...and the winner is...

Two weeks ago I announced a skirt naming contest for a design that I created and today is the day to announce the winner!


Ela who suggested a very creative name for this skirt: "Even more... skirt"! I love her entry because the name will change slightly along with the skirt versions that I'm going to sew. Like I said, I want to adorn these skirts with various shaped pockets so this name will follow that idea. When the pockets are heart shaped, the skirt is going to be named "Even more hearts skirt". When I pick cat heads as the pocket shape, it will change to "Even more cats skirt". Thank you, Ela, that was really awesome thing to think about!

That said, thank you all for your entries! It was so exciting to read all your ideas and all of them were really great!


Another small anouncement: I'm going on vacation for about two weeks. I will be curising the mighty (and cold) seas with a couple of friends! If reception allows, I will surely post to my Instagram, so make sure chck out my stories for pictures of the coast and the sea. Also please keep your fingers crossed so I don't get seasick too much!


Outfit: Made to match + Skirt naming contest

No problem looking correctly clothed this time (as opposed to last time)! Everything's nicely crisp and sits where it's supposed to with just the right amount of weight. Nothing too clingy, nothing too loose. Nothing too flowy nor too heavy and nothing overly feminine --with just the right touch of girly. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a balance. Phew.

I made this skirt a while ago and it's the second one from a pattern I drafted during the clothing construction course I attended and let me just say this: this shape is just. so. good looking on me. Ah, a bit of healthy self-appreciation never killed anyone. I can't get over how slim my hips look in this perfectly fitted skirt. And believe you me, my hips are the part of me that is the most stubborn (well, with the exception of the heart but that's another matter). My waist has slimmed down about 5-7 cm in the past year and yet my hips remain steadily wide. I definitely have a built in cushion on which to sit. How convenient!

...also not really convenient when I have to shop for clothes. Have you ever had the problem where your butt won't fit in a smaller size but fabric's loose around your waist in the larger size? I know I have it, like, all the time. My answer to that is here and it's more of a question, really: do you know why drafting your own patterns and sewing your own clothes is so awesome? Well, because I can account for the 33 cm gap between my waist and hips. Standard sized clothing found in stores usually allows one to have at most 25 cm of said gap --and that is already considered a lot.

On a side note, please send in your ideas for the name of this skirt because it's going to be another one of those pieces I'm sewing to order! It will sport different shaped patch pockets --including cat heads, hearts and teacups. Let your creativity flow! The winner will receive a 20% discount for a piece of clothing of their choice made by yours truly. If I like more than one idea, I'll give out more discounts. You have until 20.04. and I will feature a winner on 21.04. Can't wait to hear your ideas!


Style musings: Yin and Yang

It's dissecting time! Just like I promised you in my last post when I said I didn't really like the outfit I put together. I took out this full body shot from the last post on purpose: I think the part below the skirt was the culprit for making the whole outfit out of balance. All the yin and yang totally messed up... so let me explain to you what is what --and after you're done reading, check if you agree or disagree and let me know!

If you're not familiar with the yin and yang concept in styling, let me break it down to you.
We have a culturally learned tendency to categorize everything, including, of course, aesthetics. Two of these categories are masculine and feminine or yang and yin. When I say 'masculine', you possibly get a picture of strength, power and action. When I say 'feminine' you may see fragility, passiveness and allure. Those are just concepts and stereotypes, of course, not any sort of judgement on my part. Also, let it be said once and for all, they are not words I would use to describe men and women. I'm only using them as tools to describe the aesthetic vibe of things I'm looking at. I'll get to the examples and I'm sure you'll understand what I'm talking about. It's very intuitive.

Now, before we begin, let me state that I personally believe that our style is best when it follows along with our bodies' natural character. If a body is more yin, then the styling should be more yin to match it. If it's yang --well, you get the picture. Of course, our bodies tend to be a misture of both yin and yang qualities. We have angular (yang) parts and curved (yin) parts. To match your style to those two opposites can be a headache: that's probably why a lot of women have a problem with this.

