Another linen dress and petticoat

Hello and welcome to a sunny evening on Appletree Bay, the perfect backdrop for my newly finished linen dress and petticoat. I've been labouring over this version for some time now and at last it's finished. One of my followers and fellow sewers, Pat, said a very wise thing to me when she was on Tresco recently, "It'll be beautiful when it's finished, and if it's not beautiful then it's not finished." Many tiny adjustments and tweaks later and I'm happy to say that it is indeed beautiful.

So, this is me on the way to the beach, the dress having its very first outing. I wanted to show you this before the rest, as after doing lots of sitting down and moving around on the beach the petticoat ended up hanging down much lower, but the fit ideally looks like this.

There's no point in have a frou-frou petticoat if you don't show it off, is there!

And this is the finished petticoat. I want to make one more version of this in orange to wear under a green dress that I've had for ages. Every time I make this I learn a little bit more, so hopefully the orange one will be equally successful.

Someone had made this big shell shape, a fish maybe, on the beach which was perfect for my photo shoot. I took my little tripod and used my timer to capture these shots. Appletree Bay is great for evening shots as it faces the setting sun.

This is my beach of choice for swimming at the moment. We have a predominantly east wind blowing meaning that Appletree is tucked in out of the wind. I swim the length of the bay and back most days. Sometimes I have the beach to myself (early mornings) and other times I have to weave around the small boats and dinghys that are anchored up along the shoreline.


When I bought this aqua linen fabric I imagined this setting for wearing a summer dress - the shade is exactly the colour of the sea when you swim across this bay on a sunny day.

I opted for neutral shades and various tones of turquoise to complement today's outfit. The stretch woven belt was from Primark last summer, sunglasses are by Radley London, rings are both old and preloved, the short cowrie necklace and long dancing girl pendant were both bought from Gallery Tresco. Natural coloured suede platform sandals were from TK Maxx many moons ago.

Reluctantly, it was time to go home. I'm so aware of how lucky I am to be able to wander off to the beach after work; a ten minute stroll and I'm on a golden stretch of sand, a haven all to myself to relax and unwind. Summer is here and life is good. See more about my beautiful island home of Tresco here.

                                                                                         Anna x


Pistachio two piece from Primark

Hello lovelies! How are things with you? September is upon us but, as ever, I'm not done with summer yet and will be holding onto my summer finery for as long as possible. This was my work outfit from Friday when the sun was shining as opposed to today's showery, blustery weather. 

I picked up this skirt and top in Primark in April and this is only the second time I've worn it. My blogging friend Sheila from Ephemera always advocates wearing a new item as soon as possible, to take ownership of it and make it part of your wardrobe. Such good advice! I've held off wearing some pieces that I bought in the spring simply to keep them as new. However that can also work against them as they/I can go off the boil.

The two-piece is pretty and I do love the colour which is probably why I bought it, but the jury's out as to whether I'll be wearing it again next year. The elastic around the bottom of the top plus the batwing sleeves means that it doesn't sit in one place but keeps popping up over the waistband of the skirt. On reflection, I can imagine that this is meant to be a crop top. (Primark's demographic won't have over 60's like me in mind!)

The other downside is the very long skirt (neither maxi nor midi) which needs high heels or wedge sandals (these are old, from TK Maxx) as I've worn here. Much as I tried this on in the changing room at the time of purchase, I was simply looking to add some new colour and style to my wardrobe and this seemed to fit the bill. I recall I was in Truro for a medical appointment and therefore this would have been a bit of a rushed shopping spree at the time. Hey ho!

The gold coloured chain belt was another Primark purchase, bought at the same time to add a bit of bling to what I already knew was a marginally staid outfit. I do think it works in lifting the overall look especially along with the gold chain necklace - a very old Primark piece too.

I feel I may be a bit unkind and disloyal to this co-ord and have to say that I don't hate it, but need to find better accessories to lift it into Anna's Island Style. Maybe my orange wedge sandals would have given a more fun slant to things? No worries - I'll be packing it away until next year to give it another chance to shine. 

