Patchwork jeans

Iron on patch jeans

After the past few heartfelt posts I thought it was about time that I brought a bit of fun and frivolity back to my little corner of the Internet and to me, jeans covered in patches literally bellow fun and frivolity. This is also a DIY project that I started a little *ahem* while ago and were inspired by the patch-covered jeans that Cara Delevingne wore in a DKNY campaign. Last weekend seemed as good as a time as any to finally complete and wear them!

This is how you can make your own and for any craft-phobics it’s a seriously easy DIY. Literally all you need to prep/buy in advance are jeans and patches and – if you’re as lazy as me – a glue gun. Oh and some chalk. More on that later.

Iron on patches

Mickey Mouse patch

Firstly you’ll need to start amassing a collection of patches; I say collection because as it turns out, buying patches becomes quite addictive. My justification for the 30+ I ended up buying (!) was that I was aiming for an effect a bit like this however you could go for a more minimalist approach and just have a few. I bought mine from ebay for around £2 each including P&P and when deciding which patches to purchase (try saying that quickly!) nostalgic kicked in and I went for some of my favourite childhood TV characters – Fred Flinstone, Garfield, Mickey Mouse, Thundercats, Elmo, Kermit and Gizmo from Gremlins. The Americana patches are from Beyond Retro, they usually have a great selection so if you’re London-based I’d definitely recommend hitting up their stores.

Boyfriend jeans

Boyfriend jeans

After you’ve acquired your patches you’ll need a pair of jeans. Mine are a pair of New Look boyfriend jeans I’d had in the back of my wardrobe. Personally I don’t think skinnies work for this look and flares could look a bit clichéd but you know, whatever floats your oats!

How to make patchwork jeans

Next up you’ll need to mark where your knees are on your jeans. The easiest way to do this is to wear them, then using your chalk mark a circle around your kneecap. The reason you’re doing this is so that when you’re placing your patches onto your jeans you have a marker. Also, I found out that having one patch sitting directly on your kneecap makes it quite tricky to bend said knee – lesson learnt here people, don’t make the same mistake as me.

DIY patch jeans

Patchwork jeans

Now comes the decision of deciding where exactly you’re going to have your patches and the rule here is that there are no rules! I chose to pop a pair of cherries on my derrière along with a smiley face and the Rolling Stones lips because … well, just because. Basically, get creative and go as crazy as you want. As with most things in life I took a more is more approach and covered my jeans with patches in a fairly haphazard way, placing some at angles and a couple overlapping. My main tip would be to try a few different combos photographing each layout on your phone so you have a visual to refer back to.

DKNY inspired DIY patchwork jeans

Once you’ve decided where your patches are going to be you then need to iron to affix them. Either pin your patches in place and then reloacte your jeans to the ironing board. Or. Do what I did and very slowly walk them there and pray they don’t fall off.

Turn your iron to max and whilst it’s heating up dampen a tea towel and place it over your jeans. When the iron is to temperature you can then start ironing them on. You’ll need to press down HARD with your iron to get your patches to stick – I’d say roughly 30 seconds to a minute per patch. The glue will dry quickly but it can be quite weak so the more welly you put into pressing down the better in the long run. No-one wants flappy patches after they’ve got cocky and not ironed for long enough. Trust me here.

After you’ve ironed your jeans and they’ve cooled down sufficiently the best thing would be to then sew around them to avoid a flappy patch situation where the edges curl up. However if you’re lazy like me then you’ll just use a glue gun. No glue gun? Afraid you’ll need to get out a needle and thread.

Finally, that’s it – you’re done! Wear your patch-worked jeans with sass and (cherries on your) ass.

DKNY inspired DIY patchwork jeans

DKNY inspired DIY patchwork jeans

DKNY inspired DIY patchwork jeans

Shirt from ASOS – DIY jeans – Clutch from H&M – Vintage leather jacket – Shoes (old) from Schuh


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1 comment

Farewell Minou

October 25, 2015 · 2 comments

in Musings


Even as I type these words I still feel separated from the reality of them. On Tuesday night my gorgeous cat Minou unexpectedly died. I found her in the kitchen on Wednesday morning, after I’d had a shower and was busying myself getting ready to start my 2nd day in my new job. I remember looking at her in the dark and thinking to myself that it was odd she was laid like that – on her side and beneath the fridge – and wondered whether perhaps she was lying next to it to stay warm; she often did the same thing with the Virgin TV box and a few weeks earlier when the temperature dropped I’d thought how frustrating it would be once again be to watch telly, as once she was curled up asleep in front of it there was absolutely no way you could use the remote to change the channel!

