Monday, 26 December 2016

Ankle length skirts from KnipMode rule!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you have probably noticed my enthusiasm KnipMode magazine. Their patterns are practical and modern, but they are also suitable for tall girls. This is love! I spotted several interesting patterns in their March issue and started working my way through this midi-skirt pattern, which I eventually transformed into two ankle length skirts: one made from bright orange linen and another one from cotton waxed print. Both receive a lot of compliments and are now indispensable for the cool Irish evenings. For somebody, who was not sure about ankle length skirts, these have become a new staple.

I don’t mind tracing magazine patterns, but this one was a bit of a puzzle to me. Only when I started carefully reading the instructions (using Google translate), did I realize that the pattern consisted of three separate pieces, which after being traced, had to be taped together into one bit. Phew! The result is that the skirt consists of the same main piece, used for both the front and the back, two pockets and a belt.

The next challenge came with the pocket insertion. The pattern features two in-seam pockets and a side zip, but I could not figure out how to insert it. Since my attempts to translate the instructions were fruitless, I called Marianne to the rescue late one night. However, before she came back to me the following morning, I figured out how to attach the zip to the in-seam pocket.

For the waistband, I used my favourite construction method, highlighted by Susan Khalje in this Threads Magazine video. I’ve been using for a few years now on most of my woven skirts and can’t complain. Some hand stitching is involved in order to attach the waistband to the wrong side of the garment, but I could do that forever, it does not bother me at all. What I really like about this particular construction is that the waistband does not stretch and creates a solid support for any skirt.

Now, as I am sewing less and drawing/painting more, I have become more aware of my next sewing projects. Furthermore, having nailed two skirts using the same pattern in the course of a week, I find this exercise quite practical. For my next project, I may come up with a pair of garments again after carefully researching and thinking it through.

P.S. I am really saddened by George Michael's death! This year took lots of great artists :( R.I.P. George!

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Let’s talk cultural appropriation

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and her books took me by storm about a month ago. After only reading the first pages of her latest book, Americanah, I already knew I wanted to read all of her books, which I have done. Ms Adichie is a Nigerian writer, who tells stories of her countrymen both in Nigeria and abroad. Her writing is beautiful and sharp, her storytelling is breathtaking and engrossing. So, through the pages of her books I discovered Nigeria, a distant land to me. A place, which to my shame, I knew barely anything about. So I started reading more about Nigeria, discovering stories of this amazing place, I’ve never been to.

While reading the books, I could not stop googling the names of places, clothes, dishes, plants, historical figures and events unknown to me. And, obviously, Nigerian fashion did not leave me indifferent. How could I not fall in love with their spectacular fabrics, gorgeous geles (headwraps) and traditional clothes! At some stage, I even decided to learn how to tie a gele and go out wearing it, until my flatmate told me it would be cultural appropriation.

Quoting Wikipedia, “cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of elements of one culture by members of another culture”. I have heard a lot about cultural appropriation, mainly when I was in the US, but personally never had any issues with it. In my everyday life, I do wear some garments, which could be considered culturally “inappropriate”, but I’ve never got negative feedback or comments on it.

Of course, there is a thin line between cultural appropriation and cultural assimilation. Fine, I get it if certain sacred elements of one culture, such as Polynesian tattoos on children’s costumes, or Native American headpieces during music festivals, are used without any respect or understanding, are called cultural appropriation. On the other hand, I personally don’t see a big problem in wearing other culture’s fashion or symbols, when one understands their meaning and does it with appreciation. I may be wrong, but here’s what I think. We live in the world with fewer frontiers than, say, 100 years ago. We travel more, it’s not uncommon to work or be friends with foreigners. Ultimately, there is the Internet! All said, to me, cultural appropriation is an inevitable yet amazing phenomenon!

We eat sushi in Reykjavik and pizza in Cape Town. So, why can’t the same rules, which apply to food, spread to fashion too?

I find the definition of cultural appropriation so spacious and vague! I am sure many of you have something similar to the Asaka kimono or a top similar to the Indian kurta. Don’t you also appreciate the beauty of the sari, ao dai or flamenco outfit and would consider wearing any of them, if an occasion presented itself? Do I really offend Chinese people by wearing a qipao, or Brazilians by putting on a pair of Bahia sandals, or appropriate Nigerian culture by tying on a gele because I find it beautiful? Will Irish people get culturally offended if Peruvians wear Aran cable-knit sweaters, because each pattern symbolizes something to the Irish culture? What I am pretty sure of is that many Irish people would not even be able to tell what each of the symbols on their Aran sweaters mean. And this is the case with other cultures too! How many of us know and understand the symbols of our own cultures?

