November 30, 2011

out in the corn field

mahaila made skirt and top, Burdastyle patterns.

On a whirl wind 4 day trip from Berlin to Dresden to Prague to Munich to Leipzig to Lutherstadt Wittenburg.... we stopped off in a corn field to take some photos....yes we got lost and decided that it was a nice place for some photots. After taking these photos I realised that we don't seem to take many photos in the cities that we visit. We are certainly drawn to nature (even if it's man made nature). Perhaps we feel more comfortable or more at home.
As previously posted here and here, both of these garments are varitations of Burdastyle patterns. I like the skirt in the second photo as you can see the brocade pattern.

November 29, 2011

getting back into it

mahaila made skirt and top. Both based on Burdastyle patterns.

We took these photos when Berlin had continual sunny days and I still had a broken hand. I am surprised that after a few months my hand is still a little bunged up...but having use of both hands again has allowed me to start sewing, knitting, crocheting and screen printing. YAY!I have also been experiencing a few weeks of creative flow. I just can't stop making things. Do you experience waves of creative productivity?

This top is my second version of the Burdastyle Herbst mag 2011 top. This one is made out of cotton and I just added a little floral pocket. The skirt is the Burdastyle bubble skirt, but I omitted the bubble as it looked incredibly strange. I think that I will be making another black skirt soon as I love to wear my different coloured stockings with them. I do have some sad news about my floral doc's.The sole has partially fallen away from the boot. I tried glueing them, but the glue was not strong enough. So I will be off to the shoe repairer. Fingers crossed I can get them fixed. 

November 25, 2011

Creative Friday: Interview with Ozlem

On a trip through Prague, Czech Republic we met up with the very talented Ozlem. Ozlem's passion for puppertry and stop animation led her to this part of the world as it is one of the few places which still teaches and appreciates this craft.  She even learnt Czech! Her background in pupperty has certainly influenced her jewellery creations. My favourite piece is certainly the cat brooches!

 Where are you from?
I'm from Turkey, been living in Czech Republic for 3 years.

What is your art/craft and where can we find it?
I'm making puppets and various kinds of jewelry. You can find them on my blog: or on my etsy page:

 What are the positives in buying handmade items?
Apart from being the only one wearing that particular item, also helping out a fellow artist is a great feeling. And as an artist myself, I think we should appreciate handmade even more than anyone else.

black cat brooch

fruit salad earrings
Where do you find inspiritation?
From the city, people, books, comics, movies, tv serials, internet.. everywhere and everything.

What motivates you to create?
Things that inspire me also motivate me to create.

What encouraging words/advice would you give to someone who is interested in sparking their creativity?
Don't give up, be open and be free. Other ways of living and other point of views are possible

November 24, 2011

cut it out



In sticking to my new clothes resolution, I will not probably not be buying any of these.
If you can't resist a good cut-out boot you can get these:
1. here (< ----- these are my fav)
2. here (<------- I've previously blogged the rust version here)
3. here, and
4. here (< ------ these are my runner up)

November 20, 2011

this blogger has something to say.....


(Top: Agent 99. Denim vest and midi skirt: Vintage - from my mum's closet. Necklaces: Etsy. Shoes: K-Mart. Bag and sunglasses: Asos)

I think all bloggers find that inspiration ebbs and flows, and being the expressive people that we are, we feel the need to tell you all about it. So here we go....

I have to apologise for my recent absence on the blog.... it has been for a reason. Something happened to me last week.... my wardrobe BROKE under the WEIGHT of my clothes. It wasn't made of wood.... or plastic.... it was made of metal and it snapped like a twig. So this is where I start re-thinking about the way I buy/wear clothes.

Thanks to numerous cheap and impulsive purchases (and when I say cheap, its not really that cheap in the end), my wardrobe is not as wearable as it could be. Instead of buying 5 pairs of shoes that cost around $100 each, I would prefer to buy one pair of shoes with that money and wear them to death. So thanks to a recent rummage through my mum's old clothes and the collapse of my sturdy METAL wardrobe, I feel inspired to recycle clothing and purchase only investment pieces. I think that the end result will be more reflective of my personal style. Now, I am by no means saying that you won't see the odd inexpensive trend-based piece on this blog because you WILL (I love playing silly buggers with useless trendy sh*t just as much as the next person)... but having a sister that spends TIME exercising her CREATIVITY and PATIENCE in producing beautiful clothing makes me think... maybe I don't need fast fashion in my life as much as I thought I did.

