Sunday 21 December 2008

Dear Shannon...

Dear Shannon Sossamon,

Hi, how are you? I guess I should introduce myself, my name is Zoe. You may have heard of me, but I say now, the rumours that I've been cyber-stalking you are just that, rumours. Although the fact that I'm writing this may undermine my last statement.

I'd like to begin this letter by congratulating you. Well done on being (argueably unnecessarily) super-beautiful and 'physically successful'. Also, I hear your career is going well, although I can't pass comment as I fear I haven't witnessed enough of your work, and '40 days and 40 nights' probably wasn't your fault. (However, if pressed, I'll admit I found 'The Rules of Attraction' overly, even negligently, editted to the point of gross inbalance where the basic premise no longer made sense, thus undermining the work of you and your fellow actors to adhere purpose to the susbsequently warped and improbable plot.)

There are a few things, however, that I need to bring to your attention Shannon. Although if I woke up one day having somehow metamorphasised into your body, initially I'd probably not waste my time sobbing, as the (albeit unlikely) scenerio wore on however, I'd probably find it freaked my family and friends out, and I reckon I'd quickly get fed up of people just staring at me and forgetting to concentrate on what I was actually saying.

Also, I'm not entirely convinced by the authenticity of your drummer-in-a-band and DJing credentials. I mean when in popular culture have these ever gone hand in hand, not natural bed fellows are they?

Now, I know this might hurt, but I have to say I may have lucked out. Your whole 'being born in Hawaii, growing up in Reno, then moving to LA' may have somewhat bitten you in the arse (sorry, ass, I don't want to confuse you). I know on paper being born and raised in Essex, and continuing to live in Europe with easy access to budget airline flights into Stansted may not be the stuff that inspires great novels, but this scenerio helped me discover one epicly valueable nugget of information (my hairdressers phone number) and the viability to utilise it. In short what I'm saying is, now I hope your sitting down Shannon (sorry, Shannyn, I forgot you changed the spelling when you were 15), I have just had my hair cut and it is BETTER THAN YOURS!

Many apologies
Zoe Edwards

P.S. Enough of the self-consciously contrived lip-biting, we get it, you're cute.

P.P.S Bad luck on Devour. What do critics or ticket-buying audiences know anyway?

Friday 19 December 2008

Base Camp

I'm leaving for the airport in, like, less than an hour so what better time than to start a new post?! Well, I wanted to draw a line under this crazy-arsed year by sharing some pics of my new flat, the venue from which, for at least the first part, I will attack 2009.

I didn't bother to tidy up before papping. Nor did I choose arty or visually exciting angles from which to represent my home. I just wanted to show you how it is.

After viewing eleven flats, I knew this is the one I should live in when my new-flatmate-to-be offered me this:

(The mannequin, not the scarf!). But, as I'm sure you can imagine, one of the very best things about having a place to (kind of) call my own again, is that I once again have a recepticle for all my street finds!:

Monday 15 December 2008

Hair/brain Schemes

Dunno about you, but in a similar vein as actors altering their hair and makeup to portray a different character, I’m pretty convinced that in real life how you wear your hair makes a real impact on how you feel , as well as how you are perceived. Let me tell you a little story...

Once upon a time, several lives ago, I had dreads. As I have no pictorial evidence to hand, you’ll just have to believe me that, for the most part, I believe they looked pretty cute. And no, they didn’t smell. So when I’d had enough (about 10 months in) I ended up hacking them out with a knitting needle (!), then getting what I could salvage cut into an elfin ‘do. That was six or seven years ago, and from then on I have been growing my hair. For the last couple of those years my hair idols all resembled this:

Having dabbled with growing it out, I am committed to The Fringe. Got that part covered. However it turns out that the rest of my hair just isn’t playing the game when it comes to texture. I have to accept that. Tough times. So these days I can be found rocking a cute fringe/topknot combo:
And I ain’t the only one:

However, I am increasingly aware that this is a pretty identi-kit Barcelona look. A month or so ago, my mate trimmed my barnet. Now I kind of feel a spell has been broken and I am on the verge new hair dynasty. Whilst hanging around down by the beach I saw (ok, stalked) this girl whom unwittingly provided a light bulb moment:

Now I think my aim is a haircut so cute, that it makes total strangers weep! Having undertaken further research I am considering something along the lines of this:

A hair appointment has been procured with, in my opinion, the best hairdresser in Christendom (who happens to live in Essex, who knew?!) for when I return to the UK. Any thoughts or comments to help make this a 'happy ever after' would be gratefully received...

