Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Trunk Show

Please join me this weekend at Wool and Honey in Cedar, Michigan for all your last minute gift shopping.  Choose from recycled headbands, zippy wallets, buckle clutches, modern tote bags, fairy dolls, checkbook/calendar covers, recycled leather wallets, tiny purses and more!

Friday, December 15, 6-9pm
Saturday, December 16, 10-2pm

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Getting ready for a show in Grand Rapids...

A unique and delightful experience for holiday shoppers seeking one-of-a-kind works by our region’s most exciting artists. This year’s sale expands to UICA’s newly opened 4th and 5th floors! Enjoy a fun and festive shopping experience with a cash bar on Friday evening, and a drop in Ornament Workshop on Saturday from 12–5 PM. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Visit

Friday, November 30
3–5 PM | UICA Member’s Only Early Bird Event
5–9 PM | Free Admission, Open to the Public, Cash Bar

Saturday, December 1
10–7 PM | Free Admission Open to the Public
12–5 PM | Family Saturday Ornament Workshop
$2 Members | $5 Non-members

Working on some tote bags

It's show season. The inspriration comes so fast and frequently that I find sewing is all I want to do! So many people have shown love for my new goods that I'm encouraged to share the lastest batch of tote bags in my etsy shop.

Friday, November 9, 2012

masking tape and tissue paper lanterns

As the weather cools, our favorite festivals draw close. Today we made these lanterns out of recycled jars, torn tissue paper and making tape. Seems most all crafts have masking tape these days.
Hoping you enjoy Martinmas and lighting your own lanterns!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Recycled scarf series - elements

For about a year now, I have been thinking about the ideal scarf. Lightweight, colorful and unique, it must be made from recycled materials. It's fun to design when you have more parameters, don't you think? It forces you to think in ways you might not think otherwise.

Here are all the elements - water, earth, air and fire. Check out my etsy shop for all the details and to get one of your own.

Special thanks to my friend, Zane, for the lovely photo above!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Makers Market 2012 in Traverse City

What a fun event! The weather was crazy - raining one minute, sunny the next. This continued all day long but most everyone just wore a raincoat and kept on shopping. The dress in front was inspired by a tree and of roots growing down. I found some great ideas for gifts and some cool rings made from paper! If you missed it this year, be sure to put Makers Market on your calendar for 2013.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New headbands for the Makers Market

Here's a whole new batch of headbands for my show on Saturday in Traverse City. Come check it out on the piazza at Building 50. There will be one-of-a-kind purses and clothing featuring recycled material.

Friday, September 14, 2012

first sewing lesson

He has been watching me sew for years now, and I was so excited when he asked me to show him how to use a needle and thread. We took a sharpie and made dots on the edge of the fabric, threaded the needle and knotted the thread.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Revamped jeans at the Frankfort Farmer's Market

A few weeks ago, one of my yoga teachers asked me to repair these jeans. Here is the end result featuring a wood grain batik from my sweet bee sister:

Saturday, July 21, 2012

New purse style for summer 2012!

More purses, fresh off the machine. Sporting a pocket, zipper closure and patchwork design, these little sweeties just need a name.

What do you think is a good name?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New zippy pouches for summer 2012!

Wondering where to find all these lovely goods? They will be organized in a vintage suitcase in the Grow Benzie booth at the CSA show in Frankfort, next Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New tote bags for summer 2012!

Here is what I have been working on, in preparation for a show next Wednesday in Frankfort at the congregational summer assembly.
The pockets are zippered to hold your phone or other little things and the bag is reversible, 2 bags in one!
I love good design that is multi-functional!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ruffle skirt at solstice festival

Its been a whole since I posted this skirt, but it's quickly becoming one of my summer favorites. After seeing one in the Garnet Hill catalog, I was inspired to make one. Together with an aqua sequin top, handmade leather ring belt from Fernand Footwear and my favorite shell necklace, I felt like I was channeling my inner mermaid!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bridesmaid dress revamped

Last night, my friend called because the zipper on her dress broke as she was trying it on. After some research, she learned that zippers often break on dresses from this particular shop, and that others have had success with a corset style back.
So she brought over some fabric and ribbon along with her dress and we revamped the back. I think the other bridesmaids will wish their dresses looked like this too!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Felt birthday crown!

Happy birthday Britton! We went to a fun camping birthday party with loads of kids. Food offerings included trail mix and ants on a log (celery, pb and raisins).
Made my favorite new style birthday crown out of felt. It has a Velcro closure. I hope to make more of these to sell at shows this summer.
Custom crowns available! Just let me know what size and color.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Bubble wrap print t-shirt

Enjoying a day at the lake in a hand dyed and custom printed t-shirt! We were inspired by a class we took, making prints with bubble wrap. So we tried it with fabric paint on dyed t-shirts and it worked great! Little f had a blast making them and it's fun to share that he made his own shirt!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Old jeans to market apron

Our farmer, Sandee Ware, from Ware Farm asked me to make some aprons to use at the farmer's market and for planting. The old one had these nice big strong pockets, so I used that as my inspiration.
Here she is selling organic seedlings at the market. Thanks to her, I'll have tomatoes, basil, zucchini and pumpkins in my garden this year.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Neckline revamp on a women's shirt

Found this shirt in my thriftng adventures and loved the fabric. But alas, it was too big and didn't look right. I tried taking it in and then it was left to languish in my ever growing to do stack.
And then I discovered the smock. This technique of cutting off the collar and converting it to a channel for elastic is brilliant! It was exactly the treatment this shirt needed. I used bias tape instead of trying to fold the curved edges under and loved how it worked out. The vintage rick rack in red was just enough to give it the look I wanted, truly a modern mix of old and new.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mermaid shirt

Instead of making shirts with groovy new fabric, I have found that I love adding new elements to found shirts. This one has mermaids and pearl snaps, which prompted a look of sweet joy as little f pulled them apart at bath time!

