Shop update

It has been a bit of a rocky start with my shop, DAAIN. Within a week after the opening, my sewing machine had to be repaired. I was separated from it for six days, which felt like an eternity. When I finally got it back I happily continued to work maniacally and made four new things. After I photographed them in the forest I got sick. I’m still sick, but I did edit the pictures and write descriptions and list those clothes in the meantime.

I made a velvet crop top, a multi-layered asymmetrical skirt, a hooded vest and a sleeveless maxi dress. All up for adoption now! Besides the dress they’re all made from recycled materials. The dress is made from the same eco-friendly, fair-trade, organic fabric that I used for my other maxi dress. The more I learn about the clothing industry, the more I stand by this use of materials.

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Shop now open!

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I have been scattering hints like breadcrumbs these past few weeks and now my shop is finally open! It’s called DAAIN, which means ‘witch’ in Sarnami. It is, of course, all monochrome eco-friendly witchy fashion. So far I have three ready-made items for sale, and one custom option. The first top I have already shown on this blog:

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The other two are a maxi dress and a crop top:

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Before this dress, I had the ambition to only make clothing from repurposed materials. I went to thrift shop after thrift shop, prowled around flea markets and scoured the web for second-hand clothing. But I came to realise how impractical that would be. It would take a very long time to build up a good collection to work with. So I went for the next best thing: organic, fair-trade, environmentally friendly produced fabrics.

I bought a couple of meters of black jersey fabric from SewNatural, a Dutch shop specialising in eco-friendly fabrics that I have only recently discovered. I must say, it’s the nicest jersey fabric I have ever worked with. I would love to buy a lot more of it for clothing for myself, haha. But for now, I made this maxi dress to sell. I thought it was a good basic staple to start off with.

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And then I made this top, from a thrifted lace dress that I’ve only just scored a little over a week ago. I gave that poor dress a much more exciting life as this little top. I hope. The flared part of the sleeves was already part of the dress, its finest feature. The rest was all my own hacking and stitching.

I’m so excited to make more clothing and fill up my shop!

More sewing: Long-sleeved hooded top

You won’t believe how long it took me to make this top. It looks simple, but a lot of experimentation and puzzling with materials went into this. And re-doing, oh re-doing. It turned out amazing though. It falls perfectly and it’s super comfortable.

It’s made of all recycled materials: thrifted shirts and a scrap or two left over from old t-shirt reconstructions.

I’m a bit disappointed with the pictures though. I thought I had devised a good set-up with a wire strung across my room and a €1 thrifted sheet, but the lighting in this room is pretty terrible. How I miss the natural light in my old room… I suppose I’ll have to invest in studio lights to make this work. And a bigger tripod.

Thanks for looking!

Starting 2018 off sewing

In the past five weeks I have been questioning a lot about myself, my life and the path that I’ve been on. One thing that has led to is the conviction that I need to get back into sewing. I’ve missed it dearly and honestly, it’s what I’m best at. I will write a whole post about it at some point. But for now, here are pretty things.

I made these two reconstructed dresses over the past week.
The first is reconstructed from a skirt and a top which I never wore, with other scraps added to it. I love how it turned out so much! It’s so cute and comfy. A perfect dress for a casual lolita look, but could also be dressed up with a blouse and petticoat and everything.

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Despite all the layers it’s really light, which I love.

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I got the middle strip of lace from a second-hand market last week. Antique lace is the loveliest.

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This old, ill-fitting Queen of Darkness skirt and an ill-fitting thrifted top formed the base of the dress:

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I took this skirt apart almost completely, while I kept the top basically intact, save for the closure. (Yes, the skirt was beautiful, but I’m a punk crafter and have no remorse.)

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This second dress I reconstructed from a vintage dress I’ve had sitting in my closet for years. I got it from the Brick Lane market in London, back in 2012. It was a shapeless maxi dress with embroidery and long sleeves. Not the type of dress I would have usually considered, but the dye-job on this was absolutely gorgeous.

Because of the dye-job I sought to make it work. I already altered it a bit back then: shortened the sleeves and took in the waist with elastic. It didn’t help much. So it sat in my closet. I only took it out again last week, and now I’ve finally managed to salvage it.

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It’s super flattering, comfortable and has pockets! I can see myself wearing this a lot in the summer, and on my next trip to the tropics.

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The little things I added are all old things from my scrap heap. The stringy thing for the bow I made myself, back when I was in fashion school (2010?) and had to research different textile techniques. This method was a sort of knitting; it’s called “punniken” in Dutch, I have no idea what it is in English. At long last, it’s gotten a purpose.

This is what the dress was before:

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Thanks for looking!

Video – My top 11 favourite spooky books

Books mentioned:

1. House of Leaves – Mark Z. Danielewski
The most original haunted house story out there. It’s deeply psychological and genuinely scary.

2. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
The classic story of the mad scientist and his creature.

3. Dracula – Bram Stoker
The classic story of the evil count and the people who band together to bring him down.

4. Drawing Blood – Poppy Z. Brite
Trevor McGee returns to his childhood house in Missing Mile where his father killed his family and himself. There he meets Zachary Bosch, a hacker on the run. They fall in love, even as the house and their past threaten to destroy them.

