Wish List: Escape to the Country

Picnics and Contry Kitchens

I'm dreaming of escaping to the countryside to a cottage with a pretty kitchen, with a stack of books, lots of time for picnics and a new pair of Hunters. Since I'm busy sewing frocks in the city, I'll have to make do with window boxes and a stroll in the park. 

A few of my favourite things

Sunday Best
Sunday Best

Sunday Best
Sunday Best

This weekend my favourite things are 40's style waves, rose lemonade with paper straws and my new Le Comptoir Scandinave sandals from Spartoo.

My fringe has hit that totally awkward stage in the growing out process. Too long to be a blunt fringe but not quite long enough to be swept to the side. My solution is a sort of side swept quiff and 40's style curls. I'd always thought those sort of hairstyles were ridiculously hard style but its actually so easy. I just put in a few big rollers with lots of hairspray, wait until they have cooled then brush out the curls and there you have it.

Sunday Best

Home, Sweet Home!

Home, Sweet Home.
It feels so good to be back! I've had so many other commitments over the last couple of weeks that I had to take a short break but its good to be home again.

I don't want to give too much away but here is a little peek at one of the designs I've been working on for Wayward Daughter. I've had a few set backs but now everything is finally coming together and I'm working towards opening my Etsy shop in the very near future. I really wanted to wear this in an outfit post but the weather (as close to a hurricane as Scotland has ever seen) had other ideas.

While 70mph winds uprooted trees in the park by my flat (this actually happened), I happily worked on dress patters, with a little encouragement from those soft spoken fellows on Classic FM and pot after pot of rose tea. I didn't notice at first but my teacup totally matches the dress fabric, completely coincidental. Scouts honour!

While I was working on this dress I kept thinking of one of my favourite Wayward Daughters, young Veda Pierce in the HBO adaptation of Mildred Pierce. All of Ann Roth's costumes are such an inspiration to me but young Veda's are especially so. I inadvertently started to reference it as 'Veda' in my drafting notes so here you have my 'Veda' dress in blue (it will also come in dusky pink) I think that you Miss Pierce would have felt at home in her namesake dress, don't you?

P.S. The competition winners from the Best of British competitions were Stolen Thunder - Chloe and Wallpaper Rose - Kate. Congratulations darlings and thank you to everyone who entered.

Leeds Guide

Calls pair 1
The Calls (2 of 3)
42 The Calls
The first thing I did after dropping my bags was to run a bubble bath. After sampling all the lovely products (the best thing about staying in a hotel, right?) and soaking in the bath with a relaxing glass of fizz. I tackled my hair into a sort of faux bob and put on my favourite dress, then I tripped off downstairs to meet the girls for dinner at Gaucho.

Calls pair 3
Leeds Trip
I'm afraid that I have a serious blogger faux pas to admit. I didn't take my camera to the restaurant. I know… I know… rookie mistake! Thing is, I'm used to dining with civilians, who frown at my snapping away whilst thing are trying to eat. I'm disgraced because the restaurant was spectacular and the food was heavenly to say the very least. I'm a born, though not necessarily breed carnivore (My Mother, a vegetarian craved meat so badly whilst pregnant with me that she had to give into my demands… that's how she tells it anyway.) so Goucho was truly a dream come true.

We were assigned a rather charming waiter ho presented us with the different of beef and guided us through the chefs cooking recommendations. This had to be my favourite part of the experience, actually being able to see the quality of the meat and the size of the cuts made choosing so much easier. Truth be told, I would have liked to touch it too but I think that may have been over stepping the mark. However, I love to cook red meat so this worked for me but I can completely understand if you're reading this and wincing. If so, please accept my apologies. I know it isn't for everyone.

I ordered a fillet, rare to medium rare and that is exactly what I received. Quite literal perfection, it cut like a hot knife through butter. Infact, if I had been alone (and not wearing my favourite dress) I may have eaten it like an apple. I'm joking… but seriously, it was the best steak I have ever eaten! Dessert was another triumph, Dulce de Leche cheesecake with chocolate sauce. Need I say more?

Calls pair 2
The Calls (3 of 3)
The next morning, I was up bright and early with lost of time to deliberate over what to wear and enjoy breakfast in bed. This was thankfully delivered through an ingenious little hatch so there wasn't even any need to scare the hotel staff with my crazy backcombed hair, a remnant of the previous night.

corn exchange (1 of 1)
County Arcade
Located right in the heart of the Victoria Quarter. Aside from being absolutely stunning, it houses some great shops. Perfect for a spot of shop of window shopping at Vivian Westwood or to swoon over the Tillie at Mulberry and the brogues in Church's. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to peruse the food hall at Harvey Nichols either. I found a tin of rose buds that I have since used to infuse spirits.

