Monday, May 30, 2016

Shabby Tank to Shibori Treasure

I had this old white tank top, and I wanted to spruce it up a bit. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do (like always) but then (like always) it hits me like a truck.... BOOM!...SHIBORI!!!

I took a class on Shibori back in March, at the National Art Education Convention, and I thought I could put my new skills to the test.  You can check out that post from NAEA, HERE.

Just recently, with the encouragement of a few of my students, I decided to create a YouTube channel for some of my classroom demos. Shibori fabric dyeing is one of those videos. We did this as a fun end of the year project. In my class we created Shibori techniques with geometric shapes and patterns with the type of folding and binding used.  I am so excited to share one technique with VIDEOS with you, right here on my blog as part of this refashion. 

Please subscribe to my channel RIGHT HERE!

My tank top was ready for a makeover!

All clipped up!
Lookin' like a centipede!

Dip in the water, then dip in the dye.

Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Wait just a few minutes to let the water drain on some newspaper. 

Let your dyed fabric dry completely.
Heat treat your new shibori fabric by ironing it. 
(Put an old towel down to protect your ironing board cover)
Wash  alone and hang dry for the first time.
Then wash with like colors.
Some fading may occur.

A fun and easy way to breathe new life into an old piece of clothing.

If you are interested in researching a bit more about Shibori, you can go to my 
Pinterest board 

Let me know what you think about the final product in the comments!

See you next time!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Leslie's Love of Sewing

I saw a skirt that my high school friend Leslie, posted on a popular social media site and I just fell in love with the cut, the print and the way she styled it. Leslie looked so glam, and I had to see if I could make something like that too (imitation is the highest form of flattery). I'm working on something as we speak...

We graduated from Lane Technical High School in Chicago in the 90's *cough cough*... not too long ago. I had no idea about her skill of sewing back then, but I was a ditzy teen who thought the world revolved around her. I've heard that's a common trait among teens. LOL!

I was so interested in her sewing journey and since I have only just begun, I hope to instill a love of sewing into Olivia just as Leslie's mom has for her, and for Leslie to pass on to her sweet Nola.

Here's Leslie's story:

I’m the daughter of a seamstress, so I I had no choice but to learn how to sew.  My mother first taught me how to sew by hand when I was maybe 7 or 8 - one of my first projects was a teddy bear I wanted to make for my friend’s newborn cousin.   It looked a hot mess, but it was made with love!  She quickly graduated me to the machine, and began a love/hate relationship with the craft.  My love for sewing took off in high school; I would often make outfits for myself from the remnants my mom kept in the big wooden trunk she inherited from her grandmother.  One of my favorite pieces was a sleeveless red, white, and black color block mini dress… color blocking was all the rage in the 90’s.  One of the most special pieces made was my prom dress.  My mom took the lead on that… it was way too advanced and important to be trusted to me.  But I remember being in charge of cutting the pattern from three different wedding gown designs, and having to dye the stretch sheer that perfect shade of green between kelly and forest.  

During college I abandoned sewing; who had the time?  I didn’t come back to it again until the early 2000’s when I made an outfit for myself for my company’s summer gala.  Though I technically made clothes, it far under-delivered on what I expected the finished garment to look like.  In the years that followed, I thought about returning to sewing, but “nah” it just wasn’t for me.  Fast forward to 2016 - and I’m trying to find the perfect thing to wear to my daughter’s school fundraiser.  I wanted something that made a statement and scoured the city looking for the perfect Ankara print maxi skirt.  Nothing really caught my eye and I was running out of time.  The night before the big night, I decided that I had to make my own skirt.  I mean… it’s a simple circle skirt, right?  Making a quick 14 mile trip to buy the perfect fabric and tacking on an additional 20 mi to borrow a sewing machine from a friend, with my mother’s help I cranked out this beauty the day of the event.  I was worry if I still remembered what to do, but lo and behold - it IS like riding a bike.  For a split second the familiar feeling of being back on the machine had me contemplating making African print maxi skirts professionally… but then I realized I’m too much of a perfectionist to do this full time.  But I do think I’ll invest in my own machine for whenever the mood strikes again :-)

 I’d like to do more and maybe make some pieces for my little one.  It was fun and frustrating at the same time.  But I wasn’t prepared for how much I missed it.  I hope to someday teach Nola how to sew!

What a great piece Les!!!!

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me and my blog. Maybe we can get together soon and you can show me a thing or two....or twelve!

See you next time!

Monday, May 2, 2016


Can you believe I have been blogging for two years? 

Me either! It's gone by so quickly!

I thought I would recap a few things I've created this past year with some photos. Please let me know your thoughts, likes and dislikes. I want to make this blog amazing! Thank you! Thank you!

This is my 100th post as well!! Pretty cool!!! 
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs as much as I enjoy making, creating, and sewing!!

Thank you so much to my family, friends, and followers
 for all your support and encouragement!

See you next time!