Boutique by Jaeger – be mine

A quick midweek post while I finish off my Colette Violet. I just spent a delicious lunchtime gliding around Jaeger looking at their Boutique by Jaeger range.

I used to think that Jaeger was where posh people’s mums went for bridal outfits. That may possibly be true of the rest of their range but I never stray far enough from BBJ to check them out. The BBJ range is described on the website as ‘the edgy younger sister of Jaeger. Combining a playful ‘60s spirit with a clean, contemporary aesthetic, expect to find classic pieces with a youthful edge.’  Let me tell you guys, BBJ is right up my strasse. But shame! I can’t afford much (if any of it). A few lovely pieces are in the sale but my January budget won’t stretch to treating myself I’m afraid.

So I will content myself by pinning some designs on my Pinterest board and using them for inspiration. Here’s a peek at a few – which is your favourite?

Large check wool dress

Love the tartan? gingham? check and warm colours of this. The shape is very wearable, and dare I say doable? It’s just a simple tunic with yolk at the top, 3/4 sleeves and a few bows isn’t it? It reminds me of my self-drafted copycat top a bit – perhaps I could extend that into a dress?

Edie Silk Star Print Blouse

Isn’t this cute? Love the double peter pan collar. Reckon this would be fairly simple to recreate, what do you think?

Edie Silk Skater Dress

Oh how divine. The little flared cuffs, the bias bound edges, the belt. Sigh. There’s something of the Colette patterns about this dress isn’t there?

Silk Check Tulip Skirt Dress

Gorgeous gingham. I had a good stroke of this instore and can confirm it’s made of the most lovely silk dupioni. The tulip skirt is particularly nice. Can anyone confirm if they are what’s called princess seams running down either side of the bodice? More cute bow detail too. Such a nice detail to include on any item.

That’s enough dolly-day dreaming for me… but if anyone has any pattern suggestions (or fabric suggestions) let me know!

On another note, does anyone else go round shops thinking “I could make that at a push”? It’s started to creep in with me on simpler garments. Still get blown away by some lovely fabrics  that I know I could never find myself though.

Zara – what happened to you girl?

You know how there are some shops that you can always rely on to have something you’ll like. TopShop, Oasis and Warehouse are my personal high street faves. I always know I can pick up a little top or dress with a quick scoot around in my lunch hour (not that I do much scooting anymore – I’m more likely to be rooting through the pattern books in John Lewis).

Similarly there are a few high street shops I fall in and out of love with: Dorothy Perkins (Dotty P’s) goes through stages of having the most adorable little shift dresses and tunics at bargain prices, a trip to Mango can occasionally unearth a jewel-bright cardy or a leopard print and my mum buys underwear sets for me from ‘Primarche’ like there’s a national shortage of undercrackers.

But Zara? No, never. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve been in there and walked out again within 30 seconds because all I can see are rows of fusty pussy-bow blouses (that no decent girl would wear without a vest) and chinos. It’s never really been my thing… until now.

On a quick hoof to the afore-mentioned craft emporium that is John Lewis haberdashery today, I was yanked back by this rather fetching (and totally bang-on trend) polkadot top in the window.

Green polka dot top

Isn’t it lush? I love that shade of green and I am a sucker for polkadots. So much so I covered my wedding dress in ‘em. So I popped in and lo and behold I was presented with a dazzing array of  treasures from their Autumn/Winter collection. Check this silky slinkmeister out:

A slinky red polka dot shirt

And isn’t this adorable?

Puppy perfect with a peter pan collar

And this?
Pretty polka dot dress

I think what’s attracting me to these pieces are their simplicity, and my imagination is running away with me on how I could recreate them at home with (a lot) of practice. I did buy the green polka dot and I’ve had a good look inside at the seams and facing. I think it’s very doable indeed, and could even be extended into a pretty dress like the one above.

It’s amazing – once you have a successful dressmaking project under your belt – you start to see the potential in everything! Have you felt that rush of excitement and adrenaline after finishing a piece that you love?