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?”

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

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Welcome to the Colette Book Club

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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?

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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

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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.

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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.