Trying to put my thoughts & ideas down somewhere and give another outlet to my creativity. It's all connected, so I can't say it's a blog about just this or just that. Dolls. Fashion. Art. A little bit on travel, whatever... let's take it wherever it goes...


More Marimekko!

Whilst sending some information on vintage fashion on to a friend, the blog of VFG member Denisebrain popped into my eyes - the word "Marimekko" couldn't escape me. And of course she's absolutely right - Marimekko is great quality, no question if we're talking about clothes or just the fabrics, and it is mostly produced in the EU. Their fun stripy long-sleeved t-shirts can be washed at 60 degrees over and over - and they still look as good as new.

I already blogged about my love of Marimekko before, which inspired my Mom to get her Marimekko out! She's an incredible seamstress, and on every trip to Helsinki, she takes a lot of fabric home - I have even taken the part of "personal fabric shopper" once on one of my solo trips there.

The fabric border is always printed with the designer's name - so she cuts it out and sews is onto the dress!
Aren't they gorgeous? They have so many different print designs, and they keep producing them in different color schemes, so it just never gets boring. They have something for everybody!


Tidying up, a lot of do it yourself, and one more scarf

The last few weeks have mostly been about doing my own projects - and doing a lot of tidying up!

In the running up of our yearly going to the flea market as sellers, I'm always looking at every closet etc. - I don't want to keep anything for another year that I could be selling, besides, thanks to my recent tax bills, I could use some extra money. I guess I always had the gene to collect things, sometimes going a bit overboard on the collecting idea. As long as I had my old apartment, though it was tiny (at least the living space), there was a kind of unlimited storage space - there was a nice, dry, clean basement, and a storage room too. So I guess things sometimes got a bit out of hand, though never to the point of being a hoarder. By teaching me that to sell (Barbie-)things that I didn't want anymore to make a bit of money and space for new things, my mom not only taught me as a kid on how to deal with money at a time when I did not get pocket money, she also taught me that to give old things away you could make room for new space. It may sound a little simple, but I guess the lesson stuck, and I'm glad for it. It also taught me that it's ok to part with things that one's heart doesn't hang on to it anymore. I always had clean-up phases when I would go through all, or at least a certain part of my things, and throw everything I didn't want anymore away. One such big phase brought on the idea of selling my stuff at the flea market. There was a monthly flea market in the next town, for which I used to see the ads regularly. I visited it and thought it was quite neat - lots of local sellers, not just professionals. I also discovered that one could rent really nice stands for only 50 CHF, which is not a great deal if you don't have to organise your own table etc. So I signed up for the last one that season, in October. My mom thought it was a nice idea, and so we ended up going both, one very, very cold October morning. How we managed to put the stand up between the two of us is still something of a miracle, and thinking back how we went there with our stuff by taxi... well, how crazy do you get? But anyway, our stand was a runaway success, and before you knew it, we had signed up again for the next summer, when the weather would be nicer (no cold feet!) and dad could help too. We've been going once a year ever since, and it usually takes two car drives to get everything there. We split the costs for the stand between us, so it's easy to make a tidy profit. My cousin has come a few times too, and this time on of my best pal will be joining us too. We always pack an esky with enough food & drink, and some camping stools, and then we're ready for a fun day. It's not just making money, it really is a lot of fun - watching people, guessing who's buying what, haggling - and hard work keeping everything under control when it gets bizzy. No kidding, you really need at least three people when things get really hot! I wouldn't want to be doing it every week, but once a year is great – it’s really something I’m looking forward to, and it keeps me keeping my place tidied up!

One of my ongoing projects is to tidy up all the projects and things that have been floating around my sewing table seemingly forever. One first thing was to do the photo albums of about three and a half years past. Since I worked so much this winter, I have a lot of overtime to compensate and have already had some holidays at home, which I spent doing my photo albums. Plus all the holidays that the spring months are so generous with have added even more time, also to repair/change some of my vintage clothing finds and make them ready to wear. My most recent such project was this vintage 80s silk dress by Akris, which I found at the Caritas (where else?). I guess it was in reality about a size too big for me, and the huge shoulder pads really were too much, but I liked the fabric. It does show some wear, so I decided to make just the best of it and wear it as long as I like it. I took out the shoulder pads, made the skirt a bit tighter, shortened the sleeves, and added a wide belt. It doesn’t look as good on the manni, but I really like it when I have it on (will try to post pics when I do so for work or whatever – I don’t makeup etc. just for a quick shot when I’m at home…).


... and after!

In the course of all this, I have also gone through my sewing & craft cupboard. Oh dear! How on earth did I hoard up so much stuff?! There have been things that I must’ve had for the last 20 years or so! So, I pulled it all out, sorted it new and very decidedly threw everything out that I couldn’t think of making something with it. I can’t keep everything in the small chance that I could maybe use it one day… I had already been in the process of making necklaces and bracelets for the flea market, which I already mentioned in my last post. Now I found even more stuff to work with, and so I have created even more things, and also freed up space in said closet:

I’ve been able to rearrange the things I’m keeping in a way too that I will actually find things when I’m searching for them. My knitting wool bin has also been the target of this process. All in all, it feels great. Light! So much stuff is gone that has been knocking around and that I’ve looked at for years…

Right now, I am going through those two boxes that contain the doll stuff that still needs work – unfinished projects and vintage Barbie clothes that need to be sorted, mended, washed or whatever. Sound crazy? Well, I don’t have the money to buy all the vintage things for my dolls in mint condition, so I do end up with things that need a little bit of mending sometimes, or that have gone grimy with the years. And there are a few (non-Barbie-)dolls too that still need a little bit of TLC. A more recent acquistion that still needed a little bit of that is this pretty 1970s Sindy doll with rare ash blonde hair, wearing an original 80s outfit.

I’ve spent the better part of today wit this stuff, and it looks quite good now. I am actually getting somewhere. I know I have the tendency to start new projects when inspiration strikes, but right now really is the time to take care of the things that haven’t been finished yet.

And before I finish here today - last but not least - the scarf of the month: