Handmade With Love

When I was growing up it was the norm to make gifts for Christmas. It could be because we lacked the money to buy store-bought presents, but I like to think that it was a sweet way to express our affection through our imagination and creativity.

Now, over the years I have been a maker of things and have become addicted to gift-making for holidays. I’m not sure that they were always appreciated or even that good of a gift, however it’s helped me save money and keep my mind and hands busy.

I almost wish I had taken a picture of the gifts I’ve made over the years so I could go back and see how my skill and taste level have grown (it would surely make a funny “wall of shame” photo collage), because I know darn well that I was not good at sewing or knitting or crocheting at one time but that didn’t stop me from giving a wonky looking handknit dishcloth or a badly sewn item of clothing. And I know for sure I used some crazy colored yarn that I was gifted from an aged knitter to make my dad a scarf and I never have seen him wear it, and for good reason; it was ugly as hell! But I used what I had and I really never stopped to consider the fact that he actually doesn’t wear scarves and he really didn’t need one that had every shade of 70’s green in it.

Now I am a proficient seamstress and knitter/crocheter and my taste has been developed by European travel and exposure to fashion outside the realm of the country town I dwell now, so I’m finally getting better at this. But as years go by I realize that gifts are not the only way to show our affection for someone we care for and sometimes it’s the more random and less tangible things that have the most heart, like sending a hand-written note when it’s not a holiday or birthday or stopping by to say “Hi!” and give a quick hug or calling up to tell them you were thinking of them and hope they are doing wonderful. Simple stuff, but super powerful way to show your love.

Shopping is fun, don’t get me wrong! I do enjoy that too. I just get a little thrill from making things. This year I haven’t made many gifts though. Seems I waited a bit too long to get started and I had to make a choice: go crazy trying to do more than humanly possible or choose to relax and do less. This year I chose to give myself the gift of peace and decided to focus on keeping it simple. Less truly is more.

Here’s a sneak peak at what I made for someone, not saying who, but they’ll find out in 9 days!

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The Smitten Mitten, for holding hands and staying warm on a winter wonderland walk.

This is a pattern I found on Ravelry. It works up fast on large needles and I used worsted weight yarn but held double strands to make it a bulky weight. My friend, Gwen, taught me how to use one skein of yarn to make it a double strand by grabbing the inner tail and outer tail and using together. I never had thought of that before! When patterns called for holding two yarns, they usually said to use two skeins but then you end up with two partial skeins when your done. With Gwen’s method you can completely use the skein and move onto the next with very little yardage waste. I’m thrifty and this pleases me to no end!! So if you want to make this cool lover’s mitten set go here: Smitten Pattern

Enjoy your day and happy crafting!

~Tillie

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Just Do It

Nike is on to something. “Just do it” is really great advice. The fact that you miss 100% of shots you don’t take and that fear of failure kills more dreams than actually living them out is enough to get me to act on an idea I’ve been kicking around for a bit.

The small town I live in has virtually no learning activities offered and we are a good 45 minutes away from towns/cities that have classes and skill share opportunities. So I’ve been thinking about teaching sewing (which I’m good at and love) right in town where local people can have a chance to learn a great skill and save money on gas and time, as well as keeping the class affordable for everyone, too.

So…I took the Nike challenge and set up a series of classes for this month to help people learn how to sew on their machines and to guide them, step-by-step, through using a sewing pattern and through the garment construction process. It’s to be an informal and small class that will be hands-on. Sure you can read books and watch videos to learn skills, but learning happens at such a profound speed when you have the opportunity to apprentice with someone who has the knowledge you would like to gain.

Now that the excitement of setting up all the classes and booking the venue is wearing off and I wait to see if anyone will actually sign up, the fears and doubts creep in and I think maybe this is all silly and who would want to learn sewing when you can just buy shit already made and I don’t have a degree so maybe that makes me unqualified to teach anything?! YIKES! What have I done????

I keep reminding myself that what I have done is created a space and time to give the opportunity to people in my community to learn to sew from a professional seamstress with over 15 years of experience in a comfortable learning environment close to home. Whoever does come to my classes will come because they desire the skills to sew well and I will help them get there. I love helping people to help themselves and I love teaching and sharing what I know and what works for me.

If this idea is a failure and nothing comes from it, at least I can say I tried and I am sure I will learn something from it all.

