When a Scrap Isn't Scrap: When It's Material.

Doll, 2007
It feels discordant to throw away fabric. Perhaps it is due to the fact that linen and cotton are grown in soil, and wool and silk are spun from fibers made by living creatures. Maybe it is because there is use to be found even for small pieces of cloth.

Several years ago made a doll out of the remaining parts of a pillowcase (white cotton). It is stuffed with tiny fragments of the case. Areas of the fabric were mended to sew the doll's dress and there are folds in the cloth that an iron failed to remove even on the hottest setting. The doll has a blouse with a Peter Pan collar, a dress with a ruffled border and an apron (in blue and white fabric) with straps that cross at the back. The hair is rayon seam tape. The eyes and lips are embroidered. Am not one to name things nor assign a backstory yet this doll has a name--Clarissa. It appears she works in the household of an estate. hum...

Detail: Mended fabric with creases.
When cutting a garment small scraps of material that remain go into an open box beneath the table. These are extracted to test machine stitches, experiment with the tension settings on the overlock/serger, to try out a technique or made into mini-samples, used for facings, pockets, etc.


David O. wanted a bear. It was slightly intimidating--maybe because a teddy bear is the Holy Grail of childhood toys. I put it off until one day it was Bear Day. 

As it turned out, it more or less became Bear Week. There are now three bears, two blue and one pink. The fabric is the sort one might scoff at because of its Dr. Suessian hues--and secretly long for because it is preternaturally soft. It is perfect for a bear.  

(Teddy Bears; chenille with polyfil, buttons and suede, 2010)

The Dragon

Isaac drew a dragon.
I used the picture as a template for a stuffed animal. Kept to the lines of the drawing. Double stitched the seams  for durability. Hopefully the dragon will be handled a lot! Embroidery was perfect for the eyes and mouth, mimicking the dragon's expression in the picture.

(Dragon: 21" length, horn to tail x 15" height)

Dragon in Process

Isaac's dragon is a gentle sort of dragon, but it does have some fierce claws! The drawing includes four legs and two arms. Faithful to the drawing, the arms end with three claws. After making the arms separately, they are attached to the sides of the body.
(Dragon: Sewing arm to side of body.)

Elephant Ride

More serious work to come. (Leather projects take time and patience.)

Meanwhile, enjoying a day at the circus! Esmerelda is dressed in a handmade sweater and matching skirt with an embroidered border. Oscar prefers riding bareback-that is to say, his bareback!

Phants & More

There's practically a herd of elephants on the mantlepiece. And peanuts are in production to feed them all.

I will be posting as this little workshop of one speeds along.

On Sunday I taught a sewing workshop at Etsy Labs in Brooklyn. It was an intro. to sewing machines. Everyone went home knowing how to use a machine, and with a zipper pouch they had constructed. As one person pointed out, "people were really happy, so it was a success." That's nice to hear.