Cover-loving & Colour-blocking

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Get used to this cover because you will be seeing it a lot the next few months. I’m really excited about reading this book and this cover brings together some of my favorite colours, and provided me with a template for an outfit.

I am currently obsessed with a few things actually, but a nice grey unstructured winter coat is very high on that list. Or like why don’t I have a grey cashmere kimono jacket already? That would also work really well for me. Or both. My grey in the mix was my big old grey scarf that has been taken out of storage and been used a fair bit because the mornings have been on the cold side. I did not have red trousers (although I have had some in the past and contemplated many more.) Pink blouse? Check. Although falling to pieces because of poor quality and intense “wearage”. And then that green!! Love it! This jacket is one of my fave pics of clothing and I swear, it goes everything. The skirt you see me wearing in this rather unflattering  photo (but still the best of the ones I took: I only go into Zara to take sefies nowadays) is made of an old dress that a friend bought for a fancy dress party. Welcome to my life; where friends ask me to help them make thrashed second-hand dresses into outfits and “pay me” by letting me have the outfit when they have thrashed it some more. IMG_4492

A totally fair deal by the way. Some of my best pieces of clothing has been made of fabric people intended to throw away. This has got a bit of shimmer to it, gold speckles.

In addition to preaching the usefulness of an absinth green jacket I will also tell you that I have found that a red necklace is a very useful accessory. I say the more ethnic looking, the better. I had one for years, it was painted wood and I literally had to touch up the colour on it (with nail polish) from time to time because it wore off I used it so much. Then one day it gave up. This is my replacement for now. I need something a little less dazzling and a bit chunkier I think.Over all this outfitr had great colours, and they looked excellent worn together like this.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to me, or anyone, that this combination of colours got me going.

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Exhibit A: I’ve had this on my wall for like to years now and I bought it for a reason. I have one dress that I made before buying this that I have already showed you. Now that it’s a bit colder I’ve brought out another crazy creation in the same colour scheme, but this has a bit of wool in it so I only wear it fall/winter.

Exhibit B: This dress also has purple in it so it goes with everything. The red is really a tomato red, same as with the skirt, but oddly enough it’s a shade that works for me. So the dress, again sorry for the bad picture, is pretty basic three-quarter arm, it’s got pockets because when I make dresses and skirt I try to make them with pockets when I can. This fabric is very nice and soft, something that my mum found in a drawer somewhere. It may come from a flea market. What you cannot see in this pic is that there is a 10 centimeter trim on the bottom, in the same fabric but flipped around so the pattern goes against the rest of the dress which is a very nice contrast actually. I should wear like a pink coat with this dress is what I’m thinking now, or a pink cardigan. I always need a cardi.

So yeah, a lot of crazy colours going on. In patterns or individually, I just bring it to the max with these ones,  and I have a feeling that some of this might actually be trendy right now, like pink and red together, I saw that in Vogue. I need a pair of red trousers, I think tomato red culottes would look awesome on me. I also kick myself for not buying the tomato red Filippa K dress that I tried on a few years ago. I have regretted that many many times. I also need to go out and buy a new  pink blouse because I don’t know how to dress without having one on hand. The light grey coat might happen. Although mostly I’m excited that it’s gotten a bit colder, I have shifted the items in my closet and some of my dearest dresses are back in rotation. I’ve missed them.

-Suss

 

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Tuesday & Teapots

I have teapots on my mind, always. One that would be a dream purchase is the marbled one from Astier de Vilatte.

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Photo from Remodelista.com

However it comes with a hefty pricetag. Out of my budget for sure. I have thought about this teapot a lot however and as I was digging around in the cupboards the other day trying to find something to put a bunch of lilies in, I found something I made last summer.

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I had bought a marbling kit of sorts, not proper marbling, but a sort of simplified D.I.Y thing, at the craft store and used that to make this. If I remember correctly there were two color combinations and I chose this one as I’m partial to both pink and green. The teapot came from a flea market.

Mine isn’t as nice as theirs, marbling is an art I have not yet mastered. There could also be reason to question my choice of colours as it’s possible that it would look nicer in something more subtle. And the proportion of this pot isn’t as elegant. But now that I’ve dug it out I will try to use it more. However I won’t buy lilies again, I had forgotten what a hassle they are with leaving pollen all over the place, too enticing to the cat (so constant fear of them being knocked over) and simple fact that I don’t really have any vases big enough.

-Suss

Tuesday & Tablecloths

My love of curtain fabric will never fade but the next best thing is probably tablecloth. Just like with curtains they are often of a robust fabric, many of them have lovely patterns and there is an abundance of them as they are no longer fashionable. Oh, and they tend to get stains rendering them less usable for the table but ever so good for me.

