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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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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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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The shorts that knew too much

Ok, I couldn't help myself, I just love funny titles! The shorts in question are made from that pair of jeans I found earlier this summer. Before I made these I counted I had only 2 pairs of shorts so a third pair was needed. I had to dye the shorts 2 times before I got this colour. I did the mistake of not using enough hot water the first time and the result was not good. I was using a plastic bucket  that can't handle temperatures above 60ºC, bad idea on my part. I've now purchased a stainless steel bucket for future projects. Some time around the millennium I had a serious tie dye and print phase. I dyed and printed everything from clothes, bags and even sheets. Not knowing anything about printing techniques back then I found my own way by using book covering film. I cut each X separately in order to be able to align them better. Using book film is quit primitive way to print garments but it works quit well for big and very simple prints. Plus, book covering film is something I always have around as I insist on covering all my books. Voilà,…

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In florals we trust

Ever since I bought THAT red coat last year, I've been re-examining which coat shapes work for me and dared to try on silhouettes that I before might have considered to be too oversized for my body shape. When I was in Vaasa over midsummer I was doing  my usual second hand round when I stumbled on this floral print. I loved the print straight away and wanted to buy the garment  but I couldn't figure out if it was a coat or a dress so I ended up deciding that it was probably some grandmother's pyjamas from perhaps the 70's. I hesitated for a moment  to try it on since it was size XL which meant there was a lot of fabric and the scale of the print magnified that. But you know me, I'm a sucker for prints (especially florals) so I had to buy it. I figured I'd change and decrease the amount of buttons, add a belt and wear this floral tent as a coat. I can honestly say that this is one of the best purchases this year! Though it's oversize it's well proportioned and the big pockets (that you can barely see because of the…

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I love polka dots!

Last winter a friend of mine hosted a clothing swap event, what a brilliant idea! I came home with a few garments, among which; a pair of jeans I planned to wear this summer as shorts. So I cut off the legs but then put the project on hold since I couldn't decide which colour to dye them. Then last week (a very hot week) I realised that I only own 2 pairs of shorts and they were both in the laundry basket. So to save time and quickly make these shorts wearable, I decided to print rather than dye them. I had an idea of tuxedo like stripes on the sides but ended up doing polka dots instead. I think It was because of all the lovely polka dot fabrics I saw at the local fabric store (need to buy some and sew a full A -line skirt). Back to the shorts, I wanted big and more irregular polka dots so I opted for self made stencils and a brush. I'm sure there's an easier and more accurate way to do it but the improvised stencils worked for me. Now I just need to find another pair of jeans…

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Button up

The Helsinki City theatre had a flea market recently where they sold costumes they didn't need any more. The theatre is going to be renovated next year so I guess a thorough spring cleaning was needed. A friend of mine told me about the event and we decided to go check it out. Pure curiosity was what dragged us out of bed that Saturday morning! The first thing that surprised us was the long queue outside the theatre. Then we saw people coming out with big black plastic bags full of stuff! What on earth are they buying we wondered. Once inside though, we could understand the hysteria. There were a lot of items being sold for 2-10€. Though I had decided not to buy anything, I came home with a silk blouse and two wool scarves for the total sum of 1,20€ ! I thought I'd change the buttons and resew the sleeve hems and the blouse would be as good an new. But when I got home I noticed that the sleeves were more damaged than I had initially noticed. So, note to self always double check the quality of the garment before a purchase! The damage on…

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