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Wearing the First Dress I Ever Made: A Grey Midi Dress

Here it is: the first dress I have ever made entirely by myself. I did make some summer dresses in the past, but I had sown them without a pattern and a sewing machine and at any rate I wouldn't call them very accomplished. I mean, they weren't nearly as polished as this dress and they were not nearly as complex to make. I'm very happy with how this dress turned out. I'm even happier I took this sewing course in the first place because now I can make more dresses like this one! If you remember my November highlights post, you might remember that I've mentioned how I've recently finished a beginning fashion tailoring and sewing course with designer Stanka Zovko. 

I promised to show you the dress I made for my course 'graduation'. At the end of this lovely sewing course, you get to choose not only what you're going to make, but also the material and the pattern.  The sewing pattern is typically chosen from one of the sewing magazines this designer has in its studio, but you can bring your own. I have chosen this dress from Burda (German edition, I'm not sure about the year but it was a newer edition).  As you probably know, Burda Style is an international fashion magazine published in 16 different languages and many many countries (not sure how many actually). The Burda magazine was originally founded in Germany, and it is still published there regularly. I examined tons of magazines, and I loved browsing the vintage ones. Especially the local vintage Burda editions I never knew existed in the first place. However, when I saw this dress I knew it was the one. 






When I was choosing a pattern in Burda, I was advised to choose a pattern from German edition as opposed to an Italian one because Slavic people are apparently more anatomically similar to German people hence it is easier to get the size right. So, I was glad I found it in a German edition (that is also quite user friendly, so it wasn't hard to figure it out despite not being familiar with the language). However, I made quite a few alterations to the original pattern found in Burda, so I'm not sure you'd recognize this dress if you saw it there. The original dress came in a vibrant print, but I choose this grey material because it was more classic and versatile. Moreover, the original dress has shorter sleeves, a bigger cleavage and was not nearly as long. I don't typically wear cleavage at all, so I made some changes. I also opted for a longer midi length because I thought that would make it look more interesting. 



The thing that attracted me to this dress in the first place was its unusual cut. The way this dress was to be made reminded me of kimono. The waist is emphasized not the usual way, but by being cut out of different parts that are then connected. Am I making any sense? I'm afraid I'm not an expert in sewing terminology. You see, you have all these pieces you sew together. I suppose it's the case with almost any clothing item, but in this dress you have more pieces to sew together. It's not just interesting, it's also eco-friendly way of sewing, making the most out of the material and all that. I learned from Zoe Hong that traditional kimono making involves almost zero waste, because the cuts are such they make use of all the material. Isn't that amazing? Anyway, while picking out the dress, I was told to select something a bit more difficult. In other words, why choose the most simple pattern when you can choose a more difficult one and learn something in the process? The designer told me this dress was a good choice because it's not too easy to sew. It's not terribly difficult either, and it's definitely not too hard for someone just starting sewing. Just the perfect level of difficulty, I'd say. To conclude, I'm satisfied with both the dress I choose and the alterations I made. Perhaps because of the alterations, I feel like this dress is my own design. Naturally, it'll take a while before I can call myself a designer. Right now, I'm more an aspiring hobby seamstress. I'd consider myself lucky if I manage  to find the time to become even that. We never know what the future will bring? I always say that every skill is useful. 


We all know that books make for great props when it comes to fashion blogging, but they also serve another (more important purpose) and that is educating us about the world and ourselves. Today's book is certainly not just a prop, it's a novel that has moved me deeply so I'll say a bit about it if you don't mind. But first let's take a look at the cover of Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books. My impression of this photographed changed with time. At first the young ladies with bowed head looked shy and afraid, almost like they're hiding from something. However, once you realize they are actually reading something, the photograph becomes more hopeful. You can see there is courage in them. Courage to fight for their right for education and better life. Art connects us all. 




BOOK  RECOMMENDATION OF THE DAY: 



I have a book recommendation for you, one that I think would make for a lovely Christmas present, especially for literature lovers or those with an interest in Iranian history. Reading Lolita in Tehran is both an educating and poetical book, filled with both hope and sadness. I'm utterly and absolutely in love with this book. It is a contemporary masterpiece, the kind that deserved to be called a classic upon publication. Reading Lolita in Tehran is such a rare mix of extraordinary philosophical writing, academic literature essays, national history and personal memoir, that it deserves to be called 'one of a kind'.

