Happy New Year!

I'll be dancing through the whole New Year's Eve... First in a musical and then in a party. It's going to be great! What are you doing for New Year's Eve?


Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas! Here in Finland we are having a white Christmas as you can see...

This is a view from my balcony this morning. All nice, snowy and peaceful...


And the winner is...

...Olivia, of Big Mama Introspection! She took the double chance and won the perfume. Congratulations to Big Mama!! (The drawing was performed at the office under the eyes of my co-workers... no hat, just my old Russian tea cup in all of it's glory.)

Ha ha ha... This is really funny, because just yesterday I received a lovely package from her as I won the lipstick giveaway she had earlier (which inspired me to do my own giveaway in the first place).

This would be the contents of the package that made me feel like it was Christmas already (with the little stars and everything!) and me wearing the lipstick at the office. I'm loving it! It is exactly the right color for my complexion (it's really hard for me to find nice lipstick shades, they are always too dark, too light, too orange, too something...), feels nice and even smells like a proper lipstick! Woohoo, loving it! Thank you again, Big Mama!



I won The Big Mama Introspection lipstick giveaway the other day (If you haven't still visited that blog, you really should do it! It's very hip, very cool and extremely entertaining!)... and because this is a season of giving and sharing I decided to do my own giveaway! So, here it goes...

For your pleasure a 5ml vial of Wiggle Perfume's Sakura perfume oil!

Here's what the creator has to say about this scent: "I went back to the drawing board and emerged triumphant with a soft, springy cherry blossom blend. I've rounded out the powdery pink floral with egyptian musk, red santal, and hints of fresh cut grass and nag champa. A tart top of pink grapefruit adds freshness." I can add that the scent is really delicious, rich and daring, the egyptian musk and red santal playing a big part...

I'm doing this the usual way, so to get a chance in the drawing, simply leave me a comment below, and if you want to get an extra chance, post about the giveaway on your own blog and drop me the link. (Open until Dec 22... and we'll find out the winner on Dec 23.)

Happy Holidays!!


Fabric finds... and dreaming about Josef Frank designs

My last trip to my favourite local thrift stores was very fruitful in many ways, not only the fox stole and those fedoras... I also found fabrics! Two vintage bedsheets, amazing colors, cotton satin, very nice indeed! Each of them has at least five yards of facric and the condition is amazing. The colors are very soft (being so bright) and the printing quality, the width of the fabric and the way these are sewed (yarn, buttons, etc.) suggest that these are pre 60's. I would date these in the 40's or earlier, but I really don't care about the exact date because I'm totally in love with the soft rich colors and the exotic design.

Those remind me about Josef Frank's (Swedish, 1885-1967) work. I adore his designs. They simply are beautiful... and the reproduction like the next one (named Aralia) are a bit pricey too.

In the movie Mamma Mia! the hotel manager (played by Meryl Streep) has more of his prints than I could afford, which is kinda funny since in that movie she is supposed to be very poor... and living in Greece. Maybe it was ordering all those amazingly expensive bedheets from Sweden that made her poor? But hey, who am I to judge! The most important thing is that Josef Frank's designs make a srong visual effect in that movie.


Hats and facinators

Just a quick introduction to H&M hats and facinators... These are from their 2009 winter collection and I'm loving it. Totally.

It's always so exiting to find something like this from big companies because that way we can get similar headpieces for every girl in our dance troupe. There's definitely a vintage inspired trend going on.


Foxy lady

Today I took a little tour to two of my favourite local thrift stores. I had a good feeling about this day and was sure I'd find something really nice. The day turned out to be better than good!

I found three really classy black felt fedoras (one for me, one for the man and one for a friend of mine who's been looking for one for ages) and then this amazing fox stole... When I laid my eyes on it I had to jump up and down. I could not believe my luck. The condition is great and it was sooo cheap! I wonder why it actually was still there. Maybe people think it's just too creepy to carry things like this around their neck... My happy face tells you how I feel. I guess we were just meant to be. ;)

I personally wouldn't buy new furs for several reasons, but I have nothing against vintage furs. If it's something that existed before I was born, it can wear it.

