simplified

i believe my husband, family, and probably my ex-boyfriends can vouch for me when i say that i have a complicated mind. and, maybe, it shows by what kind of style, art, and design interests me most. dramatic ones, full of things going on here and there, full of colours: all of those speak to me best, because we speak the same language.

that’s the best excuse i have for loving intricate patterns, bold prints, and strange shapes in fashion. that’s what i had been pursuing in most of my sewing projects since i learned how to sew.

but this year i wanted to try something else. i promised myself to make something i really need, something i would wear over and over again, though still clearly saying to the world: this is me.

i needed to simplify. it shouldn’t be hard, because otherwise that would contradict the whole purpose of being simple. i chose something i have done before and gave it a little bit of twist, while still being simple.

greenstripedress4

self-made dress, Daiso stockings, COS shoes, Casio watch.

my relationship with green colour has always been close, especially since discovering last year that it will be THE colour of 2017. and the base pattern of this dress is the same as the green & pink slit dresses i made last year, from Ottobre design woman magazine.

greenstripedressdetail1as i wrote on my previous blog post, i have been wearing my green slit dress on repeat because of its classic cut & material. for this one, i chose a material that doesn’t even wrinkle in use, let alone after wash.

the ‘me’ in this dress is obviously in the details. the studs on the shoulders should give this dress a little bit of a ‘rocker’ factor, and the little teardrop hole surprise at the back would say that “i’m probably not like what you think i am”. simple, yet still me. 🙂

greenstripedress2

when i said i’ve used this pattern before, you’d think this project was a breeze for me. well, guess what? of course it wasn’t. this fabric is polyester knit, and i swear i tried to stretch it when i bought it. as i was cutting the sleeves after modifying it to be longer than the original version, i tried again just how stretchy this material is… and was aghast at the realization that it stretched the WRONG WAY. so even though i cut the fabric the correct way (straight grains etc.) the fabric unfortunately stretches lengthwise. and i realized this after everything was cut. PERFECT! *cries blood*

thankfully, since it is knit, albeit a thick one, it still stretches a tiiiiiny bit widthwise as well. so i sewed this dress with only half expectation that i would actually fit into this dress. i thought that if i couldn’t wear it, i could probably try to sell it, somehow.

greenstripedress3

so you can imagine how thrilled i was, after i sewed all the parts & tried it on, to find that it fitted perfectly! yay! that’s it, and no more donuts or buns for me! 😀

greenstripedress1this dress was also a good practice for me to align the stripes (= quite stressful). i didn’t do a perfect job, but i’m getting there. the hardest part for me was the collar, because i had to stretch it the best way i could while keeping in mind that the stripes have to be in the right places. well, maybe i’ll ace it next time.

this first project of 2017 certainly satisfied my itch for sewing, and i have a feeling i will wear this dress many, many times. ❤

my 2016 in sewing

last year for the good half of it i sewed as i normally did, guided by my passion. but then for the other half of the year, i started to veer into a whole different direction: only sewing what i needed. truth be told, i don’t think i actually need anything, which is why i haven’t touched my sewing machine for a while now. it pains me for not having any sewing project, but it pains me even more to sew something that i know i am not going to wear. so in order to ease up the pain, here’s my regular ‘end-of-year’ list of what i had sewn in 2016.

that was a total of 17 sewing projects, out of which only 10 are repeatedly worn throughout the year. i could have saved my energy and time just to make these 10 useful ones instead of 17, though of course to be fair i think i learned something out of the 7 non practical ones as well.

