Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


Finding the perfect dress for the National Blog Awards

Next month I am going to the National Blog Awards as a finalist! I am so excited to be attending the ‘Oscars of the blogging world’ and I can’t wait to catch up with my bestie Jenna who has also been shortlisted for her wedding blog Glitter Daze. Luckily, we aren’t competing against each other, as I am a finalist in the Retail and Fashion category so we can just enjoy a few drinks together, a lovely meal and enjoy all the glitz and glamour that the awards ceremony has to offer.

It’s a proper red-carpet type event and I alternate between being very exciting and very scared because I’ve no idea what the dress code ‘dress to impress’ means – Is it an occasion for long evening dresses or short prom dresses? Will everyone else there be in floor-length gowns or will I look silly in a mini dress?? It’s not a problem for my husband, who will wear his lovely shirt and blazer combo and will look fantastic as always – just the right mix of smart without trying too hard – I don’t know how he does it! But for my outfit I have no idea and I’m sure that I’ll end up in photographs at the awards so I don’t want to look a mess, nor do I want to stick out by being overdressed. So this has kick-started a massive dress hunt and here’s my shortlist:

 victorias dress outfit ideas for national blog awards                     

Black lace a-line dress or red chiffon sweetheart dress

I picked out these cheap prom dresses from one of my favourite dress websites because I know that once I choose a shape of dress I can have it made in any colour for around the same price as an off-the-peg high street dress. At least I know that no one else will be wearing the same outfit as me if I have a dress custom-made! I love the red prom dress above but I think that the chiffon might be too girly for me for such a formal occasion, so I prefer the demure shape of the black a-line dress with lace detail but – in contrast – I’d like to have it in a bright colour. Choosing the colour from the rainbow of fabrics will be difficult but I think that a deep red or dusky pink would be nice with my skintone and warm up my complexion. As you might remember, I had a colour analysis done by Janelle from Confessions of a Fashion Stylist blog and the colours that suit me best are pinks, reds and lavenders so as I’m not a big fan of lilac I think I’ll follow her advice to select a rich red because I already wear a lot of burgundy and I know I’ll feel comfortable in it.

Either way, I need to make a decision on my outfit pretty soon and when payday comes I’ll be booking my train ticket to London for the biggest event of the blogging year and I can’t wait! Of course I will report back to you on my progress in the competition and let you know how I get on during the big night – watch this space!


My year of thrifty retail & DIY fashion

I have amazing news and I’ve already been yelling it all over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Google+ so if you haven’t already heard my screeches from where you are here it is again: I’VE BEEN SHORTLISTED IN THE NATIONAL UK BLOG AWARDS 2014! When I saw all the other amazing nominees in the Retail and Fashion category I could never have dared to believe that I might be shortlisted, but results are in and the announcement has been made – and my little blog has made it into the top 10 in the country! The finalists will be judged by industry professionals Carli Palmer from House of Fraser and Melanie Killilnea from Hotter Shoes – and I’m so excited to think that they could be looking at my blog right now. This has got me thinking about the past year on my blog and all of the thrifty shopping, fashion and DIY posts I’ve done now that I’m approaching my 1000th blog post and I wanted to take a nostalgic look back over the year with you – so here goes:

A recent early morning walk in the frost resulted in a mini fashion-shoot using blogger & stylist Sasha Bowman’s La Mere layering technique and gave me the chance to show off my new Brag Vintage find!

Again, snow was the inspiration behind my winter outfit post in which I proudly wore my new size 10 H&M coat that I never would have fitted into the year before and a cute Apricot dress. There’s really nothing better than being out in the cold while snuggled up with a hot drink.

At Christmas I let you all know what I’d be wearing with some snaps of my birthday/Christmas dress from La Redoute, my homemade snood infinity scarf and the festive jumper I made myself with just a bag of pom-poms and a needle – just two of the many of DIY outfit posts that I’ve written for Oxfam Fashion.

You’ll probably remember how terrified I was about attending the Company Style Blog Awards last year – what on earth would I wear to go into a room full of über-stylish fashionistas? And after a lot of deliberation here on the blog, I decided on an Apricot and New Look outfit combined with some car-boot sale bargains and borrowed accessories.

And then came my nemesis – the emerald green dress that I made myself – remember how long it took me to get going on the project, how scary it was to cut into the fabric, how many adjustments I needed to make to the pattern? Thankfully it turned out great in the end and sparked an interesting discussion about Sew-It-Yourself. Plus I now have a custom-made dress hanging in my wardrobe!

To date there have been 128 weeks of Tuesday Shoesday posts discussing footwear trends and weekly DIY posts on making your own accessories for yourself (and for the home too!) and adjusting your thrifted clothing to fit. I’ve also enjoyed sharing the new season trends and focussing on fashion week favourites – including how to get the look for less – the most important thing is saving money for us all through sensible shopping! Of course, there are tons more posts than I can mention here – we’d be here all day! – but please have browse through my categories on my sidebar to check out more shopping, fashion, sewing, trend and bargain-hunting articles for yourself.

