Shop Update

I’m slowly, but surely getting around to updating my shop with new things that I have been working on over the last couple of months. It’s taken me longer then I had wanted it to, but sometimes that’s how things go. I’ve been working on a couple different things, including upcycled wool diaper cover/soakers and hand knit baby bonnets, along with hand dyed pot holders.

Check it out

Finished Quilt

Over the weekend, I finished up a naturally dyed and hand stitched baby quilt. Some projects seem to drag at the end and you just want to finish the piece, but it’s hard to get there. I have had a few of those projects lately, so it was a pleasure to work on something that I was not only excited to see completed, but that I really wanted to do the work to get there.

I don’t feel the photos that I have taken thus far do the quilt justice. I want to take it around to everyone and show them so they can see it with their own eyes. I guess you could say that I’m just little proud of my work. Granted, it is not perfect by any means and I wish some of the mistakes were not there, but proud none the less because my two hands made it and it will bring comfort and joy to someone.

Next up, I have plans for a whole cloth quilt, using the fabric that I dyed with black beans and some thrifted wool. I’m currently working on a few sketches to plan out how I would like to do the hand stitching. I’m also considering adding a simple crocheted edge instead of the typical bias binding. These projects are ever evolving and it’s always fun to see where they end up.

Monday Mornings

We had a beautiful Sunday, filled with knitting, napping, BBQing, fishing, bike riding, and lots and lots of family time. I woke up this morning ready to work on all my current works-in-progress. Trying to decide where to start can always be a little bit of a challenge for me when I’m really enjoying working on each of them.

I am currently working on a few prototypes for hand dyed baby knits and hand dyed/stitched quilts. I’m very excited about the direction these projects are going, but one can only work so fast. I only have two hands. The slow and meditative work allows for love and intention to be worked into each item. It makes me think about my children and how they will use a particular piece. I also think about how other people will care for the pieces that I make and how they will contribute to their family; keeping a little ones head and back warm or creating a comfy nest in the grass on a warm quilt.

I hoping to have a few new pieces done shortly to add to my shop. I’m also looking into other outlets to share my work besides my Etsy shop. We’ll see where that takes me. I’ll keep everyone updated. Enjoy your Monday!!

Ideas and where to go with them

I have been feeling like I have a million ideas in my head lately. There are so many things I want to make; either original work, trying out a new knitting or sewing pattern, or hacking one of my already owned patterns to make it new and different. I’m trying to balance this with thinking of ways to get my business and my work more visibility (oh, and take care of my family). All of these ideas and thoughts have made it hard to focus. Where do I start? What do I want and/or need the most? Does someone in my family need/or want something? What would customers be interested in? What can I do to get my name out there in a world that is so bombarded with info everyday? I could go on and on.

I want to create useful, beautiful things for myself, my family and others. I would love to be able to help provide for my family through my work. My making provides me with an outlet, both creative and physical. If I’m not doing something with my hands when I’m still, I can feel out-of-place. This is difficult when my mind has so many ideas swirling though it and I have a hard time focusing on my work. Recently, I have finished a few works in progress and it feels nice to have those completed and ready to be listed on Etsy. Clearing my mind and hands of these couple of projects has left some space for my other goals.

I have also started work on a small quilt using hand dyed fabric. It is going to be hand quilted and I’m really looking forward to the slow, meditative work of stitching. I would love for this quilt to be the basis for future work that I could sell. I have been greatly inspired by the work of,, and The work of these women has left me wanting to learn so many new skills to further the depth of my work.

For my making, it is a work in progress, everyday. Making a decision and focusing, knowing that there is no wrong decision. I want to be intentional about my making choices and not just jump into something because I think I have to. I want to make things that will bring myself and others joy.

Custom Hand Dyed Sundresses 

I was recently asked by a friend to hand dye a few sundresses for her girls. I dyed the empire waist dresses with dried marigolds that my brother-in-law grew in his garden last summer. The golden yellow is so bright and cheery!  The tiered dresses were dyed with avocado pits, creating warm spring pink. I used Shibori resist techniques to create the overall all pattern on each dress. I am really pleased with the results and I hope the girls love them as much as I do!

If you are interested in custom hand dyed dresses for your little ones, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I would love to make more and the possibilities are endless!  


Beginnings of Slow Fashion

A few years ago when I started sewing for myself, the motivation was based on the enjoyment of the making process and the speed at which I could have a completed project. I was a knitter and at the time very slow, but I knew the joy of wearing something that you have made for yourself with your own two hands. With sewing, I could create something much quicker, almost instant gratification. It was a magical discovery!

At the time, I knew nothing of the slow fashion movement. I did know that I didn’t like to shop because I was not happy with the ever changing styles and lack of good fit. I hated spending a lot of money on something I could tell was going to fall apart after a couple of wears and I couldn’t afford the really good stuff.