So let's focus on this outfit: the clothes and my body shape.
The yang in this styling are as follows: the sweater, the frames of my glasses, the backpack, my hair and my legs. Those things appear large, sturdy, heavy, thick, strong. (Again, no judgements here, just categories!)
The yin are the blouse, the skirt, my shoes, especially the laces, and the upper part of my face (my chin is not yin), my round hips. Those things appear flowing, delicate, light, small, fragile.

It's not exact science in that you can't just count the amount of yin and yang elements to see if an outfit is more feminine or more masculine. I have more of a qualitative approach. It's important to see that the contrast between yin and yang brings out the most masculine and feminine parts in each other. What I mean is that this skirt, paired with a cute blouse, would not appear as harshly yin as it does next to the big yang sweater. I could have worn jeans (yang) here and all would've been fine. Also if I changed the cute yin shoes to my taller leather boots which are yang, the outfit would have been more balanced. Now we've got yang legs framed by very yin skirt and shoes --a contrast too strong for my own good! My legs look almost like a man's legs here.

Now the biggest trick here is that this outfit on its own is just fine. Many of you remarked about that in comments on my last post and you were totally right.

Thing is: it's not working on my body. If someone less curvy than me were to wear it, they'd look super cute. As it is, you can see the sweater clinging to my high hips and the skirt flowing around them and making them appear even larger than they already are. That forms a weird contrast with my slightly muscular legs and slightly yang face, ultimately creating an imbalance and I think we can agree that all of us can clearly see something's off.

Bottom line: I should remember to take into account that I have most of my yin qualities in my bust, waist and hips areas. I have yang legs and slightly yang face (especially with very short hair and my new glasses). I need to match the qualities of my clothes to those innate qualities of my body: when those two are in harmony, the best outfits are created. And on that note --I will probably post some more of these 'style musings' in the future: things that make an outfit pop, how to create a style that is a harmonius combination of yin and yang, what shapes of clothes work best for a body similar to mine etc. Let me know if there are some topics you'd like me to cover, I'd be glad to hear about that.

(Oh, and by the way, all this lengthy reasoning usually happens in about five seconds that I spend looking in the mirror before I head out --it's just so complicated to translate intuition to writing!)

What is it that makes or breaks an outfit for you?
How do you assess your outfits? 
What are your most true and tested ways of putting together outfits that match your body and personality?


Outfit: Learning curve

a skirt I made, sweater, thrifted blouse, pin from Portugal, vintage backpack

So I wasn't going to upload these photos. I took a look at them when we came back from the shoot and I just disliked them --that happened for the first time in a long while. I saw this boy wearing a too-large (as opposed to oversize) sweater and a cute girly skirt and was put off. Something didn't work here, something was clearly out of balance. I don't like disharmony about my looks. I never strive for perfection but I like to feel balanced by my clothes. And here, there was a bit too much of everything going on at the same time. Too much yang (or the masculine) overpowered the yin (the feminine), which in turn made yin look weird and out of place.

A couple days have passed and, you know, I think it's ok to show these pictures. The show a sort of a learning curve. My hair is different and I have glasses now that are going to make appearance from time to time. I need to adjust my style according to those new variables. It can be a bit hit and miss for a while and I'm letting it.

On a side note: I want to talk more about that yin and yang balance thing... I got inspired by reading a lot about theory of style and I would like to share some of what I've learned with you and talk about how I'm applying it to dressing myself. So keep your eyes peeled for a post describing the very concept of balance and imbalance --and also dissecting this outfit mercilessly to show you what exactly is wrong with it!

Wearing a skirt I made, sweater, thrifted blouse, pin from Portugal, vintage backpack.

Photos by my boyfriend.


