70% of women were hunters.

Another piece of evidence that we shouldn’t be doing what we are doing…

Yes, they did it! Proof that women were hunters too. About 70% of them. In fact, they were the ones making the tools. ( so what were the men doing, you might ask?) Anyway, we are done now, right, with this weird patriarchal stuff that we keep telling ourselves??

We carry our assigned genders as if they define our personalities. We dream within the unnatural limitations that come with those labels. We are male or female first, the rest of our lives gets decided from there. Women are more tempted to stay at home, men go to work while they can be as ambitious as they want to, nobody is going to bring them down for it. They might be judged, however, when they want to care.

But that division is not natural people.

There is nothing natural about women being the cares, and men being the providers. I can tell you what natural is, though. Wanne hear it? Might change a thing or two.

It is about what you naturally do best.

You are a person first and foremost. So when we are young we aren’t supposed to be limited by our assigned gender. We are supposed to be free, developing ourselves in a unlimited way. Doing what comes naturally. Meaning, we get to find out what we love to do and get really good at it.

That is what we are supposed to do.

So, back then, if you were good at hunting, or making tools, you would do that. And be a mother or a father if that was your path. But you were the most beneficial to the group doing what you did best. So people wouldn’t question your existence, it was clear you were contributing to the group!

So what on earth are we doing now?

Three minutes after a baby is born their parents start to treat the baby differently according to their gender. Defining them, limiting them. Making it unable to ever reach its full potential because they have to live, work and dream withing that limit. And that I haven’t even begon talking about what happens when a pregnant person discovers that they are pregnant with either a boy or a girl. They will start to treat their pregnant body differently affecting that fetus before it is even born. This might not be so different in the individual scale, but I think we can see what it does on the scale of, well, the full population of the planet that know the gender of the baby before it is born.

So, we are here now. Until now our lives have been determent by our gender. Our dreams were infected by it, our chances, our choices for education, everything. The way we move and how-easy-it-is-to-hammer-something-into-a-wall has been effected by our assigned gender at birth. How to get everything out of life that it has for you, and not just what you are supposed to have?

Because this stuff affects us. If you have that feeling, right now, that you can’t find our purpose, it may be because you are trying to find it within the limitations of your label. If you feel that you might not be contributing to society as much as you could, it may be that your label is limiting you. In the best case, your label isn’t limiting you anymore, but society might be limiting you because they see you as your label and not as the individual that you truly are.

So think back. Find out if you are truly free as who you are; what is it that crosses your mind every now and then, that you love to do but didn’t because it was hard choosing for it? You would have been the only one, voicing the desire. You would have been the only one of your gender sitting in that particular classroom? If you think back to the things that you decided were not for you, than you get a hint at how you are limiting your existence. What you should try out.

At the very least, now that you know all this, try not to be afraid to admit it, anymore. For me, personally, I whished that I was expected to be handy as much as my brothers. Now, whenever I want to hang a shelve and I can’t get the drill in the wall properly, I ask one of the men in my family to do it for me. It takes them a few seconds, they are more experienced than me. But each time I see them finish my work, I realize that is wasn’t that hard. I know I can already do it a lot better than quite a few men.

So what if you secretly dreamt about being a stay at home dad? Or if you wanted to be in IT as a female or in nurse-school as a male? Ok, so maybe it is hard imagining that you would do it from the start all over again. At the very least start admitting to yourself that this, where you are now, isn’t really where you wanted to go. Maybe then you might find a way to let some of those dreams come true. While you are there, changing your life to a place where you feel much more at easy and happy with it, start pointing a finger at the real problem. The thing that made life harder for all of us, not just women. The thing that defines who we are before we have even started to find out who we are. That patriarchy with its labels and its rewards if you adhere to what it has to say. Then maybe, just maybe, we won’t limit the others that come after us as much as we did ourselves.

Sustainable Fashion, But FUN!

This blog was first published on https://findingcrowns.weebly.com/

Being more sustainable, when it comes down to your clothes, is hard. 

There are so many options, and so many conflicting statements. 

Should I buy only “all natural materials?” Should I buy second hand? Should I buy my regular brands, but the sustainable lines? Use what I have, even if I don’t like it anymore?

This can get so confusing and frustrating!!

You may even find yourself being hard on yourself if you haven’t been able to do what you meant to do, or if you find out that sustainable for this brand means something else for another brand!

After spending years working as a designer in fashion, some of it spent trying to change it from the inside out, there is one conclusion that is more important to me than anything else. 

Fashion should not be making people feel bad, it should be a source of good and fun!

Fashion was my source of inspiration and the most amazing thing to do, until I realised fashion doesn’t actually make people feel good. 

Not in design, not in production, and certainly not the people wearing it!

I had to change how I worked and thought about fashion. 

That is what I did, and what I am trying to spread into the world, because I believe that everyone should have as much fun as I am having with dressing themselves!

This blog is for you, as a fashion and planet lover, because I think you deserve to feel fantastic in your clothes!

Getting a little frustrated by trying to buy sustainable!

Buying the right things is stressful

From my own experience I know that wanting to buy the right things can be very hard.

You want to do this right, right?! 

When I was starting to look into being more sustainable I became very stressed because there is just no way to be really doing this right. 

Everything that appeared okay turned out to also have a red flag. 

Buying second hand mostly didn’t work for me. I had to sacrifice looking good.

Buying sustainably meant that I still bought something new, while the world has enough clothes anyway. 

If I was shopping with friends and found myself thrilled there was a sustainable or organic line in the stores they went in, I later found out they weren’t as sustainable as they claimed to be. 

It was super confusing to find out what I really wanted to do because most brands have a different way to approach sustainability. 

Do you want to wear clothes that involve animal-fur? But I don’t really want to wear plastic fibres too, right? And bamboo isn’t as “natural” if you look at the process, either. 


Brands try to be more transparent about what they are doing and luckily loads of brands are getting away from the “tree hugger” – style they used to be in.

Unfortunately most companies are a long way from being truly honest about what they do, and with new studies and different interpretations of old studies coming up every minute, there is just no way to be doing this right. 

This means it isn’t going to be easy to buy your clothes and be happy in them unless you do something different: yourself.

