Category Archives: Sewing

Inspiration: Finnish Sewing Blogs

Did you know Ottobre, the sewing magazine, is based in Rovaniemi, Lapland? My precious hometown? Well, you do now :D The bigger Ottobre has gotten,  the more and more people in Finland have taken to sewing and blogging. Which is great as crafting and hand-making make peeps happier and helps to live longer. Yay!

I thought you would like to have a look some cool Finnish blogs that focus on sewing for kids. They are written in Finnish but you don’t need to understand the text to get inspired by the amazing creations.

villa ja villa, crafty blog, Finnish

Villa & Villa is written by two women and has all kinds of sewing posts. Kid’s wear, women’s fashion, purses etc. My favourite is the T-shirt made of Roberto Cavalli- end of bolt jersey.

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Made by Ulma, Finnish sewing blog

Made by Ulma does all kinds of crafts but her best work are the clothes she makes for her little toddler boy. What I have gathered from sewing blogs all over the world, inspiration (and fabrics) for little boys are hard to find. Well, here you will find it:

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Tilkunpaikka, Finnish sewing blog

Tilkunpaikka has a style that I would call graphic feminine.  She sews mainly little girl clothes but there are some stuff for adults too. The best part of the clothes she does are the pattern combos.

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Mutturalla, Finnish sewing blogMutturalla- blogger is a mother of five. FIVE! She also works fulltime and finds time to sew. Let’s all feel like a total under-achiever for a moment. Oh and she’s gorgeous too. How annoying. When it comes to her sewing, I’m a huge fan of her detailing and general taste level. Very good indeed.

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nuutikki, finnish sewing blog, craft, DIY Nuutikki sews for her kids and makes cool things for her home too. Her style is similar to Tilkunpaikka, very graphic and romantic although she makes little boy’s clothes too. My favourite part is the variety she shows on her blog.

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There are tons of more blogs to explore and these 5 represent just a small part of the sewing community in Finland. The explosion of sewing has been helped by the rise of indie-fabric manufacturers/shops. There is sometimes quite fierce competition on FB-fabric groups for some of the rarer prints :D I might have to make a post about them soon too.

-Thrifty Finn-

 

Little Presents

Remember the card, Fly The World, I made few weeks ago? Of course you do. Being my huge fan and everything. Well, card wasn’t all I gave, I made a present too! With my freakishly tiny, chubby hands.

vintage gift, present, graduation

I love that paper. It’s vintage shelf paper (is that a thing in English?), I found couple of years ago full roll of. FULL ROLL! A fantastic find, people. Fantastic.

vintage pillowcases, retro

I had better picture of the actual gift but seems that I deleted it by accident. My cousin moved back in with her parents to save money for her studies and now she’s looking for an apartment. I made two pillowcases for her from one of my most prized vintage sheeting. Only reason I was able to sacrifice it, is the fact I have three of them. Anyhoo, Maija really digged the colour so I’m happy too.

THEN another gift I made…Last January, a finnish foodie blogger Hellapoliisi asked on Twitter if someone would like to get some free food from her latest book photoshoot. You know me. I like free stuff and scored two cheesecakes and few other things for my sister’s birthday. Now, couple of weeks ago I finally managed to return the dishes to her and also thank her personally, so I decided to make something for her too…

vintage paper, pink, pattern

First the wrapper…Again vintage shelf paper.  I chose the pink one because Hellapoliisi is all about the pink. You should see her kitchen/studio. It’s ah-MAZING!

hear pocket, apron, pink, black, alice in wonderland

First the detail…I made this double, semi-appliqued heart pocket using cotton poplin. The main fabric is japanese and I bought both from Eurokangas.

hellapoliisi, apron

It’s an apron and that’s Hellapoliisi! I know a bonafide famous person! And more importantly an incredible cook and a successful business owner. Who is super nice too! Maybe I should take few lessons from her :D

Funny story…I managed to drag my butt there because she advertised on Twitter that there will be some crafty supplies for sale. Did someone say crafty supplies and sale in the same sentence? Me be there. Anyhoo, when I got there, turns out the person selling those craft supplies was Maiju, THE Finnish authority on cardmaking. She is pushing blogging and crafting on the back burner and is going to focus more on teaching, so she was getting rid of bunch of her supplies, keeping only her favourites. I bought 3 of her stamps and then she kindly gave me one extra as a gift!

So basically I met two celebs at once. I’m amazed I didn’t geek it out that much. EVERYONE who does paper crafts in Finland knows Maiju.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Hellapoliisi was so nice that she made a fresh smoothie! It was delicious.

Do It Right

This summer I found this gorgeous top at Mango on sale. It’s just perfect. Strong colour, perfect cut and interesting details. What’s not to love? It didn’t take me long to realize that I should try to make a pattern and sew a few myself. Brilliant. What could go wrong? I’m trained in pattern making!

Paitaprojekti2

I gathered the tools and the pattern paper, and figured that it would be really easy to just trace the outline and then add the details.  I mean, the silhouette IS basically a loose fitting tee. I made the back pattern. Even took measurements from the top to make sure they matched. All good at this point.

