Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Finished knit: Freya Shawl

The days are getting colder and colder here, but fortunately (apart from the day these pictures were taken) this autumn has been very sunny, which makes the changes in the amount of light much more bearable. The cold weathers always seem to inspire me to do some knitting. Handling those warm and fuzzy wool yarns just feels much cozier when the temperature starts to drop.

My wardrobe has been changing towards a warmer range of colors, which brings a new challenge of mixing and matching them with the older stuff. I recently purchased some new leather gloves in brown instead of black, which is what I would usually go for. So of course now I need matching accessories. 

I have bee dreaming of a big warm shawl to just wrap around me and now I had the perfect opportunity (excuse) to make one. When I saw this pattern on Ravelry, I knew I had to get one. 

I chose a light and fluffy mohair and wool blend yarn from Onion Knit. They had the perfect shade of brown for me: dark, chocolate-y brown, to go with my gloves. I got 4 skeins or 200g and that was just enough. All I had left was a 30cm strand of yarn. I had to finish a couple rows early, because I saw I was running out of yarn, but I think the pattern on the shawl looks just great nevertheless.

I found the beginning of the pattern rather easy, but as it got wider and wider, it got a little harder to keep up with the pattern. I would notice half way through a row I had made a mistake in the beginning, and when it takes you half an hour just to knit one row, you can imagine how frustrating that can be to have to go back. But all's well, ends well, I survived and now I have a lovely, fluffy and warm shawl to get me through the winter and bring a little bit of variety to my winter wardrobe.

You can get the pattern for free on Ravelry (registration required)

Monday, 5 October 2015

The Prague Dress

It's been a while since my last post again. I've felt like there's so much to write about, too much in fact, that eventually I ended up writing about nothing. I traveled to the USA with my boyfriend, to see his family and home. The trip was a lot of fun and we did so much, so much I wouldn't even know where to start.

So I thought I'd return to where this blog actually got started. Sewing.
So this post is about a dress I made.

I've become to buy fabrics as souvenirs from the countries and cities I visit. When sown in to a garment, that piece of clothing gets a special meaning. 

This beautiful floral fabric I bought from Prague. We had visited a few small fabric shops with not much luck, so I was really happy to finally come across this one. The only thing was that the shop lady and I didn't have a common language so I ended up buying 1 meter more than I wanted. That's OK though as the fabric was really inexpensive and the rest will be enough to make a skirt as well.

The pattern I used for this dress is from the 1940's. I really like the scalloped edges on the neck line and sleeves. The style is very simple, but it works well with the busy fabric. I can't remember the pattern company as I copied this pattern from a friend and didn't take copies of the covers.

My boyfriend photographed me wearing this dress on our trip to Cape May in southern New Jersey. We took a trip to the Sunset Point, which is apparently the place to go if you're looking to catch a beautiful sunset. We didn't stick around for that long. but we did see the SS Atlantus. one of the concrete ships built during and after World War I. The ship sunk during a storm and it's still there, about 50 meters off the shore.

 At Sunset Point there's also a World War II observation tower which was one of many built to guard the coast line from German submarines. Nowadays it holds an exhibition telling about it's use and the people from cape May who fought in the war.

We also drove up to the light house, built in 1859, not far from here and climbed all the way to the top. All 217 steps. It was a tough job as it was a really hot day, but the view from up there was worth it.

I paired the dress with a sun hat I got from Cape May, since I didn't bring one with me. It didn't even cross my mind as you rarely need one in Finland.
I also wore wedges from Clark's, that I had bought from Washington D.C. So comfy!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Wow, it's been two months since I last wrote in here. How shameful :P
I just got back from a 10 day vacation in Copenhagen and Amsterdam with my boyfriend. Initially we went to Copenhagen for the Copenhagen Lindy Exchange, but decided to extend our stay and hop over to Amsterdam afterwards. All in all, we spent 5 days in each city.

The little mermaid statue by Edvard Eriksenin.

Copenhagen was a lot of fun and we managed to see and do a lot. I liked the city more for it's atmosphere and people rather than architecture. To me it looked like any other Scandinavian city. But I did like how open and happy people in general seemed. 

The lindy exchange taster lessons and evening parties were held in this atmospheric Sopaviljonen

The first 3 nights we were attending taster lessons and evening parties at the Lindy Exchange and somehow managed to see around the city as well.

My favourite sights in city were Christiania, which is an anarchist, self governed free town. It consists of former military barracks and ramparts from the 17th and 18th century, and in September 1971 inhabitants of the surrounding neighbourhood broke down the fence to take over parts of the unused area. 

The Tivoli Gardens, which is an amusements park dating all the way back to 1843, is a must see. It is the second oldest amusement park in  the world and has one of the wordls oldest surviving rides, the Rutschebanen built in 1914. Tivoli is a very pretty pretty place to visit both during the day and evening. With it's flower gardens, orientally decorated rides and colourful, old-timey candy and ice cream shops it feels like a step back in time. When the night falls, the lights come on and the Tivoli gets a whole new feeling.