Kaye xx

November 18, 2011

Creative Friday: CROBOTS!

Bopbot... at the Berlin beer festival.

When Kaye came to Berlin she brought a little present from our brother. It was a crobot book! What is a crobot?... well, apparently it's a crocheted little robot creature. I remember crocheting a little colourful square with my grandma when I was like 8, but haven't picked up the crochet hook since. So, thanks to the explanations and pictures I was able to make all of these little characters for my family:) I love my crobot book!

November 15, 2011

Steve Schapiro: Best exhibition:)


 (mahaila made top and skirt (based on Burdastyle patterns), plaid coat - best second hand find EVER!)

We hardly ever venture to the West of Berlin. Lets be honest, there is not that much happening on that side. But we could not resist the short treck when we heard that Steve Schapiro was having an exhibtion with a personal tour of his images. You may recognise some of his images. His 'Warhol and entourage' image is probably one of his most famous.

                Steve Schapiro

This was the best exhibition that I have seen... EVER. I know that is quite a statement, but who can resist a sweet, charasmatic, inpsiring elderly man bursting with exciting stories about his days as an influential photographer.  I loved his 'famous people' photos, but I really loved his documentation of world issues throughout the 50's and 60's. There were also many moving images from his documentation of Martin Luther King Jr, the Kennedy's amongst others which were featured in the exhibition.

I love this top. It is simple to make and I just can't stop wearing it. I have made another 2 versions(which I still have to post). This skirt was meant to bubble at the front. When I had cut it out and pinned it together, it looked a little ridiculous. Why would I want the skirt to look like I had a huge gaping tummy? So I incorporated rather large darts into the skirt to ensure a more fitted silhouette. This coat is my best second hand store find. I found it in Perth years ago. On the way to the Schapiro exhibtion on the train, a little old lady told me that I had an authentic coat on. She was pretty impressed :)

November 11, 2011

Creative Friday: Missus D

A few weeks ago Michael and I were lucky enough to meet up with Kathleen from Missus D in Munich. She designs and crochets little creatures which are truly inspiring. I find her crocheted creations very structurally interesting. They are like mini sculptures of fun! They're so cute:) 

          Kathleen from Missus D                  Photos by: Michael Dooney

Where are you from?
I was born in Singapore, which is a very small island state on the southern tip of West Malaysia. 
It is also nicknamed The Little Red Dot, because our small island is often obscured by the red dot referring to our location on the world map.

What is your art/craft and where can we find it?
I would say my craft is sculpting. I studied architecture because I wanted to build liveable sculptures, now I use yarn to make little soft sculptures using crochet techniques. You can find my work in my Etsy shop:

What are the positives in buying handmade items? 
Oh, there are too many to point out. Firstly, in this case, 'handmade' refers to the fact of small scale local production. In this niche, we care about the source and quality of our materials. Each item is inspired and carefully created. There is a story behind our design. Most likely, buying handmade also means supporting small independent designers who are not employed to design things that sell, but they are designing out of pure joy and passion. 

When you consume handmade, you are receiving more than an item. There is inspiration and a story behind it. The creator is not some faceless factory machine, but a person whom you can approach. You are supporting their passion and giving them credit they are worthy of. 

Where do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration from people around me and things that amuse me. I like the geeky, humourous and slightly subversive things.

What motivates you to create?
Being inspired motivates creativity. 

What encouraging words/advice would you give to someone who is interested in sparking their creativity?
We don't have to try to be creative, we ARE creative. It's just finding something to do that brings you and others joy when you do it. For example, my husband is not a very crafty person, but when it comes to making hilarious jokes, he is extremely creative. It is his ability to make such hilarious jokes that in turn inspires me to make something.

November 09, 2011

1/4 circle skirt maxi

mahaila made skirt & top
After calculating the circumference for the 1/4 circle skirt (you can find the tutorial here) I set to work with this navy blue fabric. As soon as it was cut, I knew that there was a problem.... it looked like a netball skirt. I love netball and it's one of my favourite sports, but I certainly do not want to be wearing the skirts off the court (though I admit, I am guilty of wearing my uniform to the shops on occasions...after a game that is!). I had this olive green fabric left over from a jumpsuit that I had previously made and added it to the bottom of the skirt to create the maxi. I am quite pleased with how it turned out. I am not the maxi wearing type, perhaps I am converted. On another note, I will be collating some of my ideas regarding alterations for the circle skirt in a tutorial.... hopefully soon:) 

the top: I can't stop making this top. The pattern is from the Burdastyle Herbst 2011 magazine. I have made 3 versions already! This is the first and I find myself wearing it often.

