Studio Sneak Peek: Part One


I’ve been having a blast working on the new sewing studio.

Let me just sit here a minute or two and catch my breath before I take you back up those thirty two steps for a sneak peek.

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but the studio is HUGE! There’s a kitchen, a bathroom, two medium sized rooms and a HUMONGOUS space with 20 foot ceilings. I should also mention that it’s old and rather rough around the edges. So I decided to just go with the funk factor and decorate in what I’m calling “Funky Cheese-ball” which is actually thrift shop chic (of course) with a dash of vintage 60’s and 70’s thrown into the mix. Can’t take this sewing studio thing too seriously, you know.

But I’m totally in love with it and I have a hard time leaving at the end of each day.

Get a load of this great second hand curtain fabric that has been tucked away under the camper couch for years that was perfect for the kitchen.


And of course, you absolutely have to have a great big cheese-ball lamp to go with all those pineapples and peacocks, don’t you think.


Then there really is no better barware that goes with Funky Cheese-ball than these thrifted turquoise and gold beauties.

Fred Press Vintage Glasses

Just so you know, it hasn’t all been cleaning, thrifting, painting and decorating. There has been some sewing going on here, too.


And of course I had to find a spot for my most favorite typewriter EVER!


I wonder what I did to deserve all the generosity from the thrift store gods lately? Funky Cheese-ball lamps have practically been falling out of the sky.


It’s not all peacocks, barware and light fixtures. There is some evidence of sewing….


Now really, who do you know that has a blue oval mirror? And who would actually offer to lend you their blue mirror for your studio?

My friend Linda! That’s who!

And if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, then you know how much I hate to mend. I know weird, huh! The words on the mirror are so ironic, but so fitting.


So, before we head back down those thirty two steps, I think it’s worth mentioning that I have a new man in my life. I’m totally enamored with his sexy turquoise, his masculine goldness and all his delicious designs. I just can’t get enough of…


…Fred Press.

Where has he been all my life?

I want it all. (Hint, hint)

Well, there is still a long way to go before the studio is ready for the big Book Launch Party, but I thought it would be fun to keep updating you as it is slowly transformed.

Next time… more funky lamps and some painted 70’s mediterranean cheese-ball goodness…. :)

If you came here for refashion inspiration and not visions of Funky Cheese-ball decor, click on this picture:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

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DIY Summer T-Shirt Series: Add a Lace Doily


Believe it or not, lace doilies actually have a rich history and played a role in everyday life for over a hundred years. But not many homes display these incredibly intricate pieces of art anymore. Why not unearth your grannie’s doilies and show off her handiwork on the back of your summer t-shirt. She would be delighted, I’m sure!


I’d love it if you’d click here for the rest of the tutorial and enter for your chance to win this shirt by leaving a comment. The winner will be announced on Saturday, August 2.

And congratulations to Susan Martin! You are the winner of the Peplum T Shirt. Send your address to and I’ll send it out to you ASAP.

Now I’m off to work on the new sewing studio again.

Sneak Peeks coming soon……


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DIY Summer T-Shirt Series: Draw Something Nautical On It


Even if you’re landlocked this summer and won’t be anywhere near the sea, you can still rock the nautical look with this cute hand-drawn, life preserver T-shirt.


All you need is a white T-shirt, a blue fine line permanent marker, a large coffee can lid, a small coffee can lid and a magazine.


Click here for the rest of the tutorial.

And……….how ’bout another giveaway.

I just love it when you comment on my posts. It’s so fun for me to know who is reading them and to hear what you think. I want to thank you for taking the time to do that, so to be entered to win on Saturday, August 2, click here to check out my tutorial and let me know what you think by leaving a comment. Thanks so much!


And kudos to my cute DIL for hanging out with me on a Saturday to draw and be a model for the first time EVAH.

Thanks Heather, you did great!

For more refashion inspiration:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

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DIY Summer T-Shirt Series: Make a Peplum


Yay! It’s summer, the season of the T-shirt.

