Get the London Look!

Kat is staying indoors this weekend. Until she gets her first proper wage, she is customizing her clothes. But hardly begrudgingly. She has found that if you introduce a baby’s bonnet from the late 1800s to some Gap basics from last summer the results are ingenious. Even if she does say so herself.

First take lace so old it crackles. Don’t worry, the yellowed edges make it look richer. More one of a kind. Even if it barely hangs together, this just adds to the charm. Now watch what happens when you place it against the anonymous mainstream marl jersey of a Gap t-shirt. Something special, eh?

Old lace and Gap basic

Gap Basics and Old Laces

Dashing to dinner?

Dashing out to dinner?

Crochet fits flush to the neck of a long-sleeved T

A crochet trim fits flush to the neck of a long-sleeved T

Now, how’s this for frivolity? If you’re lucky to get your hands on a frilly cravat, give this a go. Pin it to the front of a modern racer back tank. What do you know, you’re dressed for dinner coming in, and the hundred yard dash going out.

The baby’s bonnet was a lucky find. Unfortunately there was only one. Why couldn’t she be dealing with Victorian twins, drat and darn it. Not to worry, Kat is fond of asymmetry.

Look how it creates this lovely fluted effect at her wrist, fluttering around her knuckles. It really should be accessorized with a quill and ink. At the very least a fountain pen.



The severity of black with age-stained lace is very pleasing

The severity of black with age-stained lace is very pleasing

Baby's bonnet has a new home adorning Kat's wrist

A baby’s bonnet has a new home adorning Kat’s wrist













It should ornament wrists that only engage in delicate activities: needlework, tea drinking, catching up with correspondence at an oak writing desk, breaking the crested seal on an envelope and slipping a formal invitation from it while sitting in a parlour, draping a shawl, folding napkins in origami arrangements, sliding a bookmark between the pages of a leatherbound book with gold leaf pages, selecting ribbons and plumes to decorate a wide brim at the milliners, gripping a croquet mallet.

That sort of thing.

Victorian babies in all their frills

Frilly Victorian babies

Kat is currently accessorizing every look with her pillar box red lace-up boots.

They remind her of what Bill Sikes ill-fated girlfriend, Nancy, might have worn as she trailed after him through the London underbelly, slinking across bridges, holed up in gin palaces, playing second fiddle to his bull terrier while all the while keeping a protective eye on Oliver. The boots have a ‘tart with a heart’ aspect. Kat enjoys pretending, privately inhabiting roles far removed from her everyday reality. Fashion allows her to do that to her heart’s content. A pair of graffiti tights finish the look off evoking a different Nancy in a different town: Sid Vicious’s lover during their ill-fated sojourn at NYC’s Chelsea Hotel.

Noncy with Bill Sikes and Fagin in the 1948 version of Oliver Twist

Noncy with Bill Sikes and Fagin in the 1948 version of Oliver Twist

Nancy with Sid Vicious

Nancy with Sid Vicious










All these characters play together in one outfit, chatting as if gathered under one roof.

It’s a bit like the game in which someone asks “Who would you invite to dinner party, living or dead?” Kat just invites them into her wardrobe.

Today’s look is entitled Orphan Punk Tart.

Her pillar box red boots tie her look together

Her pillar box red boots tie her look together

If you want to get to know more about Kat, you can buy Silk for the Feed Dogs here.


  1. Peter McLaughlin

    So that’s what Mary Poppins does on her time off! Doing a bit of Punk slam dancing. Go girl.

  2. Now that is some lovely lace! Particularly love the Jabot – if I could spell it..which I might’ve done..but who knows! xxx

  3. Orphan punk tart! I love it!!!

  4. Liz O'Donovan

    Now you’ve shown them to me, I have to have those boots…could you tell me where they are from? I’ve just finished reading your novel, and I loved it…I’ve read a few sewing/fashion novels, and they are usually written by people who can’t sew and have no idea of how clothes are constructed or designs conceived, so yours was a refreshing change. Thank you for a fun book x

    • HI Liz,
      Thanks so much for reaching out with the kind words. I wish I could be more helpful but the boots are years old. I tend to keep my things, never throw away. I got them in London in a boutique that’s no longer there. They are gems, aren’t they? 😉
      I appreciate the compliment from a reader who knows a thing or two about sewing. I’m delighted you enjoyed the book. If you keep checking in with me on the blog you’ll see I resurrect Kat and Edward every so often when I begin to miss them. All the best, Liz 🙂

      • Liz O'Donovan

        Ah, thanks, Jackie…you are like me, then…I mostly spend on clothes etc that I know I will keep and love for years. They are very beautiful boots, and I’m glad they have a loving home. I will keep an eye on your blog now that I’ve found it. Are you planning another novel? xx

      • Thanks Liz. You know, I had begun a second novel and was well under way with it when the craziness of book promotion plus blogging started up. I haven’t worked on it since May!! I’m giving myself to Christmas to maintain this level and then back to the grindstone. I’m curious to see if the blogging experience will change my writing. I think it might improve it, but we’ll soon see…x

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