“I know a thing or two about love. Well, maybe just a thing. A big, blurry thing, like Bigfoot.”

Ralph was out of town all weekend. I was so busy it is amazing I didn’t fall ill, or forget to feed some animal and child and find them a skeleton sporting a tuft of fur by week’s-end.

Friday I delivered a sasquatch costume to an Events concern that needed one for a handful of festivities during the year. So far a picture or two has popped up on Facebook, and everyone looks like they’re having a good time – including the first paid person to don the piece. Included with the costume: a few types of black makeup, and a few types of false teeth.


I know, I know. It would have been nice to get more of my trademark detailed pictures of the piece. Well, it was a miracle – in the entire pedestrian usage of the word – I got photos at all. It was quite a rush job.


 For the front closure: hidden snaps in a black canvas underlap. A great technique I’ll be using for more costumes!


Fully lined in a delicious, nubby black satin. The costume feels good on the inside. Ain’t gonna lie – probably a fairly hot experience to wear it!

Toes: sewn and glued to fur spats – a nice, long foot that can be worn out in weather. I even painted little purplish moons on the nails. Who is going to look this close? Well the point is – I do.


So that? Was my last week. Grateful to have the project finished according to my timeline.

Saturday I hadn’t recuperated before hustling my eldest to her soccer game adjacent to a mushroom farm in Olympia (the game ended a 2-2 tie). Came home and worked a bit on my vampire film project. I am getting into Halloween the way my rabbit is into eating slightly overripe bananas!

In the last two days I’ve had an audition, yoga classes, and two volunteer bits – as well as cooking for family and friends and a movie night.

An audition? Oh yes. Today I landed a part in the ensemble cast of a local production of “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Kind of a lifetime dream as I have adored the rock opera since I was a little girl – and I was really, really into it as a teen. (Ralph will still put it on when I’m sewing, and having trouble.

So yeah. This next week? A little respite might be nice.


Wool Drover Coat For M.

“I’m not going to lie to you… it’s gonna get weird. Two coats.”


I recently had the honor and privilege of making a friend’s vision come to life: M., who had saved up two large wool blankets for over twenty years, in hopes of one day having them made into a drover’s coat. M. and I exchanged some FB messages, I emailed him a quote, and he delivered me many pounds of heavy wool blanket. With some trepidation I cut into this vintage fabric to begin construction!

Thursday I grabbed a few pictures of the finished product (modeled by husband who is an inch shorter than client in arm and total height):

Wool Drover Coat For M.

M. had several visions for the coat: he wanted the end fringe of the blankets to be used as much as possible at hem, sleeve hem, pocket, pocket flap, and cape. Now is the time for me to point out that the two blankets were different – you can really see this at the stripe near the knee. I am super-proud to say that with careful planning I made an entirely balanced coat – in other words the left side utilizes one blanket for the body, and the other blanket for patch, pocket detail, etc. – and vice versa. I also managed to wrap the wool fringe to curve around the cape such that it looks like it was woven there – and to place another stripe at the shoulder on the cape!

M. wanted antler tips for closures. I got to fiddle/figure out how to use those without the typical toggle closure, which M. didn’t care for. My solution was a bound buttonhole – time intensive, but really a solid, rustic choice. The wool was so very thick I chose to use the selvedge/woven edges for the lips of the (pseudo-) bound buttonhole, thus reducing bulk significantly. Finally – I found tips that were cut in half lengthwise so could be worn very flush to the coat front:

Wool Drover Coat For M.

Hem fringe and cuff tab:
Wool Drover Coat For M.

The collar and collar tab, sleeve tabs, and cape are all lined in a cotton the same color as the shell wool.

One of my favorite details: the cape and collar. The cape is fabulous: it looks like it is sewn to the coat, and it fits perfectly snugly with underarm straps for security. But the wearer can easily unfasten the cape if they don’t want to wear it:

Wool Drover Coat For M.

The fringe – applied to curved cape edge:
Wool Drover Coat For M.

Ralph, about to go tend the flock. Wearing a hat I knit him too – by the way.
Wool Drover Coat For M.

I can’t express how wonderful it is to work with someone on their design – if their design is cohesive, and M.’s really was. I sew up other people’s designs rarely – because I like to make my own. However in M.’s case he had such a definite sense of what he wanted and I instantly grasped how handsome a garment it would make. Although the coat was a technical challenge – the wool in the blankets had warped, and had several very well-done repairs in thread – I learned a great deal while working on it.