We bought tickets including all the rides in the morning. Rode the rides, walked around the gardens and had lunch in the Tivoli, and came back later in the evening to enjoy the lights. We were even lucky enough to catch the water and light show that was held over one of the little ponds just before closing time.

We also visited the Rosenborg castle, which is a renaissance castle that the Danish king Christian the 4th built as one of his summer houses. It is said to be one of the best preserved castle of its time. The crown jewellery and treasury is also kept in here.

On our last day, before flying to Amsterdam, we visited the Danish national museum, which tells the history of the ancient Danish people, Vikings and also had an exhibition about ethnic treasures with everything from Eskimos to Africa to China and Japan.

The Lindy Exchange crew had also arranged for us a cruise on the canals of Copenhagen. We had two sight seeing boats full of people and a band playing in each of the boats. The cruise was a fun way too see Copenhagen from an entirely different angle, while enjoying the swinging music. Some people even started dancing on the narrow corridor of the boat.

As for food, I don't think I had a single bad meal in Copenhagen. We didn’t do any fancy of expensive restaurants, but even in cafés and pubs you could get a very tasty meal. The restaurants in Copenhagen seem very environmentally conscious and many places used locally produced and organic ingredients.
I do want to point out a few places that we went to. 

The Torvehallerne in Nørreport is a market hall consisting of two big glass buildings hosting over 60 food stands selling anything from fresh vegetables to fresh meat, bakeries, coffee shops and delicacies. We had our lunch here one day in a little shop called Le Petit. The steak sandwich was really good and it's totally OK to have a glass of wine over lunch. This is Europe ;)

One evening on our way to the dance location, we were looking for a place to eat and it started raining like mad, so we went in to this little Japanese place, which turned out to be some of the best sushi I ever had. I think the place was called Uma and it was on Nørre Farimagsgade.

On our last evening we wanted to do something a little more special so we picked a place that was recommended as one of the coolest places the locals like to go to. The place was called The Neighborhood which is an all organic pizza and cocktail bar. The atmosphere there was very cosy and rustic with cheery jabbering and vinyl tunes filling the air. The pizza isn't just any old pizza you can get, but rather a more modern interpretation. 

Some of the  idyllic old houses in Nyhavn.

Friday, 27 March 2015

1930's inspired walking suit

All you vintage sewing enthusiasts probably know the feeling when you see an absolutely fabulous vintage pattern, but it's helplessly out of your reach. Whether it's because of the price or simply because no one seems to have it for sale.

I had to go through this pain when I saw this gorgeous walking suit pattern on American Duchess -blog. I dug through Ebay, Etsy, Google image search, Facebook...yet this pattern seemed to be no where to be found.

Picture from American Duchess
So I finally decided to make my own version of the pattern. 
I used the measurements for the closest standard size, because I haven't updated my personal measurements recently and drafted the pattern for the jacket using a basic blazer block. The skirt I modified from a vintage dress pattern.

I had first made the jacket a little longer as it appears on the pattern envelope. But as you know, the fashion drawing rarely is very realistic and the figures are often elongated. So I ended up shortening the jacket by a few centimetres as the original length wasn't too flattering on me.

The fabric is combed pure wool that I came across at a small rural flea market a couple years ago. They had almost an entire bolt just sitting there so of course I had to take it home. I believe the fabric is from the 60's based on the tag hanging off it. What a steal!

I had a lot of fun working on the jacket, because I got to use traditional tailoring techniques such as hand basting the hair canvas and making bound button holes.
I found some faceted plastic buttons from a local craft shop that look like vintage glass buttons. Real glass buttons seem to be almost impossible to come by here.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Finished knit #6: Easy stitches for a chic jumper

It's been a long time since I last blogged about my finished knitting and sewing projects. But behold! Here's something that I just finished yesterday (that I've been working on for the past 6 months, heh).

I've actually used this pattern before, but last time it ended up too loose because of a poor yarn choice. This time I made it out of wool, which has more body. I had purchased a pack of this South American wool, Lima, a while back when it was on discount, and it worked for this pattern just fine.

The original pattern is from 1936 and you can get it for free from Zilredloch.

This pattern is easy and fun to work with. The yarn is a little bit thicker so it comes along quite quickly. I especially enjoyed making the yoke, which is knit in one piece after joining the pieces together. 

Unfortunately as I thought I was going to run out of yarn, I ended up ending the sleeves a little bit short. Now I wish I had made them an other inch longer, since I ended up with a little bit of extra yarn. Perhaps I will try stretching them out with water.

The sweater is very closed at the neckline so it needs to have an opening. In this pattern it's made by adding buttons to the back of the neck, which I think gives a lovely and very 30's touch.

For the pictures I accessorized the sweater with a white collared shirt (from a theatre's flea market), gloves and beret (which are both modern) and a 30's pendant which I bought from our trip to Prague.

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