Monday, 24 February 2014

Clown College / The Four Percent

Dress is DIY | bag is vintage | hairclips from my friend Katie

I absolutely cannot wear my hair down while wearing this dress. If I do, I am 100% a clown. Red curly hair plus this very childish dress = a children's entertainer outfit (not that there's anything wrong with clowns or children's entertainers, but it's simply not the style that I aspire to).

This is the first dress in which I attempted my new circle-skirt-dress-plus-sleeves-plus-a-collar pattern (you can find the entire thing on my youtube channel), and I thought that this discounted Michael Miller fabric was as good a fabric as any to try it out on (it's still on sale for 2 more days if you want to buy some for yourself)! I did, however, sew right through my finger while making this dress. Sewing is just so wild. *Sew* wild, even. #YOLO. One of my fingernails has turned a lovely shade of black as a consequence, and shall probably fall off soon. Oh, the joys of sewing.

So this is absolutely crazy - did you know that 96% of the universe is made up of stuff that we have never, ever seen? We don't even know what it is. Everything that we do know about - matter and atoms and molecules, everything that makes up both our bodies and the Earth - only accounts for 4% of the "stuff" within our universe. The below video is part of a 60-second-lecture series from Penn University, and I highly recommend that you check it out!

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  1. Love this dress and this tissue !!!

    Les Selfies de Pauline

  2. Such an amazing pattern for the dress :D

  3. Your dress is so lovely! :]
    The 4% is seems quite conceivable. Quite often, I wonder about the other 96%. Really, what more is there to this universe?
    ♡ Dulce

  4. You did such a good job on this dress- I love the collar and the pattern!


  5. You always manage to snag the most fantastic fabric! <3

  6. I think these dresses you're making would look absolutely gorgeous with contrasting collars and maybe even waists. As it is now, you can't tell there's a Peter Pan collar because it perfectly blends into the rest of the dress, so it just looks like a plain round-necked variety. And we all know how awesome Peter Pan collars are!!

    1. I'm definitely planning on it, don't worry ;)

    2. Also the peter pan collars are probably harder to see in the photos, it's easier to see (though still subtle) in real life.

  7. i loveeee this pattern! you know what annika, i would rob your closet if i'm around cause all your dresses are very cute and flattering on the inverted triangle body shape like me :)
    great job!

  8. i am absolutely in love with the pattern on this dress! it's just too awesome, and these energetic it! <3

    weirdoland -

  9. What a gorgeous dress! I hope your finger will heal soon (but I assume it won't hold you back from sewing even more ;)).

  10. Your style has really inspired me of late, both when it comes to what I wear and to what I create on the sewing machine I'm trying to handle.
    Also, I watched this and thought it might be interesting to you?

    1. Ohh, thank you so much :) I'm so happy to know that my style has inspired you! I've been feeling a little *uninspired* of late, because it's been sooo hot and I feel like that's stopped me from really wearing anything interesting (I really love tights and layering, and I'm missing that so bad!) So that means a lot to me :)

      So I immediately have a problem with this lady's talk (it's definitely interesting! However...). She says that people who were experiencing more stress in their lives had a 43% increase in risk of dying. Essentially she is saying that stress CAUSES increased risk of dying.
      But it's also highly possible that many of the people who were experiencing more stress were stressed because they had health problems. Maybe they'd just been diagnosed with a scary disease. Maybe they were stressed because of lack of money (and people in lower socio-economic situations are not only likely to be more stressed, but more likely to die younger than the more wealthy). So it's highly possible that health problems, or money problems are factors which all (even if indirectly) lead to an increased risk of dying.

      Now there is definitely a lot of studies that DO show that an increase in stress leads to production of corticosteroids which, in turn, suppress inflammation and reduce the effectiveness of the immune system, which leads to an increase in incidence of disease (because you have no immune system..) and thus increased risk of death. Stress is not 100% psychological like this woman is suggesting. It's got a lot of biochemical effects on the body, too.

      I really feel like the study that this woman cites can not conclusively prove, from mere correlation and without taking other factors into account, that "stress beliefs" *cause* premature death. I really feel like she's taken something that's slightly interesting in a study, and ran waaaay too far with it. Unfortunately this happens all too often with psychological studies! But the 'science' really doesn't prove, in this case, that simply thinking that stress is your friend will make you live a longer life!