This perhaps set the tone for the day because afterwards I ventured into Rose and Co. Where I lost almost an hour smelling all manner of floral scented delights and peering into apothecary drawers. Rose is my favourite, favourite scent so it was quite blissful. The amount of choice was quite overwhelming but I managed to maintain a little restraint and only bought some lavender salve and rose bath salts. I seriously cannot recommend their Rose Salve enough. I swear, I could not survive the winter without it.

rose and co (5 of 7)
rose and co (2 of 7)
rose and co (4 of 7)
rose and co (1 of 7)

corn exchange pair
Corn Exchange
Originally this building housed the corn exchange for Leeds and the surrounding counties. it now houses all manner of boutiques but it still retains the most beautiful domed glass ceiling which originally enabled merchants to clearly view the corn they were purchasing (just a wee bit of history for you).

There are lots of great shops in the Corn Exchange but my favourite was Mki, the entire shop encompasses a preppy, nautical theme - Leatita wrote an insightful post on the movement behind the Mki aesthetic. In short, if you like Ivy League style, Breton Stripes and a nautical pallet (sans red) then this the shop for you!

MKI (1 of 4)
MKI pair
MKI (2 of 4)
If you are looking for places to say in Leeds, Gumtree is a great place to find holiday lets.

Edit: I can only apologise for all your lovely comments that were lost in the great Blogger crash of 2011. As always, Thank you!

Best of British: Nadinoo Interview

I'm sure that Nadinoo needs no introduction, Nadia Izruna's designs have been popping up on blogs all over the world and deservedly so. With each collection it as if Nadia looks deep into our hearts and creates pieces to to satisfy of deepest (dress hungry) desires. Each Nadinoo piece is lovely made by hand from Nadia's designs, using delicately patterned Liberty fabric, making each piece a treasured addition to any wardrobe.

Nadia was so kind as to answer a few questions for Wayward Daughter about her design inspirations and Nadinoo's background.


Where did your passion for sewing and design begin?
I have always had a great love for clothes ever since I was a little girl. My Grandma’s neighbour first showed me how to sew on her old singer when I was 9 years old, we made tiny clothes for all my dolls which I thought was magical. I finally got my own sewing machine at 18 when I was ready to pursue a career in fashion and I can’t say I’ve ever looked back!

What made you decide to start Nadinoo?
I loved the idea of hand sewing a garment that is special and unique for the lovely lady who wears it. It was my chance to create a label that was true to my taste and influences; clothes that are pretty and individual that I would happily wear everyday.

Who or what inspires your lovely designs?
Old photos of my grandmother, pretty furniture, fabrics, vintage silhouettes from markets or old films... Something as simple as a walk in the English countryside can inspire me. My head is always working away churning ideas and new designs that are just bursting to come to life.

You design for three fictional girls, Pixie, Fleur and Lula. Are they based around real people?
Very loosely although they have evolved every season becoming three unique moods and personalities. Designing within this enchanted world allows me to build a story for every garment giving it life and character. This season Pixie has taken on a little tomboy roll ready for mischief and adventure. Lula is up to her usual tricks luring in the boys with her girlish ways and come untie me bows. Fleur is enjoying lying among the flowers watching the clouds go by while her dress floats and dances in the wind…

If you had to pick a favourite season to design for what would it be?
I’ve always been in love with the sunshine so Spring & Summer are a delight to design for, imagining how each style will be worn and enjoyed is so exciting filling me endless ideas!

Which designers do you admire?
I enjoy other fun, playful and vintage inspired designers such as Orla Kiely, Eley Kisimoto, Twenty Seven Names, and so many others…

If you could live in any era when would you choose?
My answer for this will probably change from one season to the next but today I would love to go back to the 60’s and experience the excitement in fashion, music and interior design.

If you could dress anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
I would love to dress Zooey Deschanel and see her dancing, singing and acting in all our Nadinoo creations. She is such a doll I don’t think I would ever tire dressing her…

Do you have any advice for novice seamstresses?
Design and make clothing that you truly love and enjoy every process along the way. If you need more skills and advice there are so many good blogs, courses and helpful books on the market with great sewing tips. I really hope to put together a sewing book in the next year with a selection of Nadinoo patterns to encourage more ladies to start sewing their own lovelies. There is so much pleasure is finishing a garment knowing that it was once only fabric and thread.

