July 29, 2011

Burdatyle high waisted shorts + art

Photography Michael Dooney 

The shorts
I made these high waisted shorts from the Burdastyle Easy magazine. My poor German language skills ensured that there were a few mishaps along the way. After tracing and cutting the pattern pieces and fabric I pinned the shorts together to check the fit. I had great difficulty trying to squeeze into the shorts and decided to add lace panels to the sides of the shorts. Amazingly the panels solved the sizing problem and I later found out from my German sewing friends that these mags don't include the seam allowance. Once again I have learnt 2 lessons the hard way. Always add your seam allowance for the Burdastyle magazine patterns and for goodness sake work on your German language skills mahaila!
The earrings 
If you look closely you can see my Pacman earrings. My friend E bought them for my birthday. I love them, they're so cute!

Berlin + Art
On this particular 'Burdastyle striped shorts wearing weekend' we visited some galleries for the Gallery weekend - Berlin. I seem to have developed a love/hate relationship with the art world. I find myself incredibly inspired one minute and then completely uninspired the next. One piece which triumphed head and shoulders above the rest was the interactive installation by Tim Noble and Sue Webster named Turning the seventh corner. I felt anxious as I followed the dark passage around several dimly lit corners. This anxious feeling soon shifted to intrigue as we turned the seventh corner and found the light and shadow sculpture. I found this such an interesting piece as it was so simple yet complex at the same time. Love it!


Tim Noble and Sue Webster - Turning the seventh corner.

July 26, 2011

Berlin Fashion Week 2011: Fashion Blogger Cafe

Christoph: The Glass Punk! and SKIR

It might be a bit late for a Berlin Fashion Week round up, but since this post isn't exclusively referring to the event, I think it should be fine. I am also filling in for Mahaila on this post, she will have updates soon from our recent trip through Croatia.

When Fashion Week makes its glamorous and alluring presence known on any city landscape, the advertising is as much about promoting the event as it is heightening its exclusivity. As many of you I am sure would have quickly learnt, Fashion Week is largely for the fashion industry. Although you see the posters in the street, and read about it in various magazines, this is as close as most regular people get.

For the second time at Berlin Fashion Week and the first time in the Summer instalment; the Fashion Bloggers Cafe was organised to recognise the influence of the fashion enthusiasts, aspiring designers, models and stylists who are making their voice heard online.

Conveniently at time the Fashion Week was taking place, I was attending a workshop to get out of my photographic comfort zone. The Fashion Blogger event was a great opportunity to meet some of the other active bloggers here in Berlin.

Thanks to everyone who took the time for a portrait. Included under each image is a link to their blog, I encourage everyone to check out their writing. The people from Style Ranking were also snapping the fashion bloggers as they entered the event. Some how I also made it on to their page.

Cindy: IWOASIS and Anna: Bildhübsch

Mr Soul (left): Diaries of Undecided Soul


Christoph: The Glass Punk! and SKIR

Images and Text: Michael Dooney

July 24, 2011

Getting ready for Europe


(Tee: Nasty Gal. Jacket: Asos. Shoes: Jeffrey Campbell. Jeans: Supre)

Pssssst! Did you guess the answer to the riddle from my earlier post
Q: What do you call a doctor who is always late?
A: Jeffrey campbell TARDY DOCS .... I think that will be the last time I try to make a riddle on the blog :) 

Robert and I had a few errands to run over the weekend. To get us started, we had brunch at The Attic in Fremantle. I loooove the atmosphere of this place and they have good quality food (I hear the word "organic" thrown around a lot whenever I stop by). After changing my Aussie dollars to euros and pounds (!!), buying mini toiletries (!!!) and purchasing different power adapters (!!!!), I started getting a wee bit excited to see mahaila in Berlin. As I wandered through Fremantle in my red JC platform docs, people stared at my feet.... all I could think was "I wonder if people in Berlin are going to shamelessly stare at my footwear as much as people in Perth?" I guess I will just have to wait and see (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Kaye xx

July 21, 2011



(Dress: Gordon Smith. Blazer: Topshop. Crop knit: Fremont. Shoes: Acne. Sunglasses: Came free with a six pack of Strongbow)

I am not normally one for clothing/accessories that convert. I don't like the idea that something can be worn a number of different ways - it means that the item in question is always pretending to be something it's not. (If you have been following fickle sense for a little while now, you may know that I give my clothes personalities and make up little stories about them in my head). But, I have been making some exceptions to this "rule of fraud" as I like to call it (obvs I just made that up then....). It started with the handbag/backpack, and now I love this crop knit. By day, its a jumper, by night... it's a scarf! Thats right, I wrap it around my neck and nobody knows the difference!