Wednesday 10 December 2008

Nice piece of skirts

Umm, maybe I was a little hasty to declare that it’s all about dresses. Ok, largely it IS all about dresses, but not ALL about dresses, if you get what I mean. Occasionally, and those occasions seem to be coming thick and fast recently, it's quite a lot about skirts.

I have long been a convert and creator of the A-line and pencil varieties; however there may be a third way! I don’t know what the fash-on term for this style, which I feel I should, but it kind of goes a little something like this:

The above was created by the uber-talented Christine, she of the potentially-nicest-dress-on burdastyle-or-even-in-living-history fame. THAT Christine. This type of skirt has a waistband, something I haven't tried since my ill-advised dabbling with full '50's styles the year before last. Well, I had pretty much written it off as a style that wouldn't suit my 'womanly' curves, and then POW!! This happened:

I know. Honestly, I know. Who knew ''70's house wife on holiday' chic was so now?! Another Burdastyle triumph, click on the image for credits and info. Now I'm pretty much determined to make some interpretation of this skirt style work, no matter what.

Well, I'm thinking of cheating and going for an inbetweeny, less full and subsequently less scary variation akin to this Built By Wendy interpretation:

Still waistbandy, but not so high, with some fullness but not so potentially 'tenth birthday party' (something that, I'm quick to point out, the top two examples have well fallen the correct side of).

But as Christine in the top image has quite correctly pointed out, reality requires tights:

Friday 21 November 2008

Experiments in where to live #465

So the plan to get myself adopted failed. After the whole 'getting kicked out of one of the shittiest flats in bcn' incident:

a stay of almost a couple of months at the 'dads'' has provided a much needed regrouping and restabilising experience. Amazing food, lovely caring people, Mexican hot chocolate, my YouTube addiction fuelled and encouraged, on-tap help with my lesson plans, massive collection of DVD's and documentaries, wifi and so much feng-shui'd calmess that whole relaxing hours go by without me noticing their disappearance. I'm not sure what the legalities are regarding a 36 year old and a 29 year old adopting another 29 year old, but whatever the case, it would probably upset my mum, so I decided not to start the planned 'Dads please adopt me' campaign afterall.
So once again I am submerged in a state of flat hunting. This time I at least have a pretty damn good idea about what different areas, even different streets, are like. However, trying to figure out with what type of people and what kind of lifestyle you desire is a little trickier. Like many people my age I'm sure, I'm in a strange limbo of still sometimes feeling the unignorable urge to go out and get slaughtered in cool bars and talk random crap to friends and strangers, but I also sometimes just want to cook a nice dinner and have a relaxing, comfortable night in somewhere clean and relatively peaceful. It's an intriguing dichotomy that makes flat viewing even more difficult.
Nevertheless, flats still need to be viewed. Price is obviously a key factor. I'm either aiming at getting a double room somewhere nice and old with enough space for sewing, OR a smaller room somewhere possibly less nice but still old, and using the subsequent savings to share the rent on a small sewing workspace/studio with my mate Harriet.
Check it out, this is one of the many uninspiring and frankly depressing rooms that falls into my (limited) budget:

When Daddy Isi saw the image he declared it reminded him of Van Gogh's bedroom painting:

Similar furniture, carpet, colour scheme... There's some crazy inspiration derived for interior decorating going down over here in bcn! Excuse me, I must go flat (mental style) hunting.....

