Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress: DIY from Japanese Hanabi Fabric & remixed Colette Macaron Pattern

Shoes: Wittner

Happy New Year folks! I hope you’ve all had the chance to take some time off to rest and recuperate, and to catch up with friends and family.

A lot happened in 2015 – some of it wonderful, some of it less so – but reflecting back it was a year of positive change for all aspects of my life: work, love, family and home. I’m excited to see what 2016 will bring.

I quite like New Year’s – I know it’s really just another day in the calendar, but it feels like a chance to shake the dust of the past year off and start the new one with fresh hopes and dreams. Or maybe it’s just that I really like fireworks.

Frocks and Frou FrouI thought this was a perfect New Year’s dress, because of the divine fireworks print. I found the fabric – which is a lovely textured Japanese cotton – on Etsy, and bought several yards without any particular sewing project in mind.

In the end I took my dusty old Colette Macaron pattern (last seen in 2012!) and tweaked it a bit. I kept the contrast shoulders, but straightened the sweetheart bodice, and I totally subbed out the tulip skirt for my own rip-off pattern of Modcloth’s Breathtaking Tiger Lillies skirt. Plus pockets.

So here’s to fireworks and frocks, to friends and family, to 2016, and here’s to you.

Frocks and Frou FrouHave a great new year.

Good, not Great

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouCardigan: Gorman

Blouse: Laura Ashley

Skirt: Asos

Tights: BigW

Shoes: Wittner

Sometimes I feel a bit like my life is one of those circus shows when there’s a performer spinning plates on top of sticks, and he’s always trying to keep them all spinning so none of them fall down.

In most of my adult life I’ve always felt like one of those plates was wobbling just a little bit. The home plate, or the work plate, or the family plate, or the love plate. For a while at the start of this year I had them all spinning merrily: great home, healthy sister, lovely boyfriend, and a challenging job that I adored. Sadly last week I developed another wobble.

After twenty years in the book trade, and close to four in my current job I was informed that the company was “tightening their belts”, and they’d discovered a way to make my role in the company redundant.

It’s a horrible feeling, being made redundant. Like being dumped, but with more financial impact. It’s never happened to me before, though I know it’s fairly common in the publishing trade, and it’s come as a huge shock.

I’m madly updating my CV (I was headhunted to this role, so it’s looking pretty out of date) and trying to apply for positions both in out of the book trade. (If you need a fashion conscious, social-media savvy, salesperson in your company, you know where to find me!)

In completely unrelated news (ha!) I’m doing a really big sale on eBay, and if you’d like to take a look the link is here: So far I’ve only got my frocks up – it’s a pretty big job – so I’ll keep you posted on Twitter and Facebook when everything is loaded in the next day or so.