This is the strange sequence of thoughts that raced through my mind before I turned the light on, called her name and then felt my stomach lurch as I realised why she hadn’t jumped to her feet. I can still hear myself screaming and the sound has played on repeat in my mind all week, I can hear myself calling out Mister Ruffles name – his real name – over and over again, then falling to the floor, seeing him come rushing in and trying to wake her, then grabbing my phone and typing into Google ‘how to resuscitate a cat’ but stopping at ‘how….’ as when he cradled her in his arms I could see that she was already stiff. We both howled with grief, we held each other and with accelerated speed it felt like our whole world had been turned upside down.

Minou came into our lives six years ago; I was running late as per usual to dinner with friends and as I tornadoed out the house trying to simultaneously lock the door, throw my handbag over my shoulder and get my arms through my jacket I saw a very small black and white cat at the bottom of our steps. We clocked each other and once she knew she had my full attention she flopped herself over with her tummy on show, purring as she inched her face along the floor and watched me throw off my jacket/kets/handbag to tickle and stroke her. She was so, so pretty and from that first moment we met I was besotted with her. I named her Minou.


In a little as a nutshell as my rambly writing allows the story of how she became our cat goes a little something like this… I ran inside to get to Mister Ruffles shouting “just look at how tiny and beautiful she is!” and “clearly she’s someone’s cat, she’s so tame and loving and we must reunite her with her family, probably a family with a small child who is right now crying for the cat that they’ve lost!” He shooed me away, went into the house to get a packet of ham and later that evening when I came home I found them both asleep in our bed with Minou curled up on his chest. It looked like an Athena poster I once had and this is how the three of us spent our first night together.

The next day we went to work and called the RSPCA and The Cats Protection League to find out what the process is when you find a stray cat; we were told to ‘make reasonable efforts to reunite it with its owner’ and so the next day we did just that, printing 100 posters and circumnavigating Hackney to put them up and then taking her to the vet to see if she’d been microchipped which she hadn’t. That weekend we quickly got used to having her around and after coming home to find her hind legs and bum in our plant pot relieving herself, we decided that we might as well buy her a litter tray, food bowls and a small toy mouse.

It took about five days before her ‘owners’ responded to our posters but it definitely wasn’t the heart-warming tale I’d imagined; they told us she had been a stray they had taken in a few weeks ago and they thought that she must have jumped out of a first floor window they’d forgotten they’d left open during the weekend. They had only realised she had been gone that day and looked like they could barely take care of themselves let alone an animal. She clearly didn’t want to be with them and we had to foricbly give her back after she tried to make a run for it, escaping out of the box we had transported her in with Mister Ruffles chasing after her. We went home and we cried for the beautiful cat that clearly needed rescuing, threw out the litter box and tried to forgot about Minou. Two months later on a really warm September evening she found her way back to us, jumping through our open window and into our lives. We called the vets who confirmed the kindest thing to do would be to keep her and to please come in and get her microchipped. From that day onwards she was ours and we became a family the three of us.



The past four days – and I cannot believe it’s only been that many – have been heartbreaking. For something so small Minou filled our home with her huge personality and it now feels empty. She was an enormous part of our lives and we were so instinctively attuned to her and her routine that it became habit; I’ve caught myself still walking up to our front door looking up at the window and expecting to see her sat on the dining room chair waiting for us. Even when I’ve walked through the door I’ve still opened it slowly and never fully, expecting her to be on the other side waiting for a tummy tickle – or to race through my legs and into the hallway – and my heart has ached when I’ve realised that it’s never going to happen again. Even though I know she’s no longer here my body still hasn’t quite got that message.

The constant reminders have been a curse and a blessing and this weekend Mister Ruffles and I talked them through remembering and reminding ourselves of all the lovely and completely nutty things that she did. How she could jump from the floor to your shoulder and would sit on complete strangers shoulders like she was a parrot and you a pirate, how she loved sunbathing on the bed and that if you stroked her when she wasn’t expecting it she would chirrup her shock at you, we remembered how she always knew when he was coming home sometimes even up to an hour beforehand and how if there was ever a Feline Olympics she would have fucking aced volleyball. We smiled when we thought of her stretched out on his legs when they were resting on the coffee table whilst we watched TV and how she would curl up small and content in the space in his arm when he sleeps, how she loved getting into carrier bags, the laundry basket and cardboard boxes and how ungraceful she was when she jumped. I cried when I explained how I used to get so annoyed with her for kicking her litter all over the house – calling them her ‘dirty rocks’ – but that yesterday evening when I got one stuck between my toes my whole being had hurt.


