Monday, 30 November 2015

The Buyer's Archive - November

Last year, I started keeping a note of the clothes I was buying.  My spending habits had decreased in recent times and I was craving more space and less stuff.  Being mindful about what my money went on with regards to non-necessities seemed like the logical place to start.  I had an idea to compare my purchases from this time last year to the ones I've made this year and see if there's any change, and if I wasted my money on stuff that didn't last, or that I changed my mind about.

knitwear sweater cardigan vintage M&S chair stack charity shop
If October was the month of being super restrained on the shopping front, November was... well, the complete opposite.  I bought all the knitwear.  More of that in a minute though - first up is what I bought last November.  One thing.  Past Elise was better behaved, or maybe the charity shops were less amazing last year.  

M&S polka dot work mini skirt charity shop
M&S polka dot skirt via charity shop - £2.75
Love this skirt.  I wear it to work fairly often in the winter months, although it does have an annoying habit of spinning around when I walk since it's a tiny bit big.  Still, it's great for those days when I'm pretending I'm not a complete scruff.

Last November I spent a grand total of £2.75.  You already know I didn't beat that this November, so I might as well show you what I got in exchange for my hard earned cash...

M&S sweater jumpers cable knit diamond design charity shop
M&S cable knit sweater dress via charity shop - £3
I'm not sure if this is actually a dress or it's just the big size on the label that makes it look like one, but I've been wearing it with jeggings anyway.  I worked out fairly quickly why such a new looking jumper ended up in the charity shop - when washed with anything else in the machine, it got fluff over EVERYTHING.  I sort of suspected as much and thought about hand washing it, but I'm just too damn lazy for that kind of faff, so I resorted to lint rollering everything at the other end.  It's all good.  Oh, except I can't hang it in the wardrobe because of said shedding, so it's just chilling on my yarn drawers right now.

M&S men's lambswool sweater via charity shop (new with tags) - £4
This jumper was one of five things I bought in one shop a couple of weeks ago.  We found a Cancer Research that wasn't overpriced and that also happened to have lots of Elise-friendly donations.  Dangerous.  I suspect a few of my buys may have come from the same person , so thanks to the random stranger with the great taste in knitwear!  This one was brand new and comically large and I love it to pieces.  I've been wearing it, putting it away for a day or two, then wearing it again.

wool sweater jumper cardigan M&S vintage floral charity shop
Classique flower print sweater via charity shop - £2.99
I was down in Stranraer a few weeks ago and picked up some good bargains there too.  This jumper was my first find - look how fun it is!  Perfect for when I feel like letting my crazy knitter side run wild.

M&S men's wool cardigan via charity shop - £3
My giant jumper twin, this cardigan is also massive and also featuring heavily in my life at the mo.  Plus, pockets!

M&S men's colour block sweater via charity shop - £2
The last one, I swear.  I fancied knitting myself a colour blocked jumper, but I couldn't resist this one for £2.  It was my favourite when I pulled it from the rail among the other M&S bargains but I've only worn it once so far.  The slightly more fitted style works well with my skirts though.

topshop knit top vintage stripe tshirt sandals charity shop
Topshop coloured knit top via charity shop - £2
I spotted this when I was heading over to try on all the knitwear and was instantly drawn to the subtle yet bright stripes and vintage style.  It's a little big but I've been layering it up with cardigans.  If we get a summer next year I'm already planning cute outfits based around it.

Rohde wedge sandals via charity shop - £4
I was hanging around waiting for Tam to buy something when my eyes fell on these shoes.  I'd never heard of the brand but again, the vintage style caught my attention and I had to try them.  It's very rare that I find (nice) shoes in my size in a charity shop, plus these look brand new, so my optimism told me to buy them.  I'm conveniently choosing to forget that I wore sandals not once this year.  (A quick Google made it clear that I'd wear exactly zero of the styles from their current collection, so I definitely lucked out here!)

Sainsburys stripe t-shirt via charity shop - £1
The last of my Cancer Research bargains was picked up when I was waiting to pay.  I've been looking for some striped t-shirts and this seemed perfect.  The size label told me it was a 16 but I wear my t-shirts big anyway so that was fine.  Except it somehow fits me perfectly.  I don't know whether to be offended that Sainsburys thinks my boobs are that big or assume that it shrunk and thus ended up on that rail but whatever, it fits.

vintage dress denim black 70s 90s pinafore charity shop
Denim button dress via charity shop - 25p
Someone helpfully cut the labels out of this 90s looking denim dress so I have no idea of it's origins, but at 25p I wasn't especially fussed!  I shortened it a few inches and fixed an almost-hole in the seam and it's already been worn with the aforementioned stripe t-shirt and burgundy cardigan.  It came from a Stranraer charity shop that had a whole rail of cheap clothing but nothing else caught my eye.  Probably for the best, since this might already be my longest Buyer's Archive post...

