I run, I craft, I write, and I make your favorite clothes.

I have written books about sewing for children and adults and I'm the indie designer’s patternmaking secret weapon. I've taught video and in-person classes to anyone who would listen since 2008. I believe that sewing clothes is a radical act of self-love that increases your sense of self-worth. I'm basically your sewing fairy godmother.

Sketching and stitching and dreaming

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Last week I had a major breakthrough.  I received some seriously beautiful fabric and was immediately drawn to making it into something other than another nice pretty folded piece for my collection of nice pretty folded pieces of good design intentions.  I couldn’t stop thinking about what would definitely be a dress.  I dreamt of it, I doodled it, and finally, I began with a solid idea.  As I was drafting the pattern and arranging the pieces on the fabric, something kept me from cutting everything and then sewing it all together.  I cut, then stitched, then decided on a trim, then stitched, then tried the pieces already sewn onto Formella and then I stopped.  I realized what I already had was something pretty special.  Ideas fell into place, and I was able to continue to construct what was initially a dress idea into a pinafore that I feel is simply perfect on its own.  I decided to construct the remaining portions of the dress idea as a separate dress altogether and I couldn’t be happier with the results so far.

Here are some photos of the pinafore (still awaiting its underdress) The photos do not do this fabric justice.  The colors are so rich and deep that I just want to sink into it.  I wonder if I could get away with wearing this in my size? Probably not. partypinafore 004 partypinafore 003

I was thoroughly inspired by this skirt to get a little ruffle-y.  (Once I read the post and devoured her entire blog, I discovered that Miss Jona has a gorgeous little fabric shop, Fabritopia.  Orders were placed and received.  A new bookmark has been saved.  Go there.)  You may notice that I finally learned how to use that contraption that has been sitting in my sewing room, taunting me from its box for over a year now.  That ruffler is my new best friend. My ruffle is more of a pleat, I confess, but I love it on  this pinafore. Crisps up the edge of the magnificent meandering blossoms, I think.

The underdress is coming along nicely in a gorgeous plum baby corduroy that feels like velvet.  The sleeves are going to be simply magical,  if I have my way with the fabric!

Construction has been halted however, in favor of a very specific request by Miss Ella (did I tell you she asked me to call her that?)for a “Fairy Costume, Orange One” for her upcoming birthday.  I have scoured the web, trying tutorial after tutorial after tutorial and yet, after fearlessly attempting these techniques at home, I understand why people charge (and pay) so much for those lovely tutus and pettiskirts…they are a pain in the ass to make!  Plus, none of these tutorials, though really, really great (especially that last one, WOW!) are exactly what I want for my little Orange Fairy.

I’m going to try to dream about this one tonight before my mom comes over to play with ellabella tomorrow.  It will probably be my last chance before the birthday to get it done.  Otherwise I’m going to be baking cupcakes like mad (and enlisting brothers and sister to frost and sprinkle fairy dust on them!)


Wish me luck!

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  • Jill October 6, 2008, 8:05 am

    Ok, if those are by-the-yard prices, that Fabritopia site is my new BFF.
    Ella looks precious…tell her I said Happy Birthday!

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