Weekend&What I managed to snag from the ErdemxHM collection

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I can’t really believe it either; I got up early yesterday and made it by an H&M before getting on with my day. And then at the end of the day I went back for another bout of shopping. My bank account probably thought is was “mad, bad and dangerous to know”. But I’ve earned that money and I rarely shop anyways. Yes, I have thoughts on H&M (and the efficacy of their sustainability work) but more importantly the effects of overconsumption in which I think there is an individual responsibility. However, the things I bought will most certainly be used and I have high hopes in terms of quality.

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I rarely get excited about these designer collaborations, I watch from afar and have snagged a few pieces over the years. A few things have also been picked up second-hand, it’s not always hysterical prices on eBay and similar sites, the prices there are not always outrageous. I have also used a few of those pieces until they fell apart (as I’m wont to do). I did find a Stella MacCartneyxHM coat in perfect condition in a consignment store once, I regret not buying that as it was very nice, especially for 1000 kr (and how had kept it like that for what? 10 years?). I personally think that the long-term collectors value of these pieces is somewhat overrated, but I might be wrong. Short term though? the hype kicks in and people get a little crazy.

I had forgotten how poorly I handle situations where a sort of plebiscite mentality is the norm, and even encouraged. It started to come back to me when I was standing outside, and the queue wasn’t that long, so I could hear the staff start to clap their hands and count down very loudly to create excitement. A few people rushed in, but most of us very like “chill staff, we are trying to shop”. But there were a lot of shoppers and I had enough very quickly. Taking something to try on was out of the question. I bought a few things; scarf, socks and sparkly brooch, and then left.

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However my eyes on the town sent a message that there was quite a few things left in store in the afternoon, and not much of a crowd, so off I went.

Ended up trying on several things (as witnessed by my changing room selfies). Ended up with one dress (not included) and the trousers. I will think of the coats fondly, because I love a nice coat, but the first was a bad fit on me all things considered (and I really would prefer a homemade leopard print kimonojacket) and the latter was just too big. I need a cool blogger life for that to be useful. Now I will spend all my time trying to find the blazer coordinating with the trousers. And wearing that brooch on everything (everything!).

-Suss

 

 

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Friday & Four Frocks

The weather has been nothing but rain and wind, the temperature dangerously close to zero and the skies a permanent grey. So obviously I’ve been wearing dresses all week.

Mind you,  I haven’t worn only that. I’ve been wearing tights and scarfs and cardigans and coats. In fact, due to a very stiff neck I am currently wearing my pink cashmere scarf all the time.

Seriously though, I have a few dresses that are made with this weather in mind, or rather; in materials that are unbearable in any other conditions.

On Monday night I went to the event where the August-prize nominees were announced, clad in a shimmery and very acrylic number. The fabric has a psychedelic pattern and when I got it I decided to make a simple design, also the fact that its rather thick made more advanced pleats unpractical. I do love it though, wore it with grey tights and my black double monk straps, and a little pin that is a wolf howling at the moon.

Tuesday I was dressed in a fave that I have tried to photograph many times, and it is a series of failures. Black dresses huh? The point is that this number, which is a modified Zara dress, was bought in hurry on sale and trying to wear it in real life i.e. not just trying it in a dressing room on an empty stomach with no time to spare, I realized that it was just to short  (for me anyways). As I liked the upper half of it, the solution was to cut off a bit of the lower end to create a line and add something else, which was some fake leather I had at home. It is now a comfortable length and it has a clean silhouette and reasonable proportions.

Wednesday was a dress made for cold days, it is lined with cotton so it is double layers. Warm and soft, perfect for this season. It was a weird shade of yellow at one point but is nowadays a greenish grey, luckily the gold embroidery stayed gold in the dye process. The fabric came from Pakistan, a gift to my father from one of his colleagues I think.

Last but not least, I walked around yesterday in a dress that looks like my auntie’s curtains from the 90s. Because that’s what it is; my aunt had a clear out, and I nabbed well, a bunch of stuff including this. Nobody is gonna buy it a the charity shop, trust me. They are drowning in old IKEA curtain that nobody wants any more. This might not be IKEA fabric but it’s got that vibe. Anyways, I’ve made it into a dress now (and I have more of this to work with so might make a skirt too) and it’s wearable with a black cardigan and some black boots. I should wear it with my big Kalevala necklace , I think that would great actually. With the colors and the print it has a lot going on but it’s lot less offensive to sensitive people in this form than as curtains.

