Saturday, 28 October 2017

Autumn Lovers Cliché

I believe it's safe to say that I'm the epitome of an Autumn-lover cliche and all the simple pleasures that accompany it. Surely it can't just be me who derives so much satisfaction from crushing lone acorns on my home from work, wading my way through the masses of crinkled autumn leaves, noting the nuances between them; some mustard, some burnt orange, some a muted red and some the transition from summer and autumn summarised in the form of a leaf, feeling inexplicably warm inside when passing shop fronts decked with pumpkins and all that Autumn inspired goodness, upping my cosiness game by swathing myself in layers of jumpers and having a genuine excuse to implement my love for mustard and denim outfit combinations into my routine. As if I required yet another reason to be smitten with this season, I became engaged to my other half!

On that sentimental note, I would steer your attention to my outfit which let's face it is Autumn in a nutshell; turtleneck jumper, check.. woollen skirt, check... fall palette, also check. I'm sure it will also come as no surprise that this was as per usual a very affordable ensemble! The star of the show being this vintage plaid skirt which I encountered whilst sifting through the rails upon rails of second hand clothing at the kilo sale aka gold mine in the Northern Quarter for a mere £5! Initially I was indecisive as I feared it would be that tad bit large for my waist, in the end thankfully I thought better of it and followed the saying a most prudent person stated 'He who hesitates is lost...or she' (prudent being Captain Widdershins as any book fiends will know all too well is from The Series of Unfortunate Events). The issue was easily resolved with a chunky jumper tucked in so as to compensate for the excess space. I'm a real sucker for anything remotely within the plaid/tartan/check category... they tend to be such timeless yet statement prints. Plaid is one of those prints you can either revolve the rest of your outfit around, as the variety of colours within the print tend to provide a general adherable colour scheme ... or you can afford to be on the adventurous side by colour blocking and pattern clashing. I initially intended on wearing this skirt with a bland cream blouse until it occurred to me that this deep burgundy/bordeaux turtle neck would complement it perfectly! I completed my attire with my absolute gem of a rocket bag, dependable brogues and coat.










Outfit Details: Vintage plaid skirt, Primark jumper, Accessorize rocket bag, H&M coat and Clarks brogues



Sunday, 1 October 2017

Budget DIY: Transform Your Bargain Frame into an Urban Outfitters-esque Hanging Frame!

It occurred to me that despite the frequency of budget DIY projects that I engage in so as to transform the small box bedroom that I inhabit into my very own sanctuary, I seldom divulge them on here. 
Lately, I've both discovered and become enamoured with the delicate vintage glass hanging/floating frames that have been on trend. I've amassed a few affordable ones which I've searched high and low for thanks to my abstemious tendencies (the links to which i'll place below). I carefully arrange and enclose pressed flowers and leaves in them and it instantly provides the room with a botanical/naturalistic vibe which is the theme that my little den is centred around, I'm especially partial to those in gold or silver as the exude an antique feel. As aforementioned if you too are smitten with them but cannot however commit to some of the extortionate prices usually ranging between £8-£20 at H&M, Urban Outfitters and your usual independent shops, then you're in luck! Being the thrifty person that I am, I've deduced the reasonably priced versions, one of which is from Wilkos for a mere £3. Over the past month I've walked past it, wistfully wishing it came without the tacky clichéd print along the bottom or the ribbon tie, it just was not my cup of tea. One day I had an epiphany moment; the drawbacks that I fussed about could very easily be resolved with the tiniest amount of effort.  So I took initiative and present you with this simple tutorial that doesn't exceed 15 minutes:

1) First and foremost, have all your required materials at the ready; the frame of choice, a penny, scissors and a length of twine.



2) As can be seen, the quote is in a frosted silver cursive. Proceed to unhinging and opening the frame to expose the side on which the writing has been printed.



 3) In order to test out whether your penny is the appropriate instrument to use you may want to perform a gentle scratch test on the tip of the writing at an angle of 45 degree angle. If you're pleased with the result proceed to using the same technique on the remaining letters. Blow away the debris every so often to discern the detached pieces from areas you may have overlooked. Note that in order to avoid etching and abrasion of glass go about it gently and take your time... the end result will be worth the time you've invested.



4) Once you have removed the writing, remove the undesirable ribbon or material and replace with the same length of twine. Snip off the excess ends... and voila there you have it, you very own inexpensive hanging frame!



I have yet to style and find a home for the frame along with the others which I'd be happy to showcase in a blogpost if any of you were interested... for now though, here's the frame in all it's glory!




