raori

living handmade


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New vintage shop!

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I knoooow it’s been ages, but seriously I’ve been about to work myself mental! I truly needed a break to catch up with… LIFE! And now, five months later, I’m finally getting ready to start my work-life again. The raori shop is up and running again, my studio has gone through a mega-clean-up and I’m full of energy and ready for business again. As I like to just jump straight into things and do it all at the same time, I also decided to dust of my vintage shop and open it with a fresh new model (my wonderful friend Lynn) and some cool and kitschy new things…

The raori vintage shop is still under construction and I’ll be adding lots of new things the coming week, but please feel free to have a quick peek.


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Barbie house rehab!

barbie house-8barbie house-7 We have a beautiful wooden Barbie house, but they kids never played with it. The house had painted furnitures on the wall and my kids didn’t like that. They said they wished it had wall paper like in real rooms instead. We decided to do a mega clean up of the house we had instead of giving it away. First, we through away half of the dolls. Plus a lot of the half-broken plastic furnitures that came with it. All the small things that comes with a Barbie house; clothes, bags, food, glasses, make-up etc, was thrown into a big box next to the house where they had been long-gone forgotten. My philosophy when it comes to toys is: the less they have, the more they play with it! Therefore, they got to keep 6 of their favourite Barbie dolls, two boys and two girls, plus 2 small Barbie kids. The box went away. Anything they wanted had to fit into the house, if it didn’t we threw it away. I took down my old dollhouse furnitures and small things from the attic instead (I made lots of miniature things in my late teens) and we got to work on our new house. We found some pretty printed Japanese rice paper in DIY shop which we mod-podged to the walls. We added drawer lining to the floors, apart from the bathroom, which we painted. We also painted the outside walls in plain white. The plants are painted and cut masking tape glued to metal wire, put into a flower pot made of clay before drying. The closet of the balcony is made from a BBQ stick, attached to the ceiling with looped screws. The hangers are metal paper clips that we re-shaped. The shoes and bags are stored in a storage furniture for my old dollhouse. The result is an original and pretty Barbie house that they finally play with a lot. It feels like a real house now! barbie housebarbie house-2 barbie house-3 barbie house-4 barbie house-5 barbie house-6   barbie house-9


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Lovely vintage toys…

cowboys-2 cowboys-3 cowboys

Look at these plastic fantastic old figurines! I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older or if I’m just a very nostalgic woman, but seriously: wasn’t toys back then so much prettier and better made than nowadays? The simpler, the better in my taste. And since plastic will inevitably stay around for long until after we are gone, we might as well stop supporting new production  of plastic crap that are meant to break anyway, and spend way less money on cute vintage toys like these 😉 Be the change!


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DIY – Memo board and washi-tape clothes pins

washitape clothes pins-1

It was a rainy stay-in-bed Saturday morning, a few years ago. I had just returned from the kitchen, ready to serve my little family breakfast in bed, when I  tripped and managed to tip over, not just the breakfast tray fell to the floor, but also the huge mirror that was leaning against the wall… No! Seven years of misery! Lucky for me, I don’t believe in superstitious nonsense, however a waste of a perfectly good mirror, darn. The frame has been standing since then in our garage, waiting to be fixed. Last week I finally figured out what to do with it!

 

How I made it:

After several years in a humid garage, I decided to roughly paint it white, to cover the humidity stains. I added metal string between two screws at the top back for hanging. I added some metal string that I attached between evenly divided nails vertically and finally hung it up. It’s really great as a board in our bedroom and with the washi tape clothes pins I made to match the frame, I can pin/hang some jewellery, pretty pictures and my favourite art, drawings made by my daughter. The picture hanging there at the moment is a portrait of me and my man. I love how realistic she made his messy wild hair! The fab broken mirror earrings are made by my friend JustineJustine. I thought it fitted the occasion 😉

 

washitape clothes pins-2

washitape clothes pins-1


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Lace heaven in a basement

 

 

I found a treasure the other day! I was given the opportunity to go through a basement full of old lace, night gowns and table cloths from the 50s and 60s… The least to say is that I was in paradise!

