Thursday, 28 May 2015

Dress It Up With A Blazer!

Folding up with sleeves keeps the blazer casual.

Blazer: Gap (almost 10 years ago!) / Top: Target / Jeans: Refashioned by me /
Necklace: Made by Me

Laughing at my daughter just out of shot - not the best face!
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

As a Mama of 2 little girls my everyday style is casual.  I need to be able to run around after tiny humans! 
My favourite way to make my casual outfits look a bit more pulled together and dressed up is to wear a blazer.  I'll usually fold the cuffs up to tie in with the casual look (also a great way to disguise sleeves that are a little too short!). 

From my previous corporate working life I have loads of blazers and suit jackets so rather than leave them languishing in my closet I like to take them out and about every once and a while!

How do you like to dress up your casual looks?

Monday, 25 May 2015

I Made It Monday - Top to Kimono Refashion

Kimono refashioned by me /
Jeans refashioned by me so many times I don't think Gap can still take credit for them

This Monday I'm wearing a refashioned piece that started life as a top I bought while in Mexico in 2004. 

Yep, I tend to hold onto clothes even if I don't wear them because there is something about them I love.  I loved the fabric of this top.  I loved it so much that it didn't matter that it was not a flattering fit (not that I tried it on before buying) and made me look like I was wearing a frumpy maternity top!  Mind you, on someone much shorter the waist would have sat at the waist and looked lovely, rather than under the bust like it did on me.

11 years later I decided to do something with it!  I love the Kimono trend and was going to make my own when I remembered I had this top stored away in a tote.

Here is the basic outline of how I turned it into a Kimono from a frumpy mess (on me) into a fabulous Kimono that I've worn more in the past few weeks than I have in the past 11 years!

Making sure you can see the pretty side detail!
Shoes: Target Australia / Necklace made by me
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband
Have you got an article of clothing that you can't part with although you don't wear it? 
What could you refashion it in to??

Friday, 22 May 2015

Ethically Sourced Tote Bag

I like to shop at small businesses. 

I feel it's important to support small business as they are peoples livelihoods.  Lets be honest, J Crew isn't going to miss me if I don't buy from them in a year (although I do love you J Crew!) but buying from a small business makes a huge difference.

I am even more excited when I find out where / how my purchase was made.  This gorgeous tote bag is from a small business in Bowral, NSW Australia.  The owner travels to buy items directly from the Artisans who make them - I love ethically sourced things!  This bag is hand made by villagers in Bali and each one is a one of a kind.  The purchase of these bags supports the livelihoods of these lovely villagers and their families.  They are made from cotton Batik fabric and are just beautiful.

What's better than being ethically sourced / fair trade and beautiful?  Being huge!  I have the sides folded in on the bag in these photos but it is big enough to be an overnight bag.  In fact, this was the bag I took to the hospital when my second daughter was born.  And for all the Mums out there, you know much stuff we take with us!!!

I use this bag as a handbag - it dresses up my tendency to wear all black!  I have also used it as my nappy bag (diaper bag for those who don't speak Australian!).  It's fabulous!

The great news is that they will ship these bags to anywhere in the world!  Just contact Eastern Living Homewares via Facebook : www.facebook.com/EasternLivingHomewares and they will quote you postage based on where you live.

Did I mention that it is only $24.95?!  Amazing!

Everyone needs one of these bags - they're the best! The fabrics are so beautiful.

Hubs: Why do you carry your bag like that??
Me: Everyone carries their bag like that. Just take the picture!

I love that each bag is one of a kind! And they hold SO much stuff!

Top: Long Tall Sally / Pants: Made By Me / Shoes: Target / Scarf: Made By Me
Earrings: Made By Me / Sunglasses: Collette Dinnigan / Bag: Eastern Living Homewares
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Hidden Gems

I don't know about the other tall women out there, but if I stumble across something that isn't a tall size but fits well then I have to buy it.  It doesn't matter if I need it, the fact that it fits gets me all excited!  I'm sure this is true for most body types.

