Custom Couture

I just finished up a custom order for this Boho chic pet carrier. It was a joy working with this client to pick style and fabric! The synergy of creation is why I do what I do.

In the coming months I will be adding a carrier sewing pattern for creating your own carrier that crafty DIY’ers can purchase to make their own. I love creating, but I also know that there are people out there who would prefer the pattern so they can custom design their own. Anyone up for doing a pattern test for me once I create the PDF and written instructions?

Enjoy the day! Spread some cheer and smiles along the way! ~Tillie


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 ( or by mailing check to: 10710 440th St E, Eatonville, WA 98328

Questions? Email me at

(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!


Sew Like A Pro

I’ve been sewing for over 10 years now and have learned a lot “the hard way.” So to speed up a newbie seamstress’s learning curve and help you achieve professional results, let me tell you about a few of the most effective ways to take your sewing to the next level.

Here’s my top five best tips to get you started making couture pieces you’ll be proud to show off:

  1. If you are looking for a sewing machine or are ready to upgrade, then the best advice I have for you is to buy the best you can afford and only get the features you really need. I have a Bernina Activa 230 and it has the ability to go from sheer fabric to denim with a ton of features that I absolutely love and use a lot. Go “test-drive” machines at dealers before buying one. It’s an investment that will pay off huge when it’s a joy to use and can tackle every job you use it for.2016-02-06 21.05.56.jpg
  2. Get a really good iron! And use it religiously! Nothing like pressing your seams to take a garment from looking homemade to “Where did you buy that?” Pressing seams as you go is essential to professional looking sewing. My iron is a Euro Steam Evolution. I LOVE it! (and I’ve had some real crap irons in the past that leaked on my fabric or never got hot enough) Invest in the best you can afford.
  3. Sewing machine needles are cheap, but so very important, and need to be changed often because they go dull with use. I change mine with every project. It’s also in your best interest to choose the right needle for the fabric and weight. They are all labeled with the brand name/type of needle/size of needle. The two numbers that you want to recognize is the needle size and it’s listed by the European#/American# like this: 90/14. The Euro numbers range from 60-120 and American numbers go from 8-19. The larger the number the bigger the needle size and tougher the fabric it can handle. So silk charmeuse, which is light and airy, will require a needle size of 60/8 or 70/10 and for a heavy, thick leather you will use a needle size of 90/14 or 100/16. There are also needles specific to jersey fabrics with stretch. Those needles have a rounded tip to help stitch between those stretchy fibers and not break them.  Choose right and change often!2016-02-06 21.04.59.jpg
  4. Patterns can make or break you in time and materials, as well as make you lose your mind when they are so poorly drafted that you basically have to redraft the whole thing to get good fit or for all things to line up correctly. I started out using Simplicity patterns and felt there was something wrong with me, like why couldn’t my garments ever look like the picture on the pattern?! But it wasn’t me, it was the poorly written directions and the lack of quality control they use in their mass-produced patterns that was the problem. I have since learned to use Burda, Ottobre, and Japanese patterns which have such great fit and better directions or diagrams that you are destined to create a great looking version of the pattern with less waste of time, materials, and mental hardship.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Those are “learning moments” and can actually speed up your experience level. Get a couple seam-rippers and keep them handy. Try it all; zippers, buttons, linings, sheer fabric to leather, dresses to curtains…just do it! Don’t worry if it doesn’t come out exactly as you pictured it in your head, you will get better with every project and before you know it you’re sewing like a pro!

*Sewing & Stitchery EXPO is February 25th-28th, 2016 at the WA State Fairgrounds*

Making It Happen

I’ve been taking names and kicking butt-well, more like making lists and getting it done!

Look at this adorable dog, Rebel, modeling one of my newest carriers:IMG_1018.JPG

Cute, right?! Even cuter in person. So, three carriers are up for sale in my shop and I have some sewing to do today for a few more that will be more masculine styled for the men with big hearts and small dogs.

I’ve also been writing more articles and interviewing more interesting folks. This weekend I was at Stringtown Cellars and Lavender Farm talking with winemaker John Adams. He will be my next feature story for Ruralite Magazine. He served up a nice winetasting along with some yummy locally-made cheese. Needless to say, I got a great article in the works and some wine for our Thanksgiving meal. Hurrah!

Things at home are getting better…relationships are not always easy and do take work. But it’s worth it in the end. My issues ranged from a lack of communication to not feeling loved by my hubby and teenage daughter. It’s hard for me to speak up about my needs and to tell my truth, I always worry about how it will effect the other person while neglecting the fact that I matter too. So I pushed myself out of my comfort-zone and did just that. It was hard. It felt like everything was going to fall apart and it was all my fault, but you know what, it didn’t. It actually helped. I know that saying “it all works out in the end” is such a cliché`, but it is really true. Fear of the unknown can hold us back from changing what we know-even if what we know is what we don’t like.

So yeah, I’m making it happen. Hope you are too!