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.