Let’s assume here, as has been said by many authorities in the sustainable fashion field, that the most sustainable outfit you have is one that you love and want to wear forever!? Something you do not want to throw away and that you will wear as much as you can? 

I am sure we can agree on that…

It means you need to put yourself centre stage. 

Not the things you should or shouldn’t be doing. 

Let’s find out if I can help you with that, right now!

A completely upcycled ensemble: upcycled sweatsuit designed and created by Marjolein

No, I don’t tell you what to wear!

When I was a kid, I used to be very creative. 

I had bags and bags of items handed down to me by aunties filled with clothing that I then changed to wear. 

Or I simply wore them the way they were. 

But that had a downside. 

I was thought of as a bit weird. 

And when I hit puberty, that was just too hard. 

So I finally had a bit more money, and clothes were getting cheap. I went for it. 

I was an early adopter. Or, maybe it was just my eye for things that are new and different that made me wear items before they hit the main-public. 

I was an intuitive buyer. I can feel it when I really like something. 

At the same time, the whole thing seemed a bit ridiculous. 

Not wearing things twice, having to keep up with the latest trends as if your life depends on it…. You know, that kind of stuff. 

And after a while of working in fashion, I had enough. 

I had seen the documents and the reports of how the workers were treated, and what happened with our clothes after we (hardly) wore them. 

And then something dawned on me that made it all fall apart in my hands…

It doesn’t make you feel better!

Maybe if we all feel like magic wearing fashion, I wouldn’t find it all so hard, but we don’t!

Fashion is put up in a way that we have an ideal to aspire to about how we should look, but none of us ever have a shot to look like that ideal!

Somehow we ended up in this world where we measure how we look with what we see out there on others. 

If how you look fits in with what you see out there, you are good. 

But that idea keeps changing, making more waste, and creating the need for new. 

It is in fact something that is pushed by the fashion industry to make sure that they can keep selling their stuff. 

Making the individual feel like they are never good enough when they look in the mirror… 

Because I am a designer, I keep getting the following question, “What should I wear?” or, “how does this look on me?”.

I would never give you an answer. 

Because it is not up to me to tell you what you look good in. That is entirely up to you. 

You should base your wardrobe not on what a fashion designer tells you. You should base it on you! 

I stopped completely as a designer for a while. 

I hate to admit this, but for a few years I didn’t look like a designer at all. I looked like a tired and neglected mum. 

I was. 

I had totally lost my joy of fashion. 

Until I found back what I had lost so many years ago: that creativity that I used to have when I was a kid. 

Now I have a wardrobe that I call a regenerative wardrobe. 

It means I keep using my old garments as a basis for new things. 

Not all of my garments are regenerative, though. 

But quite a few of them are unique items that I love to the bone, and that you wouldn’t find in a store. 

The only way that I can do that is by knowing and feeling that the only person I have to dress for is myself. 

I hope to inspire that in you, too. 

Fashion isn’t making us feel good about ourselves

Easier said than done

I believe that if we can let go of what others do and say, we can start to dress the way we want to. If that is the case, you love your wardrobe forever and are very careful with what you buy, tackling the most important issue in sustainable fashion. 

It is easier said than done, to dress the way you want to, because we are so used to adjusting to the norm. 

The way to stop adjusting and creating a wardrobe that you love is by loving and respecting yourself, knowing who you are, and being creative with that. 

That is all there is to it. 

But I would never say that it is easy.

I am going to go out on a limb here and assume that you are into sustainable fashion because you are sensitive to others getting hurt and to our planet getting hurt. 

It means you are someone who cares about other people and have an antenna for how others feel. 

It means that when you were growing up, you adjusted. 

How you have been raised and what happened to you may also still have an impact on how you feel about yourself right now. 

Add to that your creative spirit that at least a few times in life made you feel like you were a tad odd… 

So you are used to adjusting who you are to others. 

It is hard to convey in a blog what you should be doing to increase your self-respect, as I work with people for weeks, or even months, to make sure that they feel good about themselves. 

It is also a very personal journey. 

But fashion and daring to wear what you love really goes that deep. 

It is hard to wear only what YOU love and like if you are still apologetic about who you really are. 

If you still adjust. 

I’ll give you something that might help you, though…

enjoying your reflection

How do you look in the mirror?

What do you see?

Do you see everything that is “wrong” with you?

How you see yourself in the mirror is what is going to make a massive difference when you are trying to decide how you want to look. 

Now let me tell you a little something about what our brain does. 

We see 4.000 to 10.000 ads a day. That is not taking into account the movies we see in a day. 

Our brain takes these pictures and translates them in our brain as “normal” because there are so many of them. 

Our brain doesn’t distinguish between fake and real. 

It will take everything as real. 

So when we look in the mirror we compare ourselves to an image in our head that isn’t real. 

The pictures we see of faces and bodies are photoshopped, put under perfect lighting, and have hours spent sitting in professional makeup chairs. Not forgetting that most of these pictures are made of people that make a living posing and being looked at. They earn their money by looking good. 

That means their main goal of the day is working out and visiting the beauty salon. 

What would happen with your self-image if there was no choice but to only compare yourself with the people living in your street? 

How would you feel differently about your body if your neighbour was your reference?

You can make sure this effect has less impact on you, by talking to yourself positively when you look in the mirror and by making sure that you realise the effort that goes into a picture. 

When you see a movie-star-poster, realise that much of it is fake and how much work goes into that. 

Don’t believe me? 

Google celebs without makeup. 

They are an awful lot like you and me. And make sure you look at those pictures knowing all they lack is makeup. 

They still have perfect skin and eyebrows because there is someone controlling their food/exercise and hair-plucking regime… 

Unleashing your creativity

So what do you buy?

If you have accepted yourself and learned to love who you are, you are in the perfect position to create your own style!

Give yourself a bit of time. You need to learn how to do this. 

It means you have to try stuff out and unleash your creativity. 

What is the most important thing to consider when you are curating your wardrobe?

Do I love this?

Do I love this down to the herringbone?

Because it is hard to feel if you do when you are in a store, I came up with a few categories. 

You can come up with your own answers so you have a kind of checklist: 

• No trends

If you love an item, but that feeling comes from a trend you spotted, it isn’t something you are going to love forever. 

