Montag, 2. März 2015

Book Challenge February

Hello Lovelies,

of course I used my last days of the semester break not only for spending a lot of time with my sewing machine, but also for reading. And naturally, I'd like to present you with what I occupied my mind with:


Probably not as impressing as in January, but hey, I do other things besides reading too (^.-)


Guido Hofenbitzer - Bekleidung: Schnittkonstruktion für Damenmode (German, 368p.)

Let's start with a book that is not really literature, I didn't "read" it in the classical sense. But I'd like to mention it here because I do like to improve my sewing skills, and besides online tutorials I prefer to buy books on the matter. Like this I can learn on my own terms and pace, and exactly what I want to learn, instead of attending an overpriced class - but that's only my opinion, it's just the most comfortable for me because I'm an autodidact.
So this book explains the basics of pattern construction for women's outer garments (so any womenswear except for undergarnments). I can highly recommend it if you already know a bit about sewing, since it only covers the pattern making and not the actual cutting and sewing part, also I think it's an advantage to follow the steps if you have some experience on how patterns look like and work. Other than that, the steps are explained well and it covers pretty much every garment and its alterations, so the investion was definitively worth it for me. I'm looking forward to actually try and make my own patterns from scratch!


Michelle Halbheer - Platzspitzbaby (German, 206p.)

- A book with a one-word title
- A book based on a true story

Michelle was born as daughter of a heroin addict who was part of the open drug scene during the 80ies in Zurich and grew up seeing and experiencing things no child should ever be exposed to. It is an amazing story of a really really strong girl who had to grow up early in order to survive. Now, with 29, she told her story to a journalist who wrote the book for her. While it's easy to read, the content touched me all the more, as it's written in quite figurative language.
It made me also think about drug politics in Switzerland, or rather the lack thereof, as there are still children left with their addicted parents. This happens, just as with Michelle, under the pretext that the child would help the parent with the fight against the addiction, while it's clear that they can't even take responsibility for their own life, left alone for a child.


M.E. Thomas - Confessions of a Sociopath (English, 321p.)

M.E. Thomas is a law professor, a trained musician, a successful woman, and a sociopath. After running the blog sociopathworld.com for a while, she wanted to share her whole life story. It's really interesting to read about her inner thoughts, how her logic works, and, what astonished me, how insecure she's felt for years, before she came to accept her fate as a sociopath and started the blog in order to seek contact to like-minded people. Our society likes to present this stereotype of the cold-minded psychopath (Thomas uses the two terms interchangeably as they actually mean the same). What hardly ever anyone speaks about is that sociopaths often feel left out, because they think differently, no matter their (assumed) lack of moral values.
The book is well researched and entertaining to read, although I had to look up a few words. I certainly learned a bit more about other peoples minds, something that's always of great interest for me.


Erin Morgenstern - The Night Circus (English, 512p.)

- A book with more than 500 pages

I got curious about this book as it kept appearing on my tumblr, and so I decided to buy it, since the booklovers on tumblr have great taste in general. And I was not disappointed!
The Night Circus arrives at night, without warning. Inside its gates are the most wonderful things to see, every tent exhibits another sensation. One might almost think it's magical...
I highly enjoyed all the descriptions of this extraordinary circus, it's occupants and surroundings. The only thing that bothered me is that the story is not told chronologically, but in the beginning of every chapter, a different time and place are indicated. It all comes together in an unity in the end, but for the first half of the book I was constantly confused and had to go back and forth, also because there are a lot of characters involved. But that's a great excuse to read the book again! (^.^)


And that's the status quo of my reading challenge! Still a long way to go (and it's already March! Where did the first two months of the year go?)



Dienstag, 10. Februar 2015

If I Had the Chance I'd Ask the World to Dance

Hey dollies,

next week university starts again, so i'm spending my last week of the semester break with sewing and enjoying the great winter weather (^.^)
Therefore I have not much to show you, expect for two outfits!

On sunday, I wore my new jsk for the first time. I decided to coordinate it with brown and embrace the deer theme (*_*). The length of the dress is still unusual, and maybe I need a long petti now, too (I was wearing a regular one on hip height to give the dress at least a bit poof).

