my Dr. Feelgood

a few weeks ago, upon seeing me wearing yet another sweatshirt that i sewed myself, asked me, “do you even have any clothes that is NOT made by yourself?”.

the answer to this question is, unfortunately, yes i do. but before i go any further, let’s step back in time first.

i have always loved clothes. i never really follow the trend, i wear what i like, but of course i still like to know what’s going on in the world of fashion (and promise myself not to wear the same thing as what’s on trend). when i was little, and when i could, i would always choose… erm, let’s just say, clothes that weren’t usually popular among little kids. one of my faves was this cool jersey dress with the world map printed on it. oh, how i wish i still have it with me now!

when i was old enough to do my own shopping, i discovered a new fashion world in thrift shops and flea markets. there’s just something about unique items that used to belong to someone else (and probably loved them so, for a while). there’s also the fact that it’s far cheaper than brand new clothes. sometimes i wore them as they were, and some other times i would do small alterations (note: i wasn’t yet a seamstress back then, so small alterations were done by hand, not sewing machine).

then i grew older and owned a business with my two friends. we had our own tailor, and our job was to make clothes for other people. i got to go on weekly fabric shoppings, and after a while i finally got the fabric fever: i started buying more fabrics than ready-made clothes. wearing second-hand clothes is one thing, but choosing your own fabric and model of the clothes you are going to wear was like… wow! personalized style was what i was aiming for, and that was the best way i could achieve it.

moving to Finland forced me to do everything on my own, start everything (well, almost!) from the beginning again. now, especially, where the prices of clothes aren’t exactly cheap and if they are then you’ll just be wearing the same clothes as a million other people, personalized style for a cheaper price matters to me more than ever. and the day i finally bought my own sewing machine was my point of no return to the land of homemade clothes.

i started small, sewing dresses and other things i couldn’t really wear (because i was only interested in experimenting & buying the fabrics). but over time, i learned to “edit” my purchases, and also alter the ready-made patterns so that i can actually wear the clothes i made. before i realized it, i have been sewing for 7 years now. 🙂

i can honestly say that about 70% of my closet is full of clothes i sewed on my own. the rest are clothes that are either bought at flea markets/thrift shops, very cheap/standard t-shirts bought at hypermarkets (or H&M and the likes), cheap pants/jackets that i knew i would never have the energy to sew, and 1 or 2 high quality & pricey items. so yes, i admit, i’m not a total eco-friendly person (yet) since i do still once or twice buy things from those fast fashion brands. but i’m getting there!

another friend of mine asked me yet another question a few days ago, “did you make that blouse you’re wearing?” when i was actually wearing a blouse from & Other Stories. i took it as a compliment, because to me it means that my sewing is actually so good that people can’t tell the difference anymore if i am wearing a homemade blouse or a ready-made one from some store. 😀 (okay, i guess it’s also possible that it’s the opposite, that the ready-made blouse i was wearing looked so terrible that it could have been a homemade one, but let’s think positive!)

sewing becomes my Dr. Feelgood, because wearing clothes that i made on my own literally makes me feel good. i don’t have to feel guilty about making other people work 12 hours a day just to sew my clothes. if i could, i would probably go all the way one day and completely stop buying ready-made clothes. also, be even more eco-friendly by using only fabrics made of natural fibres or organic ones. but i’m doing it bit by bit and while i’m at it, i of course want to enjoy myself as well.

now i know some of my blog readers are actually interested in sewing. some might already have sewing machines, but just couldn’t find the guts/time/will to start sewing. some might be waiting for just the perfect sewing pattern.

well, while i have to say that it’s no use waiting around and you’ll do much better if you just jump into the water and start sewing already, right now i actually have a better & more interesting way to encourage you to start making use of your dusty sewing machine.

yofp-spring-2015-contest-image

picture borrowed from the Indiesew.com website.