• Love the story

Where is the garment from? What does it represent? Was it a small designer that created it? Or is it bought from someone that you want to support?

• Look at your past

There are a lot of tips and ideas of what you should be wearing again, from your wardrobe in your past. Don’t fear them because they “went out of style.” Wear it with passion, and you will look amazing! 

• Don’t be too harsh

Sustainable clothing always has a red flag. So make up your own ideas of what you love and like. The most important thing is that YOU love it & therefore will wear it forevah

• Love the material

If you find it comfortable, you will walk around in it. If it is itchy or stingy, you aren’t going to wear it! There are also different ways in which fabric looks in the mirror. Get to know yourself so you can turn down a garment on the basis of its fabric quality. 

• Check the quality

Some garments are made in a rush. If the buttons fall off the garment easily, it’s because they are only attached with a few stitches. Also, an overstitch should be straight. It is a stitch line clearly visible, and if it isn’t straight, someone was on a very very late shift making this item.

•​ Send a message

​Ask the maker, “Who made my clothes?” even after you bought something. From experience, I can tell you that the designers making your outfits want to know how you feel about them!

​The moment you are unapologetic about who you are, you have your own style. 

I mean it!

Even if you wear all kinds of different items. 

That may simply be your style. 

In fashion nowadays, so many different things are possible, you do not have to scare away from something because it is hardly possible to be “out of fashion”.

I believe that in the future, the style-icons will be people that have perfected their own unique style, because we are currently saturated with trends, and, frankly, quite sick of them. 

If you feel good about who you are, you have the guts to wear what you like, and you will develop a style that is unique and that you love. 

I hope this helps you to trust your own ideas, instinct, and love for your clothes. 

We just aren’t very creative anymore when it comes to clothing. 

We don’t know how to think outside the box. What we see is what we believe is possible. 

Even if we often do not feel good in it!

Wearing what you like means thinking for yourself and ridding yourself of that standard image. 

What do you love?

You don’t know this yet, because it isn’t visible on others. 

You can make it visible on yourself, but only by trying, and by dressing yourself only for you!

Enjoy dressing yourself in clothes you never want to get rid of. 

Find who you are, and be an expert at that!


After trying to change the fashion industry from the inside out, I realised that all the solutions that I was trying to bring already existed in fashion. 

We are just not used to wearing and looking for them. 

So, I realised my mission is authentic self-expression because the change isn’t in the fashion system, it is in the people. 

Whomever you are, and however you want to change your wardrobe, it is possible. 

You just have to go for it, try it out, change, unleash your creativity!

I help people to do exactly that. 

Find me on my website www.marjoleinvandedonk.com or on instagram @marjolein_creativist. 

I love to hear from you and if this blog helped you in any way!

You aren’t who you think you are.

Seven signs that tell you; you aren’t who you think you are.

(Seven, cause that just looks good!)

I heard someone say that it is hard to be yourself but it is harder not to.

That isn’t right.

It’s not.

Sure you have more to loose if you aren’t living life true to who you are, but it is easier to be someone you are not when it is all you ever did in your life anyway.

It is hard to change that because change is something that is hard in itself.

But we all did, more or less.

We all started off as being something you are not!

We all carry some kind of hurt, something that we had to protect ourselves against when we were younger.

That shapes who we appear to be, now.

You might have even integrated it into yourself so well that you think it is part of your personality.

Worst case is when you build your life up, but at one point it just feels like “your life isn’t yours”.

Little less horrid is when you just keep wondering what to do next and never find that rest and trust in your mind.

But how do you know when you are not true to yourself?

Well, I divided it up in 7.

It isn’t the same for all of us, but I am very curious if you recognize yourself in one or more of these signs.

Obviously, I ain’t going to leave you hanging, so after that I have 7 tips that you may want to try out to get closer to yourself & that life you love to wake up to!

Here we go!

1 Something else is at the wheel.
Your head runs in overdrive. You search for answers elsewhere. It means you attend that course, but at the end find out that you didn’t get what you needed from it. Or when it comes to expressing yourself in clothes, you love to find new trends as a guide to what to wear, or dress according to your shape & age instead of knowing what you want!

2 You think your personality is set in stone.
You are the way you are, right? That goes for good stuff and for bad stuff? That is not accurate. We change in our lives, we grow. Growing means that you have seen yourself respond to the same situations differently in the past. We are not set in stone, to think that you are, or a part of you is, means that you still take the traits that you needed when you were growing up as part of your personality.

3 You are your emotions.
You are angry, happy, mad etc etc. You let them decide your day. You don’t see emotions as something you can work with. You look around you for the guilty ones that make you feel a certain way. It’s your upbringing, your family, something in the world…. Everything but not you.

4 You feel trapped.
You aren’t happy. In a way you wonder at what happened that made your life come out this way…. Why isn’t everything different? Why doesn’t everything work in your favor? You need things to change and you try to act accordingly but it won’t help.

5 You worry about things.
You worry about losing your job or not being successful at what you are trying to do. (What will they say if what I do is only so-so?) Money is a reason to not change, because changing your life will change you income.

6 You suppress your emotions.
It is hard to change you habits. You just can seem to be able to lose the weight. You need distractions like binge watching, drinking or eating (chocolate did it for me a very long time…) to keep the feeling of happiness going. Another sign may be; you keep turning to your brain to reason you out of situations instead of trusting your gut!

7 You surround yourself with people that stall growth.
They keep you from changing and they trigger you to stay the same. New thoughts and ideas aren’t welcome. In some cases you surround yourself with people that respond to life in the same way as the people you had around you when you grew up, if those were the people that instilled the trauma on you.

Low self esteem.

You do not like who you are. You have a highly active inner critic. You may not like your face, you don’t like thinking about your life. It just all tastes a little bitter and you find it hard to look at your life as a set of accomplishments or things that you fought hard to get through.

These are some signs that you may want to look at.

Look, I know it is hard.

We haven’t been taught to just do what you feel like doing.

A load of the emotions we had as a kid we have learned to hide.

And we taught ourselves to look and act like the pack, or only be a tad bit different, not too much.

But there is a freedom in being who you are that you deserve.

If you resonate with a load of these it might be hard for you to be who you really are but showing up , in every way, as who you really are is my cup of tea.