In the end, what is culture? As my new favourite Chimamanda Adichie says in her TedTalk on feminism, although in a slightly different context, “.. it is the preservation and continuity of a people... Culture does not make people, people make culture.” How much from other cultures have we absorbed during centuries, which has become our own and makes us feel at home!

Well, my answer is probably very shallow, but, believe me, I’ve given it quite a bit of a thought. I would really like to know what do you think about cultural appropriation, particularly in fashion, especially if you consider that your culture has been appropriated.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

A yellow dress, not made by me

I like being nostalgic, especially in relation to old things, which they tell a lot of stories, bring up memories and envelop me in some sort of time cocoon. Some of the stories are interesting, others are not, but I am the one who decides, which stories to remember.

A few months ago I was at my grandparents’ house. While browsing through the rooms, I opened an old wardrobe, where my mum keeps some of my teenage garb. Seeing my old outfits made me smile and I decided to try some of them on. To my surprise, most of the garments still fit! I only struggled with a pair of skinny jeans and a close fitted dress, because my hip size has increased over the years. It was interesting to see how my taste has evolved and acknowledge which stages of life have influenced it. One dress though, brought a lot of vivid memories and not only did I try it on, but I decided to bring it back to Dublin with me.

Back in the ‘90s, my mother knew a seamstress, who would sew fancy outfits for both of us. She was very young, only a few years after her graduation, but at that time anybody older than 30 was an old person to my eyes. It took some years, but I eventually befriended her, and on some occasions I was allowed to watch her work in her tiny room, which has been transformed into a sewing studio. She was a professionally trained pattern-maker, therefore needless to say, she drafted all the patterns herself. When people wanted her to sew something, they could bring a picture from a fashion magazine, and she would reproduce it 1:1. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of her garments. . .

One day, when I was 15, she showed me a dress, she had made for herself many years before, and she asked whether I’d fancy accepting it as a gift. The dress did not fit her anymore and I was the only person she knew, who had a similar body shape. I gladly received the dress and wore it that summer, but the following year, I found it too outdated, especially the tulip shape of the skirt, and I stored it away. Until last month that is!

The dress brought me back my teenage years, my carefree and easy life (which I did not even realise at that time). Also now, I can finally appreciate all the hard work and imagination, she put into the dress, since she designed and drafted the pattern herself. Just look at the intricate sleeves and side panels! What an interesting design feature! Does anybody put so much thought into patterns anymore? I also love the crazy amount of buttons! It does take a long time to fasten or unfasten it, but they are the cherry on top! Now, I wear this dress with lots of pride and joy. I wish I could replicate the pattern at some stage, without deconstructing it.

I am really glad my mum did not give this dress away!

Is there an object from your past, which brought you nice memories lately?

Sunday, 21 August 2016

A productive rainy weekend and a KnipMode pinafore

Would you be surprised if I told you that it rains a lot in Ireland? Especially in winter and spring. And autumn... And, sometimes, in summer...Last spring was particularly rainy, I wished I was in Spain! It was cold and miserable, and I did not feel like going out at all. One rainy weekend of last April, I ended up spending 48 hours indoors, but I set myself a goal to make this time productive.

When I got hold of the March issue of KnipMode, the Dutch sewing magazine, which attracted me with the amount of amazing everyday garments, this this pinafore became my absolute favourite. So I made it! I used 1.7 metres of very soft stretchy denim, the exact amount provided in the pattern instructions. I know how KnipMode patterns work, as I used them before. I cut a straight size 36 and added seam allowances. Remember, KnipMode is just like BurdaStyle does not provide seam allowances for their patterns!

Maybe because of the weather, or maybe because I was really inspired to wear this apron-dress as soon as possible, I had absolutely no problems with it. Not a single ripped seam! To make the inside part of the dress as neat as the outside, I used the flat felled seam and bias binding tape in order to hide all the raw edges. Look at how well this turned out!

A few words about the pinafore’s construction. Besides the front bib, which has a pocket, big enough to fit a smartphone, I love the back of the skirt! It’s like a reverse wrap skirt! It is especially comfortable for riding my bike. Skirt pockets are not included in the construction and now I regret not adding them. Otherwise, this pinafore is perfect! The pattern also offers another variation of this dress, but without the bib, and it turns into a skirt.

