Hand Block Printed Scarf Workshop

Taking art and making classes has been one of the best things I’ve done as an adult. It’s helped me develop an art practice, meet new people, and chop up the monotony of adulthood. I recently stumbled upon a local community art space & school and on a whim signed up for a block printing class the day before. It wasn’t all I was hoping for, but it was something to do over the three day weekend.

It’s less than a mile from my house, so I chose to walk despite coming down with a cold. A bird pooped on me and I saw a man pooping, but otherwise it was a nice walk.

The community arts space has all sorts of classes and workshops available ranging from welding to drawing. Once the school year ends, I’m going to do some drop in figure drawing sessions and maybe screen printing for fabric.

I channeled Block Shop Textiles to get ideas flowing.

The class description said that you could “design your own scarf” and “unlock your creativity,” but in reality we had to choose from pre-made wood blocks and just two colors of dye. Most of the blocks were intricate floral designs, which are nice, but not my aesthetic. Thankfully I found one “border” block that was sort similar to what I had sketched out before class.

There were only three other workshop participants making things pretty cozy. The instructor gave us a very brief history on the 400 year old craft and her husband brought samosas and lassi. We listened to really old Bollywood movies while we worked.

The other participants chose to create a border and then a dot repeat pattern for their scarves. I chose to fill in the whole scarf and took twice as long.

I will probably end up dying this. The white is a little too white and doesn’t really coordinate with my wardrobe. Maybe indigo?

Two Wiksten Kimonos

I had the immense pleasure of pattern testing the new Wiksten Kimono, which first appeared as the Oversized Kimono Jacket in Making Magazine No. 4 / Lines. The updated, standalone pattern will be released by Wiksten, hopefully next month.

In the Making version, I made a size XS. The new pattern includes a larger range of sizes and after comparing the pattern pieces, I made a size S here.

The fabric is also from Wiksten and I think it’s a perfect pairing. Because the black square is a kind of squishy weave I had a hell of time getting the patch pockets pattern to line up. They ended up not, but oh well.

I’m glad I was able to add this to my me-made wardrobe as it’s been one of only three outerwear pieces I’ve had for #MMMay18.

Speaking of Me Made Made I haven’t been anywhere near as productive as I was last year. I only just finished a silk noil Hemlock Tee (21 days in to the challenge), which had mostly been made last month and two Kalle shirts have been all cut out and waiting on my ironing board.

Then, after a particularly long commute home, I just auto piloted through this kimono. It’s been unseasonable chilly in the Bay Area and I yearned for another layering piece.

I cut and hacked this together without much of a plan and feel quite relived it worked out. One side even has some magical unplanned pattern matching on the shoulders!

I’ve had this Baule cloth for over a year, all the while knowing it was destined to be an Ace & Jig-esque jacket. I bought it at the Alameda Antiques Fair and discovered a piece of gum mashed into the fringe as I was cutting it up. At least it’s washed gum.

The textile is only about 54 by 36 inches which posed a cutting layout puzzle. I made an XXS, hacked off quite a bit of sleeve to make it fit, made a half collar, and added a coordinating stripe fabric to the collar piece, which I think is my favorite detail. It’s also unlined.

As it’s unlined, I had intended to flat fell / faux French the seams to fully encase all of the raw edges, but the thickness of the fabric and 3/8″ seam allowances made that impossible. Planning would have been helpful here. The shoulder seams are kind of a mess as I worked out this kink in construction and the side seams just ended up being serged. Another last minute decision was to topstitch the shoulder and sleeve seams with my new Bernina edgestitch foot. While I’m super impressed with the foot, the topstitching doesn’t really work well with this woven fabric. The burrito method was used to apply the half collar.

I’ve now made four Wiksten Kimonos. Too many? Nah.

#MMMay18 Week 3 (and a little of week 4)

Day 13 – I need more me-made loungewear. I’ve been really wanting to make a robe for weekend mornings, which I think will be my first loungewear make (before a lot of Hudsons).

Me Mades: Emerson Crop Pants, Linden Sweatshirt (this poor thing is falling apart due to a serger fail I didn’t notice until the end).

Other: none.

Day 14 – Monday.

