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…

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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…

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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…

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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

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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.

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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 style 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. 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…

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Raindrops keep hanging on my ears

Ok, that was a bad title but sometimes I just have to take the cheezy route. Another option was Drop it like a pear! I made these earrings months ago (probably at the same time as these ones) but forgot to post the pictures. I love the long drop shape and the colour of the beads. I got them last last year when I was in Copenhagen and I think the stone is jade. I've been using these earrings a lot since I made them. I looked in my jewellery box and there are five pairs of drop shaped earrings in different colour and sizes. I've been trying to figure out where this love for this shape comes from but I can't pinpoint where it started . Maybe it's because of all those costume dramas I'm always watching. I will continue investigating.

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Parrots Calling

I've now accepted the slow pace of my Project Dream Wardrobe. I might be coming along with my handicraft projects but the sewing projects just take much more time. While I'm working on my patience, here's one top I finished a while back. It's an altered version of this top, the difference being the rounded hem. This is such a versatile garment for me so I'm gonna keep making different versions. Right now I'm eager to get started on a wrap version and later I'd like to make a sleeveless option. I found the fabric last year and bought it without any specific garment in mind. There was something about the colour combination and the tropical theme that spoke to me. I usually go for the floral or abstract prints but this time the parrots were calling me! I still need to work on my "I'm so glad I finished this garment" face. I wonder where my mind wandered off to? I really love the unexpected colour combination of the fabric. Working on my creepy face. You never know when you're gonna need it! Parrots!

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Kimonos and awkward faces

It's funny how one's style evolves. Ever since that red coat, I've been reconsidering things that I would have never worn 5 years ago. I'm pretty much the same size, live in the same city and still consider comfort to be paramount when choosing clothes but my relationship with clothes has changed a bit. I've been reading Garance Dore's posts on change and I guess fashion wise (and hopefully life wise) I'm evolving. I'm letting go of rules and ideas on what works for my body shape or what I need to wear in order to look "presentable" and going with my gut feeling. I'm welcoming the randomness and encouraging myself to really be more playful with what I wear. When I went to Japan I bought a piece that I wouldn't have known how to wear before. The shear size of it, the square shape and the length would have made me leave it where I found it. I had hopes of finding a yukata during my trip but once I found the vintage kimono stores I forgot about finding new ones. I found some incredibly beautiful silk kimonos but the more I saw the more I doubted if I would actually wear…

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The quest for silk

I love finding treasures at second hand and vintage shops. Lately I've even found garments even though some of the best finds I've found while looking for something completely different. I've also stumbled upon a garment that I didn't know I needed until recently, the silk knit top. I found one not long ago that I've used a lot and now I'm always on the lookout for them. Why do I love this 90's business woman wardrobe staple you might wonder? They're so comfortable and you can wear them all year round. You also get all the benefits of silk but don't have to worry about ironing as much, compared to let's say a blouse from woven silk. My silk knit top count is now up to four. I almost didn't buy the most recent one. The fit was perfect but it was in this beige colour I felt wouldn't work on me. So I decided to dye it purple! The starting point, a very soft but very beige silk knit top. At first I thought I'd try to get an even purple colour but in the end I went with tie dye. I just love the randomness and the patterns you can get…

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Beige Suede

I found this cute bag at a second hand shop a while back in Vaasa. I immediately liked the size, materials and the details but me and beige? I have not been a big fan of the colour since that beige and navy phase I had ca 1999. The length of the strap also bothered me, I'm very picky about that sort of thing, occupational hazard i guess.In the end I asked myself the fundamental question, as pretty as this bag is, will I actually use it? The answer was yes, if I shorten the straps to handles and use the bag more as briefcase. This was quit easy as the straps were removable. Straps attached with buckles are quit  brilliant thing!

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