I also liked how the KnipMode stylists paired this dress with a stripy t-shirt: and I had a perfect pattern for this in mind too! I used the Style Arc Ann T-top pattern, which I used once before. The original pattern features side ruching, which I did not like. Also, the previous t-shirt ended up being too short for me. This said, when I worked on it during last weekend, I omitted the ruching and added a couple of centimetres to the hem, and it turned out to be a cute top. Check the stripe matching! The knit fabric I used for the t-shirt, has been sitting in my stash for years, and I am so glad I unearthed it! There’s enough fabric for three more tops: one with short sleeves and two with long.

After finishing both garments I was still on fire, so I chose to trace the patterns, which I have lined up for my further spring sewing: midi-skirt, top, maxi-dress and jumpsuit. Now, I am waiting until I find both time and inspiration on another rainy weekend in Dublin, which will not take long! :)

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Perle de Nacre, Japanese pattern and some embroidery

Do you even have this gut feeling, when you know, that something is going to be wrong, but you don’t do anything about it?

Once upon a time, I got hold of a book Grains de couture: Homme et Femme, and made this little skirt, Perle de Nacre. For once, I went straight to cutting this beautiful Nani Iro fabric, without making a muslin. As I cut the fabric, a voice inside me was telling me to spend some time on a trial garment. Ignoring that niggling feeling, I skipped this important part. How stupid was that!

According to the size chart, my measurements perfectly corresponded to the size 38, which I cut with large seam allowances, just in case. To my big disappointment, the seam allowances were not large enough to fit the skirt perfectly. I ended up with a skirt, which sort of fits, but instead of its waistband being on my hips, it’s now above my navel. Call it a high-waisted skirt. Do I like it? Not so much, but I will wear it, I think. My big advice to all of you, please, try not to skip the trial garment stage, even if you have some experience and you think you know what you are doing. On the other hand, if a garment you work with is rather shapeless, skipping the stage of the trial garment can be rather acceptable. Look at this oversized top! I would never have issues with its fit :)

For the top, I used double gauze, light and soft: perfect for baby skin, and for mine, obviously. When I lived in Japan, I could easily buy double gauze, but I did not think of stocking up on it and now I regret it. After my epic Ukrainian embroidery, I wanted to continue working with this type of embellishment, developing this skill. That’s the reason why those are little sakura flowers on the pockets of the top. I embroidered them, using sashiko, a Japanese decorative stitch. The pattern comes from one of the early Nani Iro sewing books. Two years ago, I sewed a peasant dress, which I still wear, using another pattern from the same book. If you are into Japanese sewing books, you will not be disappointed with this one, since most of the designs are quite different from what we usually see, putting accents on beautiful fabric prints.  

What I’ve learnt from sewing these two garments is that you are never experienced enough to avoid mistakes. Taking the time to do something always pays off, whereas rushing into something may cause trouble. I am quite sure, that this is not my last mistake, and in a way, I am kind of looking forward to the next one!

What about you? Have you made any mistakes recently? When was the last time you went against your gut feelings?

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Something big has happened!

Something really big and important has happened in my life! It is so big that I cannot not be quiet about it! No, I am not engaged/married/pregnant/fired/hired. Neither have I launched a new pattern line. What has actually happened is that I have discovered watercolours!

I have always been crap at drawing and could not even draw a stickman, that’s how bad I was. Like many people, I was sure that drawing was not for me and I did not have enough “talent”. When I started sewing, people often asked whether I created my own designs as well, but I answered ‘Pffff, I can’t draw a thing!’. However, something changed inside me a couple of years ago and I started feeling that I was missing out on something. An urge to start drawing, especially using watercolours, has been very strong in me for years, and I finally signed up for an online beginners’ course in June.

What I discovered cannot be expressed with words! The formerly unreachable world of watercolours has become a dear friend, who I now cannot live without! Since mid-June I have been painting so much that it has become hard to keep up with sewing, which has suffered from my new addiction. And you know what?  I don’t regret at all: it’s better for the planet and my overloaded closet!

With watercolours, I feel like a child again, discovering something completely new! Since my mind is a tabula rasa, I am trying to read every book I can find in my local library, I am devouring any piece of information on the Internet on the subject with fascination. I try to imitate different styles to help me find my own. Every new technique, every new colour mix makes me incredibly happy. If you follow me on Instagram, you have probably seen a few doodles. Please, bear with me, I am just at the beginning of my journey, but I am really willing to share my new passion with you. My paintings are far from being good, but as Samuel Beckett said: “ Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better”.