So, I am not going to leave you here with this, I would love to find out if any of these next tips is something you can see yourself doing to improve your situation!

Because; I love uniqueness!

And I know that you feel so much better when you are unapologetic about who you really are.

All right, here we go!

1 Let it in.
That’s right. How you feel about some of many parts of your life might not be fun to realize. Especially if you are used to pushing it away because the implications might be big or you have been telling yourself the story that there isn’t another way out. Change starts with acknowledgement.

2 talk to someone.
But not anyone. Not everyone will (want to) understand what you are struggling with! We all try to fit ourselves into a status quo, more or less. Some people force themselves to stay where they are. It means that they will not support you in the way you need to be supported to change your life.

3 take small steps.
You want to change your life? Big things are hard to change. Small steps might give you a better idea of where you want to go and make the transition easier. You do not have to quit your job to feel what it is like to run a animal shelter, just volunteer for a few hours a month. You do not have to cut ties with all your friends, maybe just finding new ones to go with the old ones will do the trick. Take it easy!

4 take small steps that matter.
Have you every caught yourself thinking things like; I need to get this *insert massive project* before I can go for it? Like “I should quit my job before starting my business” or “I need to get this massive idea of a kick-ass website running before I can launch?” Yeah, you are stalling yourself and every time you go and do something you haven’t done before, you come up with a distraction. We all do this but sometimes you need a pro to point these out to you in order for you to really REALLY do it this time… Just sayin’.

5 let go.
Let go of people that do not support you. Let go of things that don’t make sense with you anymore. Let go of the need for everyone to sign off on your ideas. 70% of the jobs in 10 years time haven’t been invented yet. People do not know what the future brings, they do not know if you can do this or not!

6 find role models.
Find people that are (or do something that relates to what you are doing) where you want to be BUT STARTED at the same place as where you are now. Your road might still be different, you may have a different talent, or different idea of how to get there but having role models will make sure that you see it can be done and that there is no reason why you cannot.

7 Work on your history.
Take the responsibility for your life and know what lessons to take from them. How do you want to look at your life? Is your role in your past the role of the victim? Or of the survivor and hero? How you feel about your past and your part in it, makes a difference how you feel about yourself, right now….

There you go, seven signs and seven things to work with.

Now, I don’t want to leave you struggling, plus I really like to know if this resonated with you or not, to make this blog better.

If you want a chat, I would love to hear from you.

Obviously, if you do not have the right people to talk to you, right now, find me here and I promise if we aren’t the right match I will try to get you to the right place!

Click on the button to book your call…

There is something I made that I absolutely love that helps you to create a life you love to wake up to.

Click the button and find out more!

I NEED my coke*.

We are so stuck with our noses in only one way that this crisis can be solved, that it is hard to envision and demand other ways.

I was in two discussions in one day. One made me scared and worried, the other calmed me down and pissed me off at the same time.

They were about the number one discussed subject at this time. So I am not going to get into the details of the discussions, sufficed it to say that I am more determined than ever to make sure that my money and my effort go into the things that I endorse and not into the things that I hate and are a source of suffering for a lot of people.**

What it is going to be about is this; what if we would have done things differently?

What if the focus of this pandemic would have been totally different?

If we don’t do what needs to be done right now, we won’t be able to battle this pandemic. If we do what needs to be done we will all be better and healthier, sooner. The things that we need to do are; -stay home, -take tests, -get vaccinated and we need to do them ASAP. Hurry hurry!

But here is the problem. The one that is causing me to get a headache for 24 hours already.

It starts with a bunch of what ifs…

In Jan 2020 there were a lot of strange long-infections somewhere in China, which probably set a bunch of people off, but for the sake of this discussions, shall we take March 2020, when the WHO declared it a pandemic.

That was 21 months ago.

That was when we started to get these discussions about what we should and shouldn’t do. That is almost two years ago. How come this crisis is still considered as something imminent? The rules and regulations that we should follow, why are they still thought of something that has haste?

I promised you some what ifs, right?

What if from the beginning of this pandemic it would not have been about restricting, but about health?

It takes 2 years for the effects of a contraceptive pill to be out of your system and your risk of breast-cancer to be retuned to “normal”. That sounds long but you would almost be there now.
The healing of your lungs after smoking begins after 3 weeks of quitting and some parts of the lungs will have healed after 9 months. That time has long passed… Your longs would be fit as a baby by now!
It takes 6-12 months to go through a drug-detox treatment.
I could have had 2 babies in this time. If you have ever been pregnant than you know how terribly long a pregnancy takes. IT COULD HAVE BEEN TWO.
If you loose weight and keep it to only 0,5 kilo a month you would have lost 10,5 kilo by now. The physical benefits of loosing that much weight for a lot of people could be huge.

(I am not going to write a negative list about the negative implications the rules to tackle COVID have done to us. I am just not, email me and we can speculate about that!)

Covid is no longer imminent. It is a constant and you are letting your ideas for solutions limit you to only what “they” recommend.

What if we would have focused on health? Sure, you would not have been able to get away with it in the beginning but the same tactics to get these rules and laws into effect that we all follow now, who knows what would have happened if we would have taken “health” into the equation…

Say we double (no quadruple) the cost of unhealthy food. Extra tax alcohol. Say we make people exercise? What if you can earn point for eating healthy, or demand people to follow a program that will make you healthier? Or worse, you are not allowed in a space if you haven’t exercised enough this week? What if people would have been banned from work after 4 so they would be forced to make a healthy meal?

I know this sounds super silly, I do. Of course you are not going to let your freedom be taken away! You have the right to decide if you are or aren’t going to have a drink/binge watch instead of running and/or eat healthy. Right? Freedom of choice and I need my coke!

But bare with me for a minute… On the whole, what would the effects have been for the general population? What if everybody overweigh would now weigh 10 kilos less? (For the record, I probably need to lose about 2 kilo to fall in the healthy category, which I find reasonable.)

How much fewer people would be in a hospital by wealth-related diseases by now, after 21 months? (if you have an answer, or a good article about this, let me know! The title would be something like; hospitals turn empty as less and less people need attention. Or; people are too healthy, doctors losing their jobs… )


About 630 cans.


