100 days of drop spindling!

have you heard about the 100 day project? i’ve been looking forward to it for weeks, since i was thrilled to actually find out about it well in advance. it was fun mulling over possible projects, and i had lots of ideas, but i landed on 100 days of drop spindling.

why drop spindling? well, spinning might be my favorite of all my fiber art loves, in terms of how much i love doing it, but i actually do it the least often, because it’s completely ridiculous and impractical (when you’re done spinning, you have yarn — albeit gorgeous lovely handspun yarn — that still needs to be made into something). so, i thought about spinning on my neglected wheel, just to get me spinning more, BUT i have several out-of-town teaching gigs in the next 3 months, so i knew i wouldn’t be able to spin on my wheel while away. i can, however, spin on a drop spindle. so that sealed it!

my plan is to spin a bit every day, maybe just 5-10 minutes. i somehow acquired this bag of adorable little tufts of assorted fiber from the awesomely rad into the whirled (i have been coveting these bags for YEARS!) and i’ll use part of one each day, to spin a ball for 50 days, then start a second ball for the next 50 days, so the two can be plied together.

above is my Day 1 spinning. it was a grey, rainy day so i chose a suitable fluffball, but there will be lots of colorful yarn coming up and this is gonna be one HAPPY skein of yarn so stay tuned!

a bunch of cool peeps i know are participating too, so check them out! smithy, mariglynn, tierney, cris, drop forge & tool, liana, mary heather, lisa, lynn (another spinner!), taylor and i know i’m forgetting a bunch more…

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slow fashion at the beach

A Gathering of Stitches has found its true essence with the Slow Stitching retreats she has created for the past two years. “She” is Samantha Lindgren, the brains, heart and soul behind AGOS. this summer i am incredibly honored to be one of the three teachers at Slow Fashion 2017, on the beach in Saco, Maine.

“Let’s hit the pause button, and see what we can learn about Slow Fashion.  Maine is a beautiful place to turn down the volume, shut off the email, leave the phone in your room, and spend some time exploring this relevant movement.  Join this group of three world class makers: Cal Patch, Katrina Rodabaugh, and Jessica Lewis Stevens to learn ways to make your garments both beautiful and ethical, and an expression of your beliefs.”

photo by A Verb for Keeping Warm

i will be teaching how to draft a pattern for a simple boxy top, the perfect *blank canvas* garment for showing off piecing, stitching, dyeing, printing, weaving… virtually any fiber technique can be incorporated. we will make a fit sample and then proceed to sew a real garment of your own design, which will be forever imbued with the magic of this wonderful week on the coast!

my friend — and Slow Fashion evangelist– Katrina Rodabaugh will teach sashiko stitching and mending, and Jessica Lewis Stevens will teach natural dyeing and shibori techniques. i can’t imagine a better combination of  fiber skills!

this is the kind of retreat i have always dreamed of, as each of the three workshops could stand alone, but can also build upon each other, and be experienced in any order. attendees will spend one full day with each teacher, and then a fourth day of open studio time and/or play.

“The focus will be on slowing down, taking time, connecting to your practice, the community, and your inner voice. Evenings will be open for more stitching, star gazing, walks on the beach, making new friends, communing with old ones, and anything else you might like to do by the beach, in Maine, in July….”

registration opens TODAY (March 3) so visit A Gathering of Stitches to read all the details and reserve your spot. i sincerely hope you can join us!

this is the kind of retreat i have always dreamed of; each of the three workshops could stand alone, but can also build upon each other, and be experienced in any order. Save

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local classes in Rosendale!

i’ve got good news for my local peeps: AT LAST i have a place to teach sewing classes much closer to home! in one of my favorite towns, Rosendale, NY, to be precise. this will be the first time i host my own classes (usually i teach at a shop or studio) so there may be some kinks to work out but i think it will be fun! i ran a survey a few weeks ago to help me determine the types of classes people want, and i got a lot of great feedback. for now i’m starting with three workshops, and we’ll progress from there if all goes well.

Befriend Your Sewing Machine is a low-commitment (one-session) kick-start or refesher. A bit more in-depth is Beginner Sewing: Design Your Own Tote, a 4-week workshop on Thursday evenings in March and April, to hone those sewing skills with a lined bag you design yourself, including infinite pocket possibilities! Then comes your chance to try pattern-drafting and garment sewing with Make Your Own Skirt in May/June.

these will be held at RosenSpace, 402 Main Street (ground floor), Rosendale NY 12472 (behind The Big Cheese coffee shop). to register, or if you have any questions, email me at cal@hodgepodgefarm.net. all classes will require payment in advance, and a minimum number of students to run. registration deadline for all classes is one week before the start date.

