Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Reflections & Predictions In Sewing


I suppose this blog graphic is a form of art imitating life. It's been nothing but cold dark gray and soggy here in NJ. Lucky for you, to snuggle up with your favorite blogs with a cup of tea today! I was excited to be invited to share my own personal reflections and predictions as far as the sewing industry goes- thank you to Kristen for inviting me to join along.

Wondering what my favorite trends were last year? Or why I'm talking about going commando in 2017? Read the complete interview here.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Free Pattern: A Line Skirt & Tutorial


Blame it on What Not To Wear but I'm all about learning what patterns and styles actually make my body look slimmer. When I caught glimpse of this free pattern from Danielle- I just knew I had to add it to my Spring Make list. A-line skirts are great for us women whose hips are the widest part of our body (aka Pear Shaped) You definately want to check out this tutorial and download the free pattern for tricks using your serger & figuring out what to do with a blindhem stitch too!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Business On The Side


Over 8 years ago- I started my first handmade business. Some of you may have been around back then, and if you're still here: that's pretty incredible & I want to buy you a drink! (and Thank You!) As I learned more about building a business, blogging, marketing- I realized it can be isolating and the work can at times feel never ending. I know how lucky I am to have established a community of maker friends who were always there to help me navigate issues that arise or brainstorm new ways to change the world.

This year, I am working alongside Nick on a side business- called Fire Rod and Steel. I offered to help set up his website and teach the ropes of online business. This is all coming from a man, who has no Facebook or Instagram accounts nor does he ever want to. Metal work has been creeping its way into the TrashN2Tees shop for a couple of years now. First the ruler bracelets, then pattern weights, natural dying with rust and now the thimble necklaces. They're small and manageable projects that fit within my branding, both sewing and reuse related. Working at the fabrication shop has allowed us to extra time together as a family & bouncing off creative ideas. Nick designs and builds a variety items using metal- on any scale. His work can be seen on the campus of Rutgers University, the ESPN building in NYC, and even the Franklin Institute. In the shop we will offer forged tools, repurposed & industrial inspired decor, and antiquities.

If you see rugged metal pop up in my feed, don't be alarmed. I'm not switching mediums entirely.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

DIY Sewing Box: Machine Embroidery with Mylar


In the New Year, we all want to be a little more organized. Either that, or I hang out with a slew of disorganized folks. That's entirely possible! Whether you need to keep thread spools in check or want to create a great sewing box filled with your favorite tools and notions- I have the perfect tutorial for you.

Last month I contributed a blog post to BERNINA's We All Sew- utilizing machine embroidery on my B580 with an unexpected material. Mylar! In all honesty, the material I used wasn't even actually mylar but it was cello craft sheets I found online. The transparent color adds a special sparkle to lightly sketch style embroidery. There are also specially digitized embroidery designs for mylar as well. The design I used seen above is available from OESD.

How often do you use machine embroidery in your designs? Is it something you think you'd like to learn or try?




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Welcome to 2017!


It's hard to believe that we are already a few days into 20 seventeen. I've already learned something I didn't know about myself. As always once September sweeps in it seems like the tail end of the year just flys right by- I'm sorry I've been absent here on the blog for that time. You are always invited to keep up with the daily adventures on Instagram, it is for me the easiest way for me to update and connect but I always appreciate the chance to share more in depth here on the blog or of course, tutorials!

A small recap might be needed to start off properly and get all up to speed. Our family has grown by 4 feet- we got a puppy! Her name is Lexi Ruppkinz. Tristen has been asking for a Bernese Mountain dog for nearly 3 years after receiving a webkinz of one when he was younger. The webkinz version named "Sweetie" he carried around and loved (and continues to love.) Lexi is just 3 months old and will be a big girl- I really had no idea I'd turn into such a big ball of puppy love mush. But I have.

I closed the TrashN2Tees Etsy shop and changed my instagram name from TrashN2Tees to jmontilone. The change reflects more of the growth in my interest beyond upcycling t-shirts but don't worry I'll keep remaining focused on sustainable sewing. I'm taking time off from the t-shirt making business to focus on other ventures at this time. You can still purchase sewing jewelry here.


This is the first year I haven't really set out a master plan of goals- I'm traveling the open roads and kinda just going for the ride of it. I have some deeper thoughts about how the industry and doing business has changed my outlook and the creative process.  I'll save that for another day though.

I'm just excited to have you here- and hope you'll tell me a little about what you hope to accomplish to see in 2017! 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

You're Invited Sewlebrity Event November 18th-20th


Pack your bags & head to Woodridge, Illinois to the award winning Quilters Quest! Spend the weekend surrounded by passionate quilters, seamstress, and crafters while learning new techniques and sewing on top of the line innovative BERNINA machines. Your weekend package includes 4 classes from nationally recognized instructors and bonafide BERNINA Ambassadors- including Joanne Sharpe, Cheryl Sleboda, Tracy Mooney, and myself.

We will be by your side to encourage you to push your creative boundaries while learning and/or trying something new! Have you ever wanted to learn the basics of a serger? I'll be there to help guide you and unlock the powers of a L450 (or L460!) In addition you'll get a chance to create mixed media sewing art with Joanne Sharpe, experience all the goodness of in-the-hoop embroidery with Tracy Mooney, and complete a stellar table runner with Cheryl Sleboda using heirloom sewing techniques.
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Register today to ensure you have a spot in this VIP event November 19 and 20th: https://quiltersquest1.rainadmin.com/module/class.htm?classId=168611

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

October Meanderings & WIP


Somehow... even after all these years I can't get a grasp on October. The sleepy lull of summer bores me terribly but then, and always, October hits. It always hits hard. Suddenly I feel like I'm going 330 mph. We're only a few days into October and I've been more productive in the past 72 hours than I was all summer. Wanna see what I've been up to? (spoiler alert if you're following me on Instagram you might already know!)


Speaking of 330 miles per hour. We had a great day at the drag strip watching NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove. These guys and gals go. so. fast. It's really hard to put the experience into words but if you're into fast & loud engines or racing- I recommend seeing top fuel drag cars if you get the chance.

This week turned t-shirt waste into paper! Which was really cool- this had been a project I intended on trying out for quite some time. I picked up a thrift store blender so that I could create the pulp mixture needed- however the really cool antique blender I bought. Uh, well let's just say it was broken. Picture me plugging it in and immediately a slurry mess started projectile shooting out the bottom. No, if you're wondering I hadn't checked to make sure it was OFF before plugging it in. Lesson learned. Also: sometimes things are sent to the thrift store for a reason. No tutorial posted for this yet but maybe one to come. After I replace my blender!


Yesterday was spent- aging and weathering a perfectly good costume to make it look more authentic. To make my 7 year son... look more like a real. assassin. (sigh!) Which I suppose is a whole other blog post brewing. He's going to be cosplaying (and trick or treating) as Connor from Assassins Creed. It's a gamer thing- there's a whole deep story to it but essentially he's taking out people and robbing them. The mom in me, does not approve. Back to this costume: I used a variety of techniques all outlined in my IG Stories. Including but not limited to tea baths, cleaning the kitchen counter with it, baking the costume in an oven.

This month will be full of projects that I hope to start & finish before the holiday rush. What are you currently working on?


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