Understatement isn't one of my strong points and maybe I've not been very fair on the first viewing of this ensemble. My choice of vintage handbag is a great match but, you know me, I do love the wow factor. The rings are old and my Quay Australia sunglasses work well in that matchy-matchy way.

Fiona did the honours with our end of the week photo shoot. As friends we pride ourselves in absolute honesty with her telling me often "Oh, you won't like that one!" as I babble on when I need to be concentrating on my photo face. We do have lots of laughs and surely that's what we all need!

                                                                            Anna x


Summer brights

Hello lovelies! I maybe ought to have called today's post "Better late than never!". August has taken its toll on me, meaning I'm way behind with everything apart from work. Well, maybe even at some areas of my work too if the truth be known... Anyway, here I am in the middle of the night, with a bout of insomnia and an internet connection that keeps dropping in and out trying to put this post together.

My summer brights outfit is a mixture of old and new items - the new being this ruffled skirt, yet another purchase from Number 36 in Penzance dating back to my spring visit to the mainland. The white vest top was from H&M earlier this year too and the pink linen shirt (M&S) was a charity shop find from last year. 

The tiered orange skirt feels flirty and fun and it seemed only right to flounce about on the sand for these photos. Fiona, my photographer extraordinaire, was awol as were family and so I had to make do with the timer on my camera and a bit of hamming up on my own. At least I managed to find a quiet spot on where no-one could see my antics.

I was prepared for the odd flash too by wearing my new bikini. I've yet to do a beach post proper this summer as my every spare moment has been spent helping Steve with our boat renovations. Goodness knows if we'll managed to get it into the water at all this year! Just as we've been trying to finish the last patch of paintwork the weather has turned wet and unpredictable here which is very frustrating.

Said bikini is floral and multi-coloured and is the first new one I've bought for years. Am I bikini body ready I ask myself? Probably not, but it's the only body I've got and may well be on display in September when I've booked a week off work. If the boat isn't launched by then, I plan to take myself off to the beach every day (weather permitting) for a high tide swim and then have a picnic and laze around reading a book and sunbathing. I've already put in for a dose of good weather so fingers crossed that will all go to plan!

There's nothing new jewellery-wise and the Radley sunglasses aren't new either. The beaded belt is very old indeed but has been brought out to tie in with my sandals which again were bought in the spring (from TK Maxx) and haven't made it onto the blog previously.

Side by side, the belt and sandals do look as if they match perfectly which for me it terribly satisfying. Matchy-matchy or clashy-clashy whichever is the plan always makes me happy if I manage to pull it off. Such little pleasures in life please me immensely.

So that's just about all from me. I'm having an overnight trip to the mainland this weekend to have my eye's tested but don't expect I'll have much time for shopping. I say that to almost prepare myself for any disappointment. I also have to get a new passport photo taken and have done an online search, but do wonder how reliable that is - one of the venues is KFC! Anyway, wish me luck and I'll be back on Monday with our Style Not Age challenge. Hope to see you then. Please leave me a comment if you've enjoyed this post.

Thanks for dropping by!

Anna x


Birthstone Beauties

Hello and welcome to this month's Style Not Age challenge. Jacqui has chosen this month's theme inspired by our birthstones and I'll be frank with you - I really don't like my birthstone (garnet). I have a few things in my winter wardrobe that might have worked for this one, but not in my summer collection. This lovely red jumpsuit is borrowed from Fiona my blogging photographer. But more of this later. Let's see how Jacqui  tackled her own challenge shall we?

Emerald is Jacqui's birthstone, the colour of her shoes leading Jacqui to create this zingy outfit in greens and yellow. Her jacket is from F&F, trousers from Zara and top from Matalan. See the rest of her story on her blog Mummabstylish.