Beginner Sewing: Design Your Own Tote
Thursdays March 16, 23, 30 + April 6, 6-8pm
Four 2-hour classes, $160
In this beginner-level class (no previous experience needed), you’ll learn how to sew and make a useful tote bag with a lining and pockets. You’ll be the designer and determine the dimensions of every part of the bag, as well as the style and placement of pockets and straps. We will cover how to use the machine, sewing seams, top-stitching, patch pockets, boxed corners and 4-ply straps. Note: Students must bring their own machine to class.
Supplies:
– Sewing machine
– 1 yard medium-weight cotton or other woven fabric for bag
– 1 yard light- to medium-weight cotton or other fabric for lining
– Thread to match
– Basic sewing kit: scissors, pins & cushion, tape measure, ruler, seam ripper, tailor’s chalk
– Optional: trims or other embellishments.

Befriend Your Sewing Machine
Saturday 4/22, 1-4pm
One 3-hour class, $60
Do you have a sewing machine in your closet, but have never used it? Or you want to sew, but the last time you stitched anything up was in Home Ec class in 8th grade? If you are looking for a low-commitment class to get acquainted with your machine (or reacquainted with the art of sewing), this is the one for you! In this 3-hour session, you will learn how to thread your machine and wind a bobbin, sew a simple seam, and hem edges. You will make either a pillowcase, tote bag, or drawstring pouch. From this start you’ll have a foundation for moving on to all kinds of sewing projects, and your machine may just become your very BEST friend!
NOTE: I am not a repair person. Please be sure your machine is in working order; if in doubt, have it serviced. Also bring the machine’s manual (most can be downloaded if the original isn’t available).
Supplies:
– sewing machine + manual
– 1/2 yard or more fabric: any basic woven, printed or solid cottons, denim, twill, etc. (Optional: 1 yard ribbon for handles or drawstring, or trims for decoration)
– thread to match
– sharp fabric-cutting scissors
– pins and pincushion
– seam ripper
– tailor’s chalk/wax
– ruler

Make Your Own Skirt
Thursdays May 25, June 1, (skips 6/8), 15 + 22, 6-8pm
Four 2-hour classes, $160
In this 4-week class, you will learn how to draft a pattern for an A-line skirt, based on your very own measurements. Then you will cut it out and sew it up! New skills you will acquire are: measuring properly, pattern drafting, making and fitting a muslin, invisible zippers, darts, french seams, and bias-tape facings. Once you’ve made your first, you’ll see how many possibilities there are are for all sorts of modifications. You might never buy another skirt again!
Note: Students must have at least competent beginner sewing skills (i.e. a few simple projects under your belt) and be comfortable with their machine. Some homework will likely be necessary in order to complete the project.
Supplies:
For the pattern:
– at least 2 sheets of 18×24 paper
– notebook
– pencil/eraser/sharpener
– ruler (18×24 clear is ideal)
– scissors for paper
– clear tape
– tape measure
For the skirt:
– Sewing machine,
– invisible zipper foot*
– 2 yards muslin
– 2 yards medium weight woven fabric (printed cotton, denim, corduroy, linen, etc…)
– 1 invisible zipper to match (7″ length)
– 1 package 1/2″ single-fold bias tape (can match or contrast)
– all-purpose thread to match
– basic sewing supplies: fabric scissors, pins & cushion, seam ripper, tailor’s chalk/wax
*Invisible zipper feet are different than regular zipper feet, and usually don’t come with your machine. Try to find the YKK brand one, which fits any machine: http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Zipper-Foot-YKK-Zippers/dp/B001C1Y3UO

NOTE: You will need only the pattern supplies (plus your muslin, scissors and pins) at the first class session, and all of the supplies at the remaining 3 sessions.

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February lookbook + leggings

hey! my Drafting Leggings Pattern and Sewing Leggings workshops are featured this month as part of Creativebug’s February Lookbook! if you haven’t tried it yet, making your own leggings is way more possible than you think, and allows you to make them any way you like (extra long? organic fabric? purple polka dots?) and quite inexpensively. there are a bunch of other cool classes too, like drawing and paper flowers and even sewing a denim apron which is SO up my alley. there are so many awesome classes in their catalog now, i am often surprised to find ones i’ve missed whenever i hop over. so, chances are there will be some new-to-you surprises in store for you as well.

techniques i cover include sewing with stretchy knits (no serger required), inserting an elastic waistband AND a soft fabric band (which means you can make them super high-waisted when it’s cold out, and then fold the band down when it’s warmer). there are so many great knitted fabrics in the market now, which reminds me i’ve been meaning to do a post on fabric resources so stay tuned for that…

as usual, all of my links to Creativebug are affiliate links!

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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’.

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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?

cbugsale

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hello November

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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.

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the busy season

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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!

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new online workshop: Seam Finishing 101

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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.

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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!

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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.

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