After careful consideration I have decided to leave this blog as an archive and concentrate fully on my new blog Kittens Klädkammare/Kittens Closet. It's pretty much the same as what I've been doing here, only I now write also in my native tongue (swedish) with the english translation at the bottom of each post.
So, welcome over to my new blog and if you'd be so kind, please update any links you might have to me and let me know if you'd like me to link back to you too. Thank you for reading!
In honour of my new life as a sewing student I have started a new blog;
(Klädkammare is swedish for wardrobe or closet so essentially it means Kitten's Closet)
Will you join me?
This blog was never public in the sense that I haven't told my family about it or even many of my real life friends. I guess I didn't think they'd be interested. As time went on it felt more and more weird to go all "By the way, I've been blogging for the last three years and didn't tell you". But somehow studying to become a seamstress gives me the justification to be publicly interested in clothes AND blog about it even though nobody else I know does it. Anyway, remember to update your link pages if I'm on there and feel free to tell me about your blogs (preferably sewing and/or vintage related, please!) too so I can add you to my links when I get around to fixing that bit too.
See you at Kitten's Closet!
As soon as I started my summer holiday, we began packing the camper-van for our trip around southern Finland. Our first stop was Pori and the beautiful beach at Yyteri. The weather at the time was terrific and we were too busy enjoying it to take any photos worthy of publishing. After a couple of days we traveled on to Hankoo at the southernmost tip of Finland, where I made friends with a headless soldier.
Hankoo was really nice, there was an area with loads of old wooden villas with beautifully crafted terraces and balconies. The sunset at the camping area where we stayed was quite lovely too, and there was entertainment too!
The next day I went thrifting in Ekenäs while Mr. Kitten rested on the beach. I found two 50's magazines, a scarf and a tablecloth for our foldable camping table. We moved on to Raseborg where we checked out the castle ruins and saw a modern version of "the Wizard of Oz" played out on an outdoor stage, featuring my younger brother in a few minor parts. Halfway through it started raining...Good thing I had my umbrella with me!
After the play we hung out at my brothers place and listened to the thunder until it stopped and we drove to a 24 h petrol station for some shut-eye. The next day we went to Hämeenlinna where we spent the weekend climbing towers and visiting the castle. Relaxing, sauna and grilling Finnish sausages on the barbeque was also part of the program.
Our next stop was Helsinki. We went to museums, did some sightseeing and shopping. I visited several vintage stores without buying anything, as expected the prices where a lot higher than at the flea-markets I usually buy from. My own collection of vintage tripled in value, at the least! I did however find a UFF-charity shop by accident, where I found a second hand h&m dress with a fifties feel to it. It was mine for 8 euros, also more expensive than charity shops around here. But this was Helsinki price...
A few day later we were in Porvoo. We saw the lovely old town and a Swedish lady complimented me behind my back. She thought I looked like a princess in my poufy 50's style dress and wide brimmed hat...
We traveled on to Kotka. Did some more relaxing and barbecuing and walked along a nature trail by the sea. The next day we went into town and saw a man-made waterfall in one of the parks. I went thrifting again and this time I found a black vintage hat and a red umbrella/parasol.
Lappeenranta was next on our tour. We saw their big sand castle which turned out to be a sand circus in reality, but none the less fascinating. I did some more thrifting and found a basket for my bike and a big piece of denim fabric for 2 euros. The ladies behind the counter spoke in Russian among themselves and the border felt kind of close.
The next day we crossed it. By boat. We went on a cruise on the Saima canal, through eight locks, and arrived in Vyborg, Russia in the afternoon.
Vyborg used to be part of Finland before WWII and the castle was built before that, when Finland was part of Sweden...
By nightfall we were back in Finland again. The next day we set our sight homeward, and on the way, we stopped at Olavinlinna.
We also drove along one of the most famous and spectacular ice age formations in the country, Punkaharju ridge. By now the temperatures had dropped and it had been raining on and off for a couple of days, and going home was almost starting to feel okay.