-Suss

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

 

Friday & Feeling like Jackie O.

I have a few unlikely style icons that I look to for inspiration, and a few that are the same as the rest of the world. Like Jackie O during the editor years(and a bit). So we are talking 70’s and early 80’s, an era I love in general. Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, a lot of what Yves Saint Laurent designed and what Loulou de la Falaise wore ( who was Saint Laurent’s muse). Pictures of Charlotte Rampling of that era are the kind of thing that gets me salivating, and I can look of pictures of Ossie Clark dresses all day if I had the time.

But back to Jackie. I did a quick search online and the web has a lot of iconic photos of her out and about. You have probably already seen them before, they are often brought up. What have I been wearing this week then?

None of these outfits are exact replicas of hers, but I feel they are very much in the spirit of her style.

The black dress is made out of an old dust ruffle I was given. Why someone would have a black dust ruffle I do not know. Summer is usually all about the white and light summer dresses, and for good reason, but a black summer dress is not a bad idea. This one has pockets in the front and has no zippers or anything. Very good at the beach(without a belt it’s like a tent so very good for using as cabin to change out of a wet bikini) but a nice belt and some bracelets and earrings and I look smart enough to go out to dinner.

I love flared jeans and striped sweaters. Very little to add to that. These are items that I have bought. The jeans are old H&M and the striped top is from Other Stories (two years ago?). And my birch bag is is use all the time now. I must learn not to stuff it full of things because then it will break. Must read small books on the commute!!

Same sandals. A skirt that I bought second hand and is a great colour and quality actually, it’s a heavy cotton. When I’ve worn out the elastic on this it will probably become another skirt. And further down the line possibly pillows. This pale green is a colour I love and the details are hot pink and orange so it really did scream my name. And then just a long sleeve black t-shirt with that. As noticed I do love a boat neckline.

Summer style aside, all of these pieces (with the exception of the sandals) are stuff I use in winter too. I pull up the skirt a bit so not to get it wet and then wear it with black boots and a cashmere sweater. Jeans and top is look that has no season but all of them. The black dress is great with a big grey cardigan and a chunky necklace for that weekend bohemian vibe. Will remember to to take pics and show you when winter comes (which is probably next Tuesday. I live too damn close to the wall).

Have a great weekend everyone!

-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

Blue Monday & Mirror selfies

I do not have a crew or even a measly assistant to snap pictures of me wearing my clothes, or someone else I can dress in them so that I can take the photos myself. And I forget to ask friends as I want to talk to them about things that actually matter(books, bacon and what my cat has been up to. Oh and their lives, because they actually have them).

It’s just me,myself and my iPhone, and at this point, a good knowledge of where big mirrors can be found throughout my day. This is some of the things that I have worn lately as I try to use all the clothes that I have, and that is furthermore of my own make.

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Patchwork denim skirt; I went through a big patchwork phase this winter and and at the same time my favorite jeans, a pair of bleached ACNE jeans in the model Hex, fell apart. They got a second life mixed up with other scraps of denim from here and there. I’ve been using it now either with black sandals and a simple kashmir sweater or on the weekends with my beloved Stan Smith sneakers and a white t-shirt.

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Patchwork kimonojacket; Ignore the smudge on the mirror, and possible forget my skeptical face. I made this around the same time as the skirt. This jacket however has proven to be a surprisingly good summer cover up. It looks very good like this with denim but also with a simple dress underneath for an easy evening out or with trousers and a silky top. It has reminded me that I really really need a simple navy blue evening bag.

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Tablecloth to clothes-skirt; This fabric was woven by my mother actually. She made two different settings on the loom, alternating the colours and was intending it as tablecloth. However she never used it and so I snatched it up and used it to make a skirt. It’s linen so very comfortable to wear on warm summer days. Great with this denim blouse or as with everything else I wear;a white blouse and a black cardigan. I wore this a lot last summer with gold sandals and a white silk blouse.

Wearing blue/navy during summer is about as groundbreaking as florals for spring but whatevs. It should also be noted that I do smile, just not in photos.

-Suss