6 items were done without any pattern, and 3 were done completely out of some ready made patterns. the rest were done by modifying ready made patterns.

in 2015 i figured out what sewing actually meant for myself, and 2016 was a journey much like that. while i will always love fashion and sewing, and figuring out how to sew something or some shape i want, i took a deeper journey within myself and found that i don’t always have to turn my ideas into being.

i grew up and lived for a long time in a big city. a big city that, as i grew up, tells its people more and more to buy this, buy that, you need to have this, you need to have that. it’s not just the advertisements (which are literally everywhere), but also the people in it. as if not having this or that means you’re poor, or worse, you don’t even belong in this city.

and then i moved here. i don’t live in a big city anymore, though for many years i think my mindset was still the same. i needed this, i needed that, and i had always wanted to dress up differently than others, so the cheapest & best way to do that (other than thrifting) was to learn how to sew. i was excited about this newfound hobby for 8 years, and sewed whatever idea i had in my mind. i had an unsatisfied hunger for new and trendy clothes, and was feeding my hunger by always sewing what i envisioned.

i’m not in any way saying that this is a bad thing. but when i really think about it, count the things i actually wear versus the things i made over the years…. i was suddenly overcame with the feeling of having given births to stillborns (and i apologize beforehand if i offend anyone with this example). i went through all the trouble for things that i couldn’t even fit into my closet, things i ended up not wearing for more than once. that was when i realized i was still the same ‘big city person’, believing that if i don’t sew the latest trends or come up with at least 1 sewing project every month i would be left behind. i had no idea by whom i felt i would be left behind, but that was how i felt anyway.

for a while after that realization, i went through a sort of abstinence period. October and December went without me sewing a single thing. my hands are itching for a new project, but i really need it (my next project) to mean something. i want to feel again what i felt when i first learned how to sew: doing everything nicely, with my full effort rather than ‘just get it done and over with so i can wear it once’. i was calm enough when i wasn’t sewing, and did everything else normally, like reading, etc. but i still have (fashion) ideas, and i still have my own dreams that i want to nurture.

looking back at these pictures of projects i’ve made, i’d like to think that all is not lost even with what i decided to do. i just need to remember what makes me wear an item over and over again, what makes me feel the satisfaction of having completed, and that, yes, they can go hand in hand.

if i have to name my favourite sewing project of 2016 (yes i do, because it’s my own blog!), it would have to be my universe bomber jacket. that was done after more than a month of abstinence, and it felt really good to do something that was completely me and completely useful. i’ve been wearing the jacket a lot lately!

the boyfriend jeans come close at number 2, because i also put a lot of effort to make them my own by the details and they’re the most comfortable jeans i’ve ever had in my life. i wear them like all the time!

the green slit dress is my number 3 because of its simplicity: simple shape, and everytime i put it in the laundry machine & tumble drier, it came out perfect without any wrinkle. no ironing needed! i could wear it straight away again the next day if i wanted to!

the African wax cotton dress is not the most practical dress (it’s stiff and cannot be easily ironed due to its glitters), but i love it so much and have always found occasions to wear it. i once wore it to the COS store and a salesperson suddenly came up to me only to say, “what a lovely dress you have on! and with your necklace and shoes, they all go so well together!” (i was wearing it exactly as in the picture.) since Finns don’t usually comment on one’s appearance (much less a stranger), this was a rare occasion i will always remember!

so i would say that i had a pretty good sewing year last year. time will tell how this new ideology of mine will go, but for now i am satisfied with what i have made so far. i hope 2017 will be that year for me, when i can finally build a bridge between the ‘big city’ me and ‘show me the meaning’ me.

a memory and a hope

“i would like to sing for the suppressed people

living in the wild with bereft souls…”

our minds work in a funny way, don’t you agree? one second i was looking at the snow, feeling the cold, the next second i was thinking of my old hometown and how i used to take the sun’s heat for granted. and next i thought about what my friend said one day, how most Indonesian people do take it for granted–including herself, as well–and usually say to foreigners how great life must be in the foreigner’s country, not thinking of how hard life might be there in some other aspects (going to the supermarket on foot in winter is i’m sure something that rarely crosses their minds). and then the next second, i thought about the people in Jakarta, living under the bridges & flyovers, thanking their stars for not having to suffer through winter, especially being homeless and shirtless.

and then the next second, my mind arrived to an old acquaintance i had when i was going to the university, back in my old hometown.

it arrived there, because he was one of those homeless people. how i became acquainted to him was something i don’t think i ever mentioned to anyone before.

