Quite often I hear people assume that it is really expensive to sew. I believe this might be an old pattern of thinking. See, this might have been why people did chose to sew them-selves at some point in history, but today it has so much more to do with creativity and/ or politics.
The question you want to ask yourself is instead:
Do you really sew because of the final price?
But Hey – sure, if you choose an expensive fabric – it is expensive to sew. But that counts when you buy a piece of expensive clothing too:)
If you choose to buy cheap fabric - it might be very cheap to sew, but you can count that as expensive for the environment instead… same thing when you buy cheap clothes:)
But if you choose to remake a few pieces from your closet into new items… That Ladies and Gentlemen, is both cheap as in ”For free”(!) and sustainable as well!
So - is it expensive to sew? It all depends, I would say. And if you ask your Creativity, it sure is a pretty cheap way of nurturing your big and beautiful soul:)
With a busy life, sweet family and kids, passionate but intense work, lovely friends, great man…. it is so important to give yourself a moment of pure alone-time every now and then. Away from noice and duties. Just you and your hobbies for a little while.
And that makes me think of….Office and art supplies….which make me feel all tipsy:) maybe not the hottest thing to admit, but Hey, honesty is the shit man….
Spending time in shops filled with brushes, pens, notebooks and colors in all shapes and forms is like pure medicine for me, and I just can´t get enough of it:)
Here are my absolute faves ever for drawing and writing:
Faber Castell Ecco pigment 0,1 and 0,4 (for drawing)
Sustainability can take so many different directions, and recycling is one of them!
Look at this fancy dress made of chewing gum paper, based on Ella dress from my first book:) made by a girl called Asa Almgren! Isn´t it so much fun?
Looks like she´s gonna have a great party weekend in that dress! Love!
So…stepping out of ones comfort zone is not always the easiest thing to do:)
It can be anything really; speaking up for oneself in some way, painting one of your walls pink or just walk butt naked to work.
And in common for all of the mentioned above, is the fear of being judged for what you just did, the fear of making a mistake and not being liked.
But as most of us know, it really is a treat how rewarding it eventually gets. Just moments after you had the courage to step outside your own little box - the change is applauding in every little corner of your body.
You know that great moment, when you realize that it´s all good, and the only thing that happened was that your confidence suddenly became a little better. BOOM! I love these moments and as tough as they can feel sometimes they almost always turn into just as yummy!
In a society loaded with perfection, something that always makes me totally excited is when a movie scene, a music video or an interview is filmed in one take. The risk for mistakes goes up by loads of percent and the nerve is ON!
And what do we learn?
That the risk for making mistakes is a natural and important part of the journey and that it wouldn´t be the same without it. One take moments, reminds us of our fragility, truth and humananity.
Here is one music video just like that. Love it:)
No pausing, no room for absurd perfection. Just go with the flow people! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESXgJ9-H-2U
Ever thought of what actually makes your bubble of creativity close so perfectly around you that it feels like a fluffy dream?
When you get in that wonderful mood of creativity so that everything around you seems to disappear. A mood that reminds one a little bit of the state of meditation. A true participation of the very moment. A now, that does not allow anything outside it to enter.
I am in love with these moments.
And the chance that they come join you more frequently is even bigger if you give yourself the luxury of:
Followed by great yummy and empowering music :)……
And then start digging deep for images that inspire you, read texts that inspire you, breathe in all the nature, trees and sky that you can find and…..
Just start. Yes, it is all about just doing it. That threshold of beginning, is sometimes the hardest. Give your self the gift of stepping it up and do it anyway! Grab that pencil or brush or whatever it is you need and let´s go! You are totally worth it.
That perfect working space starts within you, anywhere and nowhere.
Although, I wouldn´t say No to this lovely studio with green leaves whispering outside the windows:) Would you?
And to be honest, for me it is cruical to have order around me to be able to relax and create. I need it to be able to think in clear vision and that is easier when I surround myself with a beautiful and non distracting environment. And this makes me so curious about you guys? What are your ”must-haves” to be able to create?
The other day I accompanied a friend to the hairdresser. While my friend got her hair washed followed by a pretty sweet scalp massage, I was chatting with the hairdresser. She was incredible sweet and had that lovely warmth around her that some peeps just seem to have been born with.
She asked me what I was doing for a living and when I told her she jumped 5 feet up and started to tell me about the first piece of clothing that she ever bought. Back then she was 16 years old and lived on the countryside with her parents. The nearest city was 10 kilometers away and she constantly dreamt about the day when she was going to be able to live in a real, big city.
One day she had the privilege to go into the nearest city and was happy to just be able to do some window shopping. But – it didn´t take long until she spotted ”The Top” in one of the windows…. there it was…. A white t-shirt with tiny little ice cream cones printed allover it. It said ”Jenny Hellström” on the label. She just knew she had to have it!
But in her world there was not enough money to buy an expensive designer top and often she couldn’t even get a lift into the city, so as much as she wanted the top, she also knew it could be lost before she even had a chance to touch it.
Stubborn as she was she went back to the countryside, worked her ass off cutting the neighbors lawns and a few weeks later the money was hers. But even though she had the money, how was she to get into the city?
So what would you do if you were in her shoes? Well this girl wasn´t gonna' let anything stand in her way. She took out her bike from the garage, put on some comfy shoes and just went for it, with a big fat smile on her face! 10km later ”The top” was hers and now, even happier she biked all the way back to get home. Easy peasy.
And the greatest part of it all is that she loved that top so much, that 10 years later it is still in her closet, representing the spirit of ”Go get it girl”!
This is one of the many allover prints that I made a few years ago, that I am the most proud of. I really love to wear it myself since it reminds me of the small things, like ice cream:) that makes life so freakin´ good!
I had the craziest last two weeks and I’m so sorry I wasn´t able to post last week! Hoping you have had the most beautiful winter weeks with lots and lots of snow!
The other day I was visiting the Furniture and Light fair in Stockholm and was happy to note that they had scheduled lectures about CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) almost every day during the fair. Briefly CSR is about how companies need to take full responsibility for the products that they are producing and selling. It is about taking care of both the planet and also the actual workers that are making the products.
It really makes me happy when an industry starts to note that sustainability is not a trend but that it is here to stay.
On one big wall they had questions written for the visitors to answer. One was:
”What does sustainability mean to you?”
Here are some comments that I found on the wall. I love when people´s thoughts are shared like this and pinned on a wall in a public room.
I also love this question and I think it is a question worth asking yourself. What does sustainability really mean to you? It’s a word that might be used a lot these days, but not for nothing. It is a word to keep. A word to taste. A word to follow.
For me Sustainability stands for so much really. Love. Care. Together. Gentleness. Enough. Slow. Community. Truth. Intelligence. Sanity. Wisdom. Yay!!!!! Could go on forever:)
I would really love to know what it means to you?! It would be so great if you gave this question one tiny little minute of your time. Please write whatever comes up, here below! There are no right answers, it is more about just letting the word take place in our lives and to establish it for ourselves.
Obsessed by this blouse from my second book. It is just the best! Makes the perfect top in a soft and light viscose to wear to jeans, a skirt or whatever! And it is so easy to turn the pattern in to a dress as well.
The name Evelyn Blouse makes me think about the character Blousey in the movie Bugsy Malone. If you have not seen it, you must! It is just the funniest little Maffia story, but the unique thing about it is that the whole cast are kids!
Really nice settings and clothes and the small peeps are just adorable. I also love the fact that the guns are only shooting whipped cream and nothing else!
To continue in the mood of freshness and create a little order in the cupboards, look what one of my daughters made for herself to make it easier to be able to plan and match her everyday outfit! So lovely and cute!
A little colored drawing for each and every item you've got in your closet and Boom! - You'll see them in a different light!
A lot of drawing one might say:) but who doesn't like that! Oh, ok some people actually don't... But then you just take some pretty pics instead. Sorta' the same thing, right?
Put the drawings or photos on your closet wall or on the inside of the closet door, and Voila! Piece of cake to get dressed:)!
A new year just kick-started and there is so much I want to do, but let’s not forget all the good things that we carry from year to year and treasure, as if they were made of gold. Memories, skills or beautiful friendships.
I would like to start this new year by telling you something you might not have known about me:) Something that I treasure like gold in my heart and take with me year after year. I have got, an actual diploma, of being a real……drum-roll please…
Certified Feng shui consultant.
Yes! I started to take interest in Feng shui back in 2007 and a year later I was lucky to attend a 6 month course in this field. I earned my diploma after some pretty sweaty finals and have ever since carried this lovely 3000 years old philosophy with me in so many different ways. Feng Shui offers you great tools helping you to understand why certain places tend to feel better than others and it is really a wonderful way of viewing the world around you.
While taking this course I never intended to make Feng Shui as part of my actual career, but I do love this skill of mine and thought it might come in handy this particular first week of the year!
So, if the last week of the year is about taking a moment to digest what the year has been about, this first week is all about cleansing! Yep!
But no worries, I´m not talking about vacuuming your house, no no, I just wanted to take a little trip into your messy fabric drawer:) and get it energized baby!
Here we go, a quick, simplified cleansing routine:
Drop the frustration:) just accept the messyness and praise yourself for coming to your own rescue!
