As I delve further into new sewing techniques and working with new fabrics I find myself stumbling upon so many new perspectives. The more I think “what if I made the sleeve this way instead of that…” That exact predicament led to this top. Simple and basic projects are great but it’s also fun to give yourself a challenge, coming in the form of suede raglan sleeves! I’ve been craving some fifties style darts since I saw the jaw-droppingly beautiful outfits of Monica Z, a Swedish film about a sixties jazz singer. Imagine end of fifties chic with early sixties kookiness, the prints, the lengths, the fit… I’ve never seen such an enviable movie wardrobe, so I felt the want for my own fifties inspired top. One of the major style lines seen in the film were these deep darts that came from low in the side seam up towards the bust. I figured it would be a new style for me and in such an unstructured garment it adds some extra visual interest. Another love of this top is the fabric. I’d seen Carolyn’s Scandinavian guide before I left for Sweden and so made a mental note of the leathers shop in Copenhagen. When I’d learnt that we would be visiting Copenhagen I got a bit excited, then on the second day, after some aimless rambling (that was majorly affected by the availability of air conditioning) I caught a glimpse of the sign. Inside I gravitated towards a large pile of suedes. I had only intended to look at them (in a stroke longingly kind of way) and then noticed the price, roughly €7.50 per skin… I couldn’t pounce fast enough! I gleefully swung the bag around my wrist for the rest of the day, only pausing for the occasional picture of the sunset. The drafting of the top was unfortunately not as easy as finding inspiration or fabric, I re-drafted the sleeves three times… The basic bodice shape was really nice but the sleeves seemed too prim, I wanted fifties inspired not fifties housewife (a nice look just not for me) then I attempted some weird creation where the top of the sleeve was barely covered, this was until a raglan sleeve was suggested, the off the shoulder look allowing no seam in the sleeve (a big no-no for the suede) and i’m quite pleased with the results.The binding was more of an after-thought but the vaguely sporty vibes it gives makes me smile and makes the top that bit more interesting. The photos were taken the day after the Dublin fashion festival (which was fricken awesome!) when instead of a lie-in I ventured to the sunny morning light which was too good to miss. I’m not used to see such strong shadows on my face and the gold eye shadow (because why not?) make these photos seem a little more out-there then my usual. Here’s to more evening attire, more off the shoulder looks and more gold eye shadow!
I may have already mentioned that I’m a bit obsessed with sunsets, and also with my new camera lens (so much more bokeh!) so here I have experimented to combine for them for a blurred sunset background. I must admit that I’m completely in love with the colours in this image and that I was also a little bit surprised at such a stunning Irish sunset. I’m used to long Scandinavian nights where the sun sets for hours and duck lights the sky for hours after that so to see such a sky right in my back garden was gave me a little thrill. The necklace here is a new piece that decided to make one night, I was feeling the need for some new jewellery, since I haven’t bought a new necklace in over three years I decided that it was time. I made another piece alongside this but I felt that this little piece of stone deserved to be the star!
For me summer-time is beach time, well weather permitting. I love being able to heading down to the beach with a few friends to soak in the sun, sand and surf (this is Ireland) and this summer, with the added heat, I’ve been able to get in many more beach days, I’ve even swam in the Irish sea! All of these beach days has led me to come up with a routine, since I live a train stop outside of the nearest beach I can’t exactly run to beach in just my swim gear so I’ve been sorting through “beach-appropriate” garments, namely denim shorts and loose jersey tops. To keep my look a little more fashion forward I’m keeping to my favourite neutral palette. In remembrance of this top, which gets more wear then is healthy I decided to squeeze and new top out of it. Yet the three-quarter length sleeves, cropped length and facing on the neckline make it look that little bit more… polished? I still wore it to the beach though, summer solstice celebrations, same night that these pictures were taken as well. This slightly classier style works for me though as it means that I now don’t look like a complete beach bum! (my shorts are very old!) This top has already taken over from my old one which is now reserved for over-classy bottoms and studying (such is my life).
Have any of you guys gotten to a beach this summer, any celebrations for our year’s longest day?
Our first day in Copenhagen. We spent our time between rambling the main streets and going on photographic excursions towards the outer layers of the city (meaning all around the city!). By evening time we even made our way to the famed Tivoli gardens for dinner, a spectacular lights show and some seriously cool night-time shots.
Wearing this dress. Day 16
Another day of explorations lay in wait. We visited the national art gallery which held a rather large collection of miniature Degas statues. Then we tested out the very efficient underground system (think ultra modern Scandinavian design at it’s best) to an even older part of the city for one of the of the most delicious salads I’ve eaten. Afterwards we headed into the city’s tallest tower for the best skyline views, warning this is not for the faint-hearted, the stairs up are fine, but the final ascent is on the outside of the tower,( as seen in the image above ), however the heights are worth it as you are rewarded with a stunning view. We wound up our final night in Copenhagen with some oh-so-touritsty burgers and then took a change of pace to a bookshop-come café for dessert, for our family’s book addictions being able to sit among shelves of books put everyone at ease.
