Festive Nails – Frostbitten

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Hi all,
I’ve got a little nail art/ festive nail tutorial for you here as I haven’t done one for a while!
I always enjoy painting my nails and even though I’m no professional it’s fun and its easy!
This one is Christmassy inspired and I was kinda thinking of icicles and frost when I did this one! Plus I’m seriously loving the glitter at the moment so that had to be in there!

So here goes:
I always do a base coat to protect my nails, especially when I do glitter as its notoriously difficult to get off! The one I used here was Sally Hansen Insta-grip, which is pretty good an I got it reduced!

The base colour is used was OPI Time-less is more, which I’ve had for a while! I had to do three coats as this is quite a sheer colour!

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To add a subtle hint of glitter I used jackpot which was just from George’s own make up range at Asda all over the nail.

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Then to add the frosty glitter I used Snowflake from Models Own which is quite a nice chunky glitter in white iridescent tones! I used this from the middle to the end of my nails before finishing with a top coat!

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And there you have it! If you try this nail look I’d love to see a picture and if you have any other nail looks you’ve tried I’d love to see them!
❤ xx

DIY City Break Maxi Skirt + Rome Update

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A few weeks ago I went on a belated birthday trip to Rome for a weekend with my family!
Before we went I had been searching for a simple, pleated maxi skirt, but hadn’t found one I was willing to pay for. So I decided to make my own! I whipped it up in less than an hour using only about 1.5m of fabric and a piece of elastic. I would suggest more fabric than this depending on your size…I’m a medium and I was struggling a bit! Plus the more fabric you have, the better the gathered effect! the fabric is used was a kind of opaque synthetic with a good drape like chiffon.
Here’s my simple tutorial on how to make a maxi skirt!

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First start by measuring a piece of elastic around where you want the skirt to sit i.e. waist, hips etc. Make sure that the elastic is stretched a little as this will help to create the gathered effect on the fabric! Also make sure you have enough for the elastic to be seen together at the ends.

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Next make a channel for your elastic across the top of your fabric by folding over a small section. The size of this will depend on the width of your elastic, mine was about 1cm so my channel was about 2cm wide. Then sew this channel down, making sure you leave enough room to thread your elastic through.

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Thread the elastic through using a safety or bobby pin- try to keep hold of both ends, I kept dropping one end and having to start again! Gather the fabric as you go. Once you’ve threaded it through pin down or stitch together at each end.

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Now with your fabric fold in a seam allowance of about 2cm and stitch all the way down. This is your centre seam which will sit at the back! At this stage, try it on for size as it may need adjusting of its too big/small/tight/loose etc
I ended up having to sew a split up the back of mine because my lack of fabric meant that I was waddling when I walked 🙂 (even so, I managed to rip the split up even further when walking to dinner…oops! Darn me and my long strides ;)!
Once you’ve determined that your skirt is the right size, you can then hem it or finish as you like. I did a simple folded hem of about 1.5cm before stitching down, making sure I ironed down to ensure a nice neat finish! And voila! Simples 😉
We had a lovely, busy weekend and got to see so many beautiful sites! We also, very proudly used EVERY form of public transport available; train, bus, tram, tube… You name it 😉
Here are a few of my phone snaps, I still haven’t uploaded my camera ones yet :/ oops!

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What a beautiful city! I definitely want to visit again…soon 🙂 probably for even longer to do more exploring!
If any of you try out this tutorial I’d love to see what you make! Write in the comments below and let me know what you think 🙂
J x

DIY detachable collar pattern tutorial

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Hey all,
Collars are a big accessory for S/S’12 and I know there are lots of DIY tutorials on how to embellish a collar from a pre-made shirt, but as I don’t have an abundance of these hanging around, I wanted to find out how to make my own!
I managed to find a great pair of videos from SecretLifeOfaBioNerd on YouTube.
The first shows you how to draft the pattern to your own measurements, which is really great: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hnb14aF_LQA
The second shows you how to sew the pattern together: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ahWmkPYnpNU
However I adapted this slightly as I added a collar stand with a button to fasten it and to add a more “shirt-like” look.

Collar Stand Tutorial
I made the collar stand by making a long rectangle, the length of my neck measurement + 5cm (2″ approx) and about 7.5cm (3″ approx) but this depends how thick you want your collar stand to be!
Then cut out the fabric from your drafted stand pattern, added fusible interfacing and fold in half so the stand is half the width.
Next placed your constructed collar into the fold near the top and iron down a small seam allowance on the collar stand.
Then topstitch the collar stand down at the long open edge, sandwiching the collar in between the two layers. MAKE SURE YOU PIN THIS FIRST, it saves a lot of unpicking later! 🙂
Then you will just have the two open short sides to close. I did this by tucking the ends of the collar stand in and sewing in a curved shape. I did this because I think it’s slightly more like a real shirt but you could do this with a straight edge if you want!
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Finally to finish off I tried it on, marked where I wanted my button to be and sewed a simple buttonhole using my sewing machine and cut it open. I then hand stitched my button in place and voila! You’re finished!
N.B. because I only cut my collar straight it was a little bit wrinkly when I sewed it for a curved neck collar. If you want to make it really smooth, use a French curve (which I don’t have), or cut some slits into your pattern draft to add more curve. To me it didn’t really matter as the collar covers the stand when you wear it!

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This is a really great simple pattern and is great if you have a lot of scraps in nice prints. My fabric was actually from Ikea and I had some scraps left from a dress I made.

I would love to see pics if any of you try this out and hear if my cobbled together collar stand pattern works for anyone else!
Happy sewing!
J x

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Knitting Headbands/earwarmers for winter :)

Hello all and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

I know it’s a bit late in the day, but I’m loving knitted headbands at the moment and have knitted two in the past three days, which is good for me as I rarely finish my knitting projects.

I’m going to be giving one away as a christmas gift to my auntie for when she goes doggy walking with my mum, and keep the other for myself 🙂

If you’re a quick knitter, you may be able to knit one up as a last minute pressie for any unexpected guests! The free pattern was from craftsnob and was so easy to follow: http://craftsnob.com/2011/06/knitting-101-part-3/

I really liked this pattern as I was looking for one with a bit of detail, and the gathering was so easy, yet effective! I chose not to wrap the yarn around the front centre as I did not feel as though I could get that neat enough. However, I did consider making a small panel, about 6-8 stitches wide, long enough to wrap around the gathers instead. It wouldn’t be tricky.

For the blue head band, I used 7mm needles and a chunky Hayfield wool; I cast on 16 stitches which gave me a nice wide headband. (please excuse my dressing gown, it’s late here!)

For the black headband I used 5mm needles and a lovely King Cole Galaxy wool (in JUPITER) with sequins which have been very on trend! I also cast on 20 stitches as although I didn’t want the headband as thick, the sequins were weirdly dispersed at 16 stitches.

Galaxy Headband

I hope you like the headbands/earwarmer thingies and are a little inspired to try knitting yourself some. 🙂 They make a great beginners project!

J x