Friday, 25 July 2014

With Love Betty's very own....This Old Thing!

I don't know about you guys but I'm addicted to watching Dawn Porters "This Old Thing" on channel 4 on a Wednesday night. It's so great to see a program praising vintage clothing and getting people excited about wearing it. 

Dawn Porter from This old Thing, Channel 4, Weds night at 8pm
For those of you who haven't seen in, basically Dawn Porter, (who I Love) attempts to get people excited about vintage. There is one person per episode who has never been in a vintage store, let alone worn vintage. She/he loves high street fashion and doesn't understand why you would ever wear 2nd hand clothing. Through out the episode Dawn attempts to change their mind and get them into vintage fashion and she usually succeeds! 

She shows you how you can be as outrageous or as sublet as you like and spend as much or as little as your purse strings will allow you. She explains that vintage fashion is NOT about getting "dressed up" but about mixing the old with the new and that it can be incorporated into your everyday wardrobe.

She also has a workshop full of expert tailors, dress makers & designers and through out the episode they show u how you can make sublet changes to vintage pieces so they fit you better or to customise them so they fit in with modern silhouettes and trends. 

Now this show has done absolute wonders for us at With Love Betty, we've had so many people quoting the show, stating that it has inspired them to come in and buy vintage! I even had my own Dawn Porter experience the other day with a vintage virgin. She walked away with a stunning crochet midi skirt and absolutely loves it!! Her first ever vintage piece!! So if your unsure about vintage why not pop in and have a look around, we are extremely friendly and love to do a bit of personal shopping. 

Now the whole point of this post was to show you how easy it is to make sublet changes to pieces you love. The only annoying thing about vintage is that it's one off, so if it's not your size you probably won't find it again in your size. BUT don't fret, there might be a way around it......

My friend Louise, a With Love Betty model and one of my best customers, came into see me yesterday. She desperately needed some smart clothing for work but wanted to stand out and not wear the same as everyone else. Well I had the perfect outfit for her, a pair of gorgeous camel, 100% wool, tapered trousers, unfortunately they were slightly too tight. Fortunately for her though I'm quite good with a sewing machine. 

They were only slightly to small for her, less than an inch so I decided the best way to get over the problem was to add a piece of material into the waist band. Now I could have used elastic but I knew Louise might want to tuck tops into the trousers so I wanted to make the customisation as inconspicuous as possible. So I turned them inside out to see if there's any spare fabric I could use, sometimes the hem might be wide or in this instance there was fabric covering the zip. 

So I literally cut away some of the fabric to use on the waistband and because I took it from the inside you won't notice the missing fabric.

I then very carefully, using a pair of sharp fabric scissors cut down the left side of the waistband and an extra 10mm down the seam. These trousers had a side zip so I was only able to do it the one side. If they needed expanding more and didn't have a side zip I could do it both sides. 

then pinned the extra fabric in place by opening up the cut area to make a V shape, Louise only needed an inch wide insert which was perfect for the extra fabric I cut from the zip. Then using my mini sewing machine from Dunelm mill I started sewing.....

To make it neat remember to fold over the edges of the cut waistband so the final result with have a hemmed finished. 

That's basically it, as u can see I folded over the top part of the extra fabric and gave it a hem and folded the cut waistband each side to give it a neat final result. I also hemmed the inside where I had taken the extra fabric, just so it didn't fray when Louise wore them. 

And that is how I added an inch to the waistband of a pair of vintage trousers and I'm sure your agree Louise looks fabulous in them......

And as you can see the inserted fabric is hardly noticeable. So if you do find a vintage piece that you love why not ask to see if something can be done to alter it. Your be surprised at what some people can achieve :) 

Please let me know if you enjoyed this post and found it informative,
And why not let us know your views on vintage fashion....

With love, Betty xxxxxx 

Thursday, 3 July 2014

By Betty

So I know I have been out of action for a while when It comes to With Love Betty's blog but that's all about to change.......... I promise!! 

Regarding the content of my little blog, it is no longer going to revolve around With Love Betty but include my other interests and other projects I'm involved with. So I hope you enjoy the new content and find it informatative and exciting to's hoping anyway ;) 

The lovely people who know me will probably tell you that I'm not the sort of person who can sit still for very long. I finish a project and straight away get itchy feet, planning in my head the next project. They range from being ridiculously huge (like opening my own vintage boutique) or teeny tiny (like making pom pom garlands) but either way my head is always planning and my Pinterest account is ever expanding. 

So With Love Betty is reaching it's 2nd year anniversary (I know right, how insane is that!!) and I still love being a shop owner. However the days can sometimes be a bit slow and frustrating when it's quiet. So to stop myself going absolutely crazy (and also to stop abusing my Netflix account) I decided to venture into a small side business. 