Can you hear a collective T-shirt cheer as they’re all unearthed from the bottom of drawers and the backs of closets around the country? Unfortunately, thousands of these perfectly good T-shirts will be donated or thrown away to make way for new clothing. Well this month, let’s save a few of them from the rag bag by sprucing them up and making them a little more modern.

A flattering peplum is a good place to start.

The first thing you need to do is find one T-shirt that fits you well on the top and another coordinating shirt that has lots of fabric on the bottom. You can really get creative here by using two different colors, stripes, polka dots or different patterns. Just have fun.

For the rest of the tutorial, click here and leave a comment for your chance to win this peplum t-shirt. Winner will be announced on Saturday, July 19.


The winner of the Starfish scarf is:

Christy Scarboro

Congratulations! Send me your address and I’ll ship it out to you ASAP.

For more refashion inspiration:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

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You Really Can Make a Maxi Dress in Fifteen Minutes or Less



I know, I know, it does sounds too good to be true, but you really can make a fun, summer maxi dress in fifteen minutes or less when you start with a t shirt and add some knit fabric to the bottom. It’ll seriously take you longer to choose the fabric than to make the dress.

Continue reading to find out how….

And for more refashion inspiration:


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DIY: Painted Starfish Scarf

The Renegade Seamstress shows you how to make your own starfish scarf

 The North Shore of Lake Superior is one of Minnesota’s most spectacular landscapes, especially when paired with three of the state’s most beautiful women ever, a first massage, hikes, lots of laughter, colorful food, and heart to heart talks late into the night.


Spending time with childhood friends is such a treat. My brain was practically smoking as the memory synapses kept reconnecting at an incredible rate. So many things I hadn’t thought of for years. Each of us sharing our own perspectives of the same experiences. I really do realize how rare and precious these relationships are and give thanks for them everyday.

The Angry Trout Cafe was the perfect waterfront cafe after our Pincushion Mountain hike. (And yes, they did choose this mountain because of the name just for me. And hence, the windswept hair, no make up and red cheeks. Love these girls.)


 It was a feast for the eyes as well as our appetites. Just look at all those delicious colors. And that drink you see in the background? Super good! Soda water with just a drop of pure maple syrup. I never would’ve thought of that.


Not only was the food and the scenery delicious, but the place was full of repurposed items. The menu covers were cut from old wine boxes, the liquid soap dispensers made from old squeeze ketchup bottles, and the chairs were old tractor seats. The building itself was a former fishing shack. They are committed to sustainability. You can read more about them here.

Definitely my kind of place.


If you’re ever in Grand Marais, Minnesota on the North Shore of Lake Superior, I highly recommend The Angry Trout Cafe. I promise you won’t be disappointed.



Oh ya, (did you catch the Minnesota accent?) and it was the perfect place to photograph my latest eHow tutorial:

DIY: Painted Starfish Scarf.

The Renegade Seamstress shows you how to make your own starfish scarf

To thank you once again for taking the time to go over to eHow and commenting on my post, I’d like to give this scarf away to one of you on Saturday, July 5.

Hope your summer is full of family gatherings, childhood friends and good memories!


For more refashion inspiration:

Easy DIY Refashion Tutorials

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DIY: Easy Cropped Denim Jacket

DIY Cropped Denim Jacket close up

Time froze for me the other day while at my beautiful niece Melanie’s house in St. Paul. The kids playing hockey in the driveway, listening to the Belmont Stakes on the tv in the garage, cold Leinenkugel in my hand and it suddenly occurs to me…



I know! I know! You’ve always heard trash talk coming out of my mouth about the debilitating humidity, the frigid cold, the scary tornados, and the nasty mosquitos.

But in spite of all it’s shortcomings, and even though I lived out west most of my adult life, I will always call Minnesota my home.

It’s where my people are.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got lots of people in Oregon. My children and their families, close friends I consider family, and the hundreds of students that I loved throughout the years.

But I really am a “Minnesotian” at heart.

I love all the “ya shore, ya betchas”, the “I saw dat der too and I said, hmmmms” and the of course it wouldn’t be complete without “daboatayas”.