Our last night on the road was spent in Kuopio. We got home without any major mishaps, despite our 23 year old car. A few days later though, when we were gonna use the camper van again, one of the shock absorbers gave up...
I started feeling like it was now or never. I liked my job when I started but over a period of time things changed, the workload seemed overwhelming more and more often and at times I felt really stressed. We got more and more responsibilities but not any more time. At the same time I was disappointed with myself, I had expected more of me. I was a good enough student I could have gotten in to some pretty good schools had I only known what I wanted to do.
My job in the supermarket was beginning to feel like a waste of my talents. I knew that the longer I waited the harder it would become to leave. I have no children (yet) or house mortgage (yet) and I'm still young, this is my chance - there's no good reason not to. I didn't wanna be stuck working in a supermarket for the rest of my life wondering what would have happened if I had only dared.
I have been sewing since I was six (started out making Barbie-clothes) and the dreams of becoming a fashion designer have pretty much been with me since. I just didn't think there would be much work for designer/seamstresses around here and I wasn't prepared to go very far away. But a few weeks ago I spoke to a couple of seamstresses here in town and they told me that there's plenty of work to go round and they really encouraged me to believe in myself and go for it. So a few weeks ago I sent a letter of application.
Last week I quit my job and three days ago I started school with a bunch of 16-year-olds. In two years time, I'll be a seamstress.
After over two weeks of traveling around Finland in our camper-van, I have now returned to my sewing machines and to blog land. How have you been? As always, we managed to take quite a few pictures, so while I sort trough them I'll post an image I took before we went on holiday. This is the outfit I wore to the annual old fashioned market here in town, my appearance caught the eye of two different newspaper photographers, resulting in images of me in two of the local papers plus a short comment...
The old fashioned market is a place where sellers dress up in old fashioned clothes (they mostly look like poor farmers) and sell handicrafts, antiques and vegetables and stuff. I was helping out my mum who makes and sells pottery and I convinced her to wear one of my vintage hats with her inherited American 40's suit. Too bad the suit is too big for me...
My dress in a 70's does 40's dress I found at a charity shop (shortened and slightly taken in) and my hat is self made using a table mat and candle holder decorations. Gloves, seamed stockings and handbag are vintage, the shoes from hush puppies.
Hope you are all well, I'll be back later with pictures of my finds and outfits from our trip! Toodeloo!
Summer is happening and like so many others, I too am busy living and not so busy blogging. This week has been especially busy as I'm working longer hours than I normally do, so even less time for blogging! Anyway, here's an outfit I managed to photograph the other week. The capri pants used to be just normal length trousers with the belt loops lower down, but not anymore! I just love it when I'm able to make something just how I want it. These capris have had a lot of use already...
For some reason I have been working every single monday evening the past 5-6 weeks, all but one, which means I haven't been able to go the the monday car boot-sales more than once. When I did go, I found some lovely things with hearts on them. I've seen the jar many times before, but always more expensive and in worse shape. The jug has already become a flower pot and suits it purpose very well.
I don't know when you'll hear from me again, as my holiday starts in two days and we have great plans to travel around Finland in our camper-van. We've been thinking along the lines of going down the coast stopping at Pori, Naantali, Raseborg, Ekenäs, Hangö, Helsinki, Borgå and Lappeenranta, from where we'll take a mini-cruise to Viipuri (Russia) and then make our way back home again the inland way. Feel free to leave tips on great places to shop vintage along the way, places to see and cafe's where you'd like to have a cup of tea and talk about sewing/vintage with me while I'm passing through.
Until I have the chance to write again, Have a fantastic summer!
Finally I feel like I'm actually doing something about that pile of things to be altered, the pile that normally seems to be only growing has actually started to shrink! This skirt didn't even stay in the pile for long, as it's the one I recently bought in Sweden. What was too long and one size to big now fits me and is likely to become a favourite this summer.
