Thrifty August


I can’t believe the month is almost over, time really is just slipping away from me at the moment! Anyway I thought I’d add a new feature to the blog to share all my bargain buys over the past month. Times are tight for a lot of us at the moment, but I don’t think that has to mean we can’t have nice things, just that we have to try to be a bit smarter about where we find them.


(Yes another terrible selfie! I need to buy a proper tripod!) This skirt is from a car-boot and it was new with tags for 50p, there’s a nice man there every week who sells old dead stock, it’s pretty hit or miss, but I did get a really jazzy 80s cardi off him a few months ago, so it’s always worth having a rummage to see what he’s got. The elastic is totally dried out, so I put it away to be fixed at a later date, but when I got this top in the H&M sale for £2 (plus a £5 off voucher) I knew it would be the perfect match and with a belt the skirt stayed up fine (I’m still going to fix it though!).


I love it when I find hand knit clothes for the girls, they wash and wear really well and you can tell that so much effort has gone into making them. I bought this bright yellow vest for Rosie for £1.50 from our local salvation army charity shop, they had loads but this was the only one which fit her, it’s perfect for layering when the weather turns cold. I also couldn’t resist this 80’s giant snakes and ladders board game for £1.50 (pictured above), the box is just to funny.


These wedge boots are from the Simply Be sale for £14 reduced from £35,  unfortunately I’m not great with taking care of shoes especially suede type ones so I can’t see them lasting more than one winter.


Lastly this isn’t really a thrifty find, but I enter a few give-a-ways each month and I finally won one!! This gorgeous goody bag arrived yesterday from Penni at Sew Smitten. I’ve been following her brand on Facebook for a while and love seeing all the things her and her partner (who I went to uni with!) make, now I own some!! It’s well worth checking out, the screen printed teas towels are amazing!

Hever Castle


Just a quick post to share some pics from a trip to Hever Castle we went on last weekend with my mum. It was once owned by the Boleyn family and is absolutely tiny! At just over an hour outside of London it makes a great day trip and we were lucky enough to go on a day while there was jousting! I think in future I’ll have to combine these day out posts with a finished piece of clothing to make them a little more exciting, but for today you’ll just have to make do with loads of random pics from around the castle!

IMG_2647 IMG_2649 IMG_2653 IMG_2655 IMG_2657 IMG_2660 IMG_2661 IMG_2667 IMG_2671 IMG_2675 IMG_2683 IMG_2687 IMG_269278-Lily-meets-the-Royals(This pic is stolen from my mum’s blog, I would add a link to her post but she’s put a really horrible picture of me on it, we’re talking double chin, gappy teeth the whole she-bang!)

Friday Favourites


I bought my Colette Hawthorn pattern last week and have almost finished making view A (the blouse) and will hopefully be ready to share it tomorrow. But now I’ve fallen in love with yet another shirt-dress pattern! This new 1940’s Burda Style shirt-dress is a little more classic than the hawthorn, I’m going to try and get a copy of the magazine as the print at home patterns can be such a hassle (and a nightmare waste of printer ink!). I could only find the plus size pattern which is for size 16+ so perfect for me, but they do have some other regular sized shirt-dress patterns.


1. I’ve be avidly watching ‘The White Queen’ every week and even though I know how it’s going to end, it’s been really fun to see Philippa Gregory’s spin on it. I haven’t read the book, in fact I haven’t read any of her books, I really want to now though especially after watching the brilliant documentary she made to go along with the show.

2. I’ve loved 4OD since it was launched a few years ago, it’s such a great way to catch up on shows I missed the first time around either because I was to young or working. Recently I’ve watched all of ‘Bob and Margaret‘ a really nostalgic and funny cartoon made in the late 90’s, it’s made me long for simpler times before the smart phone!

3. I have a total girl crush on Lucy Worsley so can’t wait to watch her new programme starting next week all about the royal bed chamber, she really knows how to make history come alive!

postcards 2Postcards 3

I got these cute vintage postcards off of eBay this week, I think they’ll look great in the girls bedroom along with all the needlework pictures I’m working on. The top one is postmarked from 1930 and I love the simple valentine message on the back, how lovely is the joined up handwriting! The second arrived this morning and the image is copyrighted to 1908, but the postcard is probably later sadly its unused but I just love the diving girl. They were both really cheap costing under £2 each including postage, eBay is literally packed full of them, below are a few of my favourites.

postcards1. 2. 3. 4.


Southbank Centre – Festival of Neighbourhood

I’m back! My laptop just stopped working a couple of weeks ago, so I used it as a excuse to take a short break from blogging, it was actually really helpful and now I feel refreshed and full of new ideas for posts!IMAG0064 IMAG0068 IMAG0069 IMAG0070 IMAG0076

fountains IMAG0073 IMAG0086 IMAG0088 IMAG0090 IMAG0093 IMAG0105 IMAG0109

Today the girls and I met up with my brother, niece and nephew to check out the ‘Festival of Neighbourhood‘ on the Southbank. There’s loads to look at with communal gardens, a huge sandpit right next to the river, the appearing rooms fountain and Beano tower. All the kids loved it and since we didn’t get to see everything we’ll definitely make another trip soon (when it’s not 31º!).  I also spotted that the Purcell room is holding performances of ‘The Queen’s Knickers‘ throughout August, hopefully Lily and I can sneak off and catch a show as it’s one of her favourite books.

IMAG0111Big thanks to my lovely Dad who treated me to a brand spanking new laptop as a early birthday present! Still trying to get the hang of Windows 8 though!

