This is a circa 1960s-70s cross stitch of a painting by “Torino” – Little is known about Torino other than he was prevalent from around the 50s to the 70s and there are a few versions (poses) of this “Gypsy Lady” print.
Came across this cross stitch work at second hand store. There it was lying amongst other finished and half finished needle works just for 3€. I knew at once what I wanted to do from it certainly something that will not go unnoticed. First I was playing around with the idea to really make the gypsy lady fierce with tattoos and make-up but after a few try outs I skipped that idea. The cross stitch work is beautifully done and it would be a shame to hide it. I needed a piece of fabric to go with it and choose checkered black and white, to make the whole look more contemporary. When the two pieces were joined it felt like the bag needs a message. Something to do with gypsy way of life, for example fortune telling, freedom and spiritual things. So I came up with the hashtag sign. Under the # one can imagine these words.
Back part of the bag is done out of recycled leather and handles are from old thrifted bag. The leather pieces that hold the handles are parts from a belt and the black rings curtain parts. So again 100% recycled, remake and zero waste.
My friend asked me if I could sew denim bag to her out of her old jeans which were low cut and tight, not in fashion any more ;) Project sounded fun so I agreed and she sent me her jeans. Both jeans were the same color; same tone of dye so my first idea to sew a bag with different sizes and colors of denim stripes was not going to work because of the “flat” color hues on the denim. So I looked up from my special japanese quilting technique books and found this pattern which builds up almost in 3d when put together. Quilting it is!
I carefully planned out this bag and measured the right amount of parts also thinking about the dark and light parts of the denim trousers so I could make the most of the pattern. It took some time sewing the parts together and ironing every seam but the end result was worth it.
She also wished for a pocket inside and outside and that the handles were so long that she can carry the bag easily on her shoulder.
Jeans old leather back labels I used upside down on the front of the bag. This cause I do not want anyone to be able to easily read what it says on the labels (small artsy point) but there are there visible to all to remind that reusing and refashioning is the only way to save this planet from textile waste.
The “back” of the bag or reverse side I made out of different sized denim parts, those which were left over from after my first cut. She wished a pocket on the outside so this one is hidden near your body when the “front” of the bag is visible while carrying it on the shoulder.
And just before shipping this bag to her I took it with me on my own photoshoot.
I adore old men shirts. Usually cause the materials are quality cotton and used shirts have been washed again and again making the material soft. When I visit second hand or charity stores I always go through the mens section just for these shirts. Now i had an idea stuck in my head to combine shirts with different cuttings and pleats.
I chose to my design piece one old pink colored made in Finland shirt and striped US POLO shirt. I started to think about the lines, how the cut should be done in the front to make the most use of the buttons.
When I figured out the way how to make the front look like I cut out the pieces. I usually do not plan that much in advance, just let the flow determine my design.
Sleeves ready, pink panel in the middle of the sleeve with some volume on the shoulder.
This oversized denim jacket I got from a friend to be used as material for my designed denim bags. Instead I felt like doing something extra bold with it; I decided to sew small pieces of vintage scarfs to make the jacket “float” and “puffy”.
I used vintage scarfs that were a little bit damaged beyond repairing and cut same sized rectangular pieces which I then sew on the jacket. Sleeves I had to take apart otherwise I could not been able to fasten the scarfs.
By separating the colors and sewing matching ones side by side the surface is more interesting and lively. And the number of vintage scarf pieces I used to this jacket… 583 pieces.
Buttons I attached by hand and each one is carefully placed so the colors again flows easily and makes interesting surface.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style White nights, hair Katja Perkkiö (Tina´s), photoshoot Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling and close up craft photos Susanna Kaunisto.
Dress is made out of an old 80´s white leather jacket. Front of the dress is actually the back of the jacket leaving the back of the dress open and making it sensual and feminine. Neckpiece is made out of the same jacket crocheting narrow slices of leather together. Adding a massive silver colored chain into the necklace makes it an outstanding piece and a perfect pair to the simple dress.
Mekko on tehty vanhasta 80-luvun nahkatakista. Takin etuosa on nyt mekon takaosa, jättäen selän avoimeksi vyötärölle asti. Helmaan ompelin somisteeksi ns. “kalanpyrstön”. Kaulakorun materiaali on samaa nahkatakkia josta leikkasin suikaleita ja virkkasin ne yhteen. Tyyli on modernin puhdas mutta samalla rosoisen romanttinen.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style Indigo tribe, hair Päivi Päivärinta (Shaggy Head), fashion photoshoot Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling Susanna Kaunisto.