Ruby is Emma's birthstone and she has opted for various tones of red to echo the different shades of the stone. Her jacket and trainers are from Zara, top and trousers from River Island and her bag is from eBay. Emma's backstory can be found on Style Splash blog

Hilda's turquoise birthstone has me more than slightly envious. Her daughter's handbag was the inspiration for this look paired with these fab white mules and pretty summer dress. Read more from her on Over The Hilda

Gail too has an enviable birthstone - topaz. She's wearing a topaz pendant with her casual denim jacket and white M&S jeans. Did you know that topaz comes in orange too? Find out more on her blog Is This Mutton.

My offering this month was virtually thrown together at the last minute. Fiona and I had been for an end of the day sea swim followed by our flask of tea and chat ritual when I remembered the outfit challenge. After a cycle dash home I managed to find this floral top to compliment the floral jumpsuit. It's very old, so old in fact that I don't recall where I bought it. I added this ornate belt (eBay) and these neutral sandals to complete the look.

My matching rings are charity shopped from long ago. 

My gold coloured chain is from Zara, a gift from a girlfriend. 

I bought these uber comfy sandals from TK Maxx earlier on this year. 

I must admit that if this were my jumpsuit I'd definitely be wearing it as a regular work outfit. The fit is loose, yet with a belt is a flattering shape, is lightweight for the summer and would look just as pretty with a simple tee shirt underneath. Platform sandals would be another great addition too. 

So that's pretty much it folks! I do hope you've enjoyed this month's challenge. I'll be back next week with... goodness knows what!

                                                                        Anna x


Statement sleeves for our Style Not Age challenge

Hello and welcome once again to our monthly style challenge! Statement sleeves is Emma's idea this month and it seems to have been embraced with glee by all of us. For once there was an instant piece that came to mind when I read about the theme and I was  pleased with the results of the outfit and photos which my dear friend Fiona caputured for me. But more of that later. Here's how my style sisters approached Statement Sleeves.

This hot pink top of Emma's was an absolute bargain from River Island and one that I'd have snatched up too if I'd seen it. The leg o' mutton sleeves with shirred elastic cuffs make for a stunning look. Catch up with Emma's news on her blog Style Splash here

Hilda's double dose of denim also includes these fabulous sleeves. See them in close-up below.

Ever stylish Hilda has borrowed her hubby's hat to lend a cool edge to her denim ensemble. The mini pleats on the puffed sleeves are very unusual and effective too. See more from Hilda here

Fluted sleeves from Jacqui in this pretty summer top fit the bill nicely don't you agree? Grey crops and handbag work well with the pastel hues of her top and pumps. See more on Mummabstylish here

These huge frilled sleeves certainly fill the remit Gail! The blouse is another River Island gem - I clearly need to be checking out their website. Catch up with Gail's blog Is This Mutton here

I had great fun swooshing about in this pleated sleeved top in the golden evening light. Fiona and I had the beach to ourselves allowing for much uninhibited exhibitionism by me. We were there to swim primarily, but I managed to combine the photo shoot with our daily dip too. The location is Cradle Porth, my favourite beach of the moment.

My top was a charity shop find from years ago; so many that I forget when exactly. It was an eye catching piece that I knew was a worthy addition to my clothes collection. I haven't worn it often as it's quite a memorable piece.

I had great fun hamming it up for the camera! It's been a while since I've had a photographer to help out so I was making the most of it.

The mint stretch jeans were a £5 bargain from Tesco's a few summer's ago and the sandals are from TK Maxx, again some time ago. Nothing new in fact. 

There's nothing new jewellery-wise either. The rings are both pre-loved and the pearl necklace with glass lozenge is rather ancient, well at least over 10 years old. The Quay Australia sunglasses were given to me by a friend.

I've no idea what G means with these sandals. I've looked up shoe brands and there seems to be many using a capital G. Do let me know. 

I'd like to finish with a big shout-out to Sandra, my sister, who had a rather significant birthday yesterday. She lives on a tiny island on the West Coast of Scotland and consequently we've not seen each other for some time now. 

Many thanks for dropping by again. It'll be September before you hear from me again!

In the meantime, have a great week!

Anna x

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