07 Aug

Fashion/Sewing and Ceramics Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 1&2



This is my second year teaching at the NWS Summer camp. It’s good to see familiar and new faces, have fun teaching some fantastic kids, and to enjoy the school lunches! I have moved to teaching full time and am thrilled. Currently teaching: 1000 things to do with a T-shirt, Re-fabulous refashioning (co-teaching with Katy Flynn of KFLY) and Functional Ceramics (co-teaching with Curtis).

Day 1


The first day was hectic as usual. People were everywhere! I met my students in the commons and brought them to class.

In my first class, 1000 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt, I had 11 students, many were from Asia- mainly China, Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea. I had 1 boy in my class, which was cool. Only a few of my students were native English speakers, so I had to slow down and explain things in as simple of terms as possible. Class flow was as follows: Self introductions and goals for the class ( we will make small projects and work to something bigger plus a trip to the thrift store); showing students the classroom tools, safety, and etiquette ( starting with notions, fabric, sewing machines, and ironing board); my emphasis was on slowing down and taking time to do consistent work. Then I showed a demo of how to thread a sewing machine, had students partner up and practice how to thread the machine themselves (I mentioned that on day 2, we would practice again and then have a contest to see who could thread the fastest). After they were comfortable, I did a demo on sewing two knit fabric squares together, taking the time to pin, backstitch and press. Finally, students were shown how to do a non-sewing project of making a fringe banner. Most students did not finish the banner project by the time class finished.

Class prep notes for 1000 ways to Transform a T: Before class– Write daily agenda on board. Prep enough knit squares for each person in the class. During class, while students are threading the machine- draw a picture of and define these terms: “Seam allowance” and “Backstitch”. During demo of fringe making- be sure to have them use chalk and rulers; this enforces “slowing down” and focusing on quality work.

In my second class, Re-fabulous Repurposed Clothing,  Katy and I had 8 students; again many were international students. We had 2 boys in our class. We began our day with self-introductions, class etiquette and safety, and showing them the tools of the trade. Again, we led a sewing machine threading demo and had the students partner up to practice. This time, we had students sew together their squares on 3 sides, requiring them to pivot in the corners and trim after pressing. I was happy to have those sewing terms “seam allowance” and “backstitch” on the board. After doing a pressing demo, we began a simple bowtie project. Students finished their first squares off, then were able to pick and finish a bowtie of their own fabric choosing.

Prep for Refab- cut squares from woven fabrics for the students to use. Write agenda for the day.

Finally, in Functional Ceramics, Curtis and I had 16 students! Half of our students were from China, and half from the USA. We didn’t do any personal introductions, and just got right to it. Curtis began by talking about ceramics, the room, and the flow of the class (week 1- build create make dry and fire; week 2- paint paint paint and fire). He showed students the kiln area and the stages that clay goes through from start to finish, as well as where the clay lives and about the buckets of slip on the table. Game time! Groups of 4 must build the highest mushroom tower! 1 rep grabs clay and brings it to the table. Winner! Then we balled it all up and wrapped it in plastic. Afterwards, we did a demo involving a rolling pin, pieces of yardstick, and a lump of clay. Functional ceramics- we made a tile/plate. Then he discussed the different types of tools to use, scratch to attach, showed a few slides, and set the students to work. At the end we went through the cleanup process. Excited for day 2!

Day 2



This is the day that students are given the opportunity to switch classes. To my surprise, no one switched from any of my classes, and we had a few new arrivals. Session 1, my 1001 T-shirt peeps practiced threading the machine and had a contest to see who could thread it the quickest. After that, we finished up making a fringe thing and then they went on to begin their second project- a beanie. I introduced them to a pattern and they drafted their own following a few sets of measurements. After cutting their pattern, they selected fabrics (need to change pattern for next sessions because we only have a bunch of youth L sized t shirts in blue), and laid out and cut their pattern pieces. Some students got to sewing their beanie up. Those who finished early moved on to sketching out their dream beanie.


In session 2, re-fab,  it was tote bag time! We began by having the students select, press, and cut their pieces.  At the end of class, almost everyone was finished cutting out their pieces (18″x18″, 2pcs; 8″x8″, 1 pc, and 45″-60″x4″, 2pcs) and had all experienced using the sewing machine. 

In ceramics, day 2, our project was to make a cup. The demo was similar to begin with- grab sticks, a roller, fettling knife and a scratcher tool. We showed the 2 different ways to make a cup- 1 by making and rolling a slab, and 2-  a deconstructed cup- by cutting out a rounded trapezoid. Talked about handles, feet, lip/mouth flare, busted out 500 cups book. Cool!



Peace Out,



25 Jul

Fashion/Sewing and Ceramics Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 8&9


Day 8 aka Wednesday

Session 1- 10001 T-shirts- A continuation of everyone’s t-shirt project. They have 2 more days, I hope they can finish in time!!

Session 2- DIY REFAB- More working on their projects. Great to see things coming together. Still working hard!

Session 3- Many of the students are still painting their ceramics; I spent most of today loading the kiln for a slow glaze. Cool!