A Day In The Sun

The weather has been amazing in London today! It’s days like this I can’t help but put all the housework, sewing, knitting and whatever else I think I should be doing aside and just have fun with the girls. I wanted to post about all the great bits I hoped to find at the car-boot we went to this afternoon, but it was a total fail so I thought I’d just share a few snippets from our day instead.Riding bikesIMG_2169Jam tartsCar bootIMG_2185DrinksIMG_2188IMG_2200IMG_2203sunburn1. Morning bike rides / 2. round-a-bout. / 3.Making jam tarts and a mess! / 4. Ice-Lollys at the car-boot. / 5. Huge mural on the side of a pub. / 6. Nothing better than San Pellegrino Limonata in the summer! / 7. Playing at ‘Eat-Play-Love’ / 8. Being a pirate in Sainsburys /9. Finished Jam Tarts. / 10. Sunburn & a relaxing bath.

Sharing the love!

Just a quick post to share some great things going on at the moment! (It’s either a very early Friday favorites or a very late one?)


I absolutely love Colette patterns new Hawthorn Dress, a brilliant modern spin on the classic shirt-waister! Sarai is even hosting a sew-a-long on her blog at the moment, I won’t have enough money to buy the fabric and pattern until next month but I’m sure it’ll be really helpful when I do! Check out the Flickr page to see loads of finished ones!

little sew and sew 1

Christine Leech is giving away two books one of which I recently reviewed and loved, you can enter here until the 12th of July!


I didn’t think the Kelly skirt was the most amazing pattern when I first saw it on the Megan Neilson website, however having seen so many amazing denim versions sewn up by a lot of other sewing bloggers I’m really tempted to make my own. Hopefully the pleats at the waist any should minimize any unsightly gaping when sitting! Here are links to a few of my favorites, Lladybird, Handmade Jane, Paunnet, Annabel Vita and What Katie Sews. (I told you there were a lot!


How cute is this free kitting pattern by the purl bee, I think I’m in love and it’s good excuse to go back to the amazing Honor Perry for supplies and to chat wool!


I’m looking forward to going to see the Royal academy summer exhibition sometime in the next couple of weeks, open submission exhibitions are definitely my favorite kind, you just never know what to expect! There was a brilliant culture show special a few weeks ago following artists who had submitted works, only one was your typical artist, the other two were just ordinary people wanting to share their work. Hopefully you can still watch it here.

2013 miss indie summer fun photography challenge

Oh and I’ve decided to take part in my first photo a day challenge, I’ve wanted to do one of these for ages but some of the other ones I’ve seen just seemed to complicated or containing objects/places way to hard to find! Anyway Miss Indie‘s Summer Fun photo challenge looks perfect and great way to document the summer now it’s finally arrived.


Lastly but certainly not least, I’ve really enjoyed the Refashion Runway competition hosted by The Renegade Seamstress! I’m so sad it’s almost over and annoyed at myself for not making enough time to sew along. The outfits and refashions were truly inspiring and its been so hard to vote for a favorite each week!

Vintage Pound Store @ The East End Thrift Store

Vintage Pound Store @ The East End Thrift Store

Today I went to the ‘Vintage Pound Store’ at the ‘East End Thrift Store’ near Whitechaple, they basically had a room full of vintage clothes all priced at a £1! I’ve been wanting to go to one of these fill a bag type sales for a while, but was worried it wouldn’t really be my type of thing and I’d end up paying for a half empty bag! So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to dip my foot into the messy mass vintage sale world as I only had to pay for what I wanted!

It was mostly 80’s/90’s so a lot of denim and crazy ugly fleece jackets! But there was definitely some treasures hidden among the mess and some real bargains, where else can you buy a fake fur coat for a £1?? I couldn’t find one the right size or without crazy yellow stains in the armpits so gave them a miss this time round, but will be on the look out for one at the next £1 sale. It was really busy and even though I got there half an hour early I had to queue for over an hour to get in and since they clearly weren’t restocking I can’t help wondering what amazing things I missed out on! Anyway I spent £10 using the philosophy that if I liked it even a little bit it was probably worth getting for a £1 rather than regretting it later! Here are my bargain buys:

blue dressHandmade 70’s Dress –
The lining is in a really bad condition and the zipper is a bit of mess so I’ll probably refashion this into something completely different.

blue skirt80’s knitted skirt –
This is too small for me, so I thought I’d try and felt it or just make it smaller for one the girls.

IMG_196070s/80s – shirt-dress –
The lining on this is a really horrible cheap polyester so I’m gonna take it out and then probably just leave it and wear it with a belt.
IMG_1970Polka-dot dress-
I’m having trouble dating this one, but I think it’s probably 80’s does 40’s, the shape on it is amazing but it’s absolutely filthy! There are loads of amazing online tutorials about cleaning vintage clothes so hopefully I can get the stains out!

IMG_197570’s Tartan Dress –
This is in really bad condition, the buttons are missing, the seams are ripped and the cuffs are a mess. It looks alright on with a belt, so I’ll probably repair rather than refashion.

IMG_1988Crochet cardigan –
This is great as is, so I’ll be wearing it a lot over the summer.

IMG_1990Jumpsuit (I totally thought it was a dress until I got home!) –
This was definitely an impulse purchase! it’s huge and quite clown like with the over-sized collar!

knitted skirtKnitted skirt –
This fits fine so I’ll just stash it away for winter.

pink dress70’s Pink Dress –
I managed to date this one from the label (thank you google! lol) It’s great as is but a little small for me, I’m gonna keep though as I usually a few pounds over summer.

pink wool skirt


80s/90s wool skirt –
The waist is proper tiny and the lining is a total mess so I bought it with the hopes of keeping the pleats but just making it smaller as a winter skirt for lily.

The ‘Vintage Pound Store‘ runs until Tuesday evening and totally worth going to if you love a bargain! My friend Magda got the most amazing floral shirt-dress and another one with a scalloped front, you just have to rummage through and you’ll find treasure!