Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

Studio tour & new work


Hello dear readers, it has been a busy week for me here in Raleigh! I have applied to be a vendor at several local fall markets so I need to make new patterns and get to sewing the new products. I also wanted to photograph some pieces which have been waiting to be posted to my Judah Ross etsy site. And I had two orders to fill as well.

So I thought I would share some pictures from the week with you. First up, a studio tour (side note: I LOVE my studio. Up until we moved to Raleigh I was working in a grungy Oakland basement, low ceilings, no natural light, very damp, very dirty. Here I  have great natural light. My table, industrial sewing machine, dress form, books, bolts of fabric, boxes of trim and paint all just fit into the 12×12 room. I can sweep the floor and it stays clean…heaven!) :

Artwork by my mother, my grandmother and myself.

My friend Amy took this photograph of me painting, the best portrait ever!

Juki straight stitch with altar for my mother, Judith.

Paloma the dress form, my 'design library'.

Mid week I had an evening photoshoot with my friend Eileen who agreed to model for me.  She is an incredibly talented artist and textile designer, as well as being a home-schooling mom of three. Her eldest daughter was very interested in what we were up to, and was dying to join in, so I got some great shots of her sporting one of my fabric rosette hairpins.

A couple of weeks ago I was excited to get an email from the owner of one of my favorite online boutiques. She ordered three of my mono printed ‘coin’ purses (really they are small clutches) and then this week I got a retail order for a market bag, so I pulled out my dyes and had a print day. The coin purses sew up pretty quickly, but the market bag requires a lot of fiddly prep that I always dread. I’ve included some pictures of them in progress. Next week I will sew them up.

Hand painted and mono printed Market Bag bodies.

Setting the dye.

Prepped and ready to sew up.

Beklina order ready to go the mail.

I really value handwork, and many of my ideas for both clothing and other products are very labor intensive to produce. Which inevitably means a higher price point. Lately I’ve been making up fabric flowers out of scrap fabric, which I can sell as hairpins or brooches for $15-$20. There’s been a good response, so I played around with some new designs. I love the meditative aspect of hand sewing, it’s very rhythmic and peaceful.

Daisies & a rose. The silk crepe I used for this rosette was like sewing butter.

With all the other things which demand my attention, it can be hard to get into the studio, even though it’s just down the hall. But once I’m there, and I get into the groove, time just slips by and I have to tear myself away at the end of the day. Maybe I should make a photographic diary every week, I’m loving being able to look back and see in a concrete way what I’ve been able to accomplish.

13 Responses to “Studio tour & new work”

  1. sharon teig

    hi oami…wow..looks like you are doing well!!!
    studio looks lovely…the fabrics and your creations are terrific..making any “large woman sizes” in clothing????

    • oami powers

      Hi Sharon! Thanks! Right now my largest size is a 12/14, probably more of a Banana Republic size 12/14 than an Old Navy size 12/14 if you see what I mean. I would LOVE to offer larger sizes, and have been trying to find a fit model (grading between sizes changes significantly from size 10 or so on) to help me adapt my patterns…..

  2. Modaspia

    Yes DO post about what you’ve made throughout the week. I love that print on the market bag. Someday I want to make a little sofa with that fabric…studio is beautiful. Come a long way from that basement. So nice to see you working in a light filled studio with your pictures up and all your different tools.

  3. Norman Ross Powers

    Prettily written and illustrated. So informative, so you. Thanks, East Twin!

  4. ruchapowers

    Okay first of all, I MUST have some rosette clips for my hair!! Gorgeous. Eileen is a great model for your dress and top – the lines are just beautiful. I love you, and your studio is an homage to all the creativity distilled through our family into your veins! You make me proud, as always xoxo
    p.s love the name ‘Paloma’ for your dress form. very chic 🙂

  5. Jacquelyn Marie

    Love that you have a fresh, clean, well-lit studio! Your photos turned out really well.

    Off to Teance on 4th street tonight to hear a singer–wearing your scarf!! Love as always, GJM

  6. Aunt Diana

    Wow Oami! Stunning fabrics and designs. And thrilled that you have such a wonderful workplace with garden outside…no wonder the creative juices are flowing so productively.

  7. Gerda Dinwiddie

    Hello Oami and Rusha,
    Well, after I received a reminder, I signed up for this – what I thought was another new gizzmo that I didn’t want to deal with. But I see how neat this could be. Nice to hear from both of you and doing well with the kids and the design projects – beautiful stuff you both are doing, am very glad!
    Love, Gerda

  8. fran

    Just checking my email b4 bed . . . your designs, fabric and studio look good. You are showing how good this move has been for you. I enjoy these updates on your activities.

  9. kelly smith-tilly

    Wow, Oami, you have been busy! Isn’t it the best feeling to look up and notice you’ve spent the whole day doing something you love? Beautiful photos, beautiful designs. I love the dress Eileen is wearing. See you soon. xoxo

  10. spongeystef...queen of the long run-on sentence

    hi sweet soulsistah!!sing it as a sash, a ski
    i am sooooooo jealous of ur beautiful studio !! also so admiring of all the scrumptious stuff ur turning out ……. still using the cool scrunchy green scarf from modaspia that i purchased eons ago at our place….i ended up using it for a sash w/ skirts atube top shirt in summer at the river

  11. oami powers

    Ursula: love the idea of a couch covered in this fabric!! Lets make two.
    Rucha: I’m speechless, thank you….
    Kelly: Yes!
    Jennifer: I know right?!
    Jacqueline: so exciting that you are enjoying the scarf so…


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