Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

Sleepless in Raleigh


Well dear readers, it has, as predicted, been a busy two weeks. Here is a peek at what I have been up to…

Monday & Tuesday: sewing up Freda dresses.


Freda, in a geometric cotton/linen blend.
The Freda, in a beautiful crisp org.cotton/hemp/PET blend yarn dye.

I also made one in this beautiful slate colored cotton jacquard I have. I love gray, have I mentioned that? I used to adore bright colors only, and even went through a phase where I color coordinated my outfits – when my hair was magenta, I wore a red tee-shirt and scarlet cardigan to match. I still love intense and saturated color, but I also adore the beautiful subtleties of a dove gray, a warm taupe, or smoky charcoal.


Halloween 1998 (?), slate gray cotton jacquard

Tuesday night, while finishing up the dresses, my already questionably reliable serger gave up the ghost. Panic, then come up with a plan and finish up what I can without the serger, go to bed around midnight.

Wednesday, Thursday & Friday:

Wednesday morning, sleep deprived and irritated, I put my hand out to stop Grover from barking at Stella and put it straight into his mouth. Two of his four remaining teeth puncture my left hand. I scream, he looks terrified. Call K. in tears, he drives me to the urgent care where I am prescribed antibiotics. We pick them up, then go buy a used serger and head home. I make up with Grover. Hand stiff and incredibly sore. Take an ibuprofen and finish the dresses.

Thursday. Draft pattern for a new blouse. Make a sample, decide on alterations, grade pattern. Spend hours hand pleating fabric for the front and back yoke. K. doesn’t feel well, goes to doctor, they start him on antibiotics. Go to our friend’s house to watch Project Runway finale. I’m beginning to feel like this is my own little Project Runway, but without the $100,000 prize.

Friday. Stella wakes me up at 4:30 a.m., has diarrhea. 5:30, ditto. 6:30 vomiting. Morning spent at vet, blood work tells us nothing, thus in all likelihood she ate something she should not have (No surprise there. Note to self. Remember to ask if the horrendously expensive blood tests are truly necessary). Prescribed an anti-diarrheal, probiotics and antibiotics. Now Grover is the only one in the house not on antibiotics. By afternoon Stella seems better, drop her off for a play session at our neighbors and return to work. More pleating, complete a medium blouse.


Carnivale Blouse


Decide I need some more color in the mix. Draft snap front tee-shirt pattern, cut out and sew up three sizes out of some pique knit I’ve had for a couple of years. Dye the tees saffron yellow. So pleased with the tee, that I cut out and sew up one more, in a pretty hemp/organic cotton heathered jersey that I have a yard of.


Snap tee


It’s Halloween. K. & I carve pumpkins, the one Halloween ritual we complete without fail. Afterwards I head off to take pictures of the work from this week with my lovely model. It’s always great to see her, and we talk about everything from face blindness to cameras. The evening is spent trying to watch Dexter, hand sewing hairclips on the back of rosettes & daisies, while pausing every ten minutes or so to hand out candy. When I finish, I realize I’ve out the hairclips on the wrong way, and all will have to be redone. I read Rucha’s Halloween blog post and have a mini-cry.


Edit photos and post the new items on Twentyfive and Etsy. Two of the saffron tees sell almost immediately (albiet to friends). I won’t be able to make more before the weekend, but I order some more fabric anyway, hoping to have them ready for the following Saturday. Cut out more sizes of the Carnivale blouse.

Tuesday and Wednesday:

Haircut with Christie. Great cut as usual, I feel a little bit prettier all of a sudden. Mail out etsy orders. Drive out to the leather supplier, pick out a cowhide and a pigskin for the leather version of the market bag folks have been asking for. Set it aside, work on blouses. Did I finish them? I can’t remember. Maybe I finished them Wednesday? The days are blurring together now. I know I cut out and sewed up three market bags Wednesday, and made wallets from some screen printed leather I had left over from a modaspia fall collection. Finish up around 2 a.m. Plan on taking a bath, but get so spooked out by the audiobook about the Zodiak killer I’m listening to that I jump straight into bed instead.



Paloma bag


The living room floor is covered with ripped up dog toys, there are dishes in the sink, the bathroom needs to be cleaned. It’s driving me crazy, but I resist the urge to spend a couple of precious hours cleaning and go into the studio instead. Pull out a skirt pattern I came up with a little over a year ago. Make a sample and decide it needs to be totally reworked. Start from scratch and draft the new pattern, make a sample, decide it’s a winner. In the evening, though I know I will regret it, I decide I need to take it easy and watch a couple of episodes of Kitchen Nightmares with K.