About 6 months ago a newly engaged friend of mine came round for her monthly dinner and gossip catch up. We started discussing her ever growing list regarding her wedding and on that list was finding the perfect wedding invitations. Like myself, my beautiful friend is extremely confident in what she wants (not fussy, confident!) and couldn't find exactly what she was after. After she showed me some of the samples she had received I said that it was something I could attemt to design for her. As you can imagine she looked a little scared at this, what if I was crap and she hated them? How do u tell a friend you hate her work? But she put her trust in me and thankfully loved my design and trust me I don't think she would hold back if she hated them. 

Using peonies in the design was a big must as these were the flowers she was to have in her beautiful bouquet. So after taking a photograph of a peony I went onto Indesign and started the slow process of drawing around it. I was then able to open the flower in Photoshop where I could rotate and manipulate it to look like multiple flowers of different sizes and shapes. Emma was there through out the whole design process, she was able to have the flowers exactly where she wanted them, the text in the fonts she wanted and arranged exactly how she imagined it would be. 

We were both very happy with the outcome :) 

Well 6 months later, on the 21st of June the wedding of Emma & James happened at the absolutely stunning venue, Osborne House, the holiday home of Queen Victoria herself! It was an extremely grand affair, the weather was perfect, the grounds and house were out of this world and the food and drink went down extremely well. As well as doing the invitations I ended up doing all the wedding stationery, everything looked stunning and I was so pleased with the outcome. 

Order of service......


Table plan, table names & menu.......

Framed items.....

The sweet table.....

Through out the process of designing and completing the stationery, Emma stated that maybe this is something I could pursue as a small business on the side of With Love Betty. It made sense, I had days when I had nothing to do and needed something to keep my brain ticking over, this seemed like the perfect answer. 

So "By Betty" was born...............


Friday, 26 July 2013

Outfit of the day....

Levi's denim shorts are literally flying out the door, they have been a massive hit this summer. Now I know this will sound bad but I didn't actually own a pair myself until very recently, I just didn't think I would look good in them. Plus I have a pair of bleached, ripped, Topshop, denim shorts that sit on my hips which I've had forever and the idea of converting from hipster to high waisted scared me a little. But as I sell the things I thought I should probably wear a pair to promote them a little bit more. 

So I wore a pair into work the other day, I paired a bleached pair with a white blouse from H&M, and even though at first I found the waistline a little uncomfortable when sitting down, I loved wearing them!! It was a boiling hot day so I didn't feel too uncomfortable having very short shorts on! Since this day have have worn them loads and I'm now waiting for a black pair to come in the stock pile :) 


 Blouse: H&M 
Levi's: With Love Betty 
Leather belt: With Love Betty 
Shoes: Topshop 
Rayban Sunglasses: The sunhut 

I did my hair by plaiting 3 small plaits on either side of my head and then just randomly wrapped 2 from each side across the top of my head and cripped them into place, the last 2 i wrapped around the back of my head.

What do you think if Levi's, are they one trend you won't/will be wearing this summer?! 

Would love to hear from you so please comment below.... 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Coachella down Watchbell lane....

One of the questions I get asked when I say I own my own shop is "Do you get bored being in the shop alone all day?" And even though there are times when it is quiet and the day seems to drag, most of the time I have a great time, mainly due to the rest of the shop owners down Watchbell lane. We have our own small community down here :) On a sunny day you can catch us all hanging out down the lane, chatting whilst keeping an eye on our doors. I love it!!

There is one particular lovely lady who keeps me sane (well I think we keep each other sane) and that is the gorgeous Suzy. She owns a shop called My House, (check out her website here) which sells beautiful, unique and quirky bits for your home. She's extremely creative, making amazing pieces for the shop and creating stunning window displays. 

As you all know I love fashion and love choosing my outfits in the morning....when leaving Topshop I was worried I would feel less motivated to make an effect, but every morning Suzy and I check out each others outfits and give each other inspiration.

 The other day Suzy came to work in this cute Coachella inspired outfit......

The Clock pendent above was Suzy's Grandmothers.  
 Her rings are from her own shop (she has a gorgeous selection of jewellery) and her watch is from May 28th @ Urban outfitters.
 Her boots really finish off the outfit perfectly and at only £15 in the Topshop sale, she couldn't go wrong really!!

Hat: With Love Betty
Dress: H&M
Clock pendent: Vintage
Rings: My House
Watch: May 28th @ Urban Outfitters
Boots: Topshop

A few days later I was inspired to create my own Coachella inspired look.....

 My dress is from Topshop, years ago. I actually wear it backwards so the V is at the back instead of at the front. I saw a picture of someone at Coachella, she was wearing a backless dress and had worn her necklace the other way....I loved it so tried it for myself. What do you think?
I love wearing white or cream in the summer and really love crochet & lace so this dress is the perfect dress for me!! As for my rings....I got the turquoise one from Brighton & the thin silver ones from Etsy.
My boots are also from Topshop.
  I know your probably thinking, wow she has a lot of items from Topshop, but after working there for 10 years and getting a uniform allowance, I have accumulated quite a Topshop collection. 

