Menthe a L'eau - Aime Comme Marie Pattern Review

Hello Lovely Sewers,

I'm not going to go into a who lot of detail in this post as I have already dedicated an entire video (which should be linked below) to a review of this shirt. I thought of all the items I have made this was probably the best to review because a) it's an independent French pattern company and b) because there were several things that I learnt whilst making it that I thought would be useful for anyone else wanting to have a go at it. 

If you're interesting in making the Menthe a L'eau I definitely would encourage this project. All over it wasn't a difficult make and I do think it is suitable for an advanced beginner! 

This is going to be a staple in my 2016 summer wardrobe! 


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Summer Pattern and Fabric Haul October 2016

Bonjour my lovely sewers!

Finding myself a bit unsure of what I want to make this month, I decided to forgo making an "October Sewing Plans" video.  I think every sewer goes through these kinds of slumps, so I'm not concerned or upset by it, just simply waiting it out. In the meantime I bring you a HAUL of some sewing patterns and fabric that I am hoping will inspire me, and you if your experiencing something similar, out of this rut.

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1920's Lace Blouse - Peppermint Magazine Peplum Hack

With summer fast approaching I've realised that I really don't have any summery tops in my wardrobe, just a lifetimes supply of oversized jumpers, apparently! This ended up being another one of those "happy disaster" type garments that I am really involve with. The lace application on the lower back gives it a slightly sexy 1920's feel that is very fun and cool (in the weather sense not the social status sense). While I do think that the pattern still needs a bit of tweaking I think I would be very happy to make this again!

Pattern Size: If I remember correctly, I believe that I cut the Medium, which was the perfect size for me. It was designed to be a loose fitting garment so I think I could have gotten away with cutting a size larger or smaller than the medium - but I am quite happy with the fit of the medium.

Fabric Used:  This is a lightweight rayon that I bought from Jack Textiles on Marrickville Road for $6 per meter. It's not a great quality fabric but I was originally using it more as a toile than anything else. The lace was actually some old curtain material that I bough from Spotlight a few years back. 

Was It Easy To Follow: YES. There are no complicated procedures in this pattern and I never had any difficulties or confusion with using it. 

Alternations Made: Where do I even start. It's pretty obvious that the finished garment doesn't exactly mirror the top on the front of the pattern. I originally intended for this to be a really simple top that I could wear underneath cardigans and Kimono type tops. Unfortunaelty it didn't quite suit so instead of waisting the make I decided to let my inner creator loose. As someone who doesn't like to have their arms on display I knew that I wanted to add a sleeves, and I have been really enjoying this summery and feminine fluted sleeve (I stole the pattern piece from my Butterick 5030 pattern). I did however come across a slight problem as the pattern was never designed to be paired with sleeves. After inserting the sleeves I found that the fabric around the chest and back were really being pulled out of shape, so to compensate I extended the already V shape of the back neckline to just above the peplum. I toyed around with ideas of straps, patches, panels and more until I finally settled on a open back with a lace insert. It was relatively easy to do with the only things needing care being the pattern placement of the lace and making sure that it was placed level. 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Front When You Were Done: If you don't consider the alterations/hacks I made then yes, the bodice and peplum look exactly as I thought they would. 

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Floral 50's Summer Dress - Sew Over It Betty Dress Pattern Review

I'm IN LOVE, actually, genuinely I LOVE with this pattern! In all honesty I had absolutely no interest in this pattern when I saw it on the website until they released the "Betty Add On Pack" which included the option for a V-neck and sleeves. 

The front (with the V-neck option) and back neckline of this dress are a really fun and incredibly flattering design.

Pattern Size: I cut the 12 and while I did take about 3cm off the back on either side I am glad that I chose this size as I really liked the position of the darts and I think the 10 might have come out too snug on the bust. 
Alterations Made: The only issue I can across with this pattern is the same issue I encounter with most patterns that include fitted sleeves. I have larger arms they they just NEVER fit in the standard sleeve size provided by the pattern. I really need to get off my lazy arse and look into full arm adjustments! 

In this case I decided to cut a larger size and add more ease which resulted in a bit of an 80's poofy (thats a technical word for you right there) sleeve. I HATED this look so I decided to unpick the sleeves and cut out a different flutter sleeve, using a pattern piece from Butterick 5030. 

I much prefer the look and feel of this sleeve and I think it gives the garment a more 1940's overall look. 