Monday 17 November 2008

Experiments in how to live #3769

After what is a strong contender for the best weekend so far in bcn, today the inevitable happened: Monday rocked on up. With it brought the necessary evil of work. So if you will indulge me, I'd like to discuss my present take on that old chestnut.

When I first moved to bcn I spent a long time figuring out how I wanted to support myself. There were lists, diagrams, bar graphs and pie charts. Drawing upon lessons learnt from my varied, extensive and commitment-phobic employment history, I decided I would be happiest by cobbling together a collection of sources of income, rather just having one steady job. So I sorted it thus.

The most fixed element of my working scenerio is being a canguro (literally a 'kangroo', i.e. babysitter) for three families. Basically I get paid to hang out with kids and talk to them in English. As a result my colouring-in and plasticine skills are getting pretty strong! I also blag a bit of English teaching. And last but by no means least, I research fashion trends for a forecasting company based in NY. I'm their 'man' in bcn (except I do womenswear). It's very flexible and fits nicely around my other work, and general weekly whims and desires. It's ironic that someone who doesn't buy new clothes spends so much of her time in clothing stores and changing rooms! Here I am in my natural habitat:

Now, I could warble on about the down sides of my self-cultivated employment situation, but the main point is that I feel I've achieved the level of freedom I personally need for my mental health. And although it can get pretty tiring and a little lonely, flitting around the city as I do means I have a connection and relationship with the city that I think it would take office-bound peops a lot longer than four months to achieve (no offence office-bound peops). It provides me with the opportunity to make fascinating discoveries (e.g. I know where you can buy the TINIEST croissants possibly known to man) and provides constant visual stimulae that sometimes I like to record:

PLUS, when my sewing stuff arrives, the application of a little more self disaplin and time management should result in a whole lotta time for creating. That's it in a (chest)nutshell.

Monday 3 November 2008

Back to School Uniforms for 29-year-olds

Jeez! I swear five minutes ago it was so hot I was having four showers a day and spending large chunks of the day in my pants. Now, it’s WELL autumn! Having got over the initial temperature change shock to the system, it’s actually quite exciting. Let me explain...

This time of year, I always find, is an appropriate time to get a year older. So I got on that last week and turned twenty nine. (How did THAT happen?!.) As with other (personally) significant occasions, I always see my birthday as an opportunity to take stock of where I am at, in terms of my life and goals, and to reassess, consolidate and push forward. Autumn has such a ‘back-to-school’ vibe, a real re-focus and knuckle down feel after the frivolity of summer. Plus it makes me want to buy a new pencil case and set square!
This year is no different, in fact maybe the above statements hold even more truth this time round. This summer I wound up in a new city (not to mention new country), one not particularly known for it’s lack of summer indulgence. I spent July, August and indeed most of September finding my feet, discovering Barcelona’s treasures, meeting heaps of new and mostly amazing people and generally attacking the experience I had set up for myself. Heady, if sweaty, times. October I spent working out how to survive and support myself, basically carving out a sustainable life here, and rounding up the month by having a thoroughly awesome birthweek (that’s how we roll round here).
Also, I have some pretty strong perceptions of what I want for myself and who I hope to be by the time I was thirty (who doesn’t?). At this point in time, although I feel I have laid some solid foundations, due to the breadth of what I hope to achieve combined with some unforeseen setbacks I have sustained, I feel pretty far away from those aims. I’ve got some work to do.
For me, a big part of how I feel is linked to how I present myself. I don’t see appearance and presentation of self, and creative and (I hesitate to use the word) professional success as independent spheres. Obviously, I understand this probably holds more truth for those in my chosen specialism.

So, let’s get on with the pretty pictures! I aim to create a more cohesive and vaguely more mature vibe. I reckon a shortcut to that could be to deploy a killer dress. Here's some fine examples I'm feelin' at the mo.....
Imagine this APC one with some red or grey opaque tights and slouchy boots. Hmmmm.. Nice little bow detail to offset the potentially stark overall feel, me thinks.