Elipse skirt


Still need to sew up three more skirts. Also need to iron everything, set the tee-shirts, put labels in a couple of pieces, check the pockets on the Freda dresses which may be too small, make hangtags and price everything, fix those hair clips….all before tomorrow. Oh, and I need to make a Target run for some display items. Is it really possible? I don’t know, but I just focus on getting one thing at a time done. Finally admit defeat and go to bed at 3:30 a.m.


The alarm goes off at 5:30. I fall back asleep and wake up at 6:40. Crap. Deep breath, focus. Some how I really do manage to get everything done and am in the shower at 11:15, fifteen minutes before we are due to leave. K. loads the car up while I get ready. The bags under my eyes now have their own bags, and I abandon my attempts to disguise them with concealer and foundation, which have only managed to make them more obvious. At least my hair is cute.I put on one of my new tees, and an Elipse skirt and head out, thirty minutes behind schedule.

Show goes well, sell a lot of printed tees. Lots of compliments, people taking my cards. I’m next to my friend Liz, which is awesome. We chat when we can, enjoy the bands that are playing,  and round out the show by trading each other for Christmas presents.


Sleep twelve hours. Stay in my jammies all day, watching House M.D., Fringe, and The Girl Who Played With Fire. Nap for two hours, order pizza so I don’t have to cook dinner.  A day on the couch with K. & the dogs. What could be better? Except maybe a bigger couch. Tomorrow I will clean the house, and start the cycle all over again, preparing for next Saturday’s Handmade Market, but that is tomorrow…..



15 Responses to “Sleepless in Raleigh”

  1. Frances Newcross

    Hi there!
    Sorry to see: you were bit; Kirk sick; Stella sick too. Wish we were close enough to be of some support/help. That could slow up some people. Reads like you kept slogging and got a whole lot done. Oami, honey, I really like your fabric, designs and colors. They are lovely. I got the blue scarf out since it has cooled off here a little. I enjoy it’s colors and texture.

    • oami powers

      Hi Fran, well, in the end none of it was serious, just little bumps in the road. The timing of it did make me laugh though.

  2. Jacquelyn Marie

    It’s all worth it, Oami! I get comments on my scarf whenever I wear it which will be often now that it is cooler here. Autumn has arrived.

    Love your new tees and the colors are gorgeous–agree with you about the gray.

    • oami powers

      Absolutely! I hope that comes across too…I love what I do, and I am VERY privileged to be able to do it. Glad you both like the new work, and the old, and that the scarves are keeping you warm this autumn…

  3. Liz

    I would have never known seeing you Saturday that all that went on in two weeks. Your collection looked amazing–as usual! Im loving my new bag and am now wondering if people are really worthy of those trade items I got from you. Ill think about it 🙂 Keep sewing!!!!

  4. kelly smith-tilly

    Wow, what a rough two weeks! Sometimes it just all comes down at once, and it’s good that you can laugh about it. I love your new line–the tops are so beautiful and the details really shine. I can’t wait to see them in person on Saturday. Glad everyone is on the mend. The leather bag is really gorgeous. Drool.

    • oami powers

      Can’t wait to see YOU in person Saturday, it’s been too long. Hope they put us next to each other so we can have a good catch up….

  5. ruchapowers

    Okay…first off, what is a ‘mini-cry’?? I never have’s all or nothing baby!! I LOVE the new pieces too. Gorgeous saffron-yellow tee and the leather bag and printed wallets are ultra cool. (Maceo agrees). Sorry about all the puking and antibiotics and sleeplessness but it sounds like it paid off in the end. BTW what did you think of the PR finale?? Hugs xo

    • oami powers

      I was glad Gretchen won in the end, her work was the most innovative I thought. You’ve never had a mini-cry??? A few tears but no big storm??

  6. Norman Ross Powers

    Ur tuff, gurl. And you make really, really good stuff. West Twin wrote recently about her family’s week of flu hell, and here we learn what’s it’s like when a fashion entrepeneur, dog-mom has her own hell week. Hang in, ET, we send you love from
    the left coast!

  7. modaspia

    i wore my new purchase (saffron snap tee) two days in a row and turned heads whenever i picked up marcello at school. i dig my printed tee too. just washed both and they look good, the saffron didn’t fade the least bit.
    totally looking forward to the purse one day!

    don’t they have flu shots out there? i gave up a few years ago and get them now along with the kids. j still wants nothing to do with them.

    beautiful work as usual oami..

  8. spongey queen

    beautiful saffron t!!
    take a breath and know my thots r with u !! xo U girl


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