This book works quite well as a mixed genre. I feel like the only review that would be worthy of such a novel would be a book itself, preferably one as intelligently and poetically written as Reading Lollita in Tehran. It was hard to tell what I found more fascinating about this book, the modern political history of Iran, the moral dilemma of wearing a veil or being forced to abandon teaching, the nearly impossible challenge of keeping high academic standards in a militant Islamic Republic, amazing literary essays or Nafisi's personal memories( and within them hidden the tales of her students and family members). 

Nafisi tells her tale from a distinctly female point of view. Most of the characters in the book are Iranian women, and I feel that this book is first and foremost about them, about what it means to be a women in Iran. There are some important male characters that feature in Nafisi's novel as well, such as the magician and her husband, but I think the author intended to give the voice to all the Iranian women, a voice that has been taken from them. 

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books is a novel that has taught me a lot. I've been somewhat familiar with recent Iranian history, but still there were so many things I didn't know about, for example, how similar extremist Marxism/communism and militant Islam were in their core, how devastating the revolutions they caused were. Both of these ideologies turned totalitarian regimes, have had a devastating effect on Iran. 

If you examine the full title of this book carefully, you can get an idea of what this book is about. It's indeed a book about the reading experience in Tehran. It is about studying, reading and teaching Nabokov, Fitzgerald, James and etc under the totalitarian regime. It's about reading in general and what it means to be a reader. It is a memoir in books, because books are an essential part of it. But it is also so much more. A book about what it is to be human, that answers the question about why do we need art and literature in the first place. It is as educating as it is touching. I don't remember when I have last been so deeply touched by a novel. It's absolutely a masterpiece in every sense of the word and a must read for lovers of literature!










A RECYCLED ADVENT WEALTH WITH DIY ELEMENTS

In the spirit of a more sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas, here is an advent wealth that I have been using for years. I suppose I could call this wealth a DIY project because I reinvent it every year by adding new candles and decorations. The only part of this advent wealth that isn't something I made myself is the base of it (and the already mentioned candles). Still, it is better to describe it as a recycled advent wealth with DIY elements because I can't say I made it myself from nothing, can I? If you care for it, you can see how this advent wealth looked like in the past and what other DIY projects it was involved in here and here.  



This year I decided to add a lot of dried flowers to my advent wealth (and some fake ones). I have a lot of dry flowers because that's another of my hobbies: drying the flowers. Well, the climate does the most of the drying, I actually have no idea how to dry flowers in a colder climate, here it sorts of happens on its own, you see. I'm a bit worried about all the dry flowers catching fire, I guess I'll just have to be more careful. I do like the look of this advent wealth. Happy second weak of Advent everyone!










NEW ART & FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS

I'm also going to show you some things I have been working on, fashion sketches and watercolour portraits. I'm not very focused on my art right now, but as I explained in my last post, I do try to steal ten to fifteen minutes now and then to do a bit of sketching. Unfortunately, I'll be mixing the next exhibition. I'm a bit sad about that, but it couldn't have been helped. I was too sick to attend any painting lessons this autumn. If I get a bit silent in the blogging world, it's probably because I'm exhausted by various health problems. On the other hand, a lot of artists had serious health problems, so maybe it's good for me?








WHAT I WORE TODAY: AN OUTFIT POST 

Today I wore the dress I made (the one I have already showed to you earlier in the post). I paired it with a pair of a black boots and a coat. My outfit today was pretty neutral. I feel this dress is interesting enough on its own and that it doesn't need much embellishment so I kept it easy on the accessories. I haven't been feeling well lately but I went for this walk anyway. Because of Chron disease I sometimes have fever daily. Sometimes I can deal with it just fine, sometimes I feel like it's going to break me. When we're talking about immune and chronic illnesses, I think it's important to keep it real. Being positive won't cure you. Being positive won't take away the pain and the fever.  I mean sure it helps, but it doesn't solve it. It's all great being being positive and hopeful, but it's not the whole story. Isn't it a bit unfair expecting from ourselves to be positive all the time? Life is made from both bad and good moments. That's in part what I wrote about here. I like to keep this little place of my own a happy place, but I don't want that to mean that I'm not authentic. I think it's important to talk about both good and the bad when it comes to chronic/immune and incurable illnesses. Recently I've seen a film that explains challenges of living with a chronic illness pretty well. So, that'll be my movie recommendation of the day: 100 metros, a Spanish film directed by Marcel Barrena. The movie came out in 2016 but as I said, I have only seen it recently. This film made me both laugh and cry and has definitely touched my heart. 


