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.

Reichstag

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?

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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!

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!

Winter is coming

2014 Pentax K-5 11 094 Prepare yourselves! Winter is coming! And I have made myself a coat, and I’ve taken a million pictures of it… Well it is the coat of my dreams. Loose and swingy and of so structured! I’m particularly pleased with the collar, say hello to my first drafted collar. 2014 Pentax K-5 11 036 This is my favourite coat so far, I’ve always wanted a very oversized yet structured coat, I have already made a grandad coat, which I also love to pieces but I needed something new and a little bit more refined. This coat fulfills that purpose.

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 The pattern is new for me as it’s been drawn up with new tailoring blocks, because my old ones were getting weird with the darts. I also made my first drafted collar, so it’s as smart as a suit! The general shape of the coat wasn’t dufficult but having my bust dart hidden under the collar and getting the front to sit flat were little problems to deal with.

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The fabric was last years Christmas gift, from Murphy sheehy’s, of course. My love for them continues each day! It’s a felted wool with a slight tartan pattern, there is a base of charcoal grey with the plaid being in a deep navy. I was already in love with the mix of grey and navy, but throw in my new-found love of all things tartan and I was sold!

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The coat was a good sew. The wool took the ease in the collar and sleeves like a dream, it sits ‘just so’ and I’m a bit obsessed with the hang of it. Another feature that I love is the button holes and the welt pockets. Both made in leather, it was possibly a bit ambitious for my first giete button hole and welt pocket, but the detail really does add to the coat though.

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Overall I’m thrilled with this coat, so thrilled that I wore it during the end of summer, despite my ridiculous combinations with shorts and Birkenstocks… This combined with Coddington styled hair (out to my shoulders!) I always got looks walking around town!

Off the Cuff

2014 Pentax K-5 11 048 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 054 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 052 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 041The 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!