25 March 2017

Sakura Season

If you follow me on Instagram you would have seen that I was lucky enough to go to Tokyo again  last month.

One of the days I spent the morning wandering around the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen - a gorgeous public garden which has traditional Japanese landscaping and two tea houses. I was even so lucky to see the first signs of cherry blossoms in the gardens, which made me somewhat emotional.

Naturally, I had to get some photos in front of the blossoms because I'm that sort of person. Less naturally, I had to drag a tripod to the other side of the world with me because I was on my own and had no one to take photos for me. This was not an easy task because of other people walking into the shot, and also using my phone as a remote meant a wonderful delay that often caught me off guard.

Don't I just look so happy?
But I was determined, damnit!

I won this Adalene skirt from Lindy Bop's daily Facebook competitions last year, and it really couldn't be much more perfect for this setting! With a border print of Japanese pagodas and Torii gates, cherry blossoms and cranes and even a background with Mount Fuji - it's such a beautiful skirt that I couldn't wait to wear whilst I was in Tokyo.

I'm not really into pink as I always imagined it would either wash me out or clash horrendously with my hair, and boy am I glad I was wrong! The colour is subtle and sweet but looks striking against black, and I'm a big fan of the button-down front.

Lindy Bop's sizing is notoriously disastrous, but I took a 22 in this based on the measurements of the size guide, and it was the perfect size for me, not too tight to cut me up, not too loose to fall off me - but the cotton does have a bit of give!

It also has pockets, and if you've followed me for long enough you might know I have a bit of a thing for them. Anything without pockets is a useless garment to me!

Away from the blossoms and into the shade, I'm wearing my well-loved Rachel coat from Collectif from years ago - and of course, a Vendula London Chocolatiers Grab Bag!

The bag is more of a Parisian feel than the skirt, a little shopfront of a patisserie with cakes and chocolates, which is actually incredibly popular in Japan, which clearly means it was a set meant to be, right? Right.

Coat: Collectif
Hair Flower: Lady Luck's Boutique
Necklace: Handmade 
Top: Primark
Brooch: Luxulite
Belt: Primark
Skirt: Lindy Bop
Shoes: Melissa


11 March 2017

Tartan Puns Are Hard - I Made a Thing!

No, you're not imagining things, I really HAVE made something for once, and photographed it, and then blogged it! Damn, if I could do this regularly maybe I'd be good at this whole blog thing.

I don't get to make stuff as much as I used to these days, I've been spending so much time doing that whole traveling to China and Japan thing, and trying to fit normal life in between has been hard enough!

But I digress, I MADE SOMETHING!

The fabric is an unidentified-fabric-content grey tartan I picked up from my favourite bargain bin at Rolls and Rems in Holloway probably about two years ago now. I had the idea of a pinafore in mind as I was buying it, and into the stash it went. Then with the move and a cull of unworn winter items it was time to get it made in time for winter!

And in true Melody fashion, I didn't. It was finished in February. Typical, haha!

The construction is incredibly simple, It's a circle skirt (as always, I use the By Hand London Circle Skirt App) with ginormous pockets that could fit a small human with a literal square of fabric for a bib and strips for straps. I stupidly didn't take a photo, but the straps cross over the back.


The bib of the pinafore is REMOVABLE.
You heard me, I only went ahead and made something cute, functional AND I can do a Clarke Kent style transformation from pinafore to skirt in seconds! I'm so pleased with myself, as you can tell.

The bib attaches to the front of the waistband with four buttons and at the back with one button for each strap. An incredibly simple idea, but it's proved to be a goodun' for me, since I like a bit of choice.

There was a few hiccups with this skirt, though. Using cottons for most of my sewing life, I have never experienced an uneven hem that was particularly noticeable on a circle skirt, I'm guessing because it didn't have the weight to it that this does. So it's a bit longer at the sides than the front and back, and although it's not horribly noticeable it ever so slightly grates on my nerves.

And as you might be able to guess from the above photo - I aligned the pockets to the pattern of the fabric instead of the shape, which means as the skirt sits as a semi-circle, it's wonderful. But they slope at the out corners when being worn. An easy fix, since they're just patch pockets - but you guys know I'm so lazy I will never bother!

Scarf: Vintage
Top: Primark
Necklace: Handmade
Brooch: Second hand, god knows what brand!
Belt: Primark
Bangles: Splendette
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Bag: Vintage


7 January 2017

Snapshots of Tokyo

Happy New Year, loves!

I wanted to start 2017 on a good note and show off a few photos from the biggest highlight of my 2016 - I went to motherflippin' TOKYO.

