Tuesday, 30 September 2014

DIY Tartan Heart Pinafore & An Announcement

You see this pinafore that I'm wearing? Well... it might just be a prototype for something I might be selling in the future. Maybe. (You heard it here first.) Now that I have a proper dress-making mannequin, industrial-sized bolts of fabric and am confident enough with my sewing skills that I've started making pieces for other people, I am seriously considering taking the next logical step and creating a little line of clothing. (^_^;)

This idea is all very much still in the baby-stages of planning, but I'd like to know what you all think! I've been working on a number of designs over the past couple of months, and, well, I am awful at keeping secrets. I have been bursting to let you guys know. So, this is a little hint of what will (hopefully!) be a thing in the not-too-distant future!
Blouse - Vintage | Skirt - made by me | blazer - thrifted | hair clip - c/o Sarsparilly | shoes - Naot

But I also wanted to reach out and get your opinions before blindly embarking on something like this. Please give me your honest opinions about this particular piece - what do you like, what don't you like, what could be done better? (This is just the prototype, and obviously I will be doing things like the hemming a little bit more neatly!)

All the love in the world,

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

My first time... wearing coloured contact lenses!

So HOLY WOW, coloured contact lenses are fun! I've been wanting to try out coloured contacts for YEARS now, and I finally did it!
After a good 2 hours of trying (and failing) to get them in, and becoming pretty sure that it was actually physically impossible to wear contacts - I DID IT. I was a little bit obsessed with how I looked, and took about 50 videos (and 500 photos) of my eyes. And seeing as I had all that video footage, I decided to make a quick vlog out of it.

I will share more when I am more experienced with them (and YES, I am standing in my bathroom - if you have a problem with seeing toilets then don't watch this).

For those of you who are wondering, I'll also rate the lenses:

Color: 5/5 (f**king amazing and weird)

Comfort: I have no idea how they are supposed to feel compared to other contact lenses, and I'm still getting used to them so I can't give a good rating for this! In one eye they are totally comfortable and I can't even feel it, however in the left eye it gets sore after about an hour. Maybe I have a weird left eye (?)

p.s. I'm whispering in the video because all my housemates were asleep (I decided to do this very early in the morning).

I hope that you're all having a lovely day!

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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

DIY Shirts and Dresses with Katie & Boris // Stem Cells

Shirt is thrifted & DIY | skirt is thrifted | socks are from Clear It | shoes c/o Chicwish (years ago)
See Katie's blog for her outfit details!

Me and Katie were taking photos of ourselves in a random alleyway (as you do) when a guy came out of his garage and asked us why we were taking photos (which always happens. Other people who take outfit photos will know this well - for some reason, as soon as you break out an SLR and start taking pictures of yourself, people become incredibly curious & nosey. In the age where everyone has a camera, I don't know why it's still so exciting to see people taking photos, but there you go). I think that we told him that we were taking photos for our fashion line (kinda true..?) but then he very kindly let us pose in front of his beautiful 50-year-old Holden car, so all was forgiven. 
Apparently the car's name is Boris and the guy bought it back when he was a teenager. With both me and Katie being a big fan of vintage and antiques, it was pretty cool learning that the car had a lot of history. In fact, the car was named after an engineering friend of this guy - called Boris - who migrated to Australia in the 1960s.

Anyway, we were taking photos because earlier that afternoon I had helped Katie make her first ever dress. The fabric that we used is from a vintage bedsheet. You may also notice that I also took a bit of fabric for myself and stuck it onto my shirt! So, we are subtly matching:
You can see more photos of Katie's outfit here.

My science news today is really exciting for the people working in my field! A woman in Japan has become the first ever person to receive stem cell therapy using induced pluriopotent stem (iPS) cells. The aim? To stop her from losing her vision from macular degeneration.
For scientists working in genetics & molecular biology, stem cells have been a controversial topic for the past couple of decades. This is mainly because the first sources of stem cells were embryonic, and risky to use medically - they had the potential to form tumors. But the recent discovery that we can turn adult cells back into stem cells has led to focus and funding being directed back into stem cell research.

