Couture clutch

Hubs and I are going to a wedding in a few days. That means I have to dress like a grown-up and look reasonably ‘nice’. I’m not good at looking like a girl: I spend most of my time in jeans and leggings, and my footwear of choice is Doctor Martens. I never whole-heartedly did the clothes/hair/nails thing, and I hardly ever wear jewellery or make-up. I read a statistic in The Times a few years ago that said women spend, in total, an average 603 days of their life applying make-up, and another 170 days removing it. Strikes me as a waste of time, frankly.

So the problem was that I had ‘nothing to wear’. I trailed round the town centre and didn’t like anything in the shops. In mild desperation I consulted our local Oxfam and found a couple of pleasant surprises: a Jasper Conran linen jacket in very pale blue-grey, and a patterned linen skirt – less than Β£9.00 for both, never worn, and they will do nicely. The trouble with looking like a girl, though, is that you can’t stop at the outfit. You then need handbag, accessories, jewellery – and it all turns into a bit of a headache. I had no handbag, and the charity shops had nothing suitable. There was nothing else for it, at short notice. I had to make one. Making bags, generally, makes me nervous. In fact, anything with a pattern gives me the jitters a little. I usually find that it doesn’t all fit together very well in the end. I made my own pattern for this, breathed occasionally, and it was fine.

I think it will do. All hand stitched, made from linen I already had, lined with dupion silk. Shown here against the Oxfam (via M & S)Β  skirt that it needs to coordinate with.

The decoration is stitched on, and is made from layered suffolk puffs – I think these are called yo-yos in the US – with a vintage button in the centre.

So carried away was I by this little flicker of triumph that I made a little flowery corsage for the jacket as well:

Really just circles of lightweight fabrics gathered up in the centre, with a fabric-covered button.

So I think I’m about ready, apart from trying to remember where my lipstick might be. Now I’m taking a few days off and will be back next week some time. Hope the rest of your week is good.

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25 Responses to Couture clutch

  1. Viv Manning says:

    I am with you on the make up waste of time thing – why be doing that when you can be sewing?!! Your clutch is absolutely lovely I must say, the suffolk puffs really set it off.

  2. Amanda says:

    I think your are going to look AbFab!! Have a great time.

  3. karen says:

    I totally agree about the dressing up thing. Formal invitations fill me with dread. I detest clothes shopping and wouldn’t have a clue where to start with the mascara brush or any of that…and I don’t actually own a single pair of shoes!! Boots all the way…even in summer.

  4. Rachel says:

    It seems to me you’ll do a pretty good job of dressing up like a girl, and you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that the accent points (handbag and clutch) are the work of Your Own Fair Hands. Which is something the shopaholics can’t say…

  5. MoF says:

    I remember another wedding and a very short skirt but that was some time ago. Wilf also remembers the very short skirt which in itself is amazing as he can barely remember what day it is! I agree about the make up bit. As if what you look like on the outside affects what you are inside.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Mo, how lovely of you to pop by. I remember that short skirt too and fervently hope there is no surviving photographic evidence. I’m not surprised Wilf remembers it though. πŸ˜‰

  6. Deborah says:

    Perfect! Lovely little bag and corsage.

  7. Jan Marriott says:

    really adorable bag…funny, I never saw you as a Doc Martins kind of girl..

  8. sandra says:

    Oh, this is really lovely, Karen. You’ll never be able to find such a personal set of clothing in a shop!

  9. kaiteM says:

    The little clutch is very pretty but i just adore the corsage. Have you thought of matching earrings too? Enjoy the wedding and your few days off.

  10. deb says:

    The outfit looks wonderful – especially the accessories! I have trouble at these functions too. Don’t own a dress, so it’s pants and a dressy shirt for me. And I’ve never worn heels!

  11. Penny says:

    I so agree! You have worked wonders to be dressed up “like a grown-up”.

  12. tiggy rawling says:

    Go girl. Leggings and Doc Martins are fine by me, it’s the rest of the world that looks askance.
    I don’t do formal, so it’s always a problem. Nightmare when you are the mother of the groom! Can you just hear the comments of the mother of the bride? Oh well, there is room for us all. As for Suffolk puffs, I’m a Suffolk girl and struggle with this one. Always good to see them used well.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Suffolk puffs… I think this is about the second time in my life I’ve ever made and/or used them. Really not my thing either, under normal circumstances. You must post photos as the mother of the groom!

  13. Penny says:

    You’re going to look absolutely FABULOUS!! Clever girl, shopping at thrift shops and making your own purse and corsage. I love thrift shops – practically all my clothes have come from one or the other.

  14. aracne says:

    Aren’t you great? The charity shop is my supplier too, unless I sew something myself. A lot of inspiration in this post as well.

    • Karen Turner says:

      Thanks, aracne. I find ‘proper’ clothes shops don’t have what I want. I do often buy clothes from charity shops, but I think these are my best find to date, and unusually timely too.

  15. Janice says:

    Your bag and the rest of your outfit look gorgeous. I hope you enjoy the actual event, even if you do have to be all grown up! πŸ™‚

  16. Gina says:

    It looks as though you’ve conjured up a rather gorgeous co-ordinating outfit. Enjoy the wedding.

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