Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Aussie Curves: Double Take

Well hello there Aussie's been a while....

This week's theme is Double Take and rather than do two totally different looks (though I sort of did that too) I've done a couple of items that make the viewer do a double-take and go back for a second look.

First up is this crazy graphic cartoon/comic printed dress. The print is so cool you have to go back for a second look just to see all the different little details in the print. There's everything from cupcakes and the cookie monster to skulls, love hearts, flamingos and french fries. I got it after seeing Bek from Colourful Curves blog about it. It's from Yours Clothing in the UK. While that specific style has sold out they have one very similar here at the moment. The print is slightly different but it's still pretty colourful and cool with the same mesh detail at the neckline.

To go with the cartoon theme is this awesome cartoon backpack. You may have heard of the brand Jump From Paper that do these really cool cartoon style backpacks. I didn't actually get the official branded ones though as they're pretty pricey but I found a cheap knock off here on Storenvy. The quality still seems pretty good to me though! The style of these bags really does make you do a double take too as its mimics a comic illustration so well that its hard to tell if it's 2D or 3D.

To complete the cartoon theme are the red jelly flats for a bit plastic fantastic fabulousness and then for another look this fabulous bright green polka-dot trench coat which I think is very Minnie Mouse. It's by Aussie designer Charlie Brown but I picked it up in a local op-shop for a bargain price which I bartered down further as the top button was missing. Someone had actually just stuck the spare button in the coat pocket though so all I had to do was sew it back on (which of course I've never gotten round to! #lazypants).

The coat's fabulous because of the shape it can almost be worn as a dress on it's own - so slinging it over the dress creates a whole new look altogether while still staying on theme with the cartoon vibe.

So I'm wearing:

- Cartoon print dress from Yours Clothing 
- Red jelly flats from Rubi Shoes
- Green polka dot trench by Charlie Brown - thrifted
- Cartoon backpack from Storenvy 

If you like my threads, don't forget to check out the new Work it, Own it, Use it, store: Evie's Garage Sale where I'm selling off a chunk of my wardrobe after doing a clear out.

Some of it's old and vintage, some of it's designer and has never been worn and I've got shoes and accessories too - take a look!

I might list a bunch of it on eBay too, but make sure you follow the blog Facebook page to stay updated on when new stock is added.

Thanks all!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Work it, Shop it, Own it, Use it!

Oh look! Work it, Own it, Use it! has a shop!

It's an online garage sale to be precise and you can visit it here: 

As you all know I'm quite an op-shopaholic as well as a collector of vintage and second-hand fashion. I've sorted through my wardrobe as well as collected quite a collection of second-hand wares and have put them all up for sale HERE

Some of it's designer, some of it's vintage and some of it's just high-street stuff that I haven't worn much. There also accessories and shoes in sz 10-11. 

I don't know if the store is a bad idea as it may be hard to find. Perhaps I should list it on eBay to pick up those customers searching on there. I'll give it a go though and may list things on eBay too from time to time. 

I'd love your help in spreading the word though and if you know anyone who might be interested, please Facebook, Tweet email and Pin anything you like on Pinterest to help get the word out! Your help is much appreciated! Let's clear this damn wardrobe out!

Please keep checking back too cos there's PLENTY more items still to be listed.

You can also browse the Facebook store through the Work it, Own it, Use it! Facebook page. Follow and like the Facebook page here so you don't miss out when new items are added.

Thanks all - happy shopping! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Pretty in Pastels

There's this whole pastels trend going on at the moment. It's a colour palette that normally irks me but I've been having a bit of fun with it this summer and enjoying all the candy-coloured shades. So when I spied this supercute vintage shift dress while opshopping at Vinnies it caught my eye. For 9 bucks who can resist?

I love the apple green colour contrasting with the pastel pink and orange florals. It's such a retro summer house-frock.

I also think it goes great with the Tatty Devine Lotus flower necklace that I got for half price in their sale last year. It's sold out now but they've got another end of season sale on now that I recommend checking out. I'm also sporting candy-pink lippy. I have no idea what it's called but it would've just been a cheapy one from Priceline!

