Studio | part 2

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11.5 months later, I’m back with part 2 of my studio update! If you saw part 1, you’ll notice quite a few changes. The main update is, like a lot of people, home is now where I work. And my work involves a lot of filming equipment. Equipment that takes up a lot of physical space… and mental space. Anyway, all of the extra stuff and well, *gestures broadly at everything* I just didn’t feel inspired to share. But I want to now!

This corner is no longer home to my horrible exercise bike, but instead a bunch of plants, UFOs, and occasionally a yoga mat.

Artwork (upper left corner) by Avery Williamson.
Artwork by my mom!

I’ve wanted to sew curtains inspired by this artist for ages, but decided to purchase some simple shades. I’ll eventually finish those curtains, but flashing my neighbors was getting old and I was having to tape paper over the windows to film.

There’s a lot more stuff on the walls now too. I hung IKEA pegboards, art, and made two bulletin boards out of homasote and canvas. The board pictured here is holding a project that will one day be a quilted jacket. The top shelf of my cutting table stores a bunch of tripods and lights (hidden by other stuff), batting, yarn, and fabric scraps.

Large woven scraps are folded and stored on one of the open desk shelves and the small pieces live in these baskets. I can easily pull them out when I’m working on one of my two long-term quilt projects. You can see how I store my fabric stash in this blog post.

This dress form is from my vintage selling days. She’s definitely not my size, but it’s fun to hang an in-progress project on her. The baskets hold printed patterns and fabric on rolls. I went with Husky workbenches to hold my sewing machines. They’re really sturdy, easy to move around, height adjustable, and have two drawers for storage. I didn’t really think through the drawers and the free hand system of my machines, but whatever.

I love this old banker’s chair. I thrifted it for a cool $15 in Tulsa, OK and it’s the best for rolling back and forth between my sewing machine and serger. The machine pictured here is a Bernina 475 and it’s from work. My personal sewing machine is a Bernina 770 QE (hasn’t arrived yet, upgrading from a B 530) and my serger is a Bernina L 460 (currently getting serviced), which is why they aren’t pictured.

Oil paintings are from my graduate program. I’m hoping if they’re in my face, I’ll pick painting back up.

This board is the second homasote and canvas board and I’m using it to plan projects. Once a project is finished, I’ve been trying to add both the drawing and swatch to a notebook with a few notes about it. More plans can be found here.

The IKEA cart holds distilled water for my iron, spray bottle, lint rollers, a handful of Pyrex saucers I sometimes use as pattern weights, hand sewing supplies, and supplies for the quilted jacket project.

I recently bought this ironing board. I had to upgrade because the one I bought from Target 12 years ago was completely rusted and started staining anything I pressed. Really happy with this upgrade! It’s wider, has a special place for my iron, and a handy shelf, which I’m using to hold WIPs and pressing tools. Can you spot Otis?

Here’s a closer look at the big board. The little light and Herman Miller chair used to be my grandfather’s. The block printed bag holds scraps that are too tiny to be turned into anything and are destined for the trash.

Artwork by Marsha Robinson.

This IKEA cart holds a bunch of stuff. Top shelf has tools, a Gutermann thread chart (highly recommend getting a thread chart during quarantine), an RK Kona cotton swatch book, my classwork from GarmentWorks, and my button stash. Middle shelf has rolls of elastic, muslin scraps, and mask making supplies. Bottom shelf has fat quarters for that previously mentioned curtain project, more elastic, and a bowl of Petoskey stones! This section of pegboard is home to my block printing supplies. The closed cabinets hide a mess of random stuff and more filming equipment.

Artwork by my mom!

This is another quilt project and it lives in this IKEA drawer thing. Whenever I cut out a woven garment project, I also cut out as many 2 x 2 inch squares as I can to reduce waste. Here’s an idea of what it’ll look like once it’s assembled.

Thrifted artwork.

I love this space and I’m super grateful to have it. Anything else you want to see? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

Vote Blue

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October, 2018. Trying to channel the hope I had years ago.

Vote Biden / Harris. Not 3rd party, and for the love of everything, not red.

Clyde jumpsuits | #ESMadeByMe

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Elizabeth Suzann was my introduction to ethical fashion. On the ES blog Liz Pape, the owner, would talk openly about pricing and consumption, business practices, environmental impact, and many other important topics. In addition to its unique business practices, ES had so many beautiful and functional designs.

