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Sweden round two! The first photo is the only decent picture taken of our dog sled ride. If you are in any snow filled place with the option to go on a dog sled, do! It was quite possibly one of the best experiences of my life. We had a night-time ride with the hopes of seeing the northern lights, disappointingly we could only see the orange haze of the mine but the quiet trudge of the dogs feet made up for it. We were also lucky in our sled ranger. The love he had for his dogs was incredible and when he talked about them, how much he liked being with them, they sped up as if to make him happy. The forest trees engulfed us as we sped through a wood and over a frozen lake. It was one of my favourite moments of the trip. Our next day, and last day in Kiruna, we visited a church (second photo), an old giant wooden one. Since it was a Sunday we had to wait a while outside to let the service finish but once the doors were opened we turned into Japanese tourists taking our cameras out for everything!. The third photo is the last one in Kiruna, while waiting for the airport bus to come in.

We then had a day in Stockholm, ending with my favourite mode of travel, train! We headed from Stockholm to Goteborg and witnessed a stunning sunset. I think I spent the first half hour just staring out of my window (photo five), accompanied by a traditional bag of small godis and a kex bar too! Our first day back home was a grey one, yet we still spent the better part of the day taking photos, it was really misty so they actually came out looking quite cool. The next morning was a real surprise, snow everywhere! The last time I saw snow near Goteborg I was a little girl so naturally I yet again spent the day taking photos, we also met these really nice horses who kindly allowed us to photograph them.
We then spent a day in the city itself seeing all our favourite places, the art shop to get my friends some Russian watercolours, the café in Helena for the best Kanel Bullar in town, we even got to go on a tram that had been old when my dad was living in the city twenty years ago. On the way back we were also greeted with another fantastic sunset and did a little drive to best the best place to photograph it.
Then, on the last day, letting the child in me have some fun, we went to an aquarium. And, well… I think the photographer in me had more fun, ISO set to 3200 and colour bumped up, I easily took over 200 photos. It was a good way to end the trip as the next day was spent languishing around airports, and watching the Swedish ice hockey team in the final.

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Sorry for the silence, and late photos. I still have more left to show, but figured that this was a good number (if not a few too many!) from my trip to Sweden. Visiting the ice hotel was a surreal experience.
As soon as your foot steps off the airplane you’re transported to this winter wonderland, looking around the perimeter of the airport (first photo) there is nothing but snow and a horizon of forest. In the space of two minutes I was a kid again, throwing snow balls at my dad as soon as the cameras were away! Seeing the ice hotel in real life in another surreal experience as well, not quite sure what to expect, we arrived by night to find the lit up ice walls and “impressionist-ish” sculptures (second photo). Later we had meals in ice bowls, such as for dessert, the most amazing strawberry ice-cream I’ve ever had and I’m not a huge fan of strawberry ice-cream! After a night which revitalised 70′s dance moves and Scandinavian 80′s pop music, we had a day to discover Kiruna.
Our first stop was the Sami centre, where the original indigenous tribes lived and where the reindeers currently roam. If you do ever visit reindeers and you are given the chance to feed them moss, do! It’s so much fun, they come right over to you with same curiosity as a horse, despite their antlers they seem quite gentle and curious animals, this made leaving them quite tricky though! Later on in the day we visited the ice-hotel, the lit-up palace is just as spectacular by day as by night. Our tour meant that we were allowed to wander around the art rooms within the hotel. The last photo is of one of the rooms, where there were ginormous heads, the same height as me, in opposite corners of the space.

Summer skirt ispiration
I hinted from my previous post that I would do a little skirt planning piece. My main problem is that a lot of my old skirts have become quite short, or a bit too loose, or are simply too gathered and girly for me now, so I’ve formed a solution! Since I was quite stingy with my fabric in the beginning, most of my hems are far too short to take down so a whole new skirt project is underway!

The plan is to make at least three skirts to be included in my day-to-day wardrobe, skirts that will be functional with a fun edge.

Skirt 1: The biker chick

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This lovely skirt is from All Saints, I love the fit, the biker style seams and styles and the leather looks stunning. Only problem is the over €250 price tag. So I plan to make my own, modified version. I’m still finalising the design, but I’ve seen several different versions, that I’ll combine the best bit’s of. I also have this stunning pleather that I got at Murphey Sheehy’s! This probably won’t be made for a while as I’ve never worked with pleather before, it’s also the type of thing that’ll take a while to finalize and draft. I’m also gonna have to look out for cool zips and studs to finish it off, as well as figure how I can make it have a slightly more worn feel. I’m hoping to wear this with washed t-shirts, hand knit tank tops, silk shirts and possibly a new handmade denim jacket (I have some lilac coloured stuff from my nana)!

