Friday, March 27, 2015


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It was a stunning day yesterday in Seattle: as Sparklepants and I drove over the hill towards home after breakfast with friends, we could see all the way across the water to the mountains, bright and sharp like they were etched in light.

The house next door is stripped down past the foundation, and they're running some sort of hydraulic dirt tamper that sounds like a friendly helicopter is landing next door, so working at home has been a bit of a chore. Yesterday, instead of turning up the music and suffering through it, Sparklepants and I decided to take advantage of the amazing weather by taking our notebooks and pastries to the Ballard Locks for a little work picnic.

It's like the city was finally taking off its winter coats: the water, blue-black and sparkling; flowering apple trees lining the water; a raft of ducks silently charging towards the locks' mossy walls. The ground was still damp and covered in Canada goose shit, but the sun was shining and warm and everything was in bloom.

I ate a pastry and did some copy-editing and worked on a sample, and in the late afternoon I walked home without my coat. It was pretty glorious.

Happy Friday, and happy spring!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

NYFA Graduation: Or, Three Little Birds Leave the Nest


Three and a half years ago, I walked into New York Fashion Academy with ambition and a pair of Fluevogs; Sunday afternoon, I walked out with a different pair of Fluevogs and a certification as a Master of Fashion Design & Construction.

And I did it with two of my favorite fashion people in the world: Melody (left) and Marisa (center). We met when we were working on our collections for the 2013 NYFA fashion show. Over those three and a half months, we worked countless 12-hour days, and had spontaneous dance parties, and ate a monumental amount of pizza. We stabbed ourselves with pins, and went on trips out for thread and falafel, and cried on the floor of the workroom when things got rough. It was one of the hardest experiences of my life, and it was made so much better because of the friendship, compassion, and support of these two amazing women.

Since then, our friendship has only grown. Both of them were in my wedding; all three of us have done photoshoots together; Blake and I have lived with Melody for the last two years. I love Marisa for her badass attitude, tenacity, and kindness; I love Melody for her fearlessness, integrity, and curiosity. I'm so thankful to have them in my life.

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And on Sunday - after two fashion shows, three ballgowns, three tailored jackets, and thousands of hours of hard work - we all dressed up and Went To Tea. More specifically, we went to high tea at the Queen Mary tea room with Terry, the director of NYFA, where we received framed certificates of completion and enjoyed our official graduation ceremony together.

There were dozens of types of tea to choose from, and tiny sandwiches with no crusts, and multicolored sugar crystals to put in our tea. We dressed up in the most cupcake-y clothes we owned, and chatted with the owner about our work, and drank from rose-painted cups with our pinkies raised. It was just about the fanciest thing I've ever done, and it was the perfect way to celebrate - especially with Terry, who has been an incredible resource and mentor throughout my tenure at NYFA.

I'm so proud of the three of us. I'm proud of how different and strong we all are as people, and how we have grown and thrived throughout this experience, and how we were able to commit to and complete this challenge on our own terms. Together.

And I can't wait to see what we all do next.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

Monday, March 23, 2015

FO: Ondrea Prototype

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The moment that I cast off the sleeve for this sweater last week, I had the harebrained notion that I could finish it in time for my fashion school graduation ceremony (around NYFA it is simply called "going to tea") this last weekend. This sweater was one of the first pieces that I started for my senior collection in 2013, and around week 6 of preparing for the runway show, I dropped it after completing everything but the second sleeve and button band, thinking I could finish it really quickly afterwards.

That, my friends, did not happen. Although I haven't talked about it much here before, the months after the fashion show were pretty rough for me: there's this post-creative depression thing that seems to happen to a lot of people who work on big, overwhelming long-term projects, and I got hit with a pretty nasty case of it. And because of it, I could barely look at my sewing machine, much less this sweater, for almost a year.

But time heals many things - or at least, makes them seem less catastrophically exhausting - and after a long time, I began to entertain the idea of making things again at all. Which turned into a ballgown, and a tailored jacket, and finally, this sweater.

So it feels very fitting that I should finish the last loose end of my official fashion eduction, just hours before going to my final send-off. I'm very proud of this piece, and I'm very proud how far I've come as a designer and as a person in the years since I cast on for it. 

And with that - tally-ho, fashion degree! Let us advance into the world with winged eyeliner, fabulous shoes, and the best damn buttons a girl could ask for!

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All the details are on Ravelry here, and I'll be posting a little about our ceremony on Wednesday.

Happy Monday, friends!

Friday, March 20, 2015

WIP: Ondrea Prototype

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After almost two years of sitting around waiting to be finished, this cardigan is finally on its way again. I knit the second sleeve last week, and this week I crocheted the button band on using math, a crochet hook waaaaay too small to be pleasant, and a fair bit of determination. Since this was a design that I created for my senior fashion show in 2013 - and thus, never meant to be a written-up pattern - I took incredibly crappy notes, which I promptly lost. Because of it, this last bit of work has been pretty much improvised.

It's been a slog, but I think it's worth it: I'm super happy with the way it's turning out. Louet Gems Sport, while a total pain to work with, settles into a heavy, luxurious fabric after blocking; the crochet button band, which made my left index finger cramp and put an indent in the palm of my right hand from working it so frigging tight, is firm and stable and precise. The fit is exactly what I wanted, and I think this sweater will get a fair bit of wear once it's finished.

Now all that's left is to finish setting in the second sleeve, weave in a million ends, give the button band a spritz-blocking, and attach the buttons.

Think I can do it by Sunday? Who knows, but I'm gonna try.

Happy Friday!