Kirjoittelen tänne blogiin vaihtelevasti sisältöä liittyen tuotteisiini, kädentaitoihin, kierrätykseen ja muihin itseäni kiinnostaviin aiheisiin. Voit esittää minulle toiveita sisällön suhteen mitä tahansa kanavaa käyttäen.
Sometime I started to think about adding a coat or a jacket in my collection. I don’t remember defining it more specifically then. It had no name either as none of my garments did at that point. At some point it got a working title: robe coat. And again, as so often, the final garment didn’t look like the original design except for some parts.
First picture is a photo of the first sketch. After making a mockup I noticed it went wrong. The design had to be changed. Hem was too stiff and besides I got a better idea: I want a long dramatic hem. But it had shape and I wanted to keep it. But is shape ok in a hem that almost reaches the ground? Besides, people are different of height. If I make one that fits well for me will it look as good on someone shorter… Maybe not. Straight it shall be. All thought the hem will be so long anyway that the risk it will touch the ground still exists. But that is (also) why I have offered to modify my garments according to customer’s wishes.
Coat started to look like a cloak. As far as I remember at that time I hadn’t yet found a fabric so I couldn’t really take that into account. Sure I knew I wanted linen, but what kind would I be able to get was still a mystery. Linen usually is not stretchy so one worry was how to get enough space in the back so the coat wouldn’t rip the first time one sits behind a wheel of car or reaches a garbage bag from the floor.
I had drawn a coat that was open. Somehow it should be closed, right? But nothing inspired me. Do I put buttons in it? Do I have to put anything? Well, no. I thought that I would wear it open myself anyway. So why put buttons if they are left unused. What if someone else wants buttons? Deep breath of despair. Maybe I’m not the only one who wears their coat open.
In some point of designing an idea of a light non-lined, cloak-like coat was starting to form. I had brainstormed some hoods earlier trying to figure how to make a hood interesting. In those sketches was one I wanted to use. That was a hood with lacing because I thought it would go well with the medieval feeling of the cloak. I had tried it with another garment earlier and had noticed it was pretty heavy. But since the cloak was also heavy it might not be a problem. Pockets were easy as they were so simple (i.e. accidentally got in the right place at the first try) and I liked them. The detail on the shoulder I had designed before. I had drawn that detail in other sketches of coats and it looked so nice I wanted to add it. And the second mockup looked good.
Always when designing garments one has to design it’s structure as well. So what kind of seams will there be, how to build the hood, pockets, lacing et cetera. And what about edges? One has to think about everything and if anything is unusual or never been done before it has to be tested. Fabric and it’s behavior must also be considered as well as how will the garment be maintained. Do these points affect the design? After the first piece has been sewn there may be changes that need to be done in the pattern. I was thinking this cloak might not need to be washed often. Although it probably wouldn’t matter because wrinklyness might not be disturbing in this design. I didn’t want seams to be visible from under the long hem so I sewed them flat. Biggest problem in sewing was how to get long seam neat as linen has a tendency to stretch while sewing and become wavy.
Finally the cloak was done. Except for the name. The cloak looks gloomy so it needed a gloomy name. I was comparing the vibes of different words like kalma (death), horna (abyss), tuoni (also death, there are many names for a dear child, as we say in Finland) and ended up with marras (death:D). Something in that word sounded right. Kalma would have been nice, but then I remembered the grim reaper with his (her?) cloak and instantly it sounded corny. Horna was not convincing (too epic I guess). And Tuoni sounded too delicate (and ended up as a name for another garment). Marras on the other hand sounded really good in all it’s gloomyness.
What is marras? It is dead. That word is not much used anymore in Finnish. It can be used to describe a dead or dying person or dead or lifeless when speaking about nature. It can also mean omens of death such as birds or wild animals behaving oddly. November translates to marraskuu (kuu = month, month of death, not even joking:D) in Finnish and there are two theories why. Here in Finland nature dies after summer in November, but on the other hand in November all ghosts or spirits of the dead are on the move. Still in this day they are remembered on All Hallow’s Day on the first weekend of November.
Sources for chapter “What is marras?” (in Finnish, translations are my own):
The idea of Rauni is actually pretty old. I remember designing the first version of the dress a few years ago in school. It wasn’t exactly the same, of course, but has taken it’s shape over the years. I remember the idea originated from a thought of a feminine dress where a simple detail would highlight the femininity. After a few versions I fell for the dress now called Rauni. Except that then the dress didn’t have a name yet. Working title was boringly “a dartdress” or “dress with darts”. Originally I only intended to make a summer dress for myself, but after I started my business, the dress was taken along with my collection.