Day 9, aka Thursday

Session 1- 1000 T-shirts-  spent the last day sewing all of the things!

DIY-REFAB-  after environment, cleaning the classrooms,  a few people stayed behind to finish their projects during the last hour of class.

Ceramics- everything was laid out on the table and looked great!


Peace Out,



18 Jul

Fashion/Sewing and Ceramics Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 6&7


Day 6 aka Monday

Session 1- 10001 T-shirts- I started class by explaining to students that their final project would be a customized t-shirt. I gave them a list of ideas and drew some pictures on the board and said that 80% of their t-shirt was required to be made from a recycled t-shirt.  Class was spent drawing designs and finishing their sewing work. Students finished their beanie, others were doing some independent sewing left over from Friday. I took requests for t-shirt colors for pickup on my session 2 field trip. ***

***Next time, this may take place on a Friday. Or partially on Friday. Class flow for this day will be: Introduce design challenge- list things to make, must be made from 90% recycled t-shirts, demo how to draw a basic t-shirt (think of seams, proportions), use the CPU to show them some samples, and set them free to design their t-shirt. Then,  I would have them finalize their designs and then take a trip to the thrift store to pick some additional colors (on Monday).

Session 2- DIY REFAB- Today we went to the thrift store. I introduced what a thrift store was to our foreign students (there aren’t thrift stores in China) and even some of our USA students hadn’t visited one before. The challenge was to spend $10 or less. Luckily, it was $1.79 pink tag day, and these kids found some great deals! On average, each student bought $8.80 worth of clothing to re-fab. Next time, I will call the store supervisor beforehand and see if they will give the kids a quick behind the scenes tour!

Session 3- I didn’t get to join in Ceramics because I was covering for Katy’s Creature Crafts class. I was supposed to burn fabrics with these kids today but forgot. I told them that their final project for the week was to make one really excellent plushie that they spent some good time on. I showed students how to make a pocket, clip and trim curves, and make fabric round by using darts for shaping. One student was making a pineapple for his mom. How cute!

Day 7, aka Tuesday

Session 1- 1000 T-shirts- We began working on our t-shirt projects. People wanted- fringe t-shirts, lace-up front t-shirts, ruffle at the bottom and sleeve t-shirts, and appliqued stuff stuck on t-shirts.

DIY-REFAB- Some kids started work on their designs, others finished their totes and then worked on their designs. There’s so much going on in this class, I am so fortunate to have a co-teacher to help handle their designs.

Ceramics- I missed Curtis’ big talk about glazing on Monday, but basically, everyone was given a palette, told to glaze thrice, add 2 coats of clear gloss on bottom rows to create gloss (otherwise will be matte), and wash and scrub glaze from tables when done. Tired, that is all.


Peace Out,



16 Jul

Fashion/Sewing and Ceramics Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 5


Day 5

Session 1- 10001 T-shirts-  as kids finished their beanies, I asked them to search “DIY T-SHIRT” for ideas this weekend. I think if I had a computer to use in class, this would be helpful as I could show them examples. Many people finished their beanie and I let them do “whatever” with the remainder of their time. “Whatever”= use your knowledge of fabric to try and make something interesting. Experimenting with different textures, etc.

Session 2- DIY REFAB- went with me to SASSAFRAS for a field trip! I showed them the studio area, giving them a look at other designers’ studio spaces before stopping at mine for a detailed look into patternmaking, shirts, mood boards, drawings, my notebook, my machines (letting a few try them out). At the end we went upstairs to the boutique where one of the Chinese students dropped nearly $300 on a cloak. Not my cloak, but that’s ok.

Session 3- I didn’t get to join in Ceramics because I was covering for Katy’s Creature Crafts class. The kids there were overcoming quite a language barrier which I think may be affecting the outcome of their work. I was surprised because until now, most of the international students have had a basic grasp of English; I’m not so sure with some of these kids. Since I was joining them for day 5, they had some creatures completed. My intent was to encourage them to pick a final creature project that was quality, so they could continue on it for the final week. Something really elevated, as Curtis says (great word!). I wanted them to focus on a specific body part- Limbs, hands, and feet. Class didn’t really go as I wanted it; some kids kept working on their creature, others a new-ish one, and a few kids just wanted to be left alone to make a pouch with guidance. I figure, everyone could use a break, and that TGIF vibe was really being felt. After all this was the last class of the day.

Plans for Monday

T-shirt- Time to finalize the designs, need to spend some time sketching or looking online (?) for inspiration. Finalize colors so I can pick them out at the thrift store.

DIY-REFAB- what did you think of the studio on Friday? Let’s go on a field trip to the thrift store (I think next session we should push this to Tuesday or perhaps push them to finish their totes on Thursday). We need to put some thought into our re-fab designs. I need to tell them about ideas- embellishing a blank piece of outerwear (katy bling style and embroidery and applique) or turning two things into one or ?

Creature crafts- Open class with some techniques- I showed them the ruffles on friday- maybe something else? Seaming in stuff and creating 3-d shapes with darts. Again try to get them to elevate their work by drawing their final creature. Having slides to look at would be so helpful.