Such a violently strong option for day or night, I feel a bit weak. Should also receive a special award in the 'Nicest Sleeves Ever' catagory.

A vintage beauty. Frilly sleeves with matching hem ruffle? On paper this doesn't work, yet there is evidence to the contrary:

A strong contender for the nicest dress, if not garment, ever to appear on Burdastyle. Uber simple A-line with supremely interesting and perfectly executed bib detail. Good job I was sitting down when I first saw it. (Made by ultra-talented London based Burdatyle member Christine).

So there you have it peops. Inspiring dresses to make me inspired to make dresses in which to feel inspired, maybe to make dresses!

Saturday 18 October 2008

Sew Specific

Apologies to non-sewing peops. Initially this post may appear a little dry, but hang in there, there is always the possibility I may make an interesting, more generally applicable, point. No promises mind, so if there isn’t, don’t go asking for your money back!

K. Now I know I have mentioned Simplicity Built By You sewing patterns before (here and here), and I’m sure this won’t be the last time (I’m particularly sure because I have in my possession a trouser pattern of theirs that I plan to attack when back in the Motherland over Christmas). But I feel the need to break it down. The NY based clothing brand Built By Wendy , create (in my opinion) amazing, wearable (I’d imagine) and infinitely inspirational garments. I visited a Built By Wendy store in LA last Autumn (or should that be Fall) and saw a collection in the flesh. For me, it was like a combination of making a holy pilgrimage and seeing the tooth fairy! Anyway, it was so exciting to see home sewing patterns on sale in a cool, dare I say trendy, boutique. Normally such boutiques, Pixie Market (incidentally on the very same street as the Built By Wendy shop in LA) being another example, offer to me the emotionally dichotomic combination of massive inspiration, envy and insatiable temptation. Inspiration, because often the garments reveal so many details and ideas to fuel my own creations, envy because I don’t have the talent to design pieces of such perfection of my own bat, and insatiable temptation because I am unable to purchase garments due to my pledge, though realistically they would be out of my budget anyway. Really, for me, such retail experiences are very draining!

So for Wendy Mullin, the creator and designer of Built by Wendy, to have the selflessness to create this range of patterns, and the amazing sewing book Sew U, both to encourage the art of home sewing, is such a fantastic thing. I salute her.

BTW, did I ever mention that I actually have the Sew U book? It’s the kind of thing that I would, and for some time did, deeply desire, but perversely could never justify treating myself to. Then through the most bizarre set of occurrences involving an elderly ex-seamstress and pattern cutting tutor who was a friend of my ex-boyfriends nan having a massive clearout, a pristine copy became mine (along with the most epic, largely vintage, button stash you have ever seen, but that’s another story). I was so excited, I was very nearly sick. There is a stretch fabric version out now that is well on my ‘wants’ list.

The patterns that have been published are from actual Built By Wendy collections. For example, this hardy perennial from my sewing pattern archive was actually part of the Spring 2004 collection. This is one of the garments I created from this pattern (say hello to Daddy Edwards):

And these are two of my favourite creations made by someone else (in this case, both by the awesome Chicago based seamstress Snaggletooth):

What all this shows is that, ultimately, Wendy Mullin is intelligent. She knows her customer base, and is well aware that no one who is actually going to buy this garment would say ‘You know what? I don’t think I’ll bother, I’ll save my cash by buying the pattern and making my own’. Also she knows her industry well enough to be aware that if a commercial interest was set on ripping off her styles, they would either send in ‘researchers’ into the stores to photograph the garments, often covertly, or they would purchase one garment and send it off to be deconstructed and copied. From first hand experience, I know this happens frequently. In a previous employment role, I have personally purchased garments for the purpose of sending them off to be copied. And damn, at this very moment I’m a ‘researcher’ myself! Wow, that felt a bit confessional. The justification for my actions will have to wait for another post. Right now there are sewing plans to form.......

Thursday 2 October 2008

Borne (it's so) yesterday

So, through an unforseen set of circumstances I had to leave the Borne. Whatever, that flat was for geeks anyway. Now I'm back staying with the Dads in Poble Sec. And you know what that means peops....


