happy NEW year!

well, 2017 is already off and running and as usual i’m behind schedule. most of my teaching plans for the coming year are still under wraps, but my main local gig right now is Drop Forge & Tool in lovely Hudson (i’m SO excited to teach my first class in their awesome new space right on Warren Street) and we’ve got a lineup for you! i’ve updated my teaching page which is always the first place to look if you’re wondering what classes i’ve got coming up.

first up are two sessions of the ever-popular Befriend Your Sewing Machine, which is like a jump start for newbies OR those who just need to get reacquainted with sewing. we’re running this one on Tuesday 1/17 and again on Saturday 2/18.

next, in February and March we’ve got 4 more fun workshops: Zip It! in which you’ll conquer the much-feared zipper and make a useful little pouch or two (this one makes a great Part 2 to Befriend Your Sewing Machine if you want to make a day of it!), Open Sewing Studio for those who’ve been asking for a way to finish projects with a little guidance, Clone It! — which was SO fun (and sold out super quick) last time; we’ve made it into an all-day session so you’ll have more time to finish, and Crochet Rag Rug, a wonderful way to upcycle textiles into beautiful and useful rugs.

at the end of March we’re having another of our life-changing weekend intensive, Make Your Own Dress! in this one you’ll draft a pattern from scratch, using your own measurements, for your own custom shift dress, which can become any of the variations below plus infinite others. you’ll make a “muslin” (fit sample), fit it and correct the pattern, and then make a REAL dress. c’mon, you know you want to! this one is worth traveling for, and you couldn’t pick a better town than Hudson for a little getaway. just sayin’.






happy Makesgiving!

calpatch_650x650i would like to tell you that i’ve spent my day-after-Thanksgiving practicing my elegant friend Beverly’s tradition of Craft Friday. the reality is that i visited 4 used-car dealerships in search of a replacement for our dying Jeep. my plans for the rest of this long weekend though, are to stay home, eat leftovers and resume craft fair production, though now that my biggest one is in the past, i can ease up a bit and start sneaking in some personal and gift projects too!

anyway, i’m popping in to make sure you know that Creativebug is having a great deal now through Monday 11/28 on new subscriptions: 3 months for only $1! so if by some chance you haven’t yet joined, there’s never been a better time. i’ve got a whopping 17 classes there now, from pattern drafting to sewing and crochet, some of which you can see below. and the subscription plan means that joining up gives you instant access to all 700+ art & craft classes, which include things like making pie crust, tabletop centerpieces and holiday cards + tags, plus infinite gifting ideas, daily art challenges, and CBTV– a new channel crammed with entertaining creative programming. so what are you waiting for?









hello November


as is my way, time has gotten the better of me, and again i’ve let #SlowFashionOctober pass me by with nary a post about it. i did manage to do a bit of an intro post over on Instagram the first week, and told a very short version of my story, which got me all revved up to write up a long version here. i have so much to say on the subject, since i have basically crossed over from the Dark Side of working in the fashion industry and earning my living from Fast Fashion, though long before that term was coined and it was a very different beast than what it is today. still, the wheels were in motion and more and more production was moving overseas at a rapid rate, and i could see back then (i left the industry and became self-employed in 1998, but continued to freelance part-time until around 2005/6 i think) that i didn’t feel aligned with the way it was going. since then i’ve transitioned to making and selling clothes myself and teaching clothes-making and other fiber arts, all of which do feel good and fulfilling.

when i have too much to say, or too many ideas, i get overwhelmed and then paralyzed. reading all of the thoughtful discussion excites me, then inspires me, then leaves me feeling like everyone has spoken so eloquently and sensitively on the subject, that i have nothing to add. but i do, so i’m going to attempt to share more of my story, little by little, this month, now that it’s quieter and there’s less (self-created) pressure. i’ll have my own little Slovember.


the busy season

folk-w_chicken   P1090853.JPG











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!







new online workshop: Seam Finishing 101


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!




dreaming of Squam

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.

handmade wardrobe JUMPSTART!

agos logo

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.

i feel GOOD!


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.














P1120132 - Version 2

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!



yes, you can Make Your Own Dress!


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…



April workshops

Screen Shot 2016-03-24 at 12.33.08 PMevery 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!


Make+Your+own+Dressin 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!


gagaforgranniesand 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.

my shop