My body story

I'd written about body positivity before on this blog but today I felt I wanted to be more open about my relation with my body. I feel there is an enormous pressure on each and every one of us when it comes to our bodies. We tend to feel ashamed of ourselves when we see others wataching us. We tend to be wary of our measurements and weight, as if they defined us. I've seen a lot of girls hide behind numbers or --on the other hand --hide their numbers to a fault. I've seen people not talk about their disability and sickness out of fear of being judged. It's like almost all of us think our bodies are our faults that we need to conceal. After carrying out The Project on Body, I believe this to be not so. We just don't talk. We don't know that others worry about their bodies the same amount as we do because we don't talk about these things. I believe if we were more open, things could change for better for all of us.

So here's some facts about my body, ones I feel ok sharing. I believe in being transparent that way. I hope it encourages others to feel better with their bodies and lets them talk about them more freely if they want to. To me, life has always been about trying to feel accepted and normal and while my body makes it hard to feel that way, I think it's just because I often feel ashamed to talk about it. As I said, we don't talk enough. If we did, we would have known that all of us have problems. It's normal to have problems. It's ok to have problems. It's even more ok to talk about them.

Disclaimer: I don't want to talk about the body image in the media at this time, it's a whole another story. I'm just sharing my personal experience here, without any deeper anlysis. I don't want to go too far into the realm of judging every single thing. Just stating the facts, as opposed to opinions, seems enough for this post --which is rather lengthy anyway.


I am 166 cm (5 ft 4') tall and I usually weigh between 59 and 64 kilos. At 63 kilos (an estimate, I haven't weighted myself in months), my current measurements are 90 cm (35.5 in) at the bust, 70 cm (27.5) at the waist and 103 cm (40.5 in) at the hips. Also my head circumference is 58 cm (23 in) and my neck is 34 cm (13 in) and then there are other measurements that I know because I sew clothes for myself. Thanks to that, I've learned numbers themselves won't tell you anything. It's all about proportion --and good fitting clothes.

These are the facts, hard numbers that I can tell you without hesitation. Now, as much as I want to not judge, some things about my body fall in to "the harder" and others into "the easier" category. At the same time, please be aware that body is not just about the looks. It's so much more.


I was a sickly child, constantly home with anginas and colds and fevers. At seven, I was diagnosed severly allergic to pretty much everything you can inhale and a lot of things you can eat and those allergies made my immune system very weak. It all turned out to be totally psycho-somatic once I've changed my social environment to one that was secure and friendly in my third high school. Today, I rarely get sick at all.

But some of the downsides of my childhood allergies remain and make themselves apparent to this day. One such downside, which people seldom attribute to allergies, is weak muscular structure, which is why I slouch a lot and have to constantly remind myself to straighten my back. My spine is badly damaged from it already and I need to get some excercise.

At around 23 I was diagnosed with PCOS --Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome --which is a hormonal disorder pertaining to the metabolism of sugars. It shows itself in a number of ways: irregular periods, tendency to gain unhealthy weight, incurable acne, hirsutism and a tendency towards depression. It's also a main reason of infertility in women. I'm among the lucky few who only get their period once a blue moon, I have just one pesky witch-like hair on my chin that I pluck out, and I am able to control my weight. There is no known cure for PCOS.

I was also born with a skull malformation known as retrognathia or prognathism. It means that my upper and lower teeth meet at the edges instead of my lower teeth hiding behind the upper. This leads to my teeth getting filed and my enamel breaking down and my facial muscles working disorderly. It also makes my face appear flat and elongated and disproportionate. This condition can only be improved by wearing braces and undergoing a double jaw surgery in which my maxilla and mandible would need to be broken and re-set in correct positions.

For the last seven years I've had a bad rash on the upper part of my back. I've been bouncing off doctors and taken every medicine imaginable, from traditional antibiotics to alternative herbal treatments to trying diets and nothing works on it. It seems I can't do much about it except for wearing concealing clothes and trying not to scratch.

