Saturday, June 12, 2010

my really cool Saturday

The finished product from the workshop I attended! Made from two thrifted men's T-shirts and some elastic thread.

And here's the workshop teacher, Dana Willard, of the delightful blog MADE, with yours truly at Whipstitch in mid-town Atlanta. Could she be any friendlier? Uh uh. No way. Not possible.

Me and Mod Podge Maven, Amy Anderson. Just one of the many lovely and creative women I met on Saturday. If you want to use Mod Podge, Amy will show you 1001 ways on her aptly named blog, Mod Podge Rocks. Awesome T-shirt, by the way, Amy. Where'd you get it?

Here is the workshop area as the action unfolded. Can't you just hear all the right-brains buzzing and whirring? Dana gave us all a roll of elastic thread, a grab-bag filled with some great fabric pieces and notions, and a Challenge: come up with something fabulous in the next two hours using the technique du jour: shirring.

After some nervous deliberation, I forsook the pretty green woven cotton in my bag and stepped outside of my comfort zone. I chose to whack up a couple of the thrifted T-shirts they provided and try a babydoll shirt for my girls. I did it so I could finally get over my fear of knits while in the company of someone who could walk me through the process so ably (and nicely!). I also learned a brand new skill for me: sewing with elastic thread! So it was quite a productive afternoon. I would have been happy just to soak up the atmosphere, so, you know, bonus.

I got most of the shirring done while I was at the workshop, but I ran out of time. I finished sewing it this afternoon and took a few pictures. Incidentally, does anyone else have to bribe their children with watermelon Mentos to get them to model?

Whipstitch is a great little fabric shop, so I'm glad I had a convenient excuse to drive up to it. They also have an online store at etsy if you want to check it out. I took some time before and after the workshop to browse through their delicious fabrics. I had to have this beautiful red/yellow/turquoise madras (above) and also finally succumbed to the siren song of the latest Stitch mag. The rest of the items you see there are swag we received as part of the class.

Dana brought a bunch of her cute creations so we could look at them in person. It was great to see them up close. I was very inspired to make more Dana-ish things!

Memorable workshop moments:
  • The sudden downpour as I parked the car and got out to retrieve my sewing machine from the back. Hence the hair in the photos. Sigh. It's also 400 degrees here with 99% humidity so that helps a lot.
  • Hearing the excitement all round when all of a sudden the scary elastic thread started to produce pretty shirring on our projects.
  • The embarrassing wheezing/squeaking noises emanating from my machine the whole time I was shirring. I'm so sorry, Tiffany and Varinia! You nice gals who had to sit next to me. I don't know what the deal was. My poor hooptie machine. I don't think it liked the elastic thread on the bobbin.
  • Meeting Robyn and Amy who actually read my blog. How cool is that? And Robyn, Robyn wanted to give you props for spelling your name the cool way.
  • The nice commercial for Canon DSLR cameras as we stacked up about ten of them when it came time to get a group shot. We ladies do love our cameras.
  • Dana pausing to take a still shot of my green shoes. There's a girl after my own shoe fetish. (For those of you who have asked, they are Miz Mooz Devi mary janes. I bought them online, but not sure about availability. Google search, baby!)
  • Receiving a swag bag and gift certificate to Whipstitch, as well as a free pattern from Dana! Thanks so much WS and Dana! Yesssss! (pumping fist)
  • Leaving the shop and watching part of my sewing machine (the part holding all the tiny accessories of course) spill to the sidewalk because of the awkward way I was holding the machine. Nice. Always love making a memorable exit. After arriving home I clued into the most obvious thing. My machine actually has a perfectly good built-in CARRYING HANDLE. (slapping head) One day I will be cool. I just know it.


  1. I have *never* been so sad to be at the beach - sounds like as cool a day as I knew it would be - thanks for the re-cap :-)

  2. Oh, thanks so much for the re-cap - I almost feel like I was there. I'm sure it was so amazing and inspiring to get all of those creative women in one room - how fun!! Glad you had a great time :-)


  3. oh I wish I could have been there. (only a short drive, hehehe). Dana is the coolest person, and wayyy friendly. :)

  4. Nope, never bribed little more with Watermellon Mentos... but I did bribe him with Chocolate for today's post (not that it did any good)!

    Great moms think alike (or at least similarly, I guess)!

  5. Sounds like a fun event. I usually have to lure the little one with gum or chocolate to get her to put the handmades on for photos, but no bribe is great enough to get her to stand still once they're on... Oh, and I think you're cool, great blog!

  6. What a fun afternoon. It would be a little bit of heaven to get together with blogging icons like you and Dana. Your tops turned out great. I'll have to file the mentos bribe for future use!

  7. So glad you got to go!!! And that Stitch magazine will keep you busy for hours...just reading it! I just made the *free* Oliver+S ruffle top in there and it came out too cute!

  8. Thanks so much for sharing the day. It sounded like so much fun. I wish I could have been there. (I live in Australia).
    Love your blog!!!

  9. what a totally cute post. Loved the bullet point list. May have to do my post in list form too! I love love love the way the top turned out. Even more glad that we picked it in the top three now!
    It was a pleasure to meet you and all the other fun ladies. I wish we could do that sort of thing more often.
    See you online!
    - dana

  10. Y'all, thanks so much! You are always so nice, even when I do doofus things.

    Darcy, you are not allowed to be sad while at the beach! :-) Maybe she'll come back? Please, Dana?

    Anna, just checked your Noodleheads blog. Ooooh, gonna have to go back and browse when I have a few moments to myself. Lovely!

    Dana, HEY! WOW. I really can't wait to see your post about the whole experience. I hope you had as great a time as I did, so that maybe you'll come back! Thanks so much for the stellar workshop.

  11. big high 5 coming from STL for your stepping outside the comfort zone and producing an uber-cute shirt! Love it! Sounds like a great time!

  12. You finished it!!! It turned out great. xo

  13. how awesome to have a workshop led by dana of made!

  14. Oh what a fun day! Thanks for sharing the good and the goofy - makes the rest of us feel like we're not alone when that stuff happens to us! And we're going through Atlanta next week on a Road Trip - going to have to put Whipstitch on my "must-see" list! Thanks. :)

  15. It was so lovely to meet you Larissa! Sharing the excitement with such a creative group was amazing and overwhelming. You have such a soothing demeanor, I wish I could have talked to you more. But SO glad to have shared a table with you. Your top is so cool! So amazing to see how thrifted shirt becomes something so spunky!!


  16. sewing with elastic thread is indeed a scary thing. If I had someone to walk me through it I might try again.

    I've done shirring before too but didn't know that's what it was called! I had a friend walk me through it. It's amazing what techniques you can do on a simple sewing machine!

  17. It turned out so amazingly!!! How cute on your daughter! Such a fun weekend, wasn't it?

  18. Totally jealous over here! Looks like a wonderful workshop with a bunch a great gals. Loved the bullet list...hilarious!

    Dana is my favorite both as an amazing seamstress and an amazing person.

    Thanks for sharing!

  19. PS - That is a t-shirt - check it out there!

  20. Larissa, I love your post... especially the last bullet point made me laugh!

    You are cool, maybe a bit confused from time to time, but that's OK.

    Have a happy week,


  21. That does look like a really cool Saturday! I might be just a little bit jealous. :) Love the cute top you made! I have been intrigued with elastic thread, but never brave enough to try.

  22. A. DOR. A. BLE. Your top turned out so great!! Am really glad you were there to join us this weekend--what a fun time. Can't wait to see you in the shop again soon, and will totally keep up to see what you make next!

  23. Jessica, high fives back to ya!

    Amy, thanks for the tshirt linkage, must check that out. do you mind if I copy you? :-) promise to call you before I wear it.

    Varinia, how sweet! I don't know how I managed to come across as soothing, but I'll take it. :-) Maybe we'll get to talk more at some future craft-plosion.

    Olivia, totally go for it. Someone who is as talented as yourself, it will be easy. think of all the cute stuff for your girls.

    Deborah, thanks SO MUCH, not only for your sweet words, but for your wonderful shop and workshop space!

  24. Hey Larissa! I love the way your shirt came out! It's absolutely adorable! It was so great to meet you this weekend. I hope we run into each other again!


  25. Hi Larissa. I too am bummed we didn't get a chance to get to know one another. Your top is spectacular! I hope to conquer elastic thread soon... my machine kept spitting it out (sigh). We definitely need an all dayer for sure!

  26. What a fun post! I'm inspired to get back on my sewing machine again and get out of my funk. Thanks!

  27. I popped over from Made... looks like a GREAT weekend. I'm jealous.... and wondering, where did you get those DARLING green shoes??!

  28. Hey, Shawn&Bekah, thanks for popping over from Made! Those green shoes are by Miz Mooz and I purchased them online. Not sure about availability, but there were also more colors available. Love them!

  29. Don't be sorry at all! I was so freaked out about my project I couldn't hear your sewing machine at all. I LOVE your blog and your project turned out fabulous.


Hello. Enough about me. Let's hear from you! If you post a question, I answer with a reply comment, so be sure to click the 'notify me' box as you post your question to receive the answer via email. Thanks!