Flounce & Bounce – A fashion love story

Hello fellow humans! Where did the time go? I can’t believe it’s the middle of April already. I’ve been super busy with some very intense courses at school, hence the blog silence. But I’m now trying to catch up and revisit my vows of self discipline.
Here’s a skirt I finished months ago but photographed in March. I often write about my long love affair with colours and prints on this blog but recently I was reminded of a third thing to add to that list, flounces! You could add all kinds of ruffles and frills under this category as well. If you’re unsure about the difference between flounces and ruffles ( as I was until writing this), here’s a good explanation.

It’s never mattered whether flounces/ruffles are trending or not, whether they’ve been considered too romantic or girly, I’ve always loved them. Now that I’ve made this skirt, I think I need more frilly pieces in my wardrobe. Maybe a summer dress with a huge flounce over the shoulders or a top with some ruffled sleeves. I’ll have to add them to my sewing list.The pattern for the skirt was made a couple of years ago. I didn’t have enough fabric when I made it the first time so that skirt is a bit tight around the hips. This time I made sure to have enough fabric and chose a linen in this lovely green colour. I’m looking to start wearing it when it gets a bit warmer.


I’m wearing lab coats now

Category : Style
Date : 17/01/2019
I’m wearing lab coats now

Ok, it’s one lab coat.

I’m always looking for a specific garment when I go to second hand stores but lately I’ve been increasingly trying out those odd garments that are never on my list. It’s part of my “embrace my weirdness” part of self acceptance but also because when I usually go in looking for coats, I end up finding skirts. The best finds usually happen when I’m looking for something else.

Last fall I did a little tour of the vintage and second hand stores in Kallio I had meaning to visit for a while. I was mostly looking for cardigans and bags but also just checking out the offering in the area. In one of the stores I picked up this lab coat. It was one of those “if it fits, I’m buying it” moments. I was surprised I picked it out because I only own one white garment and I’ve never worn it (it was a gift and has sentimental value). But I remember feeling excited when I walked home and giggling at the idea that I would soon be walking around Helsinki wearing a painted lab coat.

In the end I sprayed the coat instead of painting it, just felt more fun. At first I was gonna go with green but the shade I got when I mixed the dyes I had was too olivey for this purpose, so I went with yellow. So there you have it, yet another oddball garment added to my increasingly random collection of clothes that is my wardrobe.

By the way if anyone has any tips for household lamps that can be used for photography, let me know. Daylight is ideal but not always available or reliable.

 


Winter is coming – So I made a Beanie

Category : Style
Date : 22/12/2018
Winter is coming – So I made a Beanie

Ok, so winter is kind of here already but I’ve got Game of Thrones on my mind.

I’ve been doing serious closet cleanup sessions lately, taking out all those garment and accessories that no longer work for me for different reasons. That has also included letting go of pieces made from animal fibres. While layering is an alternative for wool, I’ve struggled to find replacements for some of my beanies. It seems that everything on the market is either wool or acrylic. The few beanies that are made from cotton are made for people with much smaller heads than mine. I’ve been reluctant to crochet a beanie since the last time I did it, I ended up with a heavy and weird shaped beanie that I rarely used. Tired of googling ethically produced cotton beanies I decided to give a crocheted version another go. This time I would try to find a pattern and make sure I got the fit right.

Thank goodness for Pinterest because it didn’t take long before I found this simple way of crocheting a beanie, that even beginners can do. You don’t have to worry about decreasing stitches, only how big of a fold (or is it a brim on beanies too?) you want or how loose you want the beanie to be. You basically crochet a rectangle that you then stitch or crochet the sides to make a tube and then you gather and stitch together one opening of that tube and you have a beanie! I made mine very big because I want to be able to wear it even when I have box braids. So the top of the beanie is maybe not the prettiest but I can always cover it with a pom pom or something else.

Because I was going to use cotton and not wool, I figured it would be good to use a thicker yarn. I was glad to finally have a use for the knitted tube yarn that I got from a friend a while back. I ran out of yarn half way through so I had to order more to finish the beanie.

I’m so happy with this beanie, that I’m probably going to crochet another one. I would like to try one with a different rib stitch and maybe with a heathered yarn.

 


The Kimono – My new wardrobe staple?

Category : Style
Date : 16/10/2018
The Kimono – My new wardrobe staple?