Kaye xx

July 16, 2011

mother knows best


(Blouse: Winter Kate. Shoes: Steve Madden. Jeans: Supre DIY ripped <--- previously worn here. Bag: Lily Rose <--- worn here)

I wore this when I went to Made on the Left with Robert last weekend. Mum bought me this bag for me to use when I visit Mahaila in Germany (wooooooo!! 12 days until I leave Australia!). Depending on the way you attach the straps, it can be a handbag or a backpack! Trust mum to make sure I have something practical and useful for my trip. The great thing about this one is that it looks more like a handbag than a backpack... and the really surprising part? I LOVE that it's chocolate brown. I definitely wouldn't have imagined that this colour would fit into my wardrobe. Somehow, it does. Alas, mothers always know best. 

Kaye xx

July 14, 2011

INTERVIEW: Elisabetta from Renewfabrics

As a sewing enthusiast I often peer over to my ever growing mound of fabric scraps and think “what will I ever do with those tiny pieces of fabric?” Rest assured, there is an answer! Renewfabrics them. Renewfabrics is a small business founded by Elisabetta, an inspirational sewer/crafter from Italy who currently resides in Berlin. Elisabetta utilises already existing materials (including those unwanted scraps) to create loveable handmade brooches and bags. Each piece of recycled fabric that enters the Renewfabrics studio is manipulated, transformed and revitalised and given a new lease of life.

Having previously studied International Relations and Human Rights, Elisabetta is concious of the the social and environmental impact of fashion; this is reflected in the Renewfabrics methodology. An aspect of Elisabetta which I found refreshing was her love of textile art and her desire to incorporate already found objects into her work. She designs each piece while considering the history and context of the raw materials.

I sat down with Elisabetta to chat about renewfabrics; influences; the handmade movement and life in general.

Why Berlin???
The quality of life is good...it is accessible and there is the creative scene. You can pretty much do what ever you want.

Familial influences???
My grandma was a seamstress.... I have always been around fabrics. My mum knits really well, my uncle paints and we have musicians in the family so I guess it's a natural thing for some people. It is kind of weird to say that it is a natural thing and I guess that you can be brought to it by life, but it helps to be encouraged.

What made you start to sew???
I started to sew myself from fixing jeans. I got interested in the process of sewing things and then I started to research textiles and history and all the social aspects and from that I learnt to sew.

Why do you continue to sew???
I really like it and I like to build things and to make my own clothing.... I have the impression that it is our responsibility to keep on doing it otherwise the skills will get lost. It is important that I learn to do things with my hands and it also helps to develop other skills.

What is your view on recycling and sewing???
When you sew you have all of these small things that stay there; when I started to sew I thought that it was a pity that they get lost and thrown away. I thought, well I have to think of a way to reuse them. I am not saying that I am developing new ways, I am rediscovering normal things from society.

One thing that I have used is eco felt which is made from recycled bottles but that is really an exception. Most of my things are there already. My fabrics come from shops that have fabric with defects. I really try not to use new stuff because even though it is always positive to use these fabrics that come from recycled bottles or eco resources, it is better to try and source things locally as well as pieces that already exist. I think that people are kind of suspicious when you come with bio cotton or for example the big bamboo problem. It is really hard to source it even in a way that is sustainable. Of course in the long run we need to find solutions that are actually sustainable. That is the big thing for the fashion industry.

Where do you find inspiration???
Books are a big inspiration for me, especially the history of textiles and crafts. I am really influenced by books that incorporate found objects and textile art. This has been really important for my sewing and designing......They take into account the history of the piece and then build upon it. I guess to some extent this is the idea behind the small pieces that people send me. A lot of inspiration also comes from my photos.. it starts from stuff that I can see around me.

Being a sewer/Crafter in Germany???
In Germany it is not that easy, I get the impression that unless you are a taught designer or you have gone to school you're a hobbiest so there is not too much respect. It's not that well established here, where as in the US I feel that it is more accepted. You can learn by yourself and it's normal that you pick up a skill. Here it seems more that the mum knits or sews or crochets, it's kind of a different culturally.

What are your thoughts on fast fashion???
It has a negative impact on what we think things should cost. We have been accustom to things being so cheap that we don't believe that the real price should be something else. But it is hard to educate consumers that you need to have a fair wage and you need to pay for your expenses.... we don't take into account what makes it possible for things to be so cheap. How are things are produced and under what conditions? We should ask ourselves what is the impact.