5. The Bloody Chamber and other Stories – Angela Carter
Dark, twisted retellings of fairytales and legends like Red Riding Hood, Bluebeard and Beauty and the Beast. There are no innocent maidens here.

6. Dracula’s Guest: A Connoisseur’s Collection of Victorian Vampire Stories – edited by Michael Sims
Vampire stories from a period in which vampires were actually scary. Stories with their roots in Eastern European peasant superstition, romanticised accounts which emphasise the erotic, plus an omitted chapter from the most famous vampire book in history.

7. The Complete Tales and Poems – Edgar Allan Poe
Collection of stories and poems from one of the most beloved darkly inclined writers.

8. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
“A deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the dramatic struggle that ensues when an unexpected visitor interrupts their unusual way of life.”

9. The Vampire Chronicles – Anne Rice
The mesmerising, richly detailed stories of the most seductive of vampires: from Louis, Lestat and Claudia to the mother of them all.

10. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown – Holly Black
In Tana’s world vampires are part of everyday life, though they are generally quarantined in deceptively glamourous ‘Coldtowns’. Tana survives a massacre by non-quarantined vampires, along with her infected ex-boyfriend and a mysterious captive. Determined to do the right thing, Tana takes them to the nearest Coldtown.

11. We Are Wormwood – Autumn Christian
“Ever since she was a child, Lily has been pursued by a demonic girl with wormwood eyes. As Lily struggles with her schizophrenic mother’s decline into insanity, the death of her somnambulist childhood love, and her own painful, disturbed adolescence, she must face the strange girl that haunts her. Yet something is chasing her that is much more dangerous. A darkly surreal, drug-coated romance, We are Wormwood tells an inhuman love story, and the transformation that results from affection among monsters.”

Inspiration for WGT

I can’t believe WGT is in 2 1/2 weeks already! I’ve barely been able to think about what I will wear. Ideally I’d go for over the top gothic lolita and Victorian-ish looks, with some trad goth mixed in. Unfortunately my wardrobe and budget are not too accommodating, but a girl can dream.

Here is a somewhat random smattering of my personal style inspirations for WGT.

aw2013-3From Alice Auaa’s AW 2013/14 collection

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Marie Dauphine basically embodies all my gothic lolita goals.

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fille_de_porcelaine_iii_by_remussirion-d9g1062Fille de Porcelaine

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Can never get enough of Penny Dreadful‘s Vanessa Ives and her fabulous wardrobe.

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One day I will get this Punk Rave dress. One day…

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Black Friday is one of my continual inspirations.

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As are traditional 80’s alternative styles. Trad goth outfits can be a lot more practical for clubbing too.

Hope you could find some inspiration in this post!

*Uncredited images are saved from Tumblr, where all credit goes to die.

Music Review – Creeper’s Eternity, In Your Arms

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Last year I heard Creeper’s ‘Black Mass’ and fell in love. Their sound, subject matter, aesthetic; everything about them excited me. Not since AFI (1999-2003) has there been a band that merged punk rock and goth themes quite like this. I have anxiously been awaiting a full length album by Creeper since. And last month, they delivered. Oh, how did they deliver.

Eternity, In Your Arms is everything a spooky punk rocker could ever want. I have continuously been playing it for the past couple of weeks.

There is such a variety in the music, from the ridiculously catchy ‘Suzanne’, to the slow, minimalistic ‘Crickets’, to the theatrical ‘I Choose To Live’. This keeps it interesting through many listens. No two songs sound the same, though some lyrics can be a little repetitive. They deal with themes such as longing, heartbreak and lost youth. There is an overall sense of 90s goth nostalgia: sometimes subtly in a description like “skirts of velvet”, sometimes more explicit like the song titled ‘Winona Forever’. It also reminds me of my own teen years and all the superficial drama that went on, in the most endearing way. At the same time it reminds me that those years are not lost; they will forever be a part of me.

Their subject matter is a breath of fresh air in the current scene. So many heavy bands with a goth or horror aesthetic waste their potential churning out the same rebellious drivel over and over (Motionless In White, I’m looking at you). Creeper goes for something more vulnerable and interesting.

Some of my favourite lyrics are: “We’re going through this phase where we feel nothing / Making out with ‘loneliness’, cheating on each other with ‘regret’ / We’re so forgettable and miserable”, “When all I wanted was a hand to hold to watch the world explode / I was all of the things that you always dreamt and then never did / All of the lives that you could have led but then never lived / The midnight kids” (‘Black Rain’), “And it’s breaking  me to see you so happy / I just want the worst for you / So selfish and typical of me / To sail and sink with you” (‘Winona Forever’), and basically all of ‘Misery’.

Rating: 9/10

If you like bands like AFI, Misfits, My Chemical Romance or Alkaline Trio, you should definitely give Eternity, In Your Arms a listen.

Video – Thrift haul

I went thrifting in Rotterdam the other week. I love thrifting. You come across so many great things that you wouldn’t find otherwise. Plus it’s much better for the environment & cheaper than buying new.

I got a nice all-black, gothy haul. I’ve been very inspired by 80s and 90s goth styles again; most of these choices reflect that.

Thank you for reading/watching! Hope you enjoyed.