Dress: Topshop
Necklace: Dorothy Perkins
Rings: Brighton & Etsy
Boots: Topshop

What do you guys think of our Coachella inspired outfits? We would love to hear your feedback :) Now all we need is a festival to wear them too!

Thanks for reading and carry on enjoying that sunshine this weekend.  

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer madness

Wow what a week....the sun is STILL shinning, everyone is happy, happy, happy and With Love Betty has received some Fantastic news. As many of you know I opened With Love Betty nearly a year ago and even though it has been stressful at times, I have really enjoyed running my own business. Opening the boutique has enabled me to get creative in other fields and work with some amazingly creative people. So basically I get to do all the things I love on my own terms.....Loving life!! 

Well last week I received an email from the magazine Stella, which is the fashion magazine inside the Sunday Telegraph. They are planning on doing a feature on the Isle of Wight, a travel guide, basically showing the readers some of the best parts about the Island, where to eat, stay & shop. With Love Betty has been chosen as one of the places to shop :) I am beyond ecstatic about this. The feature will showcase With Love Betty to the nation as a hot spot on the island!!! Im still in shock that I have been chosen as I didn't get in contact with them, they found me :) They are not sure which issue the feature will be in but they hope over the summer.....So watch this space, I of course will let you all know when it happens so you can all check it out.

This is one of the outfits I wore last week whilst in the shop. I went for a boho inspired look that day with a simple white t-shirt dress with embroidered detail, matched with brown leather boots and rucksack. I love the detail on the dress and the fact the embroidery has been done in white thread, simple yet effective. Orginally the dress had fringing on the sleeves and hemline but I cut them off as they were so long and looked messy. 

My boots are from Topshop probably about 4 years ago. They are so soft and have worn down so well, which I love, they match my rucksack perfectly. Rucksacks are obviously massive right now, they look fab and they are extremely practical. I think I paid £7 for this racksack from the Chatuchak (weekend) market in Bangkok, Thailand...... love Thailand!! (You can read my post here on the Chatuchak market).


Hanging from my rucksack (for some reason you can't see it in the pics) is a good luck token from Vietnam. Whilst having dinner one evening in the beautiful village of Hoi an, a lady came up to us and asked if we would be interested in buying a good luck token, she said they will stop us from getting ill whilst traveling. Ever the cynical person David declined saying it was a load of rubbish. But I decided to give it ago (I was actually quite nervous about getting ill on our travels). Well what do you know for the whole 6 months I didn't get ill once, David on the other hand.....Well lets just say at one point I thought we were going to have to come home because he was so ill, and it was whilst we were in Vietnam!! coincidence?! I don't think so ;) 
The Buddha in the first picture looks over you and the tiger represents the year of the tiger, the year I was born. I love my good luck token, I wore it on my rucksack the whole time we were away and haven't taken it off since.

Dress: Old Topshop
Leather rucksack: Chatuchak (weekend) market, Bangkok, Thailand
Boots: Old Topshop
Sunglasses: Rayban
Rings: Etsy
Well that's all for now, Let me know what you think of my outfit and make sure you all enjoy that sunshine.

Friday, 12 July 2013

what im wearing today....

 It was extremely cloudy when I woke up and looked out my bedroom window this morning so I made an executive decision to cover up my legs (how very sensible of me.) I Rummaged in my jeans draw, which actually took a while, when did I collect so much denim?! I came across my trusty boy-fit jeans & thought today was the perfect day for them. Last year I was on a mission to find a pair of boy-fit jeans but couldn't find a pair that fit me perfectly. At the time I was Topmans brand manager here on the Isle of Wight, I suddenly realised maybe I should just try on a pair of men jeans....and what do you know they were the perfect boy-fit jean (and a lot cheaper than the Topshop ones). This is the second post I have blogged about boy-fit jeans from Topman, you can read the other post here. I like to wear heels with my boy-fit jeans, I find it balances the masculine and feminine vibe perfectly. Today Im wearing my new Topshop kitten heels which I purchased in the sale last week for only £25 :) I love the contrasting black & brown leather.

I purchased the blouse I'm wearing a few years ago from a small vintage shop here on the island (unfortunately its no longer trading.) This top always reminds me of my childhood, the material & embroidery are similar to items my mum would dress me in. I've also seen pictures of me sat in my pram as a small child being protected from the sun by an umbrella made of the same material and embroidery :) very cute. As for my hair, well I'm obsessed with boho hairstyles at the moment so ive been experimenting quite a bit. I get most of my inspiration from Pinterest, I have my own Hair & make-up board which you can follow here. I literally just brushed all my hair across to the left and then starting on my right side I started twisting whilst bring my hair forward for volume. I just kept twisting to the back of my head and then stuffed as many hair crips in as possible. Then before smothering it in hair spray I loosened a few strands to make it look more boho. 

Jeans: Topman £28
Top: Vintage 
Sandals: Topshop £25 in the sale
Silver bangles: Vintage 

What do you think of my outfit? any feedback would be great? how would you wear boy-fit jeans?

I hope you all enjoy the sunshine this weekend, its going to be a hot one :)