I am also prone to depression and neurosis with a few bad episodes along the way. As I grew older, I've learned to manage my moods better and also decided to take on a lifestyle that doesn't expose me to factors that make my psychological condition worse.

I live a pleasant life, I make my outfit shots as fairytale-esque and pretty as possible and I am passionate about many things which I share here --but listed above are important parts of my daily life, too. 


My body is enduring 
I've always been told I'm weak and shouldn't strain myself but it turns out that couldn't be farther from the truth. It took some mental effort for me to notice it, actually, but I finally did.

First time I decided to check this out, was a few years ago when I went to the mountains alone in the biggest cold of winter (we had the temperature drop to -37C one night) and for two weeks I was braving the often thigh-deep snow and going for six-eight hour long hikes almost everyday, and I felt physically great, not strained at all. 

My body has nice proportions
I have long, kinda muscular legs that I love and a feminine shape that I am learning to embrace. I also know how to dress myself to show off the features I like best. I'm not too tall and not too short, and I'm ok with that. I'm not big and I try to acknowledge that, despite being raised to see myself as large and often compared to skinny women in my family. 

When I gain weight, I tend to have my body fill all over the place, not in one particular area. I'm not boasting here. I admit that I just got lucky in this departament.

My mind is persistent.
I believe that the mind is a part of the body so I am including this trait here. When I get interested by something, I get passionate about it and will pursue it until I decide I've learned enough. I learned my long time occupation as a graphic designer all by myself (went to a few workshops that helped, too, it's only reasonable). I am a self taught sewist, constantly in training and getting better.

I crated an artistic and anthropological project focused on the image of the body among young people in Poland, and I talked at length with 100 people who wanted to take part in it, and photographed them. I required no help with it and did it all by myself.


It's not like the easy parts cancel out the hard parts or the other way round. 

It's not like being aware of my good proportions makes me any less vulnerable to remarks on my weight and shape. I pretty much always feel that I should get smaller and I blame myself for not being stubborn enough to get there. 

It's not like having a persistent mind will easily help me back away from an episode of depression. And it's not like having a tough body will ever make my PCOS or that weird rash go away. 

But these things coexist in me and make me a multi-dimentional creature, just like any other person. I think there is a particular quality in it, even if it's nuanced and not easy to notice or desribe. In a way, and from a certain perspective, we are all normal and we all fit somewhere. And at the same time, it doesn't mean that if we are normal, we don't have any problems. Having problems is very much normal.

And again, I believe in being open and talking about it. If we talked more, we would be aware that all of us have certain stereotypes built in that we fight with. Everyone's got their own story to tell, their own battles won and lost and those never taken on. If you feel like you can relate to what I'd written, why not share your own experience in the comments below? Someone might read it and feel strengthened by our stories and openness. I have also created a link-up in case you wanted to write (or have already written) about your experiences on your own blog. Please link to my entry in your post if you do.

Po polsku niżej.

Remix: the beige wool sweater and why you should give wool a try

Outfits (clockwise) 1, 2, 3 and 4.

I'm not big on basic pieces in my wardrobe (as evidenced by all the crazy patterned stuff I'm wearing all the time and also seen in most of the photos above). When I do get a decent basic piece, though, it feels like a breath of fresh air. It's the case of the beige sweater that I bought in Mango two years ago or something. Still, not your basic basic. It's melange, meaning the colour isn't even but speckled by small dots of differently coloured material and it's spotted with small metal golden dots. The other characteristics are basic, though: it's made of wool, neutral in colour and a simple, kinda boxy shape which I like.

Outfit 5.

