Right. We're in mid October, the temperatures have dropped and the shops are now filling up with Christmas jumpers. To get the best of the pick, you need to start now. Personally I'm not going down the Christmas pudding or robin on the front kind of jumper but I'm partial to a bit of Norwegian, Scandi, Sarah Lund chic. Or even a bit of Fair Isle. A bit like the one  Talisker is getting (but maybe a little less colourful). 

Now that's class don't you think?

Photo Credit : Debs (Talisker's owner)

Alternatively, I would be quite happy with this one ....

Cheer up love! It might never happen!


Last Note :

  • Debs - do you take human orders?

Remember my patchwork jeans from the other day? When I finished playing dress up in front of the camera, I switched it all down to this.

Primark cardigan, Jigsaw silk shirt, Tatty bag, Jigsaw pompom keyring, Zara jeans jazzed up, Adidas Stan Smiths

Same basics but now school run ready! Because this is how I really roll.


Last Note :

  • Silk shirts are not just for best - just wear them! They are fab under a cardigan or jumper for keeping you warm - somehow the warmth from a woolly transfers better through silk to your skin! Honest!
  • Stan Smiths. Go ... with ... every ... thing.

Adidas Stan Smiths, Susie Ho Bracelet, 

Nghghghghg. Ngghghghg. Nghghghghgh. Nghgghghghhg. Grrrrrr. Nghghghghg.

Those weird tortuous noises? That's me fighting the good fight with all my might against getting a pair of Adidas Stan Smith's and failing miserably. I mulled over and rationalised that this was one shoe trend I wasn't getting in to. Heck I even pinned High Fashion Goddess Phoebe Philo with said Stans on my Pinterest last year and still I managed to resist. Infact I told myself - just don't go there, don't get sucked in! I even said on a previous post that I was eschewing the white trainer trend! And then for no good reason, I pulled in to Schuh and said to the Sales Assistant, do you have a pair of these in a size 4 waving a pair of Stan's in the air. She checked and she did. And I thought to myself "so let's see what's all the fuss about!" fully believing I would not be swayed by them at all. And so I tried them on ... and bought them. And have worn them with everything ever since!

Like I said, I fought the good fight but we are talking shoes at the end of the day and with shoes, I am powerless to resist.

Nghghghghg. Ngghghghg. Nghghghghgh. Nghgghghghhg. Grrrrrr. Nghghghghg.

So I've got it in my head that I want some patchwork jeans ....

Stylonylon                                                        The Frugality

Schoolrunstyle                                                  Wearing it Today

.... and I know I'm only a couple of years or so behind the times but I needed to digest and get my head round them. If I had been ready for them a year ago, I would have had the H&M skinnys with the raw edge hems as sported by our lovely Frances above from Schoolrunstyle and Laura from WIT blog. But I was slow off the mark and when I decided that I was ready to take them on ... they had sold out. Soddus Lawus. Anyway, H&M are doing another pair this year but I wasn't sure about the placement of one of the patches (picky I know). And then MiH put out the slim Phoebes with the nineties patch. I liked them too but not the price. 

So I decided to take matters in to my own hand and conjure up my own pair and at least I can put the patches exactly where I want them.

So I took a pair of Zara distressed jeans which I thought would be suitable for the project. I then went to the fabric odds and sods box (new use for a Matches box) and picked out some choice pieces of denim.

Good use for a Matches box

Basically, when George or Ben have totally trashed and outgrown a pair of their denim jeans, I cut them up and save the straight pieces of denim so I can patch up my own jeans or as I did last weekend, I patched up two pairs of George's old jeans to give them a little extended shelf life. And they look pretty cool consequently.

Then I cut some patches to the size I wanted. I forgot to do this but you should try to round off the corners to prevent any extra fraying.

Iron your patch before you cut to ensure that it is even.

I pinned them in to place and started sewing them on by hand.

And on the other leg ....

Try and pick some interesting pieces with a little distressing

Note that I chose some dark denim to make sure the patches stood out against the jeans and to add a bit of interest, I also included a lighter patch where I basically used the reverse side of some denim.

Ta dah!

Jigsaw silk shirt (old as the hills), H&M bag (ebay), Zara jeans (modified), H&M Courts

Anyway, not too shabby a job even if I do say so myself and I like how they give a plain outfit a little interesting lift.

Here's a few pairs I clocked along the way, some expensive, some a steal! And I may have finally given in to ordering a pair of the H&M ones just to check them out and see how annoying that annoyingly placed patch (the one near the crotch) actually is. And maybe the off black Zara ones too. All in the name of research of course ;o)

1. H&M   2. Zara   3. MiH   4. Current Elliott

Pinterest (no idea of original source)

That's one of my favourite Pinterest looks from last year. I searched high and low for a scarf like that one in the picture and came close but when push came to shove, it didn't quite cut it. Yes it was grey plaid, yes it was cashmere but it was too small and too floppy. I needed a big big scarf to achieve that look above. So  yeah, yeah, back it went.

I'm trying again this year with the big scarf look. Yes I'm going for the plaid but (1) I've given up being so picky about the monochromatic grey tones (2) I'm not hung up about it being cashmere or wool and (3) I just went with something I liked and thought would work when I saw it. This one.

Primark scarf & top

Now the problem with a scarf like this is the size. It's huge. Which is fine if it's a fine woven kind of scarf and wraps round nicely but this is definitely picnic blanket territory. If I just try to wrap it round nilly willy, it looks a bit like this .....