Simultaneously, I am also teaching myself how to draw, since to me this is an essential skill! Not so long ago, a friend recommended that I read the Betty Edwards book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, and it’s phenomenal! I borrowed the book from the library on July 27th and two days later I could draw my hand. Compare this with my first drawing from one month ago. Currently, I am working on drawing my three quarter portrait and auto-portrait. While I don’t expect it to look exactly like me, at this stage, my main goal is to nail the proportions.

Some people, who have seen my paintings, tell me that I am talented, but I disagree! As with any skill, one has to practice and persevere. They say, that it’s possible to teach a rabbit to smoke if they want to. So if you are like me, a person, who wants to draw/paint or develop any new skill, but are scared of not being able to or of outside judgment or of something else, I say ‘bullshit’! Just start doing it! Don’t even try: JUST DO IT! One has to do whatever makes one happy! Do you think Picasso or Dali woke up one day and started painting?
As you can imagine, I will continue sharing my new passion along with my sewing projects on this blog and my Instagram account. Now, I am curious: have you also started a new hobby recently?  

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

My Eden dress

Everybody has been talking about La Maison Victor for a while and, since I like to know everything, I asked a friend to send me an issue. This magazine would definitely be interesting for beginners, mainly because of the relatively easy patterns and user friendly technical drawings and  instructions (in French and in Dutch). I am not sure whether La Maison Victor exists in any other language.

Despite the lovely designs, detailed instructions and technical drawings, I don’t think I’ll be buying more issues of this magazine for a number of reasons. The first reason is that I already own many similar patterns featured in it. From all the issues that I leafed through, my absolute favourite is the Ivy dress, which I executed in charcoal velvet a few months back. As for the other patterns, I have already seen similar items elsewhere, and I definitely own a similar pattern. Secondly, I personally find  La Maison Victor quite big and heavy. The magazine is printed in an A5 format on heavier paper, which I don’t find very practical. Thirdly, only few patterns are suitable for wovens, with most of the designs created for knits. But, hey, this is just me.

In the case of the Eden dress, it’s all about fabric and I feel like singing its praises a bit!  Last summer, I purchased a few cuts of jersey from a Finnish fabric website Their Denim Look collection offers sturdy and heavyweight jersey, perfect for garments with some structure. The Eden dress, from La Maison Victor,  especially with itsfull skirt, was a perfect match!

If you have a chance to get  hold of this fabric, you won’t regret it! It’s so soft and smooth on the inside! After wearing my dress for an entire day it didn't wrinkle a lot, which is a huge plus to the fabric. Now, the remaining three cuts of the Denim Look collection are lined up for the following sewing projects: a maxi skirt, like this one, a hoodie, and an oversized pullover.

The Eden dress pattern is quite simple: a fitted bodice with bust darts, a circle skirt and ⅓ sleeves. The back part of the pattern features a button placket, but you could easily omit that. The dress also reminds me of the Nettie bodysuit/dress, except without the bust darts.

The dress was not very complicated to sew: I fitted the bodice quite easily by moving the bust darts 1.5 centimetres down and by removing some fullness on the back, taking off a few centimetres from the button placket. Believe it or not, I deeply regret the buttons. In my perfect imaginary world, all pretty things are also practical, but this is not the case in real life. My pretty strawberry buttons are quite big and bulky, and as I wear a backpack or when my back touches something, like a chair or a wall, the pretty buttons dig into my skin. Of course, I could replace them by adding flat buttons, but as I'm kind of stubborn girl: I’ll suffer for style.

Just before adding those buttons...

... and hemming!

Do you prefer sewing magazines to individual patterns? Which ones are you not mad about?

Saturday, 28 May 2016

I really do not like shirts, that’s why I am making bikinis!

I have never liked shirts - I don’t like wearing them, and I definitely don’t like making them! I don’t think there is a particular reason for it, shirts have just never fulfilled my personal sense of fashion and style: I dislike how I look in them. What’s more, when I started making my own clothes, shirtmaking resulted in being the most dreadful experience from both the patternmaking and construction point of view. Needless to say, I have very few shirt-like garments in my wardrobe.