Get everything out on the table or floor and start to make 3 piles: Pile 1. Keep (this is your favourites that you know you will create lovely things with or you just love for some reason) Pile 2. Don´t keep (not so happy about, been lying in there for too long) Pile 3. Let´s think about this (just can´t decide)
Pile 2 goes to closest second hand store, pre-school or any other place that would love to take it.
Pile 3 goes up in the attic for 6 months and if you did not miss it during that period of time – give it away!
Then embrace the little Martha Stewart within you and start folding like a Goddess. If you just give yourself over to the moment you WILL enjoy this folding part, I promise!
When done folding, assort after colors, fabric type or patterns. I love to have things color coordinated, but it all depends on how you use your fabrics, so do what suits you the best!
Finally, the best part of all – Put it all back on the shelf or in the drawer and let the year of 2015 begin it´s journey of inspiration and creation!
Love is in the air this year, I can feel it!
And once you get started with this you might as well take the next shelf with fishing equipment when you are at it!
Now is the perfect time to stop for a little while, and sum up one’s year, appreciate yourself and what´s good in your life.
There is always room for new big or small dreams, wants or needs, but as long as you can’t see what’s right in front of you, one can not say that life is fully lived. Or as……… Nicki Minaj says:) in the song ”Moments 4 life”:
”To live doesn´t mean you´re alive”
True words from a modern poet……
So looking forward to a whole new year of life and new possibilities of creativity.
Happy New Year to you all and thank you so much for being such great readers and supporters of my work! You guys rock!
To welcome the New Year - Here is a pretty nutty video where the words like exuberance, extravagance or bling-bling could become handy:), but music wise I really love this song! And who knows, this might inspire you to an evening of plenty ba-bling-bling? But may I take the opportunity to remind you that the real deal sparkle-bling-bling is no where else but in your eyes baby:)
Wishing you a lovely Christmas and wanted to make a salut to old storybooks and dreamland thoughts!
Let´s just slumber away and enjoy the sweets of what Christmas offers. I´m gonna' read, read, read and let myself get carried away by all the old lovely Christmas stories. Possibly a few pieces of really dark and rich chocolate will end up on my plate of joy, together with my hot….. yes I know – heard it before?:) … green tea:)… well, what can I tell ya'? You love what you love, right?
Anyhow – take a moment when no one sees you and go hide together with your little book and your big plate of yummy Christmas sweets. The bedroom is perfect under cozy blankets and big pillows, or any other good hideaway option is fine. An empty bathtub accompanied with a flashlight might work too:)
Create a little lovely Christmas moment in the name of fairytale land for yourself and I´m sure it´ll take at least 30 minutes before anyone starts missing you…maybe even an hour:)
Love this jacket! It´s the perfect little christmas thing to wear over whatever you are planning to wear on christmas. Goes just as well with the party dress as with a simple blouse or top together with your favourite pair of jeans.
I really like it in a little heavier material that breathes snowflakes and winter like this greyish uneven and unreasonable fabric. But it is actually not bad in a really light fabric either. That just gives it a slightly different look, especially if it has got some viscose in there.
And don´t forget to play with the hundreds of alternatives you have when it comes to how to close it…. snapbuttons, sew on buttons, ribbons or what ever you want:) or just keep it open….
Last summer I was lucky enough to see the Charles James exhibition in New York.
Rooms and rooms filled with gowns, skirts and coats that were all made by a man once obsessed by the actual direction of how the fabric decided to fall.
The patterns that he made were like small peices of art, carefully created in symbiosis with the actual fabric. One question I can imagine he constantly asked himself was ”If I choose to make a dart manipulation here, what will then happen over there?” and it’s obvious that this man felt the soul in each and every material that he ever worked with.
It’s funny how some people just can´t get enough of the technical heart of pattern making and I really love this quote from him:
”Any design put out by a top couturier is a blueprint which records a structure from which an infinite number of garments can be evolved”
That, I find, is so true and I love how our imagination, most of the time, keeps limitations out of the way!
So…. The gingerbread is back, happy to give us all that christmas feeling that makes the butterflies start moving in our bodies. Christmas has a tendency to make us start talking about family, love and belonging and that is all beautiful and lovely…. but it also comes with a…. risk.
See, with that longing for lovelyness…. the pressure is sorta´ ON:). ”Let´s just have the best christmas ever this year” or ”This time I´m going to enjoy christmas big time and I will NOT be annoyed by any of my loud relatives.” or ”This year I´m not going to allow any of that stress that sneaks upon me during December”……
Well WO..oO…W peeps, let´s just relax for a moment here. I think that after falling into these christmas holiday traps maybe one too many times (Like I have myself), the best way to meet and greet christmas is actually to allow yourself to………
Yes, simple as that:) before rushing into the hysteria of December ask yourself – What is it really that I want? (and I´m not talking about christmas gifts here:) Ask yourself - What do I really long for? Maybe it doesn´t have to be so complicated. Maybe it really doesn´t have to include the malls in rush hour at all….
So, based on that, this is what I really would like my sparkling December to be about:
- Spend time with my friends, my kids and my lovely man.
- Experience the wonderful smell of ginger, cinnamon, saffron and christmas trees as much as I can.
- Have a nice cup of chai or green tea in the mornings with a little quiet ”me-time”, with no people around.
Truthfully, that is all I need. That´ll make christmas come singing to me with jinglebells and chocolates without the crazyness that has become far too familiar. And yes, before getting all too comfortable and happy, let´s look at the obvious christmas questions:
- But don´t I have to clean my house extra perfectly this year just because there are people coming over for Christmas? ….No, not really. They are here to see us, not to inspect us:)
- But don´t I have to find the perfect gifts for everyone that´s coming?....... No, not really. They are here to see us, not collect new thing they don´t know where to put in their already overfilled homes:)
- But don´t I have to plan for everything to work out perfectly smooth?..... No, not really. They are here to see us, and do not expect a guided tour in the the name of the Queen with perfect timing and scones:)
(And if they do, go with this: ”I´m sorry – wrong house I´m afraid. Try the neighbours down the road, they love the social experience of meeting new people.)
So what would I gain from giving up these christmas traditions of insanity?
Well, let´s see….for starters -
And if that´s not enough, some lovely breathing space. Some self love. And best of all is that I will actually be able to be present when Santa comes knocking on the door, and…..
is really all that matters since that is where the real human experience lies. That is all we people have when it comes down to it.
So that just leaves it to one more thing……
…..and PS. The little gingerbreadhouse on the pic - I made it with my kids yesterday. So incredible romantic and sweet, yes:) But not without tension:) And guess what? I embrace the tension as part of the human experience, I also embrace all the love that was put into that little house. And in the end we were a bunch of tired but happy folks admiring our work of art, but agreed laughing that we will probably not make another one for a long long time. Instead we will be focusing on eating it:)
When I was a little girl the walls in my bedroom were covered in white wallpaper that had millions of baby-blue roses printed on it. I still get all excited when I see a similar print that reminds me of that little bubble of childhood.
Here it showed up on the sidewalk in Brooklyn, dirty and broken and just waiting for me to see it. Thank you sweet little napkin, for taking me back in a heartbeat:)
I would love to make "Olga skirt" in a beautiful white summer cotton with blue roses and blue ribbons! Wouldn't that be swell?
Thank you for all the great comments about the book I wrote about last week and
Congrats Petra! You got it!
Remember to email me your address and I´ll send you the book!
Books about how to dye fabric seem to be a bit rare.... Especially if it's about how to dye it with food....:) You might think this kind of activity belongs to the 70's hippie culture….but NO, NO peeps! This is very much indeed:) an important skill to pay a little extra attention to, since this is great news for big mama earth.
So come away with me to color land!
Most of us know by now, that the clothes we are wearing are often filled with ”not so yummy” things, as a result of the chemicals that are used in the fashion industry.
Here is a girl that knows how to avoid that!
Lina Sofia Lundin actually became so fired up by the fact that it's actually possible to dye textiles in ways that don´t have the same bad impact on the environment as the traditional fashion industry methods, so she went all the way to the foot of Himalayas in the Kumaon-region to work at a dye house! There she was taught everything there is to know about natural methods of how to make your clothes beautifully colourful. As a result this inspiring book was created to teach the rest of us how red onions can make your fabric green and red cabbage can make it pink, purple or turquoise.
I’ve seen this girl in action and let me tell you that when she starts experimenting with colors in her big chunky jars, you will see how Passion and Einstein end up in a big, beautiful symphony of messyness.
This is a lovely ”DIY” book with recepies for different colors to make from whatever you have in your kitchen at the moment. And listen, if you don´t wanna' dye anything, it is just really nice to just browse through the book accompanied with a cup of hot coco and get inspired of all the fabric samples.
You want it? Make a comment below and let me know if you would dare to try this in your own kitchen! What colour would you like to make? I´ll draw a name from a hat next week!
Have you ever thought of the handles made out of ribbon, that decorate most paper bags? Can you believe what a waste it is to just toss them out!
I´d say - let’s make something out of them instead!
I really love to make little things like this out of materials that are just so forgotten! And Hey – make sure not to pay too much attention to the exact proper way they should be made. The trick is NOT to think too much about it:), and just let go of the pressure to make it perfect.
Let’s just take one or two ribbons from a bag, fold, wrinkle or make knots in your own intuitive and uneven way. Let it be a little crooked and add a pearl or a button to honor the imperfection. Make sure to have a needle and thread ready so you can sew a few stitches through it all when you and your hands are happy with how it looks. Done! Now it is ready to attache to a safety pin or directly to where ever you want it!