Fabric Used: This is a "Liberty wanna be" fabric that I bought from Marrickville Road. The branding on the edge of the fabric claims that it is Liberty but obviously at $5/meter…nobody is fooled. I am still quite impressed with the feel of this cotton lawn, just like Liberty Lawn it is quite soft and thin and it has a fluidity that most cottons just don't have. 

Was It Easy To Follow: YES. The beauty of this pattern is that it is a very simple yet classic design that I think would be good for the advanced beginner. 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done: Yes, pretty much, I think one me it does look slightly more fitted around the bust that it does in the photo but thats a difference I am very happy with! 

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A Sewers Guide To Fabric Shopping In Sydney

Back in May, before I left for for my trip to Europe I spent a good amount of time trolling through the internet looking for Fabric shops in the cities I was going to be visiting. I remember think how useful it was when I came across a particular blog post which listed a bunch of different fabric shops in London that had been recommended by another sewing fanatic. So when I got back to Sydney I decided to do  bit of exploring and research to help concoct my only list of Fabric store in Sydney. I realise that there are shops that I have probably left out in this but I fully intend to keep adjusting this post as I learn about them. I hope you guys find this post as useful I the "London Fabric Shops" post I read! 

Spotlight and Lincraft 
I am putting these two shops under the same umbrella, as they are both chain stores that sell a wide range of craft and hobby material. Honestly I think they are most definitely over priced, especially seeing as the fabric is only mid-range quality. This is where I used to buy fabric when I first started sewing and didn't know I had many other options.

Marrickville Road - Tan Hung, Jack Textiles etc 
If you are just starting your sewing eperience/career (and so likely to make mistakes when sewing) or are working on a very strict budget I would recommend shopping for fabric on Marrickville road, in Marrickville. As these shops are just around the corner from my work I am always ducking in to see whats new. They have a HUGE variety of fabrics and their prices are THE BOMB, I'm talking average $5 per meter! 

The Fabric Store 
I am IN LOVE with this shop. Were it possible to be wed to a inanimate object, I would marry this shop. Probably the most expensive of all fabric shops in Sydney but they stock some of THE MOST beautiful fabric I have ever come across. They are the best stockists of Liberty Fabrics that I have found in Sydney and they are renowned worldwide for their quality of fabric! If you are looking to treat yourself, this is where you need to be. 

Similar to The Fabric Store this shop is full of high quality fabric, most of which is remnants from high end designers (think Dior, Gucci, Chanel etc). Personally I think they have a nice range of jersey and stretch fabric as well as beautifully coloured lace. Tessuti also sell their own patterns, none of which I have had the opportunity to try but I have heard some lovely reviews! 

The Remnant Warehouse 
This fabric shop sits somewhere in between the Marrickville fabric shops and Spotlight/Lincraft. They stock similar quality fabric to Spotlight/Lincraft but at the affordable prices you find in Marrickville. The Remnant warehouse have a GREAT collection of cotton, which would be great for any quilters out there and are also well know for their second extension shop which is stocked full of really fun costume fabrics (think sequins and tutus etc). 

The Quilt Store 
As the name suggest this shop is actually a quilting supply shop, so a majority of the fabric here is quilters cotton - but who's to say you can't use these in dressmaking. They have some really fun prints  and they also stock some Liberty cottons. Beware though this is not the place to go if you are tight with the coin purse! Also if you are looking for a reliable place to take your machine for a service I would recommend The Quilt Store! My mum has been taking the machine that I am currently using to be serviced here for the last 15 years it is still running like a dream. 

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Book Review

*I wrote this post about 3 months ago but in the spirit of true procrastination it's taken me this long to take a photo to accompany the review post ...sorry about that*

With the film adaptation of "Me Before You" only recently out, I really wanted to get my hands on a copy of the book before I saw it on screen, and I'm really glad I did. 

It is chic-lit at heart with a bit of an off centre spin. It's got themes that some might find a bit controversial or confronting, which I think makes it a really unique and interesting book. 

"Will Trainor is the embodiment of everything a young man could hope to be - he's rich, incredibly witty, has a thriving and enviable social social life, he's attractive, a successful and determined business man, he's well travelled and a bit of an adventure seeker. HE'S A CATCH...and then he's not. 