My sister has a place “up nort” and after spraying at least two cans of Deep Woods Off (that we practically had to buy on the black market due to the “skito” epidemic this year) all over my entire body, it was the perfect spot for a photo shoot of my latest refashion for eHow.

DIY Cropped Denim Jacket Leaning on the Barn

DIY Western Inspired Leather Belt Bracelet and DIY Cropped Denim Jacket

DIY Cropped Denim Jacket

Oh ya, I started with this jacket…

DIY Cropped Denim Jacket before

and in a few quick and easy steps, turned it into this:

DIY Cropped Denim Jacket with title

Click here for the tutorial. (And be sure to say that with a Minnesota accent) :)

Happy Saturday and try to stay away from dat Lutefisk if ya know what good for ya!


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Get Rodeo Ready with this DIY Western Inspired Upcycled Belt Bracelet

Every June, my sleepy little community comes alive when the Eastern Oregon Livestock Show comes to town. 4-H and FFA kids finally get to show their animals after walking them around town for months, the carnival arrives, the parade winds down Main Street announcing the arrival of the rodeo and you can even win some money on the horse races if you are so inclined.

So this year, I decided to refashion a few things that would be perfect to wear to the rodeo.

I started with this super simple upcycled western inspired belt bracelet that you can easily create in a few minutes from an old thrift store belt.


Click here to read more and get the tutorial.

I’m off to the rodeo…


For more refashion inspiration:

Refashion Tutorials

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I’ve got a secret to tell you……


 Today I’ve been having fun putting the finishing touches onto tomorrow’s live web seminar for BurdaStyle.

Blogging has been such a healthy part of my life for the last few years. When I started my little sewing blog, I never dreamed of the wonderful places it would take me, I never imagined the opportunities that would come my way and I never thought I would meet so many amazing people.

It’s been such a fun adventure for me and who knew I’d be publishing a book and creating content for great companies like eHow and BurdaStyle. I really want you to join in on the fun, so when BurdaStyle asked me to produce a seminar on creating a successful blog, I was first very flattered and then became super excited. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time. So in this seminar, I will share with you many of the lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Click here to sign up.

This is what we’ll be doing tomorrow at 11:00 EST:

Secret Ways to Make Your Sewing Blog a Success

(or any blog for that matter)

At a glance:
If you want to start your own sewing blog or if you’re ready to bring your blog to the next level, then this seminar is for you
You will get the tools to create and carry out your own unique vision for a successful sewing blog
You will learn how to develop a blog that inspires and keeps people coming back for more.

About the web seminar:
Would you like to join in the fun of connecting with others by blogging about your favorite things to do? Do you have ideas you’re busting at the seams to share with others? Do you want to make some money from your blog or possibly begin a new career? Then this is the seminar for you

What You’ll Learn:
How to determine who you want to be in the blogging community
How to develop friendly alliances with those who can help you grow your blog
Ways to attract readers to your blog
Ways to manage your time
How to improve your photography
Ways to manage your time
How to develop your creative vision
About self promotion and networking
Ways to increase traffic to your blog
How to develop new career opportunities using your blog
Ways to make money from your blog

Who Should Attend
Sewers who want to connect with like minded people through blogging
Sewing bloggers who are ready to take their blog to the next level
Bloggers who would like to learn ways to make money from their blog

If you’re not able to attend the live session, you can still sign up and you’ll receive a downloadable version to watch whenever you’d like.

See you tomorrow!


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Coming Soon……..

I just said the big “Y” word.

Not Yakima, yellow or yacht. And certainly not Wyoming, silly.

I said, YES!

Yes to a new studio space. Yes to a new beginning. Yes to yet another adventure.


Isn’t this window cool!

The space has great ghosts. It was an artist’s studio for many years. Not only is it going to give me lots of room to spread out and sew, take photos, and film sewing classes, but it’s going to be a great place for the book launch party in September.

I’m beyond delighted and I can’t wait for you to see it. I plan on doing loads of DIY projects and sharing with you along the way. So stayed tuned…..

Thanks for being excited with me.


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