Frames: Herehere and here

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Primary School Inspired Outfit

Dear readers, 
Not only was this a summer of relishing countless picnics but also resembling one too in this delightfully cheerful, blue, gingham midi dress! The dress is a portal transporting me straight back to my primary school days! For those of you who may be a little confused, let me clarify,  it's customary in the uk during the summer season for primary school girls to wear darling gingham summer dresses varying in colour depending on the school's affiliation. As a child I grew up attending a school where the girls wore red gingham dresses thus I was always wistfully beholding the dresses of the nearby school which were blue (the grass is always greener on the other side).. never would I have envisioned the grown up me actually wearing one! Naturally when I spotted this dress whilst sifting through Primark, I had a truly pinch-me moment when my eyes fell upon it. I stood there all the memories flooding back, reminiscing my longing for a blue dress and decided to honour my younger self's wishes by picking it up. Since acquiring it, the dress has evoked several oh-so-original jokes from those around me, generally along the lines of 'what primary school do you attend Sumeyye'? I love it all the same, it's my 9 yr old dream come true and I appreciate how the dress is an unusual take on the gingham trend this past season. An error of mine however is that I unfortunately neglected to feature the sleeves which are in actuality 3/4 length that widen to form flute sleeves at the end. 
The dress has the a very country-esque quality to it which of course is totally up my street so it should come as no surprise that I paired it with a wicker picnic hamper to add to the country girl persona I was channeling. I decided to further accessorise my outfit by incorporating my trusty denim jacket along with my apple shaped novelty bag to infuse a quirky edge and help passersby form a distinction between me and the school children!
  
What kind of a summer have you all had?













Outfit details: Primark Gingham dress and novelty bag, Zara denim jacket and Clarks t-bar shoes

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Gingham Love

Hello there my lovelies, as promised, I've returned with my second and by far improved attempt at dressmaking. For as long as I can recall I've always lusted after a gingham skirt with the perfect fabric, the perfect fit and flare silhouette and the perfect length. I always knew that if i owned one, my wardrobe would revolve around it. Disclosure; I never did discover a skirt that suited my ridiculously unattainable standards.....however something better came along, I made it! 
Gingham is such a versatile print which instantly adds an air of femininity and sophistication to any combination. It can be dressed up or down and always delivers to the occasion, whether it's a simple band/slogan tee or a classy blouse. You can be minimalist Parisian chic one day and a cute, country girl-next-door with a wicker basket the next. I find that the colours that complement the pattern best are black (of course). deep greens, dusty pinks, mustard and lemon yellows and crisp white blouses. 

On this occasion I kept it rather demure by styling my dreamy gingham skirt with a billowy (tucked in with care) Zara blouse, embroidered with yellow and green floral detailing, exuding a very folksy, country vibe. I paired the outfit with my trusty embroidered backpack, as I've confessed in a previous blog post i've been so inspired and enamoured by the embroidery trend this year so tend to infuse into everything that I wear, t-bar shoes and hijab which I am sure you have memorised by now. 


Today I spent my time away solitarily wandering through the greens of Dunham Massey Park, the weather wasn't ideal, in fact it was overcast with the occasional shower. whilst taking pictures of the picturesque scenery and wildlife it envelopes, I was approached by a volunteer who kindly provided me with the trivia of the swans that reside in Dunham Massey, I spread a blanket on the vibrant green floor of the forest, unpacked my hamper and relished a cup of steaming brew with a good read in complete serenity. On my way home I decided to seek out a souvenir of my excursion; sometimes it's an acorn, a pine cone and on this occasion it was delicate fern leaf that I intend to press at home. 
















Thursday, 20 July 2017

Guide and Outfit: Sewing Endeavours!

Hi there my lovelies, the time has come to finally introduce you to my first ever sewing project; a plaid midi skirt!  

Learning to sew has always been a longstanding aspiration of mine that I got around to fulfilling. a couple of months back I had been casually browsing the haberdashery section of Hobbycraft when my eyes fell upon an advertisement for sewing classes on the notice board. I instinctually looked over at my mother who gave me an encouraging nod and said 'go for it'. One of the chief driving forces for me to pursuit sewing is that as a muslim woman who has a rather quaint sense of style, I have always been limited in the selection of clothing based on affordability, availability and modesty. Learning to sew has opened up a whole new horizon where I can bring my designs that used to be strictly on paper, to life. I'm naturally still in the midst of learning this new skill, yet here are couple of tips that I feel have facilitated my sewing endeavours so far:

1) If you're familiar with the notion of having to be prompted to initiate the acquisition of a hobby like myself and find it both overwhelming and difficult to maintain the motivation for self instructing, consider joining a class. We live in a era where youtube can basically guide and teach us virtually everything, however sometimes commencing something entirely unfamiliar can be a little overwhelming and intimidating. Going old school and actually interacting with people who are all on the same square as you can make it less daunting and help form a bridge from complete inexperience to amateur to outright dressmaking genius (dreaming big), it accommodates for hiccups, readjustments, practical skills and an abundance of prototypes.

