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!

Beach bum

2014 Pentax K-5 11 076 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 048 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 071 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).

2014 Pentax K-5 11 046 g

Have any of you guys gotten to a beach this summer, any celebrations for our year’s longest day?

week three in Sweden

2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 226 Day 15

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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 569 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!2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1122 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..)

Wearing this skirt and this hoodie to survive the Swedish dusk.

IMGP8758 Day 17

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.IMGP9036 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.

Wearing these shorts (cause I can) and this hoodie (cause repetition is good right…?)

week two in Sweden

2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3544Day 9

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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 142 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 650 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 901 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.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1359 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)2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1762 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 Perfect Blue

2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3544 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. 2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3551 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. 2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3569 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!)2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 3561 Well I have yet more pictures but I think I’ll find some non-Sweden ones for some interest. Ill be back soon.

The perfect pair

2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1747 In summer I have my basic remedy of a simple A-line top with some form of denim bottoms, I discussed colours and tones before in this post. However nearly three months later I had yet to completely rectify the problem, that problem being my lack of decent shorts. Yes I have the usual suspects, such my denim simple cut-offs and a rolled up bleached pair too, however when heading into town or into a reasonably classy establishment I needed to up my game, the surprisingly warm Irish summer was yet another incentive. And thus these shorts were made. 2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1758 The shorts are made with a very heavy denim that was a purchase in Sweden. Made from a pattern from my early pattern drafting days, I simply folded down the humongous pleats that had simply not worked in previous versions (those versions being so unsuccessful that they never made it to this blog) to create a much more flattering shape. There is still a ton of flare at the sides but I kind of like the silhouette. I’m so used to stream-lined bottoms that having something that forces me wear more fitted tops is a good thing. Not to mention it actually balances out my shoulders as well.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1762 The shorts also made up quite quickly. Having decided that I needed wanted a new pair on Saturday night, I had them finished by Sunday, mid-day, hems and buttons complete! The buttons here also make me quite happy as they are a purchase from my trip to Paris in Easter. The vaguely art deco look and turquoise colour make these shorts that bit more fun, and it also means that I can cut down on my ever increasing stash.2014 Pentax K-5 11 Sweden Summer 1750

And last but not least I’ll tell you about where this set of photos were taken. This summer we decided to head to the south of Sweden around Karlskrona and then onto Copenhagen through Skåne. While driving through Skåne we happened upon this beautiful sandy beach, filled with soft white sand dunes that could heat your feet in an instant!
I have one last set such as these to show and also a bunch more photo’s from Sweden. Be back soon!

Me-Made May 2014:week 3

Day 18 Day 17

Went out about town to buy some birthday gifts as May is the season of birthdays.

Wearing this skirt and my jacket.

Day 19 Day 18

Had a day of hitting the books and so I decided to dance come photo time, just hit the volume to max on my headphones and headed to the attic!

Wearing a super simple top that has yet to make an appearance on the blog.Day 20 Day 19

The temperature cooled just a little bit but I’ve already declared that the season of bare legs to of begun so I just wore a jumper instead.

Decided to wear this skirt again.

Day 21 Day 21

Sorry for the depressed look but this was taken the day before exams and as you can tell, I’m not too excited about them.

Wearing this skirt.Day 24 Day 24

Happy birthday to me! We spent the day about town trying to forget about exams and also tried to coax the sun to come out as well.

Wearing a new dress especially made for the day that shall be here soon.Day 25 Day 25

Once the sun decided to come out I simply had to enjoy it, so my dad and I headed to the beach to try and skim rocks and dip toes into the ocean. Thankfully the water was shallow enough that you could actually walk in without getting frozen.

Wearing a new denim skirt that shall be coming here in a little bit.2014 Pentax K-5 11 010Day 26

I was feeling lazy (I’d had my physics exam earlier that day) and just wore some hand made friendship bracelets.2014 Pentax K-5 11 074Day 27

Relaxed and studied away while awaiting the next set of exams.

Wearing this skirt.

2014 Pentax K-5 11 104 Day 28

Nearly free! Had an art history exam that worked out well and then walked home in the sunshine, the loom of summer was so near that I decided to take some photos outside for a change.

Wearing this top.

2014 Pentax K-5 11 230 Day 29

I felt a little dance was in order for the freedom that I had acquired! No more exams or studies! Three whole months to do whatever I wanted in (which shall in part include a new collection, mood boards to come shortly!). My mum and I had a nice meal talking about the existence of raspberries (with maple syrup and drop scones or with chocolate moose), chocolate moose with raspberries was on the desert menu and so the universe, for once decided the debacle of whether or not to get desert!

Wearing a new denim skirt and black t-shirt.

2014 Pentax K-5 11 029 Day 30

First day of freedom! And I did what makes me happiest, made a new top and photographed it the very same day! That night I went out for dinner in the hard rock café, the night included “stolen” polaroids (masterfully stuck together with the grease of our burgers) serenades of Whitney Houston songs and some late night dancing on the streets of Dublin! All captured with a plucky fisheye and its frightening flash!

Wearing a new top/ t-shirt that shall be making it’s debut shortly.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my me-made-may posts, sorry for the delay but it’s already turned out to be a busy summer!

I’ve learned from the month that you can never have enough t-shirts, or shorts! That I’m very bad at wearing old cloths or anything remotely fancy or without stretch. My summer shall, in light of this, be filled with comfy, town appropriate, shorts, nice t-shirts and hopefully some casual shirts to make me look that slight bit smarter! I also promise no “grumpy teenager” expressions, only the crazed three year old’s smile!

Happy summer to everyone on holidays! And for anyone who’s not at least the day are longer, the skirts are shorter and the rain is warmer!