Both of us by nature are quite practical people and so after we’d taken her to the vets, arranged her cremation and sobbed our goodbyes we came home and decided to throw away anything that we now wouldn’t need. We threw away the food that she hadn’t quite finished eating, the litter in her litter tray, the cardboard cat teepee that she had once loved, we hoovered away her ‘dirty rocks’ and we cleaned the floor where she’d lay. Of course we tenderly put away some of her things that we will never get rid of; her food bowl, one of her toys and her collar – the same collar that had saved her life two years prior – but for some reason, we haven’t got rid of her litter tray. I’m not sure why, in a way it feels like the final goodbye and I don’t think we are quite ready for that just yet.

Minou was an amazing cat, the prettiest cat I have ever seen and she was a member of our family – the family Mister Ruffles and I created together – and yes she wasn’t an actual person but she is ingrained in everything that has happened to us these past six years and she always will be and I miss her so very, very much.

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Great doors in Italy

Shutters in Tuscany Italy

Siena Tuscany Italy

Beyond Retro vintage jumper, vintage leather skirt and handbag

Even before Mister Ruffles and I were engaged we loved discussing our wedding and what it might be like. These chats usually happened whilst we were driving and after a song had come onto the radio – most likely an 80s power ballad whilst listening to Heart FM – that I would hear and then bounce up and down in my seat screeching “This! Yes this! We are definitely having this one played at the wedding!” After chatting about what music the DJ would play (it’s actually become a bit of a joke that my wedding playlist has around several days worth of music on it), we would chat about what we would eat, who would come and even what decor we’d have, yet we always came a cropper when thinking about where it would actually happen. Neither of us wanted to get married in the places we had spent our childhood and as much as I liked the idea of a London wedding we wanted to create a bit more of an event that would allow us to spend longer than just a day with our guests. Mainly becaus eof the afore-mention wedding playlist! We’d both uhmm and ahh over various locations we’d each suggest and it was usually around this point that the conversation about our fantasy wedding would tail off and we’d end up discussing something a bit more pressing like whether to have a cheeseboard in lieu of dinner that night or disagree on whose turn it was to iron the bedding.

Walking around Siena

Siena Tuscany Italy

How to wear a vintage leather skirt

Earlier this year when it came to having the conversation For Real and having to make an actual decision we were both still stumped. I even remember typing “where to get married” into Google and being simultaneously underwhelmed and bamboozled by some of the suggestions. Luckily two of my best friends got married last year and were on hand to give me some sage advice. They suggested that Mister Ruffles and I both separately compile a wish-list of wedding day wants – from how we wanted our wedding day to look and feel, to anything and everything that we wanted to happen during the event. After pulling our lists together we would then meet and figure out what we had in common, what we didn’t, what were deal-breakers and what were the things we definitely couldn’t afford. Essentially it was a list of everything we needed to look for in a venue. For the first time in the seven plus years we’ve been together we actually agreed on pretty much everything on our lists which was nothing short of a miracle. Our fantasy wedding chats had essentially made that bit easy. We both knew that we wanted a wedding that would be held outside from beginning to end, where we would get married in the sunshine, enjoy dinner at dusk by candlelight and then dance beneath the stars – which pretty much ruled out holding it here in the U.K! Eventually our decision ended up being Italy – Tuscany to be precise – and considering at that particular point I had never been to Italy before, it came as a bit of an unexpected surprise even to us. So why Italy? We’re both passionate about great food and wine which Italy has in abundance, we wanted somewhere that felt like we were in the countryside and the scenery there is as incredible in real life as it is in photos  – lush greenery and rolling hills as far as you can see – and we also wanted somewhere that wasn’t too far from the U.K so as many people as possible could come. Tuscany ticked all of the boxes for us.

After looking at around a hundred places online (no joke) we finally selected a shortlist of eight and made our first visit in May to hopefully find our venue. Armed with a clipboard and a TomTom we spent a jam-packed four days driving around the Italian countryside visiting Bogos, Castellos and Villas in the hope we’d find The One. When we did we knew instantly and fell deeply and madly in love with it. Last weekend we paid our venue a visit again and spent three days in Tuscany eating ourselves Christmas Day full in the name of wedding planning, menu tasting and restaurant trialling which meant that on the flight home I sat typing this post with a belly so full and bloated that I had to have the top button of my jeans undone so my seatbelt didn’t cut off the circulation to my lower half. At the time this was mildly alarming as the next day I was going shopping for a wedding dress and I had visions about not being able to fit into any of the sample sizes and/or getting stuck in a dress and/or getting cut out of it and/or busting a zipper. To update you – I didn’t end up getting stuck, cut out of or busting any wedding dresses. Phew.