I just did the math. I drink about a can a day. I love it. There is a lot of crap in there. What is all of that wouldn’t have ran through my system? How much healthier would I have been by now.

I certainly would not have been craving that coke now… adding another 250 ml to my already 157 500 ml of coke that I have been drinking during this pandemic. I do not want to count how much cake, chocolate and other stuff I ate to cope with the pandemic. (AKA to cope with sitting home, worrying, doing nothing, loss of oxytocin because of lack-of-physical-touch)

My point is I need to focus of this crisis management team to change.

I need the gyms to be open. I need healthy food to be cheaper than bad-food. I need it to be easier to say no to crap as I am inspired to eat and drink crap all day long. I need to be inspired to be healthy and have a fantastic lifestyle. And no, this is not a free choice. It is been made difficult to have a healthy lifestyle and I need that to change.

And I need a hug.

No sleep.

* between starting to write this and post about it on my Insta & fb I have stopped drinking coke completely…

** I don’t like how the world works. Never have. When I was a I kid I thought that it that all these things weren’t going to be a problem anymore when I grew up. Surely these things were obvious, clearly spelled out for everyone to see, so it is easy to solve them. Boy was I wrong!

A lot of those things, though, let take a few, war, poverty, discrimination, sexism and euhh.. lets not forget climate change, those are huge problems. You changing what you do doesn’t mean a thing on the big scale. The enormity of the problem works paralyzing.

Except for one thing.

I am not responsible for what everybody else does. I am only responsible for what I do. So my money goes towards things that I believe in. I try not to spend too much money in stores where they hire people for the lowest wages and than turn over the profits to fat-white-men-on-an-island-somewhere-warm. Where the way they have and work with their product, that same thing that made them rich, is polluting the planet. I am no longer happy wearing something from a brand like that. (Did you know that the wealthier people get, the less they can see the people that are poor? They simply drop out of view from the wealthy..)

A lot of how covid is managed means we are up on consuming, and down on the things that we need to do to keep a good mental condition. Sports, getting together, being active, outdoor, walking with alpacas (the farm had to temporary close…) and things like that.

I am happy to spend my money on a brand where I can see the people that have designed the collection. The brands that have a signature style that I like, and the designers know the people that make the clothes. They pay them properly too. Wearing that makes me feel a lot better and I can easily afford them because I do not buy so many items in the fast-fashion stores.

Keeping my consumerism down, my mindset & mental condition healthy also means; keeping my money away from big companies.

So what is it that you stand for? And do you buy accordingly?

Global Fashion Goals

Het speldje van de Global Goals Oss!

This text is only in Dutch because the Global Fashion Goals that I have been writing are only in Dutch. Sorry guys! While I was writing these Global Fashion Goals I heard news that the Fashion Revolution is going to publish a magazine about what Goals are most important for the Fashion industry. I am looking forward to reading that, and refer you to their website if Dutch is not on your list! Find a link to that here.

De Global Goals zijn veel in het nieuws tegenwoordig en het lijkt nog actueler te worden. Voor iedereen die niet weet wat de Global Goals zijn, ik heb een kort tekst van de website www.sdgnederland.nl hieronder voor je gekopieerd.

“De SDG’s (Sustainable Development Goals of Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelen) zijn zeventien doelen om van de wereld een betere plek te maken in 2030. De SDG’s zijn afgesproken door de landen die zijn aangesloten bij de Verenigde Naties (VN), waaronder Nederland. De doelen kwamen er op basis van wereldwijde inbreng van organisaties en individuen. De Duurzame Ontwikkelingsdoelen startten in 2015 en lopen nog tot 2030. Ze zijn een mondiaal kompas voor uitdagingen als armoede, onderwijs en de klimaatcrisis. Het zijn de opvolgers van de Millenniumdoelen, die liepen van 2000 tot 2015.”

Ik ben vrijwilliger in mijn woonplaats van de lokale Global Goals organisatie. Wij werken dus als een team aan deze Goals. Een link naar de Global Goals Oss is hier dus wel op zijn plaats! Door de Goals leer ik interessante mensen kennen die ook allemaal op hun eigen persoonlijke en bijzondere manier met de Goals verbonden zijn. Met hun hulp ben ik begonnen met de Global Goals te vertalen naar de Global Fashion Goals. Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat hoe beter we ons met de Goals kunnen identificeren, hoe meer ze deel uit gaan maken van ons leven. En dat op zijn beurt zorgt er weer voor dat ze ook haalbaar worden.

Persoonlijk voel ik me door mijn kledingstukken verbonden met de mensen die mijn kleding maken ook al wonen ze op plekken waar ik nog nooit ben geweest. De mensen die mijn kleding maken raken mijn kleding aan en bepalen hoe het er uit komt te zien. Ze verven de stoffen, ze naaien de kleding. Wanneer de artikelen afgemaakt zijn naaien ze er labels in of verpakken ze het in dozen om te verschepen. Dan worden ze in grote containers geladen op nog grotere schepen. Aan de andere kant van die reis worden ze weer op vrachtwagens geladen, nu herkenbaarder. Dan zou het zo maar eens kunnen zijn dat ze eerst nog in een groot distributie centrum terecht komen. Alwaar iemand met een vorkheftruck ze weer in vrachtwagens laadt, samen met andere artikelen van andere plekken van de wereld om in de winkel de collectie te vormen. In de winkel worden ze mooi uitgestald zoals iemand op het hoofdkantoor voor ogen had. Afhankelijk van de verkoopcijfers zullen er weer orders gemaakt worden voor de fabrieken van artikelen die er op lijken. Wat je koopt heeft dus effect op de volgende collecties!

De productie van kleding is niet transparant. Dus wanneer ik kleding gemaakt zie worden in een fabriek zal ik er van uitgaan dat die kleding ook mijn kleding zou kunnen zijn. (Een mooie lijst aan films kun je hier vinden.) De gezichten die ik zie zijn de gezichten van de dames die mijn kleding naaien. Helemaal wanneer ik bijvoobeeld in India zie dat er dames in sari’s typische Europesche mode naaien. Ze maken geen kleding voor India!

