i suppose it’s good to be busy, but this time of year it just seems i can never keep up! i’ve already taught a whole bunch of classes, but there are still quite a few more coming up, so i thought i’d check in with an update:
NEXT weekend, October 29 + 30, i’ll be down at my old hangout Brooklyn General Store. i don’t get down to the city to teach much anymore, maybe once a year or even less, so you might want to jump on one of these if NYC is your home base! on the Saturday i’m teaching Folk Dress, and on Sunday it’s Draft + Sew Your Own Leggings. grab your spot now before it’s too late!
back up here in the Hudson Valley where i live, my Tuesday series of sewing workshops continues at Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, NY. the next three are Zip IT! (next week, 10/25),
Clone It! (11/1) <<<oops, SOLD OUT! and Embroidery & Applique (11/15). and a heads-up for early 2017 — this one’s on a weekend — Hip to be Square will be held Sunday, 1/22 as a follow-up to Jen Hewett’s printing workshop the previous day.
if that’s not enough, i’m also honored to be teaching at the 2016 Northeast Handspinners Association’s biannual event, The Gathering in Lake George, NY along with two of my favorite spinsters Jillian Moreno and Beth Smith, among others. i’ll be offering Pattern Drafting for Knitters, Crochet on the Edge, and Embroidery for Knit + Crochet. come for the whole weekend of fiber fun, or just to take a class or two.
in between all the teaching, my hands are busy making as much as i can for the three holiday craft fairs i’m doing. save the dates:
Hudson Valley Hullabaloo in Kingston, NY — November 19-20
Sudbury Winter Gift Sale in Kingston, NY — December 3
Indie Narrowsburg Holiday Market in Narrowsburg, NY — December 10-11
hope you’re having a fun and busy Fall, and that our paths will cross somewhere soon!
and just like that, it’s Fall, the season that reminds me of getting back to basics, learning, and wardrobe augmentation! which, in my world, means sewing some new clothes. on that note, i am so happy to tell you that i’ve got a brand new workshop over on Creativebug today: it’s called Seam Finishing 101 and it’s all about building your foundation sewing skills.
seams are the core of what sewing really is: joining two pieces of fabric. but you can’t just sew your seams and then call it a day, or the raw cut edges will fray and unravel and soon your clothes will just fall apart! though often overlooked, finishing seams properly is the key to making projects that hold up over time and look professional. in this class i show you ten different seams and hem finishes, so that you have a technique for every situation, from sporty felled seams to elegant French seams (my favorite!) and even a blind hem that’s NOT stitched by hand!
once you know the basics of seams, your handmade garments will look just as lovely on the inside as they do on the outside. take a look!
such a busy summer this has been! my week in Portland, ME at A Gathering of Stitches was super fun and amazing, and i need to tell you ALL about it (also psssst: there are a few more Maine Stitching Retreats left in 2016 so you should check them out!). however, tomorrow i leave for Peters Valley in NJ to teach the 5-day Design and Make Your Own Clothes workshop all over again, so i’m packing and getting ready to hit the road again. can’t wait to see what comes out of it this time! follow along in real time via Instagram if you’re curious.
the garden is gangbusters and we’ve been swimming in the creek as much as possible. i’ve got lots of new classes scheduled for Fall, so stay tuned for an update to my teaching page soon. for now though, i just wanted to remind you that registration for the Fall (September! so soon!) session of my beloved Squam Art Workshops closes on Monday, August 15. so lollygag no more! you deserve it.
has Me-Made May got you all worked up about starting, augmenting, or filling in the gaps in your own handmade wardrobe? well, i’ve got good news: summer is almost here, and i’ve got some adventures planned that you just might want to jump in on! in July, i’m honored and elated to be teaching a full WEEK-LONG workshop at the awesome makerspace A Gathering of Stitches in Portland, Maine. the wonderful Samantha Hoyt Lindgren has rounded up a roster of teachers from all ends of the stitchery world — quilting, sashiko, bra-making, shibori, screen printing, and garment construction — for her series of events called Maine Stitching Retreats. they all sound amazing; i would sign up for every single one if i could…
right now though, i’d like to tell you about the one i’m leading. it’s called Design (and MAKE!) Your Own Clothes. (no, i can’t resist the all-caps, parentheses and exclamation points even in my class titles.) i’m beyond excited about it, because this format is for sure my all-time favorite: five full days of non-stop clothes-making! we will learn how to draft patterns (for a skirt, t-shirt and shift dress), make and fit muslins for each, correct the patterns, and then sew real garments. you’ll also learn how to take those base patterns and re-style them to fit the designs you have in your head. i’ve had the opportunity to teach this week-long intensive only twice before, and it is FUN. in addition to the three main garments, i think everyone who has taken the class has made anywhere from one to three additional pieces too. yes, you really will get a jumpstart on your own handmade wardrobe!
