An outfit of one’s own

Well ,I tried to make an outfit based on the cover and the end pages of my new lovely edition of Virginia Woolf’s A room of one’s own that I got from Vintage books UK. Not just one garment but two, and the success was 50%.

img_8717The top I tried to make using a black fabric that is some kind of cotton that was laying around and left over textile paint. But it became clear rather quickly that something was amiss with the red paint. I think maybe something got into it by mistake(some kind of thinner?). I don’t know when it happened, I haven’t used this since summer when I made my Pride&Prejudice kimono. Maybe it was just laying in the sun for too long? In any case the red paint did not stick (this is however red to use on dark fabric). And then I kind of gave up. This will be cut up to use for some kind of patchwork I think.

The “end pages-skirt” worked out better. I’m really into external pockets right now so went with that, even if it does give this a bit of an “apron-feel”. I actually didn’t use a pattern because this type of straight skirt/slightly tulip-y is something I can almost make in my sleep. It’s rather high waisted because that is also something I often go for when making things myself. I don’t know how much I will wear it right now( although; could kind of be cool for Christmas with the red and all).
imagesAfter seeing this image on Vogue.com of the Balenciaga 2017 resort collection I’m getting a summer vibe from it and start thinking about it with espadrilles and a simple white vest. And I have a vague memory of something from Dolce&Gabbana in a red and white stripe with sequined patches that could serve as further inspiration. Anyways; very happy with my end pages-skirt.

-Suss

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Killer in a lavender tutu-cocktail

img_4238I’m thinking a lot about fantasy books right now. It seems to be one of the few kinds of books that get me excited right now(that and Shakespeare)#readingslump. And it reminded me about the lovely weekend I spent earlier this year engrossed in The library at Mount Char and the drink that ensued.

The story read like an action movie: I’m not surprised that the writer has a past in the creation of video-games. But it was well done and very entertaining; I think I was more enamored by some of the characters then the plot, but the story held up to scrutiny I must say. The name for the cocktail came from one of the main characters who is violent and has a very different dress sense. I’m not judging him on the flak jacket/lavender tut-combo(p.10),it’s his bloody rampages that are the problem.

The problem with the cocktail, if we can call it a problem, it that it ended up requiring a few rather nerdy ingredients. But let’s take it from the start.

They drink tequila, the drink shots which I will never encourage, but sipping on a nice reposado is something I do recommend. I went with Los tros tonjos which is my preferred one. Unlike a blanco, a reposed is more mature in flavour and this one has a bit of smokiness. I like the heaviness of a reposado for some cocktails, but make no mistake: the fresh taste of a blanco can be a good thing. Just not in this here.

In honour of the lavender tutu I went with “lavender infused dry vermouth”. When I say dry vermouth I mean Noilly Prat; a very good basic to have around. Infusing it with lavender is easy if you have fresh food grade lavender at hand. That can be a problem for some. But if that’s available you just need to stick a couple of stalkes in the bottle and leave it for a few hours or over night. I, being the cocktail-nerd that I am with a penchant for floral cocktails, try to have that kind of thing around at all times. With it you can make some outstanding Martinis and Martinezes.

And then there is the “coca-cola reduction” for sweetening.They drink the stuff so I guess it had a place in the drink. And the flavours do work well in this context. You can find a recipe here. But add a few lashings of Angostura bitter (I say 3 to every deciliter of coca-cola you reduce. Add after it’s cooled somewhat). It’s a reference to the bitter tincture that one of the characters drink at one point. You won’t really taste it; it’s just for the reference really. With the tincture she has lemon which ends up being a lemon zest in this context. And there is a bit of smokey whiskey for the barbecues and general fires going on. The book is called “Mount Char” so smoke should be a part,no?

Let’s put it all together.

Killer in a lavender tutu-cocktail;serves one

5 cl reposado tequila

2 cl lavender infused dry vermouth

1 cl coca-cola syrup

for serving;

cocktailglass rinsed in single malt smokey whiskey (I used Laproigh; I usually do)

lemon zest

  1. Stir the ingredients in an ice filled stirring glass until chilled
  2. Pour into the prepped glass.
  3. Twist the zest over the drink to release the oils,then put it in the glass.