Het directe lijntje met onze kleding stopt dus niet in de winkels. Het gaat eigenlijk de wereld rond. De Global Goals zijn ook voor iedereen. Fashion heeft betrekking op iedereen. Maar iedereen heeft zijn eigen gewoontes. Zijn eigen oplossingen en zijn eigen manier om informatie te verzamelen. Met z’n allen weten we meer dan ik alleen. Daarom wil ik graag nu al het document, de Global Fashion Goals, openbaar maken. En wanneer je het doorleest en je het gevoel hebt dat ik iets mis zou ik graag willen dat je mij een berichtje stuurt. Dan stuur ik je de link zodat je het er zelf in kunt zetten, of ik pas het voor je aan. Zo hoop ik dat het document volledig kan worden. Zowel in de bronnen, waar de informatie vandaan komt, als in de creatieve oplossingen die ik zie gebeuren om me heen. Zodat het ook een manier is voor jou om ideeën op te doen over aanpassingen die je zou willen maken aan je consumentenpatroon.

Hier vind je de Global Fashion Goals….

Patched together

Voor Nederlands scroll maar naar beneden…

It is so super cool that, right now, there are more and more people reusing what they have and creating new things with it. In the creative scene I see more and more people sharing their creations. The best material, in my humble opinion, is denim. Because the fabric on old pants is alive! It is not a flat blue…

Already from the making, you can see through the top layer into the bottom layer. It means you can see the warp through the weft, it has depth. But particular for this kind of fabric is that how it is stitched together, and than washed, is unique to every pair of pants. Every leg even!
Than the wear, ohhhh, depending on what and where you tuck your phone or your keys the fabric over time will change. They are like fingerprints. Did I mention a robber was partly put in jail because they recognized his jeans? The link is here…

Using your pants as source fabric for new items mean they increase in importance. Using your friends old pants or gathered old pants through your community also has this effect.

I have been thinking about pants that I made as a young adult. It was a pair of pants made out of two old ones. I missed those pants. Sometimes I think it was almost a pity that I got enough money that I was able to buy new garments. The new clothes were not from the right stores with the right ethical values, so they were relatively cheap. But it meant, when you have plenty of garments you start throwing out. You start to choose. And my new garments always won at the expense the older ones. Even if the older ones, in hindsight, were more unique!

Anyway, I just had to do it. I went into my the pile of pants that I had, selected a few of them together and started cutting them up. If you want to do something similar, make sure you select a specific pair that has the right shape in the crotch. That part is the most difficult to make for a inexperienced seamster.

cutting up the pants but retaining the shape for the crotch…

As you go along cutting up parts I recommend to stitch them together one at a time before cutting new parts. That way it is easier to even the seams out. Small in discrepancies in the panels do not matter that way.

My cut-‘n-sew on top, an older one for the shape on the bottom.

It helps if you, like me, take a garment that has the shape that you like as a sort of pattern. Try your new project on as much as you can to make sure it is a perfect fit for you. Do not be afraid. With this kind of project you can screw up a thing or two, fix it, and it will still look like that was exactly what you had in mind when it is finished. Really!

With loops and whistles…

Here is my finished garment, with a three window view. I am very happy with the result. A few things that I was going for seemed to have really worked. Do you see how I took dark long patches for the side of the garment? It makes me look taller… And can you see that I used the 2 pairs of the same brand for the back? It makes the pockets on the back seem very intentional. And last but not least I tried to put in some detailing on the waistband and the loops, from the same pants that I used in the legs. That way the colors from the legs came back in the waistband. I also like the look of the loops from the worn pants over newly shaped loops.

Lekker stuk!

Ik zie meer en meer mensen die het leuk en betekenisvol vinden om van oude kledingstukken nieuwe projecten te maken. Daar wordt mijn hart blij van!! Behalve dat dit vaak beter is voor het milieu en leuk is om te doen zijn de uiteindelijke dingen die je er mee maakt betekenisvoller dan iets gewoon maar in de winkel kopen.

Mijn favorite items om nieuwe dingen van te maken zijn denim broeken. Ik vind het materiaal geweldig. Allereerste omdat het zelf al “diep” is. Je kunt door de schering de inslag zien. Maar zodra het eenmaal gestikt is en gewassen begint het echt te leven. Geen denim broek is hetzelfde. Wist jij dat er mede door de broek die hij droeg een overvaller is veroordeerld? De link is hier… (Het is wel in het Engels) Geen broek is hetzelfde, afhankelijk van jouw vorm, en waar je je telefoon of sleutels wegsteekt zal de broek gaan slijten en dus leven.

Vroeger heb ik een broek gemaakt van twee andere broeken. Dit was tijdens de middelbare school. Ik heb de laatste tijd veel aan die broek moeten denken. Hij is gesneuveld toen ik moest kiezen tussen mijn nieuwe aankopen en oude, bij het opruimen van mijn kast. Soms is het echt jammer om me te realiseren dat ik op een gegeven moment voldoende geld had om kleding te kopen uit winkels (geen ethisch verantwoorde winkels…) en dat mijn voorheen opgebouwde unieke stukken het daarom moesten ontgelden. Ik heb het gewoon weggegooid bij het uitzoeken van een overvolle kledingkast!

Maar op een regenachtige zaterdag heb ik vol goede moed een stapel oude denims uit de kast getrokken. De juiste kleuren wilde ik combineren, om dan met een 3 tal kapotte broeken 1 nieuwe te maken.

De broek gaat in stukken maar de vorm van het kruis wil ik behouden.

Ik heb een goede combinatie gevonden, waarna ik de schaar er in zette. Als jij zin hebt om dit te doen is het aan te raden om een broek te kiezen voor het kruis waarvan je weet dat die zeker weten goed en mooi past. Dat stuk is het moeilijkst om echt goed te maken.

De cut-‘n-sew boven, de vorm van de broek die ik wilde ligt er onder.

Daarnaast is het makkelijk om een voorbeeld te nemen van een broek die je graag draagt en waar je de vorm dus mooi van vindt zitten. Weet met alles wat je maakt dat kleiner maken makkelijker is dan groter maken! Daar kun je dus ook rekening mee houden wanneer je je stukken knipt en aan elkaar stikt. Stik een voor een stukken er aan. Wanneer je wat er af is van de broek tussentijds doorpast kun je het makkelijk precies aanpassen aan jou lijf. Daarna kun je veel verder gaan en de volgende stukken er weer aan maken.

