Hello. My Name is Deborah, and I am a Halloween Failure.

I have this vision of myself as a Crafty Mom.  The one who sews clothes for her kids, who makes every Halloween costume from scratch.  I almost get the feeling that if I don’t make a Halloween costume each year, I am dropping the ball, that I have a rep to protect, and really can’t […]


My mother uncovered this photo of my great-grandmother, the maker of this antique quilt.   She actually found two photos, and allowed me to select one; I chose the one where she doesn’t have her teeth in, because there was something about the intimacy of seeing her in a moment when she thought no one was […]

Labels are a GOOD Thing: Adding Info to Your Handmade Sewing

We are surrounded by labels, of all kinds, every day.  For many of us, labels on our clothing or the goods we purchase are that marker that divides the store-bought from the homemade.  But I’d like to challenge you to think about your handmade yummies differently: I want you to value them enough to tag […]

Quest for the Perfect Pants

In a startling departure from our usual Thursday Sewing with Kids, I’ve been spending the bulk of my week sewing FOR my kids.  And today, I’ve been refining my Perfect Pants pattern.  It’s hard to know just what to look for, where to trim and where to expand–I mean, do I want a narrower leg? […]

Historic Textiles: Middleton Place, Charleston, SC

As the last stop on our weekend in Charleston, we visited historic Middleton Place, a pre-Civil War era plantation on the outskirts of town.  My husband and I were both raised going to historic mansions and museums, so for us this was a ton of fun–plus, his parents lived near here for a few years […]

Search for the Perfect Dress Form

As any woman who has ever had a baby can tell you, our bodies are not rubber bands, and they don’t bounce back right away. It’s almost funny (almost) how many men seem to really think that: enter hospital pregnant, have baby, leave hospital in pre-pregnancy clothes. If only. Five months ago, we brought home […]


I have a bucket of mending.  It sits on a low shelf, just a cardboard Ikea box where I collect the projects that my family need done: a shirt with a lost button, a hem that’s come loose, a pair of pants that need letting out, a tear in a favorite dress. I hardly ever […]