I consider "woolen" a trait that should apply to basic stuff because:

  • it's good in all the seasons: it will keep you warm in winter and breezy in the spring.
  • if it's good quality, it's going to last forever
  • it doesn't get permanently smelly with time as is the case with artificial and synthetic fibres so it will last forever and you don't need to throw it out
  • you don't need to wash it. You can leave it at dry cleaners but there is really no need to. It's enough to air it from time to time or when a smell sticks to it. I only washed this sweater once in the whole time that I had it, and I did it by hand (you shouldn't wash wool pieces in your machine. I mean it, please, don't, you'll do youself a favor. Wool doesn't like water too much and it gets stiff and shrinks in high temperatures.)  During that time I wore it, among other things, to three days of sitting by the bonfire, and the smell of the bonfire was gone completely after one day when I left the sweater on my balcony to air it.
  • wool is really the coolest fibre out there. It's elegant, it's nice to touch (when good quality), it's comfortable, it's indestructible and easy to manage when treated right. You really should wear it.

I've only shown this favorite sweater five times on the blog but I wear it all the time. Literally. I wear it so much that it now has a hole on one elbow that I need to darn and then sew a patch on (I will add patches to both elbows, don't worry).


Back when

This outfit is very before-the-blog-me. I used to wear a lot of this type of mini skirt a year or two before I started writing Robot. I found this particular one recently and I liked it enough to keep it. It's corduroy and a really pretty rust colour. Probably not my most worn piece nowadays, as it feels a little short and, well, I currently prefer skirts that start at my waist. Still, no problem styling it together with other autumny tones. I feel very put-together in this outfit.

Ten zestaw jest bardzo w klimacie sprzed bloga. Dużo nosiłam takich minispódniczek na rok czy dwa lata zanim zaczęłam pisać Robota. Tę, z przyjemnego sztruksu w pięknym, rdzawym odcieniu, znalazłam i na tyle mi się spodobała, że postanowiłam ją zatrzymać. Nie zakładam jej zbyt często, bo obecnie wolę kroje zaczynające się w talii, ale zestawiona z innymi jesiennymi barwami całkiem mi się podoba.

Jacket: Top Secret
Cardigan: old, Voegele
Blouse: thrifted
Skirt: found
Scarf: found
Boots: Wojas
Tights: ?
Pin: made it myself

*Photos by my boyfriend, The Fish.


Vintage Tuesday: Der Neue Schnitt 07/1957

Der Neue Schnitt 07/1957

This one is among my favorites. So many pretty dresses! Just take a look, it really is a full blown parade. Not every issue satisfies my thirst for cute as much as this one. In fact, a lot of those I've recently bought were pretty mediocre. Or maybe my tasted have shifted slightly? 

While I feel inspired by these magazines that I keep posting (and sincerely hope someone comes here to flip through them), I honestly don't consider myself a vintage blogger. I enjoy looking at these pictures because they are so elegant and non-pretentious (as opposed to a lot of current-day editorials which I find irritating because of the models' contrived poses and bored faces). I also like to get inspired by the cute prints and the general feel but I would certainly feel like going to a dress-up party if I ever wore one of these dresses with era-appropriate accessories. If I like to wear actual vintage items, it's because I am an admirer of their beauty and quality rather than a follower of retro-themed style. My style is actually something in that middle ground between modern and retro, it's very personal and probably distinctive but I feel it's also more of a one-woman niche rather than something easily relatable to most people...


Der Neue Schnitt 07/1957

Ten numer to jeden z moich ulubionych. Tyle w nim ładnych sukienek! Zresztą sami zobaczcie, to istna parada letnich cudeniek. Nie każdy numer tak dobrze zaspokaja mój głód uroczych rzeczy. Właściwie wiele z tych, które ostatnio kupiłam, okazało się nieciekawych. A może trochę zmienia mi się gust?