Unfortunately, after two-ish months into the pandemic, it was announced that ES would be closing.

This incredibly sad announcement also came with the promise of eventually making the patterns available (and free) to the public. Bittersweet news for the sewing community.

A few lovely folx – @minimalistmachinist, @thestoryclubpdx, and @mombasics began working together to make Elizabeth Suzann patterns accessible almost immediately.

Favorites like Clyde, Georgia, Harper, and Florence are available through this newsletter. The Dropbox link (the only thing you’ll be sent through the newsletter) will be updated with patterns until Liz Pape is able and ready to release them herself.

Currently, it’s just the patterns, no instructions, but many makers have already posted mini sewalongs on Instagram. Tutorials can be found via #ESMadeByMe. I’ve also shared how I constructed this in an IG highlight, but you can also view it at the end of this post.

Now for the most important part, donations. As these patterns are open source/free, we’ve been encouraged to donation to Black-led social justice organizations. Since I’ve downloaded the Clyde jumpsuit and work pants, as well as the Harper tunic, I’ve donated $15 to each of the organizations listed in the newsletter, and will continue to donate that amount per pattern download. I’m also planning to donate $5 each time I make a garment using any ES pattern.

UPDATE: due to the overwhelming response to the newsletter, it has since been shut down. It became too large of a project for our community members to manage. Liz Pape will be making them available sometime in the future, so hang tight. I will not email out the patterns I’ve downloaded.

PATTERN: Clyde jumpsuit by Elizabeth Suzann

FABRIC: 8 oz thrifted denim I had in my stash (blue denim), 10 oz natural bull demin from Stonemountain Fabrics (off-white)

SIZE: medium short (blue denim), small short (natural denim)

MODS: none

ACCESSORIES: me made shoes and necklace, Block Shop Textiles mask

I really love these jumpsuits. There aren’t any closures; the neckline should be wide enough to fit over your hips. The design is part of the ES signature collection and can be worn any season. The armholes can accommodate a sweater in cooler weather, or a t-shirt / on its own in warmer weather.

The iconic pockets are deep and sit slightly away from your body. They pretty much remove the need to carry a purse.

If you’re unsure about sizing, there are a lot of measurement available on the ES website. If after checking the size charts you’re still unsure, make a muslin.

UPDATE: recently learned all made-to-order ES products were washed after being sewn. The ES team did a lot of research into shrinkage rates for their fabrics, so I would not suggest you do the same. Prewash your fabric in the same way you will wash the finished garment, measure using the stitch lines on the pattern pieces to gauge if certain areas will fit you well, and make a muslin!

UPDATE: after wearing the small several days in a row, I think I will add 1/2″ – 1″ to the torso length. I still need to compare the finished “rise” on the medium to determine what additional length is needed to be able to bend comfortably in the small.

I will probably make two more jumpsuits. I’m imaging one in black linen and another in a brown linen. But before I make those, I’m off to make a Harper tunic.

This slideshow shares my method for sewing up the Clyde jumpsuit.

Quilted Slippers | Sew DIY

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If you regularly have cold feet and you’re looking for a scrap busting project, make these. For a quilting project, they sewed up pretty quickly and would make great gifts.

PATTERN: Quilted Slippers by Sew DIY, view A Booties

FABRIC: boro stripe in flax (main), speckled linen cotton blend (lining), Big Sur Canvas (sole), leftover batting

SIZE: B – I wear US women’s size 6 shoe but used the finished measurements chart to select size

MODS: made the opening about an 1″ wider. I did this for two reasons; it was a little challenging to get my foot in and I couldn’t attach the lining and exterior together because it wouldn’t fit around the arm of my machine.

Listened to ‘So you want to talk about race’ by Ijeoma Oluo while making these.

Slabtown Backpack + Fremont Tote | Klum House

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This post had to start off with my color inspiration for my Slabtown, which was another Klum House bag. I finished this Fremont Tote in early May and it’s the perfect day bag.

It has two exterior pockets that are perfect for my phone and a mask, plus a d-ring to clip my keys to. It has a small interior pocket for my wallet and sanitizing wipes, and a spacious main compartment for other essentials. Enough room for a book, sketchbook, planner, snacks, sunglasses, etc. – it’s really the perfect size.