Earlier this year, I decided to face my hostility towards shirts by making one. I picked this oversized blouse with back pleats as an alternative to a classic shirt. I prepared the pattern, cut the fabric and started sewing, but, after finishing the pleats and attaching the yoke, I put the blouse aside for a few weeks. When I picked the shirt up last month to finish it, I not only loathed sewing the intricate shirt seams, but I also couldn’t imagine when I would wear it. I thought about how much time I had already spent on it and how much more I would waste sewing it. Was all this effort worth it? No! So I binned the shirt and started working on bikinis :)

To date, I’ve made two swimsuits: the Soma one piece swimsuit and a bikini, using two different Burda Style patterns. Sewing swimwear was not as difficult as it had seemed to me in the beginning. The only annoying thing about working with swimwear is to find and put all the haberdashery together, such as special swimwear elastic, lining, fold-over-elastic, bra strapping, bra rings and, in some cases, bikini clasps, but once you gather all the necessary bits, you are good to go! Over time, I’ve collected various bits and pieces which fit into a medium size box: ready to go when spontaneous bikini envy hits me.
For my first bikini I used the Soma swimsuit patterns, bikini variation 1, with the mid-rise bikini bottoms. I used an XS size for both: top and bottom. For the previous Soma swimsuit, I made my own binding and straps, but this time I purchased fold-over-elastic (FOE) from this online shop. Although it was so easy to sew with the FOE, I ended up making a pair of self-fabric bra straps to balance the excess of red colour. Since the fabric is relatively thick, I did not line the bikini, same as most of my ready-to-wear (RTW) swimsuits. Overall, it took me a few hours to complete the project, and I had lots of fun working on something I knew I would like!

Now, all I need is more warm sunny days in Dublin, like today!

I know that I won’t be sewing any cuffs and plackets any time soon, fortunately, as there are so many other garment types which I enjoy wearing more than shirts! I am wondering whether you are repelled by any garment type in particular and why?  

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Ukraine meets Japan: a story of an embroidered dress

I left Ukraine 15 years ago, just after I got my degree, I was very naive and believed that everybody wished me well. I left my country thirsty for adventure; to meet new people. and experience different things. Over the years, I have lived in many places in Europe and in Asia, I have met people from different nationalities, beliefs and tribes, interweaving all of their stories into my own. As a result, I don’t feel like I belong to any particular country, but at the same time I feel like I belong to all of them/ like I am the world!

A couple of years ago, during a trip back to Ukraine, I stumbled upon a magazine “Українська вишиванка” (“Ukrainian embroidery”) in a book shop, and I bought a good dozen issues without hesitation. The majority of their patterns are traditional, but from time to time they post some tacky, sorry,  modern ones with hearts, angels and roses. To appeal to different audiences, I guess :) Sadly, they do not have a dedicated website to show you, but you are welcome to check some photos of the patterns, featured in the magazine, on this Facebook page. Seeing the most amazing embroidered traditional garments made me a bit homesick, so I decided to embroider something epic to have at my disposal to remind me of home. Why not a dress? An epic dress.

I fell in love with this pattern from the moment I laid my eyes on it, because of the colours, but also because it combines modern and traditional motifs. It might be interesting for you to know, that I used 25 colours to complete the ornament.

When you work with embroidery, first, you need to embellish the fabric and only then cut into it. Depending on the density of your embroidery, the fabric tends to shrink, therefore the pattern is marked on the fabric with a very strong marking tool, or using the thread tracing method. Alternatively, you can cut each pattern piece with very generous seam allowances. Once the embroidery is done, it’s always good to baste your garment for a trial and adjustments. Only after that, you are good to go and sew your garment together.

Since I did not really know which type of dress I wanted, I had to take all of my sewing magazines down and go one by one in search of a perfect pattern, which I found in a Japanese sewing book, Kimono remake! This book explains how to make modern garments from kimono fabric/old kimonos. As I mentioned in a post about a yukata, kimono fabric typically measures 33- 36cm in width. Therefore, most of the suggestions in the kimono re-make books are cut in a straight line.. You can obviously try something different, by making more structured garments, like Chie from Vivat Veritas does. This time, I decided to go simple and make a shapeless dress with interesting design details.

The construction of the dress was easy, consisting of six strips and two buttons. Four strips were cut so that they created sleeves and a sort of apron, which can be attached to the buttons in front. I also added the neckline facing to give it an extra reinforcement. The book suggested the cuffs as optional, but I decided to add them, thinking about my school uniform :)

The embroidery! It took me probably about 50 hours of work. I started the motif almost 2 years ago, but at some point I got bored and, same as with my tailored jacket, I put it away for an age, only to pick it up again in February, because I really hated the idea of having an unfinished project! The turning point for me was when the ornament was ⅔ done. After that moment, everything went really fast! Does this sound familiar? Without false modesty, I think this work is really epic. I feel some sort of devotion towards this new garment of mine, as if it were my grandmother’s.