Tak sobie ostatnio myślałam o tych magazynach, które uparcie co tydzień wrzucam z nadzieją, że ktoś poza mną będzie miał z nich uciechę - i pomyślałam, że one mnie pewnie wrzucają w niszę blogerki vintage. A przecież wcale nią nie jestem. Lubię oglądać te ładne obrazki, bo mi się zwyczajnie podobają, bo są eleganckie i bezpretensjonalne (czego nie można powiedzieć o większości współczesnych sesji modowych z wydumanymi pozami i znudzonymi minami - te mnie irytują). Inspiruję się tymi uroczymi nadrukami i klimatem, ale gdybym ubrała się w całości właśnie tak, jak panie z magazynów, z akcesoriami i fryzurą, to czułabym się przebrana jak na imprezę w klimacie lat 50-tych. Swoje ubrania vintage noszę nie dlatego, że podążam za stylem retro, tylko dlatego, że mi się podobają i podziwiam jakość ich wykonania. Mój styl jest gdzieś pomiędzy współczesnymi trendami i modą retro. Jest bardzo osobisty i chyba dość wyraźny, ale mam wrażenie, że to jednoosobowa nisza i trudno, żeby był bliski komukolwiek poza mną...


Berta's Holy Top

This sailor-striped top is an interesting piece in my wardrobe. It's been in my family for what I'm guessing is 40 to 50 years. I say: in my family because I'm not sure who it belonged to before... except that it belonged to a beloved boxer named Berta. I actually need to ask and refresh my memory, because I can't remember why she was wearing it --and that sole fact seems curious to me. Why would a dog need her own top? Especially one like this, which isn't even warm enough to justify dressing a poor animal for winter. Anyway, now, each time I wear it, my Mum keeps telling me that I have to be cautious because this is "Berta's holy top" and no wrong must ever happen to it. Which I find amusing because despite my overall messiness, I feel like I'm a bit more cautious with clothes than any dog could ever be. If I ever find a photo of Berta wearing her holy top, I'll make sure to scan it for you.

Ta bluzka w paski to jedna z najciekawszych rzeczy w mojej szafie. Jest w mojej rodzinie od jakichś 40-50 lat. Mówię w kategoriach rodziny, bo nie wiem do kogo wcześniej należała... poza tym, że jej właścicielką była przez jakiś czas ukochana przez wszystkich bokserka, Berta. Muszę się dowiedzieć dlaczego właściwie ją nosiła, bo nie pamiętam, a sam fakt wydaje mi się zaskakujący. To nie jest ciepły sweterek, który można psu założyć na zimę. Ot, taki sobie dzianinowy top. W każdym razie ilekroć go noszę, moja Mama mówi mi, że mam na niego bardzo uważać, bo to "święta bluzka Berty". Trochę mnie to bawi, bo wyobrażam sobie, że mimo całej mojej nieposkromionej bałaganiarskości, jestem jednak nieco bardziej uważna niż jakikolwiek pies. Nawet taki, który nosił ubrania. Jeśli uda mi się znaleźć kiedyś zdjęcie Berty w tej bluzce, to na pewno je zeskanuję i pokażę.

Denim jacket: thrifted
Skirt: vintage, c/o Holy Rags
Berta's Holy Top: vintage, from my Mum
Tights: Funpol, via Allegro
Flats: New Look via Zalando
Scarf: Rossmann, old
Belt: thrifted, vintage
Necklace: Rossmann
Pin: made it myself, drawing by my boyfriend, The Fish

*Photos by my boyfriend, The Fish.


Bags and snowberries

I made this large tote bag as a gift for my Mum's birthday and only borrowed it from her temporarily for our getaway. I now feel I need to make one like it for us: it's just so roomy and convenient! I was able to fit a jacket and my large purse inside, and then added a laptop and some magazines --and it held all that with no problem. Also I'm really happy with how the dandelion print came out. I carved this design in rubber in a jiffy and when I first tried printing it, it was really pleasing. By far the best of my stamps as of yet. I may print some fabric with it and sew a unique dress. It seems the best things happen when I'm not thinking too hard about the outcome and just go with the flow. This was actually the case with the bag itself: I had no pattern, just made it up as I went and it works great. What you can't see is that the brown part with dandelions on it is a pocket and also the tote is lined and there is another pocket inside. I may need to think about some sort of a closure for it: a zipper prehaps. 