100 metros is a movie based on the story about a Spanish man who was diagnosed with MS (Multiple Scoliosis) in his early thirties. After being told he won't be able to walk 100 metres, Ramon went on to complete an Iron mean challenge, one of the most difficult races (Ironman challenge involves 3,8 km swimming, 180 km cycling and 42 km running, all of which most be completed within 17 hours). Ramon is real person, you can look up interviews with him. He is still struggling with MS, sometimes his condition gets worse, but he's still competing. He's definitely an inspiration.  If you like European (and especially if you love Spanish) films, don't forget to check out this film. I'm a big fan of Spanish films in general, but this one impressed me on so many levels. 100 metros is an amazingly realistic film. The acting is exceptional, the scrip is brilliant and the movie is just so well made. It is both a family drama and a personal story. It tells the tale of a person suffering with an immune illness with both care and respect. That's be all. I'm leaving you with this inspirational story and some photos of Advent in Mostar. 








As always, thank you for reading. Have a lovely week ahead!

Comments

  1. A very nice and stylish look, dear!

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  2. Ivana!! This dress turned out spectacular!! It's such a wonderful feeling to be able to wear what you create this way. You should be extremely proud of yourself!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  3. Your dress is beautiful, you are so talented! I'd love to learn to sew but I'm not very crafty. I need to find a tailor when I want to have something altered, haha!

    The movie sounds like a really interesting one too, especially as I know friends and family members with MS. I will have to see if they have it on netflix. It's tough living with a chronic illness, but I hope things get easier over time for you!

    Hope that you are having a great weekend :) We spent the day yesterday at my parents catching up with family, it was so fun :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

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    1. Thank you, I'm sure things will get easier with time. I think most immune illnesses get easier as one gets older.

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  4. Love look
    https://meuestiloe.blogspot.com/2018/12/look-do-dia-vestido-girlmerry.html

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  5. what a gorgeous dress it is! you should be proud of yourself, Ivana! LOVE it x
    have a wonderful day!

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  6. Oh my gosh it looks great, keep it up.

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  7. Thanks a lot :D

    you look fantastic. loved it

    NEW TIPS POST | LOW COST XMAS GIFT GUIDE!
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  8. Ivana ma sei stata bravissima! Questo corso allora è stato molto utile, mi piace tantissimo sia il taglio del vestito che la stoffa che hai scelto, sei super chic!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
    Facebook
    Bloglovin'

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  9. That's a stunning dress, I really like the design, fantastic job!! The book looks interesting as well. Always love your art. Happy Monday lovely, I hope you have a great week ahead xx

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  10. I love the details. Very beautiful.
    xx

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  11. Hai un corpo stupendo e quest'abito ti veste un amore!

    https://nettaredimiele.blogspot.com

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  12. Me encantó el post! Las fotos son fabulosas :)El tren es chulisimo,
    www.gadorvision.com

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  13. What a fantastic first effort! The unique silhouette looks very chic and versatile and the eco friendly way it is made its very cool. You must be so proud to be wearing your very own design :)

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  14. I think it's absolutely incredible that you made this Ivana; how impressive! The silhouette looks stunning on you and I adore how you've worn your hair in plaits for this look :)

    aglassofice.com x

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  15. Napravila si odličnu haljinu! Sviđa mi se i boja i kroj, i fantastično ti stoji!

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  16. Complimenti Ivana, quel vestito è perfetto! Sei stata bravissima, soprattutto considerando il fatto che è il primo che realizzi in modo "professionale" e con un cartamodello!
    Anche io uso spesso i cartamodelli di Burda (mia mamma e mia zia sono bravissime a cucire per cui mi faccio fare molte cose da loro), e anche con quello italiano le taglie vanno comunque adattate alla persona, magari all'inizio può risultare difficile ma una volta che hai capito il sistema, lo fai abbastanza facilmente!
    Sembra molto interessante aanche il libro che hai suggerito! :)
    Baci!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

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  17. Congrats!! It´s a great dress
    XX

    https://www.elblogdebarbaracrespo.com/2018/12/martens-and-kiabi-blazer/

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  18. Wow, you look adorable! Perfect Dress <3

    kisses

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  19. You look fabulous in that amazing dress very talented you are.

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  20. I like so much your outfit so original.
    Ia m looking forward to see your dresses then :) ( made by you I mean :-) )
    This book looks very interesting. I am fan of the Spanish movies too :)

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  21. Gosh you look so amazing :)
    Classy and yet festive. I adore your heels, very eyecatchy my dear.