Wearing this top to survive the heat! Day 17
On the road again! (as my dad would say), it was time to return to Sweden, by ferry that is, but trouble was that our ferry was departing from the other side of the country, so we began our drive through Denmark. On the way we saw not one but two very long bridges (I’m officially saying Scandinavia has the coolest bridges), of course we stopped numerous times for pictures, anything else would be unnatural for us! Finally after six hours of driving (a lot of road works at the second bridge) we arrived at Fredrickshavn, our final stop before Sweden. Only once we boarded the ship did my dad tell me the ferry’s more infamous truths. For this I think I need to explain that each Scandinavian country (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) each have their own currency, so prices in certain things will differ from item to item, one such item being alcohol, so the Norwegians head to Sweden, the Swedes head to Denmark, the Danes to Germany and the German’s to Poland, the reason I’m telling you this is that we were on one of the “Swede to Denmark” boats, on a Saturday night, there were plenty of kids and families on board so it was fine but the occasional song and dance on deck to 80’s Swedish pop was rather entertaining, as was their staggering up and down steps as we disembarked. For the majority of the ferry ride I was outside though, catching one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. I think I took well over 300 pictures… But I couldn’t stop, it was a classic “sun over sea” horizon shot. By the time we were driving home the colourful lights of the city kept my camera on and led to some pretty “artsy” shots (i.e. blurry and vaguely interesting..)
Back home, we relished our lie-in and the simple joys of life. In the morning I made Swedish pastries for the first time, under the expert guidance of my granddad, they turned out to be quite delicious as well. After eating a few too many pastries we went on a little excursion to the picturesque housing areas (think colourfully painted wooden-clad homes with lots of flowers outside and around the area), saw a crab and I got the closest to a seagull that I’ve ever been. At home we watched a movie and enjoyed yet more pastries.
Wearing these shorts. Day 18
Last day… We decided to spend our last day in spectacular fashion, visiting one local town for a last-stop wool shop, it’s for my yearly fix! Then onto one of my favourite towns in Sweden, Udevalla, the old centre is perfect for taking photos so I walked around with my granddad catching various shots here and there. For lunch we went to very quiet yet very comfortable café that served a ton of loose-leaf tea and my last shrimp sandwich… After some reading we drove on to an amazing restaurant, delicious fish, scrumptious desserts and to-die-for views, can I mention it has a swing, and that I love swings! Since we had a fairly early dinner my dad and I drove about finding a setting for our final sunset. Our night was finished with a movie and some of our favourite Swedish treats.
Our last day in the rental house. I took an early morning wakeup as a photo-shoot opportunity. Later on we went to the beach for our annual pilgrimage of crab fishing, we don’t eat them don’t worry, when we’re finished we return them to sea by racing them down the beach! Then we watched the football finally with pancakes and pizza.
Wearing this dress. Day 10
We began our journey to Karlskrona! Along the way we stopped off at these beautiful gardens outside of Malmo. We also passed by miles of stunning countryside as well as some pretty awesome bridges. Omce in Karlskrona we relaxed in our room until temperatures somewhat cooled. By sunset hour we wandered the streets to gawk as the C18th architecture and the gorgeous seaside sunset.
Wearing my new mesh top. Day 11
Another Karlskrona day. My dad and I got up early to visit the maritime museum which was actually kind of cool. They had an old nuclear submarine and a huge array of ship busts. Later that day we went on a boat trip to a nearby military base. The scenery was beautiful but the 4 hour long descriptions, in Swedish were a little bit boring, particularly as whenever you thought a particular bit of information was over you’d then hear “och so..” (meaning “and so”). The boat ride home was nice though and that day’s sunset was particularly spectacular.
Wearing this hoodie. Day 12
My mum and I decided to actually see the town, walking around little cobble-stoned side streets and passing through little shopping centres just for the air-conditioning. Eventually (after some fabric was bought!) we found this quaint café hidden in a little shaded courtyard, serving the perfect raksmorgas (shrimp sandwhich) and thin biscuits. We may have stayed slightly longer then was necessary… Dinner featured sushi (very nice sushi too) and our last night of street rambling.
Wearing a new camisole top. Day 13
The tired expression is somewhat dignified, we had to leave karlskrona and continue on our way. Our trip featured a visit to Kalmar, a large town (or small city) near Oland. A place that matched Karlskrona’s beauty. There were even more C18th buildings and every house was at least a hundread years old. There were plenty of comfortable cafes (expresso house im looking at you!) and a ton of places to explore. My dad and I went on a photography exposition for a good two hours and found no end of things to photograph! After some more fan apprecitation we drove on to another town of Carlstad, near Skana to rest for the night.