My favourite material denim! The most outstanding piece of this outfit is the necklace. It is made out of denim which I starched with homemade recipe (sugar+water+time) and pieces from second hand jewellery. The process of the dyed vest is in my earlier post. Pattern for the denim trousers is self made, as a base I used a pair of old trousers. It took two pairs of old denim jeans to cut the new pattern out. Shoes are brown men´s shoes which I painted black and decorated with leather pieces from another pair of shoes.
Lempimateriaalini denim! Kaulakorusta halusin asukokonaisuuden näyttävimmän osan, korun runko on tukeva metalliverkko jonka päälle kokosin denimistä ja nahasta korallimaiseen muotoon leikattuja osia. Tärkkäsin denimin jotta sen muoto olisi jäykkä. Liimasin koruun vanhasta hopenvärisestä vyöstä yksityiskohtia ja kokosin turkoosinvärisistä helmistä koristeita. Liivin tekovaiheet olen jo kertonut aiemmassa postauksessa. Löysät haaremihousut kaavoitin vanhoista housuista, lisäten väljyyttä enemmän vyötärölle. Housut on tehty kahdesta parista farkkuja. Kengät ovat miesten ruskeat kävelykengät (kierrätyskeskus) jotka maalasin mustaksi ja vanhoista korkokengistä (hopeiset tanssikengät) irrotin somisteet kengän kärkiin. Pitsipusero on second hand jolle en tehnyt muutoksia. Denimtyyliin inspiraatiota hain tulevan kesän haute couture ja ready to wear lempisuunnittelijoiden mallistoista.
Intercoiffure Finland spring&summer 2015. Style Northern Lights, hair Marko Sutinen (HS-Salonki), photo Luiza Lehtinen, make-up Ara Koivula (Bang by Ara).
Styling Susanna Kaunisto, Susanoo. Style is called northern lights, futuristic up-all-night-long party style inspired by northern summer light.
I searched my inspo to this style from space, fencing and futuristic styles.
Neck piece is made out of old white 80s leather pants and one vintage H&M jersey trousers. I searched this neckpiece shape and form by first trying it out from paper on mannequin. When I finished the pattern I cut it out from leather and sew together with the shoulder “pads”. Reflecting small pieces on the neckpiece are sticky cover plastic sold in hobby stores.
Shoes are second hand; handled with a coat of black paint and added extra bling with a pair of earrings.
Wristlets are made from plastic and I have one post in my blog that tells more about them.
Vaatteiden materiaalit ovat kaikki kierrätettyjä, kauluriyläosa on tehty housuista, toppi hameesta ja hame paidasta. Kengät ovat second hand ja koriste kengissä pari strassikorvakoruja. Käsikorusta kerroin jo aiemmassa postauksessani. Kauluri on tehty nahasta ja kaavoitin sen tyköistuvaksi mallinuken päällä, rypytetty hihaosuus on ommeltu kiinni kauluriin. Maalasin myös kauluria hopeamaalilla jotta pinta heijastaisi valoa peilipinnan tavoin. Hologrammipalat ovat samaa materiaalia kuin käsikoruissakin. Tämän kuvauksen tyyliin hain inspiraatiota mm. avaruus ja urheiluaiheista.
This bags idea I got from fabric sofa samples which I found from Kontti second hand store in Finland. Here I connected evenly measured stripes together with zig zag seam and created a modern and sharp background for my holographic decorations. I used earlier these small triangle shaped vinyl decorations for my wristlets to Intercoiffure Finland fashion photoshoot and now after few years “resting” they still do the trick in this diy bag.
Pattern needed to have right dimensions for the small sized bag so I tried out different variations and found the one that worked for this design.
Strap is made out of old necklace, really thick but light metal chain. Tassel is the pendant from the necklace. Ones again totally recycled bag, every part of it is reused material.
My friend called the pattern “Iris” – the blue royal flower. I like the name. Let the bag shine like royalty but act cool and streetwise when needed.
Summertime memories from working outside in the sunshine and remaking an old mens silk shirt. The reason why I actually started this project was that I did not have a matching top to go with my new striped jersey skirt…I needed something in black but still summerish and with a classic twist.
The silk shirt I used was long sleeved mens shirt.
First I cut out both the collar and sleeves. I boldly made some fringes to the hem which I gave a rough treatment…ripping the raw edges of the silk makes the silhouette more flowing and not so boxy. Maybe I still uppgrade this “black canvas” with more details, like this designer does!
