Tag Archives: sewing

Free time: Sewing

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Hi! Today I’ll just jump straight into the topic: wanna know what my free time looks like recently? 🙂 Like this picture!

Yep, I’m all in the sewing activities – and I love it! Since I finally got my new toy – the sewing machine – I’m immersed into everything that’s thread, fabric, seems, cutting, measuring and sewing. Though I’m not doing much of actual sewing yet, because I decided that I’d like to learn how to sew properly. So – being a definite Type A and all in all a person in-love with books – I started from reading 😀 My bookshelf is now filled with books titled “Sewing Machine Basics”, “The Sewing Machine Classroom” and “Dressmaker’s Guide” that the Helsinki library kindly provided (they have such wonderful libraries and the whole library system here in Finland!!! I can’t even express how happy I am about that!). Apparently, there are so many things I didn’t even realise I didn’t know! 😀 Like different threads for different projects and what needle and stitch length and width to choose for what fabric, not to mention the different foots for a sewing machine and thread tension and… Well, you get the idea 🙂

It’s really not that I’m starting from a complete scratch – in my teenage years I even made a few clothes (like skirts and a blouse with straps and even a dress) and I actually wore them (so they weren’t really bad 🙂 ). But then I was sewing just from my own understanding and – really – just relying on luck: I made mistakes and I didn’t care much that the final garment didn’t look professional. But I made it! That was the most important.

Now the fact of making something myself is as important, but I’m older and I don’t really want to wear something that screams from a kilometer away: “Look, I made it myself! So what if it doesn’t look like much!” That’s why all the books and learning 🙂

But I’m not only reading, mind you, and I’m not writing this time to share with you the titles of my “study books”, but, rather, my first project 🙂 It’s extremelysimple, but it fulfills the main objectives for this moment: it let me try out my machine, it was simple enough to make in a very short time (time is something I would be glad to buy in bulk these days, but, I guess, most of us feel the same way, right?) and it brought a bit of color and spring into our home (about time!). So, here it is: just the pillowcases for our living room sofa pillows 😀

…and “after”

Sofa “before”…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, I would not necessarily say that the new pillow cases generally look better on our sofa, but they do look better as an accent of spring. Right? What do you think?

Of course, now there is a whole row of projects already lined in my mind 🙂 And I will, of course, share them all with you in due time. But today I saved you a couple of pretty pretty pictures for the final – my birthday gift from a dear friend here in Helsinki.

Look at this bag! Can you imagine the patience that goes into making something like this? To sew all those “flower-buttons” on, and the embroidery and everything… Oh my… This woman is a real crafter 🙂

And that’s it for my colorful post today. See you next time!

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Little Things

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Hi! How are you doing at the start of this week? Have you had a nice Mother’s day weekend? I hope so 🙂 Mine was very simple but really cute and warm and nice and all things cuddly that come with having kids and a Mother’s Day. I got cards from my little monsters, saying things like “Mommy is great” and “You’re the best mom in the world” (this one was from my little 2-year-old, so I suppose the phrase was written by the kindergarten teachers, not Gabriel himself 😀 But he drew a nice “flower”!), and a potted rose from my husband, and also a Princess Cake with neon green frosting with a cup of coffee for breakfast 🙂 The weather was great so we had a long walk by the seaside and then had a quiet afternoon at home. All in all it was a good day!

And what’s more – somehow I got the urge to take up knitting my wristers again! I have no idea where that came from – I usually don’t have the slightest inclination to knit when the temperatures outside get higher than some +5 – but it came and now I’m finishing one wrister from the first pair I’ve come up with. So the update on this is coming shortly.

I am also almost finished reading a great book – about decision-making, our irrationality in this respect, consumer behaviour, psychology, marketing and many other things we make decisions about – and soon I’ll be sharing some thoughts about that as well.

And also my birthday is coming! So as of Friday I will have my wonderful sewing machine! I have already ordered a bunch of books from a library, like “Sewing Machine Basics” (I really need this, because the only machine I have ever sewn on was a really old one and I basically used only 2 seems – straight and zigzag. And even those didn’t come that easily…), “The Dressmaker’s Handbook” and the like, so I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the world of fabrics, patterns and threads.

