Design process

Since September or so, I’ve been drawing designs for t-shirts and accessories for sale on my shop ( It’s been a lot of fun and I love bringing my ideas into fruition.

A day or so ago, during a regularly-scheduled Portland winter rain, I thought of Gene Kelly in “Singin’ in the Rain,” and I thought of Totoro reveling in the raindrops making a loud noise on dad’s umbrella, and voila, a new idea was born.

I thought I’d share my design process with you today! Since buying an art tablet, I often skip the paper sketch, but today that’s where I started.

First I sketched a general idea of my layout:

Then I drew it on the tablet. I had to change the size of the bus stop sign to accommodate Totoro, and I used the “rotate image” feature to get the angle of his body just right. I had to draw the legs several times to get his left leg higher than the right so it would make sense to have it in the air.

I added color, then text:

Then I added raindrops. I decided to use the same color as the bus stop sign to keep the palette simple.

Finally, the design was ready for publishing on Threadless!

New Year

Happy new year! It’s been an interesting week for me, craft-wise. I’ve felt a little burned out from holiday crafting, so I’ve only been crocheting granny squares and mending clothing since Christmas. I think it’s due to wanting to start fresh, without mending hanging over my head and feeling overwhelmed by my overflowing yarn scrap basket. So here’s what I’ve been doing.

I love how the granny squares are snapshots of other projects. It’ll be akin to a memory quilt.

Mending-wise, I’ve done some socks and pants, but these are my faves so far!

My son had wee tears all over these pants, which are lined, so I decided to make patches. In most cases, I ironed a hem before sewing them down by hand. I also did a bit of quilting-like stitching for durability and so the fabric would stay in place. I LOVE these pants and wish they were mine!

I’ve been thinking about clothing and sustainability lately, and have come to the firm decision that mending is important to me. I want to mend our clothing until we have to replace things, and in that case, I want to head to the thrift stores instead of purchasing new (with some exceptions such as sneakers and underwear).

Craft wise, ideally I’ll work from stash as much as possible. That’s generally the case, but it beats repeating, if only to remind myself.

Other than those two ideas, my only other resolution-like thought for the year is to learn to double-knit!

What are your thoughts at the beginning of this new year?