I hope that you’ve all been enjoying reading my blog and have got some ideas that you’ve used yourself. But most importantly I want to say a massive THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for voting for my little blog to be shortlisted in the National UK Blog Awards, you can’t imagine what it means to me but you can be sure that the smile on my face is gigantic right now! :D


Tuesday Shoesday ~ Birthday shoes

It’s Cassiefairy’s birthday during the first week in December and you’ve probably seen all of my plans for my pink-and-red themed birthday party on the blog :) I’m really looking forward to it and have an outfit planned, which includes this dress from La Redoute:

la redoute dress1

I absolutely love the bright red colour and lovely lace overlay, not to mention that it’s my favourite skater-dress style! When I was looking for a party dress, first and foremost I wanted it to be a good fit and the fact that the colour coordinates with my party theme is just great fortune! I feel very comfortable in this dress, but also it’s pretty enough to stand out as a party dress – it makes me want to twirl! So now that I’ve got the dress sorted, I need to organise my footwear and these are my footwear options:

tuesday shoesday cassiefairy birthday shoes

Of course, the birthday girl should always wear the prettiest shoes, whether they are practical or not! And in particular I think that birthday shoes should feature glitter, bright colours, bows or gold – if you can’t wear super-glamourous high heels on your birthday when can you?! So my favourite shoes are the silver sparkly above, which will look very festive my red dress :) plus I have a New Look gift voucher to spend, so I will invest wisely in a lovely pair of impractical shoes! I think this whole outfit might be reworn again on Christmas day this year, so watch this space! Let me know what party dress and shoes you would choose for your birthday celebrations – leave me a comment below or tweet me pics of your last birthday outfit to @Cassiefairy.

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Just a little something I made for Halloween…

Things have been very busy at HQ and I’ve been stitching away in my workshop this week making lots of dark fairy tutus ready for Halloween. I’ve made similar tutus for hen parties over the summer and I thought that they would look great for Halloween too, so I’ve been making extra-sparkly tutus with lots of sequined and glittery fabric woven in-between the spiky tulle strands. I think that my favourite one is this blue tutu below, which has bright blue glittery stars fabric incorporated into the design.

cassiefairy halloween fairy tutus from tutuswingsandprettythings com

Let me know if you’d like something similar custom-made for your Halloween costume by emailing - these tutus aren’t on the website yet but I will happily make these or something similar (any colours you like!) for you, just let me know with plenty of time, because I’m already getting pretty booked up with spooky orders for zombie bride and witch costumes!

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Thrifty fashion ~ reworking my jeans for Autumn/Winter 2013

I’ve got a pair of jeans that I’ve never worn. They are straight legged, deep teal denim with a bit of stretch and I coveted them for ages before finally opening my purse and buying them in the sale earlier this year. But since then, I’ve never even put them on and now the months have rolled by and I’m not sure that they will look good for this season. So I’ve photographed them and have tried to put them with a few items from (my new favourite store!) bonprix to create a look-book and see how they could be worn for Autumn/Winter 2013.

reworking my favourite teal jeans for day and evening outfits

I started with a casual look – something to wear throughout the autumn during the daytime. The kind of thing that you would wear for a lunch with friends or grabbing a coffee after a shopping trip. I know that big chunky knits are on trend for this season, so I’ve found my favourite piece of knitwear (this grey cable knit cardi below ) and have teamed it with a sheer chiffon shirt – I’m really into sheer shirts at the moment and have got them in peachy-pink, mint green and mustard so far - but I really like this off-white one for a classy winter look. Of course, I’d be chilly without a snuggly hat and scarf and I’m tucking my jeans into these slouchy grey boots. I love the tan belt and bag – I just want to keep a bit of my summer accessories in my winter wardrobe too! What do you think? Do my teal jeans look okay with the rest of the outfit?

my favourite teal jeans reworked for autumn 2013 lunch with friends - look book using bon prix clothes

My second essential look for autumn/winter is a party outfit. I find myself going out a lot more during the winter – there’s my birthday celebration to get dressed up for and there are lots of festive parties to attend, so I want  to see if it is possible to glam up my coloured jeans for a special occasion. I have chosen black accessories and I already have this black blazer in my wardrobe, so really it’s just a case of chosing a glitzy top to tuck into my jeans – maybe this long soft shirt (another sheer top, what a surprise!) or this studded black top. I think both would work for nights out and even for festive daywear – it’s the sparkly accessories and heels that take the outfit from day-to-night. Let me know what you think – can I get away with jeans on a night out??

my favourite teal jeans reworked for winter 2013 evening out festive party - my look book using bon prix clothes

I don’t want to splash out for many new items for this season, so it’s been fun seeing how I can make good use of my favourite jeans and maybe now I’ll actually put them on! Do you have a favourite item of clothing that you’d like to rework for Autumn/Winter 2013? Tweet me your photos @Cassiefairy and let me know what you’re going to team your item with to make it work in your autumn/winter wardrobe.

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