Vintage evening dress via charity shop - £3.99
I already had a potential outfit for our Christmas night out but I couldn't leave this amazing fabric behind.  I wasn't sure about the style when I first tried on the dress and planned to restructure it a bit but on the second fitting it grew on me a bit.  I stuck my hair up, put on my heels and faffed in front of the mirror for a bit, wondering whether or not to shorten it.  It's meant to be a maxi style but obviously on me it's not!  I'm going to attack the skirt with the iron since I hate the pleats, but I'm still deciding if it will look right if I take it up just a few inches.  I'm a bit worried it'll lose its dramatic flair if I do that.  All opinions welcome!

Crikey, a mere three visits to the charity shops and I came home with that many bargains!  Chances are I didn't need that many new jumpers but really, you can't have too much knitwear when you live in Scotland.  Or at least that's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Total spend for this November was... £26.23.  I was expecting a higher total considering the volume of purchases so I'm pretty happy with that!  Especially when you consider that it can be compared to the price of a meal out.  I think I might need a bit of a closet clear out soon mind you - it's getting a bit crowded in there...

What everyone been buying this month?  Any charity shop bargains?


Friday, 27 November 2015

Crafting the day away

decoupage letters laura ashley christmas gifts
decoupage letters laura ashley craft kit christmas gift
I've been experimenting with some new crafts lately.  There's a couple of things I can't show off quite yet (super secret Christmas pressies and all that) but these ones I can.  The fun stuff.

On Sunday, I went along to a craft afternoon hosted by Laura Ashley.  We were in The Butterfly and the Pig again, venue of my last crafty outing in Glasgow, and were treated to an awesome day of decoupage and needle felting, fuelled by tea and cake.  I had no idea that Laura Ashley had been around so long (sixty years young!) or that the brand started out as a tea towel designer, and the learning didn't stop there.  We were gathered up to test out their crafting kits - the ideal present for creative types this Christmas.

tea and cake vintage china butterfly and the pig craft afternoon laura ashley glasgow
The lovely ladies from The Crafty Hen were on hand to make sure we didn't make a total mess of things - useful, since we began with the decoupage, a craft involving gluing ripped paper to wooden letters.  Definitely one of the more fiddly jobs I've attempted recently.  We only had time to do a letter or two before we moved on to the next activity, but I was pleased with my progress by the end, even if my slapdash style wasn't the most elegant...

After a brief pause to inhale some cake (maple and pecan for me, yum!) we moved on to needle felting.  Now, I tried it for the first time last Friday at the Country Living Fair and pretty much hated it.  I was given a template and a pin and I couldn't get that donkey to look like it was meant to look at all.  Not to mention, I stabbed my thumb and it stung for hours afterward.  I know, I know, woe is me.  This time, however, we were just trying out flat designs and the tool was a multi-needle...thingie...with a protective shield.  So, despite managing to stab myself again, it was a lot less dangerous for a beginner.  First I made a sheep in a Santa hat, then tried a Christmas pudding and finally a stocking.  The latter didn't turn out very professional looking, but I'm pretty pleased with my first attempts.

laura ashley needle felting kit christmas gift
needle felting kit laura ashley gift christmas
christmas needle felting kit laura ashley crafter gift decorations

We used the Home Decopapier kit and the Needle Felting kit - both come stuffed with enough materials for plenty of projects.  I'm already planning a trip to the craft shop for more wooden letters to make use of all the pretty patterned paper, and I barely made a dent in the pile of wool included in the felting kit.  There's a chance everyone I know will be getting handmade Christmas decorations soon... It turns out Laura Ashley sell a rather excellent array of gifts for crafters - I'll be keeping that in mind for the future, especially since my friend is wildly jealous of my needle felting creations!

Thanks to Laura Ashley, Joe Bloggers and The Crafty Hen for an ace day out!


Thursday, 26 November 2015

Plaids and pockets

check plaid dress charity shop navy blue pockets cardigan m&s
pockets check plaid dress charity shop cardigan m&s
tan leather ankle boots office indiana
I've been living in this dress lately.  At least once a week, it gets pulled out my wardrobe for another outing, which may not sound like that often, but I do have a lot of stuff in there!  I'm not a hoarder until it comes to yarn or pretty clothing, it turns out.

The dress was a Brighton bargain, one that needed only a small alteration to make it wearable.  It was a rare find, in that it was my favourite colour, fitted perfectly, was long enough and - always a winning attribute - had pockets.  Giant patch pockets, to be precise.  So far they've just been used for holding my permanent tissue stash, but it's a bit classier than stuffing them up my sleeves anyway.  The cardigan was also a charity shop find, this time from a few weeks ago when Tam and I had a last minute stop on the way home and stumbled into a shop that was both reasonably priced and stuffed with goodies.  Well, it was from my point of view since I left with a cardigan, two jumpers (one brand new) and two tops for a grand total of £12 - I have no idea if Tam actually bought anything!

And then there's the boots.  I must admit, I'm a bit disappointed at how quickly they're showing wear, although I've been wearing them pretty often too.  I guess they'll just look all distressed and loved at the end of winter...

What's everyone else wearing in this miserable climate?  Any charity shop bargains?

cardigan - M&S via charity shop
dress - handmade via charity shop
boots - Office (on sale!)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...