Custom sewing: Kaja's wedding dress

I've been writing here a lot about my bridal work this year, and it's finally time to show you what I meant. I've grown somewhat known in certain circles for sewing vintage-inspired wedding dresses with a bit of a twist. Pieces that differ from the RTW offer of the wedding salons.

I make these dresses right from the beginning: the process is called bespoke tailoring. That means I design the item, usually together with my customer, which includes some sketching before we decide on the final edit. We then begin the search for the perfect fabric, which goes on while we do other things. In the mean time, I take my customer's measurements to create the basic blocks. Those are flat drafts that, when sewn up, would closely resemble the lines of the body. They are a jumping off point for recreating the original design that we started with. My knowledge of clothing construction allows me to change the basic blocks into pretty much anything. It's a bit like magic only it requires quite a lot of rulers and spatial imagination. Mind you, this all happens on paper until this point. Only when I'm finished with the last point, I sew up a mock up version of the dress for the client to try on. There are usually a couple of these fitting sessions needed before I decide it's fine. Then, I cut into the fabric picked by my client and the final sewing process begins. That's actually the most labour-intensive but also the quickest part of the whole work. I can sew a dress within a day or two, depending on the design. That's why I was able to whip up a skirt and top set for a dear friend just two days before her wedding... but I digress. At the very end, I hem the skirt of the dress and the sleeves, if there are any, directly on my client so that everything looks crisp and even. I then sew in my label and the dress is ready!

That's pretty much the process we went through with Kaja. She based her design on this vintage dress and found her fabric on Spoonflower. The idea to make the border print go two way on the dress was her idea --and how great does that look?! Without further ado, take a look at her beautiful dress.



Kaja is wearing a bespoke wedding dress I made for her. Fabric is from Spoonflower, this print on top part, this print on the skirt part. Photos by Szustakowscy.pl
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P.S. Two more pics so that you can see the bodice better --I took these when I was dropping off the dress.


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Outfit: Travelin' in style


Just a quick post from the road because it was completely impossible not to take these photos on a train that was practically empty yet filled with beautiful sunshine. And we had 6 hours of time to kill. Also how can you not love old Polish trains? All the large windows, comfy and cozy compartments, tacky furniture and ugly bistor curtains... By the way, this is a rare sighting of me wearing trousers. Not my most favorite style --and for good reasons. Just look below to see how a shirt tucked into my low-rise jeans manages to do werid things with my proportions. I've never tried high-rise jeans, though. Do you have experience with those that you could share?

Regardless of the style, it's a practical and pretty comfortable outfit for travelling and lugging around a heavy backpack and a bicycle. A much better choice than a dress, at least!

I'm wearing an old pair of jeans, Primark blouse, old boots and a vintage belt, pin by KWT Designs (sold out).


I'm wearing an old pair of jeans, Primark blouse, old boots and a vintage belt, pin by KWT Designs (sold out)

Photos by Bartek.


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Outfit: The latest flowers


It was my dream ever since it's gotten warm this year, to have a photoshoot with lots and lots of colorful flowers. Somehow that never happened during the spring and summer but I'm so glad it did now. Even though we only caught the last light of the day and the colours were already less saturated, it makes me happy that we grabbed these last, warm hues of summer before we head into autumn. This lovely patch of simple flowers are grown by Bartek's granny --along with some cucumbers and tomatoes which we cleverly kept out of frame.

I'm wearing an old dress that I made, found blouse, sweater, old oxford flats and a thrifted vintage backpack.


The dress I'm wearing is one of the first things I've ever sewn and still one of my favorites. It has its flaws --and lots of them! --but it is made out of a magical fabric (vintage printed upholstery-weight jacquard) and I just keep on loving it. I actually like it better here styled with a sweater on top, as it makes the whole outfit more toned down. I find that without the solid colour close to my face, it's a bit too cutesy for my current cropped hair. This hair makes me look much more like an adult than I'm used to, and I keep forgetting about it and wearing things suitable for 'younger' or more yin/softer me which keep clashing with my current appearance. I should make a post about it under the 'style musings' label because there's a lot to be said about how hair changes one's whole look, pronouncing that yin or yang in our face and body. But that's a story for another time.


I'm wearing an old dress that I made, found blouse, sweater, old oxford flats and a thrifted vintage backpack.

Photos by Bartek.


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Outfit: In the garden


In Poland, we have garden plots. They are large pieces of land in the cities and towns, where people can own a plot they can use in whatever way they desire: usually they create small orchards and vegetable gardens and such. It's a beautiful way for every owner to be close to nature in the city and to grow their own produce or flowers. They put tiny houses on their plots, much like the one I'm sitting by, and they cultivate... well, stuff. Bartek's parents' one is filled with pears and roses and zucchinis and apple trees and strawberries and some decorative flowers. It was my first time there and I honestly loved it! I was wondering if there garden plots like this in other countries... or is it a Polish/post-soviet thing?

I'm wearing a found sweater, dress (sold out), old oxford flats, 'Be brave' pin, denim jacket. thrifted vintage backpack.



I'm wearing a found sweater, dress (sold out), old oxford flats, 'Be brave' pindenim jacket. thrifted vintage backpack.

Photos by Bartek.

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Outfit: Black gold

Whenever I pick a location for photos for the blog, I think of a place that is easy on the eyes and beautiful--albeit in a pretty standard way. You know that I like a forest or a field, an old building or a small town are always welcome, even a railroad track is romantic in its own way. So when we came upon this coal silo by total surprise and Bartek took out the camera eager to take photos here, I was hesitant at first. I thought: is that a backfrop pretty enough for people to enjoy looking at? Then I decided to jump right into it because, well, I loved the place. You see, I have a soft spot for all things that are abandonded and on the verge of falling apart and, as in this case, industrial and made out of concrete. I thought it would tell an interesting story and show something else on this blog filled with simple and pretty pictures.

thrifted skirt, vintage belt, top, denim jacket, old oxford flats (similar) and purse and beret (will update links when my internet connection is better).

In the end, I'm glad I went for it. This may not be the most creative outfit on my blog, ever (although I am wearing a knit tee which is highly unusual for me) but the pictures are so different this time. Are they challenging? Perhaps. Most of all, though, they document a very authentic moment in my life: when we stumbled upon an intruguing place and crouched under a fence to get closer to it. Exploring something out of the ordinary is exciting and memorable and what better way to remember than take a picture?

I'm wearing a thrifted skirt, vintage belt, top, denim jacket, old oxford flats (similar) and purse and beret (will update links when my internet connection is better).

Photos by Bartek.

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