Can you believe it?! My first morning waking up back in Poble Sec, I go for breakfast in the coffee shop where I first witnessed her, and BAM! I am blessed with a sighting! It could be interpreted (and I have done as such) that it is a sign that, no matter what wierdness goes down, amazingness is never far away.

Check the batwing cropped jacket. And, damn, she knows red is so right now. I have to admit, I didn't even try to disguise taking this photo. I guess she is just so used to being papped for style magazines and the like, she's all 'Another day, another pap'. Oh, and FYI, I watched her moves carefully, she put all the butter and jam available on her toast. Proof that diets are a waste of time.

So after the sighting I needed to calm down, so me and my mate Anna went over the other side of the square for another coffee. Oh, and that turned out to be pretty amazing as well (be sure not to miss Anna's beautiful and heartbreakingly expensive new top, kind of Marc Jacobs-esque 70's, with 40's referencing, in my opinion):

The cafe was super beautiful, and the morning autumn sunshine made it more so.

It reminded me of the cafe in that film Amelie. It had antiquey mis-matched chairs (street furniture?) with marble tables, colourful stained glass, aqua tiles, random art and a massive mirror above the bar.

I love living somewhere where enjoying an extended breakfast with a friend in interesting and often beautiful surroundings is seen as perfectly normal behaviour, and not in anyway the actions of some layabout, work-shy person (not that I'm necessarily claiming not to be those things as well). I'm not UK bashing, believe me, I could list numerous less pleasant sides to life here, but this pleasure is something that is particularly important to me. You could live in the most amazing place in the world, but if you aren't able to absorb it and reflect upon it from time to time, then what's the point? For me, surroundings are so important, they feed me in so many ways. I'm lucky that I can feel that, even whilst being homeless and skint.

Thursday 18 September 2008

Street life, it's the only life I know

Stop me if I’ve told you this, but the best thing (for me) about living in Barcelona is the ‘free furniture days’. I fear that is not the official term, I’m not sure there is an official term.
Nevertheless, it is an amazingly exciting thing. Let me bring you up to speed peops.
Every area has a day of the week when you can put out on the street any unwanted/broken pieces or furniture, or indeed anything else, for the council to come and collect. Naturally the more thrifty individuals choose these days to go ‘stuff-hunting’. I am firmly one such individual. In fact, when my flatmate told me of this phenomena, I was nearly sick and went straight out, literally eight hours too early (10pm is the optimum hour in my hood) , on the off chance that the early bird does indeed catch the worm. It didn’t. But I have honed the art, and in the style of Yardsale Bloodbath, here are some of my beauts.
A beautiful bird cage with heart motif. (Tiago quote: ‘Think of all the dead birds that once lived in there.)

Hand-painted frame with ‘gold’ leaf inlay. (I’m pretty convinced some Catalan girl was trying to have to it off me the night I found it, but I refused to let go of it whilst she was admiring it. You got to watch out for that.)

Shop display torso. (There was actually about twelve and I picked them all up screaming ‘They’re mine!’, until Harriet convinced me that one was probably enough. The jury’s still out on that.)

Three-quarters empty church candles. (These can be found by the box load round the back of the Cathedral on Thursday evenings. Damn it! I’ve spilled the beans, now everyone will be there. Tiago quote: ‘That’s other peoples’ prayers and wishes’, my quote ‘Yeah Tiago, did I mention they were free?’.)

Full length bevelled mirror. (Found at the same time as another more antiquey mirror for the bathroom, but the bathroom is too skanky for you to see. That’s the thing about mirrors, they reflect stuff.)

THE SEWING STASH. That’s right people, feast your eyes. And for the record, those reels of thread are just a fraction of what I picked up that night, which in turn was just a fraction of what was in the box. The little red things are size tabs. I have to be honest, the sewing machine is broken, but the high we achieved when we found it well out did the disapointment in discovering it didn’t work. I don’t remember EVER being that exicted in my whole life. Including the time when my dad told me we were going to a panto JUST AFTER seeing a panto piece on Blue Peter. Anyway, I’m hanging onto the machine in case I meet someone who can fix it. Maybe I’ll find one on the street!