Another potential favourite is this red skirt that used to be my aunt's in the 60's or 70's. It was a bit longer before and made me look really short. But now that's been taken care of! I of course used my serger when I shortened both skirts, and then I had an idea and looked through my sewing machine equipment and indeed, turns out I've got one of those presser foots who fold over the fabric and make hems look neat and pretty...so of course I had to try it out and I'm pretty pleased with the result!
Today I have also turned a pair of long legged trousers into 50's style capri pants (high waist!) and I can't tell you what a difference using the serger makes. You can't really tell if those trousers/capris have been altered with the professional look the serger leaves. The sig-sag just doesn't do it for me anymore...
Hello readers, how have you been? I've been busy having a cold, celebrating midsummer and my birthday, and making myself an area dedicated for sewing! Oh, and I found myself a nice piece of furniture (60's teak) at a flea-market, which I had to fill with shoes and hats in my usual manner;
It is now located in my sewing area, where I can finally spread out and not have to clean up after myself every single time I get creative, because this area is meant for creating and nothing else! I used to put the sewing machine on the desk in front of my computer when I used it before, so this is a real improvement...Do those of you who sew have a special area set up too or do you have a different arrangement?
At the same place I found my new (old) shelf, I also found these shirts;
We celebrated midsummer with my family, eating well and just hanging out. Did you have a nice weekend?
My last day in Malmö was a monday, therefor my brother was at school and his wife at work, so I had to go out vintage shopping on my own...I didn't do too bad though! It was a warm and summery day so I put on this outfit and wandered off into the city. Several hours later I had found two skirts;
I've been looking for a red one for ages...And the one below was just fantastic, LOVE the pattern, has to be taken in slightly though.
I also found a dress which fitted me like a glove. Both skirts and the dress came from Humana.
And last but not least, I found two hats...In an antiques shop with loads of beautiful teak furniture and string-shelves other nice things I sadly could not fit into my bag and bring home.
Aren't they pretty? But kind of wintery so they won't get worn for another couple of months. I also visited Som Ny, and chatted with the lovely owner. She had some nice stuff there, especially the jeans, but sadly nothing in my size that I liked. But do head over there for a peek if you're in Malmö, or visit her web shop, she had some nice jewellery too!
I had a really nice time in Malmö, the shopping was sure better than around here, as was the restaurant we went to and of course it was also nice to hang out with my brother and his wife. The finds have been washed and now I just need to iron and do some other fixing before I can start wearing them. Oh, and I need the weather to be warm again...
My birthday is still a couple of weeks away but as soon as I figured out what I wanted, Mr Kitten went out and got it for me (I know, spoilt!). I present to you, my new best friend;
The weather here has turned really warm and summery and when I went out yesterday wearing the outfit below, I got a sun rash on my back. Not so fun. So today I might just stay inside a bit more and get to know my new friend.
Living in a flat with just a small balcony sucks by the way, it's too hot to use it much as the sun is on it all day...What to you ladies do who don't have gardens but want to be outside when the weather is nice? And how do you avoid getting a sun rash?
My trip to Malmö, was pretty nice. I went to visit my brother but in reality, I spent most of my time getting to know his wife C better. My brother isn't into shopping so I wasn't surprised he left that part to us girls. C and I haven't really spent time together before so it was pretty nice, especially since it turned out we had more in common than expected, she's into ecological thinking too and likes flea-markets for example. So for once I didn't have to go shopping alone, yay!
The first day we went around a couple of vintage stores in town, as well as a couple of antique shops. We saw some nice stuff but I still came back empty handed, while C found a lovely 60/70's tunic that looked really cute on her.
On Sunday we went to a carboot sale kind of market and suddenly my I started spotting things I wanted. My favourite find was this old H&M dress, a couple of sizes too big with buttons missing in the back but hey, it only cost me 30 SEK (about 3 euros) and I just know it will look great once I get it fixed...