This is a really nice christmas gift for gran´ or your friends. Handmade with love are the best gifts!
And don´t forget to reward yourself with a poem and a lovely cup of chai…..
So whenever I hear this song, my heart starts to beat a little faster. It just makes me so happy. I really like the song, but it is the story behind that makes it all so wonderful. That´s why I payed a little tribute to this guy in my first book:)
The story goes:
Mike, a passionate Dj really loves the Beastie Boys. Of course his big dream is to make some music with them. Somehow he gets hold of one of the guys´ phonenumber. He dials the number and waits. It keeps ringing and ringning, but unfortinately it ends up going to the answering machine. After several tries, he comes up with the idea to just do his ”Tweak Scratch”-thing on the machine, ok:) and that results in a great song with guess who……. yes, that´s right!
Yesterday when I was looking through some old ”work in progress” material, I found this yellow symphony. This material later ended up in a collage that I made for my second sewing book. It turned out slightly different as you see with all the red and pink and obviously not much yellow left….
This made me think about a teachers conferens that I was attending last week. I was there to talk about the TV-show mentioned below, and there were these 200 really sweet and creative handycraft teachers sitting there listening and craving input in their everyday teaching. I find it so interesting that this school subject doesn´t have more credability among parents, the government or even the students than it actually has.
I mean, it really intergrates math, problem solving and creativity in a fun and playful way. But more importantly working with your hands is such a beautiful way to get in contact with the real you and THAT is something that´s needed more than ever in the world today. You learn to start somewhere and later end up somewhere else and be fine with the change of direction.
Just like the journeys we take in real life. First it´s all yellow:) and then it somehow becomes more important with pink and red:) I just love it! Slow breath, Creativity and Play give us peeps the Good vibrations!
I just can´t say it better that Marky Mark would back in 1991…. so……. C´mon, C´mon! Feel it! Feel it!
”Jenny, C´mon, it is sooo easy. This is the first time ever for me, look how easy it is! Please try it! ”
Frida kept pulling my arm, like there actually was a realistic plan to get me on the skateboard. Like there were absolutely no risks at all – What so ever!
Now we were, beleive it or not, not there to skate. This was only a little 10 minute break to get some fresh air in the school yard. Frida was there as one of 8 beautiful and creative kids (some that had hardly ever sewn at all) to team up with a classroom full of fabrics, ribbons and buttons, 10 sewing machines and me as their cheerleader! Plus a bunch of film cameras?!? This resulted in 8 episodes of a tv-show called ”Sew, Sew, Sew!” that will start to air next week on SVT (Swedish television) and I really hope it will open peeps eyes for how great it is when you dare to dive right in to new creative adventures that you have never tried before. It might just not always go as you planned, but that is just a natural part of the creative process! Right?!
Now back to the skateboards - I love skateboards, really. But only to look at:) and I see them as small pieces of art.
I really like this amazingly pretty skateboard that I spotted last summer. Such an 80ies color treat, right?
That would have looked really nice just hanging on my wall….:)
And also love the fact that it is called Penny:) that rhymes with Jenny:) Yay!
When I hear the word “Earth”, three things come to my mind.
First I think: “Oh, I just LOVE the earth, the earth is yummy and I want to take care of it!”
The second thing I think about is (this point is totally irrellevant): a scen with Carrie Bradshaw and Matthew McConaughey where he pronounce the word “Earth” like he is wearing birkenstocks… like I said – totally irrelevant but I can´t help it:) so here it is: www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIWt4dkZ_Q8.
The third thing I think about is a person - Polly Higgins.
This is how Polly describes herself: “I am someone who cares deeply about the earth. I am also a lawyer who loves the earth. It is not often lawyers talk about love - and it can feel strange to do so. However, I believe love and law can be brought together and when the two meet, the potential to create new laws that put people and planet first is born.”
I met Peggy last spring when she came to Stockholm to speak about her journey and thoughts. Check this chick out! I just love when people have ideas that rock the world! www.youtube.com/embed/8EuxYzQ65H4
As a testrun for the TV show I´ve been working on, which I will tell you more about in a few weeks, the producers of the show gathered a small group of teens to sew for a day. I just love working with teenagers:) They are so adorable, lost in space, focused, still unfocused and so busy growing….. It is such a treat to just hang around them:) and listen to what they are thinking and how they see the world.
The assignment for this particular day was for them to sew a case for their cell phones:) and they really worked their little butts off:) Look how pretty their work turned out! And they were so happy and proud looking when trying their new cases on their phones for the first time:)
Look what I found in my inbox the other day! So beautiful! Tiffany top from my second book. The top is made by Sara Blomstrand. Well done girl! Love the Swedish forest in the background as well:).
There is something special with being proud of yourself and what you´ve accomplished. It´s really strengthening both for the person that´s being proud of course, but also for the people around him or her. Cause if you listen carefully you´ll hear the most beautiful music coming from a proud person. And if you are open for it you can just tag along and get a free ride of a real power boost! I promise you!
Also got this supersweet email a while ago that just melted my heart! This is what I´m talking about people:)! Be proud!
I just want to thank you for the joy and inspiration your book is giving me. I am a DIY girl, but I have never dared to, or even considered to sew my own clothes. When I saw that you had published a book with your gorgeous creations I made sure to get it right away and now I have a new hobby in my life!
It is not always easy and it certainly doesn´t come out perfect but with your wise advise in the back of my head it´s really so much fun! Even when I´m at work I can´t wait to get home and continue to sew!
So thank you for giving me my new found passion. It´s going to be with great pride I am going to wear my new clothes. I hope you will publish a sequel soon!”
So great to be back after a long beautiful summer. I hope you all got the chance to rest and energize for a brand new fall. The good thing about new seasons is that even though you happen to be a little tired, it is still nice to be able to see every season as a new beginning.
It´s obvious that fall is here since rain is now part of everyday life, but Hey:) rain really is fabulous! Ok, I know, I know. It makes your hair frizzy and all that. But what's more important is that it really just calms you down and creates space for thought. Personally I just love it:) especially since no one else wants to go out, so you get the streets all for yourself:)
Is this talk all too positive? I´m sorry:), lets just move forward to some fun nutty fashion instead.
A few weeks ago in New York I stumbled upon this interesting flyer:)
I really love the tv-show ”Girls” so this of course made me rearrange my schedule.
There are so many reasons why I like ”Girls” and one quite irrelevant reason is Lena Dunham's choice of clothing for the leading role Hannah. I just love how the character gives you the feel that she wears whatever the hell she likes to wear and boy doesn´t she just kick ass with that attitude. I always find it so inspiring when clothing comes in second place after Attitude. The message of ”I have the right to be here” is so much bigger than any dress could ever be.
Hannah certainly makes the fine line between not having a clue of what you are doing with fashion and be right on the spot a bit blurry and confusing:). And oh my gawwdd, how truly inspiring that is!
Because isn´t it interesting that as soon as you starts having any kind of doubt about what you are going to wear, your body immediately starts talking that doubtful language and the dress you are wearing will suddenly no longer look as good as it did fifteen minutes ago. BUT this mechanism also works the other way around, like if you decide to wear something really weird and totally insane, it will look fab as long as you carry it with confidence. (I don´t know about Lady Gaga's meat-dress though, but I would say this works most of the time anyway:).)
I am sure you all have had the experience of meeting someone that just can wear anything and still look awesome. Maybe you have thought to yourself – ”I could never wear that!” or “How… what….. what is that weird old plastic, ripped potato-sack like dress? Is that even a piece of clothing?” and the next thing you find yourself thinking is: ”I would really, REALLY like one of those.”
Well as I am sure you understand - it is not the dress you want, it is of course the Attitude:)
But beware folks! I am not talking about a loud, cocky attitude here, like the attitude of a punkrockstar that obviously is desperate for your attention.
No, no….the attitude we are talking about is low key… yes:) that´s right. This is a subtle coooolness that is all about knowing who you are, what you want and not being ashamed of standing up for yourself and your right to excist. THAT is what counts. And working hard on THAT instead of finding the perfect dress is a very good recipe for a lovely day. Because when that confidence shows, ANY dress will look so good on you!
Anyway:) - It was a great treat to get a chance to see Lena Dunham working real hard in the little producers-tent:) out in the streets of New York and I can´t wait for the next season of Girls!
Here is a short interview about Hannahs choice of fashion:
Now it is time for a little break! Thank you so much you creative and lovely readers! I am now going to embark on a big work project and then I am off for the summer holidays filled with smoothies and rest. Yum!
I will be back at the end of august with new big and small creative adventures to share with you and would love to meet up here again!
I hope you have been as inspired here on the blog this spring as I have by all of you. Thank you so much for all of your emails and comments. You really make my days warm and fuzzy with your love. So really - Thank you!
For me a blog like this becomes a beautiful way of speaking the language of creativity but it is also such an inspiring way of communicating with other creative souls. I wish you the best of summers and that it will be just as long and magical as in the eyes of an eight year old! Love!
If you want to make sure not to miss when I am back, please sign up with your email here and I will let you know as soon as the blog is alive and kicking!
Last summer when we were shooting my book ”Urban collection” in New York, I had an idea of making one of the collages in the book with newspapers as the background. One morning when running around looking for locations in chinatown for the shoot, I stumbled upon a news stand with several chinese newpapers - all looking really interesting to me, well purely from a visual point of view, since my chinese is not that fluent :)
I just loved the look on the chinese man's face when I stood there looking at each and every paper as if I was reading the headlines and trying to choose which one I would buy to read together with my morning coffee.