And by the way, if you scroll all the way down, you'll see me holding a few white berries. As a kid, I used to call them "bird's weed" and my boyfriend, The Fish, knew them as "snowies". Do you know what they are used for? How do you call them in your area?

Tę wielką torbę uszyłam jako prezent urodzinowy dla mojej Mamy i tylko pożyczyłam ją od niej na nasz wyjazd - teraz myślę, że muszę nam uszyć taką samą. Okazała się bardzo sprytnym wynalazkiem: pomieściła moją kurtkę, drugą torbę, laptopa i parę magazynów, pewnie słoń też by się zmieścił. Poza tym bardzo mi się podoba nadruk w dmuchawce. Wycięłam tego dmuchawca w gumie w pięć minut i byłam przyjemnie zaskoczona, że jest taki ładny, kiedy go pierwszy raz odbiłam. To zdecydowanie najlepszy z moich dotychczasowych stempli. Chyba zadrukuję nim jakąś tkaninę i uszyję sukienkę. Wychodzi na to, że najlepsze rzeczy wychodzą mi, jak się za bardzo nie zastanawiam - tak samo było z tą torbą. Nie mam na nią żadnego wykroju, szyłam ją na czuja, na bieżąco dostosowując części składowe do swoich oczekiwań. To, czego nie widzicie na zdjęciach, to kieszeń, która jest ukryta pod tą dmuchawcową, brązową wstawką, i podszewka w paski, w której jest kolejna kieszeń. Muszę pomyśleć jeszcze nad jakimś zapięciem - pewnie spróbuję z suwakiem.

A przy okazji - te białe kulki na ostatnim zdjęciu nazywałam w dzieciństwie ptasim zielem, a Ryba mówił na nie śnieguliczki, co zresztą jest ich właściwą nazwą. Wiecie do czego służą? Jak je nazywaliście?

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Bunny hop hop

We took a small trip to my boyfriend, the Fish's parents and stayed with them for a couple of days. It was a welcome change of scenery and a welcome deep breath after many weeks of work with no breaks in between (our weekends in the past few months were taken with working as well, some photoshoots were made and some clothes sewn for commisions). I've recently given an interview to Modcloth about spending a lot of time in natural surroundings. When you read it, you'll understand why such getaways are so important to me. 

Admittedly, the weather was bad. So bad, in fact, that we almost didn't leave home, uneager to walk in the pouring rain. That's November for you. We sent to visit the Fish's Granny, though, and afterwards wandered through her garden and orchard. I so wish to own a beautiful, old apple orchard once I grow up and have a home of my own.

I bought this red jacket (actually a children's coat, as testified by the short sleeves) along with the other coat that I showed you last week. It's vintage alright, I'm guessing late 60s and beautifully made. Aside from minor chafing at the sleeve hems and pocket openings --good as new. Also the lining is not sewn to the bottom so I can peek inside it --which is so awesome as I'm sure anyone who sews would agree with me.

I made the little blouse of which you can't see much in the photos. It was cold and I wasn't very happy about having to drop the jacket even for a short while so that's all you can get for now. The blouse itself isn't very impressive. The pattern is nice (modified Burda design, I think from 2012 it was) and I reworked it slightly and I want to change it even further to better suit my needs, as it's a nice, simple thing I want to have heaps of in my closet.

The camera... oh, the camera. I could write odes to this one. It's been on my must have list of vintage cameras for as long as I've been collecting them and finally I was able to get my hands on a beautiful, fully working specimen (thanks to the Fish. Thank you, Fish!). It's 1960s, too. I won't bore you with technicalities. Trust me when I say it's a true gem. I want to have it on me all the time and start that photo-diary project I've been wanting to do for ages.

Oh, and the theme of this outfit seems to be rabbits: found rabbit cardigan (found in a bag of goodies left by the dumpster; and it's cashmere. Who throws out stuff like this?!) matched by a bunny ring. Silly, perhaps, but I like it.

