Lady in Gray

Sometimes when I go thrifting I get lucky (or stick to tight rules perhaps?) and I end up bringing home a bunch of clothes that all seem to magically match...

Jumper+skirt, looks good with red accessories (bought or thrifted earlier).

Same gray skirt matches black shirt with white stripes, black shoes and red hat+jumper.

And would you believe it, the old ladies at the charity shop gave the dress above (again matching gray) to me for free, after I discovered a small hole at the side. However, this dress is quite big on me (and a bit itchy) so I thought I'd ask if anybody else is interested in it, they were going to throw it away! Waist measures 43 when lying flat, bust 52, hip 55 at widest part. The collar also looks big on me, so this might not look good on other petite ladies either...But if anybody is interested I'd be quite happy to for example trade it for something else, make me an offer!

Pair 60-something of shoes (closest to camera) cost 2 euros and came home with me from a thrift shop last Saturday. They are lined and warm, great for winter and the sort of temperatures we are having at the moment (there's even some snow!) On Saturday we also began the winter bathing season, but before we went my hair looked like this;

This is day five of the same set of pincurls, no need to wash often when you don't use shampoo anymore! But after this picture was taken my hair had to handle hydro-cortison-creme to fight my scalp rash, getting sweaty in the sauna and getting dipped into sea water when winter bathing...

And for some strange reason I decided to use considerably less baking soda than normal when I got home and finally washed it. Needless to say, my hair didn't feel quite as clean as I would have liked it afterwards...But now, after I've washed it again with more baking soda, rubbing it into all of my hair and not just the roots, and rinsing with the apple cider vinegar-mix, it feels as if I'd washed it with shampoo. I've also gone and gotten myself a different medicine for my atopic scalp rash, which hopefully won't interfere with my hair experiments.

My conclusion is that baking soda is indeed very likely to wash away all sorts of products from your hair, if you use enough of it (!) and spread it out from root to tip. However, I will be trying this again with hairspray or something to make sure, and report back...


Playing pinup and going no-poo

What do you think readers? Should I quit my job at the supermarket and start modeling?

Erh, maybe not, I can remember the photographer being amazed at how bad I was at keeping my eyes open for my graduation pics...I guess I'm just really flash sensitive.

Anyway, last week after complaining I wasn't having any luck at the flea-markets, I went to a couple I haven't been to for a while and came home with a bag full of stuff! Among other, this cute bathing/gymnastics suit. The rest will be in the next post...

On a different note, today it has been 2 months since I last used shampoo. Yes, I've been bitten by the no-poo bug. For the first four weeks or so my hair was pretty gross, but then it changed, and lately I've only washed it once or twice a week. Hold on, wash-but not with shampoo? Nope. At first I tried the conditioner only (CO) method, but I'm not sure if it worked or not, as my hair wasn't used to no shampoo and was still over producing oils. Plus I really didn't like the to me, strong smell of the conditioner (I used erittäin hieno suomalainen hiushoito).

So I switched to using baking soda and rinsing with a vinegar and water mix. Sometimes I mix in a bit of honey with the baking soda as well. My goal is to eventually wash with water only (WO) as my parents and at least one of my brothers have been doing for the last year, and their hair looks great! But they all have short hair...

To be honest, my hair doesn't feel or look that different, but then I've always had pretty good hair as I use so little product (and very seldom) and usually let it air dry anyway. The best thing about my new method though, is that I don't have to wash it every two days anymore. This is the first time I've done pin-curls since I stopped with the shampoo, and I'm very interested in seeing how long they will last. I will be pinning them up again over night to hopefully make them last longer.

Sound interesting? Google "no-poo" and you'll find loads of links...

And to finish, here's a list of reason to why I wanted to try this;

-I'm lazy. I cannot be bothered to re-set my hair every two days, so why not try a method that would allow me to keep it set for longer? Don't know if it will work yet though, testing in progress!
-My parents and brother are doing it, and they only use water and it still looks great. I should have the same genes, right?
-I have atopic skin, which means I have dry skin and have to keep using creme to keep my rash at bay. My scalp was getting really dry and itchy, and shampoo apparently dries out both skin and hair. My scalp feels better now.
-I got tired of buying and trying new brands of shampoo all the time, as nothing seemed to be quite right for me, my hair and my scalp. And because of my dry scalp, I though I might have dandruff, so I used dandruff shampoo (very bad for nature). No dandruff now...
-The environment is probably happier with less shampoo in it, and fewer plastic shampoo bottles.
-I'm not very big on consuming. Especially when it comes to products/chemicals we don't necessarily need. What we do need, I try to get the eco-friendly version of. Baking soda in a paper carton with a small plastic lid means less waste than a bunch of plastic bottles right?