i used to live in the south part of Jakarta, and my university was just outside of Jakarta, in Depok. my everyday commuting life back then was taking 2 bus rides, which took about 1,5 hour in total, for one direction (that made 3 hours of commuting daily). it wasn’t that it was so far away (well, it was far, but that’s not the reason it took so long), but it’s because my transfer from one bus to the other took place in one of the busiest traditional marketplace in South Jakarta, called Pasar Minggu. the buses went through the small gaps, woven between the abundance of marketplace sellers & their tarmacs full of fresh produces, and since we’re talking about Jakarta that had no clear traffic system, there were always at least dozens of different buses queuing in this area at the same time before they could finally be ‘free’ to go to their own routes. so, you can probably imagine the length of time i spent waiting and frying inside these buses everyday (my buses weren’t air conditioned, of course).

every day, as i waited in the bus, there would be street singers hopping on and off my bus. when i had extra coin or small bank note, i would give them what i could, but most of the time my budget was just enough for the day, so i couldn’t help them even if i wanted to. some of them sang just so that their bosses could see that they were ‘working’, some of them actually sang with their hearts. usually, i would wait until i found those that sang with their hearts to give what small amount of money i could to them instead of the other group.

among these street singers, one of them was a man, probably around the same age as i was back then, maybe slightly older. he was probably the only one easy for me to remember, because of his appearance. he had very dark skin, big eyes, long curly hair which was always ‘half’ bleached no matter what time of the year it was, so that it was deep black from the roots to halfway the total length and very blonde from then on to the ends. he always carried a guitar and was one of those who sang with his heart.

the first couple of times i ‘met’ him in my bus, i was running short on my money that i couldn’t give anything to him. but, he always smiled. some time after that, i finally did have extra, so i was already planning to give it to him the next time i saw him. when that time finally came, and he finished singing and started walking around the bus to collect the money in the aluminum foil bag he was holding, i was putting my money to the bag when he suddenly said to me, “hep, no, no, that’s okay, miss!” and i was baffled. he didn’t want my money.

after he completed his round, he came to sit next to me, which happened to be empty. and i, as somebody who had always disliked talking to strangers even before moving to Finland, was wary of this. oh dear, i thought, he did not want my money but wanted my company? darn it. usually if some stranger who sat next to me in the bus started to talk to me, i would pretend not to hear what they’re saying (yes, i was cruel). but i couldn’t see my way out of this one because i would still be stuck there in my transfer point for a while.

and so, he started, “are you going to school, miss?” i said, shortly, “yes”. he asked where i went to school, and i told him my university name (and cursed myself why i had to be so honest. what if he was a stalker?). he was amazed by my answer, i guess it’s because my university name does bear good quality. then he started talking about himself, mostly, i guess because he could see i was being careful and only gave him short answers. he told me that he, too, wished he could go to the university, but could only sing in buses so far. the first time he sang, he did not even have a guitar, so he had to go with others who had musical instruments, saved money until he could buy a guitar, and finally, now, he could sing alone.

the bus began to move forward and he quickly bid his goodbye, but before he left, he asked my name. i told him a fake name, because my brain was still telling me to be cautious, and that was the end of our first conversation.

that happened during my first year of college. i still had 2 more years, so you can imagine how many more times i met him in my bus. it wasn’t daily, but there were a lot of times. i gradually saw that he didn’t mean anything bad, and if he was a stalker i would already be stalked by then. i started having quite ‘okay’ conversations with him, but most of the time, just like the first time, it was him who did the talking. he told me that he was now saving up for new shoes, and showed me that the only pair of shoes he had had holes in them. and every time i offered him what little money i could, he never took it. i think at one point i told him that i had shoes i didn’t use, and if he would like them. he asked my shoe size and when he heard it, he laughed because my shoe size was a lot bigger than his! he even joked that i must be one of the ‘mountain people’, who genetically have big feet. needless to say, my offer was turned down.

sometimes he did the singing with a group of his other friends, and when his friends came near to me to collect money, he would tell them, “no, not her! she’s my friend.” pretty soon, even his friends would recognize me when he wasn’t around, and also did not want my money.

