I recently read a book about the Finnish concept of "Sisu". What is Sisu? It's a unique word to Finns that describes their nationality personality- one of perseverance, determination and resilience. And how do you get Sisu? Well, this author had many suggestions, including walking in the forest to reduce stress and anxiety. I thought, "I can do that!". She said that 90% of Finns say that they go to the forest on a regular basis. I don't know about you, but with all that is happening in the news lately, I've been feeling a little more stressed than I want to be. You're probably wondering- what does this have to do with sewing??
Well, a friend and I decided to take up Nordic walking in the forest, and I felt that my neon bright, high tech, polyester workout wear was completely out of place there! I felt like a fish out of water. So, I went on the hunt for some natural fibers in some forest shades that I could make for walking in the forest. I found this abstract linen/cotton print that reminded me of old driftwood, moss and berries. Perfect! Although this particular print is no longer available, I think many linens would work, as well as anything in the Shirting section.
Since temperatures in my locale vary so much, I decided that I wanted something that I could wear as a shirt, or a jacket. For my pattern, I used Butterick 6465. It's big enough to wear over a turtleneck, but not too big, so that if I wear it alone, it still fits fine. It has pockets, so that I can put my keys and phone in them as I walk.
For the buttons, I used some unusual buttons that I had bought at Fabric Mart a while back when they had a designer button special. These have a marble look to them, and remind me of western snaps. They were a little larger than the pattern recommendation, so instead of 7 buttons, I used 5, and I also added them to the pocket bands.
For the sweatpants, I used a heavyweight cotton olive green jersey, that, unfortunately, is sold out. It has very little stretch, and is almost like a sweatshirt fleece, but with just a brushed finish. Here are some other all cotton knits that would work for this type of pants.
I also made a jacket from it, for when the weather is windy or cold. For this jacket, I used View A of Simplicity 8739. This is an extremely simple pattern! The sleeves are cut on, and the cowl collar makes the neckline very quick to sew. This would also be great made out of any kind of fleece or sweater knit.
The buttons are just decorative- it pulls over the head. I used some wood look buttons to keep the woodland theme.
I really liked the shape of the hem, and I added some patch pockets that mirrored that shape in the front, just in case I need to take some gloves along with me. The dark green feels right at home in the forest.
If you've not seen these sticks before, these are Nordic walking sticks. I think that they are very common in Europe, but not so much here. I got mine at a local sporting goods store. They are kind of like golf clubs in the fact that you should try to get some that are the right height for you.
You never know what you might see- I was so excited to see this mama deer and her two babies taking a drink. I'm really looking forward to when the seasons change and the leaves change colors!
I love my new woodland walk wear! I'll leave you with this sign that I saw as I left the woods, which is actually inside our city limits. I think that we sewers naturally have Sisu- we are determined and persevere until our projects are just as we want them to be! Do you like to go for walks in the forest? What's your favorite way to de-stress?