My top Three picks from Berlin

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Berlin is such a dynamic and unique city that it’s hard to narrow it down to any one type of place. The buildings are loaded with history and the people have a quick wit and a sharp humour. Here are my top three tips from my three day trip to Berlin.

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Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church

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A section of the wall in Potsdamerplatz

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Berlin’s flee market


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One of the most enjoyable times during the trip was our visit to Berlin’s flee markets. For a city that is so rich in history, it has a treasure trove of antiques; from old currency, to silver spoons to racks upon racks of buttons and pins. There was a really nice atmosphere around the markets as well, people are there to make deals, they work with a purpose and a list, as opposed my listless ramblings. I had a great time picking through boxes of trinkets and shuffling through tables of buttons (one stall stuffed to the gills with buttons). I also got to try currywurst at this market, a Berlin delight of sausage with paprika spices generously drizzled over the top. Very delicious.

As a lover of markets I got my fill as we also visited the Turkish markets near the U-Bahn stop Kottbusser Tor. Don’t be fooled by the fruit stalls lining the beginning of the market and scattered throughout, although the pastries and breads are rather nice, there are true treasures to be found here! Just walk in a little farther and you will find stall after stall after stall of fabrics at €3 a meter and €5 a meter, cottons, synthetics and prints. Admittedly this is not the place for the highest quality but there are soft jerseys to be found and gorgeous prints to be unveiled. Don’t just walk towards this market, run towards it!


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The exterior of the Reichstag

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The inner spiralling walkway of the Reichstag’s dome


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The Reichstag was another impressive site. One of the top sites of the city and I can see why. Getting there is a little bit of a struggle as you have to wait in line just to get a ticket but the groups are evenly spaced and once you’re in the dome you don’t feel crowded, plus its free. The view from the top of the Reichstag is also impressive, you can see Potsdamer Platz, the Brandenburg gate and all the way to the Zoo. The Dome itself is an architectural beauty, light curves of glass and steel: the glass titled at such as angle as to catch the light like a mirror. Inside there are sloping walkways which spiral towards the centre, providing 360 views of the city at the top. We visited the dome around sunset, catching the slight haze over the city, giving everything an ephemeral quality. Despite the strong, icy wind it was still well worth visiting as it was one of the most memorable moments of the trip.


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Nikolaikirche

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Cafe Konditorei


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Another highlight from the trip was Nikolaiviertel, the old district of Berlin, a little medieval haven in the centre of the city, a few minutes from Alexanderplatz and the TV tower. The cobble stone streets curved around the Nikolakirche, with the rest of the area littered withcafes, shops and teddy bears. This is the perfect place to relax and to relish in Berlin’s medieval architecture. I would also recommend a visit to Cafe Konditorei, their teas are something else (the jasmine is delicious!) and their selection of cakes, biscuits and pastries was one of the best that we saw during the trip. If nothing else will sway you their seats are deep, the type of place that you want to rest your weary feet to read a few chapters of your book (can you tell how I spent my time in this cafe?!) . You should also be sure to watch the array of christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling.


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The modern Potsdamerplatz station

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The traditional S-Bahn stop for Potsdamerplatz

In all this was an extremely enjoyable trip. The city carries this huge sense of gravity about it. There is a different kind of atmosphere here that is hard to find. You can feel how decisions made here have a weight within Europe and the world. You can feel the history of the place, as is evident in the remaining buildings before the war and the memorials and museums scattered around the city. This is a town which inspires you, which takes you in slowly until it has your heart, which makes you want to return again and again for that unique sense of being at the centre of everything. I can be sure that this will not be the last time that I will visit Berlin.

Me-made Fashion Week

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Relaxing in our hotel room

So I thought that I would share my handmade outfits from the week, since my trip overlapped with New York fashion week. Not quite in the same league I know, and my papparazi was a one man team (thanks mum!) but it was bit of fun. The first day was mainly spent in airports so I chose to go with warm layers, a new jumper and skirt, from my “new wardrobe frenzy” in the week leading up to the trip. The skirt was made a week in advance, the jumper finished the night before!

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A long day of walking later

For the next day I had a little bit more choice but it was very cold, 3 to 4 degrees centigrade with wind chill factor, so I wore another new dress, made from wool jersey, and this leather top which is surprisingly warm!

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Outside the Bauhaus archives

For day three I wore my new skirt again, it has a slight stretch so it’s super comfortable. I also wore my coat, this miracle scarf and my super cosy mittens. I wore these everyday as it was so chilly.

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Our last day in the city’s old district

For the last day I went with jeans, my tights collection had depleted, my last pair from the day before being barely better than bare legs. I combined this with my crazily warm jumper (whoever knew acrylic could be this toasty!) and a long sleeved top, the little sparkles brightening up the day.

Ich liebe Berlin

The Green Man

The iconic street lights that I got a little obsessed with, taking a picture every time we crossed the street.