Wearing a camisole (hidden under jumper) to be blogged soon) Day 14
Another travel day, although our trip was littered with pit-stops, photo opportunities and sandy beaches. After navigating around the walls of a castle we headed to a coastal town to find a beach by the Baltic. Always going to the west coast of Sweden, we never get the chance to swim in the Baltic, so at the spur of the moment we took a dip. Granted it meant beachy waves all day and stinging eyes I’m glad I went in. Our next stop was a medieval tower, which was, admittedly, kind of cool. With several flights of stairs, stain glass windows and some tapestries it really brought you back to the C14th. After that we went to a really really sandy beach (see photo above), with lots of sand dunes and a light house, which gave a pretty good view of the beach and the sea.
Wearing these shorts.
Last week coming soon!
The dreaded travel day… although this year our flight was routed the much less busy side of Stockholm’s national terminal, our long stop over allowed a long relaxed lunch complete with shrimp sandwiches and swedish kanel bulah!
Wearing a new camisole top.Day 2
Our first proper day in Sweden cam with glorious weather, so we decided to visit a beautiful nearby island. The constant blue skies and picturesque wooden houses and colourful flowers meant we were kept entertained all day.
Wearing this top.
Lets go to Oslo day! There is one slight problem with holidays in mainland Europe, you often end up going to supposedly nearby cities from a different country, in our case, Olso in Norway, a three hour drive in a rental car that was really that little bit too small, not to mention the freezing weather in Oslo, 14 degrees in the middle of june! And I thought irish weather was bad! Besides that the trip was great, I even visited a fabric shop. My favourite part of the trip was the way home though, as we passed by one of my favourite Swedish towns on the west coast, Fjallbacka, a place whose colours at sunset would make even firework displays jealous and whose reflective waters unleash a near illegal amount of beauty.
Wearing this top. Day 4
We moved into our rental home and unpacked and relaxed, when the time for dinner came we went to one of the local seaside restaurants for our daily sunset fix!
Wearing a new simple, mesh top. Day 5
We took a lazy morning, filled with Swedish breads and cheeses. Later on we met up with some of our family to have a warm lunch (for the unseasonable 15 degrees). After chats at our house we had the most amazing mussels for dinner and I once again ventured out for the coastal sunset views that I was becoming increasingly obsessed with.
We spent the day exploring as we planned a trip to a wildlife reserve, while there we saw lots of birds, deer and even a tiger. The most beautiful tiger ive ever seen. It acted more like a large house cat with its inquisitive eyes and peaceful demeanour, as well as when it casually began to lick itself clean. Afterwards we had a family dinner in my favourite restaurant in Sweden, set in an old, intricate wooden house, we had an amazing crayfish starter and were treated with yet another gorgeous sunset.
Wearing a camisole that is yet to be blogged. Day 7
Sorry for the photo but it was the only one that I could find. We had an early start to see this amazing art nouveau apartment building, complete with stain glass windows unique to every floor and twisting, carved stair bannisters. Then we hit the town for some vintage shopping as well as a visit to the art shop. Afterwards we went to a family dinner at the outskirts of the city.
Wearing an unblogged camisole and these shorts.Day 8
Relaxation! I love meeting family but there is something to be said for long lie-ins and lazy afternoon breakfasts! After our morning we visited the nearby watercolour art gallery with my granddad to see a stunning exhibition by Lars Lerin. Some hot tea at a café was succeeded by my favourite meal of the day, Fika! To those of you who aren’t Swedish this is just a weird word, however for the swedes this word means snack time! Although the snacks are often more like sweet cake and pastries complimented with tea or coffee for those winter days. However our unplanned selves managed to first have fika and then dinner… Dinner being my favourite pancakes! My granddads pancakes, they are truly unmatched, with the same thickness of a crepe yet the flavour of a normal pancake, when drizzled with maple syrup they bring back a dozen summers and a thousand memories of summers filled with sticky fingers! Another highlight of the evening was that I finally learnt the pancake secret! Two pans… I’m sure you already knew but I was happy to find out.
Wearing this old faithful skirt.
The return of the Kate Bush frizz! I know that my hair is a large feature of my photos but “if you’ve got flaunt it!”. This is my last set of garment photos form Sweden. This dress was origionally made for my birthday, back in….May. Sorry about not posting sooner but when the sun is out I just want to run to the beach and eat ice cream. These photos were taken just outside our rental house, amid the trees. I quite like the light green hues of this backround, and the subtle shafts of sunlight. The fabric is a lightweight poly knit from Paris. I wanted to make a simple jersey dress, as anything less then this casual is not worn. The fabric was also used in this top. I didn’t like the white in a dress so I dyed it. That was a fun experience… I had an indigo dye kit but Im still not great on chemical percentages and as such so I used the entire bundle, which was to dye 25 t-shirts. So I dyed this top, two meters of linen and over 1000g of yarn, except the chemicals made everything in my bucket look green.. A horrible bright green. Thankfully I just needed to take the pieces out of the dye bucket and then they turned blue again. But the scare of ruining that much fabric and yarn (it was two meters of gorgeous natural linen!) Well I have yet more pictures but I think I’ll find some non-Sweden ones for some interest. Ill be back soon.