Knitted hat: KayiLa Fashion
Collar: CuteLou Couture
Cardigan & belt: handmade by me
Necklace: Moon Bunny
Dress: Long Ears and Sharp Ears' Studio
Boots: Vagabond
serious selfie for once (^.-)

The second outfit was not really an outfit, but just some clothes I put on to run errands (that's why my hair is so messy). However, I felt really cute and comfy, also I love this sweater, so I took a pic anyways.

Sweater: Sheinside
Boots: Vagabond
I've always loved the combination of shorts over tights, but hardly ever felt self-confident enough to actually wear it. I had no idea it's much more fun to just not give a fuck and wear whatever I want anyways!


Donnerstag, 5. Februar 2015

Teal Time

Hi Dolls,

there are some colours that cannot be found in my closet. Although I like them, I don't wear them, which is mainly because of limited space and money, So I have to settle for a certain range of colours. For example. I don't own anything blue, turquoise - or teal.
My mum, hovewer, likes to wear teal, so for her birthday I sewed a waist-length cardigan for her.


I chose a soft cotton jersey with matching buttons. I really like the ornaments around the edges of the buttons (^.^)


My mums style is not very elaborate, so I tried to keep the cardigan simple, without big embelishments exept for a pocket on one side (because you can't have enough pockets, right?).


It looks a bit crumpled here on the photos, but I had to take pictures as long as I had a bit of light...


I totally forgot to buy matching thread while in the fabric store, and when I was at home again. I was too lazy to go back again. So I improvised with this lighter shade. I think it's a nice contrast, a cute detail that could be intended from the beginning. The trick is to just tell everyone that's how's supposed to be (^.-)



Dienstag, 3. Februar 2015

Deers in the Mist

Hi cuties,

last year, the indie brand Long Ears and Sharp Ears' Studio released a print with the name Deers in the Mist. As you know, I love everything deer-related, so this obviously caught my attention.

Pictures from their facebook page

Isn't it adorable?
But at the time of the initial release, I wasn't sure whether I actually wanted to purchase it, plus I couldn't decide for a colour, so I missed the first reservation period (-.-)

the artwork is so adorable!

Lucky for me, there was a second chance to reserve the dress shortly afterwards. I placed my order in December, in January I could pay the rest of the fee and some days ago, the dress arrived!
In the end, I settled on the long jsk in ivory(-yellow) colourway.


I debated on getting the dress in lavender instead, but now it arrived I'm very happy with my choice. Although I don't wear a lot of yellow (not at all, actually), I really like the colour on this dress, also because it's very pastelly and not too obtrusive.
It's also my first dress in this length, I'm looking forward to try coords with it (^.^). Actually, I prefer the classic lolita silhouette with knee-long skirts, but I liked the overall design of this jsk the best (there's also a short jsk and a onepiece to choose from).


The quality of the dress is susrprisingly well (I'm always a bit cautious with indie brands). There is no zipper since the back is shirred, which makes the dress very comfortable. The shoulder straps are variable and the waist band and shoulder ruffles can be detached. The dress is completely lined and carefully sewn, as far as I can see.
The lace trim in the front is of decent quality, aswell as the fabric itself.



I'm very fond of the print, it looks gorgeous on the chiffon. The plain chiffon that's used for the ruffles has an interesting texture; stipes are woven into it. I like details like it, also it comliments the dress nicely.


I'm so happy about this new addition to my deer collection (^.^) I can't wait to wear it!
Maybe I'll make a new blouse or a cardigan to coordinate it with, I noticed that I need more off-white basics...




Montag, 2. Februar 2015

Bibliophile

Hi my dear readers,

I'd like to add a new aspect to this blog, to cover another of my hobbies: reading!
I used to read a lot when I was a child, a little less when I became a teenager, and since I started studying, textbooks covered most of my reading schedule. But I noticed how much I missed reading, especially fiction (although I also enjoy non-fiction!).

Even if I didn't take the time to actually read a lot, my wishlist on amazon grew (and still grows) quite a bit. So when I got some money and bookshop gift cards for Christmas, I didn't spend it all at once on books because that would be irresponsible couldn't resist and stocked up my reading materials:

It's not "too many books", it's "not enough bookshelves"!

