My new sewing room!

My eldest daughter left home recently. Of course, my youngest daughter thought she had the bigger and better bedroom and wanted to move into it. Which freed up her old room, which I quite fancied turning into a dedicated sewing room! The problem was, three weeks later she was off for a three-month long trip away, and I didn’t want to wait that long to get started, so she was on a time limit to get all her stuff shifted! It didn’t quite get done in time, but she did pretty well.

It took me a week to finish clearing out her stuff. Then a week to clean it, steam off the wallpaper, and clean it again. Then a week to paint it, and another week to lug all my sewing stuff from the room it was in before, and up the stairs, and try to fit it all in! The new sewing room is much smaller, and I have to share it with a bed-settee for when family stay, but it has lovely big built-in cupboards into which I just about managed to squeeze in the fabric stash from the shelves downstairs.

Honestly, I can’t tell you how excited I am to have this new space and I feel so so grateful for it. When I’m in there sewing, I have no distractions; no computer telling me about the other work I should be doing! Oh my goodness, it’s lovely! Anyway, I filmed the whole process for my YouTube channel, so here are the videos if you’d like to have a watch:

Dark and Pastel

Continuing my How to Dress more Creatively series.

March is a funny old month. I feel like every year there’s a few days when the sun shines and everyone feels hopeful for spring, but the reality is, March is often still a pretty gloomy month! It’s also pretty cold, but oh my goodness we are so done with winter.

Thick black leggings are still keeping my legs warm, but I’m ready to add a little spring into my wardrobe. And this is where mixing dark colours with pastels comes in. The classy way to go about this is to go tonal, so if you have navy on your bottom half, you can go pastel blue on the top half. Mix burgundy with pastel pink; rich brown with cream; Forest green with light green. This looks timelessly stylish.

And if you have a lot of black or dark grey clothing in your wardrobe, instead of adding pale grey so you look like a cloudy sky; why not mix it up a little and go with any pastel shade you like?! In alternative circles this is called ‘Pastel goth’! I agree with Trinny (from Trinny and Susannah) that black and a colour of the same intensity can dull or even cheapen the look, but if you’re going for pastel colours rather than brights, I think they look lovely together. The intensity of black with an unexpected splash of pale pink or lilac is pretty cool in my opinion!

I don’t currently have any dark florals in the Threads of a Fairytale shop at the moment, but dresses with a black background and a pale floral print looks really pretty at this time of year too, and will look good with your black boots.

So if you’re ready to add some spring into your life, then take a fresh look at your wardrobe and see if you can find some new mixes of dark with pastel colours.

pink witch dress

How to dress more creatively in February

I can’t help but think of the month of February being the month of love. Just because Valentine’s Day only falls on the fourteenth, doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate it every other day as well! Whether you have a partner or are celebrating just how brilliant you are; it’s a good job it comes around at this time of year because otherwise February would be a very cold, drab month!

So take your cue from the bunches of roses and pyjamas covered in hearts, and look through your wardrobe for some bright red clothing. By the way, I love pink and red together for an amazing clash of colours!

Cheer yourself and everyone around you up because red is a bold, bright colour that shows everyone you mean business whilst also having a sense of fun. It is a colour to enjoy, and I love it!

How to wear red:

  • My advice would be not to wear it with black as that can make your outfit look less sophisticated.
  • Instead, wear red with charcoal grey or chocolate brown if you’re going for separates. If you’re wearing a red dress, that advice also goes for your shoes or boots.
  • Alternatively, go tonal with other shades of red. Just check you’re not mixing cool reds (that lean towards purple) with warm reds (that lean towards orange).

red smock dress

Are you still sparkling?

A few years’ ago I gave my old personal blog a new look and started a fashion blogging section (It’s if you’d like a look) and something that came from that is people were genuinely interested in advice and inspiration for how to dress more creatively. So I’m going to start a monthly guide for those of you feeling a little bit bored with your wardrobe. I thought this links in nicely with Threads of a Fairytale as I’m always trying to encourage people to be a little more adventurous with their clothing choices and really dress to match your true style and personality….

How to dress more creatively in January

Don’t gather up all your Christmas and New Year party dresses and hide them under the bed just yet! Winter is such a dreary time of year, and seems to last forever (here in the UK at least) so why limit your most fun items of clothing to just a couple of weeks around Christmas? Keep wearing those sparkly garments and I promise you, you will feel happier for it.

The key is to dress them down a little to make them more suitable for being back to work and back to your ‘normal’ life.

  • Ok, so jumpers with Christmas trees or Rudolph might have to be folded away for now, but keep wearing those with metallic yarn running through them, or have more subtle decoration like a silver or gold trim. Instead of wearing with a satin skirt or heels like you might for a Christmas party; simply wear with jeans or plain trousers and chunky shoes or boots.
  • Sequin or velvet dresses suddenly become more wearable if you simply put a plain knitted jumper over the top. Add a cotton shirt and a jacket over a satin slip dress and wear with trainers for a cool juxtaposition of styles.
  • Sometimes it’s all about the footwear. Cheer everyone up in the office by full-on wearing your sparkly dress, but wear it with your more practical knee-length or ankle boots rather than your ‘going-out-out shoes’.
  • If in doubt, honestly, a relaxed cardigan dresses down anything. Fling one over the top of a wedding dress and you’d probably get away with it!