After a terrible accident which leaves him glued to a wheelchair, incapable of doing even the most menial task, Will's flat out lost any desire to live. In a frantic attempt to alter Will's outlook on life, the Trainor family employ Louisa Clark. She's a an odd sight to behold in brightly coloured dresses and bumblebee tights and has no previous work experience in a medical background. Not a conventional decision for the Trainor family to make, but like I said, they're desperate. "

Will and Louisa's romance isn't at all textbook and it's not what you might think. You have just got to read this book but be warner…I turned into a blubbering mess in the last few chapters. 

In terms of Moyes' writing style, it was pretty casual (almost like sitting down to have chat with a friend) but well put together and thought out. It had all the details that you needed and wanted and nothing more (no babble).

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Floral Pussy Bow Blouse - Sew Over It Pattern Review

Pattern Size: I often rant about the difficult time I have with fit in most commercial patterns (I measure in at the size 14 but it always end up WAY too big), they often don't have the important measurements - the finished fit of the garment. However the Sew Over It patterns ALL have the finished measurements on the back of the pattern and they are very spot on! 

I cut the size 10 and, tucked into a dress or pants (as you can see in the photos) the sizing is pretty spot. I wouldn't mind cutting it in a larger size next time as I don't always want to tuck my shirts in and the size 10 only gives me a little wiggle room around the hips.  
Fabric Used: I bought this fabric a few months back from The Remnant Warehouse in Alexandria, Sydney. I have forgotten exactly what it is but it feels like a really high quality Crepe De Chine (FOOLED YOU because it was only $6-8 for the whole thing). It's incredibly slippery so was a bit fiddly to work with but patience paid off because it worked beautifully with this pattern. 
Was It Easy To Follow: Yes, as always with the Sew Over It patterns, the instructions were very clear and thorough and I LOVE that they have their patterns in a booklet form rather than an A3 foldout, its just a lot easier to handle!
The pattern itself is pretty basic, no tricky skills required, but the recommended fabrics, such as silk, crepe De Chine etc, which tend to have a "tricky to work with reputation" can make it a little more complicated. I did struggle a little with attaching the collar-tie but that had more to do with lack of experience and how darn slippery the fabric was than poor instructions! Also, I decided to forgo the loop and button on the cuff, purely because Im lazy and I found that I was able to get the cuff over my hand without them! 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done:  Yes very much so and on top of that it is very comfortable to wear!

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Pattern Haul and Sewing Plans for August

This video went up really late, unfortunately I was having some serious technology issues (I'm a bit of a grandma when it comes to technology). But what counts is that it got uploaded in the end and I think the computer issues have been resolved!

At the beginning of August I put myself on a fabric BAN. My obsession was becoming a catastrophe, I had nowhere to store all of the yards and yards (and yards) of fabric I was getting. I bravely decided to force myself to use up five things from my stash before I was allowed to buy anything more.

My ban did not apply to patterns, however most of the patterns that I have been getting lately have been gifted to me by/hand me downs from family. August looks like it's going to be a good month for budgeting.

In total there a six new patterns in this video with a mix of vintage and modern designs!

Hope you enjoy!

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Vixen Summer Wrap Dress - Pattern Review Vogue 8896

I cannot stop going over to my wardrobe, pulling out this dress and trying it on. I can tell that it is going to be my most worn dress for the coming summer and I am dying to take this baby out for a spin! 

In all honesty I've never thought much of wrap dresses, to me they seemed quite aged. But that changed completely when I can across two posts, one by the famed Mimi G and another by Suzanna from Create/Enjoy. They revolutionised the wrap dress for me, all of a sudden I couldn't stop thinking about them!

I am definitely more inclined towards the maxi version as it looks more elegant and summery! I am really looking forward to making more of these. 
Pattern Size: Despite the fact that I measured in at a 14 I decided to cut a 10. My reasoning behind this is that I have had a lot of issues with fit from previous McCall, Vogue, Butterick etc patterns (they always end up being WAY to big) and seeing as this pattern is designed for stretch fabric I figured I could probably get away with sizing down a good deal! 