The best part? I hand-delivered him the coat last night and he lit right up. “I am completely satisfied!” – a direct quote! And the garment suited him very well. It gives me great pleasure to make someone something they want – or have wanted, for years!


Second coat: one for my husband. This, part of my thirteenth anniversary gift for him, was constructed without him ever being aware I was making it (total score!). Waxed canvas, and lined with a matching grey liner with a semi-coarse, lovely finish. The effect is that of a rain slicker – except more breathable, and with a beautiful patina and long-lasting wear:

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Grey-green shot cotton binding at neckline. Waxed canvas – such a beautiful finish – and, now that I’m used to it, a pleasure to sew (this coat was the first I’d made in this fabric; Nels’ was the second, and things went better there):

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1


Top-stitching: about as near perfect as you can get (using single-needle tailoring):


Waxed Canvas Jacket #1


A fun stretch stitch at hem. Interestingly, in this photo the liner and shell don’t look like the same color; that is a trick of how they photograph. They matched identically!
Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Cuff tab – a triple-stitch for a heavier stitching line. Antique brass snaps I set myself. Kind of fun, actually!

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

 The coat was constructed using Green Pepper’s Frenchglen (adding length to arm and hem as per Ralph’s usual adjustment); the pattern featured a side pocket embedded in the zippered patch pocket:

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

And  a very special zipper pull tab – in a “bean” shape. I found one tab at Quilt Harbor in Aberdeen and knew I had to have it. But I couldn’t find another – not even online! A few weeks ago I ran across the second tab in Lady Lynn’s for $1.75! I was beyond excited. Because I am a huge nerd.

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Ralph, who stands this way – his arms don’t rest at his sides. I discovered this about him a few garments ago and I may or may not call his posture, “Ape Arms”.

Waxed Canvas Jacket #1

Something tells me I am just ramping up the coat and jacket sewing for the fall! Having all that heavy wool in my house during the hottest days of the year was… fun. “Fun”, she says, using “air dick quotes”. Next up: a brief snatch of air sewing an easy flannel car coat for my child – before diving into Halloween sewing, which ramped up so fast I was required to close orders before I could even update my Etsy shop or my website! Good lord.


Monster Hoodie For Megan

monsters, monsters, everywhere!

Look. Not all monsters are spooky, or creepy. Some are “cuddly”. In fact that was listed in the job description from this particular client!

Monster Hoodie For Megan

Athletic stripe at sleeve, and super-cool little silver horns!
Monster Hoodie For Megan

Fully-lined hood in a super-soft cotton stripe, machine-stitched eyelets, and hand-knit i-cord in poison-green cotton:
Monster Hoodie For Megan

The large front pocket is lined in the same stripe that lines the hood:Monster Hoodie For Megan

The 100% cotton “teeth” lining the pocket opening:

Monster Hoodie For Megan

A super-closeup!

Monster Hoodie For Megan

Phoenix, who at a size 6 doesn’t quite fill out this size 14. It is pinched at the back with clothespins but as you can see, the bust is still too large. Still – she was a willing and available model. She wants to be paid. Thoughts?

Monster Hoodie For Megan

I am so pleased with how this turned out – 100% accurate to the sketch I provided the client. It is not only gratifying I can sew what I can draw – it is practical.The client only pays once they’ve agreed to the garment’s sketch and price so at that point we are likely to both have a good experience. So far, the system has worked out well. I provide a 100% refund (no questions asked) and I am also pretty selective at which clients I take on.

As always, you can read a bit more about construction in the Flickr tagset.

Up next: a silk blouse, planning out a drover’s coat for a trade, and maybe even a project for my own family!

turtle sundae in rayon

Today I finished a rayon blouse for my mother, to her exact specifications (construction details in the Flickr tagset).

Rayon Blouse, For A Client

The rayon yardage was a bit spendy; it feels like a dream against the skin. Of course, it was rather tricky to work with and nearly impossible to iron (I did my best).

My mother bought the yardage at least a dozen years ago; I was with her, and I remember. The last decade she’d taken it out a few times and lovingly stroked it, and made plans, but then put it back in the closet. She recently asked me to make her a blouse from the yardage and I quoted her a price. Even though she’s my mother, she still gets my, 100% refund policy. It is important my clients are happy with my work!

Rayon Blouse, For A Client

Don’t even come at me about the pockets. They are not saggy but rather are built such the pockets drape properly over her bust – drafted to C/D cup. Women’s wear – especially for large or curvaceous women – definitely looks a lot better on a woman, than on a hanger!