Indiesew.com is currently holding a contest where you can win a year of free patterns! as the name of the site suggests, the patterns in question are from independent brands (so not Burda, Vogue, or those other big brand names). this is good, because i find that indie brands actually pay more attention to details and unique styles, plus this means that by entering this contest you will be supporting the people behind the indie brands. for example, they sell patterns from Named Clothing, the Finnish company who made the Wyome jeans pattern (i used it to make these jeans).

entering this contest is so easy, and you don’t even need to make any purchase. click here to start, and then just sign up at their website (free), and enter the contest… and voila! your entry is in! 🙂 click here to find out more about it.

you might want to hurry as the contest ends Monday, April 20th at 10pm MDT. if you’re entering, good luck for the contest! and when you win, don’t forget to show me what you make with all those lovely free patterns!

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first and latest

the first post of the year took me 22 days. well, i’ve been busy. so what’s the latest news?

nothing much, really. as i said, i’ve been quite busy at work up till last week… and then it was time for my winter holiday. from the 1,5 weeks of it, i’ve now used 1 full week for:

-tracing a sewing pattern. that’s right, ‘a’, as in, singular. it doesn’t usually take that long for me to trace a sewing pattern (from the paper to the fabric, in this case), but this particular project has quite a lot of pieces that i’m not even sure now if i’ll ever finish sewing it. in fact, the tracing made me so tired already that i haven’t even started sewing it after that. har har.

-cleaning our apartment, as well as doing other house chores. no lazying around here! that also serves as my excuse as to why i haven’t started sewing yet. :p

-having TV Series/movie-marathons on Netflix. don’t you just love Netflix?

-attempting to write more… but ended up merely editing the typos and stuffs on my latest writing.

-going on a cruise to Stockholm… again! it’s just such a handy solution for a quick getaway, especially since it’s winter & nobody usually wants to go on a cruise in winter, which means the cruising tickets are on super cheap sale. 😀 it was my husband’s turn to choose where to go there in Stockholm, so we went to the Maritime Museum. it was quite a nice museum with lots of ship models & their histories, and for my husband it was kind of nostalgic as he used to go there when he was a kid. the fact that his great granddad was a sailor also played a great deal in his interest to ships. 🙂 plus, it’s completely free! (how Indonesian of me, we LOVE anything that’s free, LOL.)

these were taken near the museum area. didn’t get as much pictures this time as it was cold, but actually, this was the first time that we went to Stockholm when the temperature was warmer than in our place in Finland… -3C in Stockholm versus our -13C. yep, we’ll take it! after the museum & lunch, we still had a wee bit time to see the good ol’ Old Town.

that was about it. now i’m gonna enjoy the half of the week left of my holiday, but not before throwing in a bit of fun & excitement.

Moody Monday, a UK based home decor design brand which specializes in contemporary hand-printed wallpaper, fabrics,  & other home accessories, is holding their first ever competition!

the person behind this brand is an old friend of mine, Eliza Kesuma, a super talented & crafty Indonesian living in Scotland. i once posted one of her older products, and before you get confused, let me remind you that the brand Moody Monday no longer has clothing/accessory products for sale. but if you haven’t already, you should check out their home decor products! they’re as quirky & one-of-a-kind as those earrings i posted, so if you’re like me who likes her things to be unique, you’ll definitely love Moody Monday!

my personal fave is the Black Keys pattern from the Secret Music collection, and the Silver on White colour would look JUST PERFECT for my work space! it goes well with my internet alias too, don’t you think? Silverain, Silver on White? 😉 i would looooove to have it as a wallpaper, or even as placemats, but just like the other home decor products on my wishlist, the prices are just a bit too much for my ever-so-thin wallet. i can understand why, though. they’re hand-printed, remember? not to mention the high quality of their products. so of course they cost a lot.

i can assure you that i’m not getting paid by her or her company to promote this competition they’re having, just doing this because i’m a true Indonesian who loves freebies. (who doesn’t??) and this one is a freebie that’s worth your time, because as the winner, you’ll get a roll of their handmade wallpaper plus a matching cushion cover (worth a total of £195). as a 2nd winner, you’ll get a set of 4 placemats (worth £40). this competition applies worldwide, so no matter where you are, if you win the competition, you’ll get these goodies!

to enter, all you have to do is ‘like’ their FB page, and then go to the competition page to fill in your details. do all this before Jan 31st, and then just wait for the good news! yes, it’s that easy. 🙂

good luck for the competition and hope you’ll all have a great last week of January!