.... which is okay but personally I don't like my scarves like this. I don't like the squared ends - it all looks a bit neat and too symmetrical and sooner or later, I find one end goes off and does it's own thing and takes a walk round the back and then it all starts unravelling. So how do I tie my scarf my way? Well I will take a break from my cleaning (hence the slobs top which doesn't go well with the scarf) and show you.

Fold your blanket, err I mean scarf in half lengthways.

Wrap it round your neck like this making sure the short end is just long enough to reach your ear.

Tuck it up near your ear.

Bring the long end right round the back ..... 

.... and back round to the front.

Take the long end (which is now shorter) 

 .... and tuck the end in to the top of the scarf. Put your hand through the loop and pull it through a little.

Adjust a little so it's comfortable and Bob's your uncle!

It's easy peasy, lemon squeezee isn't it? Anyway, back to the cleaning .....

Hmmmm. Now this is an interesting one. The Uniqlo pocket silk shirt that I ordered arrived and I had really high hopes for it based on my previous experiences of their silk shirts. And ... it didn't deliver. Why? It was nothing to do with the silk itself - it just wasn't a great fit on me. Or maybe the one I received wasn't a good one? Going by the reviews which all said the shirt was quite loose fitting, I thought I would have no problems with the size small that I ordered. I'd had no problems with my previous ones, so I didn't expect this one to fit any different. However ....

1. It was snug on the sleeves.

2. It gaped at the bust.

3. The buttons were positioned in such a way that with a few buttons undone, it looked either too prudish or too brazen.

4. It just didn't fit as nicely as my previous ones. A little neater and not as flowy which is what I was hoping for.

.... but I'm inclined to think it was just that particular shirt I got that wasn't quite right. I had a little chat with my niece as she ordered one as well and we agreed about the positioning of the buttons but whereas she found it too flowy, I found it too neat. I also have love handles. She does not.

But all is not lost! I also ordered the placket version of the silk blouse (I had been deliberating over both for some time) and this was much much better hence the fact that I think the pocket shirt was an odd dud one. The fit on the placket shirt was just right (you just know when you put something on and it immediately feels good) and even though the button positions were similar, it doesn't feel as brazen if that cheeky extra button was left undone. Infact because of the placket, I can even sew in a sneaky little snap fastener to protect my modesty and no one would be any the wiser.

So look ... no gaping!

Look. Looser on the sleeves!

Look. Looser through the body!

Much better - agreed? This one's a keeper. I had it in mind for a night out soon and I don't doubt it will earn it's keep beyond that. So, all's well that end's well - we got there!


Last Note :

  • Did anyone else order any of the Uniqlo silk shirts and out of curiosity how did you get on?
  • The pocket shirt looks a bit messier as I didn't iron it before I took the photos. I gave the placket one a quick iron as I knew that one was staying because of the fit and just wanted to get a better feel for how the shirt should look without creases.

Let's get back to my first love. Shoes. And the shoes I have been living in until very recently have been my felted grey Next skater pumps. These have been my 2014 autumn update to last years cheetah pony hair versions which I lived in prior to their usurper. Maybe you spotted me wearing them here? So why is there a picture of me in a pair of Asos ones instead? Read on ....

At the beginning of September, I finally decided to give in to the felted grey skate pumps I'd seen at Next. I've decided to pass on the white trainers this season and just settle for something tried and tested but just in a different fabric and different colour way. I like grey, I like wool, so grey felted wool skater pumps it was then. They came, I thought they were great and super comfy (no breaking in required) but I did wish the colour was a little darker. In their favour, they also didn't make my feet too boat like and they had fleecy insoles - how considerate for the colder months ahead!

And then I noticed that the material was coming away a little from the rubber trim at the sides where the foot bends - not an uncommon problem with plimsolls and pumps like this - it's a main stress point. So I rang up Next and mentioned it and they said, just return to us and we will refund you. Well you can't say fairer than that and I was probably going to buy another pair and hope that they faired better as yes I really did like them but then I spotted the ASOS Dialog version in a slightly darker grey. So I bought those instead. Do I like them as much? I don't know. You know how they say the grass is always greener on the other side?

Plus Points for the ASOS version include they are a better colour but they also fit slightly bigger. As a result, I've popped in my own fleecy insoles because I like to treat my feet. And I liked the idea of a fleecy insole for the cooler temperatures anyway. But I feel a little clumsier in these.

Plus Points for Next include - they are a better fit, slightly less boat like and they come pre-fleecy-lined which did bring a smile to my face when I first saw them. And now that I have the darker version, I'm wondering if I prefer the lighter version. 

There's no pleasing some is there?

So I've made my bed and I will lie in it. Or rather I have chosen my shoes and I will now get on with wearing them. Oky doky.


Last Note :

  • These felted skater are my favourite current shoes - I've worn these constantly (first the Next ones and now the ASOS) since I've got them. They're just neutral, they slip on and they are ace for the school run. Pants in the rain though.
  • These are some of my favourites out there currently ...

(1) ASOS  (2)  Zara (3) ASOS  (4) River Island  (5) ASOS  (6) Next

Hi there!

Hi, I'm Sue.

Mum to Ben & George, married to the Grumps, living in suburbia, somewhere in the north of England.


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