the last time i taught this workshop was at Shakerag in Tennessee, in 2014. appallingly — though not surprisingly — i never actually shared the photos here (oh, Instagram, you do make it so easy NOT to blog, sigh…)! we had an absolute blast. so here’s a sampling of what’s possible (click on any pic to see it bigger):
learning to draft your own patterns enables you to design and make the clothes YOU want to wear, and they will be tailor-made to fit your own unique frame. once you get the basic concepts down, it’s quite simple to mix and match elements and design details (silhouette, necklines, sleeve length, pockets, collars) to create infinite possibilities.
don’t these ladies look happy and proud of what they accomplished? at the end of the week at Shakerag, all of the studios display their work and then everyone walks around to see what each class has been up to. my group hung up their mini “collections” clothesline-style, and it was impressive how many garments they’d made!
i hope you’ll consider joining us this time around. read all about it and register right here.
every day i see people posting things they claim are exciting. i’m sure i’m guilty as well. i do get excited about little things: first blooms in the Spring, classes i’m teaching, projects i’m making, learning to play ukulele. but today, i have something truly EXCITING to share, on a worthier level than usual. at least to me. and hopefully, to you too!
as you know, i make and sell small-batch clothes, mostly smock dresses and leggings, over in my Etsy shop. each piece has always been made by me in my home studio. in many ways i love this. but in many ways, this has always been a challenge and limitation on my business. i’m not going to dwell right now on the difficulties of one-person production, because i’m too eager to get to the GOOD stuff:
what you see in the pics above is Good Clothing Company. i have been looking for them for about 15 years. they didn’t exist though, until one year ago. i am so happy to have found them! the brains behind the operation is Kathryn Hilderbrand, a forward-thinking designer, master tailor, and entrepreneur. she is bringing back ethical, sustainable garment manufacturing to New England. she is — together with Tim Gunn — working to legalize hemp, both as a crop and a textile, in the state of Massachusetts (and beyond). i really don’t know how Kathryn does all that she does, but she’s my new hero!
i have been working with Kathryn and her wonderful staff for about 6 months now, to produce my long-standing staple, the smock dress. there is the short-sleeved smock with the lower, more open “summer yoke” neckline, and the long-sleeved smock with the slightly higher “winter yoke”. each style comes in two sizes: the classic one-size-fits-a-wide-range which until now has been the only size i make (unless custom made for someone), and a larger size (see details in the listings). currently i’m offering them in one of my all-time favorite fabrics, natural undyed linen.
this has been a long time coming, and it feels so good to finally be here! both short- and long-sleeved styles are now in stock and ready to ship!
Caitlin and Mariglynn are living proof! see how happy and proud they are to be wearing their own handmade clothes? you can have the same feeling after taking my 2-day Make Your Own Dress intensive next weekend (April 16 + 17) at Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, NY.
this is my favorite type of workshop, in which we have ample time to work through the entire process: we’ll take measurements, draft the pattern, make a muslin, fit the muslin, correct the pattern, then cut and sew a “real” garment! so often i can only teach one part of it, either just the drafting or just the sewing, and i know many students find it hard to connect the dots on their own.
these photos are from last August, the first time i taught this exact workshop. we had a great group of 5 eager women, all looking to take the plunge into sewing their own handmade wardrobes. since then, i’ve seen many garments that they’ve shared online, and when three of us reunited at a darning workshop in January (top photo), i was tickled to see Mariglynn and Caitlin in head-to-toe handmade!
Drop Forge & Tool is such a wonderful space, and Hudson is a lovely town to spend a weekend in (and an easy trip from NYC). you can see really lovely photos from our August weekend in this post. we’ve got a couple of spots left, and we’d hate for you to miss out…
every year i look forward to the quiet months of January-March as a time to recover from the busy season, regroup and catch up on projects that got pushed aside over the previous year. and every year it goes by too quickly, and not enough gets done, before things start to pick up again… but that’s how it goes, yes?
as April is quickly approaching, i just want to remind you that i have 3 fun events coming up! first is the Black Sheep Needle Arts Retreat in Lakeville, CT. this is a new one for me, but it’s the 3rd (or 4th?) annual retreat, and it seems to be growing each year. i’m looking forward to hanging with some of my favorite teacher pals like Mary Jane Mucklestone, Kirsten Kapur and Jackie Ottino-Graf. i’ll be teaching 4 workshops: Pattern Drafting for Knitters, Color Play Crochet, Gaga for Granny Squares, and Crochet for Knitters. this is the kind of retreat where you have the option to come for just a day, or a class, or the whole weekend’s events. hope to see you there!