Ik laat het materiaal steeds weer terugkomen op andere plekken.

Hieronder zie je mijn uiteindelijke broek. Ik ben er erg blij mee. Hij mag eigenlijk nog wel strakker zitten. Ik hoop dat ik daar nog tijd voor ga kunnen maken in de toekomst. Voor nu draag ik een riem er in. Dat zou natuurlijk eigenlijk niet nodig moeten zijn met een broek die exact op je eigen maten is gemaakt!

Ik vind de binnenbeen het mooiste gelukt qua compositie van de materialen. Maar mijn poging om, met het lange donkere stuk aan de buitenkant van de broek, me wat langer te laten lijken en niet te veel doorsnijdingen te hebben is wel degelijk gelukt! Verder wilde ik ook per se de oude lussen waar de riem door moet gebruiken, omdat die de broek het meeste een “af” effect gaan geven. Bovendien komt zo de kleur van stukken van de benen goed terug in het heupdeel van de broek.

Just because denim always works in pictures…

Wil je nu ook zoiets gaan doen maar durf je niet zo goed, weet dan dat een project als dit bijna niet te verknallen is. Wanneer je een keertje verkeerd knipt dan zet je er gewoon een stukje extra aan. Doe dat aan allebei de pijpen hetzelfde (of misschien express niet?) en dan zal dat eruit zien alsof je het eigenlijk precies zo bedoelde!

Making a Moodchanger as scarf.

Mijn favorite zwangerschapskleding weer actief!

Pregnancy was not fantastic for me. But it still is a most interesting time. Worth remembering. Even if it wasn’t the best time of your life, it is still worth to remind yourself how your body was fantastic coping with the strain, how it bounced back. The clothing you wore during your pregnancy is an important, albeit dusty, reminder.

Nu ik van mijn leven niet meer zwanger ga worden, (schijnt in dit zinnetje een beetje door hoeveel lol ik er in had?) heb ik een paar tops die ik erg graag heb gedragen nog liggen. Ze liggen wel in de kast te verstoffen… Dat wil ik niet, ik wil er iets van maken waardoor ik eraan herinnert wordt dat ik die zwangerschappen gehaald heb! Bovendien zijn die tops gewoon mooi. Niet voor een ander, daarvoor zijn ze te vaak gedragen, maar de kleuren passen nogsteeds goed bij mij. Het was moeilijk genoeg leuke zwangerschaps-kleding te vinden. Laat ik de topstukken dan eren en er wat goeds mee doen!

Hoop-je ongeregeld!

Ill briefly tell you about these articles. (see next picture) First up, two articles that I wore for at leased three pregnancies. Trying to reduce my impact by trying to own not too much I wore them a thousand times!! Mixed with a legging from my baby girl, (ahhh, really was she that small once?) and a body that they all wore in there first year. It is combined with a scrap part from something I made and dead-stock from a project that I used to do. I am sure this combination will give me a happy feeling every time I see it!

De materialen die ik gebruik voor deze sjaal zijn twee tops die ik ontzettend vaak aan heb gehad. Dan een rompie dat al mijn kids in hun eerste jaar gedragen hebben. Een legging van mijn meisie in haar eerste jaar. Dan nog een stukje stof wat over was van een ander project. Die print heb ik nog zelf laten drukken!

the most important ingredients of my Moodchanger!

Just to make things easier for me I took a scarf that me and my partner wear from time to time. I will keep to the sizes of this one just to make it easier for me. I will start cutting the most important garments, because I want to give them to biggest audience in the brand-new-Moodchanger.

Aan de hand van een sjaal die ik al lang heb ben ik in de belangrijkste tops gaan knippen. Vooral van de print op het witte tshirt wilde ik veel terug laten komen. Ik probeer tijdens het knippen zo veel mogelijk van de stoffen te gebruiken. Waste is a waste!

After cutting the most important garments.
Adding the body and the legging.

As you can see I have sometimes turned the fabric 90 degrees for the smaller parts, you shouldn’t always do this but I think it will be fine since I am making a flat panel . Just to make sure I can mix and match properly but also to make sure I just get as much as I can out of these garments.

De eerste geknipte stukken bepalen meteen de breedte van de banen van de sjaal. Die puzzel ik vervolgens aan elkaar. Ik zorg dat de verschillende kleurvlakken zich zo goed mogelijk verspreiden over de Moodchanger.

After cutting as much parts as I can whilst comparing size with the previous cut pieces I can start connecting them. It turned out to be a bit of a puzzle keeping the different colors balanced thinking about the big picture.

De afwerking komt aan de binnenkant niet zo nauw; aangezien ik dit soort sjaals vaak dubbel-vouw voordat ik ze om m’n nek draai ga ik deze mooi dichtstikken. Dan valt er niets te zien aan de buitenkant!

Trying to keep the balance of the colors while sewing them together

Sewing the lanes, and after that, the lanes together can be done with a normal sewing machine and zig-zag stitching. As you can imagine the multitude of panes makes for a multitude of seams on the back. I decided to stitch the scarf as a double layer so that is no problem.

Nu is het alleen nog maar zoeken naar een mooie accent-kleur voor de franjes. Wanneer ik deze sjaal 10 jaar geleden had gemaakt was ik waarschijnlijk voor een tonale variant gegaan. Maar nu wilde ik liever een accent kleur die voor een beetje spanning gaat zorgen. Het is prettig voor jezelf om dit soort mechanismes in de mode in de gaten te houden wanneer je oude dingen in iets nieuws verandert. Dat zorgt er voor dat je het gevoel hebt weer helemaal up-to-date te zijn met je “nieuwe” Moodchanger.

same size but totally different outfit-choice to wear them with…

Now the scarf is finished I want to find a nice accent color for the fringes. A few years ago I would have probably gone with tonal, but now I recognize I am influenced by contemporary trends. I am determined however to take something from my pile of fabrics, not buy something new. The combination of the two will determine if this Moodchanger is going to fit in with the times or not.

