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 Compartmentaliser

I'm the kind of person who really hates looking for things. This has made into an avid organiser. My space is not always clean (I'm not a big fan of vacuum cleaners) but my things are always organised. One side effect of this is that I have a weakness for what you could call organising tools, boxes, folders, pouches you name it. I probably have it worst for pouches, I mean, I have a pouch for my pouches! It's probably because I can make them myself and I always find new uses for them. When I was packing for Tokyo, I realised I could use a couple of pouches for smaller items that can easily get lost when unpacking a large suitcase. I also thought they could be useful for those deep bags with dark lining that seem to swallow small things like hair accessories. So I went through my fabric scraps and found pieces that matched my flea market bought zippers. My materials kind of limited the size of the pouches but I wanted to make the as pretty as possible. I thought about decorating them with embroidery but I wanted to try some new techniques. I ended up using tucking and…

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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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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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My favourite kind of manipulation

Back in design school, what feels like a million years ago, I found this amazing book at the library while looking for some inspiration for ruffles. Once I was done with my ruffle experiments (I have a serious thing for ruffles, I have to write about it sometime) and had returned the book I decided I should buy it and put it on my wish list.  The book is called The art of manipulating fabric by Colette Wolff and NOW I've finally bought it. Hey, better late than never! What's so great about this book you may wonder? It's like a fabric manipulation encyclopaedia. Ruffles are just a small fraction of what this book covers. There's chapters on pleats, tucks, smocking and quilting to name a few. The book might at first sight seem a bit outdated because of the cover and black and white images but they actually work well with the illustrations and make the instructions easier to follow. I'm very eager to try out all the techniques in the book so I'll probably try out some of them on some pouches and later on some garments. I'll let you know how that goes. I really recommend this…

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A blouse called Blanche

Ok, I just called it Blanche 'cause it almost rhymes with blouse.  Maybe Claire or Mary would be better names? Anywho, these days it seems the only way I can finish a sewing project is if I isolate myself for an entire weekend.  Gone are the days when I could work on several projects at the same time. Since I moved a year ago, I don't have as much space for spreading out fabrics and making patterns. But enough complaining! Last Saturday I confined myself to my room (the weather was crappy anyway) and made a blouse. It's a basic t-shirt model that I made in a flowy rayon fabric. I've previously made another version with a wrapped shoulder. This one is a little wider than usual and has longer sleeves. I also made it with curved  hems . I'm definitely going to make more versions of this blouse. It's great for work since it's chic and casual but not too informal as a regular t-shirt. I've recently noticed that my work wardrobe is not as professional as I'd like it to be. So that's one more thing to add to my Project Dream Wardrobe. I'm one of those people…

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Creating that dream wardrobe

My style has gone through various changes over the years but one thing that remains constant is my love for colour and print. The good  thing with getting older is that you get a better at knowing what works for you. So for the last year or so I've been editing my wardrobe, only leaving items that I love and actually use. I've become very picky about the materials and origins of the clothes. I've also learned that I don't need an enormous amount of clothes, just versatile items that work for most of the year. While editing down my wardrobe I haven't really been buying any new clothes, which has left me short of some essential items. The problem? I can't really afford the designer clothes that fit my criteria and I struggle to find time to for sewing. The solution? To take the time and make one piece at a time, properly. So that's what I've now started, Project Dream Wardrobe. For a while I've wanted to make a woven t-shirt that is loose but not oversize. So I made a pattern that I can easily customise. First up from that pattern is this t-shirt with a wrap…

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Check your tote

I started making canvas totes in the 7th or 8th grade. I had given up on backpacks (until recently, but that's another story) 'cause I felt they were too sporty and I was desperately trying to look grown up and feminine. Since then I've made them in a variety of colours and prints, for myself and friends. I usually prefer short straps and a proper gusset but after receiving a "flat" Marimekko canvas tote I'm starting to reconsider my gusset obsession. There's something about how the corners look when the tote is filled that annoys me. Anywho, I was thinking about a gift for a friend of mine who helped me move (and recently celebrated her birthday) and decided on a canvas tote. I remembered that her favourite one had been stolen a while back. Seriously, who steals a canvas tote? Unlike me, my friend prefers subtle colours and prints so it felt safest to go for a black and white colour scheme. After an hour of fruitless hunting for a wide striped fabric, I turned to the checked fabrics and found one in black and white. However, the checks were quit small so I decided to buy some plain…

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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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Where to put the shoes?

Earlier this month I continued on the pouch making project and made some travel bags for shoes. I'm trying to use less plastic bags so these are a great solution. I used some leftover material from a coat I made a few years ago. It's a tightly woven polyester with a cool trompe l'oeil knit print.

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Chanelling a lady

Ok, so I made a dressing gown. I guess you could call it a bathrobe or just a robe but dressing gown sounds better. It makes me feel I could possibly have something in common with Lady Mary Crawley. Last week I tried something I rarely do, make a piece of clothing without a pattern. The result, this kimono style dressing gown. The fabric is a gift from my mother, she occasionally gives me random pieces of fabric. She assumes that if it's colourful, I'll love it. Don't get me wrong, I really appreciate her generosity but I wasn't quit feelin' the colours of the floral print. Now that the garment is finished however, it seems to work. I've already decided that I'm going to make a shorter, narrower version and wear it as a jacket.

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Sunday D.I.Y.

My list of D.I.Y. projects is endless, there's so many things I want to do but I have difficulty finding the time to make them. Yesterday I finally started on a smaller project I've wanted to do for a while, pouches made from left over fabric bits. Being a bit of a organisation freak, I always need ways to compartmentalize my things when I travel. The pouches I've been using are quit worn out, some of them I made in 8th grade! The cotton fabric is left overs from a few years back when I made skirt. I loved the feather print so much I couldn't throw away the scrap bits. I also found some linen bits in my stash of fabric bits and used it as lining. Now that I've gotten started, I think I'll make more pouches!

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