Vintage leather skirt blogger outfit

Doors in Siena Italy

Siena shopfronts

Inbetween the decisions about how many metres of tables we needed and how much ice was required we managed to squeeze in a little site-seeing in Siena. It was a gorgeously sunny day and we spent the afternoon walking around its cobbled streets bathed in the honeyed golden light that Tuscany is renowned for, eating gelato and taking photos of the locals lazily enjoying their Sunday, admiring plenty of stunning doors and all whilst singing “ohhhhhhhh Siennnnnnna” to each other. We’re now pretty much done with the wedding planning for now which I’m quite relieved about as the forward planning has meant I can now concentrate on everything I’ve got in store over the next few months – like a new job for example that I start on Tuesday – eee!

Sunglasses, jumper, leather skirt and handbag all vintage from Beyond Retro – boots from Topshop

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Life lately

October 4, 2015 · 4 comments

in Musings

Life Lately-2

Life Lately

Well hey! It’s been a while … so what have I been up to eh?! Besides not blogging! I’ve basically spent the summer ticking items off of the Things You Do When You Are A Grown Up list. Which has been exhilarating, surreal, quite time-consuming and if I’m completely honest – pretty fucking scary and overwhelming too!


If you do read this blog (hello to you over there! *waves madly*) you’ll know I got engaged to Mister Ruffles in January and I couldn’t wait to (over-)share the news! Woohoo we’re getting married, pop the prosecco, let’s plan our engagement party immediately! Basically ALL THE YAYS! We were both blissfully happy, drinking a lot of celebratory fizz and having lots of fun over-excitedly interrupting each other re-telling the story of how he proposed …and then life threw me a couple of hefty curve-balls. As curve balls go these were basically XXXL bowling-ball sized. They hit me smack-bang in the stomach and left me winded, confused and doubled over in pain – both emotional and physical. For the first half of the year I felt like I was in a game of Dodgeball that was going very, very badly for me. After one ball too many I realised the only solution to the situation was to take myself out of the game completely, cut all ties with the opposing team and walk away. So that’s what I did.

Life Lately-5

It still meant though, that trying to get enthusiastic about my engagement – and the subsequent wedding planning – proved difficult; the experience had been tainted for me. No fault of my future husband I hasten to add, he was an incredible rock throughout and affirmed exactly why we are getting married and why we’ve always said that together we are a team. The sad thing is I had really looked forward to planning our wedding, I’m the gal who has been reading wedding blogs for the past six years for crying out loud! (To caveat – I know that makes me sound like a crazy person but I assure you I am not. I just really love planning and throwing parties, looking at pretty photographs and I’m partial to a canapé or two). However what had happened had taken all of the enjoyment out of any planning. The last thing I wanted to do/hear/discuss or think about were weddings and being totally truthful, for a while it took the enjoyment out of pretty much everything.

Life Lately-4

Life Lately-3

For a while I was rendered almost incapable of doing little else other than get up, get dressed, go to work and just get on with the day until I could come home and do it all in reverse. Hence the radio silence on the blog – I literally couldn’t give the headspace to anything else bar work/eat/sleep/repeat. I decided to take some time out, I sought help and I finally opened up to a few friends about how I was feeling. They made me realise I wasn’t alone, confirmed the craziness of the situation I was in and re-assured me that I was definitely normal (phew!), they cuddled me when I cried, met me at the drop of a hat, listened when I ranted, chatted over lengthy WhatsApp messages involving lots of red-faced angry and weepy wailing emojis – and my favourite, the throbbing red heart – and told me that eventually, everything would be OKay. They also reminded me that despite the hurt that I was feeling, the most important thing was the man I was getting married to and to focus on that. I’m eternally grateful to those friends and to my incredible boyfriend (fiancé is still a word I’m not keen on – it feels a bit twee, pink and fluffy – so until he’s my husband, Mister Ruffles is my boyfriend!) for being a forcefield around me and helping me come out of the other side. At last, I finally feel like I can say that.

Life Lately-7

Life Lately-6


When the idea of planning a wedding stopped freaking me out and started becoming something I looked forward to we both threw ourselves in with confetti canons a-blazing. I pride myself on being extremely organsied. I am an i-dotting t-crossing, meticulously thorough and process-driven organisational demon! And I LOVE an Excel spreadsheet and a checklist. Mister Ruffles is like me on super-strength steroids. As soon as I gave the green light to discussing all things nuptial he had created a spreadsheet with multiple tabs including a month-by-month task breakdown of everything we needed to achieve – proof if ever I needed it that he’s the man for me! We’ve since been ticking items off with gusto and the planning has been as enjoyable as everyone promised me it would be.