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This is one of my all time fave skirts, if it had pockets it would be perfection but alas not enough fabric.  I use it all year around. The colors (burgundy,beige and a bit of blue) work with a lot and somehow a bohemian skirt is never a bad idea( in fact I have several). It wasn’t exactly as big I needed so there is a bit in the back that is just black( I used something that I had laying around) but as I often wear skirts or sweaters with it nobody notices. And if anyone ever says something the phrase “I upcycled an old tablecloth myself” will be the only response. Most people just admire the fabric and people from Iran will point out that they have something just like that on the table at home, I then show them the stamp on the inside as it is in fact an Iranian tablecloth.

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Having made that one, I was given this fabric, also an Iranian tablecloth, which got turned into a summer dress last year. Now that it’s warmer I’m using it again. I’ve noticed that I probably should take it in as the fabric has become looser and softer with use. Blue and white is a great combo, I often add a belt of some sort for definition and a pop of color as I like it.

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This is an old skirt that I have gotten a fair bit of use out of. Its linen and judging by the colors probably from the 70’s. I made a 50’s design because when I hade taken away the damaged pieces (those stains wouldn’t budge I tell you) the design of the weave lent itself to it. I am thinking about making it into a pencil skirt right now as it’s something that I would have more use of probably, given what else is in my closet at the moment. I do however love wearing it with a white shirt and some sea green accessories or neutral shoes and a hot pink clutch which is such a nice contrast. In my world orange is a neutral.

-Suss

7 things to print on a t-shirt(or other)

So witty text printed or embroidered on something is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. T-shirts,pouches or pillows, the sky is the limit. And that pleases me to no end as I’m a huge fan. I even make my own even though Lingua Franca and Lisa Macario are the the coolest chicks doing it. The latter has one that says “lipstick literature liberalism”. I made one that says “Books Negronis Lipstick”. One of the few times I didn’t go all in with alliteration (as I’m otherwise wont to do).

So what’s next? I’ve been thinking about what to make as a statement on a shirt for fall. It is possible that some of these have already been made by someone else (and please let me know if that is the case). I haven’t decided if I am gonna print or embroider. I do really well with a needle and thread and have made modern proverbs on fabric for friends in the past.

1.Mrs. President. I saw a woman with the words “Mr President” on a sweater the other day. It may have been from one of previously mentioned ladies. But as many seem to have a hard time getting their head around the idea of a female president why not have it on a t-shirt? If people see it enough times they will (hopefully) get used to the idea. (delusional thinking on my part, and mostly to do with wanting to fly my feminist colours high and wide).

2. Whatever Trump tweets next. I’ve seen so many “covfefe” memes that have been spot on that I’m just waiting for a brainfart from that man and I’m joining in. Which might be counterproductive.

3. Oh, I call everyone darling. It’s a truth universally acknowledged that I’m shit with names so just walking around with a disclaimer seems like a good idea. I do however remember peoples allergies and cocktail preferences. My brain famoulsy only memorizes the important things.

4. Really?. I say this a lot, and sarcastically so. It would save having to say anything, I could just point at the word and question mark on my chest. Might not be a great friend maker though.

5. Byron is bae. Or possibly Byron is the new black. He is everywhere and he brings drama. I should create an excel-file for all the Byron mentions in books and bring you the stats at the end of the year, and stats there will be, trust me. That would also be the nail in the coffin for the expression “bae”.

6. Chewbacca has hairy legs too you know. I do often shave my legs but really every woman should chose for herself if and why. Why the sight of hairy legs is the worst thing to some men but Chewbacca is the BFF they all want makes little sense. (Of course it makes sense in accordance to a patriarchal logic, rationality is context dependent and you can convince yourself of anything as long as you ignore facts or actually think something though. I know that, previous statement was an attempt, however feeble, to be funny).

7. Cocktail witchery. After all it’s one of my favorite things.

-Suss

7 ways to customize a sweater(or any other fabric)

So let’s say, hypothetically, that you have a grey sweater in jersey. That very comfy, excellent fit kind that you really love. And that suddenly there is a stain, like a blueberry stain that’s impossible to get out. What to do? You don’t need to throw away the sweater, you can use it as a canvas for your creativity. All of these ideas can used on other items of clothing (I have) or fabric used in the home (I’ve done that too). It doesn’t matter if you are so called “up cycling” or trying to create something original from the start, these are applicable.

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1. Go all Jackson Pollock on it. Paint spatter has a long history, spatterware is actually a thing. You have to have a little bit of space to because you are flinging fabric paint on fabric (in this case) but the results can be very cool. It’s not more difficult than that.

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2. Do the dab. Whether you are using just a paint brush or one of those little round fabric sponges you can create a patter of sorts by a series of gentle applications. If you make dots with a fabric sponge you are basically creating a Damian Hirst painting. He doesn’t do the dots himself you know. If you use the brush and make marks in black paint on white fabric it will look like you have dressed yourself in a dalmatian. Cruella de Ville wasn’t wrong in wanting to do that, it’s how she went about it that was always the problem in my view. Fake dalmatian, fake snake and fake leopard is so much better then the real thing.