Hair: Going even shorter

At the beginning of the year, I cut my shoulder length curly hair short. I kept it a medium length pixie for three months as I was getting used to the feeling of having less hair. I liked it. I liked it enough to get curious if I could pull off an even shorter cut. So, I've recently gone even shorter.

I love it! 

It's almost weird how familiar this short pixie feels. It's a bit like I've peeled off all the unnecessary layers. I look in the mirror and I see me. I take photos and it's me in them. Not my hair, not my insecurities (well, those too, but kinda more integrated)

Thinking back, I feel that when I was wearing my hair long, there had always been this urge to hide in them: to cover my face so that I won't have to show the parts that I am insecure about: my chin, my cheeks, my under eye hollows. With a pixie cut I can't hide anything. And you know what? I like that. It's liberating. It's like telling the whole world: 'well, this is me, this is what I look like and you just have to deal with it.' Not that the world cares, obviously. I do. And, surprise, surprise!, it appears I actually can deal with it.

How did I know it would work? I didn't. In fact, I remember telling a friend that I'm prepared for a total fiasco and that I would have to wear a hat at all times until my hair grew out. But now that the hair's snipped, I have the courage to face my insecurities and I think I am confronting them. And kinda winning at this game. This is fun. Seriously.

A lot of women find confidence in their long hair. It makes them appear feminine and beautiful. I looked for that courage in my long curls as well. I loved my curls, in fact! I was quite proud of them being so springy and long and shiny on a good day and perhaps sometimes even glamorous. At the same time, I feel like right now the pixie is more about me and less about just hair --and I like that

No matter the length and the reason behind growing or cutting it, I think it's really amazing how changing our hair changes not just our appearance but also our approach towards ourselves.

How does your hair work for you? 
What is your favorite length to give you that boost of confidence?
Have changes to your hair ever brought on changes in your life?


Outfit idea: Spring with Shein

It's officially spring now and I couldn't be happier about it! Still waiting for the least bit of colour around here though... So I am wearing as much colour as I can! Hence, when shein asked me to make this spring inspiration post, I thought I'd look for pieces that were fun but also easy to match with any colorful ideas you might have. In other words, I went for monochrome this time around! Well, mostly anyway.

Grey marbled jacket, Black biker jacket
Let's start off with outerwear. As the temperatures rise, we can finally ditch the coats and replace them wih lighter jackets. I was wondering about a letterman jacket of my own as it's a style I've never worn in the past and I like this marbled number so I might give it a try. And a biker jacket is just a staple in any wardrobe. I love mine so much!

Ice Cream cone jumper, Flower high-low sweater
Couldn't resist some fun colourful bits of course! Isn't the furry ice cream cone just too cute? I also like the little daisy with a petal falling off, as if someone was doing the age old divining of "he loves me, heloves me not..." Wear those with your skinny jeans or with a skirt fitted throught the hips. If you're really tiny, wear it with a flared skirt for extra cuteness factor!

Last but not least, sweaters! This lovely Fair Isle-like pattern is something to keep in your wardrobe forever. And the grey cable knit is super soft and warm and cozy --I can attest to that as I have it in yellow, as seen here and here. I hope soon I will be able to wear it instead of all the other outerwear.

Check out the Shein Spring Break sale --they have nice offers and there are some lovely choices to be made! Just please remember to shop reasonably. Get what you need and really like and not something trendy that you won't get any wear out of.


Outfit: Vernal Equinox

thrifted jeans, sweater, vintage backpack and boots and belt

I certainly wish today was as warm and sunny as the day these photos were taken. But Spring is now here (it's Vernal Equinox today) so I'm happy anyway! Can you feel the freshness in the air? Though it might be chilly and cloudy, I can hear the birds singing their hearts out just like I would. Even the rain is pleasant. I got soaked a few days back, caught in the rain, but it was the gentlest soak and the most caring rain --spring rain! Not the hateful and eternally sad rain of November, but the sweet and tender rain of March. I can almost smell the flowers waiting to bloom. Forsythias are going to explode any moment and I can't wait to see that vibrant yellow colour --I think it's the first one to show up around these parts.