Skirt 2: The Denim Obsession

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You may remember the denim skirt I made 2 years ago, I still have it, and love it, but it’s the only denim skirt I own, and considering the amount of wear it gets, it’s time to rectify this! I have some dark denim with a little bit of stretch, that’ll have a similar shape to the picture on the right, I’m going to try and find some proper denim pieces, such as the studs that go at the pocket’s sides and the metal button at the from, I’m even going to do a front fly, something I’ve only tried once! To get an even more denim/ jean look I’ve going to use contrasting top-stitching thread. It should take no time to draft up, and I already have my basic design down, but actually making it will probably take some time. I’m planning on using some soft calico for pockets to get a “true” jeans feel. This’ll be another look for t-shirts and I think I’ll be wearing this with this jacket, my converse and a lazy smile all through summer, the only thing I’ll need will be the sun!

Skirt 3: The floaty Maxi

34d2349f61326748498a714e12d475dc I know that this image makes the skirt look like a winter piece, but I’m thinking of a slightly flowy, very long swishy skirt. Possibly in some kind of floral, but it will more likely be made from some interperative print. I really want to make something that I’ve never tried or owned before, obviously there will be a crazy number of muslins to make sure I’m happy with it. My main problem with long skirts is that my old school skirts made me look like a nun. This is why I always shy away from anything over my knees. Now though I’ve decided to change, I like the idea of a long, possibly slightly transparent (with a slip of course) skirt to slowly stroll around the greenery of parks. I’m hoping to make it in a fairly light fabric so I can actually wear it in summer without getting too warm. At the moment I only really have an idea of the final look, but I really love that look. My next step is to do some sketches and figure out a final design, then I just have to draft and find fabric. I’m thinking it’ll look good with loose tank tops, “barely there” sandals and a hand printed tote.

There are my skirt plans! Do you have any sewing plans for summer, or winter, or encountered any problems with having a long-term hand-made wardrobe?

P.s. the illustration on the first pic is by me, I’ve been trying a new style, what do you think?

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I’ve started reaching the problems of a long-term sewing addiction. One such problem is skirts, when you have either that one pattern that fits like a dream, or some blocks for pattern drafting, all other skirts pale in comparison. You’ll always be thinking, if the pocket could be a bit lower, if I could take in the dart, or simply change the length a bit. But now my problem is me. As my first skirt frenzy was two years ago now (seems yesterday) all of my skirts have dramatically decreased in length. Most of my skirts were a fairly modest length, a little above the knees, but now they’re all hallway up the thigh (and that’s the good ones!) So I’ve started a new skirt scheme. I’ll do a little post and what I hope to create as my skirt situation is getting embarrassing!
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The first installment was my wrap skirt, a huge success that gets worn weekly. My only problem with it is the itch of the wool. It was time for the updated version! You may remember the wool from  this jacket, the other most worn item in my wardrobe. I figured this fabric had some kind of magical, wearable fairy dust, so whatever skirt I made would be worn to pieces!
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I decided to play it safe with a simple mini skirt. All of my skirts are high-waisted so I did a lower rise as well. I also added nice big pockets, with stripy linings! There’s a metal zip in the back, and a shaped waistband as well.
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I’ll be back with some photos from Sweden, I took nearly 1,000 pictures, so editing them down to even 50 is hard, let alone 10 or 20! I also have exciting new fashion related plans to share soon as well!

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Let me tell my least favourite thing about Irish weather, the wind. The rain isn’t so great but what you need to look out for is the wind. Particularly in winter we have this little thing called “wind chill factor”. So if you ever here an Irish weather report and they say it’s ten degrees plus wind chill factor, it’s actually more like six, closer to four if your near the sea.

So why am I ranting about Irish weather, again. Well cause last winter it hit me hard. Most of my scarves seemed too short to cover my face, and none of my cowls were tight enough to keep my nose its original colour, so I came out with a plan of campaign. First I showed you this cowl, tight enough and long enough to be super warm. This was it’s predecessor. This time last year I picked up a new skill, machine knitting, I was even able to get some lessons so that I could know the basics. I pondered what to make, I loved the idea of a boxy sweater but knew it would be a little too hard, so I made the easiest thing possible, a scarf! And I’m in love. The yarn is merino wool from yeoman yarns and it’s so soft and snuggly. It’s also quite nice on your wallet too. 500 yards for €20. For this scarf I cast on around 80 stitches and then knit a thousand rows. Yep a thousand, a feat considered impossible with hand knit due to the thinness of the yarn. I blocked it for a day and have been wearing it ever since.

The scarf’s first outing was last march when we travelled to London. It was amazing, you could wrap it once to be chic, twice to be warm, and three times to be cosy. When I say I’ve been wearing this non-stop, I mean it, I’ve barley touched my other scarves this winter due to the supremacy of this one… In fact I’m almost tempted to saunter around the house while wearing it just for fun…

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I’ve already started dreaming about long summer nights, wearing denim shorts and white t-shirts… Also being able to get to the beach, the place where this photo was taken. I’m hoping to get to our local beach more often this year as rain or shine I love the sea. In summer I lounge on the sand contemplating whether or not to take the plunge and dive in, and in winter I scavenge the sand for shells, rocks and other forgotten treasures.

Right now, I’m cooped up inside, although I do have my sewing machine and a growing yarn stash…

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