Once I began to sew and knit in much more earnest, I began to follow along with the conversation of slow fashion. I began to understand why I had such a dislike for fast fashion. There was a reason the clothing would fall apart so fast and why it seemed like I could never keep up with the latest and greatest. I began to see that I wanted to know more about where my clothing came from and that I wanted to hold on to what I already had longer.  Thrifting and mending took on a whole new meaning, not just that I couldn’t spend the money on new clothes, but that I wanted things to last and to give a  new home to items that had a lot of life left in them.

I started looking at my crafting practices and the materials that I was using.  I was really thinking about how I would use a garment once it was made and how does fit into my lifestyle. What was I most comfortable in and how I do I like to wear clothes? When I really started to think about this and pay attention to what I already had, it helped to reduce the desire to just cast on the next cute sweater or cut out a cute top. The question was will I wear this regularly? Do I have something similar? Would my time be better spent thrifting or fixing something to fit that hole in my wardrobe?

All of this also began to form other desires for my making. I wanted to participate in the slow fashion movement beyond just for myself. Could I take my skills and create things others could wear and love too? This is something that I have been contemplating over the last few months.

Recently, I was able to finish up two pieces that are the beginning of this undertaking. A simple tunic dress made from linen that I dyed myself. This tunic dress is flattering for a variety of body styles and can be worn on a variety of occasions.

The second piece is a cotton scarf/wrap that is a perfect transition piece for the spring. I dyed the cotton and used Shibori resist techniques to create  the pattern on the fabric. This piece also has a variety of uses, from scarf to wrap to swaddle blanket and nursing cover, etc. Creating things that have multiple uses means that our resources go further.

You can check out both of these items in my shop. Custom orders are always welcome, just let me know.

Contemplating Process: A Zero Waste Shirt

In my last post, I talked about surface design and the struggles I was running into. What I had neglected to do during my weeks worth of work was take more process pictures, so I don’t have pictures from every step of the following process…lesson learned. I was concentrating on the end product and I was not thinking about the process as much as I should have been.

Through the process of making, we are learning so many things. What would make the project work better next time? Would I do any of this again or is there a better/different way? Is this the direction I want the project to go or do I have a new idea/inspiration? The list could go on and on about what you learn from the process.

During this particular dyeing session, I was trying to create some Itajime Shibori with some tea towels dyed in a red onion skin bath. After seeing some pictures in books, I assumed that I knew what I was doing. I mean, how hard can it be?!?! Well, I learned the hard way that I should have done some more research on the actual techniques of Shibori resist dyeing. My biggest problem was that I had not folded the fabric correctly (in a accordion fashion) so the dye did not take to the fabric the way that I wanted it to. I also had some tea towels that I had just put in the dye pot to get overall color and the result was very uneven.

In the end, I was not happy with the red onion skin dye color which resulted in a muddy brown. They just looked like dirty cotton tea towels. I’m sure if the intended use was not a towel or if the color had been even, it would have been ok.  I was having a really hard time with the thought of drying my hands on a towel that looked like mud had been wiped all over them. I decided to put the tea towels in an iron bath to see how that would modify the color. As a result, the towels turned out to be an olive green.

I was still not entirely happy with the towels and I couldn’t pin point why. I stared at them for a few days hoping some kind of inspiration would hit me. I was doing some research on zero waste sewing patterns for another project, when I came across this post from A Verb for Keeping Warm by Cal Patch and this post from Sew Obsessed. I began to wonder if I could do something like this with my tea towels and some stash fabric. The design process began all over again. Measuring, cutting, ironing, piecing, and hoping that something would come of this.

The end product is not perfect by any means, but I learned a lot during all the steps of the project. I take away many more ideas for future projects, during which I’m sure I will make more mistakes and learn more.  It’s a cycle and I’m learning to embrace all parts of it, as you get so much from each step.

Surface Design: Trial and Error

While reading of a variety of natural dyeing books, I have come across an aspect to the process that adds another level of beauty to the project. Surface design is the art of making  patterns on the fabric or yarn. A concentrate of natural dye or a modifier can be painted on the fabric. Shibori techniques can be used to create a variety of patterns. Resist dyeing, dip dyeing, layering the colors, knots in the fabric are also different ways to explore surface design.

I have been experimenting with many of these techniques to see what I can create. It has definitely been a lesson in trial and error.  Going into the process, I thought that the hardest part would be coming up with an idea of how I wanted the fabric to look after I applied the surface design. So far, I have been very wrong. The ideas are in my head, but getting them to translate to the fabric has been very difficult. Definitely trial and error. Learning from mistakes and trying again.

If you are interested in learning more about natural dyeing and surface dyeing techniques, The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar is an excellent resource to begin with.