Wyjechaliśmy na kilka dni do rodziców mojego chłopaka, Ryby. Z dawna oczekiwany wolny czas i zmiana obrazka za oknem. Nie do końca już pamiętam, kiedy mieliśmy ostatni w pełni wolny weekend - ciągle wyskakują nam jakieś zlecenia fotograficzne albo, to bardziej mnie, szyciowe. Taka ucieczka z miasta, chociaż na chwilę, jest zbawieniem. Niedawno mówiłam o tym w wywiadzie, którego udzieliłam dla Modcloth. Warszawa jest piękna, ale jeśli przeczytacie, to zrozumiecie, czemu wolę ją oglądać z oddali. Albo zgoła wcale nie oglądać.

Z jednak pogoda się zbiesiła i siedzieliśmy w domu zamiast, jak zwykle, jeździć po okolicy i wchłaniać widoki. No ale listopad. W zasadzie raz tylko ruszyliśmy się kawałek dalej, w odwiedziny do Babci Ryby. Poszwędaliśmy się potem trochę po jej ogrodzie i sadzie. Kiedy będę dorosła i będę już miała własny dom, to chcę mieć taki sad pełen starych jabłoni.

Tę czerwoną kurtkę kupiłam razem z płaszczem z poprzedniego tygodnia. W zsadzie jest to dziecięcy płaszczyk, co widać po przykrótkich rękawach. Kurtka jest vintage, oczywiście, podejrzewam późne lata 60-te. Pięknie uszyta i tak dobrej jakości, że jej wiek znać tylko po lekkim przetarciu na rąbkach rękawów i przy wejściu kieszeni. Do tego mogę zajrzeć do niej do środka i zobaczyć, jak jest zrobiona, bo podszewka nie jest zszyta z wierzchem u dołu (to typowe dla tamtych czasów), a to, jak się pewnie zgodzi każdy szyjący, wspaniała sprawa.

Bluzkę, której niestety prawie nie widać, uszyłam sobie sama. Za zimno było na rozbieranie się i pełną prezentację. Zresztą nie jest to żadne cudo. Przerobiony nieco wykrój z Burdy, bodaj z 2012 roku. Podoba mi się prostota tego kroju i chcę sobie go jeszcze usprawnić i uszyć w wielu wersjach, bo wiem, że mi się przyda.

A aparat..., ech, aparat. Mogłabym ody do niego pisać. Miałam go na swojej liście absolutnych hitów kolekcjonera starych aparatów odkąd zaczęłam się w ogóle starymi aparatami interesować. Udało się w końcu dorwać egzemplarz w pełni działający i w pięknym stanie. To też lata 60-te. Nie będę nudzić technicznymi szczegółami. Możecie mi na słowo wierzyć, że to prawdziwy skarb. Chcę go ze sobą wszędzie nosić i dzięki niemu w końcu zrealizować projekt foto-dziennika.

Aha, i jeszcze króliki. Kardigan znalazłam w torbie wyrzuconych przez kogoś rzeczy, z której mam jeszcze parę innych fajnych ciuchów. Jest z kaszmirem. Kto wyrzuca kaszmirowy sweter zadrukowany w króliki?! Trochę jestem oburzona. Dodałam jeszcze króliczy pierścionek. Może to głupiutkie, ale mi się podoba.

Jacket: vintage, via Rags&Silks
Cardigan: found
Blouse: made it myself
Pattern: Burda, 2012
Fabric: gift from a friend
Skirt: gift from a friend, I shortened it
Tights: Funpol via Allegro
Boots: Nord
Bunny ring: Rossmann
Bear ring: C&A
Scarf: found
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My new old coat

A little over a month ago, I wrote that I wanted to go shopping-free for a year and I feel it's time for a small update. I feel like I'm doing good: since the beginning of September I bought a pair of boots, and that at a local manufacturer. They're great quality and I know will last forever, and that's exactly what I was looking for when considering my purchase. So that's ace. 

