15 July 2017

Can I Be A Raccoon Dog?

Let me introduce you to one of my favourite things in the world - The Tanuki. Statues of him sit outside restaurants and gardens to gather wealth. He's boss-eyed. He has a gigantic scrotum. So naturally, I have a Tanuki Print Skirt.

Tanuki make me so happy, it's hard not to laugh as soon as I think of them. I MEAN LOOK AT IT. I came across the statue when I was having a hard time in Tokyo in February. He just cheered me up to no end with his ridiculous little face!

Now, if you've been to Japan or have an interest in Japanese culture you've probably seen this guy before. However, have you seen Tanuki print fabric before? I certainly hadn't until now!

I picked this fabric up in the remnant section just outside Shinjuku's Okadaya in February. They have this great system there, where remnants are divvy-ed up into 2mt lengths and each bundle is ¥980. So thats what, roughly £7? Buying fabric per meter in Japan isn't the cheapest, so this is a great way to get some quality fabrics for a good price.

My eyes caught this cheeky little Tanuki fabric and I grabbed two bundles and ran to that till! My god, though, the quality of this fabric is to die for. It's mid-weight, and the texture is one of my favourite parts of this fabric. Japan does not do crap quality fabrics!

We've seen before that I'm a massive fan of the dirndl. Recently I've found myself more inclined towards separates to create outfits, and dirndls are an easy way to make skirts. Essentially, it's a length of fabric gathered or pleated to a waistband. That's it! Something so simple, yet makes the most striking of garments.

This skirt isn't rocket science and it won't win technical competitions. But hey, it's got everything I need in a skirt; huge patch pockets, a nice sweep, a hint of pom pom and it's red. Oh, and giant-bollocked raccoon dogs, of course.

I decided to pair this outfit with my burgundy doctor bag from Vendula London - mainly because of the frame charms. The Shabby Chic charms are pretty amazing since you can actually take the backs off to fill the frames with whatever you want. My tip? Match your bag to any outfit by using scraps of fabric in them! 

Bodysuit; Primark
Necklace; Topshop (ooold)
Bangles; Vintage 
Bag; Vendula London (Disclaimer)
Shoes; New Look (old)

8 July 2017

When No Inspiration Strikes

I've spent so long trying to write a post about this outfit. 
I've been trying to be witty, or profound or informative. But I'm uninspired.

Over the last few weeks I’ve been in this little rut. There’s a dip in my moods and depression has been riding on my back to remind me it’s there all the time. It's been a bit difficult. I'm tired, irritated, unhappy and completely uninspired.

Motivation to do everyday things has run thin, I can't bring myself to get out of bed or complete simple enough tasks. It sucks.

The good news is that I'm working on it. Accepting help has been quite terrifying for me, as though I was giving into my mental illness. But it's not that at all, it's helping me live with something that affects my daily life.

I've become so aware of myself in recent weeks that I'm torn in two ways - in one, I'm learning on how to better myself. In the other, understanding myself has meant I'm too overwhelmed to actually do anything about it. But slowly I'm changing my thought processes, challenging myself daily and finding small pockets of motivation to carry out tasks.

I'm pushing on through, trying to refocus and work out my long term goals and ambitions. Starting to take a little better care of myself and my appearance and dressing nicer. And most importantly for my state of mind - I'm managing to get my mojo back with creativity and am drawing and sewing a bit more!

Progress is progress, right?

24 June 2017

Some Southern Hospitality

The UK had a heatwave.
As we're Brits, we loooove a chat about the weather, and bloody hell guys it was HOT.

bourbon and bras

So over the weekend I managed to grow balls and sweat them off -  just in time to spend a few days with my sister-in-law and end up in a Coheed and Cambria mosh pit on the hottest day of the year. Seeing both the sister-in-law and Coheed were amazing, but the heat was a little less ideal!

melody mae

As soon as hot weather comes in, I have this mental image of me wearing white eyelet lace sundresses and frolicking in tall grass having picnics and prosecco with beautiful sun kissed friends. In reality, I'm hiding under a tree with a warm cider with food thrown down myself complaining about how much I sweat.

Mmm, what a gorgeous mental image.

bourbon and bras

But hell, I never learn anything and ended up buying this top from Primark because MY GOD isn't it cute? I'm such a sucker for a frilled bardot and the aforementioned white eyelet lace, so this was kinda a necessary purchase. (Is any Primark purchase really that necessary, though?) It fulfils my summer dreams - regardless of the fact I dropped food down it and dyed the inside pink...

bourbon and bras

My love for gingham is everlasting, though, and this top was just so perfect for my Blue Gingham Skirt, that was blogged about last year. It reminds me of a stereotypical sort of Southern-American sweetheart, bar the overplayed accent, pigtails and penchant for country music!

  • Hair Flowers; Lady Lucks Boutique
  • Necklace; Handmade
  • Top; Primark
  • Brooch; Luxulite
  • Bangles; Vintage and Splendette
  • Bag; Vintage
  • Shoes; Miss L Fire


10 June 2017

Ahoy Sailor with Yours Clothing!