November 06, 2011

INTERVIEW with Datchi

A few months ago I was lucky enough to sit down with Leila (and her two cats) to talk about her clothing label Datchi. Datchi  is an independent clothing company which produces one off upcycled garments as well as vintage inspired clothing. She also shares her love for sewing by offering sewing and pattern making courses:)

Leila from Datchi                                          photo: Michael Dooney
Where are you from?
“I am originally from Calgary, Alburto, but I have spent the last 10 years in Montreal. So really I am from Montreal.”

What do you like about living in Berlin?
“I like the free spirit of the city and it seems like people can do what ever they want. It is not that conservative or aggressive. It's comfortable and it's fun.”

What is Datchi designs?
“It is an independent clothing company. I upcycle and have a vintage inspired clothing line. I sell it on line and I have been working with the kultpur shop in Kreuzberg.”

When did you start sewing and what is your background in fashion?
“As a kid I liked to sew. It was something that I did with my mum. I guess that it was something that I grew up with. I then went on to study fashion design. Once I got out of school I ended up working in a cubicle doing technical design, so it kind of took the joy out of fashion. I quit that job and found a job as a chef and ended up actually really liking that because it is also very creative.”

“I started sewing again when I was living in Montreal. As a chef I didn't have a lot of time to focus on fashion design, so I started to upcycle handbags. It was something I could do between work and free time. The response was really good. So I continued and I met some people who owned a DIY craft store and they were really interested in the upcycling, so I guess it kind of went from there. I started teaching a course in upcycling and then started getting more into making clothing. Moving to Berlin gave me the opportunity to focus on fashion design.”

What are your thoughts behind recycling and fashion
“The way that the world is at the moment, we are a throw away culture. I don't think we need to be producing waste and this is the idea behind upcycling. You don't have to throw it away you can change it and it also makes the clothing very unique.”

What is your view on sustainability, renewable resources e.g. bio cottons, bamboo vs. recycling
“Organic isn't always the key. For me it is more about buying locally and sustainably. As a cook I was really looking into sustainable growing. Organic laws are so strong and strict that a lot of things that are sustainably grown don't necessarily have that organic seal, but they are in fact organic. In Canada you can't call something organic unless the land that it is grown on, hasn't had any chemical treatment for at least 10 years. Sustainability and locality is more important”

What is particularly interesting about Upcycling?
“I like that you don't have a flat piece of material to work with. You have to think more about the dimensions, it's not necessarily concrete. You have to be very creative. You can't be stiff with it. You have to be open to changing your ideas and really working with the materials that you have. It's nice to be able to think outside of the box and do something different as a designer.”

Where do you find inspiration?
“I get inspired by whats around me. Architecture, human interaction, sites on my travels. I don't really like to sit in front of the computer and look at images. It's mainly through life experience and travelling.”

What is your advice for people who want to start sewing?
“I guess it's simply a matter of doing it, it doesn't have to be perfect. If you have an idea in your head you should try and work it out. Keep sewing. The more you sew the more confident you will become and the more you will understand the material that you are working with. There are also a lot of sewing courses that you can do which are not necessarily expensive".

Datchi Designs Website: 
Etsy Datchi Shop:  

Thanks Leila! for your time.
This was the second in a series of interviews which will become a regular instalment. Every Friday I will be posting some inspirational words from creatives within Europe.

November 05, 2011

statement choker

Lanvin Small gunmetal and Swarovski crystal choker


I'm obsessed with collecting images of statement necklaces at the moment. Most of them are collar necklaces (thats a whooooole other post right there), but I just really can't resist the chokers. These are my favourites. Even though the first two are totally out of reach for me, I just had to include them.

Lanvin gunmetal choker via Net-A-Porter
Anndra Neen cage choker via Shopbop
Love Rocks gold tone choker via Asos

Kaye xx

November 03, 2011

I love the European autumn:)

In an effort to capture some of the beauty of autumn, I went for  walk through a few Berlin public spaces with my camera. I cringe when I think of the pending cold winter, but the Autumn colours certainly ease the pain:)