Fabric Shopping in Helsinki

As promised, I will give an overview of my little fabric shopping in Helsinki over the last weekend of Feburary.

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As I didn’t want to overwhelm my friend Triin, I just visited the tried and tested Eurokangas in the center of the city. It is the same shop I bought the super cool Cavalli fabric from last spring. I have actually started sewing that dress too, but made a mistake with the pattern choice and now I have to work my way around it somehow, hopefully sooner than later, because it is just too beautiful. But i digress.

So, I got really lucky this time in Helsinki too.

Altogether I got four fabrics, the first one being a pale pink poodle print silk crepe. It is very lightweight and a little transparent, but I think it will make a fun blouse. I am planning to use the same Patrones pattern as for the Chain Print Blouse , but make the necktie and cuffs in black silk, which I also already got from Helsinki.

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As the tag said “designer silk” or something like that, I tried to find more information online and to my big surprise stumbled upon a blog post featuring a vintage Escada top in the exact same print and shade, in silk satin. I wonder if there is a connection with my fabric.

Secondly, I bought a wonderful shade of lace print polyester (actually I am not 100% sure, I might make a burn test to reveal its true nature, since I suspect it being silk, too).

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I just love this shade of green, I have several matching shoes and boots and as always, I already have a certain idea how to use this print. Just back at home I realized that I need more of this fabric, since the lace print requires special pattern placement. Luckily, I will be back in Helsinki for work this week and I hope to be able to find more of that fabric, otherwise I have to rethink the project.

The best find in my opinion was this wonderful Just Cavalli polyester print:

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ImageThe print repeat for this beautiful thing is 1,55 m, and I only got one length, hoping to squeeze a blouse out of it, using the big design in front and if necessary, making the back out of a different material. This will be a challenging project and I have vowed to finish the Cavalli dress first to have a clear conscience.

There is also a fun fact about the fabric. As we visited the modern art museum Kiasma, I noticed a calendar for sale in their museum shop. What caught my attention was the wave print on the front cover (picture from calendars.com):

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And this is how I learned for the first time about Katsushika Hokusai (1760 – 1849), “one of the last great artists of the Japanese Ukiyo-e tradition of the Edo period. His world famous image of the wave and other woodblock prints influenced a whole generation of modern painters because of the uniqueness of perspective and form”.

I have to admit I didn’t know anything about this world famous artist and his prints, but I think it was a great way to find out 🙂 In the first photo of this post you can see me unrolling another beautiful Hokousai-inspired Cavalli fabric, but I am not a big fan of pale yellow, so I left this one behind.

The fourth fabric is a simple dark blue ponte that will beome a skirt to match some tops I have recently made, including the Plaid Peplum Bustier and Cross Stitch Rose Top. Unfortunately the photo doesn’t do it justice, the colour  appears much lighter:

ImageNow I am all excited to start working on the fabrics. I still haven’t touched the ones I got from Rome, either, so lots of projects in my head!

In addition to fabric shopping and modern art, we went to a classical music concert and to a tango evening with Argentinian songs, music and unbelievable tango dancers.This week’s trip will be work related, but I will have a moment to hop by the fabric shop as well.

 And I can’t wait to meet Triin again!

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Lucky in Helsinki

I had a great chance to spend the last weekend in Helsinki, the capital of Finland that is only 80 km from Tallinn by sea. The funny part is that I must be one of the few Estonians who, nearly at the age of 30 haven’t really visited the city yet. I mean, I had passed by Helsinki on my way to a volleyball competition once and also waited for my next flight at the airport, but never saw the city itself.

The whole trip was a short getaway, including my first ever ice hockey match (USA vs Austria) as the city is hosting the world championship in ice hockey these days, some sightseeing, a sleepover at a 4-star former prison and of course… fabric shopping!

I had looked up a few possible shops to visit, but the time was pressing on, especially because the smaller shops are closed on Sundays, so I ended up visiting only Eurokangas, a fabric shop chain in Finland that has a shop in the center of the city and was thus easy to access.

I loved the shop! The best surprise was the reasonable pricing, especially in comparison to Estonian fabric shops that charge around 20 EUR/m for a simple ponte jersey fabric, while exactly the same quality costs 10 in Helsinki and around 8 in Athens.

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To tell the truth, as a true fabric shopoholic, I could have left the shop with at least 10 fabrics, because I loved their selection, but I tried really hard and concentrated on the very special stuff.

This is what I got:

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It is a Roberto Cavalli fabric, a heavyish-feeling polyester jersey. There were a few prints available, but this was my favourite.

The best part is that the price was a mere 20 EUR/m and they also had 20% off everything the time I visited the shop! So 2 meters (the print step is 1 m) of the fabric cost me 30 EUR only!

And this is what Roberto himself made of the fabric:

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Because of the heavy print, this is pretty similar to what I had in mind when I found the fabric – short and simple. I was only imagining a higher neckline.

The dress costs 345 EUR and can be seen (and bought)  here among other beautiful things.

The trip was totally worth it and not only because of the fabric, I liked the city itself as well. I will definitely go to Helsinki again since this can be done as quickly as in one day from Estonia and in addition to great fabric choices, they also sell sewing magazines like La Mia Boutique, Patrones etc. Of course, the prices are higher than in Italy or Spain respectively, but at least they are in reach!

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Happy sewing everyone!