David Nieper swimdress

I’m often seen squeezing myself into a swimsuit that is unfortunately too small – being tall and long in the body has its disadvantages. To be honest, I’m beyond caring – as I firmly believe that the best way to get a bikini body – is just put one on. Not sure who said that, but thanks, I agree.

But, having said that, I do miss the glamour and comfort of a beautifully-made swimsuit. The kind you can actually swim in, the kind that fits and the very elusive kind that gives you confidence if you ever get the chance to lounge around the pool on a hot summer day. In my case, it’s the quick run into the outdoor lido.

So eye spy David Nieper and this luxury swimdress. I’m a big lover of swimdresses but they are so difficult to get right. If the skirt part is too long, swimming is impossible and sometimes the ‘retro’ look is hard to get right. From limited sewing knowledge i.e. watching the Great British Sewing Bee, sewing swimwear is a difficult job and only experienced seamstresses can cope with the stretchy material. View Full Post

I’ve got a thing for socks.  I carry one with me – a lucky one that is – but I’ll save that story for another time, and many many years ago my mum used to work for a sock factory in Stapleford, Nottinghamshire.  

Yet, despite my love of socks and fond sock-making memories, my collection is sadly lacking and I don’t get the gift of socks anymore.  

Instead, I always end up borrowing those of my other half – the half that always gets the socks for Christmas, birthdays, Father’s Day and maybe (if he’s lucky) Valentine’s Day.

But no more – us women shouldn’t be ignored on the sock front – so campaign ‘give me socks for all seasons’ starts now, and will even be buying my own as well as more to borrow too.     

In my mind, socks so do indeed maketh the shoes especially when your shoes are a bit down in dumps, so in my attempt to be a bit more #wellfashioned here’s a few Made in Britain sock makers for you to check out.

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This weekend I’ve mainly been:

  • Admiring the craftsmanship of this amazing crocheted mermaid coat #madeinDevon
  • Trying to keep cool in ethical fashion 
  • Matching this Verry Kerry kimono to the gazebo
  • Wandering around village fairs and buying homemade knitted toys
  • Trying on #madeinbritain swimwear and loving this luxury swimdress from David Nieper.

Well Fashioned reviews of a lovely selection of Verry Kerry kimonos and the David Nieper swimdress to follow soon.

I was first introduced or rather stumbled upon Age of Reason Studios when I went along to the Best of Britannia event back in 2014.  Spotting the designer Ali Mapletoft from afar, I plucked up the courage to copy her ahem get a lesson in how to wear a scarf (believe me I needed one) and then walked away wearing or rather making a statement in my I will never surrender scarf.

A rare and wonderful find.

To this day, it is still one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever owned and still looks as good as new despite almost daily wear.  This is one piece of clothing that I’ve never regretted buying.  It is so well made and still surprises me how it can just transform whatever I’m wearing and make me feel seriously Well Fashioned.

I can also wear it without guilt knowing that no sweatshop labour has ever been involved in its making, and I’m doing my little bit to support UK manufacturing and British made.

Indeed, what I really love about Age of Reason Studios is that they are fully upfront and transparent about their supply chain and suppliers and try to source everything sustainably.  They even namecheck their suppliers, including The Pin House for sewing and North Ronaldsay Yarn for its wool, and use older models too which for a gal like me in her 40s is the kinda thing I like and makes me feel that looking good isn’t out of my reach.  I’ll post up some pics soon of me, my scarf and I.

As well as scarves, Ali also designs and prints womenswear and cushions, and sends out great offers in her regular Age Reason Studios emails so sign-up to her mailing list quick.

Well Fashioned Credits

Made in Britain

Listed on the Well Fashioned Made in UK womenswear directory

Images all Age of Reason Studios

The next Best of Britannia London event is 12/13 October 2017

Tips on scarf wearing

 

Day one of National Storytelling Week and I want to share this beautiful film with you: A life at the Mill is a film by artist and filmmaker Jeanie Finlay.

In the words of Jeanie Finlay, A life at the Mill  is “a collection of video portraits of ten mill workers, past and present, living in and around the Derwent Valley, Derbyshire. The film details the important role that work played in their lives, how it felt; to clean a mill, to work all your life, to face retirement, to shut a mill down and make hundreds unemployed and the hole that was left behind.”

Do watch, it’s a lovely film and really captures the love, working conditions, friendships, happiness and sadness of a life at the mill.  A real honour to see and hear people speaking about their lives – storytelling at its very best.  I used to live in Derbyshire so know the mills well, but never heard the stories told so well.

My mum used to work as a seamstress, and in lots of different factories in and around Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, and Ireland, and my dad worked at Stanton Ironworks. Would have loved to have captured them on film talking about their lives.

Wellfashioned Credits

Mill workers: Doug Waldren, Lawrence Leatherland, Audrey Ankers, Brian Fleay, John Mumby, Mary Bowes, Peter Hodgkinson, Linda Coton, Kitty Weston, Dennis and Barbara Basford, and Tony Bowker.

Visit The Derwent Valley Mills for more information on the mills and visiting the area

A Life at the Mill by Fleet Arts and Glimmer Films.  Filmed and directed by Jeanie Finlay, artist and filmmaker.  A Heritage Lottery funded project, with additional funding from Derwent Valley Mills Partnership, Derbyshire Country Council, and Derby City Council.  Managed by Fleet Arts.

Images: Jeanie Finley

Other films by Jeanie Finlay, see IMDb and check out her cracking film about Nottingham Lace.