souvenir from Emerald City


Lonkka batik dress, self-made skirt, earrings from Tekka Centre – Little India, Singapore, shoes from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam.

the first time i watched Wizard of Oz when i was small, though i hardly understood the story (i think i probably was around 5 and didn’t speak English at all), 2 things captured my attention: the ruby slippers and the Emerald City.

as i grew up and read the original book of Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, i learned that both of them were actually lies. πŸ˜€ the ruby slippers in the movie were originally silver coloured in the book, and the Emerald City is not full of people wearing green clothes and buildings made of emerald, but instead they’re all white and you have to put on green-lensed glasses so that you feel as if you’re surrounded by emerald green colour.

but what can i say? i already fell in love with ruby slippers and emerald green as a colour, so even now i have a special place in my heart for these 2 things.

when we went to Singapore this summer, one of my missions was to look for cupro fabric. for some reason it’s still so hard to find in Finland, at least the type that is not for linings but for actual outer garment. if i do find some, they’re bound to be in boring colour like black, brown, grey…. so anyway, i thought there must be some in Asia. as we went to Mahaco Silk in Arab Street, that was my first question to the salesperson. sadly, it was almost like they never heard of it. i tried its twin’s name, tencel, but nope, they had never heard of that either. finally i said, “kind of like stonewashed silk, but cellulose instead of natural fibre.” it didn’t help, as i’m sure they really just didn’t have it. but they showed me the stonewashed silk… which were beautiful but too expensive for my pocket. the salesperson then asked if i would like the fake one that looked like stonewashed silk, but cheaper. since i came all the way there to get some fabrics, i thought then why not?

i asked for a green colour and thankfully, they had it. and it wasn’t just any green, it was exactly emerald green! as i decided to get it, i asked what they called that fabric. their answer was: “Hermes silk”. hmm… sounded suspicious, but whatever. i like the colour (my own dose of emerald green!), and it does have that kind of ‘washed’ texture. when i got to Finland and was ready to sew it, i decided to do the burning test, to find out if it’s real silk or polyester/other plastic fiber. the result: it’s NOT silk (nor anything natural/cellulose).

i have somewhat guessed it, so i wasn’t that disappointed. i think i was more disappointed that even in Singapore it was still hard to find cupro. i hope one day cupro for outer garments will be trendy enough to be found anywhere in pretty colours and reasonable price.

anyway, back to the sewing project! when getting the fabric, i knew that i wanted to make it as a skirt, though i had no idea yet what kind of skirt. after flipping around some old magazines, my eyes fell on this pattern #121 from Burda Style magazine 10/2013.


image borrowed from

the pattern is actually more fitted for wool and other fabrics that have more body/stiffness, but since i couldn’t find anything else, i thought i’d give it a try.

emeraldskirtdetail1of course what happened next was my sewing machine chose the right time to have its own mind. i put the setting on almost the most loose stitch as possible (as i usually do for flowy/drapey materials) and used a new needle so that it would be as sharp as possible, but still the stitches are so uneven i was ready to pull my hair out. ugh.

it was almost like every nightmare i had of working with solid colour fabric became real: uneven stitches (i can see ruffles everywhere), the waistband seams and the skirt seams did not match. i kept telling myself that since the skirt is supposed to be asymmetrical, it shouldn’t really be a big problem that the stitches are uneven.


i don’t know what to think. i guess from some angle it looks okay, from some other you can clearly see the mess.


what i couldn’t achieve on the seams, i tried to make up for on the hem. again, i did it by hand, and i think it looks pretty neat.

emeraldskirt4the pattern needs 22 cm long zipper, but i really wanted to use this 16 cm lace zipper i had because i think the black and gold colours fit well with emerald green. so i made the waistband longer so that the edges overlap with each other and i could add hooks on the part where the zipper doesn’t reach.


one more rant: i can’t believe how hard it was for me to capture the actual colour of this fabric. i had to edit the skirt colour in all these pictures just to get it right, because otherwise they were either too blue or too pale.


but now for the positive side: it’s really not that bad in real life as i keep moving around. πŸ˜€ (yeah, i always tell myself that whenever i make horrible stitches.) and the main thing is that it’s emerald green! it matches my earrings! i feel like i’ve visited the Emerald City and brought back some souvenirs. *snick* ah, how nostalgic. now all i need is to find a replacement for my ruby shoes (used to have a pair from Zara but they got ruined from the rain puddles after 7 years of use).


plus i read somewhere that midi skirt and emerald green areΒ going to be big trends for the next season. now, for once, i’m ahead of the trend! πŸ˜‰


12 thoughts on “souvenir from Emerald City

  1. That’s great, being ahead of the trend πŸ˜€
    BTW, did you ever try holding one end of the stitched part with one hand, and then carefully “trace” the stitch all along it’s length with the nail of your other hand’s thumb,(holding the stitch between thumb and forefinger and pulling it), thereby like “stretching out” the thread of the stitch a bit, so the fabric along the stitched seam becomes unruffled/smooth. That was a “trick” your grandmom taught me looong time ago.
    Maybe it helps πŸ˜€ You can still try it although the sewing is finished already.
    And the main thing is, if you wear the outfit with such confidence and flair, everybody will just see a nice appearance, they won’t notice some flaws here and there…. right?
    Anyway, you chose a very nice color, and I think the skirt is a success! πŸ˜€ ❀ ❀

    • do you mean while sewing it or afterwards? because i did try it afterwards, but it didn’t help anymore… :p i’m thinking that one day i might just take the seam ripper and undo the seams, and try to sew them better. one day when i’m not too lazy. :p we’ll see.
      but thanks anyway! ❀

      • yes, i meant afterwards….oh, too bad it didn’t help anymore. Oh well, who cares about uneven stitches? LOL.
        Just enjoy wearing the great emerald coloured skirt, it looks really nice on you, and I love how the earrings totally match the skirt! ❀

      • heheh, i guess i’m the only one who cares about uneven stitches! πŸ˜€ but i am now thinking of doing a running test, to see if anyone would notice it, LOL. thanks again! ❀

    • oh, your comment made my day! :’) thank you! i guess i just couldn’t accept the fact that i couldn’t sew it neatly (i’m a sore loser), but then again maybe i WILL just wear it, ha! yay for emerald green!

  2. WOW! I really love the color and the pattern you picked! Silk is great, but it’s a lot of maintenance, if you ask me- LOL, so I like what you ended up getting :)!! and the color is perfection, especially with those earrings! ❀

    • thanks! that’s true (about silk maintenance), that’s why i do usually prefer cellulose fiber like viscose and cupro. this one was polyester but i think i can forgive myself since the colour is awesome. πŸ˜€

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