We are born alone, we live alone, we dye alone.

Actually, I did not dye alone, I dyed with my friend. I had never dyed yarn before, so my friend taught me how to dye using the painting technique (I think???? It involved using plastic bottles to saturate sections of the yarn). I did not intend to make Christmas-themed yarn, but the raspberry and teal colors ended up looking very festive. I wasn't too pleased with it because I am cranky and don't like Christmas. I'm kidding; I just think Christmas colored craft supplies are farcical. I decided to knit socks, since this yarn is wool sock yarn, but then I decided that I did like the yarn after all, so I unraveled it and started knitting a hat. I liked the yarn enough that I wanted it to be visible instead of hidden on feet.

I used the Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure, available on Ravelry: This hat was very easy to make, but a bit boring as it is mostly stockinette stitch on small needles. My aunt bought me …

I fixed these director's chairs today!

Today's sewing endeavor is not very interesting, but I wanted to share photos because it was such a satisfying project. We've had these director's chairs for at least 20 years, and the fabric parts of them were faded. One of them was ripped and couldn't be used anymore. My mother said we should throw them out, and I said no, we just needed new inserts. I immediately retreated to my sewing room and whipped up these new seats. The canvas I had wasn't as heavy as the red canvas, so I doubled the fabric. It was such a quick, easy project; I probably finished sewing the seats, cleaning the chairs, and assembling everything in two hours. The seat backs are a little loose, but I can fix those quickly later if it's a problem. I'm really proud of these chairs even though it was unskilled sewing.

Motivation and Cognitive Science

This post does relate to sewing, I promise. I am using my blog to post a homework assignment for an educational psychology class. For this assignment, I have to share some photos and explain how they relate to motivation. I chose to use photos of my sewing and other craft projects because of the relationship between something that I find enjoyable and how motivated I feel to pursue the activities.

In “Do Students Care About Learning?” by Marge Scherer, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi discussed how enjoyment plays a large role in motivation. For me, I am usually very motivated to work on things that I enjoy. My primary hobby is sewing historical clothing for reenactors and history museums, which has become a small business for me on the side. I really love sewing and am usually quite motivated to work on my commissioned projects. However, I noticed that if I feel that I won’t do a good job, I dread working on the projects--the frustration level of learning (Swanson, 1999). It also strikes me th…

Linen Coat and Waistcoat


My Latest Tape Weaving

Graduate school interferes with what's really important--sewing, knitting, weaving, tatting, etc. I have actually been crafting here and there, but rarely sharing pictures on my blog. I realized that I never shared these pictures of tape that I wove last year, so here they are! I have woven more tapes recently, but have not taken pictures yet. All of these tapes are made with 16/2 linen thread.

This green and white one is about half an inch wide. It's not copied from or inspired by an original.

Next, here's a brown, orange, and tan tape. It is inspired by one in the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center. The original red cotton with white and blue linen used as apron ties. It is item 1916.01.05, online at

This red, white, and blue tape is copied from a Schwenkfelder tape; catalog number  2006.14.09 at…

1750's Linen Shirt

The last shirt that I made was rather popular. Several people showed interest, and one unsuspecting victim lovely gentleman requested that I make two shirts for him. Alas, he has waited a few months, and I've finally finished the first one. If only I had completed these before I started graduate school in January! This shirt is 100% linen and completely hand sewn with linen thread. As requested, it has linen thread buttons sewn onto the cuffs and collar.

For this project, I bought Larkin and Smith's "A Manual for the 18th Century Shirtmaker" (, which I highly recommend. It is informative and the techniques are professionally researched by examining original garments, advertisements, and other primary sources. I have some minor criticisms which should NOT discourage anyone from using this manual, just be forewarned that some of the steps are not clearly expl…