Wednesday, 24 September 2014

DIY Shirts and Dresses with Katie & Boris // Stem Cells

Shirt is thrifted & DIY | skirt is thrifted | socks are from Clear It | shoes c/o Chicwish (years ago)
See Katie's blog for her outfit details!

Me and Katie were taking photos of ourselves in a random alleyway (as you do) when a guy came out of his garage and asked us why we were taking photos (which always happens. Other people who take outfit photos will know this well - for some reason, as soon as you break out an SLR and start taking pictures of yourself, people become incredibly curious & nosey. In the age where everyone has a camera, I don't know why it's still so exciting to see people taking photos, but there you go). I think that we told him that we were taking photos for our fashion line (kinda true..?) but then he very kindly let us pose in front of his beautiful 50-year-old Holden car, so all was forgiven. 
Apparently the car's name is Boris and the guy bought it back when he was a teenager. With both me and Katie being a big fan of vintage and antiques, it was pretty cool learning that the car had a lot of history. In fact, the car was named after an engineering friend of this guy - called Boris - who migrated to Australia in the 1960s.

Anyway, we were taking photos because earlier that afternoon I had helped Katie make her first ever dress. The fabric that we used is from a vintage bedsheet. You may also notice that I also took a bit of fabric for myself and stuck it onto my shirt! So, we are subtly matching:
You can see more photos of Katie's outfit here.

My science news today is really exciting for the people working in my field! A woman in Japan has become the first ever person to receive stem cell therapy using induced pluriopotent stem (iPS) cells. The aim? To stop her from losing her vision from macular degeneration.
For scientists working in genetics & molecular biology, stem cells have been a controversial topic for the past couple of decades. This is mainly because the first sources of stem cells were embryonic, and risky to use medically - they had the potential to form tumors. But the recent discovery that we can turn adult cells back into stem cells has led to focus and funding being directed back into stem cell research.

First, some definitions:
What are stem cells? Stem cells are cells that have the potential to turn into any other type of body cell (hair, skin, brain, bones - you name it). Once a stem cell has committed down a certain path, it can't usually go backwards and become a stem cell again. This feature of being able to turn into any type of cell is called "pluriopotency".
What are embryonic stem cells? When a sperm and egg fuse, migrate to the womb and start replicating, these cells are also called stem cells - because they continue dividing with the goal of creating an entire creature, containing all the different types of cells (bones and brains and limbs alike!) So an embryo is made up of stem cells.
What are induced pluriopotent stem cells? These are cells that have already committed down a certain path, that have been manipulated by scientists so it can become a stem cell again! Their use in medicine is promising - the cells are taken from the patient, rather than embryonic tissue. This gets around both the ethical issue of using embryonic stem cells, and it also means that people won't reject grafts or organs made of their own stem cells, because they are already recognised by their body!

This Japanese woman, who is the first person in the world to have this procedure done, has had her own skin cells turned back into stem cells, and then prompted to turn into retinal cells in a dish. These iPS cells were then surgically put back into her eye. The biology community is now watching with their fingers crossed - if it's successful, it could mean a renewed interest in iPS cells for use in this and other diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes. I'll keep you all updated.

If you found that interesting, I also talk about stem cells here and here!

Much love!

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  1. I am in love with that top it is so cute, would look lush as a dress too x

  2. this is amazing! i love the outfit and the photo background so much! it's going to my pinterest board, absolutely :PP

  3. I am literally in love with your blog and you. Woah, that sounds creepy. But in a inspiring way. I found your blog last week and for some reason you inspired me so much to make my own clothes too. So I tried to make a dress. My first attempt to make something with a sewing machine, haha. Oh well, it did't turn out as great as your things, but for the first time using a sewing machine I'm quite happy with the result. :) (It's on my blog if you're curious but I don't wanna promote myself and stuff haha) So, thank you for inspiring me! You're a great person. You're so so so creative and beautiful and you just look like art. x

  4. Damn that is one great vintage bedsheet! Ya'll look so cute together with Boris! (what a name).
    Seriously exciting about the stem cells! Makes me excited to be alive right now.


  5. the dress looks amazing , i would never guess that it is made from a bedsheet =)

  6. LOVE LOVE LOVE both of your outfits! Annika, your top kind of reminds me of an etsy shop Ive followed for a long time called Im Your Present :) Now I totally want to try it too!

  7. LOVE your blog...not only because of your awesome fashion posts but that was so thrilling to hear about the ability to turn adult cells back into stem cells!! I had heard that you could use embryonic stem cells but had no idea that they had found a way to use adult cells and actually transform them think that lady could get back her vision!! Amazing!!!

    ♡ Regina ♡
    Margarita Bloom: Beauty & Fashion
    Blog / Facebook / Bloglovin

  8. Dude, we are almost in front of the same car! :) :)

  9. Love it ! Haha so.. you are some sort of photo rebels ?

    haha this is awesome.
    Love from Paris;

  10. You look absolutely stunning here Annika :D

  11. Wow amazing outfit !
    Saskia ! xo

  12. AWESOME news about stem cells and fantastic outfits


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