White shirt, blouse or dress is just an open invitation to me for refashioning or otherwise creating something else interesting out of the “boring” white garment. In this case it was an old, used mens shirt made from top quality cotton. As usual I did not have any plans, just went with the flow. Started by painting the shoulder parts free hand just a little bit over the shoulder seam so it would look like a mistake :)
I took away the buttons and painted half circles starting from small size and painting the circle bigger as I went towards the hem. The collar I cut away cause it was too formal and stiff for the style. I just left the seam like it is so that it would seem that the collar ripped off. It will be interesting to see what washing does to the seam, better or worse. Well I deal with it then.
By cutting off the sleeve cuffs the shirt became more feminine and light. The sleeves I scrunched by folding some parts here and there and sewing the layers together. Same technique I used also to the front of the shirt. By doing this I achieved more eased look for the whole shirt, taking it away from the old formal and stiff appearance.
Gold colored circles on the sleeve unites the look with the front part.
For this denim jacket refashioning I used one old mens denim shirt (labeled James) and one worn out denim skirt. Shirt I used was size L so I was able to play with the size by gathering some of the excess fabric to the back.
How I did it
Original sleeve cuffs I cut off and attached denim pleats instead.
As usual when I am into these refashioning pieces I do not follow any plans. My way is to go step by step, feeling the fabric and trying the piece on often between different stages just to see how it acts when on you.
my work flow
Adding the belt done with light/dark colored denim pieces gives the jacket more feminine figure. Cotton lace was a last minute fix to hide the masculine front piece.
I am super satisfied how this denim refashioning piece turned out; modest flamboyant with contemporary twist.
Call it a fanny pack, a bum bag, a belt bag—the list goes on. Unlike the 90s iteration, however, this season’s hip-hugging bag is more chic than the fanny packs you’ll find on your average tourist. Through the lens of pure practicality, the fanny pack does no wrong. It’s easily accessible and hands-free.
First I was planning to sew a black belt bag but when I was searching for the right black leather from my stash I came across this red piece of faux leather and thought why not? The bag needed to be a stand out piece (not minimalistic) so I added some decoration from red suede to the bottom and to the flap. And still it looked quite unfinished…until I added studs and tassels from the same red suede. I call the bag little miss Red Dragon.
Styling the red belt bag with vintage Adidas t-shirt and vintage silk skirt makes it look more contemporary and interesting.
Straw bag is the perfect outfit addition that just says “now it is summer, let´s go to the beach, summer markets and on holiday”
My bag is made out of two round table coasters from H&M home.
Bag is hand sewn together with thick cotton yarn, the seam was too thick to sew with sewing machine.
I made the shoulder strap out of an old suede belt and attached it with an o-ring to the sides of the bag. Round decorations and the fringe around the bag are made out of leather. Lining is an old tablecloth with traditional pattern.
Shoe decorations has always been my addiction, a pair of plain white or black shoes works as a blanc canvas for me- I need to take the shoes to another level with the added decoration- make a pair of unique, one-of-a-kind shoes.
Here I have added a leather bow to a pair of NIKE sneakers bought second hand.
And a pair of black leather ankle boots made i Finland (second hand purchase) got a makeover with a leather bow too.
I made my clothes! Referring to the global Fashion Revolution that challenges people to be more aware where the clothes are coming from that we are buying and raising the knowledge how the clothes are made…and check her out.
Back to my recycled denim jacket. Three jeans, one skirt and one old Ikea bed linen…the materials of which the jacket is made from. All materials, including zippers and other small parts are recycled and adding all together total cost for the materials was about 20€. From a finnish fashion magazine dated 1991 I found a raglan sleeve jacket pattern that I used as a base.
From the old jeans I removed the back pockets and ripped open the hems on the bottom of the legs so I could reveal some lovely fades and washes. The whole idea was to use miss-matched pieces and let the outcome and the colors to feel relaxed and easy. I did not plan to line the jacket but it is more wearable and easier to maintain when it has a lining.
I am pleased of the whole outcome of this jacket and the best of all it is one of a kind! The photoshoot took place in Dusseldorf, in front of a cool graffiti wall. Peace!
My mission was to make earrings from a piece of black leather, decorative black ribbons and black safety pins that I got as a gift from my friends. The shape just happened without planning. Now when it is ready I have been searching from different sources the symbol which the earring represents. First I searched for wheel (no hit) then for moon/sun (no hit) BUT I looked at the earring more closely and I am sure it is a horseshoe. For good luck and protection. And safety pins to firmly hold things together.