My favorite find was a beautiful shear night gown, but the sad thing with night-gowns are this: to use the gown as a dress is almost impossible as it really is a night gown and however we style it, it’s hard to get away from “the pajama-look”. So my second thought was to sleep in it … But it’s too pretty to sleep in! And such a waste only to show it to my family. The truth is that lace-loving freaks certainly feel gorgeous sleeping in grandma’s old vintage dress, it is indeed romantic and beautiful, but definitely not sexy in any way ….

So I was left with one scary choice: to cut this beautiful piece in two and make something wearable out of it. And so it was that I got my sexy open back lace top (will look stunning with boyfriend jeans) and my daughter a gorgeous lace skirt with a silk belt.


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DIY – how to make a skirt from an old sweater

I have this saffron yellow cardigan that was “hand me down” to me by my mother-in-law. I totally love the color, but the fit and the cut… it just didn’t do it for me. I used it sometimes for extra warmth, working in the garden or as a “throw on quickly” garment going to the grocery store, but I never wore it for real… so I thought, maybe I should do something else with it? Like… a skirt!
The below sewing tutorial can help you make fantastic knitted skirts from all kinds of old second hand sweaters and you will have unique pieces of clothing that no one else has 🙂 Anything goes.
How to make a knitted sweater into a knitted skirt:
You will need:
* knitted sweater or cardigan
* sharp scissors
* thread
* elastic band (your waist measurement minus 10 cm)
* pins + safety pin
How to do it:
1. Put your sweater flat following the side seams and shoulders. Make sure that the bottom hem on front and back are alined.
2. Draw a straight line with a ruler just under the arms (depending on the length you want for your skirt) and cut!
In my case my sweater was actually a cardigan, so at this point I needed to stitch the button opening together here before I could continue to the next step. Maybe there is no need to say that possible buttons has to be removed…



3. Zig zag (or overlock) your newly cut edge.
4. To make a channel for the elastic band at the waist,  fold down “elastic band width + 1 cm” (towards wrong side/the inside). Pin down all around.
5. Stitch down the fold, presser foot width from the edge and don’t forget to leave an opening about 5 cm to insert the elastic band. Use a shallow zig zag or straight seam for jersey fabric. If you use normal straight seam, the seam will break.
6. Attach a safety pin to the elastic band and slide it through the opening. Use the safety pin to pull the elastic band through the channel and secure the end of the elastic band with a pin at the opening. (It really sucks to loose the end somewhere inside the channel- all you can do is start over again – that extra pin will help you!
7. When both elastic band ends are out, make sure that the elastic band lies flat and has not gotten twisted inside. Overlap both edges and zig zag to secure, back and forth a couple of times. Pull a little so that the elastic band falls back into the channel and then close the opening.
voila, the result! My new yellow knitted skirt!
want more?
well, I figured those pretty sleeves could be made into something as well… socks! Or leg warmers inside my beige boot (I haven’t decided yet, but I thought it might be best to start with socks that can be cut into leg warmers, than the other way around). This is how I made the socks anyway.
now… what to do with the little that remains ?
 GOOD LUCK!


