January 30, 2014

The Year of the Productive Sewing Blog

photos: Michael Dooney
Welcome 2014, goodbye turbulent 2013!
2013 was certainly a difficult and full on year. Perhaps this was reflected through my lack of involvement on the blog. BUT! I am looking forward to 2014 and am definitely starting with a positive and enthusiastic frame of mind. It will be a productive year for Fickle Sense! & for my sustainable fashion blog 'i give 2 hoots'.

I hope to mindfully make some of the following changes within the following weeks.  

I have that many things on that I really need to make more of an effort to be organised. I do have an unorganised, fleety, creative mind which makes it hard for me to remain tidy. I know how to do it, I just have to put it into practice for more then one day. 

Keeping healthy
I am someone who "needs" to exercise daily to function. It is a de-stressor, it helps me release some of my energy and helps to clear my mind. Plus I just love it! Training for last years marathon made me realise how fantastic sprint work is, I will continuing with this. I will also continue with my green tea drinking and super healthy eating. 

More adventure, experimentation & risk taking .....with confidence!

This year I aim to experiment more with our photography, designing, sewing and printing with confidence. My frontal lobe is always urging me to sensor myself and inadvertently dulling me down at bit. This year more of my primitive self may emerge.... don't be scared, i might just add a little more quirk. 

Yes german is still... and will probably always be on my 'much needed for improvement' list. If I was taking German at school, I would be achieving at an unsatisfactory level 'she exhibits desire to improve, but unfortunately she rarely completes her homework. She seems to be focused on other areas of study. I am looking forward to seeing improvements in mahaila's German study habits within the following semester'. Lets hope I get there! as with all of my goals.
Now to the clothes in the post.
The blouse was purchased from the second hand/vintage shop, Broken Doll in Fremantle last year when I was home in Australia. I am always on the look out for interesting blouses, especially with frills of some sort. Coral was my favourite colour for 2013, and I think I will continue to source coral coloured items\fabrics.

These Large print Houndstooth shorts have made a few appearances on the blog, I made them a while ago from this Burdastyle shorts pattern (I think it was this pattern, I actually can't remember). I wear them so much, that the zipper broke. They broke on a Friday night out. Luckily I had a cardigan to cover the large slit. Now they are sitting on the 'need to mend' pile. 

Anyhoo, Happy 2014 everyone. It is going to be a good one!
What are your plans for 2014?

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January 23, 2014

TUTORIAL: Horse print on How.do

After a long few months of 'wedding adventures' I am back to my full fickle sense power! With a tutorial! 
I will be posting about my bridal party sewing ventures within the following weeks.... but for now I am sharing my love of printing through the how.do application. I am sure everyone has cottoned onto the fact that I am not that technologically inclined, however thanks to Melissa from how.do I have actually put together a tutorial through the website. The tutorial was inspired by this years Chinese New Year animal: The Horse. An array of bloggers & creatives have developed numerous 'horse' inspired tutorials. Check out the many tutorials here.

Here is the full Fickle Sense tutorial on www.how.do/guide/horse-print

HORSE PRINT a micro guide by Fickle Sense on How.Do

Click on this image to generate the free template for the tutorial.

Check out how.do and the many amazing available tutorials on their website as well as their blog. It really is a whole new world of DIYing! Anyone can create a tutorial (as long as you have an iphone.... How.do is currently in the process of opening the application to android phones, I am waiting for this, so that I can make more tutorials with the application). 


December 09, 2013

I am still here!

I assure you I am still here! Alive & sewing...& printing & crocheting!

This lengthy absence from the blog can be attributed to my, once again over  commitment to 'making'... it just never stops. Our wedding is just one month away and I have really only started sewing my dress, Michael's waistcoat & trousers and Kass's (bridesmaid) dress in September. We also designed and printed the invites; I am part way through crocheting the cake toppers and the music selection is OF COURSE one of the most important tasks to complete. PLUS organising everything else! 

Our Sreen Printed invites. We are very happy with our design and execution:)

Anyway, I am quickly signing off again. I have to get back to work! My relaxed attitude towards the whole wedding has perhaps put me on the back foot.... so I am moving in a forward motion. Lets hope we get there and I don't walk down the isle with half a dress. That would not be a pretty sight. 

Until soon!

September 09, 2013

A not so successful refashion

The dress before the refashion
Refashioning is something that I have been doing for a while now, and luckily pretty much all of them have turned out reasonably well..... until this garment. The good news is that it is still wearable, but the choice to resize it was a mistake

Why this dress?
I found the item in amongst a few antique gems at an antique market. The print was what initally caught my eye and the silhouette was also appealing. Resizing seemed to be the most sensible option. 

Me at the market buying the garment

What was altered?
I used a basic slip pattern and ended up shortening it and pulling in the sides. The problem was that I detached the collar but I did not completely deconstruct it. So it was difficult sewing it back on. This silly error has made the collar sit strangely and I don't feel completely comfortable wearing it. So I basicly destroyed a really lovely garment, because it didn't fit me.