Fabric Used: To be honest I don't know exactly what this fabric is. It's a jersey of some kind and based off the price I paid for it I would say that it's synthetic. It has a pretty good 4 way stretch and a moderate snap back. I bought it from (surprise, surprise) a cheap fabric shop on Marrickville Road in Sydney.
Was It Easy To Follow: 100%. It's a very straight forward pattern although there is maybe one thing that I will do differently next time - I will sew the waist ties on AFTER attaching the bodies to the skirt and hemming both edges, but thats just a personal preference. All in all it took me about 6 hours from cutting out to turning up my last hem to complete this baby. I did use an overlock whilst making this - for getting a cleaner looking finish - but it wasn't critical as you use a straight stitch the whole was through. BEWRAE hemming feels like it takes a lifetime, as there is quite a lot of skirt to hem. 

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done: Yes, it's really very spot on and a rather flattering and feminine fit. I was worried that the skid might not look as full and billowy at the bottom when I was finished but it did!
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Fabric Haul 2016 - Sew Over It, The Remnant Warehouse and Marrickville Road

In my downtime I really love watching fabric haul videos on Youtube and I really wish that there was a larger sewing community established on Youtube (and in particular an AUSTRALIAN sewing community).

I find Fabric Haul videos really inspiring. There is SO much freedom to express your creative self in sewing and I love seeing what fabrics are trending and hearing about what patterns/garments people invisible them becoming.  

So recently I decided to sit myself down to record a few of my recent finds in the hope that it might do the same for you - to inspire you to create something unique, help you figure out what to do with that one particular fabric you bought 2 years ago and has been gathering dust in a dark corner of your cupboard, discover new pattern brands or where to get good bargains or good quality fabric. 

I want to encourage more men and women alike to pick up a needle and get sewing because the results can be so incredibly rewarding. 

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June Favourites - UK Cosmetics Edition

Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer #1
I have heard SO SO SO much about this concealer and this was at the top of my list of things to try when I got to jolly old London. Boy oh boy it did not disappoint. This concealer is everything I dreamed and hoped it would be and then some. It is most comparable to Nars Creamy Concealer only not quite as thick or dry and it doesn't emphasise the fine lines around my eyes the way that Nars Creamy Concealer does. As you can see I went a little over board and bought 6 of them, but they were only $8 (around 4 pounds) each!

Benefit Dandelion Blusher 
For years now I have been itching to buy and try this blush but have put it off for one reason or another. But while staying in London with my sister I had the opportunity to use hers and really fall in love with it. I absolutely love the "I've just been standing outside in the wind and cold" rosy cheek look that it gives and it just has the most beautiful "glow from within" effect.

Bourjois Silk Edition Touch Up Powder 
I actually picked this out from a pharmacy in Paris when I ran out of my beloved Ere Perez Calendula Foundation Powder. The weather was pretty warm and my shine was getting way out of control so i just grabbed the first thing I came access, with very low expectations I might add. This powder worked out to be a real treat! It gives my skin a lovely soft, smooth and pore minimised look without being chalky or cakey and it works really well at keeping my shine at bay for a good majority of the day (hey, that rhymes).   

Tanya Burr Romantic Eye Palette 
Within the last month and a half this has become a daily staple for me. Bookworm is the perfect shade of brown to deepen and smoke out the crease, with a warm tone that makes you look more bronzed and glowy.

Tanya Burr Brow Palette 
I am pretty darn picky when it comes to brow products so I don't really like to experiment too much with them. I find something I like and LOYALY stick to it. But as a swooning fan of Tanya Burr I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to try out her ENTIRE range, including her brow palette. I was surprising impressed with the colours that she developed. Also the formula seems to be very smooth and gives really even wash of colour. In the future I think this would be a great palette to travel with as you can get a great smokey eye with these colours.

Liz Ear Hot Cloth Cleanser 
I think it was about a year ago(maybe even two) that this product was ALL THE RAGE amongst online UK beauty gurus and I can see why. I think this would be a great product for all skin types as it just left my skin feeling clean (but not squeaky), hydrated (but not greasy), plump and superbly soft. I really wish I had had the chance to pop back into Boots before I left to pick up a second bottle because I see myself running out of this pronto. 

Aussie Curl Define and Shine Mousse 
I've never really been on board with the idea of using a mousse in my hair but after watching Cary Fletcher (ItsWayPastMyBedTime) doing her curly hair routine I thought it might be worth giving it a go. So when I found this "Curl Defining" mousse from Aussie, a brand that I have been interested in trying (ironically its not available in Australia) I knew something great was about to happen. I love that my hair doesn't end up feeling crunchy or stiff after using this. I get more definition and curl longevity but I manage to maintain full body and bounce. 
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Fabric Shopping In Europe - Munich, Paris and London

My newfound love of sewing had me super excited for my trip to Europe. In the weeks leading up I had been struggling to think of souvenirs to take home. I wasn't interested in the typical tourist items - been there done that and thrown most of it out. I wanted to find things that were going to last or that at least I would really enjoy using up.