But then it was the time to do the front pattern, where all the details are. It started well, I outlined, checked that the shoulder seams match, all that jazz…But then I didn’t have time to finish it off on that session and left it for another day. It took the longer than I thought to get back to it and I even wore the original top again. And that’s when I saw the mistake. The top is asymmetrical in more places than I originally thought! No easy copy/trace here. So what is girl to do? The same thing she should have done the first place…

pattern making supplies, Thrifty Finn

The thing is, the pattern IS really easy to copy IF you have done the proper base pattern. Which doesn’t take long to do but I was in the lazy mood and decided to skip it. Which of course made the project so much more harder. So here I am, with my Grondvormen, basic pattern book, learning a lesson. Once again.

Do it right the first time around.

-Thrifty Finn-

How To Fix Chewed Shoes

how to fix your canvas shoes, DIY, craft

Few weeks ago, the neighbours dog got his paws on my very much loved sneakers. The ones friend had bought from NY, are by Levi’s and aren’t sold in Finland. Long story short, I thought my shoes were done and would have to be binned but I decided to give a shot at fixing them.

After some googling to see if someone else had attempted it, and after finding only instructions how to patch up small holes, I came up with my own method. It’s very easy, cheap and fast, and should be able to hold up till I can find the time to get a new pair. (Because not any set of shoes will do. I need to get the exactly same shoe). Anyhoo, here’s my how:

supplies for fixing a canvas shoe

The fix needs a very little actual material. My circles needed to be only 9 centimetres in diameter. That’s app. 3,5 inches. Use a cup to measure the rip in your shoe. It should go at least 1 cm over the edges of the rip, so you will have enough room on the either side to do your stitching.

how to fix your canvas shoes, sneakers

How to start. Fold one of the circles over the rip. Don’t fold quite in half, use ratios 45/55, the bigger half going inside. This is for making sure that you catch the fabric inside too when you stitch. Hide the knot under the fabric on the outside of the shoe and then proceed to use simple running stitch. If your canvas is especially heavy or there is other structural material in the way, use the pliers to pull/push the needle through. Be careful though. I absentmindedly twisted the needle as I pulled, and I ended up breaking three needles. Be smarter than I am and mind your work.

Repeat the steps on the other shoe and voila, you are finished fixing your darling shoes!

finished, fixed, DIY, how to fix your canvas shoes

Now, can you see the mistake I did? As always, comments are appreciated and let me know, if you know any handy shoe fixes.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. The full story of what happened to my shoe is HERE.

 

 

My Sunshine Quilt

quilt, DIY, sewing, vintage, fabric

After years of hoarding the fabric, then year ago starting to cut the pieces and a little bit over a a week ago finally proceeded to sewing, my quilt is done. And look at it! It’s glorious!

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Excuse the blurry Instagram image but I wanted to show you the quilt in situ. And it’s still glorious!

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I might want to consider cleaning the phone camera lens, don’t you think? Anyhoo, piecing the thing together wasn’t too terrible. MOST CORNERS MATCH! But when it was time to combine the backing, batting and the top, I ran out of floor space. This naturally caused some wrinkles on the backing but I think I can live with them. Hello! It’s my FIRST EVER QUILT! How could it possibly be perfect? It’s perfect in its imperfectness. There.

quilt, DIY, sewing

I probably didn’t use enough pins either. I actually went to buy more but they were those short ones and wouldn’t have worked anyway. So what I did was that I pinned the entire thing in sections before quilting. There wasn’t too much shifting, even as I don’t own a running foot.

quilt, binding, handmade, biastape

The binding! Which I made myself! I used already quite thinned out vintage sheet but since I’m looking for that eventual weathered look, it works just fine for me. So yes, it will be fraying sooner rather than later but I have plans for that.

quilt, DIY, sewing, handmade

This is where I thought the worst part was over. The top was pieced and I thought the quilting and binding would be a piece of cake. I guarantee that the quilting was the worst. Tedious and felt like it took forever. Of course in real time, the piecing took longer but as you see your progress so quickly with that, the time felt shorter.

Quilt5

As you can see, I didn’t go with the 9 block-route (which I should have but meh, what can you do) but made these 4 square blocks which I then combined in rows of one. I was so excited at this point as I could start visualizing how the quilt would look ready.

quilt, blocks, sewing

Can’t tell you how many times I first counted and then re-counted my pieces, my duo-blocks and then these four-blocks. I didn’t want to find myself in the end and realizing I’m missing blocks. Let’s just say the original cutting brought me to tears more than once. 572 pieces. 286 patterned ones and 286 white ones. And yes, I really kept counting them over and over again.

quilt blocks, vintage fabric

I sewed these pairs in chains. There was no way I was going to cut the thread, lift the presser and the needle after every pair. I tried pressing them in layers too but that just didn’t work so I had to press all 286 of them separately. Took forever but seeing those crisp seams was, ah so satisfying.

quilt pieces, vintage fabric

All 572 pieces I think. So much potential and I’m very happy with what became with these. This was a fantastic exercise on patience, long-term planning and artistic effort and it shows.

quilt, vintage fabric, sewing, DIY

As for the question will I ever make another quilt again…Hell no. Maybe.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. I will be making another post about the things I learned while making this but that it will have to wait till later this week. Hope you like my quilt and encouraging comments are greatly appreciated ;)

P.P.S. I’m linking up at following link parties:

A Sew Can Do

Gingersnap Crafts- Wow Me Wednesday

Someday Crafts- Whatever Goes Wednesday

Funky Polkadot Giraffe- Too Cute Tuesday

DIY Show Off

Sand and Sisal- Inspire Me Monday

Crafting In The Rain- Do Tell Tuesday

Creations by Kara- Look What I Made

The Turquoise Home- Work It Wednesday