This is a really nice drink; not like magic but close enough. I should make it more often but coca-cola reduction doesn’t keep very long unfortunately. What I really want is some kind of spell to make the time in the fridge stand still so that nothing ever goes bad…

-Suss

Plath for president/Message on a sweater

img_8754Speaking of fun easy weekend projects; why not make a sweater with a statement?

This started out with the intentions to make something completely different but sometimes you need to go where the road takes you.

I couldn’t find the kind of letters that I wanted, and so the statement I wanted to make didn’t look right(this is more about me having fixed idea of what it should look like more then anything else). While out hunting though I found something else in terms of letters, and I was reading “Johnny Panic and the dream bible” by Sylvia Plath since it would have been her birthday the past week. And I was really feed up with the coverage of the US election,not because it doesn’t matter but because it crowds out information about what’s going on here. And so this is where I ended up.

img_8761These letters are easy “iron-on” ones; all you need is a set(two if spelling out certain messages: the only have one P per set for example) that were very affordable; I got mine from a craft supply store(Panduro).

I used an H&M sweater that I had. You need to make sure that you can iron it whatever is your “canvas” as these needs some heat(but not too much). Then it’s just a matter of deciding what to say, cut out the letters and follow the instructions. My next one will probably spell out “Proust is bae”. I can have so much fun with this…

-Suss

Let there be light…

img_8737 Now that it’s getting darker I’m lighting all sorts of candles and tea lights all over the place. So let me share a little weekend project with you.

I have a weak spot for a cluster of candlesticks (or full on candelabras) placed on a sideboard or at the end of the table. Varying heights look most chic I think.

These candlesticks were made using odd glasses; old things that I had been given, most of them rather heavy, and these small metal liquor cups in silver. No one drinks what is essentially thimbles of liquor anymore, and someone used the wrong polish at some point because these have been ruined; anything you drink from them tastes awful.

So I glued a small candle holder on the inside and then glued the glass toghter with the metal cup. I used gel super-glue.

Very easy up cycling/recycling/whatever you want to call it. I just call them lovely candlesticks. This picture doesn’t really do them justice.

-Suss

Vogue,wash and where did my weekend go?

img_8727

I had this plan for the weekend(sewing,blogging) but then the sun shone and everything was put on hold….

I rarely buy Vogue nowadays; I used to do it every month but now I make other magazines my priority (and when I say Vogue I mean the U.K Vogue). However this was the best issue I’ve read in a long time: all about what “real women” wear. And some of those “real women” are actually that.

I’m very late to the Pixi-party but have been trying some of their products for a week now. It’s all right. I’m not in ecstasy but I’ll by the toner in full size and give the mud cleanser some thought. I used this other mud cleanser from Fresh once that I thought was better but back then my skin was a lot worse then it is now so I don’t know. I’m still upset that Vichy remade their series; why did they feel the need to fix something that wasn’t broken?

I will probably break-out soon though or maybe just “break out” of my jeans: I’ve learned how to make very tasty little apple pies in my small Le creuset-dishes. And I can’t stop making them…

-Suss

 

The opposite of bookstyle (i.e. Style books)

img_8619I’m currently in a bit of a reading slump, and my sewing projects are progressing slowly. The reason for both of those things is basically “life” and all that comes with it.

So my heap of materials stay where they are. I made a few things last week (we’ll get to that eventually) which isn’t bad I had just planned to do so much more. With a fair few of the pieces of fabric I know what I’m gonna do. But there are also some stuff that I don’t yet know the future of. So I’ve been looking through Vouge,old tear-sheets and a few of my books for inspiration.

Self-portrait in a velvet dress-Frida’s wardrobe about the clothes worn by artist Frida Kahlo is a book that I’ve had for a few years and it hasn’t stopped being mesmerizing yet. It was originally published på Chronicle Books in 2007 but I stumbled upon a second hand copy online and bought it. Never have I looked back,it was worth every penny. Kahlo is an artist that I admire; to be honest I find her more inspiring then her art(although they are the one and the same in many ways). She loved clothes and understood how to communicate with them, often eschewing fashion for traditional styles. And she had the possibilities to wear the very best of that kind. The colours and textures are amazing, I pour over the photos over and over again. It took a long time before the Frida Kahlo Museum got around to preserving her garments; luckily they had hung in a wardrobe and thus been kept away from light and dust. It’s a book that I will keep coming back to.

Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti,Heidi Julavits and Leanne Sharpton (and 639 others) is a book  to about the clothes about one women but many (642 to be exact). I find it difficult to describe, maybe the best way is to say that it’s stories about women and their clothes, which says nothing at all really.

The writers of this book state that they wanted it to be like the conversations women have about clothes with their friends; and they often succeed in that. The collection of essays,thought, transcripts of conversations and the answers to a survey they sent out add up to this very real and honest book about the stuff we wear, or don’t wear. And it is so far from what fashion magazines tell us. I kind of fell in love with this book, and many women in it. I loved hearing the stories and despite it not being the intention it totally informed my style. But then again most things do. Like I’m listening to a lot of podcasts about medieval women right now so I’m probably gonna start wearing one of those pointy hats with a veil on top of it any day now…

Just two recommendations if you think fashion magazines are getting a little repetitive(#gigihadidfatigue).

-Suss

Punks,Penny Dreadful and puffed sleeves

img_7992I really wanted to love The invisible library by Genevieve Cogman. I was in the mood to be captured by something and there has been a distinct lack of fantasy in my reading lately. I’m aching to find a series that gets me going, so that I can have the thrill of just binging on them. This is the first in a series but sadly I won’t read the rest.

It had so much going for it; great title,  a book about books, dragons,spies, a hint of Victoriana and a Sherlock Holmes-ian detective. But in the end, and I say this about a lot of books lately, the sum wasn’t bigger then the sum of the parts. In fact a bit less.

It isn’t bad; I did read it fairly quickly and I was entertained, there are some good bits. However I found too much time was spent on constructing the world and not enough time fleshing out the characters,they felt like “cardboard” the whole time. But that’s my opinion; another can be found here.

What did I do with my mild disappointment? I finally got around to watching the third and final season of Penny Dreadful on HBO. I was late to discover the genius that is (was) Penny Dreadful. In fact I had thought it a series not for me( I scare easily and have a vivid imagination) but was convinced to watch a few episodes and was bitten. Binged the first two seasons last year and waited eagerly for the third. Penny Dreadful is the reason that I reread The portrait of Dorian Gray and finally got around to reading Frankenstein.

I have long know that the image of Frankenstein often portrayed was misleading and that in fact Frankenstein was the name of the creator not the monster( a mistake many make). In Penny Dreadful the monster is more in line with the creation that Shelly wrote I would say. It’s a book which is still relevant. I thought it such a wonderful read; the language felt fresh  and the story is powerful. A podcast I listen to,”Imaginary worlds”, had a great episode about the book; the history and ways in which we can use it as a starting point for discussions today. You can find it here.( Do take the time to check out other episodes; a lot of interesting stuff if you like Fantasy and/or Sci-Fi)

I also found this season of Penny Dreadful to be “on point” because it features a female psycho-analyst; something that I related to an exhibition I saw at the Freud Museum in Vienna about just that; the women who early on got involved with psycho-analysis and worked with patients.

In any case the show has been a delight. The third season has weaknesses but I still watched it in three sittings. Couldn’t get enough.

And then there is the wardrobe of miss Ives….

Not the best pics but she has a very dramatic everyday ware with epic outerwear; she also has some lovely dresses for when she is possessed by the devil(which is often). The colors, the materials and the puffed sleeves. I like puffed sleeves circa always.

It was that time of year in any case but inspired by this my beloved brown tweed-ish jacket with a victorian vibe is on heavy rotation. Worn here with jeans and a unicorn blouse. The jeans are Acne(the only denim label I wear because it’s the only one that works for me) and the blouse is Zara actually.

I’ve had this jacket for quite a few years now and when I find a tailor I can trust this is getting copied. It’s way beyond my sewing skills so I’ll let a professional handle it. The lining has started to tear and it is “pilling” so I need to start looking for said professional…

-Suss