Once the dress was finished, I could not believe how much work I had done! It almost brought tears to my eyes. There was something special and inspiring about this project so much that I decided to do more embroidery! Currently I am working on a little Japanese motif. Having said that, my biggest ambition is to sew and embroider a traditional Ukrainian shirt. How many years will that take me? Wish me luck!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Bike fashion for girls, who sew

Do you have a bike? Do you cycle to work? Do you spend most of your commuting time cycling? If you answered ‘yes’ to at least one to these three questions, then keep on reading this post.

Over the last two years, I have given a lot of thought to the subject of bike fashion. To make a long story short, I don’t like wearing sport clothes, when I cycle, and I want to wear whatever I feel like, regardless of my commute. Hail, rain or sunshine, I really dislike the idea of changing in the office toilet to look like my normal self again. Full stop!

With this in mind, over the last couple of years I have been trying to adapt my handmade wardrobe to be more bike-friendly and casual, avoiding tight or sophisticated garments for everyday wear. After many hit-and-miss handsewn garments, here is some wisdom, I would like to share with you. There is a big chance that most things are quite obvious to you, but I still decided to put them up on my blog. Also, because of my poetic mood at the moment, I put my suggestions as badly rhymed mottos. Please bear with me!

  1. Wear not a pencil skirt. Pencil skirts and bikes are incompatible, which results in ripped reams. As much as I love pencil skirts and the sharp look they create, I wore my Zaria skirt once and deeply regretted it afterwards. Despite the double vent, the area around the hips is pretty tight, so I ended up with some tears (ˊ̥̥̥̥̥ ³ ˋ̥̥̥̥̥)and had to walk back home, walking my bike next to me.
Named Patterns // Zaria skirt
  1. For a faster ride make your skirt wide. My Miss Chalmers skirt, which slightly narrows down towards the hem, does not like it when I cycle, wearing it, and tends to rip every now and then. Now, I simply pull it up a little bit higher, to mid-hip level, to make cycling easier. To avoid similar unpleasant issues, I have been making more A-line skirts, or even wider.
Papercut Patterns // Chalmers skirt
  1. Sit, if you want to wear knit.  More and more, I tend to privilege knits over wovens. As you all know, knit garments allow wider range of movements, unless you make a really tight skirt!
StyleArc // Jessica dress
  1. Yes to a maxi dress. No problem wearing a maxi dress, when you cycle. I tie it or simply use a hair elastic and a coin, to avoid the skirt being in the way of the chain or wheel.There’s even a TEDTalk about the latter! Although, from my personal experience, using a hair elastic and a coin damages fabric. So I often tie my long skirts in a knot! Alternatively, if the fabric is too thick to tie, I simply pull it up, put the front of the skirt between my legs and sit on it. I also used quilt pegs on a few occasions and they work brilliantly!
Ralph Pink // Maxi dress

  1. Leggings or shorts for mini skirts.  On some occasions, I wear leggings, long or cropped, underneath my shorter skirts. It takes few seconds to put them on and take them off and they don’t occupy a lot of space in my bag. This is an easy way of covering my legs, if I don’t feel like exposing them too much.
Victory Patterns // Lola dress
  1. Cardigans and coats to the rescue. If I do not want to damage a fashionable look with a pair of leggings, I may put on a longer coat or cardigan to cover my legs. It saves me from unpleasant looks that  drivers give me at red traffic lights.
Self-drafted skirt 
Named Patterns // Andy coat
  1. For a better ride make your trousers tight. Or, in the case that your trousers are wide legged, either  use some special trouser clips/bands or simply roll the hems up.
Named Patterns // Jamie Jeans
In addition to #4 and #7, you can equip your bike with a chain protector and skirt guards.
I would also like to hear you personal bike fashion tips and advice! Are there any cyclists who sew out there? What do you do to look fashionable on your bike?

P.S. When writing this article, I discovered an interesting gadget, which prevents skirts, cardigans or other pieces of clothes from flying away. I am so going to order one to try it! Meanwhile, I’ll continue using my old tricks :)

I hope you had a bit of giggle anyway.