Tag Archives: sewing

Kauppa & Galleria Talli

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

Hello, hello, hello…Last Sunday I was selling my second hand clothing and crafts at a flea market here in Espoo, which was organized by a local gallery slash design store. Let me tell you…The surroundings were fantastic! I’m always putting down Espoo, as it’s a city that combines the worst of cities and countryside, plus all the buildings are designed by dimwitted engineers, which makes all the neighbourhoods generally seem void of all that it’s nice in humanity. But I digress…

Kauppa & Galleria Talli literally translates as Shop & Gallery Stables, and the name is quite apt. The whole shebang is a converted stable and the event room (where the flea market was) looks like it’s fit for all those gorgeous Pinterest barn weddings.

Let’s collectively ooh and aah at this point.

Anyhoo, I thought  you’d enjoy some pictures…

kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery, Talli9 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I don’t know what’s up there but the entrance to the event hall is to the right and the entrance to the shop is somewhere on the left. The shop itself is very cute and they sell artisan type of design things. There is even a small café corner in there.

Talli5 Talli6 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

They don’t only sell ceramics, but they were the only things I had an okay picture off :D The master of photography hits again :DDD

But the best part was the event hall. I can’t get past how cute it is! It’s not that big and I love the intimacy of it.

Talli1 Talli3 kauppa & galleria talli espoo, flea market, gallery,

I made okay sales, although I did joke on Twitter, that my salary for the day would have been good in Cambodia. From the crafts I sold the boxes and the one card just peeking at the bottom of the picture. Customer flow was okayish but there was one lull, when there were only sellers present. Overall I am pleased with the location and the pricing for the table was good too. There are only couple of things, that I see needing improvement. The first is lighting. It was a bit too dark in there. The second is music. The owners played this jazzy lounge music from Spotify, and I can understand, that they thought it would work as a non-offensive background music, BUT we sellers are there to sell. And easy listening jazz is not for selling. I don’t mean the music has to be blaring the TOP 40 like in H&M BUT it has to be upbeat. Upbeat sells.

The next flea market will be there on 1st of November from 11 till 16 o’clock. You can get there by car or by the busses 156, 158 and 543. I hope to see you there then ;)

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Apparently I was the only idiot there, who carried their stuff to sell there by a bus. But for my credit, I’ve managed to build my second hand selling inventory into such as I don’t have to carry a lot but all of the items make somewhat cohesive collection. (Apart from the clothes I’ve actually worn myself. I sell them for couple of euros each).

DIY Maxi Skirt Inspired by Vincent van Gogh

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

I’ve been sitting on this project for a while and today, I’m finally sharing it. In July I made this fabulous maxi skirt out of a vintage curtain and I love it so so much. I’ve had the curtain in my stash (and sometimes up on my window) for years, because I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t waste it. And here it is:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

There’s only one seam and it’s in the back. I flipped the curtain sideways as I felt, that there is no noticeable direction on the floral banners, so I could A. have horizontal stripes and B. I could save the other curtain for another project.

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

The waistband is the wider hem of the curtain. The belt is the narrower hem. One wasn’t enough for the belt though and I cut the narrow hem off the other curtain. The belt is attached on the back, where buttons would normally close the waistband:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

The belt is attached little bit off center. I tried to figure out a prettier way of doing this and this was the best my mind could come up with. The cotton in this fabric is very thick and strong, so I could get away with this ‘industrial’ look.

The pockets…I’m lazy and can’t be bothered to look up the name of the exact technique I used but if you sew, you should be able to recognize it:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

The visible portion of the pocket was cut from the other curtain and for the pocket facing I used grey, lattice patterned cotton. No one can see it, but I know it’s there and it’s nice to know it matches the skirt’s colours.

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

Ta-dah! I wear the skirt with the stripy shirt and a huge sun hat. Of which I don’t have a pic (well I did take a shot but I managed to get my boob in the picture too and I don’t think you are too keen to see that). Here’s an Insta picture. It’s not a good one as I just took it to show to my friend.

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

And here I am, wearing it in the park:

DIY maxi skirt from old curtain

Hopefully you like it as much as I do. Originally I paid under 10 euros for the curtains and I had the facing material, thread, and the zipper already in my stash. Very thrifty indeed!

-Thrifty Finn-

DIY Minty Fresh Maxiskirt

maxiskirt, diy, sewing

Oohlalaa…It took Finland of nearly two months but we finally got summer at the end of July. I was so excited about this that I actually made something for myself to wear! A maxi skirt! And it’s so pretty!

mint floral fabric, diy maxi skirt

I had 1,5mx1,4m sized piece of this floral viscose. Originally I had planned to make a couple of infinity scarves out of it, but my procrastination helped me to save the fabric for something better; a skirt. The construction for this is very simple and there is no cutting waste, which is a huge plus at this day and age.

