Saturday, December 13, 2014

Malden Mills Polartec and Cat Hats

In this cat hat you can just barely
 make out the "medium" on the brim.
When Malden Mills opened a retail store, next to their mill in Lawrence, Mass., I spent many afternoons pawing through their sample bins and buying yards of fleece. 
 One-of-a-kind
Much to my disappointment, the retail store closed several years ago. Still, after sewing (and selling) 100's of hats, mittens, and stuffed animals, I have bins of this amazing Polartec fleece on hand. 
 
Quality matters. The fleece sold in big-box/chain fabric stores pales in comparison. Malden Mills Polartec does not pill. It's made locally and with a percentage of recycled, post-consumer plastic bottles.  After many washings  (and air drying) the fabric looks like new. No Kidding.
 
Sometimes the retail store's bins would have experimental fabrics or the end runs of bolts intended for companies like Patagonia. I scored several yards of this fleece in a bunch of different colors. How did I know it was for Patagonia? The name is in the fleece. So when you see this pattern in one of my hats, that’s the story...

A 3M reflective ink was printed on this fabric. 
I used it for the ears' backs...for safety.


For more accessories created with 
Malden Mills Polartec Fabrics 
please visit my  Esy Shop, Trail Pixie Studios.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Creative Problem Solving: Reversible Hat

Yesterday I put down my school grading and set to resolve a creative conundrum that I'd been thinking through. Because thinking alone was not leading to results, I started to create some tactile solutions out of fabric.
The question at hand:
How do I make a reversible hat—
in as few steps as possible?

The process took about an hour and roughly two large hats (one you see here) and four little doll-size caps. When I thought I had it, I zipped confidently to my machine to sew, when I turned the hat right-side-out . . . nope, nope again, drat. It was time to reflect on my process. I needed to slow down and pay attention to the incremental stages because to reverse one or two of them meant the hat would not be correct. 

Figuring out how to make this hat, without a pattern, took some trial and error, allowed for ideas about possible innovations, and was fun. My brain felt good making various iterations—and the hat fits comfortably!

I've sewn (hats) since high school, mostly with Malden Mills fleece. Now that I have all these fun spandex prints, I am branching out and plan on combining the two materials.
 New fabrics in my stash:




Thursday, October 16, 2014

New work in the Museum Shop at the Addison Gallery of American Art

Located on the campus of Phillips Academy is the Addison Gallery of American Art. They have a small and sweet museum store that carries select Trail Pixie Studios accessories.
Please stop by if you are in the area!
Addison Gallery of American Art
180 Main Street,
Andover, MA 
(978) 749-4015 
http://accessaddison.andover.edu/






Wednesday, October 15, 2014

St. Pat's 24 Hour Race

some of my latest ear warmers
 
My friend Jeanne P. is a Co-Race Director for the St. Pat's 24 Hour Race in South Bend, Indiana. When she asked if I would donate some ear warmers I was delighted to contribute! I wish I could participate in the race as it sounds like a very special and well-organized event!

For details about the race visit www.stpats24hour.com 
or visit Ultra Signup.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Daisies to Hawaii

 Tomorrow morning I'll ship out 
a custom pair of  "Daisy" print 
Gators-Bait Gaiters to Hawaii. 

This is the farthest US state 
to which I have mailed gaiters!
Reflective ribbon sewn at 
the front ankle and laces clip area. 
The sneaker laces clips are easy-to-latch, 
even after hours of running
 when fingers aren't as nimble.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A Stake Out

 
I experimented with several glazes in the studio to create whimsical markers for the garden. Waiting for these to come out of the kiln was like waiting for my seedlings to emerge!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Curious Feet Seek Frisky Felines

Say "Hello" to my new favorite spandex!
Last night I made some Gator-Bait Gaiters out of this cute kitty print. While I was at it,  I made a few headbands, too. 

I'm experimenting with adding reflective ribbon tape to the top part of the gaiter, as well as by the toe clip. 
These will hit the Esty Shop next week.  
 
Can you say "MEOW!?"

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thoughts on Hair of the Dog

 Utilizing the wall space for display of scarves and tea towels

Last Friday at 5:15 pm I set up (in a bit of a frenzy, as usual) for the 6 pm opening of the 10th Hair of the Dog Wine Tasting & Art Exhibit. I tend to under estimate the traffic time and this year was no different! 

My spot by the window was especially beautiful during the early evening. At night it was a bit dark but an extra lamp helped brighten the corner. The event was split between two floors of the building and I was upstairs in the formal Essex Art Center galleries among other artisans and great friends.

I managed to sell a fair amount, too, and raise some money for the MSPCA/Nevins Farm. I adopted my cat, the Wookiee, from Nevins Farm and feel deep gratitude to the organization.

The Wookiee inspecting some of my hand printed linen.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Thoughts of Summer and Sea Stones

Sea Stones Summer Scarf (Blue)
20 x 72 inches
 
Rain for the last week. The silver lining to gray days is it's perfect weather for sewing. My choice to couple my blue sea stones voile print with an extra soft fabric proved successful. 
I love the light breezy feeling and drape.

  
Tomorrow evening is the 10th annual Hair of the Dog fundraiser where many new prints and styles will be for sale to help raise money for the MSPCA. 10% of sales are donated to the MSPCA.

Later next week I will list some scarves 
and connect with my shops about spring and summer stock.  

 My favorite studio photo of the week:
Hope to see you at the Hair of the Dog.
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Spring Fabrics and 10th Hair of the Dog

My fabrics arrived (finally!!!!) and I am pleased with the color and image quality. Of course, some fabrics are better for particular images over others and I am learning the difference before ordering. I love how my art reproduced on the cotton-linen and silky faille.

Last week I stayed up too late and figured out how to make a repeat pattern, which is of the pencil drawing  I sketched last spring at an open house at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, Mass. It makes a great repeat! I will make a pencil case but perhaps that is too expected. Let me think on it.

I've been working on a variety of "Trail Pixie Studios" labels for my sewn creations and have a few irons in the fire—here is one flavor:

 I just couldn't wait! 
Below is a tea towel &/or wall art hanging I completed and listed in the Etsy shop. Look what a little packaging can do ... how fancy pants.
 
"Home"
cotton-linen, 11 x 17 in.

From 6-9 pm on May 2, 2014 I will be at the
(Essex Art Center, 56 Island Street, Lawrence, Mass.)
A percentage of all sales is donated to the MSPCA.
Get your tickets as they are limited.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Paw Approved

After sewing up some scarves with my cat print fabric, I made a catnip toy treat from the scraps for a friend's furry fella. But before I could get my coat on to deliver it to the neighbor my cat absconded with the gift! 

Here is The Wookiee checking out the organic cat nip:

 Safely in the clutches of Marco, for whom it was intended:

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sleeping Cats in Sky, Creamsicle, Wisteria and Wheat

My Sleeping Cats fabric just arrived and I am thrilled with the colors and quality of the reproduction of my original ink-wash drawings. The original art is from one of my travel sketchbooks; it's a series of sleeping cats throughout Italy.

I have two different fabrics—one is a soft, t-shirt-like jersey (in colors: creamsicle and sky blue) and the other a light-weight cotton voile (in colors: wisteria and wheat). The scarves sewn from the jersey will be backed with a soft solid fabric in heather gray (to match the cats) or white/off-white. 

Infinity Loop and Straight Scarves
in Sky and Creamsicle.

Cotton Voile in Wisteria and Wheat.
 
I will announce when these will be fore sale in 
the Trail Pixie Studios Etsy shop and/or my gallery shops: