Trieste

Trieste

This is the last summer-holidays-travel-post.. Makes me kind of sad! I’m already fully immersed in schoolstuff and the holiday feeling is almost gone – I’m already looking forward to the end of October, when I’ll have a few free days.

But back to some sunny weather, salty air and sea-views! As I wrote in my post about Venice, we decided pretty spontaneously to spend some days in Italy and soak up the sun one last time. We chose Triest, where we’ve already been a couple of times. It’s at the very edge of Italy, right at the Slovenian border. In the 19th century, it belonged to Austria – and it definitely has a different vibe than most italian cities. The atmosphere is different, it sometimes reminds me of Vienna – a more southern version of the city maybe.

We spent most of the days exploring the streets, going into cafés and museums and doing a bit of shopping. We simply enjoyed the warmth, the holidays, the sea. There was a regatta with seemingly hundreds of little kids in optimists once and the next day, there where wind-surfers everywhere. It was certainly windy enough for both! Also, let me tell you about the food! One of my favourite topics, ha :). The best ice cream was at a shabby looking place right at the harbour, Il Pinguino, the best cafe in the Via S. Nicolò (I think it was the Caffè Walter 1907) and the best dinner in an amazing raw restaurant called Draw in the Via Torino. Definitely recommend the last one, it was so, so good and surprisingly inexpensive. Typical italian food reimagined. Try it if you are in Trieste!

I spent some really good days there and enjoyed the calm before the storm :). Overall I would say that this time, the holidays (the whole summer) were all about the sea. I often wonder, do I prefer the mountains or the sea? I would normally answer mountains (or preferably both), but this year the sea definitely won. I guess next year will be about the mountains :)

Trieste

Trieste

Trieste

Trieste

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Bluebell

bluebell

The weather got  really cold over the weekend, so I remember the day when we took these pictures even more fondly. It was extremely hot, but windy (so it felt not too stifling) and the sun was shining from a bright blue sky. Perfect postcard weather. Maybe not the perfect conditions for taking these kind of pictures (I should have put on sunglasses! Sorry about my expression :)), but the oppportunity was to good to miss it.

But I guess you’re here to hear about this dress? I really wanted an easy dress, which doesn’t cling to the body in any place – something breezy, nothing too complicated. And I’ve seen similar kinds of sleeves everywhere lately and wanted to make myself a dress with a similar detail. I did not hem the ruffles and they are fraying a bit, but that was part of the plan. I tore the fabric into the desired width though, so the fraying is minimal and even.

The fabric for the dress is a soft cotton I purchased from Fabric House last spring in a very pretty lilac-blue colour – one of my favourites. Looks very nice against the light grey of the stones and the bright azure blue of the sea! The pattern is again self-drafted, I’ve used this one quite often already now. It’s the loose bodice block and I added sleeves and a small scoop neck.

Originally, I did not intend to make the fold at the hem, but when I put it on, having already attached the ruffle with a french seam, it was too long and looked horrible. So I simply folded the excess fabric and secured it with a straight line of stitches. I love this little extra detail!

This dress has also another detail I’m not so happy about. I used french seams everywhere, also when inserting the sleeves. And of course, I sewed one in wrong – the seam is on the outside! I had already cut back the seam allowances and would have ruined the hole armohle if I unpicked it. So I just sewed the other sleeve in the same way and decided the seam is a ‘design feature’. Only question – did I now actually mix up right and left sleeve? Or are they on the right place and I sewed the sleeves wrong sides together? I can’t tell now, the fabric looks equal on both sides. And the sleeves look right, so I probably made the mistake earlier in the construction. Well, I guess this won’t happen again, I’ll double-check every time now!

bluebell

bluebell

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bluebell

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bluebell

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Favourite

fashionschool

We started working on historical undergarments this week – crinolines and underskirts. I really can’t wait to learn more about corset-construction as well! Right now we are selecting our themes for the costumes we will make: The general theme is ‘My Castle’ and we formed small groups with individual interpretations. Currently hunting for inspiration, more to come soon!

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Venezia

Canale Grande

Ah, finally! I desperatly wanted to visit Venice this summer, and almost felt as if I was running out of time: It was already the last week of the summer holidays, but then the family decided to spend a couple of days at the Adriatic, in Trieste – which is approx. 2,5h away. So obviously we had to go… My parents haven’t been to Venice for almost 20 years, and my (younger) sister and I each have only seen the city once, with school, for not more than a couple of hours. Again, we only stayed for a day this time, but we still saw a lot and fell in love with this city all over again. And decided to come back soon, for real. I’m not going to wait another 6 years!

This city is truly magical… The light is so different, the water reflects the sunlight onto the  facades and creates wonderful patterns. And in turn, the buildings are mirrored in the water, as if there was a second city just beneath the surface. Then there is always the sound of the waves, the salty air. And the beautiful buildings! The windows, the balconies, the colours of the walls – So many different shades of red, pink and orange, which is a nice contrast to green-blue water of the canals. So much inspiration from these colour-combinations alone! Some houses are in a really bad condition, but still manage to look charming. And I didn’t know there were so many gardens in Venice! It’s much greener than I thought.

