Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog

Cassiefairy's thrifty little lifestyle blog – DIY crafts, sewing, food & fashion – what more does a girl need??


Hen party series ~ Dreamboats & Petticoats

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been running a series of blog posts focussing on hen parties – very useful at this time of year, with the summer wedding season fast approaching! I’ve invited other lovely bloggers to share their ideas for creating the perfect hen do, with writer Ellen Avants previously sharing her article on personalising a hen party  and last week we had a guest blog on hen party activities. Over the coming weeks there’ll be craft tutorials, ideas for games and budget planning from Lacey in Places and costume sewing tips from Kat, but this week I’m discussing themed hen parties – particularly the 50s!

If I were having a hen party today, I’d definitely choose a 50s theme. I have all kinds of ideas about the glitz and glamour of the era and I think it’s a fantastic starting point to plan a girly party. For a start, you can take inspiration from films set in the 50s – and maybe even kick off the hen party celebrations with a screening of classic teen-musical Grease, complete with popcorn and milkshakes! 


I love the classic 50s fashion look that is everywhere at the moment – circle skirts, swing dresses and wiggle halternecks are very popular amongst many of my fashionista friends – and these retro shapes can’t fail to flatter any body shape, so you need not be afraid of suggesting a 50s costume theme, because all of the hens will be able to find something to wear that looks great on them. Also, everyone looks a little more glamourous and the photos from your hen party will look amazing – you’ll definitely want to be posting them all over Instagram! 

Another idea for the 50s hen party is having a vintage pampering session. All the hens can take time to do each others make-up with eyeliner flicks and bright red lips, and even try out vintage hair-dos, such as the victory roll or finger-wave, using curlers, crimpers and  backcombing. Pop on some rock ‘n’ roll classic CDs and enjoy a good session of grooming and getting to know each other! In the evening, you could eat kitsch burgers and fries in an American-themed diner or go to the theatre to see Dreamboats & Petticoats or Hairspray the musical!

Cassiefairy petticoats and custom made tutus

Most importantly (in my opinion) are the pretty petticoats that you’ll need to make your dresses swing about nicely and above are some of the gorgeous pettiskirts that I get to make for myself and others at – some are on the website and some are custom-made with fun combinations of funky colours to match the hen’s dresses perfectly! Self-promotion over! ;)

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Shopping on the high street, online & vintage when you’re a curvy girl

I’ve had a bit of a result today when buying a piece of vintage clothing. I spotted a Laura Ashley dress in my local charity shop and snapped it up, thinking that I’d be able to take it in if it was too big. The tag said size 14 but I didn’t consider the difference between modern and retro measurements, which put this dress at a standard size 10 in today’s sizing. Thankfully, the zip did do up, but it got me thinking about sizes on the high street today and how different it used to be. So watch out if you’re buying vintage, because the sizes are considerably different so always check the measurements, especially if buying online! 

In high street stores dressing a fuller figure can often lead to tears in the changing room, frustration when looking at size tags and annoyance when staring at the size six mannequins proudly modelling the clothes. If you are a size 16 or above, so commonly perceived as a plus size (whilst also being the UK’s average size), fashion is just as important and dressing for your shape is only a challenge if you are in the wrong store.  Online there is a much better selection of plus sized clothing options with many sites, such as, offering excellent guides on how to dress your shape to look stylish for any occasion. I’ve had a lot of demand for curvy tutus, petticoats and custom-made fashion skirts and am soon to launch a new curvy range on my website – here’s Hanna from wearing one of my tulle skirts, punking it up in a leather jacket and boots:

the wardrobe challenge hanna photo of tulle skirt for punky princess fashion look

Here’s some tips on dressing a plus sized figure

  1. Go for fabrics that compliment your size. Skin tight Lycra tends to be unforgiving and clings to all the parts of your body that you prefer to hide.  More complimentary fabrics include silk, linen, and cotton which gently cover and shade any bumps that you would like to keep out of sight whilst feeling gorgeous against your skin.
  2. Show off your best bits: curvy girls tend to have fabulous boobs, so choose a flattering V-neck or scoop neck which highlights your assets.  Know the parts of your body that you want to show off and choose clothes based on that. I love checking out the fashion blog for inspirational styling ideas.
  3. Be bold – being plus sized doesn’t mean you have to hide behind a sea of black clothing, so long as the size and style is right you can be as bold in the colour stakes as you wish.  Work from the inside out, make sure you have good underwear. A great fitting bra and pants that offer support as well as reducing lines can really impact how you look when putting on your clothes. 