3. Stamp it. Fabric stamps are good stuff. You can get a ready made one or one of those “carve it yourself kits” but then you have every possibility of doing a very exact and nice print. Maybe one heart in red on one sweater, a multitude in blue on an old dress and why not make a couple of pillowcases while you are at it. My experience in this tells me that once you start, it’s difficult to stop.

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4. Iron on some letters. Here I’ve just used some left over Q’s from when I’ve been making shirts with witty captions but just randomly ironing on letters all over the from of a sweater is gonna be hella awesome. I’m sure that if I search my memory I have seen it done somewhere, or maybe I have just been thinking about doing it loads. I do have a lot of rarely used letter laying around. I got these from the craft store. You could obviously cover up a stain by just adding a cool phrase using these kinds of letters.

5. Applique s’il vous plaît. If you go to a good haberdashers you will find a range of applications that are ready made and only need to be either stitches on or ironed on. Getting a set of them, adding several over the front at regular intervals is all you need to do. Small embroidered flowers can look tragic using just one or two but a dozen of them? There is style in numbers I always say, meaning that there is safety in numbers. It looks like a thought. There are tiny patches with sequins that I’ve seen and that sort of thing would also look good on most clothing items. This technique is also very good for covering small holes and tears in items.

6. Batik is chic. Tie-dye has a bad reputation but I do love it. What you need to do to avoid that hippie vibe lays mostly in the styling. And having a cool tie-dyed sweater with just a pair of leather trousers and some heels, or just a skirt with a white crisp shirt works just fine. My bleached jeans were more ska-skin then hippie and I loved those. Either have one tie-dyed item in amongst some very classic pieces or go all in by clashing a batik shirt with some batik trousers. Indigo(or other colours) can be bought at the crafts store and then follow the instructions on the packaging.

7. The last draw. My final solution would be to get fabric pens and draw free hand. The great thing about these is that they don’t need to be fixated with an iron, not stitched on, no nothing. They just need time to dry properly. Drawing freehand can feel intimidating but obviously you can use a template.

-Suss

Tuesday & Transformations

A few of the things I’ve been wearing lately, things that started out as something else. My clothes, or indeed all sorts of fabric that comes into my realm, lives through several incarnations.

Mandarin coat used as a dressing gown, turned into a top:

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The coat or shirt was bought second hand but was a lovely big Chinese style thing in black silk with embroideries, big sleeves and a mandarin collar that I used (mostly) as a dressing gown. It wasn’t in great knick when I bought it and I wore it a lot. When seems and fabric started to give up I used the good bits to make this top that, true story, ripped in the back later in the day of this photo. Good bye and thanks for all the good times. I used the top a fair bit so no hard feelings. Will probably cut out the good bits of this and try to use those again. I do love the embroidery on this.

Halterneck dress turned into a skirt:

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Not the best photo but this skirt started out as a halterneck dress bought on sale from H&M and I have lived in it for a few summers, with the result that the ties gave up. The easiest remedy, and a chance to have this lovely print still in my life, was to cut it along the waist seam and turn it into a skirt. Took all of 15 minutes with the little sewing(zigzagging the edges) that was needed. Very happy with the results. I’ve used this trick several times, if a dress has a defined waist that is an excellent place to cut it when making it into a skirt, and I often do. Sleeves and armpits are the first thing to go on most dresses in terms of regular wear and tear.

Chair cover turned into a dress:

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This IKEA fabric was purchased to make a cover for a reading chair that I used to have that was beautiful but also on the point of disintegrating. It lasted for a while longer but when the chair gave up the fabric was still good, and so this dress happened. I use this all year round, it’s such a brilliant floral print but with dramatic colours. If the photo looks familiar it’s because it’s from my feed on IG, and old one but more fun than the one’s I had taken recently.

-Suss

Fashion victims

I will not get on my soapbox again in the matter of unethical behavior in the supply lines that underpin parts of the fashion industry, or start rambling about how people throw away clothes to easily. I will however inform you that I have read two books on the subject, both in Swedish.

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These two books are basically identical except they look at different regions. Overdressed-the shockingly high price of cheap fashion by Elisabeth Cline is still the one I recommend to most as it is in english, and it was one of the first. I have never been one of the biggest consumers of “fast fashion”, having been dressed weirdly since forever and on and off made my own clothes etc. but I am concerned about what it’s doing to our planet and it’s people. However it is not for me to judge (but maybe I do, a little, in secret if I’m honest). I  try to be creative, and encourage others to be so as well. Sewing isn’t that hard but you need a sewing machine obviously which makes it difficult for some. I have one, and it is a joy. My mum recently gave me an old silk floral print blouse that was worn out. As she is bigger than me I managed to make a top of it; the simplest of designs really, as a print this busy doesn’t need much.

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Worn here with a floral patterned skirt. Florals look good with florals oddly enough. The skirt is also of my own make, with fabric that was gift from someone that had visited China. As I have made you look at it you are victims to my fashion. Now I just need a part to go to so this ensemble gets some circulation.

*Cue Miranda Priestly voice* “Florals for spring? Groundbreaking”

-Suss