Thursday, 10 April 2014

Refashioning: Sun dress's new life

Hi there! Long time no talk. I've had a pretty busy past couple of weeks preparing my newest summer collection. Yesterday I finally had it photographed with the amazing ladies Jirina and Fiona from Pin Up Helsinki. It's always a pleasure working with talented people as things got done in no time at all. I can't wait to show you the results! Now I can finally breathe as I know things are moving forwards.

cherisedesign photoshoot at the Pin Up Helsinki studio
Models Vera De Vil and Fiona Timantti on the floor and photographer Jirina Alanko on the right.
What I actually wanted to talk about was this old sun dress I had had laying around for a while. Actually I have a huge pile of clothes waiting to be modified in one way or another, but this one was easy to make this evening as it didn't require much time or effort.

I love the fabric on this dress and I wore it for one summer, but I think it's a little too childish, if you know what I mean. So I took my scissors and chopped off the 2 bottom ruffles. Then I just finished the edge and ta-dah! Now I have a cute summer top to wear with high waist skirts and trousers.

refashioned summer top by cherise

refashioned summer top by cherise

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Greetings from Venice, Italy

Dear readers, I'm back! We took a little holiday with my bf and headed to Venice for 4 days. It was a very much needed little break from work and the cold. (I have ton of pictures to show you so please bear with me)

An awesome view of the mountain tops somewhere over Austria or north of Italy.
Venice was beautiful to say the least. It is truly a unique place to visit. The city consist of a total of 118 little islands connected my 354 bridges and it's completely built on water on the Venetian lagoon. Sadly the city is constantly sinking little by little and you could see some of the buildings weren't quite straight. There are no cars in the city which makes the air nice and clean, aside from an occasion smell of sewage. In the city you'll get around by walking or by vaporetto water buses.

Although it isn't the busiest travelling season at the moment, the city was still quite crowded. I can only imagine what it's like during the busiest tourist season!

View over the plaza of S. Marco. The picture was taken before noon so there weren't so many people yet.

If you ever decide to visit Venice I highly recommend you get a good map with the street names visible. Google maps couldn't quite place all the addresses right and it seems it's also missing some of the little streets and alleys. The city doesn't seem to have been built to follow any pattern and the streets seem completely random. It is quite easy to get lost in there if you don't have a proper map, but worry not: there are a lot of plazas and basilicas and you're bound to come across one eventually which will then help you place yourself on the map.

We didn't really have a travel plan and we mostly just wandered around the city oohing and aahing at the architecture and scenery. I did have the addresses of 4 vintage shops of which we only managed to find 2 of which only one was open at the time. It seems a lot of the smaller shops close around noon and open again in the late afternoon, so plan your shopping trips accordingly. Surely the bigger shops and souvenir shops are open all day, but they're mostly full of the same touristy junk.

 We used most of our time discovering the main islands, S. Polo, S. Marco and Dorsoduro, but we also took a trip to Lido, which is the biggest island and also has a beach. The beach was a bit of a disappointment though as it was quite dirty and the water was quite low. Perhaps it would be nicer in summer. 

Seashells washed ashore at the Blue Moon beach on Lido.

View of Venice from the boat.

 For the first evening I had booked us a table at the Venice jazz club. It is a small, a little shabby, but cosy club in Dorsoduro. Almost every night of the week you can hear the house band playing jazz music while you enjoy drinks or wine. The club isn't a restaurant, but they also serve some food. That night we got some lasagne with a side salad. Dinner costs only 8 Euros, but it did get my tummy full. And it was some pretty damn good lasagne. I wanted to go to the club on a Monday, because that's when they play the 50's and 60's tunes. Turned out that the club owner was also the pianist of the band and he would also tell us a little bit of the history of the tunes they played. I highly recommend this place, if you're looking for something different apart from the touristy stuff ;)

We were lucky to get sunny weather each day, but especially in the mornings and evening it could get quite foggy.