Finally I picked one out and asked him for how much it was. He just pointed to the sign of 50 c and kept staring at me as if I was completely insane.
- "Nihow" I said and walked away with a chinese giggle trying to break free:)
Unfortinately I never had the chance to make that collage since there was other collages that became more important. BUT the other day I got so inspired by my fellow blogger Willowday that had made clothes out of paper for her kids and I thought that NOW it is that little chinese newspapers turn to come alive. Poor little thing, just been lying on a shelf for a whole year now!
So - before you recycle your newspaper, think about this: You can save a lot of money just by NOT buying yourself a new purse for the event of the evening!
Find the prettiest page in the newspaper, use double layers for stability, fold for bottom, fold for cover, use some colorful tape on the sides and as decoration and you are ready for some serious disco dancing!
Who could have guessed 15 years ago that in the 20th century one could rent everyday clothes instead of buying them?
One sunny afternoon I decided to go and see what this was all about. I took the train out to the suburbs of Stockholm and found a little pop-up store filled with people. The vibe was really cool, friendly and fresh and no signs of that ruff and smelly second hand store I had prepared myself to meet:) But then, this is not a regular second hand shop, oh no baby. This is a library for fashion and is called “Borrow wardrobe”. www.lanegarderoben.se
This is how it works:
You stroll around as in a normal shop, find something you like, try it on and decide you want it! But then instead of buying it, you borrow it - just like you would go to the library and borrow a book!
The concept is based on the idea that you could renew your wardrobe without needing to go out and buy something new! Saves the planet and your wallet stays filled with all your juicy money:)
It all started 5 years ago with the Artist Lina Sofia Lundin. She says:
“Back in 2009 I was so tired of the mass consumption of clothes that surrounded me and there was really no debate about clothing and it´s connection to the environment. During an art festival in Sweden, I decided to offer clothes as something people could borrow and later return when they were done wearing it. This interactive performance project later became the “Borrow wardrobe” and has ever since been supported by a small group of dedicated people in Stockholm.”
I love this and it is such an innovative way of thinking to let one piece of clothing be worn as many times as possible during it´s “lifetime”, that is usually SO much longer than what we usually think. Because it is not when we are tired of the item that its life is over, right? No, it is actually when it is really worn out. One could also say that a piece of clothing should not have to be buried until it is really dead:)
Pieces from the “Borrow wardrobe” have been lent out for weddings in Paris, Nobel Prize awards, dinners and just ordinary gray days in Sweden. Today you are able to borrow a piece of clothing for 10 dollars and keep it for several months before you return it. You can choose from vintage and second hand pieces, but also choose from brand new items that are being donated from well reputated Swedish brands that wants to contribute to this movement for example Filippa K, J.Lindeberg, Nudie Jeans Co and Uniforms for the dedicated.
I asked Lina Sofia what has been the most fun working with this project but also what has been the hardest.
“The most fun has been to realize that it actually works with “Collaborative consumption”, to share clothing with others. We get so many positive reactions from our customers. The hardest part has been the administration of it all. Trying to find solutions for the fact that you're dealing with clothing and not books that we are lending out to people, since the items have to get cleaned, ironed and so on. But with every item you borrow, there is a instruction that comes with it, to make it easier with washing and care.”
Today the interest is big for this movement and you can find clothing librarys in several other Swedish cities but also in the UK, France, Denmark and Finland.
I really think this is a planet-player for the future, don´t you? Would you dare to try? It is such a lovely alternative for those who love fashion but still don't want to buy new stuff.
Do you know of more stores like this? Please comment below and share it with the world:)!
Well, that´s right…. I was just walking down the avenue and what does my right eye spot? (my artistic eye that is)
Lovely, flowing, honest neon pink grafitti. And me, being such a sucker for neon pink grafitti….. Moving closer and BOOM!!! – Can´t wait to make something out of this!
Imagine this image on a t-shirt or just paint it all over a grey skirt.
Let´s go surfing now, everybody surfing now…… I´m on fire!
Twin sisters Nelly and Nelsa Guambe from Maputo, Mozambique are going to make you smile and feel your heart open up a little extra, I´ll tell you that.
These girls makes fashion feel fresh, creative and so very kind to the planet.
A few years ago they ran into the Swedish designer Amanda Ericsson, who was working on a remake-dress-project in Maputo. The sisters were invited to participate in a workshop where they were taught to take old dresses and make them into something new. A little dream started to grow within them and eventually they started their own brand “Mima-te” on the side of their regular jobs and are now slowly developing their own business. www.mimate-maputo.com/?page_id=13
“It is not just about looking good, it is about being good to the environment” they say and all I can say is:
If you want to get inspired and have a little smile hanging on to your face for the rest of the day – see these three short videos and follow their process.
A few weeks ago I had the most surreal experience. I am currently working on a Swedish Tv - project and had to sign a contract concerning certain rights and other necessities. When I got the contract in my hands I realized that this must go through an attorney since - Hey - I am not a lawyer! So there you go. I made a few calls and ended up with a recommendation of a guy with a great reputation that seamed like the perfect fit for the project.
We made an appointment at what I thought was his office and it all seemed fine. When the day came to meet I dressed up a little, since that is what we people are suppose to do when we meet someone this important and serious, right? I had never really been in the area of the address that he had given me, in fact I did not even recognize the address at all. So I decided to take a cab. Getting closer to the destination it all seemed very wrong and the taxi driver ended up just parking and looking at the map forever. He could not figure the address out and neither could I. I even tried to call my lovely husband asking him to check google maps on a computer but it just did not make sense.
It all got to the point where I was running late and I just had to take a chance.
The taxi driver dropped me off on a huge quiet square, surrounded by large beautiful buildings and it felt like I was in no-man's land. No cars, no city noise, just a few stylish business people rushing by in high heels or with a super serious brief case looking very determined. I looked for the right number on the buildings that looked more like small castles than anything and after a few minutes that felt like hours, I ended up standing in front of two suspicious looking guys.
-Hey, excuse me, I said – do you know where number 3 is?
-Yeah, one of them said with a friendly smile, and directed me into some sort of gate made of old red bricks, just like an arched castle gate.
I hesitated a little before I went through but ”Heeall, I was in a hurry” so I headed towards the huge building that was hiding behind the gate way. Well, to say it was a regular building is really an understatement. It was more like an old tower or castle totally hidden from the rest of the world. I desperately tried to find an entrance but it seemed impossible. No door was to be seen and no humans either.
Finally I spotted a handle on the wall and as soon as I put my hand on it - Sim-sala-bim! The door opened! Carefully I stumbled inside and found myself in a huge stonewall basement – cellar – castle entrance sorta thing, with an enormous meandering staircase disappearing in circles far far above me. Still not a human being to be seen.
-Hello-o? I said quietly, anyone there?
It all started to get a little scary. Where the hell was I?
Suddenly a young tall guy came rushing by so I said, or rather yelled, with a voice that started to sound a little desperate at this point, and maybe a little broken as well:
-Excuse me, is there an elevator somewhere here? my voice was followed by an echo.
-Yeah, come with me he said, and disappeared along one of the many many gates.
I hurriedly followed him towards a dark narrow corner and found myself walking into an extremely super tiny little elevator with this strange guy, in this cold scary castle. The only thing I could think was: Help me lord!
Happily I was alright when the elevator stopped and when I then stepped out, it was like coming into office-paradise! Let me tell you ”I was not in Kansas anymore”. www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIaN9Koa9oM
Cool music was playing, amazing beautiful people walking around looking like they were shooting a Hollywood scene and in the middle of it all there was this tall woman looking at me, smiling and said with the smoothest voice ever:
-Can I help you?
-Ah…..Yes, I ……..I…….
There was a short awkward moment of stuttering until I was ready to tell her what I was there to do and she showed me to an area to wait for my meeting.
The waiting area was like a huge ballroom with high ceiling, furnished with rusty old french chairs and lamps mixed with beautiful green and pink rococo sofas and tables. Food everywhere to taste, a private coffee bar, super hot photos on the wall of Nirvana, Woody Allen and other talents.
-Help yourself she said and left.
And I sure did, hoping that my meeting would be postponed for several hours. For this - I had all the time in the world :)
It turnes out that I was not at the lawyer's office after all. I was at a film studio, since the lawyer that was suppose to help me, had just switched jobs and was now the CEO of this surreal place. But since I was the friend of a friend he agreed to help me anyway. Lucky me:)
I of course got really great help with what I needed and walked away happy to have entered into John Malkovich's head just for this once. Sort of a floor 7,5 moment an ordinary Friday, but just with a little bit more glaaams, if you know what I mean:) www.youtube.com/watch?v=icysehz-OVc
And Hey - Did you ever have this kind of surreal moment? I would love to hear about it! Please tell me below in the comments. Don´t you just love these kinds of moments when an ordinary day turns into something unexpected and fun! Great inspiration!
Time to check if you have all the summer skirts you need now that summer is around the corner. Maybe you can remake something you just never wear or just use some of that old fabric that has been lying in your cupboard forever!
Zoey skirt, from my first book, is the perfect summer skirt with it´s generous amount of fabric. Here with flowers, black lace and bicycles, ready for a picnic in the grass or a little summer cocktail party. It is really a playful style since the outcome becomes totally different depending on the fabric you choose!