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Closet clean out

Tomorrow I will become 35 years old. Thirty-five years old! How did that happen? It feels pretty good though, getting older and wiser…
Although, I’m finding myself slightly lost at the moment… It’s been five years now that I have spent changing diapers, never having time for myself, hardly time to shower, grabbing the only clean piece of clothing I can find, playing with Duplo and getting dirty, seriously- getting dirty as in: you.have.no.idea.unless.you.have.kids.yourself. The substances I’ve been covered in… uhhhh, you really don’t want the details! Anyway, my point is that I’m done with this baby life now. The kids are in school now and I can start living again. And as any girl, I seriously needed a make-over / wardrobe rehab.
I’ve been doing a closet clean-out for a few days and it’s a really inspiring thing to do if you like that sort of thing. I really do. Clean out your closet, organize, give away, re-make old stuff… This blog is partly about environmental fashion, and I think that environmentally, the best thing you can do is to know your style. If you do, you will never buy unnecessary items that will end up in a dust pile eventually, but you will only buy garments that fit your body and can spend some money on good quality (handmade things for example!) It’s true what the stylists say- we only use 20% of our closet, the rest could go away to charity or could’ve been saved in money and production in the first place. Sale at H&M, for example, is dangerous! We go in to look for what we need, and we come out with lots of cheap items, bought on impulse.
So that’s what I’m trying to do at the moment. I already have a box of DIY-items. Clothes that I love, but are just wrong in fit or slightly broken. I have less than 30 garments left now in my closet, but I feel very free and I found lots of nice styling combinations that I never thought about putting together before. Hope you will give it ago as well, if you don’t end up giving away half your closet, at least you get a huge energy boost, ego-kick and some new ideas for styling. My best advice before you start this huge project is to make a little sketch like this:

It will help you guide you through your closet clean out. It can be pretty hard to see yourself and if you make a few sketches of what you tend to wear in your life, it will be easier to set some “ground rules” in your personal style, and it will finally help you to throw out or give away those tops and pants you have kept for years without actually wearing them. Above are the outfits I wear the most and as I’m crazy about lists and “creating within frames”, I’ve named them to remember the different styles. If I found something in my closet that didn’t fit the above styles- it went straight into my eBay second hand shop or to charity. Never mind if you feel like you can’t draw – it’s just for you, so anything will do. Have fun!

Steps to clean out your closet:

– Take out everything from your closet and your drawers, even underwear, stockings, bags, hats, shoes and jackets (get them if they are stored in the hallway). Put it on the floor or on a table. Separate it all into different piles if you wish- cardigans and sweaters, t-shirts, shirts, pants, skirts, dresses etc. – Literally clean out your closet. Wipe drawers, take out hangers and storage boxes. Try to imagine how the closet should be arranged for you to quickly find a nice outfit. Knickers, pants, t-shirts, tank tops, socks in drawers, dresses, thin jackets, skirts, tops and blouses on hangers is the way I do it. – Try on everything! This will take you some time, but it’s worth it, you will feel much better knowing that you only have close that fits you like a glove and that makes you look gorgeous! -Start by hanging back the items that you feel really makes you you! Cause “no one is you’er than you” as Dr Seuss says. That is the clothes that you probably wear most of the time- what makes them special to you? Is it the fit, set silhouette, the style, the color? – Clothes in the the wrong size, or if you haven’t used it in 6 months (apart from winter or certain summer clothes), if it hangs too funny on your body, doesn’t flatter or just doesn’t make you feel “damn, I look good in this” toss it in a “get rid of it-pile”. Be tough! For things that needs some fixing, throw it in the “DIY-mend pile”. Some clothes might be out of fashion or in the real world, or slightly broken or with a tiny stain… these items can be re-used in the bedroom as a stylish pajama for cold nights instead.

the get rid of it-pile
 – give away to charity (don’t throw anything in the bin, even broken clothes can be re-used or appreciated by someone)
 – sell on Ebay or cheap to friends FB (the stuff with a little bit of a value, vintage)
 
 the DIY or mend it-pile
 
– the items you can re-make by dying it, copy (harvest a pattern), up cycle or adorn with beads or embroidery for example (I will show you lots of ideas later on)
 –  the items that you can mend yourself with a little sewing, or that needs to be take to a tailor, dry cleaner or shoe-repairer.
Once you’re done with these steps, you should have a clean closet of only a few very nice items that all go very well together and that fits you perfectly. These are probably your basic items, your staples. The 20% that makes you look gorgeous! These are the kind of clothes you should look for when buying clothes in the future.