2) Figure out your pace, every person has an optimal environment and condition in which they thrive, some perform best in a slow paced relaxed atmosphere in which they can digest what they are learning. Others like myself blossom under pressure, I made a leap of progress when I made the foolishly valiant decision decision to take on 4 projects with a deadline of 4 weeks for when they were due. This meant that I couldn't solely rely on my poor sewing instructor Kate (who is a godsend.. check out her Instagram) to help me out of the hole I had managed to dig myself into. I had to take initiative and make progress at home, resulting in me becoming proficient much quicker knowing that I had the responsibility bearing on my shoulders to complete several Eid outfits or else suffer the dismay of several members of my family.

3) Treat yourself to a quality sewing machine! After dabbling into the art of sewing, if you can envision yourself sustaining the pastime of sewing for the foreseeable future, invest in a sewing machine. It takes the pressure off classes as you can always depend on the flexibility of finishing your task at home, in your own time, at your own pace. Mine is a wonderful midnight blue coloured beauty from John Lewis (curiously both resembles and functions like the costly Janome one...hint hint)!

4) If you feel a particular sewing pattern works well for you and can't purchase it, ask if you can trace the patterns onto greaseproof paper. That way you can amass a collection of patterns that you can refer back to.

5) There's absolutely no rule that you have to depend on one sewing pattern for a project... mix and match the bodice from one, the skirt and sleeves from other sewing patterns to create one whole masterpiece.

6) Create a Pinterest board to inspire your future dressmaking pursuits. You can use trends, eras, silhouettes, prints, shapes of Pinterest pins and make them entirely your own by adding personal touch.

 After having been taught the fundamentals of sewing you may now seek the divine wisdom of youtube for further tutorials!







Image from my Instagram

Outfit Details: selfmade skirt, Romwe blouse, Accessorize embroidered back pack and Clarks t-bar shoes

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

An Oldie but a Goodie!

Hi there my lovelies, gosh with the way I'm struggling to compose a blogpost you'd think it was my first time! I know I know, I have an excuse at the ready every time I go on a lengthy hiatus however with the series of tragedies in the UK; another happening before I have time to digest and mourn for the previous, I haven't been in the spirits to make a proper comeback to blogging. 

 This is by far the most impromptu and spontaneous blog post I have ever done. My dear friend Selma who is a henna artist extraordinaire, selfie aficionado and whom we are kindred spirits in amateur photography, met up with me last week for iftar (our sunset meal after fasting in the month of Ramadan), I barely managed to greet her as she whipped out her camera at the speed of light and marched me to the neighbourhood park.  Had I known, I would have dressed for the occasion however as I wasn't looking too shabby, I complied. 

Today's outfit is an oldie but a goodie; featuring all of my classic faves accumulated into one outfit; my trusty denim jacket embellished with an abundance of Primark pins, a staple turtle neck that has practically become a second skin for me, my peachy perfect skirt from Zara that I wore for last year's Eid and my whole existence summarised in the form of a novelty bag (chocolate milk,  pastels and cuteness overload)!

If you recall from a previous blogpost I mentioned I had taken up the hobby of sewing. As a result I have so far produced three pieces; a plaid skirt, a gingham skirt and a Wednesday Addamsesque velvet dress! I'd love to hear some feedback from you guys as to which one you would like me to style for the blog first!


Clearly deliberating how much food my stomach can possibly contain for Iftar.







Proud Ravenclaw!

Outfit Details: Zara denim jacket and skirt, Primark turtle neck and pins and Accessorize milk carton bag!



Designated Photographer Babe
Instagram: @onelastfarewell 

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Manchester



I try not to get too political or emotional here on my Instagram/blog however the heinous, callous attack perpetrated by a radicalised 'Islamist' has left me deeply heartbroken and that is nothing next to what people have had to suffer today. No one should have to lose a loved one in such an awful way and no parent should have to witness the death of their child. These people, and I use that term very loosely, don't represent Muslims, they don't represent me. They have no compassion for anyone; no man, woman, child, religion or race.. Terrorism has no religion, the countless Istanbul attacks are evidence of that.. these scum are nothing more than cowards lurking behind a religion to justify their actions. I'm proud to be British, I'm proud to be Mancunian and I'm proud to be a Muslim. And I'm proud of my city and the unity, diversity and love that it harbours, I'm proud of all those who cooperated to save lives and deliver the victims safely to their families. I'm proud that many chose not to respond to such a hateful act with hate. Peace be upon you all.
❤️

Monday, 3 April 2017

Outfit & Guide: 14 Ways On How To Shop On A Budget!