So – she arrives home tomorrow and she will find it hanging in her armoire. I really hope she likes it – it has been my privilege to sew her a few garments that fit not only her personal sense of style, but her body. Which, and I thought this over quite a bit, is like a lovely lady badger-dowager with slender shoulders and careworn teats.

Buttons – cross-hatched coconut. Perfect buttonholes – created on my Singer 201-2 using stabilizer, sealed from the backside with Fray-check, then cut with a buttonhole chisel. BOOM

Rayon Blouse, For A Client


Rayon Blouse, For A Client

The narrow hem (about 5/16″):

Rayon Blouse, For A Client

After she evaluates fit, I will make her another – this time, a gift. With a semi-sheer stretch silk – i.e. even more of a pain-in-the-ass fabric!

Ah, well.


My final costume of the season:

My Final Max!

I’m loving the print I used for the hood lining; this particular costume goes to a little four year old in Bainbridge Island.

Now I can actually sew my own children something. Thank you so much, clients. You helped me feed the kids, plus pay bills and put a little something aside for Christmas. I am truly grateful.

A hoodie I managed to throw together for Phee:

Layered Hoodie For My Little Girl

Layered Hoodie For My Little Girl

A Louise hat. I have time for one or two more – $100 includes overnight shipping. Spread the word if someone’s desperate. You can text me at 360.500.3287. I’m okay either way.

Louise Hat 2013


[ sold ]



Hat, Adult M/L
Faux fur
lined in 100% cotton knit
two straps ‘n’ two snaps!

Let’s be honest, I am a passionate seamstress but also, well, a passionate seamstress. I get it in my head I want to make something and I will go to (sometimes inappropriate) lengths to get it done. Then? Time to move onto something else. Not much of a mass-producer, here. And truth be told, not an obsessive perfectionist. Just a reasonably competent, high-energy Creative-type.

So anyhoo in honor of the family’s much-enjoyed cartoon caper show, I’m attempting to create the perfect Finn hat! I’ve got some other plans for Finn gear but we’ll see how long my ardor lasts. I’m offering this Finn hat up for super-cheap because I have been seeing all the really sad, ill-fitting and poorly-constructed Finn hats out there, made of pill-y cheap-arse fleece. Which, I mean I’m all for just grabbing a hat, but how about a hat that HUGS you?


Hat: fine fur exterior, 100% cotton knit lining (an upcycled remnant from Grays General Store in Hoquiam!).


I liked the print on the lining fabric, which reminded me of the style of toonery in the show.

Two white snaps so you can wear it under your chin – or just let the straps dangle like you DGAF!


Size: The model has a 21 1/2″ head. If this is going to belong to a smaller head, cool, because hats look okay when they rattle around. But don’t buy the hat if your head is much bigger than that 22″. A tight hat is a total drag, man.


Want it? Text me & I’ll let you know if it’s taken. 3605003287. If it’s not, you can Paypal me at kelly AT hogaboom DOT org $20 + $8 shipping. If shipping costs less than $8, I’ll send you a refund. And I’ll ship it ASAP. SEE IT’S JUST THAT EASY

felicitations from the shore one last time

Sartorial awesomesauce.


Nautical / Naughty

Farmer’s Market.


Pho (from Olympia).


More horseplay.


Splish Splash

More Hamilton (photo by Phoenix).


Captain Surly.

Li'l Surly

Nels is angry. He couldn’t engage the boat into gear. He had to paddle back to the dock. Then, only a few minutes after this picture, a group of people in a Party Barge motored over to ask us about this boat (it’s a battery-operated duck-hunting boat I remember from the last 25 years – it’s probably from the 50s). They also admired Nels’ competency navigating the craft. So he was pleased as punch. Then a few minutes after THAT, while he motored around the throttle’s knob snapped while ON and he started jetting across the lake – and screaming for his life (I mean – he was quite terrorized). Before we could mount a rescue, he figured out how to disengage the motor, pulled his shit together, then paddled back. After docking he came inside and grabbed some food. When I asked him if he was shaken up by his equipment malfunction, all cocky-like said he would do the whole thing over again.

Packing up, today.

Packing Up

We had a lovely time. And it’s nice to be home, now.

Childhood Perceptions, A Reception

Some photos from last night. Guess what’s hard work, preparing pieces for entry into a show. Curating a show. Designing an exhibit. Collecting donations from the community (and keeping a ledger). Planning, shopping for, preparing, delivering, maintaining, and cleaning up after reception food. Talking to people and sounding relaxed and mellow even when one has been running full-tilt for most of a week.

