All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : Sewing

I have been sewing for 35 years. I love it, and I know some things about it.

Cardboard box with colorful quilting cotton scraps inside

Fabric, Fabric, Fabric

When I was a kid, I got to go visit my Auntie Pauline back east a few times during the summers. I enjoyed the weird bugs, warm thunderstorms, and swimming opportunities we just didn’t seem to have in Alaska… and the fabrics. My aunt is a spectacularly talented seamstress and fabric craftswoman, and has a refined taste in textiles. Going fabric shopping with her was a treat. Just being in her magical sewing studio, among her collections of tools and materials, projects and commissions was a treat. I had already taught myself how to sew, but she taught me standards of sewing, and opened up the possibilities. Sad to say that despite our talents we are both mostly making face… continue reading

two pages print from PDF sewing pattern

Face Mask Sewing Instructions

The following are instructions for the face mask sewing pattern available as a PDF download in the Little Package shop. I drafted this pattern off the Olsen mask design, honing it over a period of several months for easy fit, good looks, and comfort. What I like about it is it allows you to open your mouth without the mask slipping down off your nose. As a former nurse, it’s important to me that people including and around me and my loved ones have functional masks, and so I make them. And you can too!

tiny covid masks for a two year-old

Sewing Face Masks

I’ve been meaning to share the face mask pattern that I adapted from the Unity Point Olson Mask, but it’s not ready yet because it keeps shape-shifting. I keep making small adjustments to it, which probably don’t matter at this point because every face is so different. Anyway, soon I will have it tacked down in PDF format and will share here. [Here it is.] [And here are the face mask sewing instructions.] So far I’ve made >200 masks. I’ve made masks for climbing guides: I’ve made masks for tiny people: I’ve made masks for small people: I’ve made masks for adults: I’ve been handing out free two-layer cotton masks around Bishop, and giving them to friends. Folks who have… continue reading

Learn to Sew a Cycling Cap

Note: the class described below is no longer happening, but you can still learn how to make a cycling cap following the instructions in my carefully-crafted downloadable cycling cap sewing patterns. The included instructions include illustrations and are so detailed that in over 12 years selling them, I’ve only ever had two people contact me with questions! If you’ve wanted to set aside the time to finally make yourself a cycling cap, why not book a class? Meet some new people, get help to get over any tricky bits, and check that project off your list? Ellie at Klum House, a professional seamstress and sewing instructor, is teaching a cap sewing class in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, November 5 from… continue reading

star wars cycling cap bills

Handmade Bike Caps!

Mr. Joe brought it to my attention via Instagram that he has been busy making cycling caps from the sewing pattern I offer. He has added in a few touches that I thought were super worthy of sharing. As you can see, Mr. Joe took an awesome Star Wars print and put it under the bill of his cap. He LOVES Star Wars. Who doesn’t? I think I see a Star Wars cycling caps enterprise in Mr. Joe’s future. I know when I was making caps, I took many orders from customers wanting specific fabric prints. Those were always the most fun caps to make. When I quit making caps a lot of people were disappointed, so I left behind… continue reading

Lighthouse Surrounded by Trail Trash

The Best Ultra Lightweight Sleeping Bags

Ultra lightweight sleeping bags are purpose-built for long-haul treks where space is at a premium and weight is counted in grams, but they can also be used on your ordinary family camping trips. I call that win-win! The sleeping bag is part of “The Big Three:” your backpack, your tent, and your sleeping bag. These three items comprise the most weight, and take up the most space of all your gear. Also, they are items (aside from food and shoes) that can make–or break–your hike or tour. Be prepared to shell out good money up front (and not have to re-purchase something better later). This is an investment you’ll be putting to very good use. A sleeping bag is a… continue reading

screenshot of cycling cap sewing pattern

Digital Cycling Cap Patterns Now Available!

People have been requesting this product for years, and I’ve finally made it! My two cycling cap sewing patterns — with the best instructions, templates, and style/fit available — are now downloadable as PDFs. You can buy, print, and be cutting and sewing within minutes from now! Check them out: These patterns include the same templates and guidelines that I follow when sewing caps in my studio. They even include instructions on how to add a cozy earflap for cold-weather riding. I worked for several years ironing out hiccups and honing the style so that these would look and fit great on everyone. The patterns print out on letter sized (or A4) paper. Just make sure to print at 100%… continue reading

White 970 human whisperer

Human Whisperer

This week I pulled an insane maneuver: I sold the sewing machine I use to make cycling caps — before getting a replacement. I sold it right out from under my business, without warning or much planning. It had been listed on Craigslist for several weeks as part of my plan to buy a new machine to improve my tax situation, and suddenly one evening someone wanted it badly. Off it went to a happy new home, perfectly good but massively depreciated. Off it went, leaving me high and dry. A replacement won’t be here until mid-next week. I do own these two vintage “backup” sewing machines, though. They sit pretty, high up on a shelf above my desk, collecting… continue reading

I’m a Softie for them Soft Bills

Somewhere along the line, I decided to fill my cycling cap bills with something other than plastic. I don’t know why. Maybe I ran out of plastic in the studio. Maybe someone special requested a soft bill. I honestly can’t say when it happened, but when it did it was magic. I stumbled right onto the perfect solution: just the right filling, and just the right amount of it, and lots of top-stitching; and right off the bat I had the very best soft bill there was. And yet people are still not sure they want a soft bill. Why not? Because they’re floppy? I’ve got news for you: they’re not. Not mine. Mine don’t crack or warp either, and… continue reading

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