. However, I persevered and it just so happened that I had some grey lining material in my stash and I, who literally HATES to line anything, actually lined this one.

As I didn’t follow a pattern it isn’t the greatest skirt in the world. There’s a bit of bunching in one corner and I want to redo the hem, but overall it’s ok and I’m not a perfectionist, so I’ll happily wear it until I fix those niggles. I also wish I put pockets in it. I did cut them out but plain forgot to put them in until I’d sewn the sides. Oh, the trouble with self-drafting.

Things may be a bit quiet here for a few more weeks but I’m hoping to schedule some posts soon. In the meantime, enjoy the lovely weather we’re having at the moment. I certainly will be.


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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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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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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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Easy DIYs: Turn a pillowcase into a wearable skirt

An elastic skirt can be fun and easy to make. We show you how to transform that old pillowcase into a new skirt to wear to brighten up those cold, autumnal days

What you’ll need:

You will need a pillowcase, a length of elastic, a safety pin, a sewing machine and a pair of scissors

-A pillowcase

-A length of elastic the size of your waist

-A safety pin

-A pair of scissors

-A sewing machine

How to make:

1. Turn pillowcase inside out and cut at the seams

2. You should now have two pieces of fabric. Put these aside for a minute

3. Measure your waist with the elastic. Subtract two inches from this length and cut

4. Return to your fabric. Fold the longest side (width) of one piece over by 1 1/2 inches to make a casing for the elastic. Pin and sew, but leave the edges free as your elastic will go through this. Repeat with the second piece

Pin about an inch away from the edge to create a casing for the elastic

Sewing the casing for my elastic

Sew a casing for your elastic about an inch into your fabric

5. Attach the safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread through the casing of the first piece, bunching the fabric as you go. Repeat this for the second piece and then pin the two together, so that the skirt is inside out

Once you’re done sewing your casing, thread the safety pin through and bunch up the fabric as you go along. This creates the waistband of the skirt

6. Sew the front and back of the skirt together. Take the safety pin out and sew in the edges of the elastic

7. Hem the skirt and you’re done


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Thrifting

I’ve mentioned before about how useful charity shops are for sourcing fabric and cheap clothing. Today I went on a fashion binge in one of my local shops. I hadn’t been for ages, so it was a nice treat for my meagre budget and I ended up buying quite a lot for a small amount of money.

Firstly, I bought two vintage floral pillowcases, in different patterns. Together, these were only £1 and I’m planning to make elastic skirts out of them. Once I’ve made one, I’ll put the DIY on the blog.

The pillowcases that I picked up for £1

I also bought a very nice purple stripy top, originally from H&M, a yellow floral Dorothy Perkins skirt that I’ve been wanting for ages and a Peter Pan collared polka dot dress.

This stripy top was originally from H&M

The Dorothy Perkins skirt

The Peter Pan collared dress I bought from a charity shop

Unfortunately, as is often the case when buying things from charity shops, the skirt is too big. But you have to take the bad with the good and I’ll probably just sell it on eBay or use the fabric to make something small.