Peace Out,



16 Jul

Fashion/Sewing and Ceramics Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 3&4


Day 3

Session 1- 10001 T-shirts- we opened the class by having the students have a machine-threading contest just like the DIY Refab people had on Tuesday. They REALLY liked it! After, they continued working on their dream beanie. I spoke of options- how to make ears, eyes, things flopping out of the bottom, etc.

Session 2- DIY REFAB- continued working on their totes/

Session 3- ceramics- project box making! It’s a tile, cut flat in many pieces and scored, slipped and stuck together. Slideshow after demo showed that a box could be triangular, have a lid, could hold food or whatever, a planter, shaped into a house, whatever!


Day 4



Session 1,  1001 T-shirts, I opened my class with FI-YAH. We talked about fabrics and they watched me burn them. Fabric ID is always fun! Afterwards, we enjoyed this sunny Thursday working on our beanie by creating/sewing/finishing the lining as well as hand sewing some details and whatnot. A few people finished just as class had let out.


In session 2, re-fab, we opened the class again, with FI-YAH and fabric burning and ID. They continued with their totes and two people finished. Everyone else was SO CLOSE!

In ceramics, day 4, this was the day to finish projects and continue on to making a BOWL or BANK W/ ATTACHED LID. We will spend until Friday making clay so it can dry in time for a firing. Challenge yourself! Make something quality. Did a quickie teapot demo. Rolled a ball, hollowed it out, scored and attached, cut top to make a lid and made a spout.



Peace Out,



26 Nov

Visit me at the Vera Project + Hollow Earth Radio DIY Holiday Fair!


Visit the OPP booth at the Vera Project + Hollow Earth Radio DIY Holiday Fair on Saturday, December 3rd from 11 am – 4 pm at the Vera Project. This event is free and open to all. Get the details!


11 Nov

Teaching- Lots of Classes!


Seattle Art Museum, Atlas Obscura, & Wing Luke

In addition to the long-format sewing and storyboard workshop that I taught at the Bitterlake Community center in October, I’m also teaching at the Seattle Art Museum’s Family Festival on November 12th, in my studio in collaboration with Atlas Obscura on November 19th (event has sold out as of 11/10!!), and at the Wing Luke Museum on December 10th!

See you there,


12 Oct

Other Peoples Polyester @ Amazon + Urban Craft Uprising Fall Market


Zip Pouches! New Colors and Styles! 60+ Vendors!

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016, 11 am-6 pm
At The Meeting Center: 2031 7th Ave, Seattle, WA 98121
This event is free and open to the public.

Click here to register to attend this FREE event. 

Click here to go to the Facebook Event

*Post-show UPDATE* I killed it! Made twice as much as expected. Thanks for supporting my small business!

See you there!


15 Sep

Other Peoples Polyester Trunk Show


I wonder what we were talking about? Photo by Shawn Nichols @ shawnnichols.com

Live Music!  Prizes!  Bar & Beverages.  30+ Vendors.

Saturday, September 24
Happy Hour Trunk Show ~ 3 – 5pm  •  Book Release Party ~ 5 – 7pm
At Sunset Hill Clubhouse:  3003 NW 66th Street, Seattle

Click here to go to the Facebook Event


Click here for complete trunk show info website!

It’s true! I am selling again. I helped a friend a few weeks ago at First Thursday in Pioneer Square. It sparked something in me and I’d like to start selling again. Times have changed, and booth setup is so much more important than when I last sold at Urban Craft Uprising in 2009!


See you there!


28 Jul

Fashion/Sewing Classes at the Northwest School Summer Camp: Day 9 and SHOWCASE


Day 9 was all about finishing their projects on time, which they all did! Any students with extra time were allowed to make a scarf for themselves, or for their cute stuffed animal and also how to make a bowtie for their favorite camp staff.



Day 10 was the art walk and showcase! In retrospect, it may have been better to have the students show at a table at the artwalk, since the showcase was such a cluster. 2 Chinese students pulled the fire alarm, and the school had to be evacuated. The fire department showed up and fined the school $1000 for a false alarm. The students apologized in front of the school, but I don’t think they were too sorry.

Anyhow, the artwalk was cool and inspiring! My favorites were Ray Yang’s comics class (he had a bunch of copies for people to take home and I grabbed them all!), Curtis’s ceramics class (green pizza and french fries??) and the stained glass work.

Showcase was sooo long, which we all sat patiently through. When it was time for my class, I shared with the school what projects we worked on, how it benefitted the students, and how much fun we had. Then my students came out “runway style” and I said a few words about each design. I tried to keep it as short as possible due to time constraints. In retrospect, I would have the students come up and talk about what we did and about their designs.


Afterward, it was happy hour with some of the seasoned summer school staff, then karaoke, and off to see Afro Cop.

I hope to have the opportunity to teach again at the Northwest School Summer Camp program. It was REALLY FUN and from what the seasoned teachers have told me, is the first year that they have hired full-on fashion designers to teach there.