The bad thing about outdoor markets is that you can't try things on, so I bought me another dress that was too big. But I should be able to fix it...I just need some time.
This skirt on the other hand was just right, but I'm not sure about the belt...Maybe it would be better higher up? Why oh, why does everything I buy turn into a project?!
My last purchase of the day doesn't have to fit me, as I bought it as an addition to my collection of vintage slips and nightgowns. One day I plan to have my collection hanging on the walls of our bedroom, I just need some hooks on the wall first (or a bedroom with walls that I can put up the hooks on myself, without the need of stone wall drilling equipment...).
C also came back with a few things, and I even managed to find a few things for her that she liked (a retro tablecloth and retro enamel casserole, both awesome but not quite my style). Anybody else need a personal shopper? I'll show the rest of my finds another day so stay tuned!
After hours and hours of sewing, I have finally finished my latest set of two dresses, a bolero and a hat.
The bolero is double sided so that I can turn it inside out and use it both ways. It's the only item from this set that I didn't design myself, although I did alter it slightly, it wasn't reversible to begin with for example. The pattern is from this set, which I thrifted last summer.
The fabric is thrifted and was sewn into mattress covers, I knew immediately that I was going to make something two-toned. I especially like the pocket detail on the second dress!
On Saturday I am flying to Copenhagen from where I'm going straight to Malmö to visit my brother and his wife. And do some shopping! I've already googled and found a couple of vintage/second hand shops, but if you've got something else to see or do while I'm there, feel free to leave a suggestion! Now I just have to do a couple more pin-curls and then I'm off to bed. What are you doing this weekend?
Before it gets to warm outside I have to show you the leopard jacket I bought from Haléns (on sale). I'm liking it so much that I almost wish it was colder outside. Almost...The skinny high-waisted jeans are from H&M and feel strange for me to wear as I'm used to wide legged trousers, but oh how I love the high waist!
Here's another outfit I wore out shopping a couple of days back, note the handbag! Hm, looking at the picture I begin to wonder if I should change the buttons of the jacket to white ones, would that still look ok with the gold coloured zippers on the sleeves? Or should I redo the sleeves in some way too, they are a bit long? But then again, the gold details on the jacket go well with the ones on the bag...
Today I'm a bit tired from working 7 days in a row (still two days to go!) but my spirit was lifted when I checked my work schedule for the next couple of weeks. I've got five days off in a row starting from next weeks friday! What to do, what to do? Where should I go? Long weekend trip to sweden? London? Paris? Or should I just stay home and sew like a mad woman? Oh, the possibilities! What would you do?
I love my new handbag. It's not really new, of course, just new to me. I've been looking for one in navy for ages, if I only had a similar one in white and in red my handbag collection would be pretty much complete. Is that even possible? To have a complete collection? Will I really be able to stop looking at and buying handbags when it is? Only time will tell I guess...
Other than the fabulous handbag I have recently also found a basic slip to wear underneath dresses with wide enough shoulders (winter stuff).
And I so could not resist these swallows...only problem is, how to get them up on the wall? There's a hole at the back but when I put it on a nail the swallow tilted! Whoever put that hole there sure didn't put it in the right place, hah.
Check out my new lamp (below). I was trilled to find it, as I'm always on the lookout for 50's items to give our home a more retro look. It cost me 15 euros from the Jupiter-second hand shop in Vaasa.
In Vaasa I also picked up a few other items, such as the shirts below, the white bracelet and the sandals I'm wearing.
The shorts used to be my mothers and both handbags are second hand. The next item I almost regret buying. The waist is waay to high on me, what was I thinking?
Similar thoughs come to mind looking at the next top, why did I get it? I have something similar but better, on this top the checks feel somehow too big...Shoes from Ellos.
The shoe laces would look better in white, don't you think? I also picked up some other bits and pieces, the flower is and actual hat pin, yay!
Now I just can't wait for the weather to get warmer so that I can go out in these clothes without freezing to death...