Along with some more books that are on my to-be-read-pile, these should keep me busy for some time (^.^)
It's also a good thing that this book challenge keeps floating around (I found it on tumblr, but I think it's also on other social media platforms), which I want to join:


In order to keep track of it, I decided to post at the end of every month which books I've read and hence what I can cross off the list. I interpreted it insofar that one book can cover more than one request (to quote a friend who also participates: "my challenge, my rules!").
So, what did I read in january?


I'll write a little something about every book, I hope you don't mind (^.^).
So let's have a look!


Walter Moers - Die Stadt der Täumenden Bücher (German, 455p.) & Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher (German, 427p.)

- A book with nonhuman characters
- A book from an author you love that you haven't read yet

So far, I've only read Die 13½ Leben des Käpt'n Blaubär by Moers, but I've loved it. The author has this brilliant use of language and an extensive vocabulary, which always makes me feel very smart when I read his books. 
These two books are the first two of a series (the third volume is released this year), so the content is linked together. It's about a young writer who visits what sounds like the best place on earth; The City of the Dreaming Books. It's a city full of bookstores, libraries and cafés, where everyone reads, writes or sells books. Sounds amazing, right? However, beneath the town lies The Labyrinth of the Dreaming Books, a vast cave system that holds many dangerous adventures for our hero!


Susan Cain - Quiet. The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking (English, 280p.)

- A book by a female author
- A nonfiction book
- A book by an author you've never read before

I first learned about this book in connection with this amazingly beautiful comic "Introversion" by Luchie (please look also at the rest of here blog!).
I consider myself an introvert, and it's more often than not a difficult trait of my personality, so naturally, I was intrigued. And I can highly recommend this book, whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

It's very well researched and based on numerous scientific studies, but also personal experiences of the author. The definition of introversion, why our society is based on an extroverted ideal (and why that might be a bad idea), how introverts can benefit from their personality without being forced to pretend to be someone they aren't; Cain explains all this in a very entertaining language, accompanied by many examples and stories of her own life. Despite being cramped with information, it's agreeable to read. Many things dawned on me while reading it, and I think I understand myself a bit better now.


Rachel Hawkins - Rebel Belle (English, 345p.)

- A book set in a different country
- A book based entirely on its cover
- A book with a love triangle
- A book set in high school
- A book with magic

They say you shouldn't judge a book based of its cover, but I must admit, the cover was what got me interested in this book in the first place (shame on me). The content is pretty much obvious from the points it crosses off the challenge which I listed above. Although this might not look like something I'd enjoy reading on first glance, I did not hate the book. It's well written, witty, and the main character is very charismatic. Also there's magic and wiches and some historical facts included, so I'm contemplating to read the second book of the series, Miss Mayhem, which will be published in april...


Kouyu Shurei - Alichino (Manga, 3 volumes, German)

- A book a friend recommended
- A book you can finish in a day
- A graphic novel
- A book that was originally written in a different language

Yes, I'm shamelessly going to count mangas as books too! A friend borrowed them to me, since she wants to cosplay a character and I didn't know the series before. It was published in 2005 and put on hiatus after three volumes. Which is a shame, especially the elaborate costumes are really pretty! They might even get me into cosplaying after all...

So, looks like my book challenge started not too badly:


I really hope I can finish it by the end of the year! (*_*)



Donnerstag, 29. Januar 2015

La Plus Belle Epoque

Hi cuties,

I already announced it; last week we had our annual Lolita Meet-up at the Belle Epoque Week in Kandersteg. We were super lucky with the weather (just like the two years before, for some reason we are just every time in luck). Although it was quite cold, the sky was (almost always) blue and fresh snow had fallen shortly before.
So upon arrival, we went to take some pictures, naturally.

Our group ♥ don't they all look lovely?

I took some pictures with my new coat on first. I'm so in love with it!



Then we proceeded to the Waldhotel Doldenhorn, where a high tea would be served and a fashion show was presented. Our group was seated in the wintergarden, which was really beautiful. So we took the chance to take some more outfit pictures (it was also significantly warmer indoors).

Jsk: Innocent World
Headpiece, blouse, corset: handmade by me
Necklace: Sheinside
Boots: Ebay


I chose a quite simple hairstyle, by simply curling my natural hair. Then I braided a strand of hair and pinned it across my head, serving as alice band subsitution, and perching my beloved bambi headpiece on top of the end. I really like how it turned out!

derp

The food and tea was delicious as always! And so carefully arranged!