Still. It all came off beautifully. Of course, I couldn’t take many pictures last night as I had to “mingle”, cook and deliver and manage food, and hide, with Amber, to grab a half a clove cigarette now and then.

Staging - & Coffee!

On the right you see part of our “fantasies” exhibit including a dressup and interactive hanging display. We’re encouraging grownups and kids alike to partake – this experience is augmented by a lovely poem by artist Lindy Parker that was read by a child on the audio tour.

Cardamon Bread



I made quiche. Delicious!


Hummus et al.

An installation: Robin Moore’s “Dream Wrecker”, which I can’t wait to show you closeups of. Her interview was a hoot, too!

Enjoying The Show

Response to the show was quite positive! Including:

Wee Reception Kitty

Gallery kitty! Who ran in and out. She was tiny and sweet. The kids loved her, and one of the artists kindly donated her a catnip toy.

One (of three) of my interactive embroidery pieces.

Phoenix’s piece. Again, the audio interview is fantastic.

Ralph Tutors Embroidery

Ralph helps a young lad do some interactive embroidery (on my piece “Strictly Ivy League. Big deal.”). These pieces will be changing during the show according to those who want to participate. Fun!

Barb On Her Handcrank

Barb Shillinger sets up one of her lovely handcrank machines as well as some projects for the young and old to work on. Sewing with a handcrank is a lot of fun! This particular machine is also a treadle, but for a few reasons we decided to do the handcrank conversion. Barb was a wonderful help.

Nels & Wee Reception Kitty

Nels watches Gallery Kitty as she snoops her toy.

Catnip Toy!

Catnip bird #w00t

Besides co-curators Jeanne and Ralph (who rocked), when it came to the reception a few parties came through in a big way including Tully’s Coffee and two local professional bakers – as well as my mom, who helped mule things from my little kitchen to the Gallery, and most especially my friend Amber. Unfortunately I haven’t rested since last Monday but soon I’ll be back to blogging.

As for the show, it is beautiful and I need to post more intimate detail shots of more of the pieces. We are putting together a photo and audio exhibit to post at the website, and soon. I’ll let you know.

If you’re a local, please do come to the show before it closes on July 3rd – and take the audio tour, which lasts about a half hour and is wonderful.


Just: great stuff.


“Oh *hi*!”

I finished two wool coats last night! Here’s one (the size 8):

Young Blazer In Wool Plaid

And here are my little scamps “modeling”, for which, yes, I pay them. $2 a garment (their requested fee):


I listed the jackets at Homesewn; you can peruse endless construction technique at the Flickr tagset.


Out and about in Hoquiam!

My Kids Doing Tommy Wiseau Impersonations

The kids (my two, anyway) are doing Tommy Wiseau impressions. If you don’t know what this means, I urge you not to find out.

The local American Diner (yes, that’s its name) has kid lunch specials including entree, side, fruit, drink, and ice cream for $4.99. Of course the children love it there although I find the food highly depressing. However I sat nursing a sub-standard coffee and loved watching and listening to the kids enjoying themselves.

The minute we sat down Phoenix flipped over the kids’ menu and began drawing.


“A black eagle”, she told me:

The other children followed suit. Sasha didn’t have a name for this one:

Drawing By Sasha

Here’s Nels’ work:

Drawing By Nels

Nels wrote out his soup recipe in graphic detail. From left to right: carrot, a can of chicken broth (on top of a real chicken), a pot, and broccoli. The planning of this soup was kind of the Biggest Deal Ever for our son.

I have observed most grownups I know have lost the ability to draw as decisively, joyfully, and unselfconsciously as most children I meet.

When we left the kids found a brand-new stuffed animal tucked in the dispensary of one of the fifty-cent claw arcade games. They were completely thrilled by this find; the smiles on their faces and joy in their eyes reminded me of childhood… the magic in simple things.

We stopped at the new thrift store which had some rather intriguing stuff, including a very old New Home sewing machine with manual and buttonholer. Oh, and frayed death-electrical-cord. If I could have tested the thing I might have brought it home. It was sturdy but lightweight and looked – besides the cord – well cared-for.

New Home

We got home to our sleepy cats and Nels got busy on his soup recipe (which, to his credit, included nori and miso and was entirely delicious).

Ralph’s had so much time off work he’s actually almost catching up on sleep.

It’s a good thing.

Christmas Imp