First, I sewed the ends of the fabric together to create a french seam. Since the floral pattern over here is an all-over pattern, I didn’t have to worry about the direction. I wanted to save the selvages for the waistband and the hem, so I wouldn’t have to do unnecessary folding and pressing. I could leave them as is in there. Here’s an image of the french seam and the waist band fold:

a french seam, waistband fold, diy maxi skirt

The waistband was easy to do. I just folded the top, stitched it down leaving a few centimeter opening for the elastic insertion. I used 5 cm wide elastic to prevent ‘digging in’, which happens quite often with the narrower ones. After I had pulled the elastic through, I sewed the ends together with repeated zig zag stitch. Then I closed the opening with a straight stitch. It looks like this on the right side:

DiY maxi skirt, waistband

At this point I put the skirt on to see how much extra I had in the bottom. Since I’m 165cm tall, I had about 25 centimeters to work with. Personally I’m huge fan of wide hems. They look more expensive and in this case, as the viscose is very light weight, it added weight and pull. Again, I used the selvage, so I didn’t have to do an extra fold to hide an unsightly raw edge. I just used a quilting ruler to make sure I had an even fold all the way round, pinned it in few places, pressed it with my iron and sewed away. If you squint, you can see the stitching in the hem:

DIY maxi skirt

And here’s my finished look. I DID have a pictures of me wearing it but my friend, who is an engineer, takes so unflattering photos that I usually just scream with horror when I see them, so I decided to spare you from the trauma. But I’m pretty pleased with the look and the skirt anyway.


If you have any questions, or if you’d like to see a Burda-style flat drawing of this to help you make one for yourself, just give me a shout out in the comments. I have another maxi-skirt to show you but it’s a more complicated one and I’m posting it later this week. If I get around to it that is :D

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. Funny story…I decided to wear this skirt the same day I made it. My friend (the engineer one) asked me to join him at a park in Helsinki for some sun and cider. I got a bike this summer, so I decided to bike to Helsinki. A breezy 10 kilometres (and further 3-4 kilometres to the park), nothing I couldn’t handle. Of course at this point I didn’t think of the possibility, that a maxi skirt is not the best choice of attire, when cycling. A not so tiny security risk of having the hem getting stuck between the gears. Lucky for me, that didn’t happen. But what DID happen…In one zebra crossing or another, I had gotten off the bike and when I’d gotten back on, I didn’t lift enough extra fabric behind me to allow my butt to move inside the skirt. There was tension. Which caused a rip. Which then showed my coral pink granny panties for god knows how many kilometers. I should have realized, when people kept passing me on their bikes and looking back at me smiling, that something might be amiss.

Why meeeeeeee???

Well, at least I made some people happy. And my friend had sewing kit, so I could mend the hole and continue our day at the park. But still. Yet another cringe-worthy moment in my life.

DIY Slipcover for a Seventies Chair

DIY, Ikea hack, slipcover

Few weeks ago a friend of mine called me enthusiastically about a chair he found at Kontti, a chain of thrift stores owned and operated by Finnish Red Cross. He went on and on about its lines and how he was planning to re-upholster it with some Ikea-fabric.

You know where this is going, right?

So, the other week I visited him and he showed me the chair and the fabric. He was right, the chair has nice lines and the fabric he had picked up was nice too. I’m especially happy by the fact, that he is FINALLY introducing patterns in his home decor. It has been an uphill battle but I got him there. Only a decade or two and we might even see patterns with multiple colours in there.

As you can see, the original material is rather “interesting”. Certainly a product of its time. But it’s actually quite nice to sit on, so creating a slipcover would be a good way to bring it up to date.


We began by laying the cover on the material. We discussed on how to go on about it and since I had to go and pick up my phone I had left elsewhere, I left my friend to his own devices. Meaning, I assumed he was going to do what I instructed him to do. Wrong. When I came back two hours later, he had decided to clean up his balcony instead and was planning to leave the “actual sewing and doing” for me.

I’d like to pretend I stood my ground with this. He was the one who sewed but it was me who did the thinking. In the end I didn’t get back home until very late that day. But I did get a good meal out of it, so it wasn’t entirely terrible experience. Plus the chair looks pretty bitchin’ too. Here’s how we (and I use the term we here very loosely) did it:

First we cut the material in half lengthwise and I had Niko finish off the short ends with a double fold, while I pondered how to put the cover together. I knew it had to be some kind of envelope pattern but as the top and bottom were to be of different widths, I had to do some figuring out to get it to look neat.

The original material is still underneath as there is no way the Ikea fabric would support the weight of a person. We (I) decided the best way to get a tight fit, was to pin the fabric directly on the chair frame. This way we could also be sure that none of the original material would be showing and that we could see/test right away, if the cover would be easy to remove and put back on.

pressing, slipcover, Ikeahack

If you take second look at the prototype, you can see the shape of the finished cover. We left very wide seam allowances and used that to create nice edges on the narrow opening. The seam allowance isn’t of even width, but pressing it forces it to stay in shape. You can see the difference in the picture above.

ikea hack, slipcover

The little cut-offs on the original material are there to help to put the cover on the frame. We had to leave a gap on the new slipcover as well and it left a little of the orange fabric visible. I solved this by hand stitching small pieces of fabric on either sides of the frame as you can see here. Here’s how it looks when the slipcover is on:

ikea hack, slipcover

See, no ugliness in sight! The next step was the seat cushion…

seat cushion, ikea hack, slipcover

The original seat cushion was double-length, but my friend only wanted a cushion for the seat part. I cut it in half and crudely rolled the opening hem closed and stitched it up by hand. We then made another envelope cover for it:

envelope cover, ikea hack, slipcover

Very simple. First, finish off the short ends with a double fold. Then fold it around the cushion to see where you want to stitch, take it off and stitch the side seams closed. Here’s the finished cushion:

cushion, ikea hack, slipcover

And here’s the finished chair:


I don’t know about you but I’m very pleased with myself. If you have any questions…Go ahead and ask!

-Thrifty Finn-

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:


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:


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.


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:


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.