one day, i went to the university as usual and i was the one who spotted him first before i got on to my bus. i tapped his shoulder (because even then, after many of our conversations, i still didn’t know his name) and said hi. he was friendly as usual, but i told him my news: this was my last time going through this route, because i had graduated. he was so happy for me, congratulated me, and told me good luck with my life. i wished him the same, and we parted.

that really was the last time i saw him, even though i still lived in Jakarta for many years afterwards. never once did he cross my mind, until now.

i wonder if he is still around, and again, thank the heavens that he never has to feel the bitter cold of winter in his old & hole-y shoes. i wish i could have helped him more, and hope that he is doing okay. i hope he knows, that even when it may not seem so, he was actually blessed in his life, to have what he had.

remembering him makes me want to listen to this song, a song so popular among street singers in Jakarta. maybe it’s because it’s about them, the suppressed people, living in Jakarta. maybe it’s to tell each other, the street singers and beggars, to not lose hope, stay strong and be thankful for life as it is.

Serenade by Iwan Fals and KPJ (Street Singer Group), 1985, sung in Keroncong style.

roughly translated lyrics:

i would like to sing for the suppressed people

living in the wild with bereft souls

why be afraid of the sun, make a fist and block its heat

why be afraid of the night, light a fire in the heart, shoo away the darkness

i would like to sing for the rejected clans

losing their fighting spirits

complacent in a long dream in the midst of uncertain life

on the streets’ alleys of alleys

under the underside of bridges

on the street vendors’ feet

under the tower

you still cradle the suffering

i would like to sing a song without poverty and hypocrisy

without tears and misery

so we could see the heavens

 

i dream of Tibet

as promised on my last blog post, i’m trying to no longer sew just for the sake of sewing. it took me 2 months to figure out what was missing from my wardrobe, something i will definitely wear over and over again & i am also always up for trying some new techniques.

a quick window shopping over at Mango and H&M websites gave me an idea, as always.

mangotassels

inspiration board images borrowed from Mango.com and HM.com.

i had been eyeing this universe quilted fabric for months and now finally i had a purpose! a bomber jacket would be useful for me as i did not have any, and at the same time i would learn how to sew the ribbed band to the neckline and welt pockets. and to make it just a little bit more special: tassels, fringes, and pom poms. all of them in one jacket!

universebomber1

self-made bomber jacket & tulle skirt, Logo dress, leggings from Dappermarkt – Amsterdam, COS shoes.

i didn’t find any ready-made tassel band, and the only fun coloured fringe bands i found were quite expensive. so i ended up doing colourful tassels on my own and attach them to a white fringe band i bought. if you feel like making your own tassels, there are plenty of tutorial videos in YouTube. i used the one with a fork and embroidery floss. i had 4 different colours and did 6 mini tassels of each colour to fill in a 50 cm space (25 cm for each shoulder). it took me about 7 minutes to make each of the tassel, but it was fun to do while listening to some music. 🙂

universebomberdetail3

for the jacket, i did not use any pattern. it was the usual ‘boxy’ style that i have used many times to make sweatshirts and t-shirts, only this time i inserted a zipper & welt pockets at the front.

universebomberdetail1

i used the leftover denim fabric from my last pair of boyfriend jeans for the sleeves & pockets and lined them with the leftover sweatshirt fabric from this sweatshirt i made.

i found a very clear & easy tutorial for sewing welt pockets from YouTube (again). this was my first time ever to sew welt pockets and i know i chose a difficult fabric (quilted fabric + my sewing machine = enemies), but i could live with the result. the only awkward thing about them is that since i made the pocket openings diagonally and the pocket linings are straight rectangles, the upper part of the pocket linings are just dangling lifelessly if you see the bomber jacket from the inside. but that doesn’t happen unless i use the jacket with the zipper open, right? :p

after everything was done, i only realized that the neckline is a bit asymmetrical. *rolls eyes* and of course i am toooooooo too lazy to re-do it, so… asymmetrical neckline it is!