For me a fox stole is something very essential for a classy lady. I still remember the first time I wrapped my godmothers vintage (late 40's) fox stole on my shoulders (I must have been five at the time). It made me feel almost like a royal. I really hope she still has it... For that 30's/40's look a fox stole is a "must have" and now I finally have my own.


Look what I found!

Yes! It's 40's, it's pink and it's from Blue Velvet Vintage. Taffeta, no holes, no fading and the fabric should be in a good condition (but needs to be drycleaned).

I could not pass this one even thought I like to sew my own clothes... and do not actually prefer pink. First, it is my size (at least at the moment). One another thing is that this is a formal gown, and I’ve been looking for one for ages. And the details (like that peplum) are great: simple but effective. This dress appears to be girly and sweet (but not sweet enought to be sticky). Just a little something that I'll be able to live with.

For now, let's just hope that it arrives safe and sound to me...


Back from San Francisco!

I'm still alive. ;) I just went to San Francisco for about two weeks.
The main reason for my trip was the San Francisco Shag Jam, but since traveling there takes sooo long I decided to make it a little holiday too. I love shopping, so that was included. ;)

Here are my new shoes:

Perfect pair of sneakers with low vamp (I believe that's what the upper part of shoe is called in English.) from Payless. I've been looking for shoes like this for ages!

...And I finally got myself a pair of Fluevog's. They are so amazingly comfy!

I also bought a pair of black brocade silk mary janes from Chinatown. I really like that type of shoes. No picture at this point, but I guess most of you know what they look like... ;)


Things that I'd like to do and things that I had to do

A little story about one weekend in August. I was planning to do this earlier, but I found the perfect time for it just now... sitting home, resting and trying to get rid of bronchitis. I was sick as a dog for a week, but I'm getting better now. :)

I believe it was in August when I was hoping to make a new petticoat one weekend and to do a petticoat tutorial with pics as I go along... but no such luck (is there ever, really?).

First I noticed that it was the only weekend there was to finish renovating our second bedroom. And that needed to be done. Seriously. When we started fixing that room it was supposed to be quick and easy, so I wasn't worried about living without wardrobes for a short while. We changed the room layouts of our two bedrooms (next to each other) a bit, so we had to tear down the wardrobes from both of them. No problem, I'm able to survive two weeks without wardrobes...

I haven't counted, but I believe that those two weeks became more like three months. Not good. I wasn't able to find the clothes I would like to wear. Plus I don't like the giant piles of clothes, not to mention the clothes racks, all over my living room. And if I had my choice I would like to sleep in a bedroom, not in the living room. ;)

So we painted that last wall with "Stylish Petrol" (see that wall here), installed the laminate flooring (the style is called "Seagrass Spirit"), and assembled our new Ikea wardrobe with sliding doors. It was all done by Sunday 8 pm. Yay!

I couldn't get my clothes into the wardrobe and out of the living room at that point yet, though. I had to start making a hanging mobile I had promised to make for the following Monday, for a window display. (We were trying to advertise our dance club by having this display for two weeks in the centre on the city.) The mobile had both old dance pictures and new ones mixed and was supposed to draw attention as it gently rotated on the window.

I think the window display went together quite well. (Sorry about the bad quality of pictures.) It was done by four girls (including me) from our dance club. We wanted it to remind people about the age when swing dancing was born, but for some reason it had mostly 50’s flavour... What can I say, these things just happen sometimes. ;)


40's dress

So this is supposed to be a sewing blog, eh? Not too many posts about my projects so far...

I've been so unbelievable lazy photographing my finished projects that I should be ashamed. But hey, with my full time day job, teaching two nights a week, performing regularly (I'm dancing also in a musical this winter, it's fun... mostly.), and trying to get some training done too... and continuing to renovate the apartment... and sewing... and desperately trying to get some sleep at some point... (Did I mention I still have few courses on my schedule too?) Well, you get the picture. Time is a limited resource here.

But hey, it's always a good time to start, so here it goes!

This is a project I finished over a year ago, one Saturday between balboa classes and evening dance party. (I actually cut the fabric on the dance floor before I went home to freshen up.) It took me about two to three hours to put the dress together. There were no alterations made, except putting darts on the back instead of gathers. It's really a muslin, so I have to admit I didn't hem it (properly) by hand, but instead just used my sewing machine for speed. (Yes, I'm ashamed of that.) But it was essential to get it done quickly.