One positive thing that did come out of this project was that I realised that I need to set myself some refashioning rules. So I will share my refashioning rules in some follow up posts!

Watch this space for my refashion do's & don'ts!

August 13, 2013

Nostalgia! 3 years of Fickle Sense!

Collection of mahaila images 2010-2013
photos: Michael Dooney

This month marks 3 years of Fickle Sense! Woo Hoo! Back in 2010 my sister, Kass and myself decided to start the blog as a way of maintaining contact from Perth, Aus to Berlin, Germany. I sewed and she styled. These images document our progress over the years.

I did experience a feeling of nostalgia whilst collecting all of our images. Kass has certainly improved on the photo taking front and changed her style to some degree (check out her blog Render Sublime). Looking at my images my style is also changing, though I feel that I have tapered off in terms of the amount of clothes I sew now. I have so many ideas, yet so little time to execute them. Plus I now have an online screen printing shop, plus an 'almost' eco clothing store, plus an eco blog 'i give 2 hoots', plus a career, plus wedding preparations... and the list still continues! Perhaps I should slow down a bit and spend more time in front of the sewing machine, with my own creations:)

Collection of Kass images from 2010-2012 (find Kass at Render Sublime)

Which looks are your favourite? 

My favorite from Kass is the red slip dress. 
(second last row, second image)
My favourite from myself (mahaila) is still my refashion piece. 
(third row from the bottom, 3 image across)

And... of course thanks to everyone who has followed us over the years:) and lots of love to our men for taking all of our photos!

This song by one of my favourite bands the Handsome Furs is quite fitting 'Nostalgia......'

July 24, 2013

Mixing it up with prints

Photos: Michael Dooney

Prints and colour! I can't get enough of them. I found this fabric whilst back home in Aus and decided to make these 70's inspired print shorts. We took these jumping photos in Michael's studio. Loving his studio lights!

Sewing with prints
The challenge with these shorts involved the lining up of the print. The most important factor to consider was the crotch area and the pattern at the front seam. Having 2 small circles on the crotch area would seem some what inappropriate. After having lined up the prints I started to cut and pin the shorts together. I soon discovered that I had somehow ended up with exactly what I didn't want, 2 circles in the wrong area. I tried to fix this by sewing a larger seam allowance at the front, so unfortunately the shorts are a little more snug then I had wanted:(  

Tutorials on matching prints.
Sewaholic - How to match prints along seams
Coletterie - How to match plaids and stripes

The top and my struggles in lauching my eco fashion Fickle Sense store
This top is similar to some tops that I am making for my etsy store Fickle Sense. They are handmade and organic and will hopefully be ready by the end of August. It has been a long time coming. I have blogged a little about my progress here on my sustainable fashion blog 'i give 2 hoots'. (Don't forget that I am still looking for creators, enthusiasts, nostalgics and minimalists to add to the blog. Head over there to see the criteria!)  

Embracing the crazy!
At the moment I am working on a few different sewing projects which encompass my love of all things quirky. Most involve colours and prints. I first realised I should go more in this direction whilst having a conversation with Michael (finance) and Kass (sis). We were at a club on a Sunday arvo, relaxing by the spree. It was apparent that there were 2 types of people at this club: hipsters and fearless crazy dressers. We were joking about dressing each other up as hipsters and going to some clubs. Both Michael and Kass looked at me and said, 'no you wouldn't be the hipster, you would be the crazy dresser'. At first I was taken back, but after about a second I agreed. Embrace the uniqueness! 

July 14, 2013

Favourite holiday wear + CUT sewing magazine

Every European summer we venture to a different summery location. This year, Southern Italy. I was surprised by the chaotic nature of this region as I found both Croatia and Turkey to be a bit more organised. It took me about a day to adapt! All in all it was a nice trip where I was able to expose me taste buds to flavor again! (sorry Germany, but you don't thrive in the area of food produce). But I am certainly happy to be back in calm, quiet Berlin:)

Favourite holiday adventure wear 
Generally for every trip we will try and photograph a new sewing project. Unfortunately this time around I was busy blogging and screen printing, so I had no outfits ready for the adventure. But I did realise that I ALWAYS wear the same sewing projects on holidays. My CUT magazine playsuit/romper is certainly a staple outfit when enjoying the summer months (previously blogged about here). If you love the pattern, make sure you check out CUT mag!

The pattern for this playsuit can be found in the CUT Mag issue 5. It is written in German, but the steps are well photographed, so if you have a little experience in sewing, you can create the garments.

NEW: Issue 9 CUT sewing mag!
Yesterday I was walking past one of the little sewing stores in Berlin and I spotted the new CUT sewing mag! I have been following CUT mag since the first issue so it is always exciting to get the new issues with new sewing patterns and articles. This issue there is a mens shirt, half circle skirt and jacket.

Find more about CUT mag here!