Me Mades: Emerson Crop Pants, woven Linden Sweatshirt.

Other: Vans, Fibrous earrings.

Day 15 – CHEATER. I cheated and wore a RTW item.

Me Mades: Cleo Skirt, Shirt No. 1.

Other: Thrifted Pilcro jean jacket, Birkenstock sandals, Fibrous earrings, Blockshop scarf.

Day 16 – I’d like for it to be summer.

Me Mades: Self drafted culottes, Scout Tee, Driftless Cardigan.

Other: Vans, Shape Shape Shape Shape necklace.

Day 13 – Very Voluminous. This was not a good outfit. The Mercer pairs better with skinny pants (which I have yet to make) and the culottes pair better with a tight knit top tucked in (also need to make), or a cropped woven shirt. You gotta balance out the bulk.

Me Mades: Self drafted culottes, Mercer Tunic.

Other: Avarca sandals, Baleen earrings.

Day 18 – Day OFFFFFFF.

Me Mades: Linden Sweatshirt, woven Hudson Pants.

Other: none. Because I was home. All dayyyyy.

Day 19 – Patternmaking Class

Me Mades: Geodesic Sweatshirt, woven Hudson Pants, silly necklace, Caravan Tote.

Other: Vans

Day 20 – I need to get my serger fixed to make more knit things.

Me Mades: Toaster Sweater, Emerson Crop Pants.

Other: Vans, Bookhou bag.

Day 21 – Monday. Last full week before summer break…

Me Mades: Inari Tee Dress.

Other: Dansko Maria Boots.

Day 22 – Not Enough Coffee (But I Sewed a New Garment!)

Me Mades: Wiksten Kimono, Emerson Crop Pants, woven Hemlock Tee.

Other: Blockshop scarf, Baleen earrings, thrifted clogs.

INSIGHTS: I definitely hit a wall in week 3. The challenge of wearing only me-made garments felt like a chore and some weird outfits came out of it (*shudder* Day 17)… And I cheated. I wore a RTW jacket. It’s been unseasonably chilly and I only have two Wiksten Kimonos and a Kelly Anorak as outerwear (which I’ve discovered doesn’t work with most of my me-mades). I need to make the Hampton Jean Jacket and Tamarack Jacket.

Another contributor to the Week 3 struggle was my sewing fail with the Persephone Pants. I made a straight size 4, which matches perfectly with my measurements, but are HUGE. I’m not sure if it’s a crotch curve thing or a fabric thing, but either way they don’t fit. Once I put them on and realized they weren’t going to work, I wadded them up and they’ve been on the floor ever since. I wasn’t immediately good at making them and that feeling just affirmed all of my fears of making fitted, non-elastic waist pants. Totally irrational. I’m taking some space from them before trying to overcome this setback.

My serger is also having lots of tension issues I can’t seem to resolve, putting all the knit tops I want to make on the back burner (and making me dream of this beauty). BUT last night I finished the first garment this month! I put the bias finish on the neck of a silk noil Hemlock Tee I sewed up last month. Here’s to a better week!

Travel Plans!

Planning trips in my sketchbook. Please comment with any art, architecture, food (no booze, please), parks, fabric, and thrifting things to do in Paris and Brussels!

#MMMay18 Week 2

Day 7 – Ugh, Monday.

Me Mades: Cleo Skirt, Inari Tee I made for my wedding, Wiksten Kimono.

Other: Clarks shoes, thrifted necklace, Warby Parker sunglasses, tights from somewhere.

Day 8 – Bunchy Tuesday

Me Mades: Roberts Collection Dungarees, Kelly Anorak, Lou Box Top. I have a hard time feeling comfortable in these dungarees if the shirt underneath isn’t super tight. I need to make some form fitting knit tops.

Other: Vans, Etsy necklace.

Day 9 – Black and Brown Forever

Me Mades: Emerson Crop Pants, Scout Tee, Driftless Cardigan.

Other: Nisolo shoes

Day 10 – I ripped this jumpsuit on my bike 🙁

Me Mades: Driftless Cardigan, Roberts Collection Jumpsuit.

Other: Blockshop Scarf, Vans.

Day 11 – Wish I had jeans.