      This is an example of a 'correlation does not imply causation' fallacy in logic, which I'm actually planning on talking about in the next couple of posts :)

    2. I know what you mean (although here in Sweden, heat is the last thing one can complain about in february). My style used to be all about layers. The more the better! I could wear tights, knee high socks and legwarmers at the same time and layer shirt over shirt to create some new effect. My style has changed since then, but it used to be really frustrating come summertime. Everything I wore felt uninspired.

      I do agree with what you say, although I see a point in why she's taking it too far. I think that maybe more than being a strictly scientific lecture this is about trying to change how people think about stress, because if you're afraid of being stressed then stress is deifinity going to be dangerous for you. I used to have (and still have) some problems with handling stress, and in the end I had to get help to learn how to not let stress ruin my life (and my body). I went to both a psychologist and a physiotherapist who were specialised in stress, and a lot of what I learn't was about acceptance. Part of my stress was related to pain. I felt pain in my shoulders, and the pain combined with fear of the pain made me tense up and feel more pain. Vicious circle. One of the most useful things I learnt was how to accept the pain and not fear it. That, combined with a few tricks on how to relax muscle for muscle, has made most of that pain go away and I can live normally again.
      Long and personal story, my point is that I think her goal is to make people stop being scared about being stressed. Where I live media can tend to go pretty wild about anything that the least bit dangerous to our health, and stress has been a big issue for a while. The problem is that people get scared of being stressed, and then the stress becomes ten times worse. Because fear and stress is basically the same thing, as far as our body is concerned.
      I do agree with you though. I think the problem is the really scientific angle she's going for (probably to enhance the effect of the speech). As more of a peptalk with some scientific research used more as a seasoning rather than the basis of the speach it would have made more sense. Because there is a lot of not very well supported leaps in logic here that doesn't go well with a scientific speach. I do not study science myself, but most of my friends (and parts of my family) attend or have attended sceintific educations. And they complain about people (and often media) doing similar mistakes all the time. Have you read the book Freakonomics? It was a while ago and I never had time to read the whole book but I seem to remember it bringing up 'correlationdoes not imply causation' in some practical examples that were rather intresting.

    3. Oh, definitely it's helpful, even if she does overreach with the "science" angle! From a psychological point of view, stress and anxiety is very much a vicious cycle - I also suffer from anxiety, and when it was really bad a couple of years ago I did cognitive behavioral psychology, whose methodology basically gets you to realise and accept that you're feeling stress, or anxiety, and just get's you to sit with it, and realise that it can't actually hurt you. I think it worked really well. So that's very much like the point this person was making in her video, and I agree that it's a really important psychological trick! But that you have a 43% increased risk of dying if you think that stress is bad for you? Ahh... not so much. And yep, I agree, it would have been good if she'd just used her own experience as a psychologist rather than appealing to a single study using flawed logic in this talk, I think :) But, I always have a lot of fun picking out flaws in logic in things like this, so thank you for sharing the video with me :D

      Man, I wish that I had science friends and family haha - I am literally the only person in my circle of friends/family who does science so I'm ALWAYS the one who is a killjoy when people are talking about some news item or science story or something cool that they heard, kinda like this, and I go "ummm actually that's really wrong because of this...", haha. Such a killjoy. (I actually love it though.)
      I have actually heard a lot about Freakonomics! I've never read it myself. But I think it shows that "critical thinking" as a way of thinking about the world, and learning about and being able to notice flaws in logic and reasoning, is applicable not just to science, but to other areas and to everyday life, as well. I'm all for everyone in the world learning about critical thinking, haha, which is a lot of the reason why I do posts like this on my blog.

      Thank you for raising some really interesting questions with that video, and your reply!

  11. Absolutely gorgeous! Would you please do a tutorial about the dress you made, as this dress is one the MUST HAVE dress in every girl's wardrobe. BTW, where did you find such beautiful fabric in Sydney? I live in Brisbane, and the local fabic stores do not have many choices.

    1. Dude, I've got an entire tutorial for this dress already!
      The "base" dress:
      Adding sleeves:
      Adding a collar:

      In Sydney, I got to Marrickville for fabric. But as I said in the post, this particular fabric was an online purchase :)

  12. In love with this dress! I love all your dresses!!!


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