Tag Archives: sewing

Marimekko. Freelancer’s Nightmare.

marimekko, home, decor, Finland

Image via marimekko.fi

Last time I wrote about Marimekko, was in September with this post where I summed up the copy scandal year. How I wish it would have stopped there but less than a month later a new story broke out. This time about a clothing pattern. Helsingin Sanomat broke the news:

Marimekko, Pellervo, freelancer, ethics, copyright

Image via iltasanomat.fi

Three years ago, designer Marjut Rahkola approached Marimekko with her children’s wear ideas and was promptly signed on as a freelance designer. In her contract was stated that she would get royalties from every item sold (that she had designed). The general Terms of Contract (?) of Marimekko states that designs can only be changed/modified together with the designer. The changes wouldn’t affect the royalties paid. Everything was now on black and white and Rahkola showed them openly all of her designs. Production went ahead and the first collection was out 2012.

pellervo, pattern, technical drawing

Image via hs.fi


Then 2013, Rahkola began studying at Helsinki Design School  and didn’t visit Marimekko HQ that often. She had a verbal agreement that her designs would be co-ordinated in-house and then decided how they would proceed with them. When she went to visit HQ in June, she found out that Marimekko had brought back one of her earlier designs but this time it wasn’t her name on them. She sent an e-mail to the creative director Minna Kemell-Kutvonen about it and she responded via lawyer:

“No copying has been done, because first of all, it is not the same Pellervo-pant. It is brand new, separate product.”

The differentiation was further explained:

“The new product differs from Pellervo-pant by its scale and new pattern form and thus being much fitter and narrower where as Pellervo-pant was charmingly slouchy.”

If you go back up and look at the technical drawing, how much difference you see? Technical drawing for clothes are the blueprints. What you see is what you get. True, this isn’t a copy case but an ethics and a contract breach case. And that’s what the designer thinks too:

“You can easily play this down. That it doesn’t take a long time to come up with this. But that’s not the point. I was the one who brought it as new to Marimekko. This is just the way they try to avoid royalty payments to the original designer. Diaper pants play a significant role in the current collection. Also, this tells a lot how designers are appreciated.”

Pellervo-pants aren’t the first and only diaper pants ever. But anyone who ever has made a clothing pattern from scratch knows that getting a good fit takes time. Rahkola herself said that she made 20 prototypes. Marimekko built on that work and probably would never had a diaper pant in their collection if it weren’t for Rahkola. Copyright laws weren’t broken but this clearly was done with the intent to stop paying the designer.

As per usual, Marimekko continued with their confusing statements. When Marimekko’s Communication Manager (my translation of the Finnish title) Merja Paulamäki was asked by iltasanomat.fi about this, she said (and she used pretty clever wording in Finnish…):

“Marimekko has had children’s wear in their collections for decades. Items for the diaper wearing ages have been in our collections also for decades. So as a product, they are not new.”

This is what pisses me off. She tries to imply that the designer claims that she was the one who brought the whole concept of children’s wear to Marimekko, by replacing the word diaper pants with diaper wearing ages, meaning toddlers of course. Then she continued:

“They are completely different product by their scale and fit.”

When she was confronted with the technical drawings, she responded with:

“I don’t know how to comment. I only know our products, not these drawings.”

So first you knew enough to say that the designer is wrong and then suddenly you don’t know anything? Maybe it’s time have an MRI. Also, Marimekko had the option to make a one-time payment to the designer but they chose the royalty-route. Instead of handling it like a business partner you are supposed to be able to trust, they decided, scamming the designer or in this case the correct word is developer, would make better financial sense.

This news broke out last October but as I was in Paris without a computer, I couldn’t write about it then. There have been a lot of changes within Marimekko-company followed by these scandals and my next post is about them.

Thrifty Finn- Your trusty Marimekko reporter




Pinteresting vol. XX


This week I found pinteresting…

metropolitan museum of art, met, collection, hermes, bathing suit, lurex, fashion, vintage

Via Metmuseum.org

 This fabulous bathing suit from 1950’s by Hermés. I love the burnt orange, the bees, the shine of lurex…Everything really. Well, not one thing. The size. Anyone affording this must have been minuscule. Which is a painful reminder for me to stop the candy eating.

cucumber sangria, bhg, drinks, better homes and gardens, summer

Via bhg.com

Fine. If I can’t eat candy, maybe I can enjoy alcoholic beverage or two. Since I’m still recuperating from the surgery, I have to eat painkillers, some of which are incredibly strong. That of course I’m very happy about BUT I can’t have wine until I can manage without them. I can’t tell you how much I’d love to have a glass of chilled white wine. Until then, I torture myself by pinning delicious drinks recipes.

