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!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

revamped shirt to baby dress/top

This sweet little top was a baby gift for this little cherub. She wore it first as a dress, and now she is still wearing it! You can read more about it here.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

recipe for quinoa vegetable bake

1 c dried quinoa
2 c water
1T oil

Place in large sauce pot and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered for 20 min, stirring occasionally.

1 small onion - finely chopped
2 small carrots - grated (I have also used a 1 parsnip and 1 carrot)
1 small zucchini - grated
10 oz frozen spinach or cooked greens
1/8c flour (I used potato starch to be gluten-free)
1/2t baking powder
1/8c tahini - (I have used up to 1/4cup)
2t salt
1/8c fresh dill - chopped or 1-2t dried dill (optional)
2t fresh lemon juice

Bake 20 min at 400 degrees.

I found this recipe in the Whole Foods Market Cookbook (p.214) and have made it several times - it's supposed to be made into cakes, but when I omitted the 1T yogurt, they ended up crumbly. So I decided to try an easier way and tossed it all in a dish. Tasted the same and was so much easier!

This one's for you, Amylynn!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine Art Party!

A few years ago, a couple of friends started getting together to make things. This time we chose to make valentines. There was cork stamping, collage and cutwork everywhere. Party favors included vintage valentines, felt baskets and silver sharpies with a collection of envelopes, stamped muslin ribbon and journals with red and white houndstooth pencils. Of course, the February edition of Martha Stewart and the Papersource catalog were on hand for inspiration. We had a wonderful time!

Hope you had a crafty valentine's day too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

happy valentine's day!

These two little sweeties came into my life a little over nine years ago. What love. They are so sweet and affectionate. Imagine a sweet pussycat purring in your ear and another at your feet. Today, I hope that you find love within yourself as well as all around you.

recycled skirt and petticoat from t-shirts

Last night at the open studio/sewing circle, I made this skirt and petticoat from the tutorial by maya*made, which was given to me by a friend. It was pretty clever, using the hem of a tshirt for the waistband. Once I figured it out, the second skirt went together within an hour. I have plans for several more! In two weeks, on February 27 from 6-9pm, there will be at class at the sewing studio at Grow Benzie if you want to make your own. Bring some t-shirts (xlarge works best unless you want to make panels) and 1/2" elastic, along with a $10 donation for the studio.

At first I wasn't too sure I would wear a petticoat, but when I tried it on with my boots, I was in love! A few more rows of ruffles added to this one will make it perfect! My next one is going to be in an oatmeal color.

The best part? Having two layers of fabric makes it more flattering in the back, since t-shirt fabric can be a little on the light side for my taste. It also eliminates the possibility of having it get stuck to your body - so embarrasing!

Have I told you how much I love my Frye boots? They are worth every penny even at full price! Somehow they transform every outfit to a level of sublime, don't you agree?

Sunday, February 12, 2012

recycled sweater skirt

A while back, we were headed out on a date night with all our little buddies parents. We were excited to see them and have adult conversations while the kids had time with their grandparents. As I was getting dressed, I couldn't seem to find what I wanted - something warm, cute and fashionable. Now this happens more often than you might expect. It results in a frenzy of activity in my studio as a pile of collected goods is transformed into the finished piece. The inspiration for these projects is often prompted by just such a deadline.  I'm so glad it all worked out this time!