Then, voila, it came to me FABRIC! Not only was this encoring my new hobby but I would also be able to say "Oh this old thing, I made it with fabric I bought in Paris" - I mean can you get any cooler, probably not.

So I did a little research (Google searched "Fabric Stores" in the areas I was going to be staying) and on the days where I didn't have much planed I took myself to mosey around the colourful aisles.

I was a little affronted by the prices at first and was hesitant to purchase anything unless it REALLY called to me. But seeing as I wasn't intending to splurge on much else, I tried to have a little fun with it!

My first port-of-call was a shop called Stoff&Co in Central Munich, Germany. Its a sweet little place with a fantastic range of stretch/jersey fabric. I dragged my sister in with me to this one and got her opinion on a couple items, she even picked out a few bits of fabric herself for things she wanted me to make for her. 

I did also find another gorgeous fabric shop tucked away in a small, quite corner of Regensburg called Altmann, Stoffe and Kurzwaren. While it isn't as much of a boutique store as the others I have mentioned it was such an orderly looking store and it stocked a good deal of fun cottons. 

Anna Ka Bazar, my word was it a trek for me to get there. 40 mins on the train from where I was staying and my first trip was all for naught because most shops in Paris are closed of a Sunday! Oh well, it was all worth it in the end because Anna Ka Bazar has some of the most modern and fun patterns I have seen yet. It took all my will and restraint to not buy my weight in fabric. Beware they come with a heavy dollar sign!

The Liberty House was a recommendation by a family member who does quilting (VERY successfully might I add). It's a well known brand (stocked by many a Fabric Shop) and is rather fancy pants. In all honest I find the pattens to be a little mature for my liking but I would recommend going even if only to look at the beautiful architecture of the building!

Sew Over It London is another gorgeous boutique shop, which also serves as a sort of Sewing Cafe. Take your fabric (or buy some there) thread and pattern and borrow the stores own machines for a charge. The fabric they sell there has some really fun little patterns and the prices really aren't that bad. 

Lets see what I can cook up with these! 
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Dipping My Toes Into Crime Fiction - Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie


Christmas Eve finds Poirot being summoned to Gorston Hall where Simeon Lee, a bitter and somewhat sadistic old man has been brutally murdered. Suspicion fall on Simeon's family members: Alfred Lee, eldest son and a bit of a kiss ass (although he does seem to truly care for his father) and his wife Lydia. George Lee, a pompous and money hungry man and his young wife Magdalene. David Lee, a man filled with rage towards his father at the mistreatment of his dearly departed mother and his wife Hilda. Harry Lee, the "black sheep" of the family. Pilar Estravados, daughter of the later Jennifer Lee and Simeon's only grandchild. She seems a bit of a wild child and despite previous ignorance of her existence old Simeon takes a shining to her.  And last but not least Stephen Farr, son on Simeon's old business partner. 

So who done it ? 

How long did it take to read?

This book was, and I think other Agatha Christie novels in general, a super quick read, so if you are short on time it is something I would definitely recommend.

Was the story line good?

I have heard a lot of really great things about Agatha Christie and I grew up watching and loving Poirot and Miss Marple, so initially I was really excited about sticking my nose into this book.  If I am being completely honest I kind of hated the first half of the book, I found it really slow and a little bit dull - Agatha Christie isn't an author I would call poetic or revolutionary.

However once you hit that halfway point the plot develops pretty quickly, it becomes difficult to put the book down and when you finally do all you can think about is picking it up again. Despite her writing style Christie (obviously important in a crime/detective novel) has great attention to detail and the you can see clearly that she has a fantastically intelligent mind.

Overall opinion?

While I don't think is was anything special I did find if to be a really comfortable and fun read. I liked trying to work out in my head who might have done it and the ending was a really unexpected surprise! I am definitely interested in reading more of Christie's works. 
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Blue and Red Bodysuit - Nettie Bodysuit Review

As an avid LOVER of bodysuits I am so excited to say that this pattern was a complete hit. The first day I wore it I (quite literally) had four people ask me to make them one and honestly I have no problem doing that because this was a sinch to make.

