Gratuitous Holiday Snaps

The Marfy coat is finito – and yes, it is totally awesome! Alas, photos will have to wait until the weekend  as there just isn’t enough light left in the day after my daily grind is complete!

But in the meantime, I’m finding it hard to believe its now been over two months since Mr poppykettle and I got back from South America! I’ve started going through our holiday pictures – there’s just under 7000 of them. You read that correctly… talk about snap happy!

After a burst of nostalgia from reliving the memories we created whilst away, I thought I might showcase a few of the choiciest pics – You’ve already seen some of them as backdrops for various things I made and wore whilst away – like the Sweet Shorts, the Macchu Pichu Renfrew and the loversandhaters tee. Click to enlarge!

Regular sewing-related programming will return soon, of course :)

Galapagos Islands: some dragons, two blue footed boobies, a manta ray, a sally light-foot crab, a male frigate bird and the accomodation:

The Amazon: a dragonfly hitches a ride, some monkeys, sunset on the amazon river after a quick swim – and fishing for piranha’s! I’m purposely leaving off all the snakes, spiders, killer ants (literally) and creepy crawlies we saw… :S

In and Around Quito: the Convent, inside the clock tower, at Mitad del Mundo (the centre of the earth – lattitude and longitude 0), the Cathedral, watching the Good Friday Procession in the old city, hiking up to the glacier on top of Cotopaxi Volcano, some pretty high altitude flowers, the view from up among the clouds on top of Cotopaxi Volcano (5000m asl):

Easter Sunday in Lima:

Arequipa and Colca Canyon: Checking out the amazing Convent in Arequipa, crossing the ice-capped Andes to get to the start of our Colca Canyon Trek, the Canyon itself, and lastly – half way down you can see our destination (the Oasis, a tropical microclimate complete with pool and banana lounges). If you look closely, you can see a zig-zag path on the left. That’s what we took to climb out of the canyon… 2.5 hours of climbing to cover a 1.2km direct ascent!

Machu Picchu: Cusco from above, trekking, an extremely well placed hot springs, Mr poppykettle and an obliging Llama, and watching the sun rise over Machu Picchu.

Lake Titicaca:

Pictures from Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay to come some other time. Hope you’re all having a wonderful week thus far!


F2570: Marfy on my Mind and my Mind on my Marfy

It must be the week of Marfy… because not only have I been able to get excited about their Autumn/Winter collection release (blogged here), I also received my pattern haul from them (after a significant kerfuffle with Australia Post who originally lost it. Nice work there, Aus Post). So, all my sewing projects have come to an abrupt halt because of this:

It’s from their 2011/2012 catalogue (sadly not available online) and it’s just what I’m after in a coat. The little english description under it says:

“This form fitting coat has a double wrap with arched cuts trimmed in leather, patent leather or velvet. It has pockets set parallel, a rounded sporty collar and strip cuffs. Suggested fabrics: plain fabric, vicuña, cashmere”.

Well, at least thanks to my time in Peru, I actually know what Vicuña is (the little squiggle on top of the N means you add a Y after it, so the word is pronounced vick-oon-ya). Until I saw this I was intending to make the iconic McCall’s 5525 trench coat, so I’m hoping the lovely oatmeal coloured canvas I bought for this will be enough. And to stick it to the super dreary weather Melbourne is experiencing right now, I’m thinking of using some of the left over stretch yellow cotton from this top (Marfy, of course) for the contrast arched trims, but I’m not 100% on this yet. We’ll see. Whatever it ends up being, it will be bright!

By golly gosh does this coat has big shoes to fill. I’ve had a green Trench-coat from Jigsaw in winter wardrobe circulation for a few years now which I just adore:

Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

I bought it back in 2009 because I was travelling to Iran and needed a coat-like garment that covered my backside and thighs. It ended up being a lot warmer than I thought so it only got one or two days wear before I bought an inexpensive, lightweight royal-blue Chinese-made version: 

(and some gratuitous holiday snaps if you don’t mind). I also borrowed a manteau which is basically just a form-less shift great for warm weather (but still ‘modest’).

Since then that green trench has travelled with me to 3 other countries (Jordan, Israel and New Zealand) and been witness to countless events that will one day be stories for the grand kids… But after four winters in circulation, I’m kinda getting sick of wearing it. Surprisingly, it’s still in completely wearable condition – a testament to Jigsaw quality I suppose. 

Has anyone else got a favourite garment that even after years of wear still gets pulled out regularly? And more importantly, have you been able to replace said beloved item when it finally reaches the end of its tenure? Do tell !

The Fabric District in Buenos Aires

La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

I can’t believe we’re nearing the end of our South American Odyssey… Back in January Sarai did a post on Coletterie about her visit to Buenos Aires – the part that caught my eye was that she visited the fabric district! I quickly bookmarked that and locked it into our schedule (I have a Killer spreadsheet).

We weaved our way in and out of market style textile shops (with bolts of fabric spilling out into the street) all the way down Lavalle on either side of Avenida Pueyrredon. I bought some bright blue cotton sateen (with the amazing wool I bought back up in Ecuador behind it):

To be honest, I wasn’t that taken with the fabric shops – but the notions shops just blew me away. Walls and walls of buttons, trim in every style and colour imaginable, incredible laces, feathers and things I didn’t even know existed. It would be a decorating dream come true for any gay man prepping for his mardi gras costume!

I bought some beaded decorations that you can see in the picture above, which I plan to add to tops sometime down the line (in the ever increasing sewing-to-do-list), here’s a couple of them:

Needless to say, I’m itching to get stitching!

