Watch Swedish artist Lina Odell Järlemyr hit the pedal on her sewing machine and you might see sparks fly. This is a girl whose creative fire burns a little brighter than most. Lina has turned the adage “reduce, reuse, recycle” into an art form, using vintage fabrics she has collected since she was a teenager to create colorful, retro wares. Her small studio, housed in a 17th-century building, is a perfect extension of her funky spirit with antique furniture, handmade rugs and Edith Piaf playing on the sound system. And even though her combination of vintage fabrics and handmade craftsmanship is the perfect pitch for today’s world, it’s not due to a smart business plan: Lina is doing what she has loved since she was a teenager and it wasn’t cool at all. Which only proves that following your passion usually leads to good things.
Retro Art: Lina designs colorful wrap dresses (see sketch above), children’s toys, embroidered oven mittens and totes from re-purposed fabrics. She even makes a line of bracelets lined with metal from recycled beer cans. Her favorite textile haunts are flea markets and small town antique stores where she picks up pillow cases, sheets, curtains, table cloths and bedspreads dating back to the 1940s.
Creative space: Lina’s studio is as funky as she is, with rustic wooden floors, flea market furniture and a couch upholstered in pillowcases and curtains. A wall pinned with magazine clippings and vintage photographs (below) keeps her inspired.
• Ulrica Wihlborg.
Photographs by Ulrica Wihlborg © 2013.