Mary Katrantzou FW16

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Ok ok, I know I haven’t sewn anything, but I thought I’d put my illustration on here anyway. It’s my blog, damn it.

Mary Kantrantzou is without a doubt my favourite, favourite designer, and she never ceases to amaze and inspire. As I browsed her collection I couldn’t help but feel compelled to do a little illustration capturing some of the texture and attitude of her latest collection.

Love y’all,


Flowy Pie Crust Blouse

Hey guys n gals,

Long time no sew! The truth is I’ve been working on a few things at the same time, but haven’t exactly gotten around to finishing any. I’ve been sashaying around in my embroidered denim jacket far too much to worry about following through with projects.

I don’t have a cost for you on this project because everything was free! The amazing paisley silk was a present from my sister when she travelled to India (nearly 2 years ago!). It was just 1 meter so I was never sure what to make with it, but when Alexa’s M&S pie crust blouse came out, I knew that the paisley’s time had come.

Yes, I know it’s incredibly brave of me to have a photo of Alexa Chung on the same web page as my own face, but I had to show you where I was coming from with this. You can see that my pie crust is smaller that hers, and I haven’t got the frilly yolk either. This is mainly because I doubt my ability to pull it off, and also slightly because yolks are a bit too much effort.

The other thing I should tell you about this make is that I did it almost entirely by hand! I started it when I was at my mums without a sewing machine, and machine sewing on nice silk can always be a bit slippery and tricky, so I went and did everything by hand over a weekend as I caught up on Project Runway and ate apple crumble. If you too are nervous about delicate fabrics and find stitching meditative, I’d recommend you try the ol’ school way too. You’ll get real neat and tiny rolled hems.

In addition to the 1m of fabric, I used a scrap of old ribbon and an old button for the back fastening.

And that’s it.

Let’s not leave it so long next time.

KB xx

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Fig 1. Me being creepy



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Living My Leopard Embroidered Dreams (£4.85)

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I this post I’m not giving  precise instructions on how to create the exact same jacket as me, but I am showing you how you can live your dreams and make something totally personalized and cool. Topshop has had a pretty strong embroidery game of late: they have all sorts of nice bombers (£85)and denim jackets (£50), plus you can even go to the Oxford Street shop and get your name sewn on (for £15 a letter). What I had was a bank holiday weekend and an old denim jacket with a stain on the middle of the back, which had rendered it unwearable. Accordingly I set out on my first ever embroidery mission, and I am so, so happy with how it turned out.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Choose an image.

I’m crazy about leopards, so the choice was easy. I just googled leopard face, and found something I liked. I, with great sophistication, used ‘remove background’ on microsoft word so that the face was isolated, and saved the image. I then plugged it in to this website The website basically makes you a sewing pattern and tells you what colours of thread to buy. It’s great because you can choose how many colours you are willing to buy, and the website whittles down to what is most important. I went for 9 colours, plus the pink that I wanted for my lettering, so that I could buy 10 skeins of thread.

2. Buy the thread

Pixel Stitch gives you the exact colour codes that you need. I used this seller on ebay (,ext=ext) to buy 10 skeins (£4.85), and then sent the seller a message with my list of codes. They arrived promptly.

3. Transfer the image

I just drew my leopard free hand onto the jacket in pencil, but I’m sure you could do some tracing if you’re not confident with your own drawing. Whilst I sewed I continued to add more detail to the face with a bi of pen when I needed it. I then typed my name in a nice font, and again just drew it on.

4. Sew sew sew!

The pattern that pixel stitch gives you is for crossstitch, which I am far too impatient for. I just used it to get a vague idea of what colours should go where, and did everything else by eye. Like I said, I’ve never embroidered anything before, so I just approached the face as if I was colouring in or painting. I did small straight stitches close to each other, and that worked for me. Because I did an animal, I used the different colours of thread and the straight stitches to build up a furry effect, but even when I did my name in plain old pink, small straight stitches turned out fine.

I have to admit, whilst I started this project on good Friday, I didn’t finish it until 2 weeks later. I worked pretty intensely on it throughout the bank holiday, and then just did little bits on the train to work or whilst watching tv in the evening. It was a pretty long project, but my desire for a fierce little leopard having my back at all times outweighed my impatience. The process went a little something like this:

Flouncy Gypsy Top (£4.39)


Happy Easter! 🙂

We’re officially in Spring now, so I was feeling inspired to make something cute for the warmer months. I’ve seen these off the shoulder/bardot gypsy top things everywhere, but £22-27 (from Zara and Asos below)seems pretty steep when these tops really have nothing to them.Two strips of fabric and some elastic- that’s it. I spent £3.99 for a metre of cute sunflower fabric and 40p for 2 metres of elastic. It literally took about an hour too.


I really had a blast with this make because it was really quick and it feels so so fun to wear. I can’t encourage you strongly enough to try this one out for yourself, and join me in some subtle shoulder flashing.


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Groovy High Neck Co-ord Set (£7.99)

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Hello My Pretties!

I know I’ve been pretty absent of late so sorry about that. As you can see, however, I sure have returned with a bang. I bought this crazy wax print fabric from a great shop on Goldhawk Road (this is near Westfield). They have tonnes of gaudy stuff like this, for anybody else with taste as loco as mine. I bought about a metre and a half for £7.50.

I decided to use it to make a co-ord set because co-ords are sooo useful, especially when you have a loud fabric. You can wear both items when you’re feeling sassy, and just put the skirt on with a black roll neck on a more demure day. You make a simple top and skirt, and end up basically getting a dress for free. The skirt I made here uses the same method as my Creepy Kitty Skirt, so below I’ve just got the instructions for the cool 60’s style top, complete with a little collar, and a super cute button back (check out the turquoise button below). I was pretty inspired by this set from Mango, which totals at £65.98. I find midis really difficult to pull off though, so have gone for something shorter and more streamlined.

I hope y’all will have a crack at this, and  as always, I love to hear from you when you have a go so keep in touch!


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Creepy Kitty Mini Skirt (£4.10) with Cheater’s Darts Tutorial


This skirt right here is one of those super easy and simple shapes that you can bang out in any sort of fabric you like. I don’t like cats at all but I thought it would be real funny to have a cat skirt, so I bought this fabric off Ebay and spent less than two hours making up this garm.


Some people can be intimidated by doing darts, so I’ve made a quick video on how anybody can make them easily- no tape measure needed!

I took pictures today at the lovely Tate Britain if you were wondering about the photos.

Please have a go at this one. If you find a fun fabric you can end up making something really cute and unique for minimal effort. Tell me how it goes!


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Sports Luxe T-Shirt (£1.25)

Hi gang!

Sorry it’s been a while, I’ve been christmas-elfing and so my personal dress-making has taken a back seat. What I have for you here is a quick and simple, but fancy-looking t-shirt. It’s extra easy because you can trace off an existing t-shirt to get the shape. No measuring!

For the fabric, I’ve used an old curtain from the £1 bin in a charity shop. Hear me out! Old curtains are a great way of finding luxurious and interesting fabrics for very few pennies. For the size of the fabric, it basically just needs to be able to fit a loose fitting t-shirt on when folded in half. You can take your t-shirt to the shop with you. You could also do a mix-and match of fabrics for the sleeves and the body pieces.

Have  go at this one- it’s easy!

Also, I’ll do a vid later in the week, but it seems people like my instructions more than videos so I might save myself a lot of time and just do instructions in future. Let me know if that would be a problem for you!



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