Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Am I allowed to name this dress 'Joanie'? .. yes, after my favourite character in Mad Men.

It's all classy and demure down the front complete with bust darts for the pointy structured look we've all come to miss (until the next season..) and detailed down the back.. v-cut down from the shoulders, a flattering v-dart down the back of the skirt gathered at the back of the knee where two buttons give way to a bias cut insert that replaces and otherwise not-so-special slit.. scalloped 3/4 length sleeves ... the list of details goes on.. a bit of an achievement on my sewing front.. all lined and hand stitched to the looping discography of Queens of the Stone Age.. by the time I got to the lining I had exhausted most of their live clips on youtube.. (just to give you an idea as to how long it took me to put all of this together!!)

So after I steamed and ironed the dress and spent the customary hour looking at it lovingly and wishing it was mine.. I decided I deserved a break.. so I joined an aunt and cousin on their last day in Malta.. a beautiful sunny morning out before they leave for the scandinavian clime up north .. and good thing they decided to go to the open market in Birgu.. not only did I spend the day waving at ex-students.. I also happened upon the lovely stall from which I got the braids below. Old biscuit-shaped braids make me very happy indeed!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The 4th .. and more

Yes the '4th' meaning the 4th in the 'Puss in Boots' series.. this series business is good for me.. it gives me focus and even more drive to finish a piece. My haphazard way of going about creating random items needed the restriction of having to focus on finishing more than one piece along the same theme.. one could always do with a bit more discipline in their chosen field (unless they really don't).. if anything, this, I believe, is good practice for when I finally sit down to work on the clothing line of my dreams.. the ever elusive collection that'll re-define all collections.. (nah!) Although I do plan to focus more on personal sewing ideas later on in the year.. and for this very reason I had to limit my order-taking considerably.. this pains me but I really cannot see any other way of going about it.

In any case here's 'Puss in Boots' greeting the King and his master at the palace gates.. inspired, as I've already said elsewhere, by the firework displays throughout the Maltese summers.. all the chaos and the rumbling and the colour that comes with it.. and below a detail of the protagonist and his 'G'uest.

On another note.. here's a dress that has been coming along for quite some time.. a forest green dress with black piping and button detailing.. a sort of simplified version of a coat dress that zips up at the back for conveniance.. a very flattering 3/4 length makes for a perfect transition dress (you know, the kind fashion/lifestyle magazines would call a 'from work to play dress')..

Unfortunately we do not get to see as many tailored work 'uniform' dresses anymore.. and considering how practical they are, I've invariably come to assume that we're, really and truly, trying to make our lives bloody difficult.. opting for ill-fitting off-the-rail on-trend separates we hope would see us through a couple of seasons, knowing full well we'll grow bored of the overpowering gaudy-coloured aztec print.. (ok.. I know a couple of people who won't, but generally speaking..) clothing items with too much personality end up stealing the show in the first few wears. In fact I cannot wait to wear my simple A-line cut blue 'communist worker' coat to near death this winter.. come to think of it.. I cannot wait till winter since playing the 'Mosquito Song' (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiLsvRSU5H8) on repeat seems to be reversing the effect desired. Damn those flying zombies from insect hell!

And in a self-indulgent act to keep you hanging.. a photo-hint of one of my current VERY time consuming projects ... yes that's right.. at my most productive and I'd give it all up at the drop of a hat if and when promised a healthy dose of musical talent. Yes I still think every other gift pales in comparison with being able to envisage and create your own music.. it's a way more primal and eternal gift.. plus you can always play naked but to sew without music would be hell on earth.. now just imagine sewing, without music, AND GETTING CONSTANTLY BITTEN BY BLOODY MOSQUITOS!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Here's a wild hare, YRH!

Story telling in beads and chains.. that's what this new chapter is seeing Babettopolis go through.. a re-visitation of childhood texts and all the elements that comforted and cocooned.

Unlike what I had anticipated.. this post won't be featuring the still-in-the-making-grey-dress.. circumstance dictates such alteration in plans .. but that's the deal with handmade stuff.