What's the first thing to bloom around you?

Wearing thrifted jeans, sweater, vintage backpack and boots and belt.
Photos by my boyfriend.


Sewing: Another Late For Tea dress

I love it when my Late For Tea dresses travel! This one is going to France, to lovely Marie. Thank you for your commission, dear! It was a pleasure to work with the fabric you chose. Lovely shades of green and blue on this wool. I still have enough left to make one dress (or a skirt perhaps, if that was someone's inclination?), so if you like this fabric as much as Marie and I do, drop me a note! Marie asked for a longer length than I originally designed and I was happy to oblige. When you commission a dress, we can easily settle all the details, like changes in length and size etc.

There are other fabrics available as well and you can see them here.

Read all the details about the Late For Tea dress --sizing, pricing etc. --in this post.


Outfit: Amanita hide

a skirt I made, sweater, old beret and coat, vintage belt and bag, Clark's flats, blouse c/o Shein
Absolutely loving this amanita jumper! I'm secretly a mushroom fiend, an avid mushroom hunter, I could spend hour and days and weeks hidden in the forest, searching for these beautiful critters. The edible ones, obviously. I don't really need to eat them, even though I find them very tasty --just the thrill of the hunt does it for me. At a risk of sounding weird here, aren't mushrooms really pretty? Such harmonious shape and smell and texture... There are few prettier than an amanita tho. I'm liking the heart-shaped spot on my jumper, so cute!

Wearing: a skirt I made, sweater, old beret and coat, vintage belt and bag, Clark's flats, blouse c/o Shein.

Photos by my boyfriend.


Outfit: My women's day

a blouse I made, loafers, thrifted cardigan, vintage skirt and belt and brooch, Mystical Cat pin, portrait pin, old bag,

This Women's Day I saw many people talk about strength and fighting. I know the socio-political situation is what it is nowadays and all the calls to arms most probably stem from it. I don't, however, believe in fighting. This may someday turn out to have been the wrong choice and a wrong idea, I don't know. I admire those who feel the power and want to fight the fight but I am not like them. I wish they didn't judge me.

And so, from the deepest bottom of my heart, I wish everyone to be gentle: towards themselves and towards others. Not yesterday, but everyday. I won't tell you that only kindness can change the world because I don't believe it. I don't honestly think anything can change the world. It just rolls on on its way and we are quite meaningless to it. But on a daily basis, in this smaller scale of things, gentleness and kindness are powerful tools to make our lives simply more bareable if not throroughly enjoyable.

I have suffered through bullying for the first half of my life. It came entirely from girls and women. Yes, I was teased by boys. But I was bullied by women and girls. I went on oblivious and naive, I couldn't even acknowledge bad things were happening to me. I thought this was how it was supposed to go and I didn't know I had any choice or anyone to turn to. I wish I didn't have to go through it. I wish other kids didn't have to. I wish other people --other women --would be more understanding. More gentle.

I have some amazing women in my life now. It took many years to find them and to be able to trust them. It surprises me that I still keep finding them. Some of them fight the fight and others keep to themselves like I do. They are artists, wives, scientists, activists, mothers, doctors, daughters, explorers, students --but most of all they are kind people. They are good to others.

Some of them do stuff you should look at. They make me proud to know them. Check them out.

Justyna and Ania are activists.
Hania makes art dolls.
Agata is a make up artist.
Rebecca is a fashion blogger.
Melinda makes jewellery.
Karolina is a designer.
Jagna trains dogs.

Kasia, Zosia, Ada, Mirka, Ela and all the others --you know who you are to me.

Wearing a blouse I made, loafers, thrifted cardigan, vintage skirt and belt and brooch, Mystical Cat pin, portrait pin, old bag.

Photos by my boyfriend.