Ik heb mijn favo kleur gevonden in een rib stof, wat me wel erg goed uit komt omdat ik de franjes dan wat beter recht kan knippen, ik kan immers gewoon de rib volgen met mijn schaar. Daarnaast een speels stukje leer dat over is van iemand, dat ik niet in een vorm knip maar in de vorm laat die het had toen ik het kreeg.

Fringes from rib fabric

The fringes will be cut from a rib fabric which is going to help me cutting them properly. Apart from the fringes I have added a leather part from somebody that I keep in the shape in which it got to me. It is more playful and natural that way.

Het mooie van de franjes is dat ik ze precies zo lang en dik kan maken als ik zelf wil. Op sommige stukken stik ik een dubbele lap in de naad, (dus dubbele franjes) zodat ze goed opvallen wanneer ik de sjaal aan heb.

Helemaal in “mijn” kleuren!

I have doubled up the fringe (two layer rib) for the most part. The rib fabric worked as well as I was hoping. It really helped me cutting the fringes straight and at the same size. Note, do not start cutting, first sew in the fabric and after finishing the seam start cutting the fringes.

Ik ben echt heel blij met het definitieve resultaat. De kleuren zijn helemaal leuk gewonden en de franjes zijn mooi overtuigend geworden. Ik ben er van overtuigd dat ik hier erg lang plezier van ga hebben. Ik betwijfel zelfs of hij ooit weg gaat, een sjaal gaat mij namelijk altijd blijven passen. De kleuren horen bij mij en deze sjaal zou qua materiaal niet belangrijker kunnen zijn voor me!

Definitely a moodchanger! Even if it just changes my chilly to comfortable mood!

This moodchanger is certainly doing its work for me. I love it! And if you don’t? That is fine, moodchangers are super personal. It has a few upsides apart from just being beautifull, I will never outgrow it. The fabric makes the scarf pretty important too.

For a moodchanging-workshop – just contact me!

One more, just because I like it so so much!

Wil je zelf moodchangers; ga dan gewoon aan de slag, oefening baart kunst! Wil je hulp van mij zoek dan contact met me op!

Updating rocks!

This t-shirt was ordered online a few years ago. I still like it, especially now with my newish high-waist pants, creating more shape in the total outfit as I wear it! But, I still think it is a bit boring hence an update to an existing garment!

As well as its appeal, its shape has been lost a bit…

I started to experiment. I wanted to create something I could do by hand. Cutting the T in strips and than see what I can do with that.

cutting board…

So, after a short time of trying I selected a method. I want to make plaits and plait through strips of fabric as I go along. I like that method better than the other tries you see, where you pick up sort of knit strips through and through each other. Maybe because fringes are common in fashion right now?

First I cut the fabric in strips around the sleeve area determining a new shoulder line, fixing one of the biggest issues I had with the shape of the shirt. With the use of three strips of fabric of another old shirt I started to braid. If you look closely you are able to see I braided a few strokes and than pulled trough one of the strips. The aim was not to have the strips of fabric be much tighter around the shoulders, but it it should lay loose around my shoulders as the original fabric.

Fixing the shoulder line and also braiding

In the end I had to cut off a bit of the length at the sleeves because the strips of fabric were much too long. The braid was placed exactly at the seam of the old shoulder seam. I am happy with the result and contemplating if I should do something similar with the neckline, although I am not sure what at the moment. What do you think?

Final picture.

Baby-doll carrier.

My girl has her b-day. She is fond of dolls and fond of backpacks. So, I am making her a baby-doll carrier. She has got to like that!

Friends in a bag…

One of my friends’ kids has one, and it is handmade. First time I saw it I thought it was from a store, that’s how great it looked. I like to learn from the best and I got a head-start because I got her pattern and some advice on how to go about it.

This is a head-start!

So, as I set out to make this I wanted to make it from materials that I already owned. If you look closely to the original, this is the purple with yellow one, you will see that this fabric is more heavy/sturdy. It looks more like the grown-up baby-carriers. I want to work with my scraps but if you have more thick material go for the thicker version.

For the closures and straps, I found out I had a few from a suitcase that I had to throw away a while ago. I do not have enough for the entire length but with the pattern of the fabric that I have chosen I think it works well enough.

selected scraps and recycled closures.

With this carrier the difficult part is just to establish the order in which to sew everything. You could do the following. Start by making the straps. After the straps you should make the fabric parts, first the shoulder part than the back part and lower back part.

Close-up of the original

Try to make the straps in such a way that both close in the same way. Pull the straps through the closures and fix them as much as possible, which makes it easier to attach later.

straps in the making

After that you can start with the shoulder parts. It looks great if you line them with something that is a bit thicker. No need to have stuffing or anything like that. I used some sweat, you could probably also use some towelling. After you made these parts pin them on one part of the back panel, so you can sew them directly into the fabric when you are ready to start making that part.

At this time I forgot to pin the straps that come from the side of the back panel. It was no big problem to attach them later, but off course it is easier if you do it the right way.

Hmm, better luck next time!

At the moment you still have a top and a bottom part of the baby-doll-carrier, you should consider to do some topstitching. This will make the backpack look nicely finished. Just a few millimetres from the edge. If your machine can handle it, try thicker tread!

Now, please note a difference between the two backpacks. Where the original has two darts in the “bum-area” to give the sack a bit of shape, I created 2 holes. The reason is a tip given by the original maker. Real babies will be put in the backpack with their legs wide. But many dolls have rigid legs. They can’t rotate freely from the hip or bend at the knee.

Meet (the backs of) teddy and doll!

My friend has made a bit of fun attaching a plastic ring to the back of the doll-carrier. I had a bit of reflective tape that I attached in the final seam. Sorry kiddo, safety first!

Picture before fastening the last seam.

Hope you liked what I had to share, but it actually doesn’t matter because Jenna sure loved it!

In the beginning…

Soon I will start posting on this blog. I have had some time between potty-training and browsing Spoonflower (http://www.spoonflower.com/profiles/lijlijlijntje) to write descriptions on how to customize/repair broken kids clothes and the reasons why you should repair and customize, rather than buy, as well.

I will also let you know how my new baby collection came to be, and why it looks the way it does. It will be available on etsy, soon.

Don’t worry, I will give detailed descriptions and pictures on how to fix and upgrade your kids garments! Stay tuned!