Surrur, the sound a sewing machine makes, if you are in Finland.

I am this close to signing up for a sewing class. Although, I did take sewing in 7th grade, where I made a strange-looking stuffed-animal from a kit. Saying my sewing machine skills are basic, may be too generous. But I will admit that I am pretty darn good at darning and replacing buttons using the “old school” needle and thread.

Surrur” is the sound that a sewing machine makes, if you are in Finland. It is ok if you can’t pronounce it, as 40% of Fins including their President, Tarja Kaarina Halonen, can’t trill their “Rs.” It is also the title of the amazing new “make your own Marimekko” book that I had to have from Crate and Barrel.

Marimekko is known for their bold printed patterns, but it really is more about lifestyle items – fabric, house wares and clothing— that echo the joy of life.

interiorThis book celebrates Marimekko’s 60th anniversary with over 60 fun-filled projects. “Surrur” was made by two Marimekko designers Mari Savio and Kati Rapia. They asked seven other Marimekko designers to design “whatever they wanted” (sounds like a fun job, huh?) and then they would then document and explain how to make it. Kati took the photos and did the illustrations while Mari wrote the instructions. The projects the designers made run the gamut from simple to way too complicated for me. Several of the projects involve sewing machines, which I won’t be attempting and come with patterns. Others are more user friendly, if you are like me, and involve fabric, paper, tearing, cutting and weaving.

A few of the projects are fun DIY clothing designs, others are more decorative and a handful are very playful like puppets or a gigantic car-cozy. Some are just silly, like Mika Piirainen’s “bad hair day hat,” which is basically a huge hat with holes for the eyes. It could be an excellent Halloween costume. Tuula Pöyhönen’s “chief collar” can be done by anyone. All it involves is cutting fabric into long strips and tying it into knots on a cord. I did it and it was easy and looks great. I gave it to my Mom and she actually gets compliments when she wears it. I bet that kids can do it too.

The seven designers were photographed in their living space with their kids and their finished designs. After seeing their houses and the décor, it is easier to understand how they could come up with such fun creations. It makes you want to take a sewing class and make something.