All up from cutting the pattern out, cutting the fabric and sewing everything together it probably took about 3 hours to make and I think the more I do it the faster I will get.

The most tedious part of this project was definitely hand sewing the claps for the snap crotch and in all honesty I think next time I would potentially forgo it altogether. However if you are interested in the snap crotch A WORD OF WARNING: don't buy small clasps, I did and found that they weren't strong enough and kept snapping open.

Pattern Size: I cut a size 10 and it was perfect. If you are in-between sizes, say your top is a 10 and your bottom is a 12, they walk you through how to adjust the pattern. 

Fabric Used: I used a cotton-elastin blend. It is and MUST be a 4-way stretch with a really good amount of snap back and the material is about a medium/heavy weight so acts almost like shapewear. 

Was It Easy To Follow: In all honesty not really. I, personally, feel like I'm lucky it was a basic pattern because sometime the explanations weren't that clear, even going back and forth between the pattern and the online sew along. I also feel like there are some details which they could have been more specific on, like the length of the stitch was never actually mentioned.

Did It Look Like The Photo/Drawing On The Pattern When You Were Done: Yes it was really spot on. It was a beautiful snug fit as they described, incredibly comfortable and flattering.

I cannot wait to have another go at this pattern and all its various options, I am even thinking ahead to next summer when I think the really low back option would make for a great swim suit! This is such a versatile pattern and I have seen some really interesting and creative variations of it online. Bodysuits are brilliant staple to have in your wardrobe, personally I even prefer them to regular t-shirts (which always bunch up on me) and this pattern is the absolute BEES KNEES! 

If you want to check out this pattern for yourself you can get ahold of it here.
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April Beauty Favourites 2016

Eco Tan Invisible Tan 
I go through phases of really loving and cherishing my pale skin and then phases of feeling like I look so pale I am transparent. This month I was hit hard with the latter! Eco Tan was actually recommended to me by my cousin, who I saw strutting about with beautiful brown (NOT ORAGNE AT ALL), but still really natural looking skin. I love how easy and smooth this is to apply and as a bonus it won't transfer onto your bed sheets! 

Aesop Rose Hair and Scalpe Moisturising Masque 
I have used this product so much over the last month and a half - so much so that I actually cut the original tube in half to get out all the cream I could. I think I was getting about two or three masks in a week. A little goes a long way to help my hair feel hydrated and soft and make my curls look bouncy. 

Makeup Forever Step 1 Radiant Primer Cool Pink
Here we go with another product recommended by Makeup By Tiffany D, I swear there must be one in every beauty post I upload! I was nervous about purchasing this product when I first heard her mention it as I absolutely DETEST most primers. It's that airy/silicone feel that just gives me the hibbie-jibbies. STEP 1 Radiant Primer just feels like a thin moisturiser and has a cool/blue toned pink that whitens and brightens dull skin. 

H&M Gold Cuff/Bracelete 
This little baby has been on my wrist just about everyday since I bought it. I love how it makes my wrists look slim, delicate and very feminine and it is the perfect shade of gold - midway between yellow and white. 

Amika Leave in Creme 
This product has very quickly worked its way up to "status - HOLYGRAIL". It isn't a heavy cream but still has a really nice hydrating and softening effect on my hair. Because of this I have noticed that my hair looks healthier and my curl more defined when I use it! 
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DIY Lace Bralette and Cheeky Underwear - Best Patterns I've Ever Used

"For me lingerie isn't about seduction, it's about being a woman." Dita Von Teese

Comfort has become key in my wardrobe lately and as sexy as they are, push-up bras just aren't comfortable (they just hurt like DAMN), so personally I avoid them.  As such I used to often feel like my stash of bras was a it "blah" to behold.  Bralettes are the best of both worlds, with no underwire and no excessive padding they are the epitome of comfort and they can make you feel a million dollars. 

For this bralette I followed a pattern and tutorial buy A Pair and A Spare. It's super straight forward and easy to make, sewers of all stages could manage this! 

I usually fit a 10D or DD (32D or DD) and found that Geneva's template worked a charm - snug fit but not too tight and no gaping at the sides, which I have had issues with with other patterns. Unfortunately its not a "one size fits all" kind of thing and she doesn't have templates for other sizes. So if you are a different size I would recommend sewing a mock-up with some scrap material to see how much you need to add or take away. 

