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This Week: Creative reboot

I’ve been having the best week.

I took the week off from my regular work for a bit of a creative break. I’ve been spending it at a class on drawing and painting for textile design, taught by the immensely talented designer and artist Chelsea Heffner of plainMADE.

Having an entire week to just draw plants and design repeats has been incredibly soothing and inspiring. I’ve always loved to draw, and it’s really cool to combine that with the problem solving skills needed for textile design. Today, I’ll be working on a large scale painting based on one of my repeats and I’m so excited.

Don’t you find that focusing on a totally different creative skill has a way of shifting your brain? I feel so revived and ready to try new things.

Hope you all have a great weekend and a chance to do something creative or inspiring for yourself. And in your down time, here are some wonderful links Casey found:

  • This sewing tool caddy would be great for yourself or as a cute gift for a budding sewer.
  • If you (or someone you know) is handy with furniture making, check out these plans for an expanding sewing table.
  • Gertie shares how to sew a simple rick rack trim to any edge.
  • Every seamstress (and seamster!) needs a little hand-pampering from time to time: make yourself a batch of moisturizing hand scrub to keep your best tools (your hands) smooth.
  • Great tips on properly storing vintage patterns (or any pattern that you want to preserve, for that matter).
  • Simple and stylish techniques for finishing sleeveless style bodices.
  • A few tips on correcting armhole balance on patterns.
  • Help stave off the air conditioning chills and make a couple of these stylish 1950s shrugs.
  • Use your orphaned and vintage shank buttons to fashion a charming bracelet.
  • They can be economical and well-built options, and here are some pointers on buying vintage sewing machines.
  • Make some fetching rick rack frogs (closures).

Sarai Mitnick


Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.



July 20, 2012 #

“How to finish a neckline with a gorgeous bias binding.” – Link?


July 20, 2012 #

Oops, don’t know what happened there. I removed it for now and will try to find the link and stick it back in. :)

Kate Bernhard

July 20, 2012 #

That’s pretty neat, I am interning at the Bon Ton stores doing just that in the CAD dept. I have a program that puts the prints in repeat for me though- I can’t imagine having to do it all by hand. Have fun!


July 20, 2012 #

Wow, the pattern design sounds fascinating! Repeats tend to boggle my mind, I’d really like to get my head wrapped around them at some point.

Thanks so much for linking to my shrug pattern, I’m insanely flattered! :)


July 20, 2012 #

I definitely agree that taking a step back and trying your hand at something completely new and different refreshes and revives us. I’m a pretty hard worker (I often work straight through weekends) but about ever 5 or 6 weeks, my mind hits a block; it says “STOPP!” When that happens, and I can trust myself to know when it does, I take the weekend off. Sometimes I go hiking, sometimes I spend the weekend at the movie theatre, or sometimes I scrapbook (I’ve recently gotten back into it). If I take the time to step away, I come back so refreshed! I’m glad you spent this week doing something incredible – painting!

Thanks for the link love. I cannot tell you how much it means to me. I look up so you ladies so so much! You’re pretty ehhhff-ing awesome! Keep up the good work!

Michelle Thompson

July 20, 2012 #

Hi Sarai! What a great reminder: I am long overdue to take up a new creative endeavor (or revisit an old one, like drawing). Good for you for taking a creative break. Maybe we’ll see some gorgeous Colette fabrics someday? I’d love that.


July 23, 2012 #

Hi Michelle! Oh, who knows? Right now, I’m just enjoying the process. :)


July 20, 2012 #

Oooh, the textiles class sounds fun! I look forward to seeing more snippets.


July 20, 2012 #

Thanks for including a link to my blog about vintage pattern storage :)


July 22, 2012 #

Hey darlin! Where do I find out more about these classes?? xo


July 23, 2012 #

Hi Rachel! This class was a PNCA… just take a look at their continuing ed offerings. I think this is the first time Chelsea taught the class and I’m sure they’ll offer it again!


July 23, 2012 #

Ha, it’s so funny that you post about this, because my alternate creative thing IS sewing! I do it to give my writing fresh perspective (and because it’s fun…)