 

 

The first time I wore my vintage kimono, I immediately knew I needed more kimonos in my life. Then I figured the fastest way to get started was to copy the one I already had and then make smaller alterations. At first I wanted to make a really long one from a thick linen fabric but then one evening I got the idea to use one of my wax print fabrics.

The kimono itself is not that complicated but it still took me forever to finish it, I had a lot going on in the late spring and then I was in Stockholm all summer. Now that I’ve made one, I have lots of ideas for different versions. I’ve been struggling to find cardigans in second hand shops lately so I think the kimono might become a new wardrobe staple of mine.

Photos by Johanna Boyd

 


A wolf, a rose and a silver dinosaur – embracing the weird and going with your gut

Ok, long title there but it is an unusual combination of items I’m talking about. When we popped by the Antique fair while visiting Habitare I was looking for the the ladies who usually have beautiful stands filled with vintage garments and accessories. I was hoping to find a small cross body bag or maybe a scarf. The ladies were nowhere to be found, their usual spots now occupied by other vendors selling furniture. So I moved on to the other items I always look at during events like this, glass objects and jewellery. We lingered at one  stand selling vintage rings with beautiful stones of all colours but their prices didn’t fit our budgets so we moved on to the lady selling bronze rings close by.

The minute she opened the lid to the box I picked up the ring with the roses. It’s no secret that I love flowers and I knew if I bought this ring it would be in constant use. While I was debating with myself whether it would fit on finger even when it’s swollen I was looking at the wolf ring. It’s not the kind of ring I would usually go for but I kept looking at it while trying on other rings to buy with the rose ring. I mean, i could go for cute and quirky animals like giraffes and owls but  wolves, not so much! When I finally tried it on it like “yep, I’m buying this one too”. When we went to another stand selling silver jewellery the same thing happened, I instinctively picked up rings with flowers or knots while looking at the dinosaur ring at the same time. Feeling emboldened by my purchase of the wolf ring, I bought the dinosaur ring. So in less than an hour, I bought three rings for 45€. The last time I bought several pieces at once was at Juthbacka a few years ago and those rings have been in weekly use.

Why am I telling you all this you may wonder? Because I like to overanalyse my purchasing decisions? Maybe. It was one of those moments where I wasn’t thinking too much if this is my style or not but listening to that gut feeling and going with it. As you know I’ve been trying to let go of self imposed rules and lately I’ve been all about embracing the weird. I’ve like I’m a weird person most of my life but now instead of trying to conform I’m learning to accept it. Sometimes embracing the weird means buying a rose, a dinosaur and a wolf ring, as corny as it probably sounds.


I should change my mind more often

Category : Style
Date : 22/03/2018
I should change my mind more often

Up until last winter I only wore skirts and dresses during the summer. I used to joke that my pants are not going anywhere until it’s at least 20 degrees celsius. It probably stems from all those new year’s celebrations in my youth where i was often freezing my ass off. Even though I now live in Southern Finland where it’s not as cold as in Ostrobothnia and the winters in general seem to be getting warmer (ehum, climate change!), that no skirts in winter rule stayed with me. That is until I was confronted with the fact that I was down to three decent pairs of pants I could wear to work and two of them were on the worn and kind of torn side. I didn’t have any money to invest in proper pair of jeans (you know, the well-fitting-thick-denim-fairly-produced kind of jeans) and I rarely find pants second hand, no matter how many pairs I try on. So I was left with the option to forget my “rule” and give winter skirts a go! I bought a purple knitted one and then a blue pencil skirt, two skirt types I had sworn to stay away from because I found them unflattering for my figure. Once I started using these skirts on a regular basis however, I wondered why I hadn’t done it earlier. I even wore a skirt when it was -10 degrees celsius and I didn’t freeze! Ok, a thick pair of tights and a very long winter coat were crucial in this case. So yeah, I’m glad I changed my mind on this self imposed rule!

I found this red skirt a few months back at a second hand store and it’s really become a favourite. I love the big pleats and the deep red colour. It’s a length I probably would have avoided in the past but once you start letting go of ideas of what suits your figure your mind opens up to all kinds of possibilities. Do you have any rules when it comes to clothing? Have you thought about reexamining some of them?

 


Green and Peculiar

Category : Style
Date : 20/02/2018
Green and Peculiar

I was going to call this post green goblin and then I remembered that he’s a villain and that stopped in my tracks. Interesting how there’s many “green” superheroes though. Green Lantern, Green Arrow and not to forget The Hulk!

