There are a couple of rather exciting things in this blog post: first, a new dress which I sewed myself; second, a new blog overhaul and design! I’ll start with the dress, since this is technically a personal style blog, you know. So you might remember my excitement at having sewed an actually wearable dress the other day, and I mentioned the other dresses I’d made including a blue floral one that I hadn’t had a chance to wear yet…well, here it is! I wasn’t sure I was going to find a proper occasion to wear it until next Spring, since the colours are just slightly on the brighter side of the scale, but then my book club friends and I decided to plan a get together, which of course, we decided should be cake somewhere local. We were originally just planning to go to a little cafe, but then upgraded ourselves to what I decided was “afternoon tea” at Nunnington Hall. And if it was going to be afternoon tea, I would have to wear something appropriate for it, and what could be better than a handmade bright blue floral dress?! Of course, I hadn’t really paid that much attention to the weather, and it wasn’t until I headed to the car that I realised it was actually a pretty horrendous day – windy and drizzling with rain. And it only got worse the closer I got to my destination, until I had to cross floods with my car then hurry across a gravelly, muddy car park to reach the Hall. My friends greeted me with the usual exasperated look that I had, as always, overdressed for the weather and occasion! They did express how much they loved my dress though, and were surprised when I confessed to it being handmade! Apologies for the awful, grainy photos though! I was determined to grab some photos when I got home from afternoon tea as it had stopped raining finally, but unfortunately the sun was already setting and camera wasn’t happy about that. But hey, you get to see the dress!
I won the pattern for this dress, Simplicity 4070, from a giveaway at Char’s blog and only got round to sewing it about a month ago – just in time for winter! The fabric came from Hobbycraft, and was available in a few different colours, but I liked this one best. I went for View A of the pattern, but without the bow on the waistband. It’s another one with the princess seams that I love, and the bodice is lined with some blue fabric that came from my grandma’s house and she was about to throw away! I’d also picked up some pink bias binding from Hobbycraft, and decided to use it for the hem – it was the first time I’d used it, and decided I wanted it exposed on the outside because – pretty! It’s not the neatest bit of sewing you’ll ever have seen, but that’s only if you’re looking up close to it, it’s fine from a distance!
And briefly, I had to throw on a cardigan (and a leather jacket, not pictured) with it, simply, because of the weather. The shoes are new – okay, Dorothy Perkins had a sale again in town when I was on my lunch break and I couldn’t go past without looking, could I?! I have already worn them about 4 times though – the chunky mid heel makes them appropriate for work as well as evening wear – win!
And so, onto the next part of this post: the new blog design!! I’ve noticed recently that my posts have been getting increasingly longer and longer, taking up more and more room on my homepage. These aren’t necessarily outfit posts (ie. the massive Disney one yesterday, and that’s only part 1!), and I’ve got lots of posts in my drafts which will be pretty long posts too, including a couple of guides and some “musings” about blogging in general. So I first took my homepage down from showing 6 posts at a time to 5, then down to 3, but I felt it was still really long to have to scroll through every single thing. I did at first consider just using the “Read more” option you can have, but it took quite a lot of thought, because in the past I’ve always disliked those on other people’s blogs. However, Twitter (where I always turn with issues!) ensured me that, actually, a lot of people prefer to see those on blogs, who knew?! So I thought a bit more about it, and decided that instead of having the traditional layout of scrolling down the blog page, I quite liked the idea of a “magazine” style front page where you could choose which posts to click on. I was worried this would take a lot of work, and even considered migrating to WordPress at one point, but discovered this super pretty layout by Pipdig (my last design was from there too), and thought I could make that work for me.
I’d also been toying with the idea of sorting out my post labelling for a while, as some of my old posts have tens (possibly hundreds, if not thousands! Slight exaggeration maybe…) of labels on them, which are really completely unnecessary and annoying. I wanted to simplify them as much as possible, so I’m going back through my posts to do just that, and have added different categories on the Nav bar (under the header) at the top of the page to make it easier to find what you’re looking for. Admittedly, it did take me a while to decide which of the labels I should prioritise up there, but eventually decided on Fashion (since, you know, the whole personal style/fashion blog thing), Adventures (for my travel and “day out” posts), Books (because they’re really one of my big recurring topics aside from outfits) and Lifestyle, which is essentially code for “everything else”, so includes beauty reviews, ramblings, guides, home stuff and random stories.
So what do you think? Of the dress? Of the blog design? Of everything?! I’m excited to keep posting with the new design now, but let me know if there are any features that aren’t quite right or any suggestions you have – I’d love to know!
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