Hi there and welcome back lovely readers of this humble little blog!
Today's blogpost is presented to you from Quarry Bank Mill greenhouse, and alongside this outfit post I thought I'd rekindle my love for sharing retail related advice by imparting my hacks that I always find myself referring back to when it comes to affordable, carefully curated and effective shopping. For me shopping has never been about keeping on top of the latest trends or spilling the contents of my purse over. By all means I adore shopping, but more specifically I enjoy careful shopping. What on earth is she going on about you may ask, well from my humble perspective anyone can see an item in a shop and purchase it there and then for the full price, whether it's a long term investment or not.. who knows?! For me, each shopping venture is a little game and each item I buys is an investment as nothing beats the satisfaction of acquiring a must have for an absolute bargain. The little quest I like to entertain's ultimate purpose being to bag some amazing finds that will astonish both you and others that ask you how you always mange to find such steals. Yes, the prospect of affordable shopping and the compliments that succeed it, strokes my ego. Sorry not sorry.

So without much further ado, here are my top tips to dressing affordably:


1)   Four words
Set yourself a budget.

2)   Do I need this?
We don't want to find ourselves in the I.R.L sequel of Confessions of a Shopaholic, so ask yourself this; Do I need it? Will it revolutionize my wardrobe in a way that an pre-existing similar item doesn't?

 3)   Don't sell your soul over an item
If you spot something that will result in you emptying the entirety of your pockets' contents and possibly searching in the crevices of your purse, consider waiting for the sales unless of course it occupies your mind to the point of possession, then for health's sake buy it.

4)   Until our next meeting
If you do consider postponing an item purchase until the sales, make sure to get there at the start of the sales or else it will be a grim case of 'finders keepers, losers weepers'.

5)   Shop turn-arounds, friend or foe?
Shop turn-arounds don't necessarily mean your item has vanished from the face of the earth, they often reappear in the sales!

6)   Stalker shopper
Keep tabs on the impromptu sales that pop up rather than depend on the end of season sales!

7)   'One man's trash is another man's come up'
The end of the sales doesn't necessarily mean the dregs, there may be the occasional prince amongst the hundreds of frogs for the price of almost nothing (I'm not a romantic).

8)   True love requires sacrifices in the form of a purse
If there is a piece you're lusting after to the point it's infiltrating your dreams. Just put yourself out of the misery and get it.

9)    Sleep on it
This may be an obvious one however if you're indecisive about the use you'll get out of an item... leave it, at least for a while.  In most situations it is a temporary blip from your usual bearings and disappears almost as instantly as it appears. Sleep on it, if after a sufficient amount of time has passed and you are still keen, go ahead!

10)   It's a keeper
If it's a wardrobe staple, consider it a justification for paying the full price. The cost per wear will even it out eventually!

11)   She who hesitates is lost
Whilst being an exclusive sales shopper is perfectly commendable, don't let it cloud your judgement. If you've been lusting after an item that is both popular and has miraculously made it's way to the sales rack.. don't risk leaving it for the next round of price reductions, seize it, she who hesitates is lost.

12)   Mixing and matching
Sale or no sale when you're intent on a piece, consider the various different outfits you can pair it with. If it's not a very versatile piece that barely complements anything in your wardrobe, it may result in you not getting enough wear out of it. My personal purchase barrier is 5; so if I can come up with at least 5 outfits off the top of my head I would consider it a worthy purchase.

13)    Outlets are your new friend
Do your research on whether there are discount outlets of the shops you love!

14)   Play your quirkiness to your advantage
Deliberate over the item of interest as to whether it is a popular, sought after piece at the moment. If your style is quite quirky and the demand or hype for the item may not be very high, consider leaving it to enter the sales. Pieces that don't immediately strike people's fancy often find their way to the sales rack!

Today's outfit is an accumulation of all my aforementioned tips: My H&M mustard jumper was a mere fiver from the remnants of the sale, my Zara skirt was £12 and I decided not to leave it for another price drop as it already ticked all the boxes and missing out would be truly a great loss. You may roll your eyes at the sight of my trusty brogues, but they are a classic, a wardrobe staple for me and a shoe I can always depend upon. Since Clarks always produce the same shoe which rarely graces the sales section, I ventured into the Lowry Outlet Mall and after a fair bit of rummaging emerged from the shop with a whopping 40% off. My denim jacket was an investment piece, one of the rare moments I have spent the full price tag's worth of money on something. You see, being petite whereby the grand majority of items hang loosely or make you appear frumpy means that when a rare gem crops up that fits you as snug as a bug in a rug, you just buy it. Treat yo'self!

I really do hope you guys found my tips conducive! Do you have any personal shopping hacks? 

 If you came solely for the outfit, there is something here for everyone.....


My mama, bless her golden heart not only took these pictures for me but also offered to do so. Considering the fact she occupies the highest band of technophobia, let us take a moment to appreciate what a fabulous job she has done of it.





Outfit Details: Zara cropped denim jacket, H&M jumper, tights that have existed from the beginning of time, Clarks' brogues and Accessorize Bag.