Santiago’s Museo de la Moda

Does the name Jorge Yarur Bascuñán ring a bell at all? You’ll be forgiven if not, I certainly wasn’t. The descendant of a long line of fabric merchants from the Middle East, he turned the family mansion (an incredible fusion of 60’s and Japanese architecture in Santiago, Chile, into a museum dedicated to fashion and the memory of his Italian mother – a well known Chilean socialite and lover of high end fashion.

“Countries that don’t consider the importance of fashion, are the ones where uniforms take the lead” – Francois Mittterrand, French President 1981-1995

One of the gorgeous Aspects from the Bascuñán house

But he’s also been a collector of some of the most iconic items of clothing we could think of – pieces of clothing from the 1980’s – a decade that was a cocktail of contradictions, a time of crisis where people still placed extreme importance in the arts, where fashion was a recreational extravaganza through which designers expressed their individualism and abandoned any pretension of good and bad taste.

“You have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes” – Vivienne Westwood

Not only are there are 100’s of garments in here documenting fashion’s history over the last 300 odd years, but items like the conical bra Jean Paul Gaultier designed for Madonna, Michael Jackson’s glove and the t-shirt he worn in the video for ‘Beat It’ and my personal favourite – the actual calico toile of Princess Diana’s wedding dress! 

“The difference between style and fashion is quality” – Georgio Armani

“Because clothes should be worn, used” – Issay Miyake

Other things I loved seeing?

Iconic pieces from Vivienne Westwood’s collections throughout the 80’s – including her original ‘gathered tube skirt’ which went on to become one of her most sellable pieces.

Vivienne Westwood pieces from the early
1980’s – including the infamous tube skirt (centre)

“Sometimes you need to transport your idea to an empty landscape then populate it with fantastic looking people” – Vivienne Westwood

Thierry Mugler was a bit of a standout for me in this exhibition, especially his lightning bolt lapel jacket from his A/W 1988 collection, which I stood drooling over for quite some time. I couldn’t quite get a non-blurry picture so have appropriated two of one very similar garment from the interwebs:

From the Fashion Spot


Thierry Mugler’s jacket from his autumn/winter 1988 collection.
Photo from

Plus there was plenty of pieces from 1980’s collections by Comme des Garcon, Issey Miyake, Chanel, Valentino and so many more. Needless to say this was an amazing day out!

“Elegance is forgetting what one is wearing” – Yves Saint Laurent

I came across this place when researching things to do and see whilst we were in this part of Chile, and immediately knew it was somewhere I wanted to visit. I just had to figure out a way to sell it to my beau on terms that would appeal to him…

Turns out I didn’t need to bother – the family bought the Delorean (the time machine car from Back to the Future) in 2008, along with Marty’s self adjusting jacket and Nike shoes (which are stored in a hermetically sealed chamber to prevent further degradation to the light ad oxygen sensitive polymers they were made from), not to mention the piece de la resistance for Mr poppykettle – the jacket worn by Arnie in the original Terminator. After he discovered that, I think he was more excited to visit than I was!

“Show me the clothes of a country and I can write its history” – Anatole France

There’s a fabulous article here that was what made me initially want to visit. Worth the read! And of course, if you happen to be in the neighbourhood – do stop by.

The Lowdown:
Museo de la Moda
Address: Av. Vitacura 4562Santiago
Contact: 2/218-7271

NL6735: The loversandhaters Tee

NL6735 1

The idea for this little t-shirt has been slow-cooking in my imagination for quite some time… so I’m glad to finally see it come to fruition! These pictures were taken on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia on an incredibly amazing 4 day 4WD trip across the desert and over into Chile. Can I just say – San Pedro de Atacama (a little city in the desert at the top of Chile) has completely stolen my heart!


I‘ve been searching for a TNT knit tee pattern to call my own, and I think New Look 6735 is it. I love the Renfrew for its simple construction techniques (those banded sleeve and hems – which I totally stole for this tee – as if you wouldn’t!) but this pattern has a seam at the back as well as at the sides – this appears to allow the top to be better fitted, especially across the waist. I often find stretch tops to be too tight across the bust and then loose and floppy around my mid-section – this back seam allowed me to get around this in a quick and easy way!

NL6735 7
The stunning backdrop – a volcanic lagoon with Flamingoes

A long while ago on Burdastyle I favourited this lace and knit tee-shirt by fellow Burdastyler loversandhaters. I loved the idea of mixing the two differently textured fabrics together, and went about trying to find something to replicate it – ending up with a black broderie anglaise and a dark grey (wool and polyamide) jersey knit.

Yup, it‘s wool from Tessuti again. Another very travel friendly top! Taking the well celebrated basic tee from New Look pattern 6735 (a great co-ordinates pattern which I originally bought for the cardigan – still to be made as I’ve yet to find the right fabric), I went about changing it to suit my purposes.

The main Plaza in Sucre, Bolivia – a gorgeous colonial style town.

I kept it simple by adding in an inverted triangle of the broderie anglaise to both the front and back of this tee. Just before I started to cut up this fabric, I did a bit of a house tidy-up and came across some black silk habotai scraps. On impulse I thought they’d be great to do a bit of a border linking the two (just included in the seam, ironed then topstitched down). 

NL6735 Lace Tee

I finished the neckline with a self-made bias binding with some black cotton voile to match the broderie anglaise. My one little boo-boo was trying to make the sleeve cuffs a bit smaller than on the Renfrew – not such a great idea. They have the habit of rolling up because of the bulk of the seam. In future I’ll stick to the Renfrew width!

Feeling a tad guilty that I may be standing on somebodies table salt…

The result is a super comfy tee (I love the freedom of movement you get with a stretch top) with a bit of visual interest that takes it beyond your standard block colour knit top. I m definitely going to try this modification again but with a different shaped panel of woven fabric. 

NL6735 4
Lets make it official shall we? Im a maneater!

Perfect to go with spending the weekend in denim. On the Bolivian Salt Flats of course. Love!