My other candy-coloured accessories are my purple Docs sandals and hot pink Cambridge satchel from ASOS. I think the retro sunnies (also from ASOS) work well with the whole vintage vibe.

I do sometimes wonder about the little old Grannies who must've worn some of my old vintage frocks before me. I presume they must all be mad old cat ladies and that that's why the mood rubs off on me!

I think it's so great to give this garments a second life though - and that they all have a story to tell. Like an old house, or antiques - it's nice that they can get passed down and loved all over again in a whole new way. Makes such a contrast to so much of the disposable fashion up for grabs at your local Westfield.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Leopards, Giraffes... and not dead yet!

Happy New Year!   Hey look....



I have been very slack with this blogging caper. I am also aware that 95% of all blog posts ever written probably start with the same kind of bullshit-laziness-excuses so I shan't be giving one!

Had a break. Now I'm back. Let's move on....

This frock is a very cool and comfy one for summer which is apt as it's stinking hot in Sydney today. I got it at ASOS a few months ago. It was pretty cheap and it's cotton so it's perfect for the heat because it breathes and it's got minimal straps/arm/chest coverage.

Only thing is- it was from the main range rather than the plus-size range and I think as a consequence, it's really short - only just covers my bum. Doesn't matter too much as I always wear leggings anyway but I do spend a bit of time yanking it down which I realise, looking at these pics, results in my bra poking out the top. That's totally a look though right? Well I declare it is now. You can hardly tell with a black bra anyway.

Love the African-inspired Giraffe print and so above I've teamed it with this necklace which I think is a bit reminiscent of the beaded tribal necklaces worn in some African cultures. It's actually just made from recycled industrial rope and I got it from a vintage store in Wollongong mall called Medieval Disco on one of my Illawarra-region opshopping tours with my cousin Kate. The store has since changed hands and is now called Stillwater Haze but is still worth checking out as they've got some great retro threads. It's hidden away in an upstairs arcade and there's a really cute girly gift shop next door called The Milk Thieves which is also worth a visit.

Another way I've worn the frock (when it was a bit cooler) was to mix things up with this fab yellow leopard print cardi that I got from H & M in London a few years ago for about £15. I like a bit of a clashing print -  although I think these are actually both on the same theme with a safari-inspired look.

The creepers add a bit more animal print to the theme. They're my fave old Demonia ones that I got from Clubwear Australia and wear all the time. Although they are getting a bit worn out now.

The red necklace is a special one from Dinosaur Designs. I had to punch, claw and kill to get it at a discount at their annual warehouse sale a few years back.

All up I'm wearing:

Giraffe print frock - ASOS
Leopard print cardi - H&M London (a few years ago)
Fave black leggings - Next
Black Demonia Creepers - Clubwear Australia
Various wooden bangles - Mum's wardrobe and Sportsgirl 
Rope Necklace - Medieval Disco (now Stillwater Haze)
Red riverstone necklace - Dinosaur Designs

Anyway, it's good to be back - shall endeavour to make many more regular appearances on here soon and get involved with Aussie Curves again.

See you soon! xxx

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aussie Curves: WORK (IT BABY!)

I can't think of this week's Aussie Curves theme without immediately singing:

"Work! Work! Work! Work! Working on mah Shiit!"

Thanks Iggy Azalea:

I'm also immediately reminded of this scene from Pretty Woman - which also happens to be what this blog is named after. 

When Julia Roberts' Vivian is trying to score a job from Richard Gere's Edward, her friend Kit encourages her to strut her stuff with a cry of "Work it! Work it baby, Work it! Own it!"

I can't find a video or meme of that scene but here's a sound bite:

Kind of alarming really that all these references of women working only allude to prostitution. A fact that I was blissfully unaware of when I was a kid and my big cousin Kate (yes, my opshopping partner in crime) always used to yell out "Work it, work it baby, work it!!!" as a term of encouragement. 

I think the way she meant it, and hence the way I choose to use it in my blog name, is that it's about working what you've got, and showing it off to it's full advantage. That DOESN'T mean sexualising yourself to men. It just means don't ever feel limited by the way you look or if you're different to everyone else. That's probably your best damn asset, so show it off. 

