I’ve been working on getting the workroom back in order and starting up Summer and Fall classes, but wanted to take some time to write to you all about something that is very important to me, this workroom, and the broader community based out of and around it. I’ve taken my time with this and held off because I don’t love performative social justice and you guys need to know where I am coming from in building this community. Black Lives Matter.  We all should be able to say this without any hesitation at all. They matter in the world generally, they matter in theRead More →

I spent last night with my 92 year old grandma and some prohibition-era bathtub wine on the back stoop somewhere out in greater Appalachia at midnight ringing a giant farmyard bell.  That can only mean that the new year has begun and now I’m gearing up to head back to the big city, roll up my sleeves, and get to work. I’ll be carrying with me almost a thousand patterns for the archive from 1938-1972 and am in the planning stages for everything from lectures on Charles James and his particularly prickly design process to programs for the American Sewing Guild using Pattern Magic, theRead More →

I was writing about fabric exchanges at the workroom and what I see for this place as a creative environment and started thinking about inclusion. When I was a kid in Southern Indiana, my Grandma used to talk about workers they would hire on the farm and property and how the family would interact with them.  She’d describe these big meals prepared outside where everyone would sit down to long tables: workers, farm owners, wives, kids – everyone.  She’d say:  “If you are good enough to work for me, you are good enough to sit at my table”. This really resonated with me and hasRead More →

When you have younger folks around who are still in school you are going to learn all kind of things.   (20 year old reading book while waiting for class) “Do you know what ‘kairos‘ means?” Tchad: “I’d like to tell you I do, but that wouldn’t be true; where did you hear it?” Student: “It’s Greek and just seems like something you’d know.” So Nathan spelled it and I wrote it up on the board.  Then we hit up wikipedia as we do for a lot of things that aren’t related to sewing. “The propitious moment for a decision or action.  A right orRead More →

Some time ago, I was reading Threads Magazine and came across an essay on levels of projects and the thoughts behind choosing projects and techniques to make them.  The writer was comparing sewing to cooking.  Look, they were saying: When you cook you don’t always cook the biggest, most expensive meals in the cookbook.  Sometimes you don’t even need the cookbook.  Sometimes you just make a hamburger.  Or, if you need a really quick bite, you open the freezer and throw one of those sad hot pockets you’ve had since 1998 (don’t lie) in the microwave. One of the things that I say over andRead More →

We talk a lot in class about specific creative things and how to make them work.  This is the very functional part of the class: The how and where of things. But there is a side of creative classes like this that students don’t always talk about – the why of things and the ways that we think as we develop something. So this little square on the blog is going to be a little more philosophical and less technical – a little less about the pins and needles and a little more about the thoughts behind things. So many times we forget that groupsRead More →