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.

Classic Typography. Classic Snark.

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The Fashionable Type Button

When Stacey of Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts mentioned that she was looking for typography inspired projects, I jumped at the chance to join in. This family has a teenager who’s a poet, a 7 year old who is a self-proclaimed Grammar Police Deputy (reporting to the Grammar Police Chief who is, naturally, me), and more books than we have room to store in our home. We are a WORDS family.

Peter agreed to wear whatever I’d make him because he’s a good sport, and because I guaranteed he would get vintage mom-snarkiness to keep.

Have you ever done freezer paper stencils?  I know there are tutorials all over the web.  In fact, I vaguely know of at least three, written by friends, which completely escape me; persisting in teasing the foggy corners of my brain.  If you are my friend and you wrote a kick-ass freezer paper stencil tutorial, or even if you aren’t my friend yet, and you know of the BEST tutorial for freezer paper stencils ever, please leave a link in the comments for me. Pretty please?

Once I found the freezer paper and x-acto blades in my basement, the rest was a breeze: I printed on regular paper the phrase in the font and layout I wanted.  Then I cut the paper to a manageable size.  I placed a similarly-sized piece of freezer paper shiny side down on my cutting mat, washi-taped it in place, then placed the printed paper on top of that, also washi-taped in place.

The most challenging part of the entire project (other than the recurring panic that I would ruin a hand-sewn tshirt and have to start over) was cutting the words.

During my harrowing process, I would have appreciated these 3 tips:

1. Use a Sharp (new) blade. You will be cutting through two layers of paper.

2. Keep track of the floaty bits in the letters you may want to keep.

3. Don’t forget to place those little bits before you add paint!


I inserted a cardboard buffer behind my shirt front, so I would keep the ink on one layer only of the tshirt. I then pressed the freezer paper, shiny side down, directly onto my shirt front. Using a natural sponge, I dabbed color into the stencil, using some leftover shimmery screenprinting ink from my Yudu.  Do you remember those screen-printing kit thingies from a few years ago?  I HAD to have one.  Used it precisely once.  Decided to keep it anyway, you know, to enhance my craft tool/supply archive?  Someday I know I’ll actually do some screenprinting.  In my spare time. Anyway – I’m really glad I had that silver ink.  I love how it’s kind of subtle, but kind of sparkly at the same time. I tricked my son into wearing sparkles!

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Speaking of “spare time” I somehow always make time for handstitching, as seen on the raglan shirt / sleeve seam below.  I cannot resist.  Someday he’ll stumble across this post and demand that I take it down.  For now, What the Helvetica:



Not only did Stacey put together a fantastic lineup, but there are giveaways and prizes!  Go check out her blog and enter to win some really fun typography-related prizes.


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Leave a Comment

  • Sara the Sister May 11, 2014, 9:30 am

    When I did a stencil exactly one time before, I thought you could print right on the freezer paper? On the matte/not shiny side. I did a stencil on a onesie. Talk about little tiny cuttings for letters, oy!

    Anyway, that might help. For next time you do it ;)


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