Seamwork article: Sashiko Embroidery

I love sashiko embroidery, so I jumped at the chance to write my first full-length Seamwork article on it.

“To me, sashiko is a technique of transformation that honors the impulse to re-use waste and use materials efficiently. A long, sharp sashiko needle is a magic wand, a tool of salvage that produces style as well as economy. Its beauty demands the question: why just “mend and make do” when you can mend with gorgeous graphic patterns?”


I  added this simple sashiko yoke to a black linen shirt I found at the Salvation Army.


Welcome to the Colette Book Club


I’m really excited–and teeny bit nervous–to share a new project with you.

I’m curating a new sewing & fashion book club for Colette Patterns (one of my favourite sewing pattern companies and the publisher of Seamwork Magazine) . The Colette Book Club is a free, online book club where we’ll read any (good) book that enhances our understanding of sewing. Fiction and non-fiction, from historical novels to fashion philosophy.

It’s kind of an experiment, and we’re still working out the little details! But here’s the gist:

How it works

  1. Go to the Colette blog and read the Book Club post. Say hi to your fellow book clubbers in the comments if you want.
  2. Find a copy of our current book, “The Forgotten Seamstress” by Liz Trenow.
  3. Read the book.  If you want to chat about it while you’re reading, use the hashtag #colettebookclub on Twitter.
  4. Come back to the Colette blog on Feb 15 to talk about the book and learn which book is next.

What are we reading?



The first book is  The Forgotten Seamstress, a lovely novel by Liz Trenow that will delight mystery lovers, textile nerds and fans of Downton Abbey. You can read more about it (and why I chose it) on the Colette Blog.

How to find the book

You can find The Forgotten Seamstress at bookstores or at your local library. It’s also available in most e-reader formats and as an audiobook. There’s even a free Kindle preview so you can try the first four chapters for free.


New Seamwork column: Natural oils for minimalists


I have another beauty column in Seamwork, the excellent online sewing magazine published by Colette. This month, I’m talking about simplifying your skincare routine with natural oils.


This issue also features a pattern for a the Mojave dress, an empire-waist kaftan. I think this will be my first Seamwork sewing project … I think it’ll really flattering and easy to wear! I used to have a plum-colored jersey dress like this and I wore it out. It worked in the summer, it worked in the winter, it worked for work and weekends … what’s not to like?



My first Seamwork Natural Beauty column!

I am so excited to be writing for Seamwork Magazine! It’s an online sewing magazine published by one of my favourite independent sewing pattern companies, Colette Patterns.  Colette was founded by Sarai Mitnick, a former UX designer at Google. Sarai and her team are doing incredible work with online sewing spaces — their sites are always beautifully designed and so easy to use. Plus, they were really nice to work with!


My contribution to the July 2015 issue is an almond oil cold cream. In the last few years, several high-end skincare companies have come out with balm cleansers. While I’m sure these are all lovely to use, a $30-$70 cleanser isn’t necessary. You can make your own rich, moisturizing cleanser at home for about $10. I’ve been using mine regularly, and it works well on my oily skin.


I have a few more Seamworks columns coming up … I’m so pleased to be working with a company I’ve admired for years. My next goal is to pitch a sewing tutorial to them. Of course, their standards of expertise are very high, and they have a deep talent pool to draw from, so I want to make sure my pitch is very good.