The mini-stash of buttons and hook and eyes were found in Gotico one day when I was feeling pretty down. Like Barcelona gave me a little gift and was saying ‘Cheer up love’. Thanks Barcelona, I have.

Thursday 4 September 2008

Detections for our imminent viewing pleasure

My mother, whom, it could be argued, I unofficially employ as a cultural correspondent, keeping an eye out for interesting things whilst my attention is elsewhere, is pretty-bloody-awesome. She has just informed me of a new Coen Brothers film shortly to be released called Burn After Reading. So highly tuned are her skills, that she is able to acquire, assimilate and report such exciting and socially relevant news without even removing her fluffy slippers, and can do so on the way to putting the kettle on. Undeniably strong skills indeed. Remind me to give her a raise.

Check the poster above. How nice is that!? Viewing the artwork only further ignited my excitement. But wait.......! Those colours, that font, the mysterious silhouette. Have we not seen this somewhere before? Perhaps if we were cast our minds back into the graphic design history of the late 20th century........ Ta da!

I'm sure the graphic designer who created the Burn After Reading poster was creating a deliberate reference, and subsequently I can hardly feel smug for making the connection. Next time you see me however, ask me to tell you the true story about when Jimmy Stewart was in the back of my Grandad's taxi.... It's a good one.

Friday 22 August 2008

The Pleasure/Pain Theory

Two months. No sewing for two months. It´s horrible. I´ve gone through the cold-turkey sweats, the anguish, the dull ache of yearning, and still the pain of loss refuses to die. Two months, people.

I try and alleviate my symptoms by sometimes checking my various favourite sewing blogs, to see what amazing stuff people have been making. It´s sado-masochistic, as the pleasure is laced with fresh pain when I see stuff like this:

This amazing African print dress was made by a girl from London using a vintage dress pattern. More on this dress can be found here.

Let me explain. It´s not just jealousy that is stirred, although I would be the first to admit that that emotion is very present. It´s like this: I love African fabric and had been using it more and more before I left for Barcelona (and temporarily left my favourite passtime). I also have a vintage pattern addiction, and have for some time thinking I should start wearing more dresses. Now I´m not saying that, given time, I would have inevitably have conjured up a similar creation, it´s just all these elements in one amazingly executed example of home sewing is just a bit more than my fragile heart can bear!

I´m heading back to the UK in a couple of weeks and have set myself the challenge of making a new creation whilst I am there. I won´t have enough time to produce a dress, but I predict the pains will cease for a while.

Wednesday 6 August 2008

I heart sitting around

How good is sitting around?! Normally I´ve got heaps of stuff to do. However, my present combination of unemployment, lack of sewing machine and computer and Top Gear repeats, it being too hot and the general Barcelona social culture has meant I´ve been clocking up the sitting-around-hours with ease, both on my own and with friends. In fact, there are so many cafes and bars here that I seriously question how the economy can support them all. Subsequently, I believe frequenting my favourites ones is a duty that I cannot shy away from, for fear of them closing. This happened in Nottingham, when the K9 Cafe closed down whilst my back was turned when I was in New Zealand. I´m not letting that happen again. Not on my watch.
In the image above I am chilling with some crew in a nice cafe called Babel in the Gottico area. And yes, I did make that blouse, thanks for asking. From a one pound table cloth as a matter of fact.
Sitting on my arse has recently resulted in some major ideas generation and discussion. All sorts of creative plans and projects are subsequently afoot. However, this inspiration could also be the result of the three electric shocks I have sustained from my bathroom this week. Either way, watch this space!