For the matching underwear I followed another free pattern which you can find here

The hardest part of making these, for me, was finding the stretch lace. There's a lot available online but its not necessarily cheap and as I am from Australia shipping always adds up pretty quickly. Spotlight was another no-go, so if you are in Sydney check out these two options:

a) Booby Traps - an online bra-making supply shop, they have such a wide range of colourful stretch lace to choose from, as well as the extra haberdashery such as bra elastic, sliders and rings, closures and motifs (accessories like bows and charms to jazz up your bralette). 

b) Marrickville - it's only recently that I discovered all of the little fabric shops tucked away on Marrickville road. They don't exactly look like the ritz and their range of stretch lace isn't that great but they are cheap (like $2/meter versus up to $12/meter online) and for beginners that pretty convenient because you don't feel as bad about stuffing up and wasting fabric. 

Happy Bra Making ! 

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Book Haul - Historical Fiction, Murder Mysteries, Classics, Biographies and more

Okay, so I failed miserably at my 2015 book challenge of reading 2 books a month. I think I got up to April and my enthusiasm just fizzled out. But I am back at it again (there are bets up against how long this will last). 

I Am Malala By Malala Yousafzai 

I feel like this is a book, or at least a story, that every woman should know about. The 21st century is the age of women and female heroism. Malala is an inspiration and the face of a current movement fighting for our right to education. 

The Complete Fairy Tales By The Brother Grimm 

The Brothers Grimm, I have heard, have rather "grimm" style to their story telling and "happily ever after" was a concept developed by Disney.  But as a devoted Disney fan, I am curious to see how my childhood favourites brush up to their original counterparts.

All The Light We Cannot See By Anthony Doerr 

I've always found history incredibly interesting (ancient in particular but modern is still great too), however history books always look very daunting and rather boring. Historical fiction is a genre that I love to dabble in as it gives me small does of my history fix with an intriguing plot twist. In this case we are being taken back to the throws of World War II to Marie-Laure, a blind girl and Werner, an orphan boy, to see the effects that this pivotal moment in history had on their lives.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas By Agatha Christie 

Just like Disney, I kind of grew up with Agatha Christie. My parents, my mum in particular, were absolutely mad for and collected both the Miss Marpel and Poirot series - and oh boy there's a lot of them! So I think it was only a matter of time before I finally delved into reading some of her works, and who doesn't love a good Christmas murder mystery. 

All My friends are Super Heroes By Tom Percival 

If there was ever a time to judge a book by is cover I feel like this book would be it. With a title like this I have rather high expectations. It's a chic-lit book about, you guessed it, a man who friends (and even his fiance) all have abnormal super powers.

Wuthering Heights By Emily Bronte 

If I am being completely honest with you (and myself), I haven't really enjoyed many of the "classics" that I have read. I don't know if its an inability to relate to their worlds, the writing style or the subject but they just don't seem to tickle my fancy.

However after reading a review by Stacey from  on Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights I am actually really excited to start reading.  Stacey describes the romance between our protagonists and "almost demonic" - if that doesn't sound intriguing, then I don't know what does. 

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February Favourites 2016

Co Lab Extra Volume Dry Shampoo in Tokyo
Over the last 3-4 years my hair care regime has most definitely changed (for the better). 18 year old me would religiously wash my hair (and by wash I mean shampoo) everyday. I absolutely detested the feel and look of unwashed "day old" hair. Since discovering the method of co-washing (through the Curly Girl Method) I have slowly relaxed my shampoo obsession. The next big hurdle for me was dry shampoo. 

Customarily I am not at all a fan of dry shampoos, its only when I straighten my hair and want it to last a couple of days that I need to use it. 

I started off using just plain baby powder, but I hated the smell and my hair still looked pretty greasy after using it. I then moved on to using the Batiste dry shampoos - there are a lot of different scents and effects to choose from but still nothing floated my boat. Finally after spying a bottle of Co Lab in my friends bag and quizzing her on her experiences with it, I worked up the courage to by a bottle myself. 

Co Lab is fantastic, not only as a dry shampoo  but is also great to use as a texturising spray. Spray this into your roots give it a little floof and boy-o-boy have you got some volume! My only draw back with this product is that it does made my hair feel kind of thick, dry and stiff (almost like a less intense version of hair spray). As a dry shampoo I find that it does a wonderful job a soaking up any visible oil without making my brown hair look too dull or powdery. 