    Need cute cat content?
    And some christmas vibes, take a look at my Youtube Video HERE

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  22. Dear Ivana, first I want to congratulate you for your fantastic dress! Yes, you definitely did the right choice for your first by your own sewed dress and the result is impressing, beautiful and absolutely timeless. It is simply your dress! It makes me smile that you took the cut from a Burda magazine because my mother had an abo for this magazine when my siblings and I were children and she sewed so much for us (and her) with cuts from Burda!

    About the book you recommend today: I know it and I even own it. You are right, it is wonderful in every sense and I'm happy you loved it, too.

    So sorry you don't feel well. You are right. We are human and only being positive can't heal us. I think it is more important to be real and that's how you are. Sending you all the best and may the power with you.

    As usual I love your fashion illustration and I thank you further for the film tip.

    Happe 2nd week of Advent, dear Ivana!

    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  23. WOW Ivana! Your dress is amazing!!! Congratulation, you are such a talent! I love this dress ... its chic, feminine and very classy. It has a great lenght and I like the combination with the cool pumps as well as with the boots. It suits you perfect! It´s unbelievable, that you made it yourself.
    By the way, Do you know that last week was a movie about Aenne Burda on German and Gustrian TV? Unfortunatly I did´nt see it myself.
    Thanks for the interesting book tip. All the best, that you master your chronic illness well.

    Love, Nadine

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    1. Thank you Nadine. I didn't know about the film, now I want to watch it.

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    2. By the way, it is a two part televsion movie, called "Aenne Burda - Die Wirtschaftswunderfrau". I think unfortunatly it is only available in German. Have a lovely day!

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  24. That is amazing.. you have done a beautiful job, and to think this was your first dress ever.. wonderfully done!

    http://www.henatayeb.blogspot.com

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  25. Your sense of fashion is just awesome , I always love your illustrations and dresses <3 <3

    https://ohladymania.blogspot.com

    .

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  26. Sempre più talentosa cara Ivana, hai fatto davvero un ottimo lavoro e sei super stilosa!!!
    Kisses, Paola.
    Expressyourselfa

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  27. Woow! Dear! Great job!!
    Have a great day! xx

    La ilusión de Nina - http://lailusiondenina.blogspot.com/

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  28. Io non so usare neanche ago e filo decentemente, e guarda tu cosa hai fatto *.* Sei stata super brava, mamma mia, e poi ti calza a pennello!

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  29. Congrats, this dress is really beautiful, you can be proud !!! I love the cut, very classy.
    Sonia
    www.soniaaicha.com

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  30. Gorgeous dress! You have such a talent!

    Gemma x
    www.jacquardflower.uk

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  31. You look very elegant! The pictures are amazing!

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  32. You are so creative loves
    I love the boss chic look

    Much Love,
    Jane | The Bandwagon Chic

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  35. The dress is amazing, I do sticthing myself , have stitched kurtis and shirts, but the finishing is not up to the mark yet..
    www.stylebasket.in
    Instagram:-Stylebasket24

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  36. anche io amo il taglio molto particolare *_*

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  37. That is amazing you made that dress! Wow, well done! It looks fantastic!
    Raindrops of Sapphire

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  38. Dearest Ivana,
    Your self-sewn dress is beautiful and is wonderful to you! A really extraordinary cut, perfect for your slim figure! Because you mention Burda: I just saw a two-part film about Aenne Burda, who created this magazine in WW2 postwar - a strong woman with a great vision!
    I also like your all-year-again Advent wreath - and I would be very happy if you link your post to my current ANL post. Do you want to join? (The linkup starts today from 23.55 clock ...)
    Hugs and a happy Advent-time, Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2018/12/anl-36-zeit-statt-zeug-und-andere_14.html

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  39. wow, that's amazing. i wish i can do the same, my mother is a well known dress maker in my place but i can't do the same.