Like during winter time when it is a little bit chilly, you can easily make it in wool or any other heavy material.
Fits your hips like nothing else and just screams for you to try it out:)
Ps. Congrats Fern:)You won the book! Please email me your address and I´ll send you the book!
I am so happy to do some spring cleaning, air my house and try to clean out the shelves and cubboards that are a bit too filled with so much stuff! Doing that I realized that I had a small pile of my first book. So I’m giving one away for you guys (it is written in Swedish, but it really does not matter if you don’t speak Swedish, you can easily sew it all anyway using the patterns and get inspired by all images)! It is perfect since it is soon mother’s day so give it to yo mama or just keep it for your self! Write below in the comments and I´ll draw a name out of a hat next week!
Here is a short ”making of the book- video” from making that first book. It was such a sunny wonderful spring day filled with a lot of funny moments! So sweet when the model in the end missed a button on the dress and had to redo it all:) and that is pretty much how thrilling it gets in the fashion business:)
Got this for one of my best friends last summer in Nyc and wanted to share it with you as well. It is a diary/poetry book called ”I am her” written and illustrated by two women: M.H. Clark and Heidi E. Rodriguez and is such a beautiful celebration of life, the now and you:). If you want to surprise a friend or just be a little extra kind to yourself:) as I was of course:) - find it here: www.amazon.com/I-Am-Her-M-H-Clark/dp/1935414038
Look what Danish reader Camilla Plambeck made! A Grace top (Urban collection) with jersey and a liberty cotton. So pretty! One can really hear this sweater calling for lovely summernights! www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kr0tTbTbmVA
Also find this video we made last summer while shooting the book in Nyc. (our sweet model talks about her sewing skills)
It is so lovely to see all the snow melting away and the spring trying to make it´s way. I am really longing for warmer days:) and can´t wait for the colors of the spring to come visit me.
Meanwhile I just have to seek for flowers elsewhere, like in cubbords filled with porcelain. Aren´t this the most beutiful spring buquets?
Great inspiration for flowers of fabric to put on your jacket, skirt or bag!
Baggy for lovely aircondition and a hoodie for a nice and privat nap in the stroller:)
This is the best, BEST outfit for a little toddler! Make it your self with patterns from my latest book “Urban collection”! www.jennyhellstrom.com/books/sy-urban-collection
And even if you do not read Swedish, you can still use all the patterns if you have just a little experience of sewing and you can of course also let yourself get inspired of all the images in the book!!! Remember - Art has no language:)
I really love when you guys are making your own designs based on my patterns!
Here is a girl that loves the rockabilly style and look what she made out of the pattern “Audrey fake fur jacket” (same book as above).
Let´s get into your own flow! One can really play with all the patterns in eternity as you see here:) Yay!
I read a great interview with the french artist Nathalie Lete in Flow which by the way is a lovely magazine! Go check it out! I love when people say that their art does not have to be perfect. It is all about the journey, the joy in a creative process that matters. Isn't that why we all are so drawn to making stuff? To be able to crash right into the love of creation over and over? You never know the exact outcome and isn't that just soooo thrilling:)?......see Nathalie's words below together with pics of the magazine.
To carry an entire collection from Stockholm to a photo shoot in New York can bring problems that you may not always anticipate. This time we had quite a lot of stuff to bring. We folded all the garments carefully and packed them as tight as we could together with all the accessories. Finally we managed to get them all down in a variety of hand luggage so as to avoid having to chase lost luggage at the airport when we arrived :)
The only thing I did not want to squeeze in a bag was the white fake fur, so I thought that we might as well just take it in a garment bag. But with all our bags we just didn't have room for one more carry-on for the fake fur jacket.
I would just simply have to wear it. Fine! – it was an insanly good looking jacket, but the only problem was that it was the month of July and 30 degrees Celsius HOT.....
But - what wouldn´t you do for art? So – I put on my clothes - a pair of comfortable boots, a t-shirt, colette baggy pants ....... And a white fake fur ..... It felt completely natural ...
A big pair of sunglasses came very handy. I strutted around on the airport as a first class pimp and every single person we met turned their heads around and whispred: "Who does she think she is ? Walking around like that, it's summer for crying out loud!"
When we boarded the plane, I had such a hard time keeping myself from laughing when I met peoples quizzical looks - they looked at me, looked right down at my shoes and let their gaze make its way up to the fake fur again. It was simply too much for some :)
"This one's on me!" I giggled to myself and snuggled up in my seat and fell asleep surrounded by clouds of white fluff. And by the way, it turned out to be the perfect jacket for a chilly air-conditioned airplane ride:)
Rainy Days in New York are just like rainy days anywhere, so how lucky that I really love rain :)
To sit like this in the window and dream myself away for a little while, listening to the beautiful noise of the city while the rain patters all around me, that is just really something. Love rain down on me, on me, down on me……..
Making a photo-shoot is a journey in itself. Lots of small details have to be prepared and need to fall into place. When the day has come and it's very very very:) early in the morning and everything gets rolling, there is no room for trouble. Structure is an advantage :) and I devote myself to detailed planning for many weeks ahead.
Locations are prepared in detail, what designs will be photographed and where, with what wall in the background and what about the belts and the shoes and the…. etc etc.
But even though I've done this hundreds of times, it's always a little nerve wracking since you can´t be in a 100 % in control of the big day. You never know what prank the cosmos has been planning for you :). It might start raining, the camera may brake or some other small interesting problem will accur that you will have to solve in a classy way:)
This particular day we brought the kids to the photoshoot ....... and guess what? That became the challenge of the day:)
'Mom, I'm hungry. Mom, I'm thirsty. Mommy, now I'm tired. Mom, when are we done? Mom, do you have scotch tape? '
But suddenly there was complete silence. Two small hands had cleverly managed to find my back pocket and the phone that I had there, which meant that now this little creature became the artist of the day just by pressing play on the videofunction. The result was an artistic little film of mummy, the wall and the sky. Small eyes see different things than the obvious. A graffiti wall is something completely different when you look really really close:) and how can you NOT look up when everything is so high? Calmness returned and we could keep working. Creativity = Love!
Love this t-shirt that I got many years ago in Miami. It is so worn out that I almost can´t wear it anymore, but I just can not get rid of it since the message is so lovely.
It is really wonderful to wear this symbol since it carries such great and strong energy. All about love and care for this earth!
Easy to paint on a t-shirt that you made your self or maybe on something old that has been hanging in your closet for too long:).
Print out the file below! Draw the lines with a pen before you start painting (when I made this one I cut out one of the arrows to be able to transfer the lines easier). Just let it be fun and relaxing and please do not care if it happens to become a little crooked, it is just life!
Loved the very moment when Sam the model finally put this grey top on for the photoshoot of the book!
Now, come on and make this top your self! Pattern and description are in in the book ”Urban Collection” and the top is called ”Grace”!
Thank you so much for all the wonderful descriptions of street glam!
I drew names out of a hat and the winner is - drum roll – Congratulations Christina!
I really like that we all have our own idea of what it means! Wonderful with for example Ebbas description: ' For me Street glam is not so much what you wear but a sence of who you are. Willful and non slave to trends.'
Or Anna: 'Good self-esteem and simple cuts combined with personal (sometimes playful) details.' And there were many more lovely descriptions too:).
Everyone who participated via email or below get a Jenny logobag as a comfort!
This weekend I was in Berlin and it was so cold that I was about to freeze to death. But it worked just fine being indoors, cuddling in cafés and going to museums! A friend had a giant party to celebrate his birthday and in the taxi on the way home, I took a lot of pictures from the taxi window. I like this one the most and love a little neon pink detail as the small light in the background. I´m thinking finish a black or rust-colored dress, pants or skirt with a neon pink zipper, a thin ribbon or some other small insignificant detail that in the end makes the whole garment!
Yesterday I got the real actual book! Yaaaay! This means that in a few days it will have reached the book stores! I am so excited to hear what you think!
I'm giving away the first book that I have here (language Swedish)! The only thing you need to do is to answer the question: What is street glam for you?
Email to email@example.com or just write below! The winner will be announced next week (week 5-2014)! Do not forget your addres!
Now I will go to Berlin for a few days and let myself get inspired!
If you can´t find the fabric you have in mind the only thing you can do is to make it yourself! A lovely little moment with the brush and voila! The collar of the blouse that is on the cover of my new book is born. And just a few days later we're among all the New Yorkers on Broadway while Samantha's strolling around wearing the petit blouse with the hand painted dots. Love is in the air!
The snow finally came:)……. I am so happy! Beautiful white snow flakes all over!
Love this light blue color together with both white and the rusty brown on the old bicycle basket. Light blue and brown has always been a beautiful combination and I am surprised one does not see it more often. Why not a lovely lightblue little t-shirt with big, brown uneven dots? I like!
10 years ago I was so tired of fixing my hair that I simply set the trimmer on 3 mm and shaved it off. It was such a liberating feeling and it really made me see myself a little bit differently. This song and video by Willow sort of makes me want to do it all over again:).
Let yourself get inspired of this creature and her lyrics, here only 11 years old……
During the summer my family and I always go to New York! We see friends and family and never cease to fall in love with this generous city. I could not think of a better place to do the photograph for my new book! It is a mecca of creativity packed with inspiration!