Other than that though, I caved in and bought the coat you can see in today's photos. In my defense, I needed a good wool coat. The ones that I have are already quite worn down and --my warmest coat is just 50% wool which proved to be way to sheer last winter. At the same time, a part of me was reluctant to admit that I'm not yet a stage when I can sew my own winter coat and I wanted a challenge. But then... Then I remembered one coat from last year that I couldn't finish because of my lack of skill and reconsidered. After all, if I was to waste a few meters of high quality, 100% wool that I have in my stash, I'd be better off with buying a new coat to last me for many years to come.

So, online I went, in search of a wool coat that would look attractive to me while having great quality. And I was instantly sobered. Well, you might not know that so I'll tell you this: coats that are 80% to 100% wool cost around $300-$400 and more. I certainly don't have that much money to spend on a coat, no matter how dreamy it is. And some (and then some others. And then there is this jacket.) are beyond dreamy.

When I came to my senses, I remembered a nice vintage store that I used to browse from time to time, called  Rags and Silks. I saw this pretty little 1960s half-coat with mink collar and large, decorative buttons and I was sold. It's 100% wool, the lining is probably heavier silk, it's the warmest thing I've ever owned and it fits like a dream. It is also vintage and so, ethically made and  and buying it is an environmentally sustainable act. All this good while supporting a small business. Oh, and it cost $16. So I might have broken my no-shopping rule but I also made the world generally a better place.

Seriously though, I'm happy that I bought this piece. It was a necessary expense and I think I handled it in the most reasonable of ways. I'm still doing my no-shopping challenge, although I might be a bit more lenient when it comes to buying vintage stuff --after all, the point of my challenge is to not shop at high street shops because I don't want to support fast fashion. Buying vintage, though, is a good thing in every possible way: you give life to clothes that could otherwise end up in a dumpster and you support small businesses and you buy great quality pieces that will last you a lifetime (thus, you won't have to buy another item like that ever again). You also get things that are unique and interesting to style. It's just so much win. So, if you buy stuff, go for vintage. It's the best in the world.

Zaraz przetłumaczę, przepraszam za braki po polsku!

Coat: thrifted, vintage, via Rags and Silks
Skirt:made it myself
Top: thrifted, H&M
Cardigan: thrifted
Lace overknee socks: old
Booties: Deichman, old
Necklace: Camaieu

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Vintage Tuesday: Świat Mody, summer 1969

Świat Mody, summer 1969

Continuing with yesterday's theme, I want to present to you Świat Mody, or 'World of Fashion' in English, a Polish fashion magazine first published right after the war that kept coming out until early 1990s if I'm not mistaken. While Polish people suffered a lot of poverty in post-war times, fashion and style were strongly sought after and magazines like Świat Mody, full of delicious photos of the most modern runway collections, were a welcome change from the greyness of everyday life. Pretty much no one in Poland in those times could see a Cardin dress or Balmain suit or Ricci coat in person, not to mention buying them (you know, we were behind the Iron Curtain and all), but thanks to this journal, they could draw inspiration from the photos.

A couple of such magazines were published during those times and at least some of them included sewing patterns for home seamstresses. Home sewing was quite the thing back then, and professional tailors were thriving: people would sew their clothes to measure because it was actually much cheaper than  buying designer fashions found in stores. Hard to imagine currently, no?

I sewed a wrap skirt from a pattern found within, you can see the original on page 12 and my rendition here. The pattern is well constructed albeit fitted for a very round-hipped woman. After sewing the darts up, I had some free space all around the hips, even though the waistband was tight! It made me feel modest, even though my derriere is really full. How's that for an uplifting pattern?