universebomber2

the universe print and pom poms & fringe reminds me so much of Tibetan clothes. some might say it also resembles Hmong style, but maybe it’s because i’ve always been attracted to Tibet, spiritually (universe) and physically (clothes/pom poms/colours), i immediately see my Tibetan dream in this bomber jacket. one day if i ever get the chance to visit Tibet, i will surely bring this jacket to climb the mountain and pray.

universebomber3i can’t tell you how proud i am to have waited for the moment to sew something useful & meaningful and actually put extra time for making the tassels & welt pockets. the jacket itself was done in about 9 hours from cutting the fabrics down to the last stitch. right away i felt the connection to this piece of garment and i knew that i would appreciate it more than other garments i made without the extra effort. finishing this jacket gave me the same feeling as when i just learned how to sew and every garment was an achievement. this is an achievement for me. this is special.

universebomber4

it’s as special as my dream of Tibet. ❤

take it slow

in case you’re wondering (which i’m sure you haven’t been doing) where i have gone to for the past month, here is the answer: nowhere. i haven’t really been offline, though i have been lagging in terms of reading other people’s blogs & updates. here’s something new: i haven’t been sewing either.

it’s not another case of depression this time. it’s simply the realization of just how much clothes i have vs how often i actually wear them. sounds familiar?

usually one would have this problem when one buys clothes, cheap ones, clothes on sale, etc. but when one sews one’s own clothes, is that really possible? well, yeah.

you know how it goes. you can’t seem to stop yourself from getting a nice looking fabric–same thing that goes for nice looking clothes applies as well to fabrics–and you end up getting a few too many. and when you finally have an idea to make something, you open up your fabric stash only to find that nothing there is the right one for your idea! you quickly have to go out and get a new one. repeat by a hundred times.

and then you finally get to make what you wanted. you wear it with pride once, twice, and then you already have another idea for another sewing project, and you repeat the same process all over again.

i’m not saying it happens overnight, of course. i’ve only been sewing now for about 8 years, and already i can see that i have a problem. so i started ‘throwing away’ my old(er) clothes that i bought from stores, and by this i meant either giving them up for charity or bringing them to H&M for recycling. but still it seems that my closet is just getting more and more clothes.

i don’t know yet how it’s going to end, but at least i can tell you that i’m trying to reduce it now before it’s too late. i mean… i’m sure we all know by now just how ‘dangerous’ fast fashion is, right? dangerous for the environment and dangerous for the human resources. now if you thought by making your own clothes you can at least reduce that danger, think again. where do you think the fabrics come from? not all of them grow on trees either. there are still human resources, other than you, the seamstress/tailor, involved in the making of that. it makes me sad sometimes, seeing somebody make dozens of clothes a month, either for him-/herself or for others, and this is just because he/she can. of course i can’t tell just how hollow or full his/her closet is, but still… i think it’s wiser to not be excessive in anything, don’t you?

with that in mind, i am trying to be more careful in what fabrics i buy & what i’ll make from them. i no longer set myself to sew at least 2 sewing projects a month or at least 20 projects per year, or whatever, but instead sew something i actually need & will definitely wear for a long time. i hear you, i’m saying “good luck!” to myself as well! 😀

so anyway, to really answer that question as to what i’ve been doing for the past month, here are some things:

  • read the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script book. i wish i could one day see the production of this, it looked great in my own imagination! 😉
  • got a short social visit from my uncle and aunt, yay! auntunclenmeit was their first time here in Finland and of course it had to be super windy when they were here. ergh! but at least the sun was shining, the foods were great (i again of course had to introduce muikkuja aka vendace to them), the talks were fun, and i was just so grateful that somebody from the family could visit me!auntnmewe got to visit Suomenlinna – the Fortress island despite the harsh wind, enjoyed our walk in the city and the market square, and also went to the Helsinki City Museum, which is also very nice and surprisingly nostalgic for all of us (even though we come from a different part of the world!). they were really nice 2 days that i spent with them! and hey, that’s the second time this year already that i got to play tourist in my own (new) country!
  • my husband & i and my mum-in-law taught our nephew to say our names, and he succeeded! he remembered who we were, and whenever we ‘tested’ if he knew which one of us was which, he always got it right! and he liked our names so much that my sister-in-law sent us a video a week after that, where it showed that he just kept saying our names over and over again. ❤ that feeling when somebody small who couldn’t really say much of anything yet suddenly kept calling your name is just unbearably lovely!!
  • i learned how to make my first lasagne! also how NOT to make it, LOL. i only followed a recipe though, so it really wasn’t any rocket science. the first time i made it i only managed to put in 2 layers of the lasagna sheet, because the sauce were all already used up, ahahaha…. needless to say, i had to make another one, pronto, and with advices (and okay, a little bit of help) from my husband, i finally got it right this time. lasagne1no picture of the first lasagne because it was quite embarrassing, haha! not that this second one is a good looking one either, but whatever! lasagne2it’s a vegetarian lasagne with spinach and cottage cheese as the main content. it was really good for a beginner’s attempt!

