Taking action is important to me. Black lives matter. I stand for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the countless other Black lives that have been lost. I want to consciously take time to learn of my own biases and evaluate how I can help moving forward. I want to support Black makers and creatives. I am making a choice to stand up for what is right and I am working on acting on that. Please take time to learn from Black leaders and support Black owned businesses. Below is a small list of where you can start:
Follow along with @blkmakersmatter, this is a brand new platform which is lead by a group of Black sewists!
The Great Unlearn
Social Justice Sewing Academy
Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Momentum Fund
We Love Lakestreet
Justice for Breonna
George Floyd Memorial Fund
Color of Change
My plan going forward:
- make a conscious effort in sharing Black creative’s work
- make a conscious effort in asking Black creatives to pattern test (and to fairly compensated them for their time and effort)
- donate (making a monthly contribution to Social Justice Sewing Academy as well as a donation to Neighborhood Fiber Co.’s Momentum Fund is where I’ve started)
- I am working on setting up a college scholarship for my community specifically for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) who are pursuing degrees in creative and/or business related fields, will plan to keep you posted on that
- continue to educate myself and my family, talk to friends and community members and stand up for the BIPOC community
This is how I’m beginning. I wanted to share this here to let you know where I stand. I believe in human rights, I believe that Black lives matter. This is not a checklist to move through and then forget about, but a reminder for myself of what promises I want to keep. I am still learning (and unlearning) and want to continue to learn. I do apologize for not speaking out about this sooner. I want to continue to seek out ways I can improve. I am one person, but I don’t want to sit idly by and watch without taking action.
Also, please take time to read this message explaining why it’s harmful to say “All Lives Matter”.
When I saw Rifle Paper Co. post their image of a dress shirt in their new Strawberry Fields print from their new Primavera collection on their Instagram I knew I had to make one. I quickly ordered some from my one of my local quilt shops (Stitch Supply Co.) and threw it in the wash as soon as I got it in the mail.
I’ve had the Archer shirt pattern from Grainline Studio for quite a few years and hadn’t yet made it. I’ve made the Alder Shirtdress which is sort of similar, but the Archer patiently waited for me. I typically don’t wear a lot of prints, but the strawberries were calling and it was Spring! Time to celebrate all the new growth that it brings. Also, I haven’t sewn a garment using quilting cotton for years, but this is a very soft quilting cotton and it’s perfect for this type of shirt.
I thoroughly enjoying making this shirt. I don’t think I worked on it for more than 45 minutes at a time, it was nice to space things out and really enjoy the process. So over the course of about a week and a half I finished my shirt! I asked a friend for some buttons and that was that! I did manage to sew the cuffs on the wrong way at first with the overlap/cuff buttons on the wrong way. Lucky for me that was super easy to take off the cuff and put on a new one. I’m so glad I did because even though it was a fairly insignificant mistake on my part, I knew I’d always be a little bit mad at myself if I didn’t fix it. So there you go, lesson learned! It’s great to know when to stop and fix something and when it’s okay to let it go. Of course that threshold is different for everyone. But when you know, you know!
I’m hoping to get a few wears in before it gets to hot and humid here. I’ll wear it in the fall and winter, too I hope! I think I’ll throw it in the wash, too before I first wear it. I can’t remember where I read that tip (or maybe I heard it on a Love to Sew podcast episode), but I think it makes a big difference for me. Washing a garment after its sewn, and it’ll have that more lived in feel. It makes total sense in my crazy world!
Pattern: Archer Button Up Shirt from Grainline Studio (I made a size 8, graded to 6 at the hips)
Fabric: Strawberry Fields in Blush (Primavera collection by Rifle Paper Co.) purchased from Stitch Supply Co.
Isn’t this yellow Buckthorn Tote so cute? It’s so happy and cheery. I need a little of that sunshine in my life lately. To be honest it’s been difficult to keep focused and motivated. I worry quite a lot about what this all means for sewing and for my business. It’s scary and uncertain, and while I am usually in the camp of prepare for the worst, this kind of has me running from idea to idea without being able to feel comfortable working on any certain thing with much focus. It’s always been a juggle to run my business while taking care of my family, but this is different of course. I’ll keep taking things day by day, and knowing that we’re all in this together helps, too. I’m so glad to be a part of this sewing community!
So anyway, this Buckthorn Tote was one of my favorites right off the machine. Sometimes when I finish a project I might not immediately love it. But I think it’s the cheery yellow Dry Oilskin that I picked up from Blackbird Fabrics that just sings! I believe this is the Merchant & Mills Dry Oilskin and I loved sewing with it. It’s very easy to work with, so if you want to give it a try I can’t recommend it enough! It’s got structure, but isn’t so stiff that it makes it difficult to use. The topstitching just glided through like butter which is always satisfying! The lining is Big Sur canvas in Unbleached. (Here’s a google search if you’re looking for a shop that carries it.)
This is the Tote component to the Buckthorn pattern, I had to make a cute tote version because I couldn’t get it out of my head that it would be perfect for crafting. Knitting, embroidery, cross-stitch, and paper piecing all came to mind when I was deciding on size and details. It would be very easy to add an additional interior pocket and divide it up for storing all of your supplies, too! I think that’s the best part of being able to make things yourself, because you can customize it to your specific needs! Plus the zippered top!!!! I know you love keeping everything safe and secure. But don’t worry, you can easily leave out the zipper (or add a magnetic snap or not!) and finish it off with the binding the same way. So many fun options.
Pattern: Buckthorn Backpack & Tote
Fabric: Dry Oilskin purchased from Blackbird Fabrics (I believe they’re sold out at the moment, but my friend Holly has some in her shop now!) here’s a google search for more shops that have it
Webbing, zipper (14″ size for the tote), and zipper pulls are all in my shop, too. You’ll need two yards of 1″-wide webbing for the Tote!