Tag Archives: fabric

Vintage Fabric Resources

forssa museum, forssan museo, vintage fabric identifier

Via forssanmuseo.fi

I had to share this with you as soon as I found out about it. A Finnish museum has a handy textile design tool, where you can search prints/designs by designer and/or year. And what do you know, the site is also in ENGLISH.

Naturally I had to check if I happen to own anything really good and rare but instead I found fabrics I want to have. Like this one:

1953, vintage fabric design, Finland

via forssanmuseo.fi

From 1953, there’s no designer name but LOOK AT THE PATTERN! It’s beautiful! Or how about this one from 1967 by Helena Perheentupa?

Helena Perheentupa, forssan museo, Finnish textile design

via forssanmuseo.fi

Could a pattern be anymore 60s? No matter what you make from this fabric, it would sell on the craft markets like hot cakes. I demand A RE-PRINT! Ooh, and in different colourways! Imagine yellow…*floats into a fabric dreamland*

One more for the road because this one I’ve seen IRL (sort of, on an online vintage market). It’s by a designer Pirkko Hammarberg and has such a utilitarian name S4089. But it’s anything but:

Pirkko Hammarberg, Finnish textile design, 1968

via forssanmuseo.fi

The fabric is so vibrant and alive! Part of me knows that these colours probably weren’t achieved with the most environmentally healthy chemicals but the other part wishes one could still get these. The third part of me wishes more vintage prints would be re-printed (OTHER THAN MARIMEKKO DAMMIT! I’M SO BORED WITH THEM!) but then the magic of finding these prints at the thrift stores would be gone.

I actually did some research and called Forssan Museo/Forssa Museum to enquire more about this online tool. I spoke with the musem director, Kati Kivimäki, herself and she told me that the online research tool only has a very small selection of their collection. Apparently they have 500 shelf meters just Finlayson prints! 500 SHELF METERS, PEOPLE!!! Imagine getting your hands on that loot. When I asked if they have plans to digitize more of their collection, she told me that everytime they get a job lot where the designer is marked and/or known, they will add it to the search tool.

Now Forssan Museo is on my museum visit wishlist. HERE you can find where they are located and the entry fees.

-Thrifty Finn, in a fabric fever-

 

 

 

 

DIY Inspired by Lalaloopsy

Few weeks before Christmas, my friend called me to ask for help to hunt some toys on the interwebs. It turned out that her kids (3 & 5) were into a new kids show (well, new over here) called Lalaloopsy and she wanted find some play sets that weren’t available in Finland. In the end I found this set on the Ebay and boy, was it a hit with the kids:

via amazon.com

Me and my friend had several discussions about these and reminisced our own childhood. We would have gone nuts over these had they existed when we were kids.

All the cuteness of Lalaloopsy led me to get inspired by them and I got an idea to sew something Lala-related myself. At first I thought about making some kind of play mat and I even ordered bunch of themed ribbons from Ebay. However, I knew I wouldn’t necessary get them on time for Christmas so I decided to come up with a back-up plan and I started doing more research on the dolls themselves. Then I found this image:

506737_1

I fell in love with the Marie Antoinette’esque dress and then suddenly thought, wouldn’t it be fun if the girls could BE Lalaloopsy-dolls themselves?

Of course it would  be.

I went through my vintage fabric stash and pulled all the fabrics that I thought had the playfulness of the dolls. In the end I had six choices:

IMG_20141216_135149

My first choice was the pink one in the middle but I felt it was too faded to handle kids’ play. Then my second was the yellow plaid but I didn’t have enough for two dresses. The yardage I needed ( and the concept I had in my head) lead me to use the teal plaid.

At first I wanted to do two dresses but knowing the kids, I decided to make a top and a matching skirt and for that I came up with the genius idea altering a T-shirt. Mad rush to H&M and a fantastic deal, 3 for 2 on organic cottons, then back home via the fabric store and I was ready to sew.

I began the process by taking off the sleeves, preserving the seam allowances so there wouldn’t be any unravelling, and used them as a template to create a puffy sleeve:

how to make a puffy sleeve pattern

Winging it comes with a cost. I managed to eff up the sleeves on both tops by forgetting to cut seam allowances. Luckily I have lots of yardage of this fabric. Anyhoo, I sewed a simple puffy sleeve and added an elastic in the hem. I also left a small opening in there just in case the sleeves would be too tight or too loose on the girls’ arms.

IMG_20141217_124430

Looks so sweet! But a little bit plain for Lalaloopsy-play so I added some details on the front using another one from my fabric shortlist but pictures of that later….

The skirt was very simple to do. Basic, rectangular piece of fabric that I hemmed and sewed together, adding a separate waistband with an elastic inside:

IMG_20141216_224916

On my mad dash I had stopped by at the fabric store to get some shock pink tulle with a plan to make a light tulle under skirt. In the end I decided to add it on the hem as the skirt was full by itself. Do you want to see the full outfits? Of course you do:

IMG_20141217_135933 IMG_20141217_173125 The girls look so cute wearing them! I want to do more of these dresses but I’m not sure if they would realize that this set was also done by me and thus I’d burst their Santa Claus-bubble. I’m all for speaking the truth but some things should have magic as long as possible. Here’s the older kid wearing the outfit:

thrifty finn, DIY lalaloopsy dress

I am a super-duper sewer and a crafter and a friend indeed. How did your Christmas crafting go? Anything really good and appreciated? If you have any questions about making these, I’m happy to answer :)

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. A total cost for these two outfits was about 25 euros. The most expensive was the main fabric, which is from 60s.

Trip Down the Crafty Memory Lane

Yesterday, I logged on Craftster after many, many years. I was sad to see that it wasn’t as active as it used to be. For example, my project post from yesterday is still on the 4th page on the latest projects.

It was nice to see all kinds of crafts again though. I’ve been in a sewing and paper craft bubble so long that I forgot what kinds of things are out there but what I got the biggest kick out of was my own old posts. From a time before I had this blog!

These are just some of my work. Most of them were for swaps. I had really hard time with sending away the owls and the Christmas calendar. They were so cute and pretty! The little owls are actually for tossing! I filled them with lentils and if my memory serves correctly, I sent them either to UK or Australia. Good times.

Do you still swap? I haven’t swapped for years as I couldn’t keep up with the commitments but would it be the time to start again? Well, not now, just before Christmas when there are presents to make but after that? Please, share your thoughts and swap memories, they are always fun to read.

-Thrifty Finn-

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.