Sunday 13 July 2008

Shining the light from the style-torch

Kay. For the record, I love Barcelona. But if there´s one thing that has become more special to me than Barcelona, it´s.... actually scrap that. If there´s one thing that has heightened my love of Barcelona it´s Candela Casagrande! Let me introduce you:

May I explain. My adopted Dads took us for breakfast the other day, and we were sitting in the cafe when this lady walked in, and they nearly puked with excitement. Bascially, she is apparantly some sort of bar fly that hangs out exclusively in the eating and drinking establishments around the tiny Placa Sortidor, a square in the area of Poble Sec. I believe to see her may well be some sort of lucky omen.

She is a special treat, whose image must be carefully receorded. Hence this type of image:

Let´s analyse her style. Hmmmm, DAMN GOOD is my conclusion. I totally love the fact that she is carefully dressed, coifured and made-up, despite pushing ninety. She clearly understands the value of appearance as a medium of social interaction and communication. That looking good and taking time on your style is both an expression of and a method of developement of your self esteem.

I REALLY hate it when women no longer give a crap about how they look after, and often way before, the menopause. From what I´ve seen that seems to be exactly to time for self-definition, and maybe a little re-invention. Candela is an inspiration, and has reminded me of the importance of such self-expression. I guess recently hanging out almost exclusively with cerebral-types has put my naturally visual-self slightly on the back burner. That and it´s fu****g hot so wearing small, loose clothes has been a priority this week.

In case you were wondering what such a sassy individual would rock in the colder months, let me enlighten you:

You know that´s real fur. These images are care of Isi, an individual always selflessly on the front line, putting himself out there, ready to pounce and capture such essentially imagery. He is clearly a master of covert photography. Once more for the road Brother Isi:

Oh, and there is a distinct possibility that she isn´t called Candela Casagrande, seeing as we made it up! We were sitting in the cafe trying to think what this style-icon would be called. Casagrande is the mental surname (Bighouse?!) of some surreal psychic Lee went to visit recently, who may well have changed his life by announcing he has ´latent psychic tendancies´. It seemed an appropriatly imposing surname for our subject. And Candela? That´s the Spanish word for the ´light of a candle´. And as I think you can agree, she shines!!!!!!!

Thursday 3 July 2008

Relocate and refocus

Little did the city of Barcelona know in March '08, that just four months later it would be about to suffer a further, more thorough assault of the Zoe-kind! Because people, THAT'S JUST WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN! Have they received the memo?! Because I mean business.......

As you can see from these images taken on that spring visit, I'm rocking a strong home-made garment look. Damn!

This outfit is particularly good because I made the dress, jacket AND bag! If I could make tights and shoes I would.... I've been making clothes for some time now, but it never ceases to fascinate me that I have produced something that when worn, actually fulfills it's function, by and large, as good as a purchased garment. Let alone three. All at once.

The dress was made from the cheapest fabric available in the UK,from a pattern I adapted from a Built by Wendy Simplicity pattern. The jacket pattern was adapted from a 1960's pattern purchased on ebay. (What have I told you previously? Can't leave them patterns alone. I'm always monkey-ing with them.) The fabric was 'aquired' from my previous job, with applied swallow patches. Sadly you are unable to see the AWESOME lining, which is a Vegas style print cotton featuring playing cards and chips purchased in Britex in San Francisco. I'll try and take a photo of that some time. Honestly, I'm tempted to wear it inside out!

In case you weren't sure if the jacket worked in an evening setting, let me just clarify the situation for you:

I think you'll find it works just fine! The top in this picture is also another creation from the same Built by Wendy pattern. I've leant the pattern to the lovely Michelle at the moment so can't check the pattern number. Can't wait to see her interpretations!

I fully intend to stick to my no-buying new garments pledge whilst in Barcelona. This may prove more of a challenge than previously because, at least initally, I won't have a sewing machine, fabric or equipment. I will have to rely on the things I take out ith me, and any second-hand finds to give me the new-stuff fix I often crave. I'm so committed to the pledge though, fear not.

Because my creations will probably be more infrequent, I plan to focus this blog more on the gathering and documenting of the inspiration I discover in Barcelona. Exciting times. Watch this space.....

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