Every year I try to sign up for Sanae and Ute’s fabulous Secret Valentine exchange. I have managed it for the last two years and that is a good thing because when the deadline slips past me I end up super bummed and kicking myself with regret. The reason I love it so much is mostly because it feels so warm and fuzzy to be a part of secret exchange of handmade goodness. But, I also love the exchange because it gives me permission and freedom to create something with no real agenda. Ah, the beauty of open-ended making! This year I decided to make this hand-stamped tote with leather handles and shipped it off to South Korea, it’s new home. Isn’t it great that the secret valentine exchange is global?! I like the thought of sending something made with my hands around the world. It reminds me that the power of the handmade is amazingly universal and these days that reminder feels especially potent. (more…)
I am a sucker for two things: a handmade Valentine’s Day and a pretty table setting. So, when I got a copy of the book See Kate Sew * for review from Fons & Porter and was immediately smitten with the adorable, pocketed placemat and little wallets, I decided that our family needed a little “All You Need is Love” table setting for our Valentine’s breakfast. Ok, I’m a sucker for three things. I also LOVE breakfast. But, that is beside the current point.
When I first started sewing I was terrified to sew with fabrics other than basic quilting cotton. But the truth is, sewing garments in woven cotton fabric is really limiting, especially since most of us wear knit fabric for day to day wear. My love of sewing garments….really my whole mission to make my own clothing, increased triple-fold when I conquered my fears of sewing with a variety of textiles. As soon as you can sew rayons, jersey knits, sweater knits, silks and cotton lawn with confidence, you can make just about anything! I realized yesterday while I was writing about the cardigan for my mom that sewing with sweater knit fabric is one of those substrates that can be intimidating.
But, it doesn’t have to be! In the spirit of encouraging others to stitch up a more adventurous wardrobe I decided to share my simple tricks for sewing with sweater knit fabric. Let’s make it easy and not at all intimidating, shall we? (more…)
Hey look! It’s my mom! Isn’t she the cutest, most beautiful person? She was visiting us from Minnesota this weekend and we decided to go out for a fancy-ish dinner but she had nothing to wear. I grabbed this color-blocked Julia cardigan (literally pulled it fresh off my sewing table) and I soon as she put it on I knew it belonged to her. I hadn’t even worn once it myself but it was obvious it was fated to be hers. She just looks great in it, don’t you think? Honestly, meant to be. (more…)
What a strange time to be a maker. As so many of us are, I’m devastated by current events. The world feels threatening and unsettled and there are about eleventy billion people my heart is trying to scramble around to embrace, protect, shield. But, even as my emotions scramble, everything keeps shifting beneath my feet and I’m exhausted just trying to keep up with my Facebook feed. I’ve come back dozens of times to realize that what re-energizes and restores me is making things. My time behind the sewing machine is where I can construct something real and solid and certain. I’ve long joked that sewing is my therapy and that has officially stopped being a joke. The process feels vital and at the same time the results feel frivolous. It’s an odd juxtaposition. I guess this is a long way of saying that I made a boho-style cape and it’s not going to save the world but it got me through a tough time. Ha!
Ooh boy. (more…)
This weekend I picked up about a half dozen pink tops and sweaters at the thrift store and turned them into 21 pussyhats. I’m attending a local Women’s March on Saturday and wanted to wear the eponymous pink hat and knew several of my friends also would. I’m not much of a knitter but figured I could sew a quick and easy pussyhat with old sweaters. If you don’t know about pussyhats, they are the playful, pink “kitten-eared” hats marchers are wearing in the upcoming marches happening in D.C. and 200 other sister cities on Saturday, January 21st. You can read more about the idea behind the effort here. I know! Saturday is tomorrow! But if you are dying to wear a pussyhat, there is still time! These are so easy to make! There is definitely still time! Here is my DIY for quick and easy pussyhats. (more…)
Oh, yeah. The wild boy got some new duds. When I bought the fabric for the pajama tops I also nabbed this great fox fabric (from Emrose Fabrics). I don’t often buy fabric just because I like it, but in this case I couldn’t resist. And, as soon as J saw it he asked me for a shirt. He asked me! I didn’t even have to beg him. So, I decided to pair this fox tee with a pair of twisted trousers.
This kid. He’s a bundle of the best contradictions: wild and hilarious and soft-hearted and cuddly and definitely still the baby of the family. He’s started this thing of very nearly using a swear word but not quite. He likes to draw out the word SSSHHIIIIRT. He gets away with a lot. Just look at this personality, it’s explosive and sweet in the same nanosecond.
You know your mom is a blogger when you are on vacation, getting ready for bed and she says, “Oh my gosh! The sunlight is so good right now! Get out on our teeny, tiny, snow-filled deck so I can take pictures!” My poor children. Actually, I think it’s pretty clear from these pics that they loved it. How can you not love these awkward monster pajama shirts!? These are the sort of monsters that would definitely snuggle and kinda,sorta, maybe even protect you. (more…)