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!

Wednesday 30 October 2013


(I thought it sounded better to piff this up rather than pimp it. You can piff stuff up in Swedish. So so be it here.)

We had this 'extra' ikea cup board over at the country house that we had used in our kitchen while between renovations. It made it into Dag's cupboard, for his clothes and bed sheets and such, with some toys for him to dig out from the bottom drawer.

I put up a piece of curtain fabric on a string to the doors, to cover up any possible mess and mis-matching baskets inside. (Which behold, is now for the whole internet to see. The cupboard is quite shallow and it was kind of hard to find small but practical enough baskets for his clothes. Good thing they are small, the clothing, hehe. I can't stand having clothes or bed linen by themselves on shelves, everyting.must.go.into.baskets.)

We changed the metallic knobs to porcelain ones.
(But we still don't have floor boards. Aaaaaaaaa....)

Dag is still staying in our bedroom;  the lace fabric match the bedroom curtains. When we eventually get the other rooms and spaces fixed up and he gets a room of his own I can change the lace to some other fabric to suit his future space. (Or, find another use for the piece...)

Tuesday 29 October 2013


I'm the kind of person who likes to stretch my holidays and celebrations to make them last as long trough the season as possible. I find it totally alright with christmas lights and mulled wine in mid November already (not yet though, damn it!) and enjoy my gingerbreads a few weeks into the new year too. Or, in the case of Halloween (which isn't that big of a deal over here really, but one of my favs of the year); I get a great reason to put up lights and lanterns now already without being a total Christmas geek about it. Plus, with the actual day being in the middle of the week this year, one is given two weekends to celebrate it!

So, we spent our Halloween this weekend already. When it is dark and gloomy outside -like it should- the best thing to do is put up lots of lanterns and lights, make a bunch of good food and some awsome people come over!

A werewolf-spiderweb moment.

 My mini skeleton.

 Building burgers.

My tofu-avocado burger.

 Lots of cakes (and wine) later on in the night.

And here's some music to go for your Halloween mood: Hell of a Halloween!

Saturday 26 October 2013


The other day I received a gift in the mail from Danish vintage store Style me Betty!
And you know I love gifts, or well, who wouldn't. I mean really, who?

I got a vintage dead stock knitted top.

Which I wore right away.
It requires a cardigan to go along for now but come sunshine and warmth again it will be very happy outside on its own.  It made me think o cotton candy; it's color and knit pattern.

 And, the parcel also contained a beautiful white beaded 1930's turban.
That I decided to use for a fan dance number of mine, and here's a shot of that from a small and very red backstage.

Friday 25 October 2013


 Dag hasn't let me carry him up or down the stairs for ages. He has to do it himself, which takes forever.
(When I do carry him he makes a lot of disagreeing sounds.) It's not a problem if you're not in a hurry, but in any case it gets pretty warm before you have reached down stairs, all those minutes in the outer gear...

And we really were all layered up today, properly for the on-off cold-warm wether. Felt all cosy and autumny but then I saw the pictures and thought that the layers had more of a touch of "hobo" instead of "autumn cosy". Well, it was a very warm combo nonetheless.

Tuesday 22 October 2013


My friend Ina who owns and runs Years Since Yesterday and I decided it was time for a little give away to her vintage etsy shop again!

Ina collects vintage items that can be labelled "americana" from her stays in Texas to put up for sale on YSY, as well with some Finnish vintage pieces scouted at home. For the moment she has more items for men than women, which is nice as it's most often the other way around. So something for the guys this time too! Or, you-know-what season is approaching so why not get your Xmas gift  for some special guy in time?

(Btw, read a short article on the fact that not the shopping but "search" for Christmas gifts online starts now already, searching for items for men and children. "Christmas gifts for women" were most frequently searched the last two days before Christmas. Hehe. Not surprised.)