I purchased the Fremont Full Maker Kit, which included all of the hardware (brass), pre-cut and marked waxed canvas and lining (natural), and pre-cut and punched leather (tan).

This greenish gray waxed canvas has been in my stash for years, I honestly don’t remember what I bought it for, but it felt like the perfect accent fabric. Once Klum House reached out to see if I’d be up for making the Slabtown (duh), I knew I would have to make a matching backpack. The pair will be a great travel set in the future (I hope… please wear a mask).

I also decided to add a monogram leather tab to play with my Leather Stamps Kit.

KH Full Maker Kits are so good. They include EVERYTHING and you can also purchase the necessary tools. I’m not sure if the full maker kit comes with the pattern, but I received it since the lovely KH folx knew I needed to cut my accent. The instruction booklet also comes with labels so you can keep track of everything.

Decided the tag would look better on the inside of the bag.

It’s really easy to agonize over the color combinations available. Klum House even released a few new colors (hi, field tan) with the Slabtown release. But I stuck to my matching set plan and was gifted the Slabtown Full Maker Kit, the felt strap expansion pack, and class in mid-May.

I gained access to the class before my kit arrived and watched the whole thing that same evening. It’s comprehensive, digestible, and Ellie is delightful. It makes the whole experience really approachable and fun.

I’m really happy I bought the Bakelite Mallet from Klum House and this Mini Anvil from Blackbird fabrics. They’re great for setting rivets, snaps, and jeans buttons.

Side panels constructed and ready for hardware. What the backside of tubular rivets look like.

Each step in this project is so rewarding. Here’s my fully constructed front. I ended up adding another line of topstitching on the hidden pocket zipper because there was about an 1/8″ of raw edges peeking into my front pocket. My accent fabric was surprisingly stretchy.

I used the interior pocket from my Fremont kit. It was leftover because I ended up using the greenish gray waxed canvas. I guessed at its placement and it worked out great!

Front and back become one, then on to boxed corners! The seams are finished with twill tape and once again Klum House shares some extremely helpful construction tips.

Once the rolltop is on, the last step is adding the straps!

The strap reinforcement leather is the perfect place to personalize with stamps.

Although there are other parts of my Slabtown that aren’t perfect, the way I messed up the straps is super disappointing. All of the leather is pre-punched for you, but if you get the felt expansion pack you’ll need to punch four holes in your straps. And I punched one of them 1/2″ off. GAH.

My solution was to add this silly little leather loop. I will eventually add a brass key ring so I can clip my keys to it. I guess it’s better than a random hole?

I’m so happy with these bags. Klum House provides you with the most complete and caring experience with their kits. I cannot recommend their patterns and products enough. It blows my mind that I made these. Here’s a 10% off coupon for any Klum House goods.

The Slabtown launch sale end June 30th, so go get it!

Anti-racism check-in

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Would anyone like to join me in having regular anti-racism check-ins? I’m envisioning it as a way to stay engaged and accountable, as well as a way to share educational resources and actions. It’s not a fully formed idea yet, but maybe you can help with that!

If you’re interested, please sent me a DM on Instagram!

Black Lives Matter

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White people. Self educate, listen, reflect, uplift, strive to be antiracist.

I will be sharing my imperfect self education here because making is not untouched by racism. And I’m imposing accountability on myself. I’ve opted out for too long.

I am reading White Fragility starting today. It’s a book I got while I was still teaching. I recognize I should be reading Black authors, but this is what I have available today. I will read Ijeoma Oluo’s and Ibram X. Kendi’s books shown above once I can source them from Black-owned bookstores.

Planning

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My stash has gotten a bit out of control. Simply put, I’m buying a shit ton more fabric than I’m sewing. And that’s right, I have some coming in the mail too. I try to buy fabric with a pattern in mind, but sometimes I don’t, or I change my mind… You know how it goes. So I’m going back to a tried and true method – drawing flats and pairing them with swatches. The only thing that’s different is I’m taking them out of my sketchbook and hopefully posting them somewhere super visible in my space. Oh, and documenting them here. I think once a project is completed, the drawing and swatch will go back into a sketchbook.

During Me Made May, my goal is to make as many comfy WFH pants as possible. We’ll see how much gets done.

Outerwear

Bottoms

Jumpsuits + Sets

I have a lot more in my stash, but these are the current fabrics and patterns that excite me. How do you plan?