Japanese Pattern Books

Cataloging patterns

February 3, 2014

I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t see something, more than a few time, my brain has a hard time processing it.  It’s a little bit of a bummer, actually, that I need to organize my thoughts, ideas, creativity, and to do lists visually in order for there to be a chance for any of it to get done.  In an effort to organize my sewing to dos, and because I can’t sketch or draw for the life of me, I’m trying to catalogue my patterns, in their black and white drawings, so I can refer back to them easily and see which fabrics would work with which patterns for the ideas in my head. Continue Reading…


Garbage and cake

October 23, 2013

For Ty’s 4th birthday party, I had no choice but to make it a garbage truck theme.  He is so enamored with them.  I didn’t have much time but the few little touches I did manage to put together turned out great. I put some silver duck tape across both sides of the table and drew a dotted line with a sharpie to make some roads. Continue Reading…


Birthday Shirts

October 11, 2013
October is birthday tornado month for us.  We have 3 birthdays in 10 days so needless to say, I no longer get super excited about my own birthday, and instead start stressing out in Sept. about their parties.  A small, small part of me wants to just throw in the towel and have the party at some funland hell-hole, but I just can’t do it. If I can hold out a few more years, I think their parties will be a lot less about me planning theme-based food and activities and more about them just doing something fun with their friends.  I made it one more year.

Continue Reading…


A Special Sewing Task

October 4, 2013

A few years ago, I met a pretty amazing woman, who commissioned me to take some very sentimental clothes of hers and make a few dresses for a child she did not yet have. It turns out she was 2 years into a 5 year process of adopting a child from China, and not only any child, but a special needs little girl. She told me there was no rush so to take my time.  Cut to 3 years later, I’ve moved from Charleston (where she lives) to Pittsburgh and I still hadn’t made the dresses.  We’ve kept in touch over this time, sporadically, sending emails to check in. I moved and kept her clothes with me in my car because I was so worried that they would get lost in the move. Inspiration for the dress above came from here. Continue Reading…


A new sari dress

January 27, 2013
It seems like such an easy task (easy if you sew, that is) to put together this basic bodice and gathered skirt but for some reason, I have at least 6 or 7 versions of the bodice, none of which I’m completely satisfied with.  I think my problem is that I try and muck with all of them and don’t trust that the original will do me right.  One has 3 buttons (buttons, ugh), one has no lining (brocade needs a lining), one is not the right length, I could go on but you get my gist.  In any case, I think this turned out pretty fine.  I’ll stick with the hook and eye closure with a half sewn back bodice.  I used a women’s lehenga for the skirt which I think was too much. The little lady looks a little poofy in it but whatever. I’ll adjust for the next one.  I like the blue and brown – subtle but a tad sparkly.

The only way I can tolerate making lunch…

January 14, 2013

Finding cute bento supplies is pretty much it. Got a new bunch today. I kind of dread making lunch, especially with one picky eater who will only eat his lunch if it contains hot dogs or cutlets. He needs ranch with his carrots, hummus with his chips, cheese with his crackers. It drives me bonkers, but when I look at these adorable bento picks, forks, and sauce containers, it somehow calms me down. I get them all for super cheap online here and I get some bento inspiration from blogs like Another Lunch and Wendolonia and Pinterest, of course. I tried the cutting shapes thing and it just hasn’t worked for me yet. I feel weird with all those leftover scraps of food. I guess I could eat them myself for lunch but that’s a drag. Continue Reading…


Pattern testing

January 10, 2013

Man. 4 months since my last post.  Not the best way to get this blog going, but 3 holidays, 2 surgeries, 1 lay off, 2 full leg casts, and a new year later, I’m back.  Here my latest attempt at a new style for the biz.  This one was a test that technically fits my 6 yr old but is pretty slim in the torso, so I’ve adjusted the pattern according but the rest came out great I think.  The dress is all upcycled and made from a combination of a jumper dress pattern (main top) from this japanese pattern book (view G), but since it was so slim, I’m going to try and use a different pattern from this pattern book instead (view S).  The raw edged flutter sleeves are from a nani iro pattern and the bottom is just an upcycled skirt.  It came together pretty quick so I think it’s a keeper.  I especially like the keyhole back. 


Anaya’s 6th birthday

September 11, 2012

Birthdays stress me out. I set the bar too high and feel obliged to deliver.  I spent way too long on this invite, too, that 6 people are going to see, maybe 7 if you include my husband. I thought it would be really cute if on her 16th birthday I made a book of all her old invitations.  She might not care at all at that point, but I still like the idea.  Hence, my need to spend more time than I have designing this invite.  I completely stole the idea but it’s for personal use so I don’t feel badly.

Her birthday will be at a great new DIY workshop studio in Charleston called Spacecraft Studios.
I haven’t quite decided what their project is going to be but I’m leaning towards fairy garden furniture, but it’s up to Anaya in the end.