Instead.. here's the third neckpiece in the 'Puss in Boots' series.. having freer time than anticipated on a Sunday is very satisfying indeed!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


As promised.. the second piece in the series 'Puss in Boots' .. Puss and the Big 'Roar' Cat

chaos ensues!

I'm off to fit in some more sewing before I waste more time dreaming of the open road in the desert mirage I have in front of me and hopefully my next post would be all blue-grey-satiny-dress themed..

and a closeup...

Note to self: when yellow snakeskin boots do not fit it's time to start looking again.. STOP WALLOWING!

Monday, August 15, 2011

*Puss in Boots* mi lady!

Get your chilled beverage of choice and celebrate with me as I hereby launch the mini *Puss in Boots* collection with the first ever neck piece and complementing bracelet in the series.. Puss being the craftiest cat in the canon (or is he? .. either way he surely is the best dressed) I've decided to pay some sort of tribute by commemorating a number of his heroic exploits in costume jewellery items I shall be duly uploading phootos of in the coming months.. 5 pieces in all.. no more no less.. get in touch if you like any of if you happen to have stories of wiser cats from around the world. Here's 'Puss and the Partridges' where the wily cat feigns sleep in order to trap some juicy game.

These two pieces have already made it to a new home in the guise of a birthday present.. hope they pleased!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Domus love

Here's a run through of my latest personal home-related projects. Essentially, little chores I kept postponing due to work and related chaos. Stuff requiring so very little effort and yet, once finished, yield such satisfaction.. yes we're dealing with general-disposition alteration matters here. Once you get down to crossing out long forgotten projects from your to-do-list, the rewards reaped can border on the ridiculous. Or so I find.

A Pelmet: to generally enhance the atmosphere at the dishwashing end of the tiny kitchen space. I am of the opinion that a tassel or three can go a long way towards making life and daily chores bearable activities indeed. The flat and very carefully lined pelmet hangs on a spring rod for minimum effort and damage. I must thank Alexandra for helping me figure out and put up said rod on a night-in where I was a sip away from collapsing. So yes.. even though the sheer ugliness of sliding aluminium windows is something I shall forever have to contend with, at least the baroque swirls of the pelmet numb the pain.

A Brooch Storing Solution: Taking my cue from a favourite vendor at the flea market (teh ex-brooch collecter whose name I still haven't got round to asking) who keeps hers on a strip of textile which can be rolled or hung up as a display I have ventured to make my very own so as to save my ever-growing collection from ruin ... the 'all jumbled up in a trunk-like tin box' solution was not making life easier for anyone and frankly, not caring about the pieces just because I have a rather non-chalant attitude towards collecting was making it all look like the sad affair of an over-spender. I have now paid my dues by separating the golden from the silvery and colour coding the items for easy access. Only sad thing about it.. I only have round about 10cm of free space left and that only means I shall have to start another strip soon.

And Cushions: I kept piling them in a drawer away from sight. I kept buying mismatched covers for 5o euro cents from jumble sales and charity shops.. I even had the audacity and presumptuous impudence to hide the hand woven moroccan one in the front for so long.. how could I have postponed the stuffing and threading of such a generous gift from Mohammed the carpet vendor for so long

(story goes:

me: 'aaaa.. very nice cushion' (I sit on it and look at the carpets)

mohammed: 'you are nice maltese people, my friends, Miss please take a cushion.'


or something like that)

That's all I got round to photographing really.. I'll soon have photos of some of the curtains up.. the curtains also being a project I've been postponing.. a big project I often dreamt about, pelmets that filled my zzzz-hours with unfolding pictures of symmetrical oriental flourishes. Here's a picture of my sewing chair. It loves and cradles my lower back just as a sewing chair should. An unlikely shape choice you might think... well it is... but my grand dreams of a kitsch neo-roccoco affair on wheels haven't yet materialised, and I fear that if they did the resulting chair might still not be all that comfy to work long hours in.