Personally I am a Co Lab convert and I am never going back! 

Wacoal Embrace Lace Soft Cup Bra

I am ready to admit it, I have problem - I am a lingerie-aholic.  These sorts of soft cup/bralette style bras a right up my alley as I find the other alternative of "sexy bra" (the push up) rather uncomfortable. My only issues with this style is that they often come in only small, medium and large sizes, which does not cater at all to the various shapes and sizes of boobies around the world. 

Although they didn't expand into a range of cup sizes I was happy to see the Wacoal had at least expanded the back size of the bra, ranging from size 10-16.

Lush Blingy Toothy Tabs
Lush have recently come out with a new wave of flavours for their Toothy Tabs range as well as revamping the packaging. Blingy has to be my favourite flavour yet! It has a really fresh orange zest taste and it SPARKLES(mind you can't actually see the sparkles on your chompers). Using these takes me back to eating Fruit Tingles as a kid, minus the sugar rush. 

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder Radiant Light 

From looking at this pressed powder you really wouldn't think that it would work as a bronzing powder - it just looks much too light. But for us pale-ass women (and men) out there it is probably the best find! Whilst it is not at all a shimmery product, Radiant light has a beautiful warm glow that illuminates the skin and screams summer. 

Lush Rosy Cheeks Fresh Face Mask 
I only started using this product half way through February so I haven't got the most in-depth review you will ever read. But so far I have really been enjoying it. Its one of the nicest and gentlest clay masks I have used, as I often find clay masks to be really drying and aggravating on my skin. It is incredibly smooth to apply (which helps it to dry evenly) and does a good job of cleansing my skin without completely stripping it of hydrating oils. On top of all of that I actually got this product free! Lush has a fantastic system I place that encourages people to recycle by offering one free fresh face mask for every 5 empty containers returned to the store! 
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Whats In My Bag - Tony Bianco Regan Bag

First things first, lets start with the bag.

What I was really drawn to with this bag was the colour, and you are going to hear me saying this a lot, I love tan/beige/neutral colours at the moment. Lately I have been seeing a lot of bright orangey-brown coloured bags parked on shelves, but really, I cannot stand them! I found it really hard to track down this particular light tan shade, especially in non-designer brands, without any fancy detailing - I just simply wanted plain! 

Honestly it isn't exactly was I was looking for - what I would change if I could would be to have the walls be of a more sturdy make so that when you put it on the floor it doesn't deflate into a little bag-puddle but rather stands up and keeps its shape. 

I'm pretty boring when it comes to phone cases and I really love plain black wallet cases. In fact these days I generally don't carry a wallet on my person as it only encourages me to horde coins and receipts. Now I carry my ID, credit card and Opal Card (public transport pass) in my phone so I never forget to pack anything. 


I do, sometimes, keep a mini purse with a small collection of membership cards that I use most frequently, in my bag.

Apple Head Phones 

I am weirdly, over the top picky when it comes to earphones. I hate suction earphones and find that most others either fall out or fall apart too quickly. The shape of these little babies means they stay in place really well and the are really comfortable! 


An absolute must have for me and I am never without one of these little packs - you never know what emergencies might arise and a tissue could very well save your little tushie.

Makeup Bag 

Keeping a makeup bag inside my bag-bag has really saved my sanity! I used to spend too long riffling through the bottom of my bag in search of a stray lip balm, bobby pin etc and would end up having to turn it inside out to find. You will always find a little mirror, lip balm and about 5 different shades of lipstick (I always forget to take them out) in my make bag. Deodorant is another thing I like to keep in may bag as I often forget to apply it in the mornings and that's just bad news for the population of the world, trust me! A makeup bag is also a great place to hide those special little "lady" products that you don't want to advertise to the world, just incase things fall out of your bag or someone goes through it (my little cousins love going through my bag to find my phone). 


As I mentioned in my December favourites, I am a big advocate for perfume sample packs, for a great many reasons really but in relation to this post the most important being that the are travel friendly! 

This isn't always the truth - in fact often I actually have no idea where they are, but if they aren't lost they will be in my bag. 

This is really only in my bag because I went to the hair-dressers the other day and I knew I was going to be there a while. Usually I just keep the current book I am reading on my bedside table because I don't really get time to read during the day and reading before bead helps me to switch off. 
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