    BLOG
    INSTAGRAM

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  40. thanks my dear :)

    you look amaaaaazing :*

    NEW #DRESSTOIMPRESS POST | THE COATS FOR THE SEASON!
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  41. Love the dress! You did a fantastic job making it!
    Happy Holidays!

    www.fashionradi.com

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  42. You are so talented!
    Your illustration is lovely and the girls look like you!!

    akiko

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  43. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  44. Buon fine settimana, bellissima e super talentuosa ragazza!
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself

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  45. You look amazing girl! Wow! I love it! Wonderful post dear <3
    Allurerage

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  46. Que look maravilhoso.
    Ficou super estilosa.
    Beijos.
    http://vinteedoisdemaio.blogspot.com/

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  47. Hello Ivana
    I'm back I explain everything on the blog.
    Let me breathe, this post is breathtaking, you have much to tell. My mother always sewed through Burda magazine many years ago but I never sew, my work I do everything by hand.
    This book must be really touching you spoke of it with such emotion.
    And congratulations on the dress and the DIY ... and the drawings.


    xoxo

    marisasclosetblog.com

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    Replies
    1. thank you dear. I'm happy you're back to blogging.

      Delete
  48. Hello,

    So lovely !

    Sarah, https://sarahmodeee.fr/

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  49. That dress is good Ivana! It is only right that you made a dress because I think you're a great designer with all your illustrations. You look wonderful!

    https://www.missymayification.co.uk

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  52. Congratulations at your firs dress! It must be spectacular feeling wear something that you create by yourself. Dress looks amazing. I really like it.

    Blog - http://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/search/label/en
    YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WK-tO9N3A6c&t=220s

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  53. A great post! < 3
    I am following you and invite you to me
    https://milentry-blog.blogspot.com

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  54. Woow! amazing dress dear, I really like it!
    xoxo
    http://www.recklessdiary.ru

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  55. I visit your blog. It is really useful and easy to understand. Hope everyone get benefit. Thanks for sharing your Knowledge and experience with us.
    office.com/setup | office.com/setup | mcafee.com/activate | |office.com/setup

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  56. i always check your blog post, and you did very well.
    You look fabulous with the outfit, thanks for the lovely post.

    Regards,
    Prabhu...

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  57. che bello questo abito e ti sta benissimo
    Alessandra Style

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  58. Thanks a lot :D

    you look fantastic, my dear :)

    NEW OUTFIT POST | MIXES WITHOUT FEARS.
    InstagramFacebook Official PageMiguel Gouveia / Blog Pieces Of Me :D

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  59. You look so pretty in this outfit Ivana, I would love to read the book you have recommended.
    Have a nice day.
    http://www.rakhshanda-chamberofbeauty.com/

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  61. Your dress is so lovely on you dear. Edgy and chic! You're rocking it.
    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  62. I love it! The adjustments you made make it look lovely, and you are so talented when it comes to design. Chronic illnesses are so difficult - some days I feel incredible, whereas others I feel like trash. There's always a light at the tunnel though :)

    Have a great week :)
    Amy x Wandering Everywhere

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    Replies
    1. That's true. There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Delete
  63. Un outfit stupendo, stai benissimo! Meraviglioso anche il disegno! :)

    https://julesonthemoon.blogspot.com/

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  64. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  65. This color and style of dress suits you the most.
    www.okcheori.com

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  66. Wow, for the first dress ever, it turned out really great. Also the cut suits you well, so big congratulations on that (especially if you don't speak German).
    Looking forward to see what you'll create next :)

    LackaDaisy

    *LackaDaisy*

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  67. Hi Ivana :) I'm really impressed on your first dress, which was sewn on your own - it's stylish, suits to you and your figure and the design reminds me dresses from Victoria Beckham's style, good work, dear! What's more, I have never heard about this book, sounds really inviting.

    http://crafty-zone.blogspot.com/

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  68. So talented!

    - www.youthofthesun.com

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  69. Dear Ivana, congratulations on graduating from your first sewing course! You look absolutely stunning in this elegant dress!! You've done an amazing job! Sewing is a great hobby, I used to sew and loved Burda designs. And each time you choose different fabric and/or details, you make it your own and completely unique! I also loved the way you styled the pictures of this dres with a book, fitting the theme of the book.

    We mostly give gifts to our daughter in the last few years, and only if we find something that we really love, then we buy gifts to each other, because frankly we have everything and then some. :)

    Have a wonderful Christmas season! Happy holidays to you and your family!!

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    1. I know what you mean, my husband isn't a fan of buying gifts for Christmas, he thinks it is better to.buy them.at other times.

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  70. https://carinazz.blogspot.comSuch inspiring looks!


    Cheers,
    | Alex | Christmas in Style With Party Dresses



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  72. Congratulations on making your first dress! Congratulations also... for looking fabulous in your handmade dress! The sandals(?) look nice also to go with the handmade dress. Fine style job here. Same applies to your other outfits in this post.

    johnbmarine.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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