The book is filled with cool, comfy items that feel like you just put on your pajamas, but still look like a little party on two feet. I have picked out both old favorites from previous collections and added new treasures to create a diverse collection that is just as great to wear when chillin' in the couch at home as at a crowded cocktail party! You get 18 patterns that can be varied endlessly in the sizes XS- XXL.
Moreover, it is now time for the guys to sew! And if you have a little toddler at home do not miss out on the little hoodie and baggy pants!
For me, fashion is something that should be easy and fun. When it gets too serious, I fall asleep. And who wants to sleep when life is calling? Make your clothes as you want them to look and decide for yourself! Street glam is the way baby!
Thank you lovely readers for a wonderful year! I could never have dreamed that my book would be received with such great love! You have been so amazing everyone, and I wish with all my heart that this new year will be just as you wish.
I usually skip New Years resolutions but it sure is something special to step into the new year .... new calendar, new thoughts, new dreams. I will do my best to fill my new year with love, recycling and enjoyment and I so hope it will snow!
In January my new book ”SY! Urban collection” will come out and it takes place in my all time favourite city New York! It will be so exciting to finally, really soon be able to hold the first copy in my hands!
Welcome 2014! This is your year baby!
Bringing last week's caravan inspiration (see below) into my wardrobe, I might make one of these Coco skirt (page 26 in the book SY!...) for Christmas Eve!
Very fluffy of course and it must rustle so one can hear that it's a party! Then I am going to add a nice t-shirt to make it a little more realxed. Once I had a pale yellow t-shirt with caravans, my absolute favourite. I wonder where it is ........ I am going home to search for it right now!!!!!
Soft tones from an old gramophone coming through the late autumn night. On my way home I can not help but stop and wonder where it comes from?
French crackly music that seems written just for tonight. Is that really a small caravan in my neighborhood?
Lately I have felt such an urge to take a long trip to the countryside, get some real peace and quiet with forest all around me. But now I'm suddenly reminded of why it's not so bad to stay here in the big city. Because who can resist a Frenchcrêpe in the corner of my street, when the fall shimmers so beautifully?
”Flygande Crêperie” A French couple with a mobile small caravan kitchen makes crêpes while French music spill out into the night. I just love this! Contact them at: symbiolab.se
I know it's early, but I've already started playing Christmas music, lit candles and slowly started to feel the Christmas spirit!
I actually think that´s the best way to avoid any christmas stress. When you start to enjoy the christmas joy way ahead, you don´t have to experience that it is suddenly over and once again you find yourself exhausted and confused in a dusty corner behind the tree.
The Story of Snow White with illustrations by Benjamin Lacombe is so incredibly beautiful and the colors inspire to lovely Christmas dresses. Start to sew one already with Christmas music in the background and many many days left before it is christmas.
The other day, I ran across this original shop that sells locally grown, organic, biodynamic and wild plants in season. Lovely dried twigs or small bouquets that are really one of a kind and makes you think of a still forest. A little beautiful twig in a glass vase is the perfect gift to bring to any festive occation! Or why not a box of tea made from dried organic herbs? Love it!
Landet Järna, Hornsbruksgatan 24, Stockholm, Sweden
I am having the best time finishing my new book and in just a couple of weeks it will start to begin to look like a real book! I can´t deny that making a book comes with long working hours, but despite an intense autumn I have made sure to take one hour at a time. It's a really good way to not feel stressed out and it let´s me have time to enjoy the small precious moments that life offers since I do not have the big picture constantly in front of the retina. One thing at a time, that is really great stuff I´d say.
I love the fall and refuse to let it go unnoticed. At least one daily walk in rustling leaves is necessary. And if it's raining it makes it all even better!
Perfect for an autumn rain is this pretty rain jacket that Asa Pivard has sewn from the book! (https://gopplansdesign.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/regnkappa/)
I love to start the day with lovely movie endings! It´s the most effective medicine for general toughness or just for the silent darkness of winter that is now slowly coming closer. Unlimited doses for as long as you want and you will have a big smile that remains all day. Little moments like these remind me of the very unique creatures we all are, and how important it is to love and enjoy as much as we can, as often as possibly.
Despite the creative chaos that is raging in my head much of the day, I'm a big fan of orderliness!
It's so nice when all my work things are where they are suppose to be, since that also gives me a clear and restful mind.
I need a clean desk to put the computer on, I also need lots of practical and organized, yet beautiful boxes filled with my stuff and the walls around me need to be wallpapered with inspiring pictures so that I am reminded of my direction throughout the day.
It is really nice to be back home in Stockholm, to land at my little desk and let my thoughts park, just for a while!
Check out the girl on the Lower East Side and what a cute and crispy skirt she is wearing, matched with funny light pink step shoes! Love the combo with all the tattoos as well!
Pretty floral fabric with cotton lace is perfect for Olga skirt in my book! Add one or two extra ruffles and wear it with a pair of heavy Dr Martens, heavy knitted stockings and long wool socks to welcome the coming fall!
When you go out to buy groceries, you will of course put on your finest blouse, accompanied by something floral! Importantly, of course, is that the cap matches and for God's sake do not forget your umbrella, the stroller for your groceries and a couple of really comfortable shoes!
This little old lady on the Lower East Side had really thought of everything. Shortly thereafter, her husband arrived and off they strolled - hand in hand.
Little old women in patterned clothes make me all warm and filled with love, especially if they have matched their entire outfit! The ladies here in New York are easy on the eye and so inspiring! The other day I saw a really old lady who was out having coffee with her girlfriends and the glasses she wore were so extremely large that I almost stumbled over them! That had been a great photo!
On my hunt for fabric here in New York I wanted to find fabric boutiques that were located elsewhere than just in the Garment district, which I wrote about last week.
At 359 Broadway just a few blocks south of Canal Street in Tribeca, is P & S Fabrics that has been in the area for 30 years. It's more like a large outlet with all sorts of fabrics and accessories. The concept of organization can not be found here though. Rather total chaos, shelves and drawers where ever you look. If you are lucky, you might find something really nice or leave there completely exhausted by the colossal calamity. Personally, I have been in much more charming chaotic fabric stores in my time, but who knows, maybe you'll find the dream fabric here! Remember however, that they are not open Friday afternoon or Saturday because of the Sabbath. Just next door is a bizarre warehouse also filled with fabrics, but where they might try to cheat you if given the chance - so beware and be prepared to bargain!
On the lower east side you'll also find a lot of fabric stores. Over the years this area has served as an alternative low-cost area for fabrics as a complement to the garment district on 7th Avenue. However, I found mainly upholstery fabrics here, so if you are looking to dress yourself and not a couch maybe it's better to instead take a nice break and have a really nice coffee at Everyman Espresso (West Broadway / Canal street.). You will not be disappointed!
To return to the garment district on 7th ave, both Mood Fabrics on W. 37th Street, 3rd floor http:/www.moodfabrics.com and B & J Fabrics 525 Seventh Ave, 2nd floor are renowned shops to check out!
Today I went up to the garment district here in NYC to find some nice shops to add to the list of fabric shops listed on this site. I had about 3 hours to lose myself in the magical world of fabrics. I can say that the notion of time disappeared from my mind as soon as I entered the first store on my list, M & J Trimmings, a ribbon and button store that's existed since the 40's. Here I perused up and down the shelves for what eventually turned out to be more than 3 hours and I could easily have spent the whole day here! I heartily recommend to go to this wonderful store the next time you're in NYC! There are many more shops of the same kind in the area, but this is without doubt the best one! I love the fact that here in New York so many of the trimming & fabric stores are gathered in a concentrated area that for many decades have served the fashion industry. The area is called The Garment District and here you can find just about anything that has to do with fashion. It is located between 6th and 7th avenue on 35-38th street. 7th avenue is often called The Fashion Avenue. There is so much more to discover if you are excited about this and I can promise you will not get bored!
When I step over the threshold of Anthropology on West Broadway I magically pass into the Alice in Wonderland world. I love to mosey around in here and admire the never ending and inspiring plethora of things from around the world. Never leave NYC without first visiting Anthropology!
Look what a fancy sash I made for Ella dress in my book! Super Easy! It is just 2 ribbons that you sew on top of each other and snaps in the back with a simple snap button. Then fold a bow French style and just like that, you´re done!
Now I´m going to New York City on thrilling adventures! Jiiihoooooooo! I´ll be blogging from there during August!
The comments function is now working again! Thank´s for letting me know!
A really nice day at the office starts with me making a big cup of green tea while I wait for the computer to wake up. Then when I go through the day's email and one of them happens to be from one of you, crammed with pictures of the most beautiful creations one can imagine, made from my book! – It makes me so happy! Here is pics from Ebba who sews and sews and sews!
Many pieces of clothing that we wear today were created way back in history. However, despite intensive research no one has been able to determine the origin of the baggy pant. Until today!
It was long thought that it was derived from the traditional Harem pant. But the truth was closer than you might have imagined. This morning when I took my daily walk in the village, I stood suddenly face to face with a real farmer's butt. Who would have thought that a farmer's bottom would inspire the entire fashion world. An archaeological mystery is finally solved.
Now it is time for me to take a trip out to the countryside straight into the woods! It´s going to be so cozy! Of course Leone jacket from the book will be my companion on the journey, in a mossy green cottonfabric with the text blueberries embroidered on one sleeve. And when the mosquitoes begin to tease I will just pull up the collar real high!