I don't know what to say. Blogging is hard when there's nothing to blog about. I haven't found anything worth mentioning at the flea-markets lately, and I haven't really had much inspiration for sewing either. Maybe because I find it hard to get started when Mr Kitten is at home? I kinda need to be alone when I'm sewing, otherwise I can't concentrate enough...or something. Anybody else get that?

Anyway, I'm trying to get my groove back now that our shifts are different again (next 2-3 weeks one of us has evening shifts when the other has mornings, after which we'll have 3 weeks of same shifts, again). More me-time. This is my inspiration;

Picture from vintagefashionlibrary.com

Picture from Vivien of Holloway.

I haven't done a shirt or anything with a collar since the one I made in school at 14. So it's a bit of a challenge. And as usual I have no real pattern, just combining a collar + long sleeve from a shirt pattern from 1998 (pretty much the last time I drafted any patterns from Burda) with my trusted self made universal top pattern, the rest I'm making up as I go along. But I keep getting distracted. Coming up is 8 days of work in a row, including weekend, so we'll see how much energy is left for sewing...Wish me luck!


How to make a dress from an oversize shirt

I got a request to make a tutorial on how I made this dress;

First of all, you will need to know some basic sewing to do this, because I won't go into details on how to add a zipper and such, as it would simply make this post waaay too long. Secondly, finding a suitable shirt to re-vamp might not be that easy, as getting enough fabric for both top and bottom even for little old me was tricky. But still possible! I'd look for something with wide and long sleeves...Also, you could just make the skirt-part if there isn't enough fabric.

As I didn't plan to make a tutorial when I made the dress, I took no pictures of the process itself. So I'll just have to try and explain what I did...Hopefully I'll get you inspired to re-use something old and make something new, and save the environment etc. So here goes. I first thrifted a very large sized shirt with all in one sleeves, made from a thick and suitably stiff material;

I decided on my desired skirt length and marked it, plus a 1 cm seam allowance, measuring from the hem up. Then I cut my skirt part out, zig-zagged the raw edges and sewed close the left side all the way up. I also carefully removed the pockets and sewed them back on higher up.

The next step was to cut the collar out, leaving a bit of fabric at the front to work with. At the back of the collar I undid the seam and removed the collar from the back of the shirt. Here I noticed that I would not be able to fit my head through the collar if sewed shut (where there used to be buttons to undo), so I left it open at the back instead. I then turned the undone neck parts back in towards each other and sewed shut, leaving the back with two straps, too short to tie, but long enough close with a button and buttonhole or my version; hook and loop tape for more adjustability.

Here's a little explanation on how I cut the shirt up;

(Click for larger image)

But before I did any cutting I had to measure the sleeves across to see whether or not they were wide enough to make into a top for the dress. They were, just...So I cut the pieces out, comparing the width to my best fitting top pattern. I made some adjustments, added darts at the bust, and made sure the back (and front!) was high enough to cover a bra. All edges got zig-zagged and the darts sewed. I then sewed the left side shut.

The next step was to fit the collar in. I fitted the collar as if the top was a vest or pullover and the collar was peeking out, and sewed the pieces together, really close to the collar. The zig-zagged egdes were turned in, of course.

Now, the sides/arm holes were still open. I cut the extra fabric from the collar (sticking out from underneath the top) to match the sides, turned them in towards each other and sewed shut. I then turned the rest of the sides/arm holes over, as well the back, and stitched shut. Now, it was time to add the top to the bottom!

I matched the left side seams to each other, and then the right sides, still open. Next, the center of the top to the center of the bottom, and then on and on, center of top gaps to center of bottom gaps until I ran out of pins...All this to get the wrinkles to spread out nicely and evenly.

Finally, I added a zipper in the gap at the right side, starting in the skirt-part going all the way up to the arm-hole. Done!

Phew! I hope I didn't miss anything, and that you get the idea despite the lack of proper sewing terminology etc. I am, after all, a swedish speaking self-taught seamstress...But if something was really unclear you can always ask about it. And if you do go ahead and make something inspired by this post (or any other posts of mine for that matter) do let me know, I would love to see the results. Good luck and happy sewing!