in the middle of April i’ll be teaching another Make Your Own Dress weekend intensive at Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, NY. we did one of these last August and had a fantastic time! you’ll learn to draft your own pattern, sew up a muslin and fit it, and then stitch a real dress, all in two days. this is the ideal way to learn pattern drafting because we’ll work through the steps that come after the drafting, and you’ll get a real sense of how to use and adjust your patterns. join us if you can!
and at the end of the month, i’ll be back at the Yarn Cupboard’s Fiber Retreat and Market in Syracuse, NY. i believe this will be my 4th time teaching at this one, and it’s always a good time! other teachers include the awesome Kate + Courtney of Kelbourne Woolens, the innovative Olga Buraya-Kefelian of OLGAJAZZY, the hilarious and super prolific Lori Versaci of VERSACIKNITS, Virginia Tullock of Fat Cat Knits, and more knitting, spinning and dying classes. this year i’m teaching Crochet Rag Rugs, Embroidery for Knit + Crochet, and Gaga for Grannies. there’s also a vendor’s market which is open to the public, should you need to re-stock your stash after your Winter’s hibernation. this is another retreat where you can choose your own adventure: you’re welcome to come for all, or just part of the weekend.
photo by Emily Cassel for Scout Somerville
hello March! signs of Spring are abounding in the Hudson Valley, even though technically we’ve got a way to go, and my teaching schedule is waking up accordingly! this month i have a few local classes, and i’m off to the Boston area for two days at my pal AmyLou’s beautiful new workshop space Craftwork Somerville. i’ve only visited this hot new venue when it was still a bright and lovely work-in-progress, back in September when we were en route to Fiber College in Maine. shortly after that, classes began, and it’s been a hub of craft activity ever since! i love the range of makery on offer, everything from the quintessential knitting, crochet, sewing, weaving, and dyeing, to herbal tonics, bra construction and tarot card reading. i highly suggest you subscribe to her newsletter so you don’t miss anything!
Photo by Emily Cassel for Scout Somerville
Amy felt the need in her neighborhood for a creative community space for adults and kids, and to share her love of fiber — and other — arts. you can read a sweet article about Amy and her shop over at Scout Somerville and get a better sense of the dynamo she is.
if you’ve ever met AmyLou, you know her boundless energy and generous spirit. if you haven’t, within 30 seconds she’ll feel like your new best friend. i can’t wait to spend the weekend at Craftwork and experience the creative community she’s building!
i’m teaching two classes that weekend, and both are perfect if you’re itching to get started on your handmade wardrobe for Spring! on Saturday March 12 we’ll be making one of my favorite projects, the Folk Dress. it’s based on the classic Mexican wedding dress, and it’s a super customizable, loose-fitting blouse, tunic or dress you can really make your own. if you’re comfortable using a sewing machine (even if you’ve never sewn clothes), you’ve got the skills to make this.
and on Sunday the 13th, we’ll be Making Our Own Leggings! first i’ll teach you to draft your own pattern, using your body’s unique measurements. then we’ll stitch up a fit sample, correct your pattern if needed, and sew a REAL pair of custom leggings! this is a perfect introduction to sewing with knits, if that’s a bridge you haven’t yet crossed.
both classes still have a few spots open, so i hope you’ll consider joining us. if you can’t, please tell a friend!
(all photos in this post by Studio Scrivo)
i’ve updated my teaching page to reflect everything i’ve got scheduled (thus far) for 2016. there will likely be additions, especially on the local front, but for now that’s what i’ve got. hopefully i’m coming to a theatre near you!
this very weekend (sunday 2/14) is the first of 3 weekly sessions of Crochet 101 at my darling LYS and sheep farm White Barn Farm in Gardiner, NY.
the lovely photos above were taken during last summer’s Make Your Own Dress Immersion Weekend at Drop Forge & Tool in Hudson, NY. we’ll be doing it again in April!
and this coming tuesday (2/16) we’re running the ever-popular Befriend Your Sewing Machine up there.
see you in class!
a few weeks ago, i had a really fun chat with the lovely sandi hazlewood for her podcast crafty planner. i’ve been listening to sandi’s voice — via her podcast — for a few months, so when we finally met (over Skype), she already felt like a friend. my favorite type of podcasts are the ones in which makers tell their stories and talk about their work, and sandi’s is one of my more recent infatuations. she’s interviewed so many people i admire, like anna maria horner, sarai mitnick, denyse schmidt, lisa solomon, christine haynes, and jaime jennings. podcasts keep me company while i work in my studio, so it’s always fun to be in front of the microphone!
sandi asked some great questions and got me rambling about the origins of my handmade wardrobe, my quirky shop in NYC, moving to the country, learning to play ukulele, and how teaching online compares to teaching live classes. plus a whole lot more! i giggle a lot and i think you might enjoy our conversation.