Well anyway, the winner of give away will receive one gift card of 25 euros to use in the shop.
To enter, like the Years Since Yesterday Facebook page (if you don't already do) and leave me a comment on this post letting me know what your favorite item in the YSY-store is.

The give away will run for one week; so participate before Wednesday October 30!
I will draw the winner randomly so one comment per person as usual, unless you share this post, which will give you one more entry per share.
AND, you know, make sure I can reach you trough your comment! Seriously.
I will announcec the winner shortly thereafter, which will give him/her time to shop and receive the item(s) before Ina closes her store on December 10 for her few months trip to the US again.

Monday 21 October 2013


A couple of evenings ago we met up with my sisters and their husband/boyfriends and my parents at the amusement park of Helsinki, Linnanmäki, for the Carnival of Light. The park closes after summer but opens for some nights now later in autumn for the event.

It's a great atmosphere with uplight trees, illuminated ballerinas, fire jugglers and the occasional witch and ghost wandering around, plus lanterns and ribbons of light all around. Awesome.

As the entrance to the park is free and the rides for the smallest kids free as well we went there quite often times with Dag this summer.* The place still looks so different from summer now when it's dark. Or, dark and full of lights. It was terribly cold as well (thank you universe for hot cocoa!).

I'd love to visit in winter when it's still and quiet. A paper (HBL) once made a winter photography feature of the park, spooky and lonely, all covered in frost and snow. Amazing. (I've been to an abandoned amusement park once, the one in Berlin that everybody visits although forbidden. I was going all eager there with my camera until we were kindly escorted out by a couple of here-we-go-again guards.)

There were lots of photographers around during the evening and as usual when I don't bring my camera it started bugging me out but then again when I do bring the camera my level of being social drops, or, I start stressing about  not taking enough pictures. Most often the later. 

Dag and my sister all red-nosed from the cold.

I have a feeling this was the last night of the carnival though. I started writing this post with many hours left of the night for anyone about to miss to be able to make it, but then it took abut three hours to get Dag to sleep, so you wouldn't have made it even if you'd tried. But definitely next year!

*) Otherwise each ride is a swooning 7e but I can tell you that the spinning hot balloons for small kids are just enough of spin for me. Dag loves them and to please that lil' toddler of mine we rode it twice in a row once which that made my stomach turn and knees go week - so yes, I am officially old now. I think the kot-kot chicken train is quite enough for me. Luckily this time there were plenty of other candidates to spin around with Dag. (Well,  in fact I think my fun-park youth was over when I was fourteen already and threw up in my friend Lotta's lap after a ride with the Viking Ship...)

Saturday 19 October 2013


Tonight it's time for the Finnish burlesque gala with most of the performers from all levels in Finland on stage, fundraising for the Helsinki Burlesque Festival next winer. We'll do one of our well known group routines but what I'm really looking forward to is seeing our student group of showgirls which  Tinker Bell and I have coached this autumn, performing for the first time with a routine we've made for them. Exciting!
The gala is sold out.

Picture from a few weeks back when we (and Atelieri O.Haapala) visited the Stockholm Burelsque Festival.

Friday 18 October 2013


 Oh, Dag, what do you have there?



The lipstick is all natural and organic, only oils and waxes and pigment, so it's totally harmless - but that doesn't make it any less red.

If given a chance the little eager rascal sticks his hands into my purse; the make up bag and wallet (all the cards! The coins! The receipts! Wonderful and forbidden!) being his favourite; he takes them out and pulls everything apart. Now he has also learned how to open my vanity table drawer... Whenever I take out and open up my make up bag he is very quick to try and snatch something from there and study it real hard. And, apparently now also try to do what I do! (Well of course he does.) He loved red things already as a little baby, tomatoes, red nails, red lips, the red Christmas envelopes, so the lipsticks and tinted balms are in the hazard zone. This is not the first lipstick that ended up in a mash on the floor, but it is the first time it went in his face! Perhaps a little future clown, hmmm? Or dragqueen!