Enough about superheroes and my weird ideas for blog titles. I found this odd green coat a while back at second hand store when I was actually looking for skirts. I call it odd because the fabric is basically as thin as a shirt fabric yet it has a hood, buttons and pockets like any other coat. It was again one of those garments that was somehow just a bit off that I just had to try it on. Since it’s a garment that was made in Finland the original price was around 35€ but I think I got it for 10€. Now, who doesn’t love a bargain?

Weeks later I found the turquoise fabric I got at a clothing swap at school and got the idea for this almost tone on tone photoshoot. The only problem? It was constantly dark outside and fabric was not really big enough to cover the background. I kept postponing the shoot until one Saturday morning I just decided to do it. It was one of those “done is better that perfect” moments. Now, should I have ironed the background fabric and the coat? Yes! But on this particular Saturday I just couldn’t be bothered. I was more focused on taking the pictures in a different way than I’ve done before. And I have to say I’m quite happy with them, despite the bad light and textile wrinkles. I can’t wait for the warm weather when I can wear this coat outside!


The Floral Invasion

Category : Style
Date : 25/07/2017
The Floral Invasion

Remember that top with the wrap shoulder I made a few years ago? Or is it a blouse? Ok, I need to get my definitions in order! Anywho, I’ve been using it quit often but unfortunately the fabric isn’t ageing that well. I got the fabric as a gift so I was never a 100% sure of the fiber content.
I really like the wrap shoulder details so I made the same top from a light cotton floral fabric I bought last fall. I altered the the pattern a bit and made the sleeves a bit wider and the hem curved. I seem to have thing for curved hems lately.
As you guys know, I’m a huge fan of floral patterns but I might need to pace myself. My summer wardrobe has experienced a serious floral invasion! So for my next sewing project I need to use some monochrome linen fabrics to balance things out.


The year-round scarf

Date : 07/06/2017
The year-round scarf

It only took me a year! Well, it’s been finished for a month or so, I just hadn’t gotten around to taking pictures of it. Why did it take so long? I’m in a way new to knitting so my pace is quit slow. Also, I was crocheting all kinds of projects in between so this scarf always ended up at the bottom of the priority list.
The last (and first time) I knitted a scarf was in 7th grade. It was a navy blue garter stitch scarf that was very wavy because I was probably too impatient to care about knitting equally tight rows. I’m glad I took the time to knit this scarf properly. I wanted a thinner wool scarf that I could use all year round. When I took these pictures I thought I maybe won’t be needing this scarf this summer but then I went to an outdoor party recently and was glad I hadn’t packed it away with the rest of my winter clothes. Hopefully I won’t need to use it too often this summer!

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The oval upgrade – an embroidered cardigan

I’m one of those people who discovered the versatility of a classic cardigan pretty late. Up until design school my everyday style was overly practical, especially during winter. Most of the time I walked around with thick zip sweaters with as high collars as possible. “I refuse to freeze” was my motto, I hadn’t learned the art of layering you see.

I remember what I think was the first classic cardigan that owned. It was a very tight beige rib jersey number that I wore for special occasions, like my uncle’s graduation. But after internships abroad my changed a lot. I now wanted to look more “polished aspiring fashion professional” and less carpenter on lunch break. More classic cardigans now started finding their to my wardrobe. By the time I moved to Helsinki cardigans were such a staple, that they became the core of my work uniform.

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Over the years I’ve become so picky about materials and fit of my cardigans that I now feel I have a cardigan shortage. That’s why I’m always on the look out for them in flea markets and second hand stores. This red number I bought in a flea market in Vaasa a few months ago. I liked that it was a more cold red but felt it was almost identical to an orange one I already own. So I thought I’d elevate it a bit by embroidering something on it.

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I decided on such a simple shape as a circle since I hadn’t embroidered on a knitted fabric before. Getting the even circle turned out to be quit the challenge. I had an idea of randomly scattered polka dots in two sizes but what I got annoyingly aligned oval shapes. I kind of like the cochobon shapes now but I would have wanted to get a more random placement of them. What I’m really happy with though is the colour combination. I do have to stop myself though from buying any more red clothes. Ever since that coat, I feel the colour has taken over my wardrobe!

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