On the fashion show, authentinc gowns from the turn of the century were shown, ranging from underwear and bathing suits to sports wear to elaborate evening gowns, each presented for ladies- and menswear. It was very entertaining, and some of the garments were even real vintage!
Unfortunately it was hard to take pictures of the models, so instead I'll show you some more photos of our Lolita group (^.^)




Pictures by Magali, Lea, Marie-Lou and me (sorry for not being more specific, I kinda lost track)



Dienstag, 20. Januar 2015

Fire Cannot Kill a Dragonfly

Hi my dears,

this weekend we'll have a Lolita meet-up at the Belle Epoque week in Kandersteg (we went last year and the year before too, maybe you remember). For this occasion, I desperately needed to sew something that's been on my to-sew-list for some time: a new coat.
Of course, not just any coat.
Last year, I inherited a fur coat from my grand-grandmother. It's real fur (fox I guess...?), and while the coat itself was still in excellent condition, neither the size nor its shape suited me.


So I decided to use the fur on a new coat. It took some time to assemble all the materials, since I wanted the new coat to be quite elaborate, but also needed to work out the exact design. Sometimes, it takes a while until I can decide, but seriously, it's also what I love most about the design process (^.^)

Sorry for the overexposion, during winter good lightning is scarce (-.-)

Inspiration came (as you probably already guessed from the title*) from Game of Thrones, not only a great series, but also equipped with amaaaazing costume design. For this particual project I drew inspiration from Catelyn Stark's wardrobe. She's often seen with long, flowing garment, adorned with fur trim in dark, natural colours.

kinda hard to find a good picture of her costumes, but I hope you get the picture

So I used the fur of the old coat for trims on my new coat. I rarely ever say that, but I really love the outcome! It turned out event better than what I had in mind (and that doesn't happen very often).


I'll say it right in the beginning, it looks super crumpled because of the impossible shape of the sewing dummy. I feel like I say this everytime, maybe it's time to finally invest in a better one...


The coat looks much better when worn with Lolita and a petticoat. So therefore you can see a sneak peak of my outfit I've planned for the meet-up! (^.^)

For the lining, I used a gorgeous cotton fabric with brown-black argyle pattern. It's a patchwork fabric and I've originally bought it for another project, but then I felt it would compliment the coat perfectly. Since the outside is rather blank, the inside is a bit more exciting.


 The coat is cosed with leaf-shaped buckles. With the fur and brown colours, the coat has a very nature-ish feeling to me, which I wanted to empathise with these buttons.
Unfortunately, while they're prettier and more special than normal buttons, they're also a pain in the a** to handle. Which I didn't notice until I actually started sewing them on.
Oh well.
In German we say Schönheit muss leiden (which could be translated as "beauty knows no pain", maybe?)


I sewed on the upper hem of the fur trims by hand, which took quite a while. I apologize for the scrubbiness and the lints everywhere, working with real fur inevitably makes quite a mess.


I made the sleeves flared (not as much as in the original though, that would be impractical).
Also I've had these lacey dragonfly ornaments among my lace supply (you can't have enough lace!). I chose the coat fabric so it would match the ornaments, giving the illusion that the dragonflys may be embroidered directly on the fabric. I like how this is a more subtle detail, despite the dragonflys are quite large.
I sewed one each on every sleeve and on the hood.


When I settled on a design with hood included, I was first afraid it might look too sporty. But on the other hand, lapels felt a bit too frumpy, so I risked it. I'm glad I did, I think it makes the coat look super wintery and comfy (*.*)


I had never actually worked with real fur before, so I was a bit scared of that. But I did some research beforehand and I must admit, it's a great material. Thanks to the fact that it has been a coat before, it was already lined and nicely tailored and everything, which helped a lot.
Although fox fur is available without problems here in Switzerland (we have rather too many foxes), I would never buy real fur new, same goes for real leather. Which doesn't change the fact that these natural materials are amazing to work with.


So, that was a lot of text and pictures. Congratulations if you made it till here! (^_^)




*You can't imagine how many titles with references and puns I had in mind for this post!