Most of all, don’t worry about the label, as size is irrelevant when it comes to style; wear what fits rather than trying to squeeze into what is normally ‘your dress size’.  Nothing looks worse than badly fitting clothes that force your natural shape into uncomfortable shapes. And if you need a special fancy dress costume or petticoat to compliment the perfect vintage dress, pop over to my shop at where any item can be custom-made to your measurements so you can be sure it’ll fit you perfectly!

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Kate Nash’s 50s fashion look

I’ve found this photo of singer Kate Nash in a massive purple tutu which reminded me of my brand new range of Ruffle Pettiskirts. The pettiskirts create a very 50s rock & roll style which looks great worn as a skirt like Kate or underneath a glamorous circle skirt or 50s style prom dress!

Here’s a few examples of the pettiskirts available on the website:




Behind-the-scenes of our fairy photoshoot & tea party!

I am absolutely delighted! I’ve experienced one of the best days of my life on Sunday, when we held our fairy photoshoot with my brand new range of Cassiefairy tutus! Not only did loads more fairies arrive to help out than I had expected, but also the sun shone, there were giggles galore and our fairy tea party was delicious!


The girls had fun jumping high on the trampoline whilst trying to do their best fairy poses and pouted for the camera so that we could get some beautiful white background icon-shots. Cheeky faces appeared when the fairies joined hands to skip towards (or stampede over!) photographer Andy and little chuckles could be heard when he nearly fell off the van which he was using to get high shots from above!


The giggling young fairies certainly enjoyed running around the garden, climbing all over “Ruby” the VW campervan and could only be lured off the massive trampoline when the fairy cakes appeared for the fairy tea party! 


Massive thanks to Jenny, Cassie C and Jasmine, who brought with them the gorgeous little fairies Harriet, Ellie and Lucy! Thanks to Essex fairies Kirsty and Amber who travelled a long way to help out on the day! Thanks to my sister Michelle who hosted the fairy photoshoot & tea party at her house, and groundsman Mr T who prepared the garden & cleaned the trampoline! And thanks to the man who I couldn’t have done it without, chief photographer Andy G!



Tuesday Shoesday – Wild Things

Leopard print is everywhere. It always has been there in the background but now everyone is absolutely gagging to wear jungle prints – especially on their feet. Holly Willoughby is a keen animal print wearer, strutting her stuff on the red carpet in these sexy leopard-effect court shoes at the Twilight Eclipse premiere.


More celebrities have been spotted (literally!) in animal print heels and most of the high street retailers are now stocking their own versions of the trend. Here’s just a few from Asos, Next and River Island:


Famous Tutus – Lucy Liu in Marchesa

At the premiere of Kung Fu Panda 2 Lucy Liu wore this wedding-dress-ballet-tutu outfit by Marchesa. This designer has already featured a few times in the Cassiefairy Famous Tutus Hall of Fame as Marchesa is renouned for creating flirty layered tulle concoctions!


Personally, I’d be happy to get married again in this dress (if only I could afford it!) so here’s the Cassiefairy version that I’ll be wearing in the meantime:

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Celebrities & their tutus – The stars of Strictly Come Dancing

We expect a lot of sparkle and sequins on every series of Strictly Come Dancing, but more exciting for me is seeing the layers of tulle in the gorgeous dresses & flirty tutus for latin dance numbers. Here are some of the costumes that have inspired some of my tutu designs!

Vincent Simone Rachel Stevens and her dance partner Vincent Simone pose during the BBC Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour 2009 photocall at the Manchester Evening News Arena on January 21, 2009 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Lindsey Parnaby/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Vincent Simone;Rachel StevensRachel Stevens dancing with Vincent Simone in a hot pink and blue tutu dress and the lookey-likey version:

Jodie Kidd‘s promo shot for the new series of Strictly Come Dancing featured a leggy Jodie in a sparkly white skirt with gold top which influenced my design for a gold & white tutu:

Lisa Snowdon danced a sexy samba with Brendan Cole in this fruity frilly tutu dress and the Cassiefairy version included the same lime green, hot pink and orange tulle:

Personally, I can’t get enough of the jazzy costumes and sparkly tutus on the TV show, and I will no doubt be sharing more copy-cat designs with you over the coming months that pay homage to the glitzy skirts we see every year on Strictly Come Dancing.


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