And finally, what can you tell us about the new collection?
Nadinoo Summer 11 is a breath of fresh air, full of lazy sun washed days. They are easy throw on dresses, tops, shorts and tops in soft pastels and Liberty printed cottons. I’m especially in love with the Lula’s untie me tops which are a little cropped with bows, I will be wearing mine with a long floaty Summer breeze skirt and a pair of comfy flats. These styles are slowly making their way into our online boutique, which will be ready handmade so there is no wait!

If you would like to know more, go over to and follow Nadinoo on Twitter - @mynadinoo

Best of British: A Thought is the Blossom

Dress: Miss Selfridge
Trench: Saver's
Shoes: Goodwill
Purse: c/o Little Ocean Annie
Bike Necklace: Modcloth

I'm Starr from A Thought is the Blossom and I live in a small Southern state in the US called Arkansas. We don't do fancy tea time here and we certainly don't use rose dripped china in the afternoons, rather we drink sweet iced tea out of plain ole' plastic cups to the tune of a good book or maybe even a BBQ (if we're lucky).

I'm probably the least knowledgeable person to be drafting a post about British things, seeing as I've never tackled the terrain or experienced the culture myself, but I'm thrilled that Cait has asked me to take part in all things British and I'll do my best to keep up with all of the other lovely posts we've seen this month.

Truth be told, I'm dazzled by the Brits! They're such an endearing flock of folk. First there's the accent that just makes everything sound that much better, then the school uniforms (which I was never made to wear, so I'm mesmerized by them) and the quirky words in their text that don't seem to translate to anything in American English, and the history; so much good history. These are things that may seem plain to the locals, but to a foreigner like me, they're enthralling.

I'd say the most relatable British thing that I try to emulate nearly everyday in my life is the fashion! Who knows where there history really lies, but I like to think things like satchels and oxfords and trench coats are very preppy British things. They remind me of English schoolboys which isn't a bad thing at all. 

Follow Starr on Twitter - @StarrCrow

Best of British: Wallpaper Rose Giveaway


Two giveaways in one day? That's right! This time Wallpaper Rose are giving away this darling telescope necklace. It even extends like a full size telescope and if you that wasn't cute enough it actually works!

In order to enter, please comment telling us what you think is the best thing about Britain and a contact email address. The competition will run until Monday 9th May, when a winner will be selected at random and contacted by email. All Wayward Daughter readers and welcome to enter and an extra entry will be added for followers of Wallpaper Rose's Blog just mention that you are a follower in your comment.

Edit: The competition is now closed.

Best of British: Stolen Thunder Giveaway

Stolen Thunder
In celebration of Wayard Daughter's Best of British theme, Stolen Thunder are giving away two of their quintessentially British pieces. A 'I Heart Gin' ring and a 'I Heart Tea' necklace.

If you are a lover of Tea and Gin, all you have to do is leave a comment with your contact email address. Additional entries will also be also be given to Stolen Thunders followers on Facebook and Twitter, just mention that you are a follower in your comment.

The competition is open to all Wayward Daughter readers and will run until Monday 9th May. A winner will be selected at random and contacted by email.

Good Luck x

Edit: The competition is now closed.

Best of British: Lazy Sunday

Lazy Sunday
Lazy Sunday
Naughty, Naughty, Naughty!

I know... I know... Best of British should have finished yesterday but I've been a little sidetracked with the annoying business of 'real life' so it is will be with us for another week. Trust me, this is a good thing. I have three lovely giveaways for you and aswell as the final guest post and an interview with darling Nadinoo.

Lazy Sunday
 Dress - TBA at Asos, Shoes - Cop Copine Brooch - Vintage

After the festivities for the Royal Wedding this weekend, I just wanted to kick off my shoes and relax with a pot of tea and a stack of books. How good do those pies at Canteen look? I can't wait to eat there next weekend when I'm in London. We have recently shuffled the furniture around and planted window boxes in our living room so the bay window is my favourite place to sit. Well, it beats my windowless matchbox of a 'study' any day.

Lazy Sunday
Lazy Sunday
Lazy Sunday
I couldn't help but utilize my Edward VIII teacup, which is usually display purposes only. I'm not a crazy royalist but I do have a soft spot for old Ed VIII. He has been my favourite King, ever since I read that he once vaulted out of a window at Buck Pal, ran across the park and hailed a black cab (A KING TAKING A TAXI!!!) All to visit Mrs. Simpson instead of meeting with his private secretary. And then I discovered that he referred to his duties as 'Kinging'. Plus he abdicated the throne for love, what a dear.

I've been wearing this TBA dress non stop since the delivery arrived from Asos, albeit 4 days late... tisk, tisk. Despite being AW10 I think its perfect for Spring weather, especially with my new Cop Copine sandals.

How did you spend the Holiday Weekend?