Also there are still my studies of Finnish that I have every day (and I have a few exams coming in June), and I’m looking for different continuation courses or a job, and I already have plans to go to Tampere for a weekend in the middle of June, meet my best friend from Lithuania there and celebrate both our birthdays (everything’s already booked… oh, I can’t wait!) and we’re planning summer vacation with my husband… And the summer is practically on the doorstep!

…And when I see all these things in one place, I get so surprised by what an interesting life I have now!!! 🙂 It’s really a wonderful time, full of possibilities and different directions. I hope I won’t get lost 🙂

Have a great day!

Kierrätystehdas: Workshops, and my (for now) little joy

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Ok, first of all: a BIG thank you to all my friends, acquaintances and their friends and acquaintances and everyone who visited – and will return to visit – my blog after I first “unveiled” it on Facebook (and special thanks to the girls who commented and encouraged on Facebook – you give me more courage!). That was a big step for me (we are all afraid – or at least anxious – about all possible criticism, right?) and a great commitment. I hope to be able to keep your interest and to provide fun reads with some information now and then. Also, if you have any suggestions, please leave comments – they make me very happy 🙂

Now let’s get back for a very short while to Kierrätystehdas (aka Recycling Factory) because I still didn’t tell you anything about the workshops – and they were really most interesting!

There was a Sewing Club, where everyone could go find some interesting discarded clothes and remake them for themselves or any other purpose. There were sewing machines ready for the participants and professional instructors from Defender, who helped to make visions come true. By the way, check out Defender Redesign page  where they’re now showing their latest collection made from repurposed/upcycled clothes. The designs are great!

There was also a woodwork workshop where participants created birdhouses and flower boxes, and bicycle workshop where anyone could get advise and help with fixing their bike and getting it ready for the summer season (you might not be aware, but it’s a real challenge to get into any bicycle service here in Helsinki! They’re booked right up to the end of June!). Then there was a UFF workshop where participants could learn about the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and print texts on recycled t-shirts related to those objectives; and rag flowers workshop; and Vinteco workshop, where everyone could see and learn how to renovate furniture, especially with different coverage techniques; and crafts workshop were you could learn to braid empty coffee packages into purses, for example, or something else. And the best part of all this was that all the activities were completely free (well, except for the sewing club, but there the fee was only 5 euros for using the discarded clothes so you wouldn’t need to bring any)! There was no registration, no fees and no other obstacles to join any workshop at anytime and just try whatever caught your fancy!

Now two most interesting things for me were Art Book Workshop and Mosaic workshop. I didn’t have time to create an art book myself, but the idea itself is amazing! You take any old unwanted book and just use it as an album, for example, for your art. Maybe some word in a page caught your attention and you got an idea for an illustration or design, maybe you use only the cover of the book, or you use the pages to frame something… The possibilities are endless! Here are some pictures I took of the sample books that were there on display. How lovely is the “earth” book?.. And those violets! I’d love to try this sometime.

And last (but not least, as they say) – the Mosaic Workshop. This I got to try myself! 🙂 And it was great great fun! The organizers provided all participants with small wooden boards, ceramic-tile-glue and pieces of glass (I wonder, where could they fave found so many broken things like cups and glasses and plates and teapots?), and all who wanted could make their own mosaic. I once again found that I love to see colourful, “busy” designs but when its time for me to do something on my own, I’m a real minimalist! Just look at the difference between what my friend created (you can see her mosaic beside the glue bucket) and my own “masterpiece” 😀 But all in all it was a really fun experience and I’m very happy I had a chance to participate.