First, some definitions:
What are stem cells? Stem cells are cells that have the potential to turn into any other type of body cell (hair, skin, brain, bones - you name it). Once a stem cell has committed down a certain path, it can't usually go backwards and become a stem cell again. This feature of being able to turn into any type of cell is called "pluriopotency".
What are embryonic stem cells? When a sperm and egg fuse, migrate to the womb and start replicating, these cells are also called stem cells - because they continue dividing with the goal of creating an entire creature, containing all the different types of cells (bones and brains and limbs alike!) So an embryo is made up of stem cells.
What are induced pluriopotent stem cells? These are cells that have already committed down a certain path, that have been manipulated by scientists so it can become a stem cell again! Their use in medicine is promising - the cells are taken from the patient, rather than embryonic tissue. This gets around both the ethical issue of using embryonic stem cells, and it also means that people won't reject grafts or organs made of their own stem cells, because they are already recognised by their body!

This Japanese woman, who is the first person in the world to have this procedure done, has had her own skin cells turned back into stem cells, and then prompted to turn into retinal cells in a dish. These iPS cells were then surgically put back into her eye. The biology community is now watching with their fingers crossed - if it's successful, it could mean a renewed interest in iPS cells for use in this and other diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes. I'll keep you all updated.

If you found that interesting, I also talk about stem cells here and here!

Much love!

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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Make, Thrift, Buy #3

Oh hai!

Episode number #3 of my new youtube series, Make, Thrift, Buy is now live. I spent a good three days working on this dress and filming the accompanying video, and I'm very happy/surprised by the results! 

For those of you just catching up, MTB (yeah, we're doing acronyms now) is a series where I take suggestions for clothes/accessories that you guys have seen on the internet, and try to recreate them through thrifting, DIY or a combination of the two - with the goal of not having to resort to fast fashion.

Let me know what you think of the video, and help me out by sending me lots of links to things you want me to try!

I hope that you're all having a beautiful day,

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Sunday, 21 September 2014

The Thirty-Minute Skirt!

Today I'm sharing with you how something that I call my "30-minute skirt" - although in reality, it can often take me up to an hour to make :P But it's a really quick & easy skirt to make - a great project for a beginner, if you're just trying to wrap your head around a sewing machine!

I hope you're all having a wonderful day,

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Giveaway! - Dressed // CLOSED

Hi all! It's been a little while since I've done a giveaway on this blog here, so today I am bringing you a giveaway from Dressed! 5 people will win, so your chances are pretty good!

Designed by a marine neuroscientist and her husband, Dressed is an app for apple devices that allows you to put your entire wardrobe into your phone, then dress a mannequin up with every possible combination from your wardrobe! This is extremely useful for me, because my wardrobe is so full that pulling clothes out to decide what to wear in the morning is actually a really tiring task.


The way technology is going, soon I won't even have to take proper outfit photos - I'll just have a robot representation of me on my computer, all my clothes uploaded to the interwebs, and I'll just post outfit posts like this:
Hehehe. I am beyond amused/excited by this :') The seasonal backgrounds are just another part of the app... and I spend way too much time playing around with them.

The app is really intuitive, simple to use and super fun to play with. It lets you add each item of clothing in about a minute, then dress up a customised mannequin with clothes that fly in and out and move around just like real cloth! You can take pictures of your own clothes, or find images on the internet (so you could technically make yourself a fantasy wardrobe, too).

The giveaway is open for 2 weeks internationally. And if you can't wait, you can download the app here. Good luck!

***Disclaimer: I have not been paid to run this giveaway. I just genuinely think that this is a really cool app.***

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Monday, 15 September 2014

Self Love, The Lion King and Your Insides are on the Outside

Shirt, belt and cardigan are thrifted | Lion King brooches gift from Katie (thrifted) | skirt is Paper Hearts | tights are from Clear It | shoes are Naot

Someone once suggested that I write down a list of my achievements and carry it around with me. I thought that this was a pretty silly idea. Like what, I'm going to be standing in the middle of a busy shopping centre one day, reading through this list of how great I am? What if someone saw what I was reading/found the piece of paper? They'd think I was an absolute egomaniac.

But after having a couple of pretty low weeks, I thought I'd give this list-making thing a shot. Couldn't hurt. Well, I just finished said list and I have to say that I feel a lot better. Being a perfectionist, I'm always far too hard on myself when I don't feel like I'm pushing myself to the absolute limit. I was used to writing lists of "things that I should do", not "things I have done". But that's actually not a good way to live. Now when I am feeling like I haven't done enough or that I'm not good enough, I think that looking at this list of achievements will help a lot. I highly recommend it if you're in need of a little bit of self-love.
On a completely different topic, how ridiculously wonderful are these Lion King pins that Katie thrifted me from Estonia?!

So I was listening to a podcast today when I was reminded of one of my favourite facts from first-year biology. Ready to have your mind blown?

The contents of your stomach are technically on the outside of your body. 

Wait what?
Your digestive tract is really just a long tube with two openings that lead directly to the outside. The wall of the gut is continuous with the skin, and so whatever is inside your stomach is technically on the outside of your body. And you don’t have to dissect through any of the body's tissues to get to your stomach or intestines.
Mmm... biology.
If you imagine yourself to be a kind of huge, biological donut, your digestive tract is analogous to the donut’s hole - it is inside the donut in a way, but it’s not really “inside” the donut - it's not a part of the dough.

So there you go.

I hope you're all having a beautiful day,

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Friday, 12 September 2014

Clueless Inspired Outfit - Make Thrift Buy #2

Well hi there! Guess who has a new video out?

For this episode of Make, Thrift, Buy I attempted to tackle this tartan two-piece. I won't tell you how I went - you'll have to find out by watching the video (but I will preface it by saying that I am so excited about this one):

Please help me out & leave me links to any cool/interesting/expensive clothes you've seen on the internet that you'd like me to try out!

Much love,

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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Make, Thrift, Buy - a new youtube series

Hello! I'm just popping in quickly today to let you all know about the new Youtube series that I've started!

The idea behind this series is to show you that when you see something really cool in an online/real-life store, you don’t immediately have to go and spend all your money on it – because you can often find a very similar thing in thrift shops, or, with a little bit of sewing knowledge and DIY-attitude, you can make the item for yourself.

So the challenge is this - you guys send me pictures of clothes you have found on the internet, and I have to try and recreate the item, either through DIY, thrifting or a combination of the two (without having to resort to fast fashion!)

Let me know what you think, and if you have any links to clothes that you would like me to do this challenge with, please leave them in the comments below!

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Saturday, 6 September 2014

Anni Long Stockings and Memory Metals

One problem with having a thrifting buddy who has a very similar style as you is that you have to fight over clothes. I found this shirt while thrifting the other day with Katie, and I nearly made her cry because she wanted it so badly. Katie begged and pleaded and I eventually had to give it to her - mainly because she looks exactly like Pippi Longstockings - with the caveat that I got to borrow it whenever I liked. So, being the great friend that I am, I stole it back off her almost immediately ;)
You may have noticed that I titled this post "Anni Long Stockings". Anni is actually what my family and close friends call me, rather than Annika. This stems from me being a bratty 12-year-old who, deciding I loathed the name "Annika", violently attacked anyone who decided to address me so. Soooo, my family basically got this weird pavlovian reaction where they flinch upon accidentally calling me Annika (probably still thinking they're going to get punched by an angry 12 year-old), and the name Anni stuck, even though I actually prefer Annika now. I was a super bratty 12-year-old.

The more you know. 

Update: My mum (my blog's biggest fan hehe) just messaged me to tell me that one of Pippi's best friends was called Annika, which I totally didn't know. My mum loved Pippi as a kid, and it could be one of the reasons that I am called Annika!
Top is thrifted | skirt is thrifted | necklace c/o Ginger Pickle | socks are from Clear It | shoes are Naot

Memory metals! They're a thing! I can't actually believe that this exists:
A nickel-titanium alloy, this metal is able to revert back to the shape that it was created in using "heat memory". To create the desired shape, it needs to be heated to a "transformation temperature" - usually around 65 - 80°C. When it cools down, it becomes flexible and can be molded into any shape. However, once it hits that "transformation temperature" again (like being put into a hot water bath), its atoms remember their previous arrangement, and it springs back into its previous shape.

Called Nitinol, the metal has proved useful in medical applications, helping arteries retain their shape and removing clots from deep inside the brain, and has even been used in eyeglass frames.

So cool.

I hope that you're all having a beautiful day,

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