Having a business???
I had one specific idea of how I thought the business should be. And now things are actually evolving. It is really important to stay open and you need to adjust as things progress....The big thing for me was selling at the markets and seeing how people reacted.

What do you need to be a sewer, what are the positives and how should someone start???
You need patience, you will make plenty of mistakes. It is also good because it allows you to really create your own things and knowing that you can put your personality into a skirt. It is the satisfaction that you have, I think that that pays off all of the frustration.

It can be fun to learn with other people and it can be a good way to socialise and communicate and do it in a group. There are bars that you can go and sewing cafes I think that is a great way to start instead of being at home reading a book and cursing at the sewing machine. Maybe start with a friend and that can open up other things too, other ways of community building. It's easier to start with a place that has fabrics that you can already try. You can also go and take a course, refashioning, sewing, embroidery. That is a really good thing. Etsy has brought a lot that. Lets hope that is not a fashion moment. Lets hope it stays.

You can read more about Elisabetta on her renewfabrics website. Elisabetta sells her goods at the small design markets (this Sunday she is at the Handmade-market) as well as some flohmarkets (e.g. Neukoelln markets). You can also find her handmade items for sale on Dawanda

Photography: Michael Dooney

July 13, 2011

Refashioning shorts to a skirt

I found this hideous pair of shorts at Humana for 3 euros the other week and decided to transform them into a tulip shaped skirt. I made a tutorial for these beauties which I submitted to a refashion e-book. So hopefully it will be available soon.

July 10, 2011

seeing red





(Jeans: Topshop via eBay. Shoes: Asos. Top: Asos. Jacket: Asos.)

Looking at the outfit references above, I should really widen my shopping horizons. Yes I am a fan of Asos and Topshop. I find that if I shop retail, I end up buying a heap of shit that I don't wear. Whereas if a product is online, I mull over it for days deciding if I want to buy it. These days, I usually decide that I don't want need the product in question. My wardrobe (and my wallet) thanks me for this system. 

Now, about the red jeans. I wasn't a huge fan of the coloured skinny jean trend at first.... it reminded me of when I was in high school and the pages of Cosmopolitan were ridden with images of celebrities wearing bright, candy coloured bottoms.... yuk. However, I couldn't resist the combination of bright red and nude. I am stoked with how easily these jeans brighten up a dull winter's day. 

Kaye xx

July 07, 2011

Let's play a game......



I do love a good flatform.
The question is, are these too crazy?
I think not. Hit up the amaaaazement here!

I may not have the courage to fork out $171 aud for these killers, but I did get a little treat for myself from the ol' Nasty Gal. Let's play a game! It's a riddle. You would probably only be able to answer this if you are as much of a blogosphere addict as I am.......

What do you call a doctor who is always late? 
Um, and who is red...... OK, I'm not very good at riddles. Here is another clue:


Can you guess what it is????

Kaye xx

July 05, 2011

out in the german forest with zeiss

                                            Zeiss folding camera

Lately I have been trying to experiment more with textile design and consequently ended up with some dye to mess around with. After revisiting my tie dying days at primary school I decided that perhaps I am not the tie dying type. Next I decided to spray the dye onto the fabric. SUCCESS! Spraying the dye on to chiffon resulted in some interesting effects. The dye ran a little and made some star like shapes. I draped the material on my dress making doll and ended up with this strange little top. This is only the beginning of my dyeing adventures. So watch this space as I will be posting some tutorials!

And yes, these are photos of me frolicking amongst the trees in the German country side. Even though Berlin is a fairly green city, I do miss the greenery and peacefulness of rural areas (hence the photos of me running around). These last 4 images were taken with Michael's folding camera. He picked up this little treasure at the Vienna markets last year. I like the unpredictability and vintage feeling of the camera. It's always a surprise when we have the images developed. 

Photography: Michael Dooney

July 03, 2011

modesty is my best quality

(Dress: Plastic Island (previously worn here and here). Boots: Matiko. Cardigan: Sussan. Bag: Lily Rose). 

This is part two of our down south getaway. I'm still wishing I was back there.....

This shirt dress was a nice length when I first got it, but it shrunk with one wash. I tried to wear it with ankle boots on a recent outing with some friends. One of them told me to put some pants on. I'd say that's a fair call. Somehow I feel that wearing OTK boots with this shirt dress is the same as wearing pants. Deep down I know its not, but I still want to wear the damn shirt dress, so please just let me continue to believe that I've reached a satisfactory level of modesty with this outfit. 

Kaye xx