And this concludes my account of the Recycling Factory. Have you found any ideas you’d like to try at home? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And now for my little joy: I got a sewing machine! I was obsessing about it for several months now, so with my birthday coming – and having finally chosen what I really want (and what I want inside the price range we can actually afford… more or less) – yesterday we agreed with my wonderful husband that I go and buy it. He was a bit unhappy that the present won’t be a surprise (he likes preparing surprises for me. And he’s real good at them! 🙂 ), but as I wanted the machine soooo much, what else was there to do? On the other hand, this freed him from having to come up with some awesome present for me because it’s not an “ordinary” birthday – I’m turning 30! (OMG… Ok, let’s not think about that for a week more…) So I guess he was at least a bit happy and relieved as well.  And my happiness will be extended, because my great machine is now hidden from me and I’m not allowed to touch it until my actual birthday. Then I will be excited and happy all over again! But for now I can line up the myriad projects I’d “really like to make” 😀 You can look at the amazing assembly of online tutorials I’ve gathered on my Pinterest Crafts board anticipating “the time when I have a sewing machine”. The time has nearly come! Do you have any cool tutorials you’d share? I’d be very glad to add them to my line.

Beginnings

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It’s probably a cliché but still – what better time is there to start something new if not right after the New Year? Well, maybe some 30th or 50th birthday would do nicely but I don’t want to wait for those and I needed a kick in the butt NOW, hence the start right after the New Year.

What was the kicking for? For finally engaging in something I’ve been secretly and openly dreaming, thinking and wishing for a very very long time – to start my very own creative journey into the handcrafts world and stay there! So here I am, starting that journey from this blog of all things. But why not? Sooner or later I will need some outlet for all the ideas I’m now bursting with anyway.

Actually I’ve never thought about myself as a particularly creative person. And probably that was my first and biggest mistake, because by thinking I didn’t have enough creativity I just never concentrated any energy on bringing it to a focus and using it for something (and believe me, I know how to concentrate!). But I’ve come to a time in life when I need to choose my “occupation” for the next few years ahead of me and I remembered my lifelong dream. Now is really the perfect time to do something about it!

All my life I’ve been hooked on one handcraft or another, riding on wave after wave of passion for knitting, beading, crocheting, crocheting with beads, making beads, felting, weaving, sewing… you name it. Every time I see some new knitting or beading technique, I lit up with the desire to try it out; I can browse the handcraft supplies shops and especially e-shops for hours and hours (the only competition for them might be bookshops, but even there I get stuck in the handcrafts section); and I always always have some craft project underway (well, usually maybe two or three projects). So I decided to use this passion and this energy for something both fulfilling, exciting and useful – start selling my handiwork. And as soon as I started seriously considering it, my mind just started bubbling with ideas for all the possible beautiful things I could make and hopes that somewhere out there I could find people who would be happy to own my creations. Talk about not being creative!

Maybe this start wouldn’t have been so sudden and “serious” if not for my brother who tried to convince me that there is no way to make a living off the handcrafting, that it’s only an occupation for wives of rich husbands – the husbands can support the family and leave their sweethearts to pursue their dreams that cost a lot and don’t bring any profit. But I don’t believe him and so I set out to prove him (and quite a few others who told me the same thing after I broached the subject) wrong. And this blog will be a kind of “travel journal” to document everything from the very beginning: my creative ideas and their end results (and all the “behind the scenes” in between); my successes and failures (I really hope for only a few of the latter!) while spreading the word about what I do; my life trying to balance this exciting adventure, my studies (I moved to Finland only a year ago and I’m now devoting insane amounts of time to learning Finnish), my family (I have a husband – who supports this endeavour, by the way, although I think he secretly hopes that when it doesn’t work out I’ll find a real job  – and two lovely little time-consuming monsters called kids), and my home (I still am a stay-at-home mommy until this whole thing starts to pay off); and all the other things that will go with everything else.

Please, feel welcome to visit! To read, to chat, to look at nice photos (hopefully I’ll get a hang of using my “fancier” camera soon – maybe I’ll have to write about that as well), to advise… maybe to criticize a little. Because I really hope and will do my very best to achieve success that will both enable me to live my dream and enable all those that believed in me to say with poorly disguised pride: “I know her from the very beginning, and I always believed she’ll do great!” And I intend to write about the path to both these great things here. So come!