Thursday, 31 October 2013


As a blogger part of the Indiedays Inpsiration-network I was selected to participate in a DIY-project campaign. The task was to make use of Finnish Coffee brand Meira's Cafe Hieno Winter Edition fabric. The print is designed by graphic designer and illustrator Georgi Eremenko, inspired by cold winter mornings and warm kitchens. And hot cups of coffee, of course.

The campaign is a collaboration between Indiedays and Meira's Cafe Hieno.

So, I was sent over the fabric for my projects and some matching coffee to help me along.
Btw did you know Finns drink most coffee in the world per year per capita? Eddi has more coffee than water I think. I am a more moderate consumer :)

My first thought was to sew a circle skirt. Well, as you know, my first thought is always to make a circle skirt when I come across cute patterned fabrics. All forms of circle skirts (full, half, three quarter) hang so beautifully. Pretty much any fabric works well for a full skirt, both fashion and interior, thick and thin. In fact I think heavier fabrics work very well;  if the texture is sturdy the skirt will stay pretty big with an "ooompf" also without a petticoat underneath.

Circle skirts are very easy to make as long as you know the basics. In the end there is not so much sewing to do. What you basically need to know is the measurements; the radius of your waist circle and the radius of the whole circle (the length of your skirt plus your waist radius). It's that good old school math making itself useful; the radius is the circumference divided by Pi divided by two. The internet has a lot of great tutorials and well explained how-to's on circle skirts out there already, so for measuring and cutting you can check these two out for example: circle skirt math & the circle skirt how-to.

(You can click the images for a bigger view)
I could have cut this skirt out as one big circle (a basic 140cm wide fabric like this is just enough for my measurements to get it as long as I like; to hit the knee) and made a slit for the zipper in the back but I wanted the print to hang in the right way both front and back (cut as one circle it would hang upside down on the other side), so I made my skirt out of two half circles instead, which actually makes it easier in my opinion; placing the zipper in the seam on the side.

As with all things made by hand preparation is king (sadly I must say, as I just like to dig in and get on it right away), so measure and cut properly and be nice to yourself in advance: zig zag all the edges of your pieces -  in this case, two halves of a skirt and one waistband - and iron the hems as you go along You will thank yourself a few minutes later then.

It would be optimal if you could allow your skirt to hang over night, as it is a full circle the grains that go across the fabric will stretch out (the bias stretch). So I let my skirt wait before sewing the waist band and hemming it. (You can read more abut the bias of a fabric and how it falls here.)

I fold the waist band over both sides of the waist line on my skirt. I put a hook in (by hand) to fasten the waistband. I hem my skirts with a rolled hem line, no pinning needed, just roll it up a bit and sew along. 


Since the print on this fabric is in white and gold I was thinking the skirt would turn into something of a party skirt for the Christmas season, so I didn't put in pockets. But now that it is finished I see it can still be styled for everyday wear as well as fancy-smanchy. So I might add a little pocket somewhere after all :)

But, I still had fabric over which meant I could try out another little idea I had; making tote bags.

Well, as with skirts I have lots of tote bags as well, and you wouldn't think a canvas tote bag that special. But  you can never really have enough of them. I keep one folded in my purse for grocery shopping. And the thing is a tote out of pretty fabric is a great way to wrap a gift as well - you may remember me liking to pack my gifts in a useful way -less trash more joy - in jars and boxes. And why not in totes too! So now that the gifting season is coming up, why not make a little stash of bags to use for later?

If a circle skirt is easy to make a tote is pretty much idiot proof, just folding and sewing a rectangle together. If it bugs you that the pattern will be upside down on one side just cut the rectangle off in the middle, flip one side the other way around and sew the bottom together.

And this will be the deluxe version of a tote bag, which means it will be all clean and neat on the inside. To deluxe it up, so that is not only more neat but more durable, put your seams on the printed side of the fabric first -you can sew close to the edges with quite little seam allowance- then fold inside out and sew seams in the inside.
Ta-da, clean and neat on the inside!
Then fold the opening over twice and sew around the edge.

I find the easiest way to make handles is to sew the seam on the inner side and turn the handle inside out with the help of a safety pin. Iron the handles flat and smooth before sewing them to the bag. Sew the handles properly on with a square and a cross to be able to carry your books, groceries and whatever stuff you like to carry around.

To wrap a gift in a tote bag, just tie a ribbon around the top of the bag into a big bow (you can add the handles to the bow  too), or wrap it as you would wrap a gift in paper as well - it will be a little bit more bulky though. Fold the handles in the bag first. Tie the gift together with a matching or contrasting ribbon.

You can of course use this all year round, not just for Christmas. Something freshly baked packed in a cute bag is a lovey present, or,  in this case:  a pack of coffee in a matching tote makes a great coming-over gift!

You can see the rest of the DIY projects, which are coming up one by one during the following weeks, on Indieday's Meira campaign page, where you also can vote for your favourite DIY. By voting (trough Facebook likes) you also participate in a competition to win a Meira goodie bag!


Sonja said...

Åååh kjolen är ju härlig! Jag ska ta och göra en likadan. Köpte ett muffinstyg då ni på Drumsö sålde grejer och har inte riktigt kommit på vad jag ska göra av det. Men nu vet jag!

Lisa said...

That material is beautiful (and I love the pop art tie in to the coffee, what a clever marketing idea) and even more so as a skirt! I need to get up my courage and essay into circle skirt making. :) Great job!

the freelancer's fashionblog said...

Sonja : jo en muffinskjol blir ju härligt :)

Lisa : yes it's pretty smart. They had a summer edition too :) And once one starts with circle skirts it's hard to stop hehe.

Mama D said...

What a pretty skirt! Loving the pattern.

Ina - Years Since Yesterday said...

NEAT!!! I like!

lil' said...

Beautiful! I love your hair, too! Could you, please, make a demo of how to create this hairstyle?

Krisztina said...

I just looove circle skirts and I find it realy cool that you make them yourself. A woman can never have enough skirts and dresses. Great job.