Idea of Rauni fits perfectly with my aim to use linen. Linen is suitable for the material of the dress more than well and linen’s nature is emphasized by the vast hem of the dress. Accordingly I wanted to honour the fabric by leaving the edge of the hem raw. So it will uneven and soften in time though it may look a little harsh as new. Idea to this came from my old scarf that I cut out of linen maybe ten years ago and left the edges raw. Now it is my favorite scarf and has been worn into this dreamy soft goodness after frequent use. It’s edges are also lightly fringed. It came to mind that I should write about my experiences of linen’s behavior in some channel.
No garment is ever done without a single problem. Or at least I am not that pro yet. The location of the darts have been adjusted horizontally and vertically and width has been altered and so on. I almost ditched the pockets because I wanted the zipper to be on the side seam and at first it looked like they wouldn’t both fit in the same seam because the pockets would be forced too low. The length of the zipper can’t be pinched indefinitely. Then I decided there had to be pockets. To me as a 170cm long person the height of the pockets was good but my sister being seemingly shorter and often helps me by fitting on my garments (and is a priceless help to me!) just commented they were a little bit low. I didn’t want to relocate the zipper, because I hate it in the back, or ditch the pockets so I just have to deal with it. Another problem was caused by the linen fabric itself. That is it stretched from the side so that the shape of the hem changed. But that problem was solved simply by shortening the side seam a little bit.
I came up with the name Rauni when I was thinking about names for my other garments already in the shop. I gathered a bunch of names and Rauni sounded so nice I wanted it included. It was left for later until at some point I realized: “The dress! It looks just like Rauni!” I researched the character a little and figured as a strong female figure* it completes image of Rauni the dress perfectly. (*Women in old/ancient Finnish mythology are mainly strong and independent. And the number of them is large.)
I spent a long time thinking about photographing Rauni. I have been taking product photos in a “studio” arranged in my atelier and so I did this time. But I also wanted some nice pictures for atmosphere and I had no idea how to. Because forest is always a good idea I asked my boyfriend to help me and so off we went in the woods with a camera and a bag full of clothes. It was a little cold in a sleeveless dress in a late winter (March) forest but the photos were good. Or not in practice. They were all dark and grainy. I used a few hours editing the photos thinking how am I going to make those pictures look like something I dare to show to anyone. Because I couldn’t make them look realistic I decided it is better to make them look heavily edited instead of something that looks tacky. I bet the outcome divides opinions but I’m happy with them. I think they look picturesque and the colours are too odd to be from this world. I did dare to put them on show.
Rauni in mythology
Rauni as a character is a bit controversial and it is hard to find information about her. Apparently the only mention about her is in Michael Agricola’s Psalttari’s prologue, but that poem is hard to interpret. To clear this a little Ukko is considered a great god comparable with Thor for example. Ukko literally means “old man”. And I must point out that this translation of the next poem is my own and is in no way accurate but I did it to give you some sort of view. The poem is also very controversial, especially the line 4 about Rauni. There are many versions about what is happening on line 4 (some of the Finnish words are so old their meaning is lost), but I tried my best.
And as the spring sowing was done/ then Ukko’s toast was drunk.
For that was brought Ukko’s bushel/ so maids and wifes got drunk.
And then a lot of shame was done/ as was heard and seen.
As Rauni, Ukko’s woman (or wife?), was on heat(?)/ Ukko was greatly on heat(?) from below. (???)
So it gave weather and rain/ and käkri* increased the cattle.
*Käkri (or kekri or köyri) is an old Finnish celebration of harvest. However in this poem Agricola might have interpreted käkri as a god.
The Finnish version is very unclear about whether Rauni is Ukko’s spouce or partner or if Rauni is the name of Ukko. One interpretation says Rauni comes from a word raudna meaning rowan tree wich in turn comes from a word “rönn” meaning rowan in Swedish. And therefore Rauni the man would actually be a rowan man. The idea of Rauni’s connection with rowan apparently originates from that E.N. Setälä (a researcher of Finnish language and folk poetry and a politician) presented an interpretation that Rauni is the personification of rowan. Anyway, I need to seek more info on the character of Rauni. When the library doors open again I can borrow books about Finnish mythology again!
Chapter ”Rauni in mythology” sources:
https://www.taivaannaula.org/2012/08/06/puiden-juurilla/ In Finnish
Professor Aimo Turunen’s text ”A research about ancient Carelian people’s gods”, witch is found over here (in Finnish):