diy pompom tutu, moodkids, princess, tutorial, download

via moodkids.nl

From drinks to tutus…I didn’t have time to Christmas gifts this (last?) year. I had planned to make skirts or dresses for my friends little girls. I decided that I would make them as Valentine’s Day gifts and this tutorial caught my eye. It’s in Dutch and you can download it by going to the website by clicking the image above. Meanwhile, I ponder here if the skirt would be appropriate for adults too.

trotter, instagram

#trotterpup via photographytuts.com

From skirts to pups…You know how much I want to have a dog but as I’m not really ready to commit to one, I just keep hoarding pictures them on Pinterest. Anyhoo, this lovely thing is called Trotter and he has an Instagram-account. Go and die of unbearable cuteness.

Last but not least…

merde, quote, french

via sweetwitchy.tumblr.com

I couldn’t say it better myself.

Thrifty Finn- Business as usual






Little Velvet Dresses

Remember the dresses I talked about HERE? Anyhoo, on my last visit to Lapland, I managed to take better pics of the dresses and here they are:

Making the bias tape was probably the hardest and most time-consuming part but I’m very satisfied with the way it looks. Tip to you: make the bias a day before making the actual whatever garment. The process becomes much more enjoyable that way. Here’s how I used it for finishing hems and edges:

Here, just for the heck of it, couple of more close-ups. Just to prove that I really should have considered ironing the dresses before taking pictures.

Feel free to leave feedback and thoughts!

Thrifty Finn- Seamstress Extra-Ordinaire, at least to Two Little Girls


I Made Things: A Skirt Project

In May my cousin Jonna cornered me on Facebook and got me to promise that I’d make a skirt for her. And ta-dah, only two months later, I’m done!

JONNAskirt2 My cousin’s clothing size is 158cm but I used Burda’s petite pattern for the skirt as the measurement matched. The fabric is heavy wright cotton I had in my stash.


I love the fabric myself but I’m not sure how much an 11-year old will appreciate it. Oh well, if she doesn’t like it, she can send it back and I can sell it and make her another one. Either case, I’m proud that I got something finished!

Speaking of finished…Craft market in couple of weeks time and I haven’t started making things yet. I see a late night sewing sessions ahead of me.

Thrifty Finn- Doing the advertised crafty thing for a change

Pinteresting vol.XI

NewPinterestbanner2Hello, hello. It’s pinning time again! Midsummer and super moon came and went. I’ve had two dates this week and one more is coming this Friday. It’s like my life is from Sex & City without the sex. Or the city.

I don’t know what I am trying to say.

Anyhoo, this week I’ve found following things pin worthy:

vintage singer sewing gudie, serendipity vintage

I pinned this on my board Happy. Because it is! I love the colours, the shapes, the fonts…Everything! I think this would be fantastic as an embroidery piece. Via serendipityvintage.com

muveil, spring summer 2011, fashion, lookbookThis one I like because of the layered style of this photo. It’s from a spring/summer 2011 lookbook of a Japanese label Muveil. The brand is very chic. Via Ay-Mee. Speaking of chic:

french chic, stripy shirt with black pencil skirt

You know how I feel about Paris and the french. Well, this is one stereotype in style I can get behind of. Although, if it was I wearing this outfit, I wouldn’t make quite as sophisticated impression (hears My Lumps playing in her head). Via tumblr.

Anyhoo. Seems like I’m in mood for more fashion. Check out this cutie:

vintage 60s blouse, floral pattern, pink, orange

I don’t know if it’s the shape, the pattern or the colour that does it for me. I just bought few yards (3 curtains) of floral pattern that I’m going to make into a skirt for my god-daughters Confirmation. The fabric has pink flowers. And I bought it after I saw this pic. Yeah, it’s probably the colour AND the pattern that did it for me. Via adoredvintage.com.

what do fonts sayI couldn’t find the original source so I linked for now back to my pin. Anyoo, I pinned this on my board “Useful ‘n Geeky”. I haven’t paid much attention to my blog look lately (apart from removing the background pattern) and I’ve been pinning some inspirations.

And then last but not least:

golden doole buddy, instagram, madesays Labradoodle. EEEEEEEEEEEP! The cuteness is killing me. I repeat. Cuteness is killing me. Via madesays.instagram

Thrifty Finn- Thinking about dogs and fabrics and other happy things.