Me Mades: Shirt No. 1, self drafted wedding skirt, Wiksten Kimono.

Other: Kork-Ease sandals, Fanny Penny necklace.

Day 12 – Morning/Evening

Me Mades: Timber Quilt, Farrow Dress.

Other: Baleen Earrings, wedges I bought on Instagram, Thief & Bandit leggings.

INSIGHTS – This week I really started to feel challenged and miss my RTWs, but two really good combos came out of it. I felt super comfortable, yet put together on Day 9 and although my wedding skirt was a wee bit too tight, the colors and textures of Day 11 were just yummy.

I’m not having the same jump in productivity as last year, but I think that can be attributed to a few things. My drawing practice is taking up more of my free time, this time last year I wasn’t enrolled in my Patternmaking class, work isn’t killing my soul like it did last year (I am 100% ready for summer break though), and I’m not doing a monthly make challenge.

I have two Kalle shirts cut out and I NEED Persephone pants in my life. Hoping inspiration will hit and those will be on my body before the end of May.

How’s MMMay18 going for you?

Repeat Pattern Party

Remember how I said I was obsessed with making repeat patterns? Well, I’ve made 23 in the past two weeks. Here’s a gif I made of all but the most recent one while trying to figure out Photoshop last night. Once the school year ends, I plan to dive into Adobe Creative Suite and upload a lot of these to Spoonflower. I’m excited.

#MMMay18 Week 1

I partook in Me Made May last year, but didn’t really know all that much about it. Thanks to last week’s LOVE TO SEW podcast, I learned more about its purpose and (self-imposed) parameters. My main takeaways from the episode are that it’s not a photo-a-day challenge, it should help you pinpoint holes in your me-made wardrobe, and that’s it’s meant to be challenging. Oh, and it’s an opportunity to celebrate your makes.

This go around I really do feel challenged – I’m wearing me-made tops and bottoms for 31 days, excluding most undergarments, cycling gear, shoes/socks, and most accessories. I don’t ever plan to have a fully me-made closet. I like supporting ethical fashion brands (evidenced by all those Blockshop scarves) and I like the quirkiness of thrifted garments. Also, knitting is hard and I get chilly.

Although it’s not a photo challenge, I’m documenting each day in my IG Stories and plan to do weekly wrap ups here on the blog.

Day 1 – Pattern Testing Edition

Me Mades: Paddleboat Studio‘s Mitchel Jumpsuit Wiksten Kimono (soon-to-be-released). Both pieces I had the pleasure of pattern testing!

Other: Thrifted clogs, Blockshop scarf, Baleen Earrings.

Day 2 – The “Funny” Outfit

One of my sweet 6th graders said “Ms. P I like the way you dress. It’s funny… But also nice.”

Me Mades: WAK Classic Sweater, hidden knit Lou Box Top, Emerson Crop Pants, ceramic mug.

Other: Vans, Hands & Curls necklace.

Day 3 – I thought it was Friday

Me Mades: woven Hudson Pants, Geodesic Crop Sweatshirt made from a thrifted mens XL sweatshirt.

Other: Vans, Blockshop scarf.

Day 4 – I’m not mad I don’t have me-made jeans for Friday (she lies).

Me Mades: Stowe Bag I use as a lunch bag, Self-drafted culottes for my patternmaking class, woven Grainline Linden, Wiksten Oversized Kimono.

Other: Fibrous earrings, thrifted Kork-Ease sandals.

Day 5 – Pattermaking Class

Me Mades: woven Hudsons, Shirt No. 1, Caravan Tote.

Other: Vans, Blockshop scarf.

Day 6 – Alameda Antiquing

Me Mades: Same Emerson Crop Pants from Day 2, Willow Tank.

Other: Sun hat, Vans.

INSIGHTS – Boy do I miss fitted pants and knit t-shirts. I knew these garment types were huge holes in my me-mades, but dang. It’s also been unseasonable chilly here in the Bay Area meaning I need more outwear/layering pieces. I’ve wanted to make the Hampton Jean Jacket since its release (I have all the things for it too) and a Tamarack Jacket, though I haven’t had a truly inspired fabric choice for it yet.