I wore it the same evening at the party and got lots of compliment. (Sadly, again, no pictures.)

The pattern is Simplicity 4975. I estimated it to be a mid 40's pattern. I made the version with short sleeves. Here's the pattern cover:

I haven't made another one yet, but because the shape is very flattering this pattern is definately going to get another round.

It fitted like a dream... a year ago. After that I've been loosing weight, so now I'll have to pass it on to someone who will appreciate it more and fill it better than I do. ;) Here are some more recent shots of the dress:

Maybe I'll try the long sleeved version for this fall...


It's all about shoes, right?

I know that I have enough shoes, but I can't stop drooling over Minna Parikka's designs. Her designs are fun, sexy and vintage inspired. Just perfect! See for yourself. Her website can be found here...
These are just a part of her collection for the Mantere Shoe Factory for spring 2009:

And these babies below can be found at her web boutique. I'm not sure if I can actually survive without her powder pink/black Armi boots (in the middle)...

Her Sonja boots (for Mantere) are actually affordable (below, on the right)... and I could also live with Helmi laced shoes.

Entire collection for Mantere for the fall 2009 can be found here.


Red is the new black!

Yesterday I found my perfect black purse... only to find out it was red (and on sale!). Oh, they had it also in black, but that version was way too shiny somehow. I wonder why I don't mind that in the red version... Naturally I bought it, and I don't really mind the black purse being red because it's faux crocodile print and I've got the perfect vintage shoes to go with it!

I've had these shoes for ages and they are one of my favorites. It's quite sad that I've never had a purse to match them before... Actually I was thinking about that yesterday morning, just few hours before I found my new "black" purse...

I also found some black socks for fall, just what I've been looking for! The two pairs on the right are knee socks to wear with my 40's "sports" skirts. The pair on the left with lace ruffles and bows is "over knee" length, and probably my future favorite.

Last but not the least of my new findings are long gloves of soft leather, in dark brown this time. I already had a pair of black ones and I've been looking for brown ones for a while now... I'm planning for a brownish coat for fall/winter. Let's see if I actually get to make it.


Vintage glasses

I found a great place to spend your money (once again)! Retrospecs has an amazing collection of vintage/retro styled frames. I love these 50's cats eye glasses, but I can't decide which ones I like the best... Maybe the black ones with silvery accents, or those apple greens, or...

...I also know a special someone who would like to have these Buddy Holly styled frames. :)

I wanted to do a petticoat tutorial last weekend, but life got in the way somehow. More about that soon... And I will make that tutorial as well, soon.


I want these!

What can I say except big thanks to Nancy, from Waiter Waiter Percolator, for her last post! (You’ll be able to read it here.) It was because of that post that I found these shoes… And while I’ll have to wait for my fairy-godmother to appear to actually afford either one of these, I’m happy just watching them… Pretty shoes! Yay!

These and many more at John Fluevog’s. I just might have to visit their shop when I'm in San Fransisco...


Dancing all day and all night!

Last few weeks have been busy. I just noticed today that during the last two weeks I’ve had one single day without dancing (no training, no social dancing, and no performing). So I decided to take a day off today… Sweet!

But hey, dancing is such a great fun that I really can’t wait to go training again tomorrow. Just to prove that here’s a pic from last Saturday: just me, my partner and the Collegiate Shag.


Look Who's Back!

Finally! I finished my MSc. thesis about a year ago, and let me tell you it's been a really crazy year so far... Maybe now I'll finally have some spare time again. Time to do things that I really enjoy. This means sewing, folks! I've got a huge pile of fabric waiting (and more on their way from eBay), and even bigger pile of fabulous sewing patterns. Here's an example, some brand new Michael Miller prints that are just waiting to be... Skirt maybe? And two dresses, yes. Maybe a tote bag too. Must think.

...and two new Alexander Henry fabrics... Definitely a tote bag there with the pin up's on that blue background. The other one has a very special purpose too, but we'll come to that sooner or later.