I found this Lee Cooper shirt at Big W on the sale rack.  At first glance it seemed to have really long sleeves so I had to try it on and happy days they were long!  Sold!

Where I live there are no tall retailers.  None.  Even Target Country doesn't carry the tall sizes that regular Target carries.  And whilst on the topic of Target, why do they only carry tall sized pants?  No tops, jackets, shirts etc.  Do they think women only have long legs but short arms??  Rant over.

Finding a shirt with long sleeves was really a hidden gem! 

Shirt: Lee Cooper / Pants: made by me

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

Monday, 18 May 2015

I Made It Monday - Peplum Top

This top is actually 2 layers of different sized Gingham which gives a great effect & it's really soft!

I was given some pre-loved clothes and when I saw this fabric I was instantly drawn to it as I have a soft spot for gingham.  What I did not love was the fact that it hung like a giant shapeless sack on me.  Unfortunately I didn't take a "before" photo but you can see my artistic (*ahem*) representation below.  Trust me, it was not good on me... mid thigh, large and shapeless with sleeves that hit just below the elbow... eek!

What I didn't have in my wardrobe was a Peplum Top.  Refashion time!  Below is an outline of how I turned the sack into a cute top:

I shortened the sleeves to above elbow and took them in (while still attached);
Took in the sides so it fitted my body but was still loose enough for me to pull the top on and off without having to add a back zipper;
Cut the top off at my natural waist and saved the bottom of the top which was already hemmed to be my peplum;
Trimmed the top off the Peplum piece to desired length, then sewed a long basting stitch along the cut edge;
Gently pulling on one of the threads I gathered the Peplum piece to fit the bodice then sewed the 2 pieces together;
I finished all the seams with my over locker (serger for those who don't speak Australian!)

Ta Da! A cute Peplum Top!

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband
This is one of those great pieces that works casually with jeans or more dressed up with a pencil skirt and heels.

I'm happy to answer any questions about a refashioning project you may be thinking of embarking on!

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wrap With Love

I get excited about any excuse to create and I love that Wrap With Love Inc. is such a good cause and helps people all over the world. 
1000 wraps have just been sent to Nepal and World Vision has requested 2000 more. 

The start of my Wrap With Love contribution.


'Cold humanity is our concern, people caring about other people.'
There are millions of people in the world suffering extreme cold. In 1992 Wrap with Love began with the idea to help as many people as possible by providing warm Wraps to ward off hypothermia and in the past 20 years we have sent more than 323,000 Wraps to people in over 75 countries, including Australia, with the help of our hardworking and generous volunteers.
Most of us can knit and sew. Just one square provides one twenty-eighth of warmth, and collectively, twenty-eight assembled squares create one whole warm and sheltering Wrap.

I have joined a group which meets at my Church, however volunteer groups meet all over the country.  You can knit away at home and send them to Wrap With Love or drop them off to a participating group.  You can get more info here.

Time to get knitting (or crocheting, which I can't do but am hoping to learn from some of the lovely ladies at the Church!).

Do you love to knit?

Monday, 11 May 2015

I Made It Monday - Distressed Denim

Welcome to the first "I Made it Monday" - this is a personal challenge to wear something I have made or refashioned every Monday.  I hope you join in!

I thought I'd start off simply with a refashion that anyone with a pair of scissors or razor can do - distressed denim. 

Jeans distressed & taken in by me / Ballet flats Target Australia

The practical Mama part of me could not bring myself to buy (let alone pay extra for) jeans with holes in them when I have so many pairs of jeans and anyone can make holes!

I love that distressed denim is back in vogue.  I remember when it was in during the late 1980's and I wanted ripped jeans in the worst pre-teen angst kind of way.  Everyone had them.  It was SO unfair that I didn't have them.  You get the idea!  However I was not allowed to buy them or "destroy perfectly good jeans". 

