Sunday, January 2, 2011

GreenStitch Episode 19 - Tina Sparkles and "Little Green Dresses"

Happy New Year, everyone! Here's your link to Episode 19.

What fun to visit with the awesomely awesome Tina Sparkles, designer and author of "Little Green Dresses." (Visit Tina's Web site here.) She's got such a great combination of sustainable mindset, creativity, and style -- and her ideas are so adaptable! Hope you feel like you're right in the sewing room, chatting with both of us.

If you can't find the book at your library or local bookstore, find it here.

Not many other links for this podcast (except for Bananagrams!) but I do have a couple of photos from my flannel-blanket-making extravaganza:

You can make almost any size of flannel yardage into a great receiving blanket. These are all double thickness, so they're nice and warm, but still drapey enough to swaddle a baby snugly. See the rounded corners? I cut those using an old CD as a guide, then serged a rolled-edge hem around the perimeter. The layers of flannel tend to hold together effortlessly, so there's no need for quilting the layers beyond the hem.

Oh, here's another tidbit - in the photo above, notice the jungle animal print and also the print with the little airplanes. Both those pieces of flannel were from the stash of dear Mrs. Flannery, the guild member I talked about in Episode 18. She was always so generous in making things to donate to babies, and I know that's how she would have used this flannel if she hadn't become ill. It made me feel great to know I could spend just a couple of minutes with her fabric and get it off to the purpose she would have intended!

Of course I forgot to photograph the burp cloths before I packaged them up, but those were super cute, too. Size doesn't matter for those, either - just make a strip long enough to toss over a shoulder and serge the two layers together. One layer would be fine, as well, but the double thickness makes it a little more cuddly for the baby, I think.

Thanks for joining me! I'll be back soon.


  1. Interesting podcast Anne with your report on the baby items, musical interludes, and the delightful Tina Sparkles. I would never have realized that making your own patterns could be fun and so practical.

  2. Whoops, I forgot to mention that I'll be eager to see if you find something of interest in Vegas at the CES. I'll bet you do!

  3. I like to use flannel scraps left from receiving blankets to make burp cloths and cloth diaper wipes. I make them about 6 inches square or so, how ever wide the strip is, and zip around with my serger as well.

  4. This was a great interview! I used to love Stylelicious when it was on DIY, so it was awesome to hear Tina Sparkles talk about her work. I like that it was obvious that the benefit to the planet is one of her big reasons for stitching green, and you can tell it's very important to her. I also really liked her thrift-store shopping tips. I'm definitely going to add her book to my "want" list. Thanks!

  5. Whilst waiting for the Fibromyalgia fog to clear a bit this morning I sat and listened to your latest podcast. Fab as always and I really enjoyed the interview with Tina Sparkles. We lived in the States for a couple of years and I really liked the programme she was on. Now with your review, and the interview I have another book to pop onto my Wish List! I enjoy repurposing items when I can and as I'm not generally the shape shops think I should be, learning how to make more great base patterns sounds ideal!
    Thanks very much Anne! Looking forward to the next one and I hope the trip to Vegas goes well!

  6. I love the folksy style your 'cast is developing!

    Oh, I hope that sounds like a compliment. It is meant as one.

    Plus you've sold me on that book. OK -if I can't get it through my public library you've sold me on it.

  7. I've had this book in my amazon "to buy" basket for a while now--I'm going to really buy it now--excited about the idea of drafting my own patterns. I am historically crummy at clothes sewing, but this one sounds good.

  8. Anne - Thank you for the serger project idea! You know I'm on the lookout for them. :-) You made so many blankets, it seems like they are a fast item to make. Will definitely put them on my list to try.

    Thanks for another wonderful podcast!

  9. Hi Anne, I just wanted to say THANKS for making this wonderful podcast. I'm so happy you are putting all these green sewing ideas out there! I just started listening and I'm through eposide 7, looking for excuses to drive around town so I can hear more! I have a 2 year old, so my car is the only place I have enough peace where I can really listen. I can't wait to hear the rest!

  10. Thank you, everyone, for taking the time to write in. It makes me feel great to know everyone's enjoying the podcast - I do have a blast making it, and that's mostly because I know you're out there listening!

  11. I LOVED this episode! I get so many great ideas from your podcast, and I have an awesome stash now due to your suggestions about thrift stores. I would never buy that much fabric, but have no problem repurposing clothing and linens. YEA for this book! I look forward to getting it and adding to my wardrobe.