that was pretty much it. of course there are other boring things like going to work and doing house chores some time there in the middle, and oh, watching some series in Netflix, but really… nothing else worth mentioning. :p

it’s time for me to take it slow and enjoy life as it is.

double, double, toil and trouble

for some reason, lately i’ve been getting or doing things in double. first there were the Tweedledum and Tweedledee dresses i made, back to back. afterwards, though i didn’t make two pairs at once, but i made a twin of my fave pair of boyfriend jeans. and now, these.

can you guess which ones i made and which ones i bought? 😀

the correct answer are the dresses. (did you get that right?)

slitdresspinkdetail2

slitdressgreendetail2

the rib knit shirts were from H&M, i liked them so much i decided to get 2 of the same model!

as for the dresses, i first made the pink one using a super cheap tube jersey fabric, thinking that it would just be a prototype, so even if it fails i wouldn’t be too sorry about it. it’s 100% cotton, and it looks like interlock jersey, so it’s slightly thick.

slitdresspink1

self-made dress and vest, H&M tights, shoes gift from my friend S, earrings from Metro Dept. Store – Jakarta.

i wanted to make a simple dress with these rib knit dresses as inspirations.

ribdressinspiration

images from various sources, i only remember Mango.com… sorry!

i wasn’t planning on using any pattern, but then i happened to come across this lovely & easy top pattern from Ottobre design woman 5/2016 magazine, pattern no. 5 (Vintage Lines), thanks to my colleague L who lent it to me!

ottobre05-2016

instead of cutting the front part on fold, i made it into 2 separate parts so that i could add the slit at the bottom. i added about 70 cm length from the waistline and sewed close the center front seam until about 22 cm from the raw edged bottom. the rest was done according to the original pattern.

it worked out so well, i just had to make another one! the so-called prototype dress became a real dress that i can wear to the outside world.

slitdresspink3

slitdresspink2

the green jersey was of the same price as the pink one, also a tube jersey, and also 100% cotton, but it looks more like rib knit & is a lot thinner than the pink one. i started cutting the fabric at around 3 pm, and was done with the very last stitch at a bit after 5 pm.

slitdressgreen1

self-made dress, second hand belt from UFF, Indiska bracelets, Just Kulkith shoes.

of course i was too lazy to change the overlocker threads to another colour, so i used the same for both dresses: white. so what, right? 😀

i really liked how they both turned out. sometimes i’m just too lazy to think of what to wear for work, or what to mix and match… with these dresses i just need to grab them from the closet and wear them like that (though i guess i have to use tights underneath for the pink one, as it’s quite transparent due to the light colour!).

slitdressgreen3

slitdressgreen2

i think i have proven that everything good comes in twos. maybe one day they will change to be threes if i feel like repeating myself again, ha!

and have you noticed how i’ve been embracing solid coloured fabrics these days? i hope i will continue to surprise you. 😉

PS. please excuse my tired face, i just had a long week of work and was having a pretty bad migraine when i took the pics.

new old hair

i’m not sure when it exactly started, but for years now i’ve had quite a lot of white hair. yeah, i’m sure you’ve noticed them in my pics. 😀

when it started coming out, i tried picking them out. but then they started to grow everywhere on my head, so i couldn’t keep picking them out!