Shibuya Crossing - The busiest crossing in the world!
Depending on how long you've known me, you may or may not know that in my very early teens I became obsessed with Japanese music and fashion, and it had been a dream for the longest time that I would go there.

So I was pretty excited when I got to go to Tokyo for a week with work to be on the Japan Shop Channel - Yeah. Not only did I go to Japan, I just happened to be on live Japanese TV too.

This is an actual screen grab of me being cheesy on actual TV.
My life is bloody brilliant!

I was there for a week and spent most of time around Takeshita Street/Harajuku/Shibuya, but I wanted to show you a few photos of my new favourite place in the world

This was just a cute place in Kayabacho, where I stayed.
Adorable Tokyo Station exclusive Hello Kitty - She's a train driver!

Sake barrels outside the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku 
Takeshita Street in Harajuku - where all the amazing Japanese Street Fashion brands are!
Ginormous Train Driver Pikachu in the Tokyo Station Pokémon Store!

Votives with thanks and wishes at Meiji Jingu
I'm not even sure what these were but it made a cute photo
A traditional wedding at Meiji Jingu - the kimonos were just too beautiful!!
The gigantic 1:1 scale Gundam at Odaiba. Odaiba is a man-made island off Tokyo that is mostly named after Pokémon towns. Yeah.

Ah damn, this post has made me miss it so much - I can't wait to go back again next month!

Have you ever been? Tell me your favourite places!

3 December 2016

Strawberry Sundae with Florence Carousel Photography

These are from the first of the two photoshoots I did with Florence Carousel in September (the second shoot is here) and I can't even explain just how much I absolutely adore these images. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Florence is such a talented photographer. You need to check out her main website and her other site, The Street Style Carousel to see just how wonderful she is at capturing style and beauty.

This outfit is possibly one of my absolute bests because it's so matchymatchy and delicious. 

This skirt is another dirndl that was made around the same time as the All Hail The Gingham Queen Skirt in exactly the same way - it's simply just my favourite cotton gingham from Rolls and Rems in Holloway pleated onto a waistband. This one is lined in white cotton, has a centre-back zipper and gigantic patch pockets with ricrac trim.

Simple, but effective! 

Teamed with my original 60's cross-stitch bag with strawberries and strawberry accents on my Miss L Fire Sundae shoes (from 2013) and a handmade strawberry necklace - I will happily say I'm horrendously matchy-matchy, but god, doesn't it just WORK? 

Hair Flowers: Lady Lucks Boutique 
Necklace: Handmade
Brooch: Luxulite
Top: Collectif
Skirt: Handmade
Bangles: Splendette and vintage
Bag: Vintage
Shoes: Miss L Fire

All photos are taken by and belong to Florence Carousel. Use of these photos is only permitted with her approval.

19 November 2016

All My Royal Subjects - With Florence Carousel Photography

Back in September I was lucky enough to do a little shoot with the amaaaazing Florence Carousel after work one warm day whilst the colours of the trees were changing, and I wanted to show you the photos, because frankly? They are AMAZING.

This was the second half of the shoot, and I changed into this outfit in a weird toilet cubicle which was not easy when it was absolutely bloody boiling!

Although this dress isn't technically finished (currently it's strapless as I need to put the straps on, plus add pockets in) it was formed enough to show it off. I bought the fabric from Fabric.com with vouchers I'd been given for my birthday (thanks again, Kristina!), and it's a nice lightweight cotton - nothing too exciting, but it does what I wanted to do, which was simply to make a bright green sundress!

The pattern is the No Cock Nor Tails bodice and a pleated dirndl, of which there's really no more to say than the other dresses featuring the same components, because I have this habit of making the same two dresses.

I'm not very natural at doing any modelling, I can't take myself seriously enough to pose without pulling faces between every shot - but Florence knew what she wanted and made me very comfortable until it started to just flow naturally, resulting in some pretty amazing photos, if I'm allowed to be quite so big headed! She literally has so much talent at portraiture and I love every photo!

Plus she chose a perfect background, this is the fountain outside Buckingham Palace, of which many jokes about me looking over my royal subjects/peasants ensued - because I'm basically The Queen. Right? RIGHT? 

Hair flowers: Lady Lucks Boutique and handmade
Necklace: Handmade
Brooch: Luxulite
Bolero and Belt: Collectif
Dress: Handmade
Bangles: Splendette and Lady Lucks Boutique
Shoes: Miss L Fire

All photos are taken by and belong to Florence Carousel. Use of these photos is only permitted with her approval.

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