Well now that I'm a grown up I can do as I please with my jeans! (The irony of that sentence sounding very immature is not lost on me.)  When I saw distressed denim hit the market again I grabbed an old pair of jeans which had been given to me and were too short, which is why they are cuffed, (no money spent and no loss if they went horribly wrong!) and a pair of scissors and started to distress. 

To distress the denim I simply rubbed them with the blade of some sharp scissors until the desired level of distress was achieved.  I ripped out the knee a little, which later became a lot when my 2 year got her little hand in there and ripped them some more! 

Here's a handy hint: don't distress whilst wearing them...I think I took off some skin.  Do however, mark where you want the distressing to be whilst wearing them.

Shirt: Mix Apparel.com not a Tall size, but a good length / Necklace: Made By Me! 

Ta da!  A pair of distressed jeans of my very own and it only took me almost 30 years to get them!

Photos c/o my wonderful Husband

Have you tried to distress your own jeans?  How did it go?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Pleated Midi Skirt

Do you have a wardrobe piece that you wear a lot? 

And by "a lot" I mean so much that it could be your uniform?!  For me it's this navy pleated midi skirt.  I made it out of Ponte (for those who don't sew *yet* it's a nice heavy but not too stretchy knit fabric).  I decided to add an exposed red zipper and red button to give it some one-of-a-kind-ness (it's a word today). 

I inherited by Husbands' Nonna's sewing machine from the 1950's, tins of buttons, reclaimed zippers and other notions.  I try to add a special Nonna touch to all of the clothes I make my girls and occasionally some of my pieces.  Both the red zipper and button are compliments of Nonna, God bless her soul.

I love making midi skirts because they are easy and forgiving.  All you need to do is start with your waist band measurement (allowing seam allowance for adding the zip) and then add pleats as needed to the skirt pieces to make it fit your waist band. 

There are some great formulas on Pinterest for figuring out the number of pleats:waistband ratio, however my mathematically challenged brain prefers trial and error (not at all efficient, but works for me). I start with my centre box pleat and work my way out until the skirt piece matches up to the waist band.  Simple!

Here is a simple outline of how I made my skirt:

There is a great easy to follow tutorial on Elizabeth Ave  which is similar to my skirt.  The best part of making it yourself is that you can make the skirt as long as you want! 
Perfect for nice tall frames!

Do you have a wardrobe piece that you wear a lot and can dress up or down?  I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, 9 May 2015


Hi, I'm Allison.

I have wanted to start a blog for a long time now.  As a 6 foot (182cm) tall woman I have had my share of fashion struggles and want to share the wisdom I have gained over the years (decades!) to dress my tall frame.  This blog is the advice I wish I could have given my younger self!  When I was younger there was no online shopping and Australian retailers did not carry tall sizes, even now the pickings are slim.  I am so thankful for online shopping!

Fortunately I have always loved to sew (compulsively!) so have been able to make clothes when I just couldn't find anything that fit.  I am constantly refashioning items and will sometimes buy things that don't fit because I know I can make them work. 

There are lots of blogs out there for refashioning, but none I could really relate to.  As a tall woman I cannot buy an over-sized mans shirt and make it into a cute shirt dress, it's a just a big shirt on me!  I cannot buy a mini dress a size or two larger to make it a modest length, it's just a baggy mini dress on me!  And I have NEVER had to hem my jeans... can I have the bits you cut off?!!

So this little blog of mine is to chronicle my sewing and refashioning adventures and to challenge my own style because as a Mama of two toddlers it is easy to get stuck in a jeans and tee rut.  I hope to inspire outfit choices and to be inspired by other tall women.  

I hope to encourage those who don't sew (yet!) to do so and to give easy refashioning tips and DIY's to make clothes longer / work for your beautiful tall frame.   

Skirt made by me - tutorial to follow!
Photos c/o my wonderful Husband.