Surprisingly though the last night wasn't foggy at all.
Fresh vegetables being sold from a boat. If you want to buy vegetables and fruits on the street, never ever touch them with your hands, but tell the seller what you want. Even in the stores they give you plastic gloves to pick out your fruit.
Make sure you try some gelato, ice cream,  it's delicious.
I didn't shop much, but I did get a few souvenirs. We came across a shop selling hand made Venetian masks, dolls and hand painted jewellery. I got myself a pair of earrings, a brooch and this adorable porcelain cat doll. Isn't he cute!

That's it! Thank you for bearing with me and congratulations if you made it to the end! ;)

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The new life of drab old shoes

I've been storing an old pair of Capezio dancing shoes I had to buy in my teens when I was still taking show dance lessons. I haven't used them in a long time, mainly because they're so... well, ugly. They are good shoes though, comfortable for dancing with a small heel and a pretty classic shape as many dancing shoes have.

I have nothing against beige per-se, but the colour is actually more like grey-beige. You know like those support socks old women wear?

I also had a bottle of red leather dye I had bought for dyeing a pair of vintage skates I found at a charity shop, so I decided to give my old dancing shoes a face-lift as I wasn't going to use them as they were anyway. I bought the leather dye from my local shoe repair shop, but you can probably find something similar in a shop near you or even online. (Remember to protect the surfaces around where you'll be working. You don't want to get paint stains all over the place!)

The dye kit comes with a preparation fluid to clean the surface with, a small brush and a sponge (which are both pretty terrible so I used my own).

In the directions it says to apply the paint with a circular motion, but I just ended up brushing off the paint I had already applied so I found it a better option to tap the paint in. Here you can see the shoe after the first and second application.

I applied 3 layers in total, first I just took care of the larger surfaces not paying too much attention to the edges and after that used a small brush to paint in the edges. I didn't mind too much about messing the soles as I could use the preparation fluid to scrub them clean. The heel is made of plastic so ofcourse the paint didn't stick to it, so I used my acrylic paints to finish the heels afterwards. Let the paint dry well before trying your shoes on so you won't nick the fresh paint.

Voilà! Now I have a fresh pair of dancing shoes in a colour I love!
Remember to wash your tools afterwards or you'll end up with stiff brushes.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Everyday favourites

I've been busting my fabric stash like crazy these past couple months. I've sown up 2 skirts and 5 dresses and one of the skirts immediately became a wardrobe stable. The dresses are mostly for summer so I haven't gotten to wear them just yet.

I've especially enjoyed wearing the black skirt. One of my trainees actually drew the pattern for me and I've been using it a lot. It's such a great and fun pattern. The skirt is inspired by the 40's, it has a fitted top and flared hem and 2 large pockets. This skirt goes pretty much with everything.

Here I've paired is with one of my favourite button up blouses in gingham and red wool cardigan, both made by me as well.

Btw, did you notice I've changed the layout of my blog? I've put ads on the left and other links to the right. The width is also bigger. What do you think?

Friday, 14 February 2014

Vapriikki-Vintage 2014

Happy Valentine's day, my dear readers!

Here are a few photos I took from the vintage fair last weekend. I was selling at mu own spot, but had a little time to look around and buy something small... Shoes! I bought shoes. But since I haven't gotten a decent photo of them in this gloominess, I'll show them to you later, hopefully in action when the snow melts away.

hats and scarves from Cherise at Vapriikki-Vintage 2014
Some of my things

S/S 2014 dress from CheriseDesign
A dress made in a new fabric I designed and had made at Spoonflower

Lovely vintage ladies

Oh why do I not have size 2 feet?

Helsinki traditional jazz dance company showing blues dance
Helsinki traditional jazz dance company showing blues dance

A vintage fashion show. I had a part in the 30's and 50's sections :D
And here's what I wore for the second day. I bought this ensemble from the theatre's flea market and I believe it to be early 50s. The belt is new and the shoes are from Clark's.

early 50s ensemble

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