These earrings started first with bending and shaping black metal cord. Orange suede parts are punched first so it is easy to slide them into the metal cord. Easy and quick technique that is quite often used when leather needs to look ruffled. First it seemed that the shape does not need other decorations but I wanted the outcome to be more playful and childish. So I added wood beads that I painted with orange paint. Earrings looks now chunky modern and playful with a clear handmade stamp on them. Like candy or bubble gum.
Tired with your basic black leather ballerinas? Here is an easy solution for all of you DIY interested. I had a lot of wood belt buckles, just plain wood color. By painting the buckles with different motifs, here animal fur inspired, I got a pile of unique decorative buckles that I can now use as an interesting detail in my DIY works. Here I attached the buckles into basic leather ballerinas by first piercing the leather in the front of the shoe where I wanted the buckles to sit. I made leather fringes to make the buckles stand out.
I have started to use this way of working with small leather scraps and other materials. First I cut out the shapes I want and glue them on to a piece of leather- let the pieces dry over night- after that I add a quite thick coat of decoupage lack on the surface- after the lack is completely dry I cut out the shape I want. Here I used old leather scraps and one old plastic snake pattern belt. Metal parts are from old bracelet.
These earrings I cut out as half moon shape and added o-rings from an old bracelet to give them more body and movement.
These two pairs of tassel earrings I made out of quality yarns that I always buy second hand from charity/flea markets. Here I combined other elements with the tassel earrings such as old jewelry parts and fake leather from one old belt.
I love old clip earrings and some of my handmade earrings I design in a way that it is easy to slide it into the clip earring. In this way you can change the look of the pair of earrings easily.
The red tassel earrings metal part is from old metal bracelet which I formed into a circle to fit a red bead in.
Handpainted leather earrings and starched denim earrings.
Denim starched with sugar and hot water gives endless possibilities to form whatever you can imagine after the fabric is soaked with the mix. Even 3D is possible if you have patience to form it first and then wait for 2 or 3 days until the piece is totally dry.
When the starched denim piece is dry you can for example paint, punch or glue the pieces how ever you want. Easy and fun.
I had a stash of small leather left over pieces in different colors and textures which one day started to grow into a canvas by joining the parts together and this “canvas” suddenly into a bag. Shoulder strap is an old belt fastened to the bag with reused jacket parts. Tassel is my own design, giving the bag unique finishing with a wooden animal as the “spirit” of the bag.
Bum bag, fanny pack, belt bag…here is my version. I wanted the surface to have striped effect and joined leather pieces with zig zag to achieve more handmade effect. Pattern is my own, I used an old belt bag as a base. Zipper is reused from an old jacket and the belt is old canvas belt which I decorated with matching flat decorative ribbon. Tassel is handmade from the same leather as the bag.
Neckpiece from leather and yarn. This piece was inspired by a tie, I thought about a modern tie that could be worn with a blouse like a tie. This black gently u-shaped leather neckpiece looks pretty formal worn with a shirt but can be used also with different shaped necklines.
First I draw a pattern how the neckpiece should look like when worn under collar. I used leather in the u-shaped part and decorated the edge with yarn fringes.
Bought Susan Briscoes book Japanese quilt blocks to mix & match from a craft fair in Finland few years ago and the amount of inspiration it`s given me! This denim bag started from the idea to have just one big quilt block instead of several small ones and the pattern is called Kurume kasuri goku masu- five squares.
Struggled a bit with the scale but finally got it right!
Super happy with the end result! All denim used are from old jeans, shoulder strap is old leather belt and the lining is made out of old skirt. So again 100% recycled!
Photoshoot for the bag took place in very mystical surroundings….
This project was started up by two pieces of fabric sofa samples that I found second hand…and one belt. Idea was to make a roomy bag, easy to sew and without any super fancy decorations.
But as the project went on I wanted to do something extra, to give that unique touch to this bag also rather than leaving it just black. I found from my cross stitch stock this “dragon”. It´s almost ten years ago I bought it and now was the right moment for it. By placing it in the middle of the bag it serves also as a pocket. Buttons are vintage too, red ones to boost up the red from the cross stitch.
Canvas belt found second hand had some nice studs on it and looks amazing as handles for the bag. By hand stitching some decor to one of the handles makes it look raw and crafty and the pattern just “created itself” while stitching.
Overall look of the bag is a little bit medieval- maybe thanks to the studs and the dragon. Location to shoot the bag was in this case easy to figure out- it is an old mill from 17th century in Röttle near Gränna Sweden. I think I felt some vibes from times passed by while taking pics there…