Sewing shopping in Helsinki

May 16, 2017 11 Comments

Sewing shopping in Helsinki

May 16, 2017 11 Comments

Last weekend we took a 48 hour cruise to Helsinki to celebrate my mother’s 70th birthday. Helsinki is a really nice city to visit for a short trip, as the city center is not all that huge which makes it accessible by foot. We walked mostly in the city center and in the hipster neighbourhood Rödbergen, where a lot of local designers sell their goods. I also asked for fabric shop suggestions on Instagram and got two that was located smack in the middle of the city centre. That’s unusual for fabric stores, as they are often delegated to less expensive locations. At least the good ones that doesn’t charge an arm and a leg to make up for the high rental fees.

Anyways, let’s take a look what sewing related stuff I brought back from Helsinki!

We visited a book shop in Rödbergen and in the sale bin I found this little cute note book. Yes the cover is reprinted McCall pattern from the 70’s. And the back has the complete back envelope print. Inside there are buttons printed on each page, perhaps this note book is indeed made for jotting down sewing related notes.

Next stop was Materials, a small and nicely curated fabric and pattern shop near the main street. I bought this Italian cotton batiste print. The fabric is very light and will be perfect for a summer blouse.

I ended my little shopping trip at Eurokangas, which is a huge fabric store right in the city centre. It has a funny entrance, i.e. it is hidden on the second floor and you have to take an elevator up and when the elevator doors open you are in the store. The print silk selection was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. but apart from that the fabric selection was very similar to what I can find in Swedish mega-stores, so I didn’t end up buying a lot. But two things came home with me: A high-viz orange sports mesh and a reflective fabric that I have not seen in Swedish stores. It is very soft, has lycra in it and is windproof. I will use that fabric for reflective inserts on a sports jacket that I plan to make in the future.

Hanging with my kids in front of the Helsinki cathedral. If you haven’t already I highly recommend visiting the Finnish capital. It is quite grand in an somewhat Eastern European way and has some very impressive architecture. That said, Copenhagen is my favorite Nordic capital (but I have yet to visit Reykjavik). Stockholm is of course wonderful too, but it is the only proper “big” capital in Northern Europe and I prefer the smaller ones where I can walk and not having to rely on public transport.

Johanna Lundström

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  • PsychicSewerKathleen May 16, 2017 at 7:52 pm

    That pic of your daughters made me smile…like a modern, feminine “interpretation” of the Blues Brothers :)) My husband & I took a driving trip to a smaller city about a 2 hr drive from us last Friday and I had (of course!) 2 sewing shops on my list that I wanted to check out. It makes the trip so interesting – finding them in the first place was an adventure in itself since like most (as you say out of the way due to the lesser $ on rent) are a little challenging to find in the first place. I didn’t come home with any new fabric (we have a beautiful fabric shop here in Victoria) but I did pick up 2 Jalie patterns and a few other treats 🙂 like fancy thread and embroidery needles for my machine. I’m warming up more and more to hand and machine embroidery on some of my clothes.

    • Johanna May 18, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      🙂 Sometimes shopping in other cities is just so much nicer. I seldom hit the stores in my hometown (except a few great fabric stores) but when I’m travelling I often find something to buy.

      • Joan May 18, 2017 at 9:21 pm

        So true. I find that with RTW too.

  • Esther May 17, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Hi, Johanna! Thanks for sharing that trip with us. Your daughters look so cool! How about your mum? 70 is young these days. My own is 75 and it’s hard to stop her from moving about. Would like to see how that sports jacket you’re planning turns out. As always, I am inspired to sew (and exercise!) whenever I read your posts. Cheers!

    • Johanna May 18, 2017 at 8:50 pm

      Yes totally agree about your observation! Being 70 is not old today, at least if you are healthy and my mum feels much younger too. That give us hope 🙂 And my dad and his wife still both work even (though part time), and they are both over 70!

  • Joan Ethier May 17, 2017 at 6:36 am

    Thanks, Johanna! We’re leaving for a cruise tomorrow that starts with a couple of days in Stockholm and then goes to Helsinki. We hope to check out your Helsinki suggestions.

    Any fabric shops you’d recommend in Stockholm that are convenient to where we cruise ship passengers will be?

    • Johanna May 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm

      Hi! Ohlssons Tyger & Stuvar at Sveavägen 34 (big fabric store) and Sidencarlsson at Drottninggatan 80 (beautiful store with gorgeous silks and other high end fabrics) are right in the center of Stockholm’s shopping streets and only a few blocks away from each other. Hope you have a wonderful cruise, they say the weather is getting nice and warm now!

      • Joan May 17, 2017 at 8:28 pm

        Thanks so much, Johanna. Appreciate your suggestions and we’ll look for the fabric stores you suggested.

        • Joan Ethier June 5, 2017 at 4:09 pm

          We took your advice and visited both stores you suggested in Stockholm. Didn’t buy anything but enjoyed browsing.

          We also went to Eurokangas, the fabulous store you suggested in Helsinki. We were tempted by many beautiful fabrics and I came away with a very nice quality, patterned knit that will make a pretty summer dress. Thanks for your recommendations, Johanna.

          • Johanna June 7, 2017 at 9:19 am

            Hi! Nice to hear you found my tips useful! Yes the Eurokangas was a very impressive, I love those fabric megastores, especially when the selection is good!

  • Mark Wagner August 6, 2019 at 7:36 am

    You know what your daughters are doing, right?
    They are imitating Darude from the hit 2001 music video sandstorm, where he is sitting on the Helsinki Cathedral steps in shades. Very cool!

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