It’s really easy to love Marimekko, with their outsized textile designs, their legacy of women design entrepreneurs, and their clothes that seem designed to be comfortable and fashionable at the same time. I don’t generally shop at Marimekko, because I know I’ll want goods beyond my price range. But when I was in Minneapolis a few months ago, I visited the official Marimekko shop there, FinnStyle, and had a look around. I ended up straying into the fabric remnants and chose one orphan yard of Kanava to take home. This fabric is meant to be for home decor, but I used it to make this top today.
I used New Look 6775 as the basis of my pattern. I’ve made four dress versions of this pattern already, but this is my first top. Since I had just a single yard of fabric to work with, I had to adjust things a bit; I made my top shorter than the tunic pattern called for, I used other fabric to line the yoke, and I made a narrower belt than suggested. Despite these textile economies, it’s still definitely good in a heat wave.
Want to see some Marimekko textiles for yourself? You might browse selections of Marimekko’s design archive held by Finland’s Design Musem’s Image Archive online; the institution requires registration but it is free to browse. Marimekko had its start in post World War II Finland, and this summer’s exhibition at the Design Museum covers this critical period in Finnish design. The show’s called Builders of the Future and if you’re lucky enough to be in Helsinki be sure to visit. As for the rest of us, we can visit whatever Marimekko shop is nearest us to take in our fill of this iconic company’s unforgettable designs. The colors and patterns are bound to brighten my mood on even the most brutal of summer days, so a field trip there is definitely in my near future.