Featured, Inspired, Update


This week I spent 3 days down in London training on anew exciting tool we’re implementing at work. Of course, when training finished at 5pm it was then my time to hit as many shops as possible before they close!

Just round the corner from where I was staying was Morplan – a shop I’ve order online from before. Great for all your sewing equipment like Patternmasters and Set Squares. They sell the most beautiful dressmakers mannequins I can find in the UK. But at £700 for a K&L, I just took away a photograph instead!

I then ran down Oxford St to catch 10 minutes of MacCullock & Wallis. Was a bit disappointed as I was greeted with a moody voice saying “we’re closing, you’ll have to be quick” and I thought “yeah I know…I’m out of breath from running here and theres 15 minutes of shopping time left!” But anyway,  the shop was beautiful and you could easily spend hours mooching through the 2 floors.


On my second erectile dysfunction night I visited Liberty which is just beautiful…the pictures speak for themselves -







I’ve now got my eye on some stunning John Paul Gaultier fabric for my living room…how nice is this…!


I love shopping in the designer and vintage sections as you can pick apart unusual tailoring and learn lots. The ball gowns as SO heavy and the blue Chanel dress was effortlessly constructed.


Stella McCartney pleats and Carven dresses are on my imaginary shopping list.


And finally I fell in love with an Urban Outfitters coat and floaty vintage dress in Top Shop. Could have spent a LOT of money but remained very sensible.


It was great to get all inspired before my Oscar dress challenge this weekend.

I’ve set myself a task to watch the Oscars and then work through the night and the next day to complete a version of one of the most photographed dresses. Wish me luck! :)

Or get in touch if you’re doing the same thing :)

Nicole @ beaufrog


purple frizz

Central heating, split ends, dark mornings, run down, dizzle and wind.

Poor hair. It goes through a lot. By the end of Feb we end up looking like this!

I’m very conscious, maybe more so than average, of keeping my hair in tact – probably because of the amount of heat I put it under.

I’m unable to put those irons away and always look to a product for a miracle cure that will stop it all breaking away when I’m an older lady.

This year I’ve decided to (try and) look for other alternative hairstyles that avoid straighteners. I rely far too heavily on them and now that the hair is long, I want to keep it long and in condish!

So here are some alternatives that I’ve been trying premier-pharmacy.com out. (I did want to use my own photographs but it was quite hard to angle the camera!)

The Bun

tuck it in bun

The Top Knot

top knot hair

The Donut



sideways pleat




And best of all…

Natural Curls

Undo any of these hair styles and get beautiful hair for day number 2.

natural curls


Ahh and my trusted friend Frizz-Ease serum and a really good deep conditioner. I’ve been using John Freda recently (the full repair one in the red tube) and it smells gorge.

Hope this helps you out too when you’re in a winter hair rut and your only turn is the straighteners – there are other options :)


Image credits – purple frizz : tucked bun : top knot : donut : pleats : headband : headscarf : natural curls

Plus more images on my pinterest board

Nicole @ beaufrog



I started setting some goals a while back and I thought I’d dig them out and freshen them up a bit for January. These are the main 5 to focus on…

1. Learn (properly) the construction clothes

Pattern Folder

I enrolled on a 36 week course at Wigan and Leigh College and I’m a third of the way to becoming a qualified pattern drafter. How about that!

It’s not cheap but it was a good move. Our tutor Bernie has been in industry for a lifetime and each week I come away with an invaluable nugget of information.

I’m now confident in constructing and adapting patterns from blocks. Soon we’ll be creating blocks based on our own measurements and constructing garments from them.

I went into the class with quite a bit of knowledge already and even though everyone is at different levels, it still challenges and me and makes me feel a bit nervous about ‘keeping up’. Love it. Now I need to make sure I put all that learning into practise.

Anyone thinking about doing something similar – go for it!

2. Watch less TV

I’m rocking this one so far – hence this post being written!

These are just some of the series that I’ve watched in their entirety…at least twice -
Friends, Scrubs, Mythbusters, Judge Judy, Dog the Bounty Hunter, Bob Ross, Project Runway…


As much as I love them, how many wasted hours is that? Well, maybe not on the last two – both educational.

Then we’ve got your Downton Abbey, X Factor and Buzzcock type shows. And films! So many films! Just lucky theres no soaps on top of that list.