It would be so great if I also could find a pair of old pants like yours in my grandpa’s attic ... said one of my newfound friends and glanced languishing at my gray grungy baggy pants. I was 18 and had just moved out. New city. New school. And of course, clothes was on the schedule. But I had no idea what she was talking about. My grandfather? Old? I had made these pants myself. I had even designed the pattern myself without knowing a thing about how to make patterns. I thought it couldn’t be that hard… just to draw a bit on a big piece of paper? I tried to copy the shape of an old and comfy pair of pants. Of course it wound up being a little crooked but I didn’t care. The end result was apparently so good that they would have caused quite the ruckus back in my grandpa’s day!
Cotton has always been one of my favorite materials. Especially when it's really thin and delicate. You can make summer skirts that are light and cool but at the same time use a lot of fabric. It is wonderful to have many layers on top of each other, make high waists with a million wrinkles or just finish the bottom edge with both wide and thin ruffles. Or why not just mix many ruffles in a wide variety and numbers and just let it be a little helter-skelter over summery bare legs. I love it when the different layers are cut in different heights so that each layer is visible. It's even better if a few have a raw edge. It becomes so crispy and alive! On top of that you put lace or ribbons a bit above and along the edges and that make the layers come through even more. The skirt can be uniformly black with lots of black details as stitchings, ribbons and laces or you just make a full color explosion of it and mix everything you come across. A chaotic summer skirt like that looks great together with a black top and shoes! The summer is on!
A boy is moving slowly. All eyes on him. His gaze is down and it almost looks like he is crying. His feet drag him up the little stairs leading to the stage. It is Cabaret, and he is alone. The whole school is there and everyone is waiting. Real Slow he moves in a circle, still looking down. He strokes his eyes with the back of his hand, just as if he wipes off a tear.
Suddenly he is not alone anymore. Now it´s him and a beat. A heavy beat that finds its way out of the speakers. He stands perfectly still. Waiting. Just like us. Soon his body explodes to the beat that just made him company. They are one and together they become a breakdance number without equal. He is 11 and owns the whole stage. I wish I would have filmed it.
But the song that he danced to is almost as good as he was so here it is. Real passion in a skillet.
If you still doubt the fact that it is really really cool to make your own clothes… well, rent this adorable movie and please start to beleive.
Molly Ringwald plays a cool teen girl that lives with her dad in a small house in a not so fashionable area. Because of her unemployed fathers poor economy she has to sew her own clothes. Very very cool! And can you believe that hat?! These are precious gifts from the 80ies……
Beautiful pictures that lure you into the land of dreams. The illustrations of Florence Sarah Winship makes you forget that you no longer are a child. For a little while I walk straight into the story of my childhood. florence sarah winship
If you don´t have any plans for this coming weekend, this might be something of interest? Dream away and get inspired. Here are a whole bunch of fabric shops, both actual stores and web stores. And THANK YOU! for all the great tips that I have received from you! The idea is to keep this list alive, so I would love if you would keep sharing with me! From anywhere in the world!
Creative chaos is something I think one should cherish tenderly! Stuff scattered everywhere in every little nook, inspiring magazine clippings taped to the wall mixed with words, old photos and strange undifined things.
A lot of what is randomly pasted up on the wall may seem completely insignificant to a passerby, while for the one who put it there it really kicks off the adrenaline system and makes the butterflies start dancing in the belly. All it takes is one look at that incomprehensible mess on the wall and you´re swoosched right into your own sweet heart. Suddenly you sit there in the middle of fabrics, sentences, words or paint.
You just know that you are on the right track, that the ticket in your hand has the right destination. Like destination unknown. It is all about daring to stay in that moment....not really knowing how the outcome will turn out… Questions like: Is this really right? Should I have chosen another material? will start popping up, but you don´t care....instead you start enjoying the fact of not knowing.
Of course, it can also be incredibly annoying not to be in total control, I'm the first to admit that, but for the most part, if I just allow myself to be swept away, I really love that feeling of just following the little invisible thread that whispers to me and dares me to have confidence in my own process.
So ..... you get an idea ..... Then you have to try it out. It can be about a particular fabric, a color combo or maybe you find an old skirt in the wardrobe that you turn into a strapless summer dress. Then there are other ideas… Like you get a real strong need to try out that wig you bought last summer, to see if it matches the new mustache collection. That is actually an important task. I call it the warehouse inventory. There is actually a law that says that you HAVE to do warehouse inventory on a regular basis. So I´m just following the law.
Can you believe how good I would have fitted in this video. I would have been so awesome looking in my wig and criminal attitude! Then I would have borrowed dad's petrol blue corduroy suit from 1977. What a beauty! Imagine that, and then add all my inner beauty….. can I just say…..Wow! www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rRZdiu1UE
A question I often get is if I regret that I stopped producing clothes back in 2008. And the great thing is that I really never have. It was simply time for me to do something else. I had been one with my company and my collections since I was 19 years old. It was time for new adventures and dreams. Since my company had been a big part of my life for so many years, it was obviously very scary. But I knew despite shaky legs that it was the right decision.
But then there was that raincoat..... A coat that I designed the last season and never actually got to see finished! A pastel pink raincoat with large, red strawberries all over and a green, long and wide shoe lace in the hood! Even today, I find myself daydreaming about that pretty thing….. It had been so lovely in the spring rain.
Amazing people workin´ it with their sewing machines, being kind to themselves and proudly showing off what they've made! Thank you for sending pictures of your lovely creations. Check ”Jasmin coat” out, here as a raincoat by odandulky.blogspot.se! Or the little bird placed on a bag made by Katharina!
When I was 13 years old and seriously started sewing my own clothes, it was an extremely effective and accessible way to express myself. Cross striped patchwork pants with bellbottom legs got my friends to look twice. It was fun! I was seen, appreciated, sometimes laughed at, but in most cases I did get Respect. Respect because I had the courage to stand for my creativity.
What is considered good looking is not always just about colors, shapes or cuts. It's just as much, if not more, about what one's eyes and one's body language are saying. It is about Owning it. To really, really OWN IT!
A regular Wednesday dress for bicycling to work or some cocktails in the evening with Jean-Pierre or whatever his name is? I personally think that you have the right to wear party clothes whenever you want. And it really doesn´t have to be silk. Take whatever that is hiding in your fabric cupboard and make it into something that no one else has. Mix and splice with a hundred layers and remember - it doesn´t have to be perfect! Finnish with a belt or a scarf, match it or mismatch it! I like the unexpected combinations! Ella dress from my book is so ready to be sewn!
During my years in the fashion industry the most common comment I got was probably: - I wish I could sew! I still do not understand why there are so many people who think they can not sew. I am convinced that most of us can put together a small blouse, skirt or top. It's actually just about being a bit brave for a moment. To welcome that childlike sense of creative chaos. Just to see what happens, be a little wild and crazy! Maybe the seam will be straight or maybe it will be totally crooked. Who cares?! The most important thing is that you have started! Step 1 - START! Pat yourself on the back and welcome the adventure. See the charm of a homemade skirt just like you do with a jar of homemade marmalade! Because then, ladies and gentlemen, it can only get better! Soon each stitch will be a little easier every time you sew and suddenly the feeling of resistance and low self-esteem will be gone! Instead, you will feel proud, brave and with a straight back you will hear yourself say: - Check this out! This, I have made ??myself .... And I know .... it does not even show! And remember - Coco Chanel herself must surely have started somewhere!
Little black dress, little white dress or why not the little black and white dress? The best of friends, white and black. Light and dark that creates a curiously balanced sharpness. Just add a small detail in color on a button, a zipper or a delicate silk ribbon and the harsh properness will fade. Pastel like a light pink or a mild mintgreen will soften it. A sharp red, yellow or green will give you a small explosion. Here is a black and white tango that breathes a burning red. www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Zl7resIK4Q
I can´t wait for the spring any longer! Where is it already??? This bird might bring it just a little closer. Print out the pattern here: Sew this little bird and put it on Rose top or on the back of a Leone jacket from the book! And this song will definitely make you dream of a blue skye! www.youtube.com/watch?v=roPQ_M3yJTA Print here
Love the colors and poetic feel in this new video by Hanna Turi. It gets the idea of coated fabrics, rubberboots, warm sweaters and heavy boots started in my head…. Then add really light tiny ribbons and buttons as a contrast and print an old map on a skirt or blouse….. I seriously start considering growing a white beard…… www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMWZ4r86EsU
Check this out! A girl named Josefine has sewn Julie blouse in a greymelange jersey! Gorgeous, both the top and her :)
The character of this top completely changes depending on the fabric. It can be light, floral and elegant or like this greymelange jersey top that shows a little bit of shoulder. That nude shoulder brings me back to the crazy styles of the 80’ies. Loose tops, leggings and streetdance! Feel it! You pay in sweat! www.youtube.com/watch?v=82Qy1Dd9jdc
Isn´t it just like a big bag of candy filled with nutty inspiration? Like an old, pale and dusty photograph that comes alive in your mind, even more colorful than it ever was. This does not have to mean that what you choose to create in this moment of inspiration must look like something from the 80’ies. You can just pick up the classic 80’ies colors neon yellow or neon pink and use it in the lining of a jacket or just as the neckhanger. Here is a pleated Zoey skirt in stereo print. Another way is just to put a neoncoloured button in the waistband of a grey wool skirt.