July 05, 2013

Fusion 2013!

Another Fusion Festival down! Other then going home to Aus, it is my favourite time of the year. However this years shitty weather contributed to a somewhat somber Fusion experience. It was my first Fusion with NO sun. Only a few hours of sun over 4 days! Boo hoo. BUT the music obviously saved the day!

FUSION Festival acts to check out include:

1. HVOB: Her Voice Over Boys
I love, love, love these guys. The dynamics within their songs. AMAZING! The fusion of eletronic minimal with sweet vocals. Definitely my favourite for the festival!

2. Phia
For those of you who perhaps are not fans of electronic music, Phia is your gal. A very clever gal at that! She plays with the kalimba. A loop pedal which makes it sound as though she has a full band behind her. I am a FAN! I will be checking her out in a Berlin gig soon! For sure! She is often touring so make sure that you check her out when she comes to your neck of the woods!

3. NU
Wicked dj. He often plays in Berlin. Keep your eyes peeled for one of his gigs.

4. Brandt Brauer Frick
Who could forget the genius of  Brandt Brauer Frick? What can I say? Just watch their amazingness (yes, I just made up a word) in the video below. LOVE!

Fingers crossed we can get tickets for next years FUSION, Fusion number 5 here we come.... hopefully. Next festival, Nation at the end of July!

June 24, 2013

Sewing for your man

I made these trousers about a year ago for my fella, Michael. I chose a light weight linen/cotton which is perfect for those summery days! The instructions for this pattern are not great and you need to spend some time with youtube and sewing blogs to figure out the best ways to insert the back pockets (tutorial here) and the fly. I made a slight alteration to the back seam as it was gaping at the waistline. But other then that I enjoyed making these trousers and would recommend the pattern for the great silhouette. 

Since having sewn these trousers I have recognised that there are not a great deal of sewing patterns for men. A good friend of mine (male who sews) gets really frustrated with the lack of options with regards to mens sewing patterns. He even wrote to Burdastyle.de about the problem! Their response was something like, 'women don't want to sew for men, so we don't produce many mens patterns'.  I strongly disagree! Yes, girls do sew a lot for themselves, BUT girls are definitely interested in sewing for the special men in their lives. There has been a recent shift in the availability of sewing patterns for men. More blogs are blogging about their sewing ventures and there are some inspiring men sewers/crafters. E.g. My fantastic friend Ralf -burdastyle, the great mens sewing blog Male pattern boldness , kalepso , mr x , crochet bloke 

A few patterns for your fella...........

Burdastyle - Jochen, Thread Theory - Jedediah
Thread Theory - Newcastle cardigan

Colette - Negroni - I have fitted this shirt and recommend it! Still have to make the final version.
Burdastyle -  mens shirt

We are running in the marathon this year and I need to make a pair of shorts for Michael perhaps I will try this pattern
Burdastyle -Andre

Other places to find mens patterns
Thread Theory (mens only pattern store), ebay, Simplicity, Burdastyle ,  vogue, Drafting mens trouser patterns.

(Guys) Have you sewn something for yourself or others?
(Gals) Do you sew for your fella, dad, brother, friends, granfather etc ? 
Which mens patterns do you like?

June 19, 2013

My Colourful Crab Print Dress

Photos: Michael Dooney

Woo Hoo Summer Holidays have begun! Summer in Berlin! Today it is over 30 degrees. A rare event in this mostly overcast, grey city. 

At the moment I am loving this simple slip silhouette. The shape lends itself to creating some interesting textiles. On this occasion I screen printed these little crabs onto the dress. Why crabs? I was inspired by the Schiaparelli and Dali collaboration lobster dress(which I previously posted about here). I will definitely be creating some more quirky prints on fabric. 

Screen Printing blue crabs onto my fabric

I used the colette Laurel pattern to create the dress

My fiancee, Michael has been working on some art installations which focus on light, colours and perception. He uses complimentary colours to produce these crazy perceptual experiences. The video below shows what it looks like, but you can't experience it properly unless you are standing in the space.  

My crab dress uses the complementary colours blue and orange. When looking at the dress in a bright environment your eyes struggle to focus on the blue crabs. It kind of looks like they are scurrying around. Freaky! 

Has anyone else incorporated or been inspired by science when creating garments? 

It would be great to hear about any other experiments:)

June 13, 2013

Could you refrain from buying new clothes for 6 months?

It is no secret that I am mad about slow fashion and the blog 'i give 2 hoots' is the space dedicated to spreading the sustainable fashion love. Over the past few months I have been searching for people to list on the blog as well as feature.

When I came across Mia's 6 month shopping ban on heylilahey I realised that she was the perfect candidate for the minimalist category. Mia is taking part in her own 6 month shopping ban. Check out 'i give 2 hoots' to get some advice and tips about how to start your own ban!

Mia from heylilahey                                      photo: Michael Dooney

Check out the table below to see which category you identify with. Contact me on 'i give 2 hoots' to be listed!