ANYWAY, am diverging slightly from the point, which is clothes. I do actually have some photos of myself at work, not as a prostitute but as a proper business-type-lady in an office. 

See? There's a proper photocopier and everything.

Melanie Griffith circa Working Girl would be proud:

Not that I would EVER wear sneakers to work in order to change into heels. I find both kinds of footwear disgusting. I choose instead to wear flat comfy shoes all day long thank you very much!

You may notice I have long hair on both sides of my head in this pics. It was before I got the undercut - my friend Alison took them in the office one night after work. It's actually in our old office because we've moved floors since then - something I'm sure you all care deeply about ;) Anyhoo....reminiscing. 

This outfit is actually surprisingly business-like for me. What with a blazer and trousers and such.

I am not a big believer in 'work-wear' and if I ever worked anywhere where they told me I couldn't wear exactly what I wanted, I'd probably quit immediately. Or try and sue for discrimination.

Look! I'm at my desk doing business-type stuff.....with the computer switched off...

I understand that obviously if you work in a kitchen or a hospital or a building site, certain types of clothing are necessary for health and safety reasons. If you're sitting behind a desk all day though in a temperature controlled office, what possible advantages are going to be provided by wearing drab colours and uncomfortable tailoring?

I think just be comfortable...and add a bit of colour. Especially if your office is as grey and boring as ours. As long as you're not walking round with your genitals hanging out which kind of constitutes sexual harassment, what possible harm can come from dressing awesomely all the time?

So yes, pretty much all the outfits you've seen on this blog I have been known to wear to work. Hence the rather stiff, tailored look of this outfit is pretty damn businessy compared to my usual fare. So of course I had to pose on my desk to mix it up a bit:

I'm wearing:

 - Yellow woollen blazer - thrifted from a Southern Highlands op-shop
 - Black and white stripe peplum top from ASOS
 - Black skinny jeans from Shitty Chic 
 - Black skull boots by Demonia - thrifted from a local Vinnies for $15
 - Giant skull necklace by Tatty Devine via Ebay

Look - STAPLING! (Proper Business-type-lady stuff):

The bamboo plant on my desk (on the right) is actually my secretary. Her name is Helga. She is having an affair with Alison - the one who's taken these photos, but shh...don't tell anyone - Alison has a boyfriend.

See you next time. Til then, I'm just ...WORK WORK WORK WORK WORKING ON MAH SHIT!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Aussie Curves: Homemade

Showing off my new do again (I know I need to colour the roots - shut up):

Here's my pretty dress what I made all by myself!

Have been anticipating this final week of Aussie Curves for a long time. I knew I wanted to make something FABERLOUS (correct spelling) for this final week as I did once actually know how to sew quite well. I studied fashion design originally before switching to journalism and completed a Cert IV in Clothing Production where we did pattern making and the like. 

Unfortunately my skills have been left to fester for a while and mainly only manifest themselves when a hem needs to be taken up (which is pretty often cos I'm a short-arse and all fat-bitch shops seem to think all fat bitches are giants). 

In spite of this I knew I wanted to sharpen my rusty skills for this challenge and make use of a favourite bit of fabric that's been decorating the foot of my bed for the past couple of years. So this is how the above dress started it's life: 

This is a gorgeous hand-appliqued cotton wall-hanging that I bought from the night markets in Luang Prabang when backpacking through Laos just over four years ago.

The fun shapes and bright colours have been calling to me from the foot of bed though: "Wear meeeee ......weeeaaaar meeeee Eeeeevieeee". So it was time to answer the call and make it into a frock.

I was to do this with the help of my trusty antique Singer sewing machine which I think was amongst one of the first electrified versions as it's quite similar to the old cast iron treadle machines and it weighs a friggin TON. It was originally built into a table/cabinet but we didn't have the storage for the table so Mum took it apart for me and had it serviced by a Singer machine repair place. 