Świat Mody, lato 1969

Wczoraj pokazywałam Wam spódnicę, którą uszyłam na podstawie wykroju z jednego z polskich magazynów - a dziś ten właśnie magazyn chcę Wam przedstawić. Nazywa się "Świat Mody" i pierwszy raz wydano go tuż po wojnie. O ile się nie mylę, wychodził do początku lat 90-tych (czy ktoś może tę informację skorygować?). W czasach powojennych, jak wiadomo, nie było w Polsce łatwo, ale ciągoty do mody, czegoś eleganckiego i ekskluzywnego były silne. Dzięki takim magazynom jak "Świat Mody" Polki i Polacy mieli dostęp do najświeższych stylizacji prosto z zachodnich wybiegów (co samo wiązało się z niemałymi, nomen omen, wybiegami redaktorów - kto ciekaw, jak to było, niech przeczyta "To nie są moje wielbłądy" Boćkowskiej, naprawdę rewelacyjna lektura). 

O ile sukienka od Cardina, garnitur od Balmaina i płaszcz od Ricci nie były w zasięgu właściwie ani jednej polskiej ręki, to oglądanie ich zdjęć z pewnością służyło za olbrzymią inspirację. W tamtych czasach wychodziło takich tytułów kilka, a przynajmniej część dołączała stale arkusze wykrojów. A przecież nigdy później już krawiectwo, zarówno profesjonalne, jak domowe, nie cieszyło się taką estymą jak w PRLu. Szyło się ubrania na miarę, bo tak było taniej niż kupić je w sklepach. Trudno to sobie teraz wyobrazić, co?

Z tego wydania "Świata Mody" uszyłam spódnicę portfelową ze strony 12 - w moim wydaniu możecie ją obejrzeć tutaj. Wykrój jest porządnie skonstruowany, ale trzeba przyznać, że pasuje na bardzo krągłą w biodrach osobę. Nawet ja, z moim niemałym zadkiem, poczułam się skromnie, kiedy zobaczyłam, że po zszyciu wszystkich zaszewek, mam jeszcze sporo miejsca do wypełnienia. Ot, wykrój na poprawę samopoczucia!

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The Silly Little Horse Skirt

I made this skirt from a pattern that I found in a summer 1969 issue of Świat Mody or 'World of Fashion' --a magazine that had been published in then-socialist Poland after the second world war up till independence and was a window to the Western fashion world, full of photos of designer clothes from the freshest runway collections. It is important to understand that Western trends weren't seen as something worth promoting by socialist ruling parties --and yet, fashion in Poland was going strong and publishers were going to great lengths to let people see what currently was in vogue. So, in addition to all the eyecandy smuggled in each issue, 'World of fashion' also included a few patterns for the most contemporary everyday fashions. It still feels great to look through those magazines (I have a small collection now). Their design was impeccable and the photos within are still a source of endless inspiration.

I made this simple wrap skirt from a lovely, drapey wool tweed that proved a bit difficult to hem. I first turned it under twice and finished with a slipstitch --and the underside was showing as a ridge on the right side. I went and ripped my stitches, and re-hemmed using blind stitch in hopes that it wouldn't show... and it still did, although less. I probably could have gone with a single turn and a bias binding and then a catchstitch but I was already too impatient for that. I ripped my stitching again and simply used a double sided fusible tape for the hem and cut off the excess fabric. It's pretty much ok now. I'm a little ashamed of my actions as I'd rather do it the proper way but... you know, sometimes enough is enough. 

Also, while I was looking for my fusible tape, I found a silly little horse applique and decided it was quite adorable. Is it childish? Yes. Do I like it? Yes. On the skirt it went. If I find it too ridiculous later on, I'll sew a patch pocket to cover it up. I feel this simple skirt needs some detail in the front anyway. It's a comfy piece otherwise and I feel it will go with many clothes from my wardrobe since the colour is rather unobtrusive. I went all matchy-matchy this time, adding all the burnt orange stuff I could find, just to create an ultimate autumn outfit.

Po polsku za chwilę.

I added this post to the 1970s sewing linkup by Allie J.. You can join, too!

Skirt: made it myself
Pattern: Świat Mody, summer 1969
Fabric: wool tweed, thrifted
Jacket: Bershka
Blouse: vintage, a gift from my Mum
Tights: old
Bag: mint&berry via Zalando
Scarf: Voegele, old
Hairband: a gift from Rags and Silks
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