When Madonna was dancing down the streets of Manhattan with a tape filled with her music in one hand and a bag of popcorn in the other, neon colors lit up the whole neighbourhood. The story goes… she went up to the hippest dj:s in the city and said:
”If you play this tape, I will come and dance on your dancefloor tonight!”
When the night came and the cool people started gathering outside the club, the dj put the tape in the taperecorder and pushed Play……. It must have looked something like this……. www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f5puMAUsjw
Oh, and here is some poetry that came with my Spring collection 2005: (Suggestion: Why not start your morning routine with rapping this to your self in the bathroom mirror? It will so make your day :)
“Yes Yes ya´ll, to the beat ya´ll, is it clear this is not a fall ya´ll!
Stereo, stereo, stereo, stereo, pleeeaase - this is a celebration to the old school hip hop and you can not say it better than - stonewashed denim - it can not be more refined than thiiiiiizzz!
Loosen your seatbelt, hooood it up, make it feel like home man! It shall all be clear, let life itself be your guide to the real street life. Be true to yourself and you will feel the rhythm in your shoes.
Heeeey, let´s have a party, feel the music and dance!”
A fabric. A button. A ribbon. An eiffel tower or an ice cream on a sunny summer day. In a flash there is an idea in your head!
Where does your journey begin? When does it start buzzing in your head? Maybe it is a small drawing or the color-combo on the bus seat that makes your head start spinning?
Many of you have difficulties finding beautiful and good fabrics. So during this spring I will list a number of fabric stores on the website in Sweden and Scandianvia and maybe even further away! And web-shops of course.
Wanna share your fabric-secrets with others? That would be awesome! Send me an email with your hottest tips or comment here below! More is more!
The competition is now over so check out all those lovely and brave people that have sent in pictures of their creations!
Some of them have sewn for the very first time and submissions have come from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and even the USA! It makes me so happy to see how the same style can turn out in so many different ways depending on colour, fabric or prints.
PLEASE keep sending me photos of what you are making! It is so lovely to see and it makes me so happy!
It is such a pleasure to wear nature. When you are living in the city you are sort of in the forest at the same time. Close to the blueberries and brushy fairy tales. Close to the calming voice of the trees, the loving silence and whispering winds. A small brown tree on powdery pink, far far away from sirenes and buzz.
Sharpen your senses, pull on your finest blouse and finish with a tie! Even though really good business is often made while wearing a onepiece jumpsuit hoodie it doesn't mean you can't wear a tie once in a while. Straighten your back and feel the power! It´s business time!
AND when you are not making business – Do not forget to send me photos for the competition (see below), there are still some bags left!
Ready? It is time for a competition! Lot´s of fabulous people have bought the book SY! and that makes me so happy! Has anyone already started sewing? The first 10 of you who have sewn an item from the book will be awarded with a Jenny Hellström logo-bag!
And remember: No seam is too ugly!
Take a picture of your creation either flat or on a hanger against a white background and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org together with your addres.
Imagine an early spring day in the morning noise of Paris, you shiver a bit, wrap your jacket around yourself and cuddle. A little coffee, a braided café chair, a wobbly table. Bonjour, petit dejuner, merci, merci. It's rush hour. For all others.
You just sit there. Waiting for nothing. A scent of a soon blooming Paris. A bit too cold to sit outside, but you do it anyway. And of course you´re wearing an unreasonably nice jacket. Light pink lining with black dots. I love it when lining surprises!
The jacket is called Fleur jacket. Perfect for an imaginary spring day in Paris!
Fleur jacket is a style that welcomes playfulness with colors and patterns! You can mix it whatever way you want! Try it! The easiest jacket in the book!
I had some friends come over on a sleepy sunday to discover how easy it can be to sew. None of them had sewn since middleschool and now suddenly they all were making real clothes from my book! Gustav and Erik made one Tie each, Gabriella made a ”Coco skirt”, Motoko made a ”Julie blouse” and Oskar made a present to his girlfriend!
If you just have a really good pattern and a strong will you will soon have created a piece of clothing that looks like it´s been purchased in a fancy shop! Or you might even have a lovely crooked seam that whispers the “homemade”-song, and how can that be anything other than charming?
I am so enormously proud over my friends that dared to challenge themselves!
People!!! Get rid of all your doubts! It is time to start sewing!
Here are two coffee roasters, one food journalist, a splendid restaurant manager and a fishdoctor (means phd in fishonology) sewing away!
The day had come for a certain girl to meet her mother in law. It was a big day and for the special occasion she had washed her hair, bought new pretty shoes and dressed up in a dress that she had sewn herself. It had the color of a sunny summer morning with beautiful pleats in the neck that slowly folded itself out in a generous ocean of yellow cotton. Rushing by a display window she caught a quick reflection of herself and could not hide the excitement she felt. This just couldn't go wrong!
And of course it didn't! The mother in law was not at all a disappointment. In fact she was very sweet and loving. It was the friend of the mother that was the problem. As soon as she heard that the dress was self made her eyes went all dark. She grabbed the hem of the yellow ocean and carefully started to inspect it and its stitches.
– I hope you are aware of the importance of the inside looking as good as the outside? she said haughtily and put on her glasses to be able to look even closer.
Well… what can I tell ya? The importance of the inside looking as good as the outside…..? Like 1952? Perfect hair, legs together, straight back, flowered wallpaper, correct, correct, correct and never ever wrong? Ladies and gentlemen - Those days are sooo over!
How my inside looks like is no ones business. It can be messy, uneven and thready, but it is still mine. I am going to love my inside just the way it is. And sure, I do love a straight seam, but sometimes it gets so much more interesting when its not as straight. It just means that someone has been struggling a bit, that someone maybe had to put up with a little fight. That is a beautiful thing.
I sew as I want. And if I wanna’ show my hem, trust me I will. Otherwise - Stay away from my dress please!
Wow! When I saw this truck that was parked in my neighbourhood the other day, I just melted of love! First of all – who paints a taco truck pink??? I felt an urge to know! It MUST have been a person with great taste at least! And secondly – I wondered if they had veggie tacos? Very important questions like these went through my mind - and then what happened - was one of those moments that I love so much: This wonderful truck experience – now in my mind - turned into a skirt - just like that! That heavenly creamy pink color can not get anything but totally faboulicious on a skirt. AND of course - with a matching tie! I am ready to serve! -WHO WANT TACOS?
This skirt is called Toto and is featured in my new book. You can have your own great taco-truck moment and make it anyway you like with a matching tie!
Many years ago while I was still working with my fashion brand Jenny Hellström, we were working with a great guy named Ludvig. I did not just like him for his beautiful freckles but also because he shared my passion for rainy days – and always when I hear people talk about how they love rain, they get just a little bit more interesting to me.
Ludvig had been modeling for us for a couple of seasons and during this period of time he had collected quite a few garments from my collections. One day he stopped by my show-room and told me this crazy story.
He had been dressing up for a night out with some friends, gotten ready to go and wrapped his Jenny Hellström logo scarf around his neck since it was freezing outside. He folded up the collar of his wool coat and finished his ensemble by putting on his Jenny logo hat. When he arrived to the Metro station there was a bit of a wait so he leaned against a wall, looking as gorge as he always did. Suddenly two guys started walking towards him. It was obvious that they wanted to provoke him and soon he realized that they wanted to fight him. As you see on this picture - this guy is not a body builder so let’s just say – not the most comfortable situation one could get in to.
They started pushing him, first almost playful but rather quickly it got more and more violent and soon one of the guys grabbed Ludvig’s scarf. Ludvig knew that he had not a chance against those two thugs. He closed his eyes waiting for it to happen, but for some reason, it didn’t. For a moment, time stood absolutely still. Ludvig was getting quite confused about the whole situation. He now slowly felt the grip of the violent guy loosening up and when Ludvig opened one of his eyes to see what was going on he got seriously confused. Now – for some reason the angry guy stood there looking almost happy, smiling at Ludvig, and said: -Damn, thats some serious shit you are wearing!
He had now also discovered that the t-shirt Ludvig was wearing had the exact same print as the scarf. That means: Jenny’s dad’s face all over Ludvig’s upper body including the head!
The guy now let go completely of Ludvig’s scarf and looked at him with great respect and said: -Man, that Jenny Hellström totally rules!
His friend nodded seriously. They high fived Ludvig and walked away.
Ludvig brushed the dirt off his shoulders and stepped on the next train.
Once a while I write myself a letter. It might sound a bit coocoo, but it is such a warm and fuzzy cotton love for my heart. I have a deep belief that our soul is directly connected to our creativity. That the creativity is the loving voice of our soul. There is no better place to be than right in the center of a sparkling creative moment. It is just pure love for me, an absolute silence, a lost stillness. It really doesn´t matter what is going on around me, I can still feel that amazing sense of peace. When I´m in that moment, I know for sure that I am right where I am suppose to be. It´s been like that as long as I can remember. But since I´m human I tend get off on the wrong track sometimes and I forget this mighty force of love. That is what those letters to myself are for. I write them and then I place them somewhere in my home: Inside a book, behind a painting or in my jewelry box. Then I forget about them. Today I found one when I was dusting off my big, shiny, smiling Buddha and it made me so very happy. After an intense autumn of real hard work, I really needed that dust to sneeze me right back to my soul-track. I am now going to write a new letter and hide it somewhere really, really dark.