Obviously, the city was filled with people, at least on the main paths. Rialto was suffocating and we decided not to go into San Marco – we didn’t want to wait for almost an hour, in the heat and all. But really, Venice has so many little streets and narrow alleys and only a couple were really unpassable. The city istn’t big, but if  you take a couple of turns into an other direction, you will end up somewhere completely different – somewhere more quiet and less chaotic, but equally beautiful. There are signs everywhere, which show you the direction to the most famous sights and are helpful for general orientation, so getting lost will definitely happen, but finding the way back again (though probably a different one) isn’t too difficult either. A good map is certainly helpful though, especially if you are looking for something specific! We really wanted to see the Curch of Santa Maria dei Miracoli for example and with the help of a map we found it much quicker.

Talking about people… I did actually see someone I ‘knew’! I ran into Scott Schuman and Jenny Walton from The Sartorialist! I found out later that apparently they were in Venice only for a day – What a fabulous coincidence to be in the same little street at the same time! I told you Venice is magical :)

Venezia

Procuratie Vecchie

graden in venice

Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli (at least the edge)

Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo

San Marco details

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Scuola Grande di San Marco

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Ginghamalong!

ginghamalong

Time for some gingham, or vichy, as I call it! Karen from Did you make that? challenged us all to sew something in this classic fabric. It could be literally anything, as long as the main fabric is gingham.

So, what to make? The options are pretty much endless! Once I had my fabric though (a classic black and white), an idea started to form… A long wrap skirt, a bit like a circle skirt maybe, and a matching crop top. Something for the holidays, something summery, the last one of this year maybe?

Here are all the Details:
The fabric is 100% cotton, the gingham is black/white. The squares are quite small – 0,5cm. After washing, it got a slightly crinkly texture, a bit like seersucker – very nice, very breezy, lightweight and breathable. The perfect summer fabric!
For the skirt, I cut some kind of giant half circle…. I tried it on, was not satisfied with it, added another strip of fabric to the hem and ended up sewing in folds to add more interest. I also gathered the fabric at the top, a little bit at the front and a lot at the back. That makes for a very nice silhouette, especially because the hem is longer at the back as well. Reminds me of something edwardian… It looks especially stunning when it’s a bit windy!
The top is very simple, boxy, without darts. It has a very high neck at the front and looks rather simple – until I turn around! The scoop neck is high enough to hide the bra but still low enough to look interesting. And it shows my new tattoo! Hahaha, it’s only a temporary one, but I love it. It’s high time I got a real one…

The pictures were taken in front of a cute little house in Triest: I made the ensemble on the day before we left, knowing that it would be perfect for the holidays. Thank you Karen for making me consider this fabric! Very happy with how this turned out :)

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Top & Skirt: handmade
Shoes: Converse
Headscarf: simple bandana from a market
Flash Tattoo: Flying Tiger

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Wachau

My brother’s fifth wedding anniversary was this weekend and the whole family celebrated at their original venue – a hillside in the Wachau, a valley along the Danube (famous for its apricots and wine). The weather was good, so we decided to also hike to the ruins of the castle of Dürnstein and enjoyed the wonderful view from the top.  A perfect saturday, which ended with the most amazing food – again, the same menu as five years ago. Felt a bit like holidays again (the semester started last monday).

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Prague

astrolabe

Right after we (my younger sister an I) returned from Budapest last year, we decided to plan a similar trip for this summer: To Prague! At first we wanted to do another day trip, but my father conviced us to stay for two days: He said that there is so much to see, one day (not even a whole!) wouldn’t be nearly enough. Well, two days aren’t much either, Prague is full of places we haven’t yet seen.

There where some things on our list we definitely wanted to visit: The Astronomical Clock (absolutely beautiful, my favourite), the Lennon Wall (it took us quite some time to find it), the Hradčany (Prague Castle), the Café Imperial. We did all that and then some more… We just wanted to explore the city, to wander around. We actually did not visit the Golden Lane, because you have to pay extra entry for it and we weren’t so desperate to see it in real life. Also, the Hradčany was super crowded so we decided to postpone it – maybe next time.

Prague is truly beautiful, the architecture is very diverse. There are little winding alleys (very medieval), lots of parks, art nouveau buildings, and of course the Vltava with its bridges and little islands. You can even rent pedalos or just take a tour on one of the many sightseeing boat. Another recomendation: Try trdelník. It’s so good! Very sweet, with a slight caramel flavour. We had a normal one and then on the next day one filled with ice cream and berries – the pastry acts as a cone. Whe did not need a lunch that day!

I think I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves now… I imagine it must be beautiful in winter as well, when there aren’t so many people on the streets and everything is much more quiet – and you can really take your time to admire everything. My favourite thing (besides the astrolabe) where definitely the roofs of the towers, with the little turrets and golden balls on top. Just how imagined it… Prague certainly looks like it has stepped out of a fairytale sometimes.

Prague

Prague

Prague

Prague

Prague

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Prague

Prague

Prague

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