SEWING CLASSES Taught by Tillie Vuksich

Sewing 101-Learn to use your machine July 6 (8am-11am/1pm-4pm/6pm-9pm)

Sewing 102-Sew a little girl’s dress. July 16(8am-11am/1pm-4pm/6pm-9pm)

Sewing 103-Sew a little boy’s button down shirt. July 20(8-11am/1-4pm/6-9pm)

Sewing 104-Sew a tote bag and zippered pouch. July 27(8-11am/1-4pm/6-9pm)

 

$24 for each class. Max of 10 students per class. You can choose from three class times.

Learn on your machine and make new sewing buddies!

Classes held in the meeting room at Mill Village Motel in downtown Eatonville, WA.

Sign up at least two days before class to hold your spot. Pay class fee with Paypal (tillievuksich@yahoo.com) or by mailing check to: 10710 440th St E, Eatonville, WA 98328

Questions? Email me at tillievuksich@yahoo.com

(There is a small supply list for Classes 102, 103 and 104 that I will give you at sign up)

All I do know for sure is that I always have fun sewing and these classes will be educational as well as enjoyable and you will leave with the skills to sew from a pattern or your imagination. And to sew like a pro!

 

Ta-Da! Behold: the coolest chair you ever did see.

We did it! We finished yarnbombing the chair at the WA State Fair and, oh my, is it awesome!

ybchair ybchair2 ybchair3

The card has the artist’s signatures. I’m in the process of negotiating the sale of this fiber art with the fair. They buy a piece of art every year for their private collection. It would be amazing if they did purchase it, because the money would go to student’s negative lunch accounts in the Eatonville School District. The group I am a part of is called Yarnbombing For Lunches and last year we raised $400 with our fiber art to donate to the school on behalf of students with negative lunch account balances. This year our goal is $1,000 and this sale could get us a step closer to it. We’ll hold an online auction starting December 3rd…I’ll keep you posted on the details in case you would like to help us and also score some unique usable fiber art!

One last thing, I met a really cool kid as I was packing up my demo. His name’s Will and he sat down to wait for his Mom who was looking at all the home arts. He said he liked the chair and asked what it was and who made it. He asked if I ever yarnbombed a person and I told him “No, but a famous Polish fiber artist has, Agata Olek. I don’t think it’s been done in the states. Do you want to be the first?” to which he responded “Yes!  And I’ll wear to a sporting event and get on the Jumbo-tron.” Will’s Mom came over and said her son was serious and gave me their contact info so we can get started. I’m excited to have a life-size model to yarnbomb!

Thank you to the WA State Fair for having me out to demo my art and to all the amazing people I met along the way! We’ll be in touch.

Doggie Style

Now that I have your attention…

I want to introduce my line of knitting and crochet patterns for miniature dogs; quick and easy but big on style.

Bringing sexy back or at least the awesome Granny Square! Behold, my furry baby, Rebel, modeling my crochet dog sweater design. Handsome, right?!
Bringing sexy back or at least the awesome Granny Square! Behold, my furry baby, Rebel, modeling my crochet dog sweater design. Handsome, right?!
It's actually a knit & crochet design. I like to use both methods in my creations.
Crochet granny square dog sweater with a knit collar and tummy panel. Warm and cute!

You can buy this Granny Square Dog Sweater pattern in my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/petzcouture or through Ravelry here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/retro-style-dog-sweater

Houndstooth is one of my favorite patterns and what better way to use it than in a stylish dog sweater. This little jumper knits up fast and looks quite fetching.

Houndstooth small dog sweater knit in fresh modern colors. You know your pet wants one in every color, right?!
Houndstooth small dog sweater knit in fresh modern colors. You know your pet wants one in every color, right?!
If you have a small dog and like to knit, then this pattern is a must-have. It's quick and takes a small amount of yarn. Your pup will be stylish and warm come winter.
If you have a small dog and like to knit, then this pattern is a must-have. It’s quick and takes a small amount of yarn. Your pup will be stylish and warm come winter.

Get the Houndstooth pattern here on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/houndstooth-dog-sweater-3 or over in my Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/petzcouture

If you buy my patterns and make your dog a sweater, please share a picture! I love to see cute pets in my designs. I have a Facebook page you can post them to: http://www.facebook.com/petzcouture

I take great pleasure in creating fun designs for pet lovers. It makes me happy to know my ideas are out there wrapping puppies in love and warmth. Added bonus, they look super stylish too!