On another totally unrelated note.. here's a duck casserole dish which I love.

And just a carefully edited glimpse into the major project in clay which has been keeping me super busy this last month or so. I need to keep this under wraps for teh moment even though I'm tempted to shout out about it and my newly found (or rather re-explored) love for working in clay from the roof into the insect ridden august nights.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Majesté ... votre chapeau!

This is Tziporah Salamon's hat.. she may claim it whenever and if ever she happens upon this blog..

included are a photo of the old piece of unloved junk (dead net and deader still lilac bow) I found at a charity shop which I then went on to tranform into this hat in honour of possibly the best dressed person in my books as well as photos of the finished affair..

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Mission Decor

'Impatience' being my middle name, I just cannot wait till I get my new sewing-room kitted out. I have several cushion and pelmet plans I need to see through before I get back to work.. so in a bid to alleviate the pain and brighten the mood of the room I unearthed a stash of mismatched tassels and hung them around the place.. they make me happy and add height to the room when seen in succession.

mental note: please get new lightbulb.. hanging a noose.. i mean.. tassel round a burnt out bulb just makes it look even dead-er.

On a lighter note.. here's a chocolate brown fascinator I finished lately. It has sky blue lace motifs and hand pleated and threaded zig-zag leaves to match a dress it will accompany.

And this gem of a perfume box I bring to your attention in the hope of getting some answers. I had bought this a while back from a charity bazaar and being the perfume lover that I am, went straight to the internets for answers about the label.. SADKO. But answers I found not. The perfumes are heady and intoxicating.. they probably smell better now that they're aged, plus they come in a wonderful satiny cardboard box with a subtle japanese flower motif. So.. have you ever encountered the brand? If anyone happens to have some information about it I'd be very happy if you could share.

Thank you just in case.. and before I leave you.. a gratuitous picture of my cat making mayhem with my sewing stuffs.. I'm sure it's the moving paper and tape but I'd like to think he's the re-incarnation of a savile row tailor! Tailor Gustav of the lovely grey suit.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

צִפּוֹרָה meaning 'bird'

It's Tziporah Salamon, daughter of a tailor and a seamstress and a star in the advanced style echelons.. She has lately made it to my personal top 5 favourite-persons-ever list, an achievement from which only I have benefited (yet!).

Tziporah is the best dresser on the block, she bikes it everywhere in her layered story-telling outfits.. imbuing the streets with splendour. I dream of waking up and waving at her from my window as she bikes down the road in a flurry of japanese embroidery, multicioloured fringing and the ever important hat.

The links I've included say it all.. I can only merely hint at her perceptive talents of dressing up and looking gorgeous whatever her age. She always manages to look impeccable in the most graphic of prints which have the potential to drain and overshadow mere mortals like you and me, but Tziporah carries them off like a perfect fauvist composition. She's my all time favourite pierrot!

Whoever said black is the understated tamer option, deserves a *tonk on the head with that lovely umbrella

A younger Tziporah justifying the wearing of quilted jackets for generations to come

Having no hips helps the 20s silhouette greatly. I keep trying.. to no avail.

Several photos are lifted directly off her own website.. the blue and white combination rocks my embroidered boat!

Her outfit building always starts off from a statement hat.. I like that a lot, of course

aaah *cries a little bit!

Oh dear lord! the stuff of picture perfection: roses, cloche hat, round glasses and low heeled shoes

With her best dressed acquaintances. Check this lovely blog out:

This, despite the admirable professionalism of the first photos, is possibly my favourite. It shows Tziporah as I see her in my dreams.. making dressing-up wildly a very possible thing indeed!

Here are two particularly enlightening clips out of several I keep going back to with relation to Tziporah's world and that of her partners in much-appreciated-'fashion'-crime:

and a link that offers a glimpse into her wonderful apartment.. I honestly couldn't have expected anything less awe-inspiring:

And with this post I am solemnly promising a hat in her honour in the very near future.