So, I’m choosing to be wiser with my free time and making sure it’s a little more productive rather than passive. So far this week I’ve switched on the DAB radio, made a blouse and started a dress commission, alongside being back at work – all by minimising the crap antidepressants tele. Let’s see if it sticks…

3. No more shop bought cards

*gags* Whoops nearly hurled again at the thought of standing in Asda fighting to get to the xmas cards to find all thats left are “Forever Friends Bears” or “To my Mummy/Daddy/Grandma” cards. No more! It’s Mum/Dad/Nan alright!
christmas cardWhy? It’s ugly!

So, I’ve been spending some time (and a bit too much money) at Paperchase investing in bits and bats for homemade cards. After making personalised gift tags at Christmas, I realised it was actually a lot of fun and was nice therapy against the christmas panic. So for 2013, card aisles are banned :)

4. Share more on this blog

There are so many projects going on at any one time but I rarely get around to sharing them on here. Either through time or self doubt (who’d want to read that)(the photos are rubbish)(it’s not finished yet) many many projects are lost in iPhoto waiting for a rainy day. So my goal is to be less of a perfectionist and just share! There’s nothing more lovely than when someone comments or learns from what you’ve done. My rubbish pleating board video has had 9k views (to date) and has so many lovely comments – yet I cringe at the thought of people watching it. Stop being picky and just do it!

“Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection” – Mark Twain

5. The biggy – make an Oscars dress
I’ve booked 2 days holidays from work to make an Oscars dress in February. It’s something that every year I regret not doing. This time = committed! More on this closer to the date…

Oscar dresses


If anyone is up for staying up all night and making an Oscar dress too – get in touch!

I’ve loved reading everyone else’s resolutions over the past week, are we all going to stick to them?

Christmas Decorations, Update

the ritz

I visited London a couple of weeks ago and seems like Christmas Eve is probably a nice day to share some festive photographs from that trip.

I caught the decorations being prepared for The Ritz and had to stop by Liberties to see what they’d gone for this year. Beautiful as always.


And here’s some pictures from the last couple of days. A special bauble for our tree from my mum (can’t believe we’ve lived in our home for 1 year now!) and some online pharmacy gift tags for the christmas presents. Every night I’ve been doodling penguins, or snowmen, or trees and I hope they bring a smile when the family receive them tomorrow :)

special bauble Gift tag Gift tag Gift tag

Only a couple of hours left until the big day, and I’d like to wish everyone a lovely Christmas. Thank you to all the readers that have made writing this blog so enjoyable in 2012 and here’s to a new year! 2013 will be a big one!

Nicole @ beaufrog



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Featured Posts

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

I made an Archer Shirt

I made an Archer Shirt

Fabric Dash Around London

Fabric Dash Around London

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Make A Pleating Board

Make A Pleating Board




Beaufrog | Making great fashion and beautiful homes
Dressmaking, Featured

This week I decided to give the Hemlock Tee a go from Grainline . I wanted something easy, comfortable and wearable to get me through January. And this one meant I could switch the colour of my threads out on my over locker (excited by the small things).

I already had a striped knit set to the side that worked brilliantly. I whizzed through the pattern like a breeze – only complication was that I have octopus arms and the sleeves were a weird length on me. So I kinda created 2 cuffs and overlocked those to the end of the sleeves – almost perfect :)

Hemlock tee

I did find with this knit that it had a lot of give in it and became huge around the waist, so after these pictures I ran it through the overlocker again taking off 4-5cm from the sides. It now sits really nicely on the hips while staying loose and slouchy around the neck.

Hemlock tee

Hemlock tee

It took 2 evenings to prepare the pattern and throw it together – so quick that I’ve got my sister making one too. Before hand she said she was scared of sewing machines….few hours later she’s flown through it! :)

If she’ll let me, pictures will be shared when finished.

Fabric shopping

I decided to go and explore Minerva Crafts a couple of weeks ago to get some air. It was that period between Christmas and New Year when you realise you can’t remember the last time you left the house – so I needed to do something that would make me feel sane again.

It’s only 30 minutes down the road and don’t know why I’ve never made the journey before…maybe because I think of Minerva as being online rather than bricks and mortar.

Anyway, after driving around a few one way streets and then eventually releasing “it’s that massive building there (!)” I entered into the shop to find a cave of goods.