All the logs are remnants from our big winter storm, cut up with a chain saw. They make a nice little natural obstacle course!

Mother's Day 2012 in Arcadia

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

revamped vest rescue

It's so sweet when your handiwork returns to you. This vest was sold locally at an art show a few years ago. This also happened to be the show where I met my very dear sewing sister, Amylynn over at Farm Girl Studio.

Then, a few months ago, another sewing friend handed it to me after we reconnected at another thrift shop (note the theme). Her name is Deb and her recycling enterprise is called Pretty Stinkin' Green. She had found it at a thrift shop in the their boutique section, recognized it as my work and bought it to give back to me. Thank you Deb, you are so thoughtful!

Best part of the story? It fits my little guy right now for a cool Michigan spring, just as he was outgrowing his little orange vest. So we passed that one on to another buddy, paying it forward!

Friday, May 4, 2012

jeans to flirty skirt tutorial

So here it is, at long last, inspired by my birthday buddy, Kristin.
These photos were taken at the sewing studio at a class. Thanks to Erin Truog as my hand model for a few of these- nicely done, and two cute skirts to boot!

Starting with a pair of jeans, cut off the legs just above the inseam. Using the legs, cut out several curved pieces for the flounce. The curvier you cut them, the flouncier they will be and the more fabric you will need.

With the right sides together, stitch the flounce pieces together to make one long flounce.

The top edge of this flounce piece should be roughly the same size as the bottom of the jeans.

Here you can see that we cut four flounce pieces (two from each leg of the jeans) and the stretch pants that were used for the little leopard velour skirt.

At this point, you can sew the ends of the flounce together, pin and stitch to jean top. Or, if you are feeling more advance, you can start a few inches from the end of the flouce, sew all the way around until you are a few inches from the end on the other side and stop. Then you can stitch the flounce together (once you determine you have the right amount of fabric on both sides - if you don't, now is the time to add a bit to your flounce but cutting and sewing another piece). Return to stitching and finish attaching the flounce.

Now you can leave the bottom edge unfinished, use bias tape to finish hem, or if you are using jeans, topstitch around about 1/2" from the bottom for a nice frayed finish (that won't fray too much).

Please send me your feedback and skirt photos!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Adding length to pants

As my sweet little boy grows taller, all his clothes need a little extra length. For this pair, we chose some wood grain fabric and stitched a few inches onto the bottom. He chose his favorite mushroom cap too, made from cashmere sweaters.

Need more details on adding length? Check out my etsy shop for a tutorial.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

t-shirt to skirt class at community sewing center

A few years ago I had a dream of a place where people could sew together. While getting my hair cut, I shared this dream. My hairstylist and friend introduced me to a woman named MaryAnn who was working on a great local community project called Grow Benzie. So, MaryAnn and I sat down and had a conversation. She shared my vision and immediately began to work on a space where we could sew together.

Now it is two years later and the dream has become a reality, thanks to all the great people who have come to sew in this wonderful space. Since the beginning of this year, we have an open studio/sewing circle on Monday nights from 6-9pm for a $10 donation or 15 if you would like to use some of the donated materials. Sometimes we offer a class like this in conjunction with the open studio.

To make this story even more interesting, the woman in the photo above was getting her hair cut as I arrived for my last haircut a week ago. Clarissa is a sewist who recently moved to the area and wanted to come get involved. Can I say that I love my hairstylist? She is so cool.

A few weeks earlier at an open studio, I made a ruched overskirt and petticoat with this great tutorial from maya*made. After making two skirts using it, I drew up some visual instructions that I could pass out in the class. Photos were posted on facebook and people started to sign up for the class. I called my crafty friends for back-up because I knew I was going to need help if fourteen people really showed up.

Fourteen people did in fact show up for the class, although not all the same people who signed up, as might be expected when people have families and travel to consider. As I reviewed the instructions with everyone, there was a pause while I slipped on my skirt and petticoat. To fill the space, a friend's daughter who is 10 and a Shakespearean actress stepped in with a recitation about sewing. Amazing. Where else would this happen?

I am feeling so blessed to have these people in my life! The skirts were all very different and wonderful. The women who came were working together, helping each other measure, make creative decisions, threading bobbins and offering encouragement and affirmation. I would like to especially thank Maya Donenfeld for inspiring the event with her Reinvention Skirt.

Thank you to everyone who had been part of this amazing dream and helped to make our community a richer, more creative place to live!

I'm looking forward to sewing with you next Monday night!
Let's wear our new skirts!