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!

Sunset Vibes

2014 Pentax K-5 11 144 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 151 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!

week one in Sweden

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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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 2003Day 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.

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Day 3

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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 2509 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 2574 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.

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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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3153 2 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3237Day 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.

Summer Skirt Plans

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?

Fairy dust fabric

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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!

A different kind of love

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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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