Learn Sashiko with Upcycle Alameda!

I’ll be teaching a six-week course with sashiko and other hand sewing skills using upcycled fabrics at the Recrafting Co. in beautiful Alameda, CA. You can join in on Upcycle Alameda’s Meetup event page and/or contact Joan at 510-913-2732 for more information and to sign up. There are a limited number of seats available and we would love…

New tutorial video and an upcoming show

The latest in my sashiko tutorial video series is longer than the first episode… mainly because Thomas wasn’t here to hurry me along and keep things brief so I rambled a bit. Hope you don’t mind, or at the very least find the ramblings useful. I talk more about thimbles and how to use them,…

Our first video!

We did it! Thomas and I cleared off the cutting table and put together a simple starting project for learning sashiko. Okay, so all I did was demonstrate how to backstitch and use a thimble, but that’s exactly what I teach my customers over and over at every show so I figured there might be…

Product Review: KARISMA Air Fade Pen and Fujix Soie et Silk Thread

It’s a product review two-for-one! I’ve been experimenting with the KARISMA Air Fade Ink pens on silk lately and I’m quite pleased with the results. I have heard that some brands of air fade ink pens will come back if the fabric is laundered, so I decided to use them on fabrics I wasn’t planning to…

Kimonomomo Shop Updates for late May 2014

In case you missed it on Facebook or Twitter earlier, here some upcoming events I’ll be hosting in the San Francisco, CA Bay Area: Saturday, May 31: Mini Kimono Workshop – Kimonomomo Studio in Alameda Sunday, June 1: Bay Area Sashiko Workshop – South Bay/San Jose/Campbell area And an Etsy Craft Party on Friday, June 6! The…

How to refill KARISMA Multicolor Pencil

Aleta from HinterlandMama sent me the following email this week: Hello! I have been using my pencil endlessly, but now the white chalk won’t come out when I press the end. I thought I would refill with the leads I bought from you, in case that’s the problem. But try as a might, I can’t…

This week in the Kimonomomo design studio…

Today I had a visitor to the studio this weekend who asked me to show her how I do my sashiko. Helen was a lovely guest (who bought some of my favorite fabrics) and we chatted for a few hours while I stitched away. She likes to plan out her sewing projects, “obsessing” about them…

Washing shibori yukata cotton

Textile junkies love color and texture, and shibori has both in spades. When it comes to using these fabrics and not just collecting them (as my mother so often did), we take a step back and ask, “What is going to happen if I wash this? What if I don’t wash it? Will washing make…

Kogin – yet another diversion to keep my hands happy

You know, because I obviously have WAY too much free time. Koginzashi こぎん刺し (or according to various online translations, “concentrated silver stab”) is a regional stitch technique that evolved out of its plain but fascinating older sister, sashiko刺し子. By carefully counting the warp and weft threads of a piece of cloth, a pattern could be devised…

From Caterpillar to Kimono: a Journey in Silk, part 2

From careful handwork to heavy machinery, there are many ways to unreel a silk cocoon. Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo, is famous for silk production. In the 19th century Japan produced far more of the world’s silk than it does today (China has taken the title of world silk producer, much as it has taken…

From Caterpillar to Kimono: a Journey in Silk, part 1

My brain is still on Tokyo time. I sit at the breakfast table with my tea and toast and contemplate the day ahead; only it’s almost noon and I’m still not really awake. Most nights I’m up until 1:00 or 2:00 AM, but I’m struggling to get back on a schedule the rest of the…

Karinui Comparisons, part 2

In part 1 I disassembled an inexpensive kurotomesode (high formal women’s kimono) and gave you a peek at the inner workings, so to speak. This time we’ll be looking at a more expensive kimono and seeing how different the two can be. Part 2: The Hot Date Unlike the pretty, fast, and easy Cheap Date,…