Another bit of news is that I also recently accepted a new job which I’m beaming-from-ear-to-ear-happy-dance-on-the-spot ridiculously excited about. I start in a few weeks time and it’s a company I can’t wait to join; so much so that I ended up fan-girling the CEO at London Fashion Week. I have no shame.


And if that wasn’t enough to contend with Mister Ruffles and I have also been trying to buy a flat which, after an arduous seven months with every available weekend we had spent traipsing around London (stressful just does not even cover it), we’re kinda-sorta-maybe going to become homeowners. I don’t want to jinx that so until I can say any more let’s just leave it there for the moment *crosses every digit*


This summer has also been spent doing a lot of fun grown-up stuff too (house-hunting was not in the fun category that’s for sure). I’ve attended two beautiful weddings, helped plan a hen do (not mine!), met and welcomed three gorgeous gurgling baby-sized new additions to our friendship group and celebrated that there’s going to be a few more. We’ve been on a trip to Tuscany to find our wedding venue (with another planned for next week) and went on our first ever camping holiday to Cornwall, all whilst also shoe-horning a couple of festivals into the mix as well. It’s been one seriously jam-packed summer and a year so far full of highs, lows and life-changing events. As I want this blog to be a documentation of my haphazard and sometimes wayward journey through life and for it to be a true record of my thoughts and feelings, it was important to me that I shared this and was as honest as I can be. It’s been cathartic to write and I feel all the better for being honest about why I’d stopped writing. I now have a backlog of posts I can’t wait to share from afore-mentioned fun summer activities. It’s good to be back!

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Piaggio in Milan

Milan street corner

Bandana street style

Bandana neckerchief street style

Milan architectureEn route to Milan a few weekends back I realised that pretty much everything Italian I love to eat and drink begins with the letter P … pasta, prosecco, pizza, Peroni, panzarotte, pancetta, paninis, prosciutto, pistachio gelato, penne, pepperoni … you get the p-icture. It’s also a (definitely not exhaustive) list of everything I managed to eat and drink on at least one occasion whilst I was there and, in defence of my gluttony, I’m citing the fact that it was my very first visit to Italy and well y’know, when in Rome. Milan actually, but same-same but different and all that. I have the amazing folk at Deichmann to thank for the extra tummy wobbles I came back with; last year they ran a competition on Instagram to win flights and a hotel stay in Milan and the photo that I took of a big bowl of pasta and that iconic Milanese landmark, the Duomo won me the competition! Coincidentally we ended up staying within kissing-distance of the Duomo during our stay, at Hotel Straf and if ever you happen to visit Milan I would highly recommend it. More of that in a forthcoming post though along with some handy tips on where to eat, shop and go.

How to do double denim

Topshop sandals

Man cycling in Italy

Milan architecture

Bike in Ita;y

For now let’s talk about another word beginning with P. Pedals. Particularly pedals on Piaggios (try saying that after one to many Aperol spritzes!) When we went to Goa over Christmas and New Year Mister Ruffles and I hired a moped and much to my surprise as a self-confessed scaredy-cat, I absolutely loved zipping around on it whilst clinging onto the back seat. Before our trip to Milan I’d got it into my head that we’d be able to re-enact our moped adventures with an altogether more Italian flavour, however I had to reluctantly forgo that fantasy as neither of us had brought our driving licenses. Another thing I’d also been a little delusional about had been the weather; having checked my weather app before we left and seeing a temperature forecast in double-digits I thought “hurrah! Sun! Bare legs! BRILLIANT”. Despite Mister Ruffles protests otherwise (yes darling you were right … again) I packed a suitcase of outfits more appropriate for a summer holiday in July than a warm weekend in April. Yeah. Silly me. Anyways I knew I wanted to wear this Miss Selfridge dress and despite it being gorgeously sunny, bare legs plus sandals weather it certainly was not. My only option was to team the dress with jeans and as much as I am definitely calling this a panic-outfit, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. It also managed hide a multitude of sins, and by sins I mean those aforementioned foods beginning with p so it was winning on both counts. And I even got to pretend that this Piaggio was actually mine by posing in front of it. Perfect! OKay I’ll stop with the Ps now …. promise …

Sandals and jeans

All the Ps in Milan-12

How to wear a bandana

Milan Street Style

All the Ps in Milan-16Bandana Beyond Retro – vintage leather jacket – Topshop sandals (similar here) – Weekday jeans from ASOSMiss Selfridge Denim dress c/o House of Fraser 


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