Ever since then it's been my favourite machine. It's so sturdy and reliable, it can sew through any fabric from the lightest chiffon to the heaviest denim or leather as well as stretch and jersey without pulling and distorting the fabric or jamming. It only does straight stitch though - nothing else, so I borrow Mum's newer machine to do zig-zag to finish the seams as I don't have an overlocker. 

My first step was to make the pattern. I only bothered to do this for the top half as I knew I wanted to do a gathered style skirt which probably wouldn't require a perfect pattern. When I studied clothing production at TAFE nearly ten years ago, we all made custom pattern-blocks for each other based off the measurements of a work-partner in the class. You got to keep the patterns that were made for you as custom-fitted pattern blocks that you could then base all future patterns on.

Being out of practice though and because I only had a teeny amount of the special appliqued wall-hanging fabric and didn't want to ruin it, I decided to make a toile first.

A toile is like a practice version that you make out of cheap calico first to test the pattern - bridal couturiers often do this when making bespoke wedding dresses.

Lucky I did this because the pattern did fuck up. It was only made by another TAFE student afterall so it couldn't be expected to be perfect. It was way too long in the armhole/bust area which I found was easily fixed by pinning out a few cms of fabric. I then adjusted the paper pattern to reflect where the pins were in the toile.

Note that while for the front part of the toile I made it in a standard non-stretch calico (similar to the cotton woven fabric of the wallhanging) I opted for a stretch jersey on the back half to make it more stretchy and comfy. Hence I also adjusted the pattern to make the back more fitted or it might turn out a bit saggy.

Next step was sewing time!

For the shape of the bottom, skirt-half of the dress I traced and copied the style of the ASOS peace sign smock dress that I'm wearing here. It fit quite nicely and I liked how the hem curved down at the back. Because of my prominent bum I often find it a bit of a problem with straight-hemmed skirts that climb up a lot shorter at the back so this style was perfect for me.

As a kind of cheat to get the gathered waistline to sit properly and be stretchy and comfortable, I took note from my friend, designer Gisela Ramirez who very kindly made me this dress for my birthday this year:

She had used a wide piece of elastic as a waistband inside the dress and it meant that the stretch fabric on the top half of the dress sat properly with the non-stretch fabric of the skirt. Additionally it just meant that it fit properly and was really comfy. So I copied her technique with my skirt, except that I just gathered it rather than doing the box-pleated style as I didn't have a huge amount of fabric.

Obviously the narrow piece of wall-hanging fabric was nowhere near enough to make up a whole dress (to swathe my bod anyway - maybe there'd be enough for a toddler, or Victoria Beckham) so I just used it as a centre panel on the top and bottom pieces of the front of the dress. I filled in the side front panels and the back skirt piece with a black woven cotton fabric and then as I mentioned earlier, I used the stretch jersey at the top-back for comfort.

So TA-DAH! Behold the final result! I used jersey binding at the armholes and neckline. I did a pretty neat job of it too but I just realised it looks a bit messy in the photos. Please note - that's just because I didn't realise that the neckline was turned under in the photos - it's not my shoddy sewing I swear!

I'm still adjusting to my new hair. I'm loving the style though. It's just those roots - blurgh! Must fix them ASAP.

How great is that fabric though? I love the colourful appliqued animal shapes.

Here's the backview - with the stretch-jersey fabric at the top and the black woven cotton at the bottom and the side-panels:

I've kept the outfit simple to show off the dress. I'm just wearing it with my uniform of black leggings as well as red jelly flats from Rubi Shoes

Obviously this outfit is a bit more summery but I've already worn it twice in winter - once with a black long sleeve top underneath and once with a yellow blazer over the top, so it can definitely be worn year-round.

So yes, all in all am rather smug with my sewing efforts and feel motivated to do it again more often! I hope you all like it too!

Have been anticipating this final week of Aussie Curves for a long time. I'm proud to say I've been taking part in these challenges since the very first challenge and while I've missed a few along the way, I've participated in most of them and I've made it to the end of the first year. I've really enjoyed taking part in them as they're such a great motivator, without which I might never bloody post anything, so thank you to Danimezza the founder of the Aussie Curves group, it's been a great year and I'm looking forward to it's continuation in future!