28 februari 2016

Valentine's Day with Dead Animals

Talk about an unexpected blogging break! I had a couple of weeks with mostly half-finished projects, or things made for friends who aren't supposed to see the result yet, combined with some sickness and no time to take pictures. But I'm back! With an outfit that was made for an occasion that never happened!

A few friends and me wanted to visit an exhibit on taxidermy at the natural history museum in Brussels, and since the only day everyone could make it was February 14th we quickly decided the dresscode should be 'Valentine's Day and Dead Animals'. It wasn't serious, but you know I never let a chance to make a themed outfit pass me by...

I'm proud to say that this entire outfit was made from stash materials. The red lace was sent to me by Knipmode after winning Sew it Up, but it was a pretty small piece so I wasn't sure what to do with it (I also really liked it and didn't want to mess up!). I decided to make a sort of 1960s - 1970s mini shift dress with massive sleeves. And a vest. Don't ask.

The pattern is from a recent Burda issue. It was a top but I just cut it a little longer and called it a dress. I didn't make a muslin (omg!) but cut the red linen underlining first, basted that together and checked the fit, which was pretty spot on. I had to cut all my lace on a single layer to get everything out, with some truly scary moments (a cat on my fabric! with claws!), but it worked out in the end.

The vest was super easy. I started from the dress pattern, deepened the armscyes a bit and drew a rounded front. I then embroidered a dead rabbit on the back and added some gold trim (also from deep stash!). My boyfriend saw it and said 'Awesome! You look like that monkey!'


'Yeah, the one from Alladin!'


Thanks... I guess

The dress itself is my favourite part of the outfit though. It's pretty wide but also super short, so that kind of balances out the possibility of frumpiness. I'm not sure if I'd wear it without tights, but ask me again when the weather gets warmer...

I did a sort of lining-underlining hybrid in red linen. I didn't want the lace to get too stiff so I sewed the darts, side and shoulder seams and then basted everything together before inserting the sleeves and finishing the neckline (with a bias facing, which then got handstitched to the lining. Totes invisible you guys).

The sleeves are my favourite of everything. Drapey and see-through and wide enough to hide my lunch inside if I'd want to. I'd add these to all my clothes from now on if it wasn't so hard to stuff them into a coat or jacket.

Our trip to the museum never happened, but this dress will definitely get worn! I met up with Lieke to take pictures before going out to a lovely lunch (cheeeese) and a rummage through a costume shop's stock sale with more lovely friends. Most of the good stuff was gone by the time we finally made it there but I found a jacket that makes me look like a ringmaster in a dodgy circus so all is well.

02 februari 2016

Blast from the Past

I used to do a lot of concert photography. I loved taking pictures and loved going to concerts, and the combination of the two seemed a logical next step. And then I stopped!

The Black Box Revelation
I started taking pictures at concerts because I was taking pictures all the time anyway. It turned out to be fun so I did some research on the technical side and just went at it (this sounds extremely similar to the way I taught myself how to sew. Or knit. Or... Most things really). My first pictures were pretty terrible, but I got some lucky shots sometimes and that was very encouraging.

Andrew Bird
Taking pictures also gave me something to do: I was super shy at the time and since I couldn't always find people to join me to a concert the camera gave me a reason to go by myself, something I never would have done otherwise. It gets easier if you have something in your hands and a clear purpose.

Grizzly Bear
I was also attracted to the technical challenges. Concert photography is hard: you have a combination of very low light and potentially lots of movement, which can make things tricky. I always took loads of pictures and was stoked if I had five good ones.

Dez Mona
I posted my photos on my previous blog, and after a while I was contacted by a group of young concert photographers in Antwerp. They had a deal with a local concert venue: free entrance in exchange for pictures, and they asked me to join them. I didn't even think about it!

Absynthe Minded
It was pretty fun for a while. I saw at least one concert a week and got to see a lot of bands I wouldn't have seen otherwise. But then I realised I had another hobby that was slowly turning into work, like drawing.

Vivian Girls
After a while, I just got a bit fed up with it. Sure, I was seeing a lot of concerts, but I had to go home right after the end to edit my pictures. I had deadlines. And if things just didn't work and none of the photographs turned out any good, I just felt bad instead of shrugging it off.

Dent May & His Magnificent Ukulele
I didn't enjoy my hobby anymore. I wanted to listen to the music and watch the bands play without thinking about light and composition all the time. So I stopped taking pictures at concerts.

Mauro Pawlowski
This whole story is the main reason why I'm wary of turning sewing or knitting into more than a hobby. What if the same thing happens? What if pressure and deadlines make me not like it anymore?

Dez Mona
So, there it is. I used to take pictures at concerts, and I don't anymore. They do make for some nice memories!

like this one!