Monday, 15 September 2014

Making Dresses, Boris and and Being Brave

Hallo again!

So last week Annika taught me how to sew and helped me to make my very first dress. The only time I'd made any kind of clothing before was when I was thirteen and I made a top out of a pillowcase... which was of course very fashionable. I put glitter and butterflies on it. I feel like this is probably a step up.

I found the fabric at a vintage market alongside some fantastic Holly Hobby and Raggedy Anne Fabric that I want to use for my next hopeful project! Annika pretty much took over for me at several tricky point but I basically just got a very hand-on tutorial which has inspired me to continue making my own pieces. I've set up a little sewing nook in my new house, which I've posted a picture of on my instagram. 

I am one of the world's most fidgety women, and having something to do with my hands like sewing and embroidering is a really meditative thing for me and stops me from biting and picking my fingernails. Sew Therapy! And plus, the wonderful feeling you get looking at something you've made hanging in your wardrobe (or floor-drobe in my case) is indescribable. Like I've said before, I think it's about time we all look to our achievements and think about just how great it is that we have done some of the things we have. Annika talks about this too in her blog post this week, and about the notion of writing lists of all the cool stuff you've done. Because there is definitely stuff you've forgotten about.

 Like I've said before, good thoughts are like teflon and bad thoughts are like velcro, so unfortunately they're the ones that tend to stick around and pick up other bad thoughts along the way. So lets see if we can work on making 'good' thoughts a little more adhesive.

So while Annika and I were taking these photos we noticed this beautiful car in the street covered by a sheet. We were weighing up the pro's and con's of quickly removing the fabric and getting some sneaky shots when it's owner came out and straight out offered for us to use the car as a prop! Apparently it's name is Boris, who was the man who sold it to him when he was 17. He's had it ever since and regardless of how hard things get, he had made a vow to always keep it registered and running and not to sell it. I am a big fan of people who stick by their values, so this story really bought my respect.

Dress is hand-made from vintage fabric
Cardigan is thrifted
House bag is thrifted by Annika
Shoes are Naot... and are also Annika's
Legs are super hairy
Hair is un-brushed and probably full of lunch

Something my housemate *just* pointed out to me as he walked in on me in my daggy pyjamas eating cereal and writing this blog post is that my hair looks like it has it's own physics engine. It is seriously getting out of hand, and I kind of love-hate it. I do really love these days to dress very "lady-like" but just let my hair do what it wants to do, because, y'know, subvert the dominant paradigm or whatever. Also it makes getting ready much quicker and if you're confident enough people will think you're making a fashion statement when in reality you actually still haven't unpacked your hair brush since you moved in to your new house. 

In these pictures, I am rocking the "I-have-just-straightened-out-my-knots-so-at-least-they-look-like-hair-and-not-animals" look. It's very difficult to achieve and the secret trick is to not let your best friend take any picture of you from behind. Also, wear your hair over to the side so that you can cover you most-knotty side with your least-knotty side. You heard it here first guys, and I run a fashion blog.

Y'know whose hair actually required it's own physics engine? Merrida's from the Disney Pixar movie Brave. She's without a doubt my favourite 'Disney Princess', and while I think the film could have really done with a big dollop of intersectional feminism and POC characters, I think that what we are given is to be celebrated. She's kind of a badass. And I'm going to continuously defend her somewhat because I am very invested in the notion that I am like her, and as a feminist I think that really beats being compared to Ariel from The Little Mermaid all the time just because she's the only other red-headed princess. Also I'm just going to say right now that I didn't like Frozen. At all. Sorry guys. Let it Go.

So all that being said, here is one of my favourite song/moments from Brave! Have a great week guys. Let me know in the comments what things you're proud of achieving recently!
Love, Katie xxx


  1. Congrats on the dress! The first thing I ever made was a reversible tote bag (with wonderful advice from my teacher). That dress of yours turned out beautifully!
    And thank goodness I finally find someone else who DOESN'T like Frozen. I could explain in great detail why that is the worst Disney princess movie, but that would take a lot of time. Hahah
    Ariel is actually my favorite princess, and it's a shame how The Little Mermaid is a very misunderstood movie that has been malinterpreted by so many people.
    I don't dig the whole Pixar princess thing, but I did enjoy watching Brave. And I completely understand the hair situation. I had so many nicknames as a kid like Gloria Trevi, Mother Nature, etc, cause my hair just had a mind of it's own. Thankfully, it looked great in high school and I'd just be a "fashionable" bed head; still am too! Brushes are not my friends.
    My name is Adi by the way! :)

  2. Hey Adi! Nice to e-meet you. I feel exactly the same about Frozen and have ranted about it so much that I can barely be bothered any more. Great to know I'm not the only one though! I'm actually super interested in your thoughts about Ariel, I would love to hear your reading of it if you ever got the time. For me it's just the same heteronormative narrative wherein the female protagonist makes continuous sacrifices (her voice, her family) for the sake of the same fictitious 'true love' that Disney sells to us all the time. The very fact that Eric has to fall in love with Ariel without her saying a word doesn't sit right with me. But it is entirely possible I have only touched the surface of an interpretation of this movie and to be honest I haven't put an incredible amount of thought into it past a certain point. So let me know, I'm super interested! Love your blog by the way. Xxx Katie

    1. Girl, 3 minutes into the movie and I'm already tired of the singing and story line that is moving wayyy too fast for me to even get to know a character. Hahah
      So I just wrote a blog post on the reasons why Ariel isn't such a lousy princess, but I'll post it tomorrow for more proofreading today. I'll send you the link!
      And thank you! I love your blog too.

  3. Funny that you mention your hairy legs, you can't really see anything! The other day my husband and I were playing with my nieces (one 6 one 4). Afterwards he was talking about how hairy on of their legs are, he never noticed how hairy kids legs are. I mentioned how weird it is that our legs are always hairy and all the sudden girls get told it is bad.

    Which made me wonder why I still shave my legs. I think it is so I can stay in the shower longer. Nice and toast shower. XD

  4. It's just the best thing when you make your own clothes and no one in the world has it. Makes me really proud when people ask me where I got something and I can say 'Ha, I made it!'. Also messy untamed hair is my jam :)

    Cats in Crop Tops

  5. I'm so glad that you hate Frozen, I did too and felt like just about the only one the way people rave about it! People think it's so progressive because "it's reinventing the meaning of true love!" and just UGH NOPE.

    The print on the fabric makes such a perfect dress! And congrats on making it, sewing is hard but so so rewarding! I'm trying to learn knitting lately which I'm getting all in a muddle with (doesn't help that I decided to jump straight in a knit a sweater under the notion of "how hard can it be?!") but I'm not doing too badly which I'm pretty proud of :)
    Oh and I would die for your hair, it's perfection, especially in all it's untamed glory.

  6. This bag is w-iii-cked !!


    Love from Paris,