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The Reichstag at sunset.

Despite appearances I am still here! I’m sorry for not being here in so long but January was the month of deadlines for me…. My technical project, which is 40% of my final mark, was in for the second week of the month, my portfolio to get me into college on the third week (my college application was also due that week) and my mock exams (I’m in my exam year) started on the 3rd of February! Not a fun time for me, I couldn’t even get near my sewing machine I had so much work to do. Thankfully most of the stress has passed now, I can finally join the online world once more and leave the other place of books and studies behind me; which is why I’m typing today! I recently went on a trip to Berlin. It was a very last-minute affair as a treat for having survived my mocks (one day was six hours and twenty minutes of exams!) and it was the best reward that I could have asked for.
The city is big in a way that I’m not used to. You can walk everywhere and there isn’t too much need for the U-Bahn unless you want to travel far, but the streets, roads and squares are all just giant expanses of space. In Dublin, even Grafton Street (the main shopping street) could only fit about ten people walking side by side, most streets barely fit two: Berlin’s main boulevards could easily fit thirty, maybe even forty people, the sheer scale of the city was slightly daunting. Then there are the buildings which are plentiful and either loaded with history (pick-pocketed by bullet holes) or are modern marvels of architecture, at least half of my photos from the trip are of buildings. And finally we have the food, pretzels and curry wurst (of which I cannot recommend enough) which saved an otherwise lost lunch several times. All in all this is a truly diverse city, between its melded cuisines, juxtaposition of architectural styles and its people. A very memorable trip indeed.

The most famous Trabi in the world?

The most flamboyant Trabi that I saw during the trip #noirberlin #trabinoir

By Poseidon's Ladies

Is it bad that I’m jealous of her plaits?

Winter nights

2014 Pentax K-5 11 0072014 Pentax K-5 11 1032014 Pentax K-5 11 083 2014 Pentax K-5 11 171 Winter nights are for staying in, playing on mini pool tables, ordering dominos pizza and taking long exposure shots on the way home. With this years impending exams (and my portfolio…) its nice to be able to take a step back to relax with friends.
At the moment I am in the process of creating my portfolio, 15 A1 sheets, in three months…. ambitious I know but I will have it finished, that’s why I’ve been a bit absent recently. I’ll hopefully have some finished pieces to show you soon but until then, enjoy those long winter nights!

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Sugar and spice and all thing nice?

2014 Pentax K-5 11 072 I am not a big fan of sparkles or glitter, I had my “doll” phase, same as most little girls, but from the age of eight, anything “girly” has been a bit of a no-no for me. I was the kid who had their homework in first, who read books through the night and played with “boys” lego. I think those who love girly things, work it, but it’s just not my thing… until I saw this fabric.2014 Pentax K-5 11 053 Think back to about a year ago, my first time in Stockholm with fabric on my mind. I walk into this amazing shop (seriously this place is gold!) with a new interest in knits. It was perfect! There was also lots of amazing Scandinavian chic inspiring me at the time, so why not go a little riske and buy the sparkly knit… It’ll become something….someday…2014 Pentax K-5 11 097 Well today it has! I’ve always had an idea to make this attention seeking fabric into something, well, not so attention seeking. And so an unassuming long-sleeved top it became. But of course it couldn’t remain too simple, so I scooped the back, but not too low so that it is still suitable for everyday. The final result, I kind of love it! I didn’t expect the sparkle to grow on me so much, but since making it last Saturday morning, I’ve worn it about five times… true love in the making! I have about enough left to make a vest so a summer version shall be in the making!

Speaking out

2014 Pentax K-5 11 012 Happy blogversary to me!
It feels weird to be saying that… This time three years ago, I was plunging into the rapidly expanding sea of blogs. I would like to think that I am slightly wiser now, although it’s probably that I just have more experience. Having my own online space is something that I still treasure as much now as I did when I first created this blog, having a little hidden community to share your creations with is always really gratifying. When I first started this blog I was a nervous fourteen year old girl who was too scared to tell anyone about my new love apart from my mom, my grandmother and my best friend! Being able to share my creations with this space just gave me the confidence to speak out about it! Now all of my teachers, friends, enemies and even random people waliking down the street know! Admittedly I might still not say something so… unusual to someone I meet for the first time, but I wouldn’t want to scare them off, or get a request to make something. In the three years since I have made this blog I’ve become someone who’s no longer afraid to speak out about their oddities, because a seventeen year old who can design, pattern make and sew up her own winter coat (3rd year in a row) is rather rare, having those little comments just adds more fuel to the engines. They make me want to work harder, to make more intricate things, to try new ideas and sew more conceptual pieces. I could even go as far as to say that without this blog I might not be pursuing my love of fashion, it might have simply ended as minor fling I had when I was young. I don’t even know where I’d be if that were the case… So this is just some ramblings on my gratitude, towards every follower, commenter, viewer, even those who just take a peek…… Thank you!