So I have a theory that every child born in the 80s and 90s was dressed up as a sailor at least once in their life by their parents.

And I've kept this penchant for nautical themes and sailor dresses all the way through my adult life, clearly!

So when picking a dress from the Hell Bunny range on Yours Clothing, really, there was no other option than the Ambeleside - a navy flared dress with nautical striping details on the collar, cuffs and hem, and a sweet little sailor collar!

Originally, I ordered the 22-24 based on the bust measurements on their size guide, and I will tell you that was a real mistake! Like the last time I reviewed a Hell Bunny dress, I found this came up big - this time at least five inches too big, and could grab fistfuls of fabric either side of my waist.

Since this is a fit-and-flare dress, it looked awful being so huge. I swapped it (with ease thanks to collect+ and fantastic service) for the 18 - and this is the absolute perfect size for me! So I would suggest to go by the waist measurements on their Hell Bunny size guide instead of the bust - my 50inch bust fits in the 18 without is being tight, despite it saying an 18 is a 44inch bust.

The dress itself is so lovely, it's a dark navy, crepe-like polyester, but even in summer heat is still very breathable. The colour is just right to make sure it isn't quite so costumey, which makes it perfect for all occasions without having to go full sailor-mode - it'd look adorable with a sailor hat, though!

Obviously being from Hell Bunny it's a straight-up retro styled dress, but is slightly more on the 40's side with the way the bodice is cut - I've made a dress with a similar bustline before, and I was delightfully surprised that this dress had been altered correctly to fit modern day busts since usually the gathering sits higher than the Ambelside.

Whilst taking these photos (If you're ever in Alexandra Palace, you may encounter me and my tripod!) I had a lot of compliments on this dress, and it deserves it! It has slight stretch to give you a perfect fit, a gored flared skirt that will take bigger petticoats than I'm wearing, and it's just a bit too cute, right? I bet my mum will like this dress, thanks to the aforementioned obsession in then 80s/90s of dressing kids up in sailor stuff.

Literally the only thing I don't like? It doesn't have pockets. That's it, you can't complain when there's only one thing wrong, right?
Although I'm interested if you'd wear a sailor dress - let me know in the comments!

27 May 2017

Ruling The Rain With Elements Rainwear

I live in England.

That much I'm sure you knew already, but it's important to remember. Because there's something that England does really well, in fact we're famous for it;


Up until the last week we've been plagued with torrential rain for a few weeks, and I got pretty bored of having to lug around a bastard umbrella with me all the time!

And this is where stumbling across Elements Rainwear was absolutely perfect!

They're a rainwear brand (obviously) that started in 1991, and most of their items are handmade to order in the same factory on some on the same machinery that the first PVC rainwear was made in the UK back in the 50s and 60s, which personally I think is pretty exciting to know!

They've got quite an extensive range of styles, from galoshes to long trenches and festival ponchos to full-skirted 50's styles, all in over 40 different colours in both PU and PVC!

I decided I desperately needed a see-through raincoat and was really excited to see that they do an 4XL size, which comes up as a 42" bust, 38" waist and 46" hips on their size guide. My personal measurements are actually over that, so for a hot minute I was actually concerned about it fitting, but I was quite pleasantly surprised!

After discussing with Elements about what style would be best for me since I wanted it to fit over petticoats and be long enough to cover my longer skirts, and we decided on the 50s Pleated Coat in NAT2, a semi-transparent PVC with a slightly heavier weight. Their customer service is fantastic, and I was offered a sample pack to work out exactly what fabric I wanted for this coat, since it was difficult to decipher the differences between their PU and PVC.

The Pleated Raincoat is called such due to its pleated high-bust and back, which would easily fit a bust that was slightly bigger than both the measurements and my own. One thing that isn't mentioned on the listing is that this particular style is actually a-line in shape from the pleating instead of being a fit-and-flare style, in favour of just being belted at the natural waist.

This is certainly not a bad thing! Since it has no defined waist or bust, as I said, it could probably accommodate measurements slightly bigger than the stated ones.

I'm generally against hoods on coats thanks to mainly having ridiculously styled hair that I don't want to get messed up, but the hood on this coat is actually one of the best features! Not only is it big enough to encompass a decent height of hair with a drawstring - it also is removable due to the snaps!
I bloody love an item with multi functions.

My secondary favourite thing about the coat is actually the buttons, which unlike my thoughts aren't actually traditional buttons - they're actually made of flexible plastic (possibly PVC, but I haven't a clue with plastics) which not only makes them completely waterproof, but also super easy to button due to being able to bend. Even with ridiculous nails like mine, there's no issue! 

At 5'7", this coat is the perfect length to cover most of my clothing, and since the a-line flare is practically freesized, easily fits a petticoat underneath. I actually tested this coat out for waterproofness during torrential rain whilst doing gardening, and I'm so, so pleased to say - only my hands got wet. This will keep you dry and stylish, and I love that the see-through fabric means I can show off my outfit without compromising dryness!

I bloody love this coat!!

Necklace; Handmade
Cardigan; Collectif
Dress; Handmade
Brooch; Luxulite
Bangles; Splendette
Shoes; Melissa

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