I hope you enjoy looking through your wardrobe (or ‘shop your wardrobe’ as I’ve heard it called!) and finding some new outfits to wear. 🙂

A luxury Disney Costume for Halloween

As you can probably already tell, I love fairytales; and so, although I didn’t get to watch much Disney when I was growing up, my daughters compensated by watching plenty! Costumes inspired by iconic Disney characters are a classic recognisable theme to go to for a Halloween costume, so here’s a luxury Snow White costume.

luxury snow white costume

The blue top has been adapted from an Indian satin and chiffon top with genuine Swarovski crystals. The yellow skirt is made from pure silk with a silk chiffon and sequin frill at the hem. I enjoyed giving the costume a Halloween twist with the touches of red that make it so distinguishable as Snow White. It could even be a Disney zombie costume with the red jersey falling like drips of blood! Just add some splatters of fake blood to your arms and legs for the complete look.

(Click the photos to shop.) If this adult Snow White costume isn’t for you, take a look for more sustainable Halloween costume ideas here.


A custom-made Mermaid Fairy dress

Like waiting for a bus, I haven’t had a custom order for a while, and then two come at once! The first was an order based on this custom fairy dress for sale. My client wanted mermaid colours of blue and turquoise, with a little sunshine yellow thrown in. This dress fastens with a drawstring at the back of the waist, and corset-style ribbon lacing at the back. There’s a cut-out section on the lower back, which is a very fashionable design right now!

I have to say, I love these colours and this is my favourite fairy dress I’ve made in this style so far! It could be worn as an ocean fairy costume or as a luxury mermaid costume.

Mermaid fairy dress

Custom fairy dress

mermaid dress

I’m very pleased to say that the customer loved her fairy dress and is going to wear it to two weddings this summer! If you would like your own dress made especially for you, please purchase the fairy dress listing, or get in touch at if you have any questions.

If you’d like to watch the whole process of me making this dress, the full video is on my Patreon page. 

There are also snippets of the sewing throughout the week’s vlog on my YouTube channel.

New Forest Fairy Festival 2022

Hi! Just a little post to let you know that sadly I’m not going to be having a stall at the New Forest Fairy Festival this weekend. I was very tempted to; especially considering it is the tenth anniversary of the festival, and I think I was the only stall-holder left last year, who has been there since the very beginning. It was little more than a small stage on a caravan; entertainment from the Gypsy Pyksies,  and a small cluster of fairy-themed sellers battling with our gazebos against the wind and the rain.

I made more profit that first year than in 2021. Due to the price of the stall increasing more than ten times over; confusion over whether tickets needed to be bought in advance or not; the confusion over ticket refunds after the storm in 2019 closed the festival for a day, and subsequently Covid happened… well I could surmise various reasons why I did so badly last year, but the crux of the matter is that it is no longer financially viable to have a stall there.

If you have been a regular visitor to the festival and to my stall, I’m so sorry not to see you again. Honestly, it was the interactions with the lovely fairy folk like yourselves that made it all worth it. Please go to my online shop instead. Thank you!

Making Fairy Festival outfits for Glastonbury

I had such grand plans for the outfits I was going to make for this year’s Glastonbury Festival! However, as in usual Helen style, I left it to the last minute and didn’t quite have the time to make five amazing fairytale dresses for each day of the festival! However I did have time to make myself a navy blue fairy outfit. I upcycled a linen pair of trousers to create the skirt, and used the material left over, plus some scraps (mainly in silk satin) to make a matching top. I love the outfit, and it’s really comfortable too.

I also made myself a purple silk fairy skirt; again by upcycling a pair of Indian Salwar trousers. There is plenty of fabric for twirling, and of course there are my usual Threads of a Fairytale style tattered frills!

By the way, I had an amazing time at Glastonbury Festival. The weather was pretty much perfect and everyone was in a really happy mood so it was a lovely atmosphere. I also always feel inspired to create more clothes after the festival – I love people-watching and seeing what outfits everyone is wearing!

If you’d like to watch some of the process of making the festival clothing, here’s my YouTube video. (There’s also a Glastonbury Festival vlog for every day of the festival on my channel!)

Unique Halloween costume ideas

Halloween costumes in America can be about anything you like – it doesn’t have to be ghostly, witchy or zombie-y! And this trend is naturally starting toblack dress and cloak come over to the UK as well. So if you’re looking for a sustainable handmade costume, please take a look at the Threads of a Fairytale shop as there’ll be loads of outfits to choose from. However, if you prefer to go down the traditional route and are looking for something with a scary edge, then I’ve picked out a few ideas for you….

Continue reading “Unique Halloween costume ideas”