There is something new hanging on the clothesline and it’s for dudes….boxers! It has been a long time since I stitched something for my husband, K. In fact, his handmade pajama pants are so well-worn they are nearly thread-bare at the waistband. I just don’t sew for him very much and to be honest, I find it hard to sew for dudes. What would I make? He wears t-shirts and neutral colored shorts for the most part. Not that exciting. If I could knit, I think I would have more options but as it is, I am limited. So, when Betz White asked me if I wanted to play with her new fabric line, Dutch Treat, I decided it was time to make something for K. Thankfully, I took one look at her charcoal and yellow print and saw boxer shorts written all over them. Hence, the cheeky name Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts! I made it my Project Sew It challenge for June to create a boxer shorts pattern that fits him. (more…)
I am a natural skeptic, so I must admit I was slow to embrace the indigo dying trend. It seemed like everyone was doing it and I pshawed. Of course, sometimes you have to (embarassingly) admit that what you first dismissed as a ‘trend’ is a hundreds of hundreds years old technique born out of pure awesome and you were being kind of a heel. Or, maybe that only happens to me. Anyway, what I’m getting at is that indigo dying is awesome! It’s a living plant, guys, and the whole process of dying with indigo is really unexpected and fun. It’s like tie-dye (on steroids) for (artist-oriented) grown ups. If you are at all interested, don’t overthink it…definitely try it out. I am so glad that my husband bought me a class in indigo dying at the Brooklyn Craft Company so I could get over my self and dive into it already. I brought along a bunch of plain fabric including some canvas and basically had the time of my life. Two of the pieces I dyed I turned into this Indigo Dyed Tote bag. (more…)
It’s around this time of year that I lose all tolerance for annoying things like jeans or tight-fitting dresses. I want to either be wearing grub-wear in the garden or a dress I can throw on over a swimsuit. I also have pretty nit-picky criteria for sundresses…they should be so easy and comfortable you can wear them all day in the sun and also feel free to stop in at the ice cream shop or indulge in a boardwalk funnel cake without shame/discomfort. You should be able to sweat freely, no pools of sweat that collect at a tight waistband. They should allow enough length for sitting but not so much that the breeze can’t dry any sweat behind the knees. They should never, ever involve anything that even stands a chance of scraping or itching such as a zipper. Save all that other stuff for the fancy dresses! I’m a delicate flower in the hot sun of summer and my tolerance for irritation plummets to all time lows. I really don’t think I’m the only one. Let’s be honest, summer days meander with uncertainty and a sundress should be ready for all of it. (more…)
Every summer I make the same mistake. I think to myself, “I don’t need any help or planned activities for the kids this summer! School is so structured and scripted, they need summertime freedom! They need a chance to get bored and make something up!” And then the boys spend the first few weeks of summer begging me to watch TV or play games on the computer. Eventually I cave and they end up watchings screens way more than I would like. Or I spend my evenings scrolling Pinterest and then scrambling to find random supplies so they have an activity to draw them away from those magnetic and brain-draining screens.
Well, I’m not repeating that mistake this summer! I teamed up with Andrea from Andrea’s Notebook and nearly a dozen other talented bloggers to create a Boredom Busters Kit. The kit includes 10 different projects and bonus printables like a calendar and coloring page. Each project just needs to be printed out and it’s ready to go. (more…)
You know that thing that happens when the world finds out that you sew? You are flooded with requests to sew things. Bless them, right? Everyone means well. Remember those kindergarten chair pockets I made for my son’s class last year? Well, you can probably guess where this is going…at least a little bit. About halfway into this school year J’s first grade teacher approached me about sewing chair pockets for his classroom, just like the ones from last year (link includes my tutorial on how to make them, btw).
Much as I loved making chair pockets for his classroom last year, it is time-consuming, monotonous and costly (it takes A LOT of fabric). Plus, it seemed inequitable to me. If classrooms need chair pockets is it fair that the only classrooms who get them have my kid in them? Not really. So, I suggested that the school identify how many classrooms need chair pockets and write a grant to cover the cost of store-bought chair pockets. J’s teacher came back and suggested that the ones I make are sturdier than the mass-produced kind. I was terribly flattered. I agreed I could make them and quoted her a price per classroom (at 25 chair pockets per classroom) that paid for my time and supplies. She submitted the grant and it was only after the grant was accepted that I found out that nearly the entire school needed chair pockets, 300 to be exact. Turns out every first grade and kindergarten classroom except for two needed chair pockets….one of those two classroom has special chairs and the other has the pockets I made last year. Ha! I was totally overwhelmed. (more…)
I have got this funny little fear of quilting. Really, I break into a sweat standing next to an un-quilted quilt top. I like making the quilt top but it’s the whole putting it all together that makes me a basket case. The actual quilting. It seems an extra cruel final step, the quilting. You work so hard on a quilt top and then every. single. thing. can mess up when you go to quilt it! Ah, the pressure is insane. I’d so much rather make a complicated jacket.
The problem is, I really, really want to make quilts. Specifically mini quilts. I love that a mini quilt can explore an idea or an aesthetic in a way that is creatively energizing far beyond garment sewing. At the beginning of the year, I quietly decided I would make mini quilts. Just for fun, as little breaks for myself. But, I haven’t followed through on that..until now. (more…)
When my friend Carla from Small + Friendly asked me to join her Mini Maker’s Summer Fun series, she described it as ‘simple projects to combat the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome’. I jumped on board and immediately started to think of really elaborate projects that required lots of adult assistance. Yep. Somehow missing the simple message. And also forgetting parents want things kids can do on their own, for hours at a time. After running through lots of very-involved ideas (ooh, what about…dried glue and tie-dye on a t-shirt! Or, windsocks made out of fabric scraps, paint and toilet rolls!). I decided to run some of these ideas by C, who happened to be sitting happily on the porch writing a book. He looked up when I asked him, “what kind of activity do you think other kids like you want to do so they don’t get bored?” and before I could regale him with my ideas he said, “write books!” It was so obvious and simple and easy and perfect! So, this post is brought to you by my ever-astoundingly clever son. Here is how to write your own story, provide hours of quiet fun, nurture creativity, build writing skills, drawing skills, and inspire a life-long love of books…all without any parent involvement! Can I get a Woot Woot!? (more…)
Technically, Celina Bailey’s lovely effort, Project Sew It, involves one sewing project a month but I checked with the sewing goddesses and they have allowed me a little pass for missing March. In that way, this Adelia Dress counts for both my May and April sewing. But friends, I do not call lightly on the sewing goddesses, it’s just that this dress deserves it. I am really excited about it because I drafted the pattern myself. (more…)