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second hand outfits

My Style: Incorrect Sizing & Upycling (+ Instagram Stickers!)

By February 6, 2018 My Style

It’s been a while since I’ve shown you what I’m wearing around here so let’s start off February with some rather Valentines-appropriate colours and a little talk about upcycling and what to do when nothing second-hand is your size (at least, not in the way you thought)…


 I also have something exciting to announce! I’m now a verified GIPHY artist which means… you can now use my very own ethical and sustainable GIFs on things like Instagram Stories! Take a look at some examples in this post and on my profile, here.  


Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


WHAT I WORE: Red Blouse (Charity Shop) // Embroidered Denim Dress (Upcycled + Jumble Sale) // Leather Backpack (Upcycled + Charity Shop) // Tights (Old) // Floral Wanderlust Boots (Dr Martens)* // Recycled Denim Choker (Yours Again)*


I’ve been embracing red recently. I’m still not entirely sure if it’s what I should call ‘my colour’ as I’m not entirely used to wearing it yet but there’s always fun in experimenting. I was actually making it my mission to add more of the colour to my wardrobe so it was delightful to find this old Marks & Spencer’s number in a charity shop towards the end of last year.

If you read my post on my ethical and sustainable fashion journey (where I admit it’s taken me three years to get to where I am, currently), you’ll know that I’m also making it my mission to pay attention to what fabrics are in my wardrobe because as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, our clothes don’t just affect the world we live in whilst they’re being made – they can also have negative effects on the world we live whilst we wear and wash them.

Thankfully, whilst I was in the charity shop changing room, I did a quick Google search to understand what fabric this blouse is made of…

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

To my surprise, it’s made of Cupro which is a biodegradable fabric made of waste cotton fibres. I was satisfied! This blouse isn’t any old Marks & Spencer’s blouse though as it comes from their old St Michael’s range which came to end in 2000 (the year I was born, which means this blouse is at least 18 years old), which has me wondering; do they still use this sustainable fabric? Or have times changed?

It’s also wrongly sized for me, it hangs off of me baggily and the sleeves are long enough for me to pull over my hands but that’s one piece of advice I will always give to people shopping second-hand (or even just newly); sizes aren’t essential to pay attention to unless you want something form fitting or trousers that don’t fall down. 

I have a floral blouse that’s a UK Size 16 and it’s perfect for layering and now I have this red number too, which sits on me loosely and creates a deep-V, which one day I may just be brave enough to wear with an intricate bralette. Try things on and see how you can make it work, regardless of the number on the label.

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

I’m not here just to talk about that though, I also want to discuss my denim dress. It’s not a new item of clothing to my blog – I actually wore it when I first received these very same Dr Martens – but it looks a little different than before.

Recently, I finally decided to get my sewing machine out and make it more wearable. Before I upcycled it, I couldn’t wear it for long periods of time as the apron-style strap weighed down on my neck so quite honestly, it’s stayed in the back of my wardrobe for the past couple of years. 

It didn’t take much for it to become something I now want to treasure (think about this before you decided to pass on an item of clothing). I used some denim scraps from my embroidered blouse to create two straps that cross-over at the back of the dress and it now sits perfectly on my shoulders; no back pain, at last!

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes

Sustainable Outfit Ideas - Upcycling, Embroidery & Second-hand Clothes


Search “@tollydollyposh” on Instagram Stories GIF selection to use stickers like these wherever you like!


Speaking of embroidery, another reason to treasure this dress is because I’ve decided to embark on a new project – The Embroidery Dress project, in which I plan to completely cover the whole surface of the dress in embroidery as I learn new techniques and improve with my hand stitching.

I can already see where I’m getting more confident and so far I’m pleased with the result even if it doesn’t make much sense to anybody else catching a glimpse of it. If you want to follow the progress, I make sure to update you all with what I add, on my Instagram Story and you are more than welcome to send suggestions.

The numbered shape is a Community-inspired cootie catcher (my favourite show, you should know that by now), the paint droplets are something I plan to do more of once the rest of the dress starts to take shape and the other two pieces are pretty self-explanatory; the boot of Italy and the Many Questions pattern from my ethical t-shirt collection.

I also did a spot of upcycling on my mini backpack which I received for Christmas (because yes, receiving and giving second-hand gifts is perfectly acceptable). The leather bag had a small stain where you will now find a cluster of flowers, which was originally a piece of a broken necklace. Clever, huh?


What have you been wearing recently? What should I add to my embroidery dress, next? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What I Learned During #MAKESMTHNG Week

By December 10, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

#MAKESMTHNG Week has now concluded but that doesn’t we should stop making things here. In fact, I’ve learned a thing or two taking part in this new celebration of crafting and I hope that I can inspire you to take on a project for yourself, whether it’s today or tomorrow or any day of the year…

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit


WHAT I WORE: Embroidered Denim Shirt (DIY) // Pink Cashmere Beret (DIY) // Striped Trousers (Jumble Sale) // Dr Martens (Jumble Sale) // Recycled Rubber Handbag (Paguro Upcycle)*


Making something yourself is extremely satisfying…

I’m going to toot my own horn here and say I’m quite chuffed with my new embroidered shirt and my two rather dashing homemade berets. I may not have sewn together a wedding dress or cut a new pair of jeans from scratch but I’ve updated my wardrobe without technically adding anything new and there’s a special feeling that comes with that.

You’re always going to treasure a piece which you made with your own bare hands because you know how much hard work and time went into it.

That doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily end up wearing it more than you would wear something you’d buy but it means you won’t mindlessly throw it out or let it wear down into a bad condition – why would you? You made it! You should treasure it! It’s completely unique and only you will be able to style it up; patchy stitches, flaws and all.

Also, it’s a lot of fun to have this conversation – “Where did you get that beret?” “Oh, I made it.”

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

Starting small will build up your confidence…

As with anything, practice makes perfect. You don’t even have to embroider free-hand or buy a sewing machine if you don’t want to. Start from a place you feel comfortable at, even if that means getting out the iron and adding on a patch from one of your favourite artists to an old jacket.

There are some really simple ways to make something new or make something feel new, if you put your mind to it. Knowing I can turn a cashmere jumper into a beret in a couple of hours definitely makes me believe more in my abilities.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll realise how much work goes into how your clothes are made…

The fact that it took me a day to upcycle one piece really put things into perspective in terms of garment workers. Fast-fashion is fast for a reason and the pressures put on manufacturers can lead to workers having to play a role in creating hundreds of garments per day, maybe even up to 900, according to the book, To Die for By by Lucy Siegle, which explains the production of t-shirts and how a group of university students in the UK using the same machines and style of production line, could only manage to produce 95 within the space of 7 hours.

I had the luxury of no time restraints, working from home with food and drink in-between, yet I still felt tired after sitting and concentrating on the sewing machine for half-an-hour and pinning fabric together.

Doing things yourself adds to the level of empathy you can have for those who are battling with our cultural demands and can make you think before you go to buy new next time.

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

MAKESMTHNG Week with Greenpeace & Fashion Revolution: DIY Outfit

You’ll get addicted…

Okay, maybe not actually addicted but I’ve definitely come away from this week itching to make more! I want to embroider all of the clothes I own and I already want to advance my sewing machine knowledge, in fact, I’ve taken a look at the old clothes I have stored under my bed to re-evaluate the fabric I could use. Speaking of which – does anybody have any ideas for scuba material?


GET INVOLVED WITH #MAKESMNTHNG:
Getting crafty? Tag @makesmthng + @fash_rev in your social media posts with the hashtag #MAKESMNTHNG


What did you make this week? Have my posts inspired you to make something in the future? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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You Can’t Beat A Bargain

By January 10, 2013 Fashion

This post is especially for you bargain hunters. Those of us who are holding onto our pursestrings this credit crunch. It’s all about, how you can find better things, in the shops which smell of moth balls, and are full of the t-shirts in size 26 in the powder blue colour, you never thought you would even think of touching. Yes, you thought it right. The Second Hand Shop. The shop of dreams. The shop which is summed up in one phrase, ‘Don’t judge a book by it’s cover’.

(Image from Pinterest, this is not Bath Frock Exchange)

 Second hand shops or Charity shops are so over looked. These shops are usually placed at the end of the high street, or the ‘dodgy’ end as we used to say in Cheltenham, next to the old cinema which has been closed down for over 30 years, or the public toilets, I don’t even need to explain them! But, sometimes, your trip to the worst bathrooms in the world, might just be your ticket to your most treasured item of all time. Also, most of the time, they are Charity Shops, so your doing a lot more than going to a M&S (who have recently lost their designer, who worked for only 5 months!) to get the same jumper. To be honest, I reckon I have more Charity Shop clothes than I do high street. Recently, I came across my first French 2nd Hand Shop, and my mum found me one of the most amazing coats ever, and I also found a classic hand bag, which I have actually been wanting for ages. Okay, it may not be a Chanel handbag at the dirt cheapest price, but it’s still a bargain, €8 to be precise. But, it’s not just basic 2nd Hand Shops which are amazing, it’s the Premium Pre-Owned ones, which may be more expensive, but I think you may just come out with something…

Bath Frock Exchange is obviously in Bath and has been running for over 25 years, it was previously known as ‘Mrs Simpsons’, but was taken over in October, and is now even better. Their ambition was to brighten it all up, and put in things that they never thought they’d be able to afford. They are still trying to source specific items, and premium brands, so if you have an old Chanel handbag not in use, pass a message over to them! Bath Frock Exchange is great, because they also have Beauty Rooms, so not only can you go and see what they have, but you can relax and take some time out. Also, it’s not just for us girls, it also for you boys! Yep, they do pretty much everything. From day to evening wear, massages to menswear, you are sure to have come out with something. So, I got the lovely people there to message me across some pictures, and now I am going to do a couple of outfits with their amazing pieces…

outfit1

Gold Metallic Dip Hem Skirt £17.00 (River Island), VILLAGE Flatform Creepers £35.00 (ASOS) & Gold Studded Clean Biker Jacket £30.00 (Topshop).

This Aquascutum blouse from Bath Frock Exchange is perfect, because it works so well with the Dip Hem skirt. Add some creepers, and a nice biker jacket (which goes with anything), and you will look amazing! Metallic Madame!

outfits2Gold Jacquard Trousers £50.00 (Topshop), Cape Pussybow Blouse £36.00 (Topshop) & PRIOR Pointed High Heels £45.00 (ASOS).

This look is really sophisticated, and simple. These trousers will look effortless and adding the pointed heels will make it look even better. The Jaeger Mac is great, because it is printed, and this S/S, Prints are Perfect!

So, as you can see there are some nice things which you can buy from Bath Frock Exchange, and they are much cheaper! Make sure you take a look at their site!…

Another of my favourite 2nd Hand Stores…

Lovely’s Vintage Emporium

Watch out for more outfits using Bath Frock Exchange clothing…

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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