i tried colouring my hair. it was great… for about 2 weeks. the colour went away in the blink of an eye, and i was back with my white hair. i gave up trying to colour it, because no matter what brand i tried, the colour wouldn’t stay longer than 1-2 weeks.

so i tried living with them. it’s nice sometimes because though my face may look young (which means at work some customers may think i’m a junior) my white hair tells people that i’m older than i look. or so i hope, at least! :p but most of the time it bothers me because the white hair look so striking on my deep black hair! too much contrast, even for my taste.

so i then decided to do it the other way around: bleach my hair. i figured that if i bleach it, at least it will ‘forever’ be lighter coloured and there’s no risk of the colour running out after 1-2 weeks… because it’s not really colouring! it’s bleach! ha!

since i would be doing it at home, to minimize the risk (in case i turned too blonde… which is actually quite impossible) i decided that i needed a haircut first. of course that was also done at home.

hairbefore

the haircut result, before any bleaching.

i chose the same hairstyle i had 6 years ago, since i had run out of ideas on what other style i can do to my hair! so as you can see from the pic, the white hairs are quite visible… and that is just from the front. the sides are much worse and i will spare you the nightmare.

after doing some research, i found that DIY bleaching kits tend to make your hair turn yellowish, so i needed to counter that by adding cool colour to my hair. even though i had my doubts that my hair would turn any lighter than just light brown, i fell in love with the packaging of this Finnish brand KC Professional’s Color Mask and decided to buy the Pearl tone–which is actually meant for seriously blonde hair–before even knowing what my new hair colour would be!

haircolourmaski just didn’t want to risk having to go out of the house looking like a freak (in case the bleaching failed) just to get a tube of this hair colour mask. isn’t it always good to be prepared? (plus it was on sale and was 7€ cheaper than usual, so with that kind of bargain i just couldn’t bear to miss it!)

anyway, for the DIY bleach kit, i went to get the extremest blonde set i could find. plus i have used this brand many times in the past, and they seemed to always work fine.

hairbleachif you see on the pic, the small images on the left, how black/dark brown hair’s result after the bleach should be (blonde enough), you would think it’s the perfect solution for me, right?

ah, except that you don’t know my hair’s structure. they’re quite bulky (like 1 string of hair is already very thick), and quite stubborn like the bearer herself. :p

the instruction says whatever happens, DO NOT let the bleach stay longer on your hair for more than 45 minutes. i, of course, obeyed this. the result, which i unfortunately did not record, was a somewhat reddish orange light brown hair. nowhere near the blonde that was shown on that packaging’s image, at least.

thanking the stars that i had bought the hair colour mask, i put it on right away. it’s basically like a conditioner: you put it (with gloves) on clean hair that has been dried by towel, and leave it for a while before rinsing it off. it says on the packaging that 5-10 minutes should do the trick, but i believe that is for blonde hair. since mine was a strange shade of light brown and i did want the reddish orange tint to go away, i kept it on for 15 minutes.

and finally, i was quite pleased with the result!

hairafter1

this is as blonde as you can get, darling!

i would say that even when the DIY bleach kit was almost a total flop, the hair colour mask saved my day. it makes my new hair colour look much more natural than reddish orange, and i am still very pleased with the fact that my white hair is now almost like some highlights on my hair. they look like they’re meant to be here & there and to look that way. yaaay!

the Color Mask is something i would need to re-do after some washes. the tube i bought was a 200 ml size and i only used about 3 tablespoons of it for that first time. so far i’ve washed my hair 3 times after applying the hair mask to my hair, and this is what it currently looks like:

hairafter2

still healthier looking than reddish orange! 😀 i’m gonna see how long/many washes it takes until i finally would need to re-apply the mask, but i can warmly recommend the Color Mask product to anyone who needs healthier & more natural looking hair after a possibly disastrous hair colouring/bleaching experience.

and then, we’ll see which comes first: buying a new tube of the Color Mask or my hair’s grown too long that i would need to re-bleach it! oh, this vicious cycle.