Handmade Tunic: Put a Bird On It


Thank you SO much for your encouragement on last week's post. I'm so excited to have the Make Thrift Mend project launched into the world and to see how this process-based project unfolds. It feels like I'm positioned directly in the center of the messy interiors of any creative endeavor--where the details are still developing, but the overall concepts are in place, and I have to relinquish some of my research-oriented mind to the discovery of imagination and intuition.

Oh, that balance of head and heart. Thank you for supporting the project and thank you to so many of you who signed up to follow the project too--I'm humbled. And excited. And eager. 

This is my latest handmade garment--the bird tunic. I found the printed gray fabric at a beautiful quilt shop in downtown Ithaca, NY when I was visiting in September. I fell in love with the print instantly and quickly imagined the entire top would be made from this bird fabric . Of course, when I got home and started designing the tunic I realized I did not buy enough of that pretty print. And now it was some 3,000 miles away. Ho hum.

One of my grad school professors used to say that the magic happened in the accidents. She said they were not just accidents they were "happy accidents". Opportunities. Challenges. Chances to stretch our creative thinking. So, enter the gray solid Kona cotton band around the bottom. Then I decided to use the solid fabric for the binding tape too. And the pockets. And all the trim. And I like how it adds a bit of color blocking without being too fussy. I was lucky to find a solid gray that matched the print exactly--thank you Kona.

The trick is that I started this tunic about a month ago when it was still warm here in the Bay Area. Since our temperatures have started to drop at the promise of winter. (Well, if we can call it "winter" to any of you folks who might actually endure a true snowy, blistery, blustery, actually frigid winter season. The NY girl in me chuckles at our Bay Area idea of winter. So winter friends, forgive me.)

But as the cooler temperatures approach I am keeping my fingers crossed for a wool/ cashmere blend, over-sized, cardigan sweater at one of my favorite thriftstore haunts. Perhaps, if I ask nicely, I'll find one soon. And then my bird tunic will remain seasonally warm again when paired with that new-to-me trusty cardigan. Fingers crossed.


Happy Monday, friends! I hope you are enjoying the depths of November--the lure of the holidays still ahead.



  1. Replies
    1. aw!!! thank you, denise. such a generous thought. xo

  2. So excited about your new project! Your new website is phenomenal too. So happy to see all of the sewing going on everywhere and to know you'll be sharing all that you learn on your 'journey' over the next year. See you Friday I hope at Lisa's opening :-)

    1. it's so wonderful to finally have the website finished and have the project out into the world. phew. and i must have missed you at lisa's opening on friday. so i hope to see you soon! i am loving your herbal tea, by the way. xoxo


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.