The shop was very well stocked with crafting supplies – if you’re after wool then you’ll find it here!

As a fabric shopper, I think most of the stock sold online wasn’t on display in the shop but I did manage to find a couple of fabrics I might antibiotics return for.

I recognised this one which looks very similar to a version Paunnet used for a dress.


I also found a nice wool that I may be returning for which seemed like a bargain at £6.99 p/m. I’m looking to make a winter boyfriend style coat soon so this would work well.


I wasn’t expecting to, but I somehow ended up leaving with some knitting supplies to mess about with.

Before now I’ve tried cutting t-shirt jersey into thin strips to knit with, but failed – and got covered in frayed ends at the same time. Well, now they’ve only started selling the stuff!? It’s called Hoooked. So looking forward to experimenting with that along with some nice warm coloured wool to play with.


So that’s it, there’s a lot of talk about Minerva online and I thought it would be nice to share what the store looks like…


Nicole @ beaufrog

Dressmaking, Featured

Archer shirt

I’ve seen the pattern all over the web and thought it was time to have a go. I’ve never done a sew along before (I’ve always done my own thing) but decided to join in with the step by step walk though. And loved it :)

I didn’t realise it when I bought it at Christmas – but December was also Archer appreciation month! Good timing eh.

The fabric that I bought from Morocco seemed perfect. Maybe a bit soft but I bought it with a blouse/shirt in mind and there were no fabric shops open on boxing day to be distracted by!

Its been a while since I’ve sewn anything like this so I started with a toile first just to get familiar and gage the size as I could see myself making more than one of these shirts. It was good job because even after measuring the inside arm before hand, the sleeves ended being a good couple of inches too short.

Archer shirt - cutting table

The thickness of the muslin meant it was really easy to throw the shirt together. The edges met nicely, corners turned perfectly, and the pressure was non existent as this was a practise run.

For the second attempt I added an inch to the length of the body and 3 inches to the length of my arms. I have freaky arms.

Archer shirt - Rotary cutter

The cotton was a slightly different story. Just getting the grain nice and straight was the first problem as it distorted really easily. The next issue was pulling the grain when using scissors, so I had to give up on that tramadol idea and got out the rotary cutter.

Top tip : stick a bit of masking tape to the wrong sides of your pieces

Archer shirt - wrong side

My right sides had a slight sheen but it wasn’t always easy to identify. I stuck some washi tape to all my wrong sides and that saved loads of time – just remember to remove it before you trap it inside your yolk!

The cotton was very fragile so I had to be careful applying heat/steam. Where possible I used a second off cut of the fabric as a barrier for the heat but the iron allowed me to mould my pieces really nicely for a clean finish.

Had a couple of issues with the collar which I’ll avoid next time but was very pleased with my sleeve plankets this time. Jen eased the nerves in the sew-along.

Archer shirt - sleeve planket

The pockets where the last additions. In the Archer walk through, Jen put the pockets on at the start, but I decided to see what the shirt looked like without first. Hmm plain….

So I decided these needed so be featured up a bit. I’ve really enjoyed the top stitching on this project so I went for couple more diagonal lines on the pockets - just ’cause I could.

Archer shirt Archer shirt Archer shirt

So that’s it – my first Archer. I’m sure there will be more. Very little amendment needed, really clear instructions and nice looking result. You can buy the download from the Grainline shop.

Now I’m off to look at everyone else’s on flickr….

Nicole @ beaufrog



Ta da, here it is…the new blog design!

Weve gone from this bland old thing -

Old beaufrog design

To this -


It seemed to take for ever for the name servers to move, and then there was some frantic find and replace action to get everything working again but Beaufrog has a fresh pharmacy face for 2014.

Its nice and easy to read across devices and Ill be sorting out the categorisation of posts to make it super easy to find the stuff that you are most interested in.


Hope you like it :)

nicole @ beaufrog


- Please recheck your ID.

Follow on Bloglovin


Featured Posts

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

Hemlock Tee from Grainline Studio

I made an Archer Shirt

I made an Archer Shirt

Fabric Dash Around London

Fabric Dash Around London

Dress to Skirt Up-Cycle

Dress to Skirt Up-Cycle

Make A Pleating Board

Make A Pleating Board




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