Workshop on Creativebug


I can’t say enough good things about the new-ish site called Creativebug! Seriously, they are the real thing – fully committed to supporting artists and makers and providing the richest content for anyone who wants to learn how to make the plethora of stuff being taught there. Sometimes I don’t quite understand how we got so lucky to be a part of this community, but I’ll just count my blessings and smile at the magic the creative folks behind the scenes work on their workshops. In the beginning of the summer, my kids and I hosted a crew in my studio and we filmed a collection of workshops, including the one that is just out today! Head on over with your favorite kid and go make these sweet little tweets:



Sewing School 2 Book Review + Giveaway

One of the perks of being a Storey author is that you get handed loads of gorgeous and worthy books to read and use.  With “creative self-reliance” as the backbone of their philosophy, they couldn’t be publishing books that are more interesting to me – farming to preserving to sewing – or done more beautifully.  So, when we were asked to review Sewing School 2, I did not hesitate to say yes. I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed and, if course, it is a subject that is near and dear. I remember walking into the Storey office back when we were working on Improv Sewing and seeing Sewing School placed prominently on the reception desk, so it really brings up great memories – of course I walked out that day with a copy in my stack of books and LOVED it.

First, the design of the book screams out for kids to pick it up and use it. It feels like a very genuine display of an actual sewing school where kids are creating with abandon and having a blast – who wouldn’t want to sew when it looks so simple and fun? Mission accomplished, gals!

I teach sewing to kids (I know how fun it is to watch them succeed on the machine – empowering!) and really appreciated their approach. I got the sense just from reading Sewing School 2 and all of the little tips highlighted in the pages, that they keep it easy and fun and drive the important lessons home with simple and straightforward reminders. In particular, I love how the tip to help kids avoid having their sewing thread get sucked back up into the machine – no one wants to re-thread their machine every time they start. Full disclosure: I fled the hot New England weather for a few days and took my computer but forgot the book, so that tip really stands out in my mind, but I can’t quote it or tell you the page it is on. What I can tell you, is that besides forgetting to put the foot down before sewing, the biggest annoyance to any sewist of any age, is not leaving long enough tails when you cut your threads, so the next stitches you try to make are foiled by the disappearance of the sewing thread. In any case, Sewing School 2 lays out the great habits from the get-go, and that is no small thing.

Before leaving on this mini vacation, Harry(my 8 year old) and I braved the hot studio and whipped up a snack bag in no time at all. It was great! There was a pattern so he didn’t have to measure, and directions he could follow himself . He found an old pillow case that I bought in Paris over a decade ago to use and I was so happy to have it being used for something I will see regularly.

It is about 95 degrees, but we are going to sew!

Harry looks through the book and picks out the snack sack project.

Wrapped in a beautiful old pillow case that he is about to cut up, Harry cuts out the pattern piece.

Using chalk to mark the fabric – his choice.

Cutting out the fabric.

Sewing up the bag was a breeze!

Sticking on the self-adhesive velcro dots.

It is done! I swear this took about 10 minutes to make and we can never have too many snack bags around here!

If your kids want to learn to sew, I wouldn’t hesitate to add Sewing School 2 to your shopping bag. You can be as involved as you want, or let your kids feel the empowerment of making stuff on their own. Great book!!!

Update!!! I completely forgot that we have a copy of Sewing School 2 to give away! If you are interested in taking part, simply leave us a comment here and I will do one of those random number generators on July 18th and let you know if you are the lucky one. You do need to be a U.S. citizen – sorry. Good luck!

Evelyn, you are the winner! Email me at with your address and we will get that book to you ASAP!

Creativebug Umbrella Workshop

AppliqueUmbrellaIt is so rainy here in New England right now, though it has also been scorchingly hot. Either way, having a nice umbrella to block out the sun or rain is essential, so head over to Creativebug and have a peek at my new appliqued umbrella workshop. This is a great craft to do with a kid, but even grown-ups need stylish umbrellas, right? It is very easy to make and the design possibilities are entirely customizable.

Creativebug Workshops are cheap cheap cheap this week!

There are so many choose from and so much to learn. This is a great way to try something out for a tenner, so head on over there. Debra and I can teach you to make a dress for yourself or a little one. We can teach you to draw with thread and make a zillion things. I can teach you to make a rope basket that you will use all the time! So much!


New skirts for summer

madewithoverMoving into summer means some new skirts for me! I pretty much live in skirts and dresses in the hot weather – doing everything from hiking and gardening to going to dinner at friends. I wear my clothes out like an 8 year old – if they had knees, they’d have holes. So, besides just wanting something new and fresh, I sort of need something new and fresh unless I want to go out with grass stained, torn, and dingy garments. I was digging through some bins trying to find fabric pieces larger than a 1/2 yard and came up with this awesome IKEA fabric I had obviously forgotten all about. My sister-in-law actually gave me a purse made from this fabric at Christmas this year and I thought I had only considered buying it, but I knew where it came from. Happy surprise. I don’t wear this skirt with the bag, though harry thinks I should make a shirt and shoes out of the same stuff and wear it all together. He rightly thought that was hilarious! 

So, here is last weeks skirt. The fabric is a heavy canvas and there is a little side zipper too. I didn’t end up needing darts because I made it slightly smaller than intended. But, it matters not, because it fits great with no gappy back. I love it. I also just finished a linen skirt with embroidered finishes that I will photograph in the next couple days and share. I might even try to be a bit more pressed and unwrinkled for that one.  THEN, maybe I will let you know how I make my aline skirts with zippers. As usual, it isn’t rocket science, and they don’t take more than an hour.


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