Category Archives: Sewing

2017 Holiday Fabric Collection & Notepads in Shop!

Hi Friend!

My new winter holiday fabric/wrapping paper collection is now available in my Spoonflower shop!

Check out all the designs and colors ❤

{Triangle Forest: black | black/white | smoky blue | red | light blue/white | light blue | honey yellow | red/white | green/blue/yellow | blue/red/yellow }

{Cross Stitch: smoky blue | black/white | honey yellow | red |light blue }

{Cozy Pups in Sweaters : white }

​I love these simple coordinating designs ❤ They’re so clean and versatile but have the warm handmade feeling to it.

I’m thinking about making myself a tote bag with the red Triangle Forest fabric on the outside and black/white Cross Stitch fabric on the inside. You can purchase them in fat quarters, too, which are perfect for making tea towels!

Oh, and I just recently found out they have a sweet Fill-a-Yard deal where you can buy multiple designs that fit a yard of fabric so you can buy just what you need for the project you’re working on! It’s BRILLIANT.

{I played with their 1-yard cheater quilt template. I’ve never quilted before, but this cheater design may just work!}

And don’t forget, all of my designs are also available as gift wrapping paper and wall paper.

Your creative possibilities are endless… 🙂

(*Be sure to check out Spoonflower’s holiday shipping deadlines – their standard turnaround time could take 2 weeks or more, and I’d hate for you to have to pay extra for rush order!)

I hope you can handle more cuteness today because my new notepads are in my Etsy shop now!

{ Eat a Rainbow Market List / Succulent To-Do List / Cozy Pups in Sweaters To-Do List }

How adorable are these? I couldn’t be happier with how these turned out.

I’ve been “test driving” them at home, and it makes me smile every time I use it 🙂

These will make perfect stocking stuffer gifts and/or a little pre-holiday gift for yourself so you’ll feel more organized during the holidays!

And they pair so well with some of the other goodies in my shop, don’t you think?

(Pssst, I’m working on putting together some fun holiday gift bundles, so keep that in mind as you plan your holiday shopping! More to come next week.)

Oh, and don’t forget – you’ll get FREE U.S shipping on orders of $35 or more in my Etsy shop. Just use the coupon code “HAPPY35” upon checkout!

Thank you always for supporting my work 🙂 You rock!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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Fun & Easy Sewing Project Ideas

Hi friend!

I’m really excited that my brand-new fabric shop just opened on Spoonflower!

To give you some inspirations, I wanted to share some of the fun projects I’ve worked on with my new fabric collection.

If you’re not that into sewing or you’re a beginner like me, you’d be glad to know there are still lots of things you can make!

For example, check out these hoop art with my Eat a Rainbow fabric. There is no sewing involved (winner!) and yet so cute. Wouldn’t they be perfect in your kitchen or in your kids’ room?

I also made a few zippered pouches – which, I confess, was harder than I thought, but with more practice I know it would be a fun thing to make more of!

(There are many tutorials on the interweb, but I followed this one and this one.)

I carry my favorite drawing markers in my pencil pouch when I’m on the go. I used a bright-colored fabric for the liner inside to make it extra cheerful and easy for me to see what’s inside.

I made a small coin purse as well with my I heart Seattle Mug fabric. How adorable is this??

It’s a perfect size for my business cards and I keep them organized in my bag.

I shared this bag on my blog a few weeks ago, but these Azuma bags are pretty simple to make. It’s constructed with just one rectangular Succulent Plants fabric and sewing straight lines.

(You can follow the instructions here.)

I can carry my wallet, phone, and keys in this bag to go grocery shopping, or throw in my favorite snacks to go when I go to my pottery class.

And these coasters are a great way to use up your scraps! Easy, peasy.

(Basically, sew around two squares right sides together with 1.5″ hole, turn inside out, press and top stitch all the way around.)

Now, if I were a more skilled sewist, which you may be, I’d be making cute summer dresses, more zippered pouches, aprons, bags, table linens etc. etc. Can you imagine making anything kid-sized with these?? SO ADORABLE ❤

You can shop these fabrics in 24 different materials in my fabric shop now!

Make fun things and share your photos with me 🙂 Tag your pics on social media with #honeyberryfabric so I can see them.

Have fun!

xo

 

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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My new fabric collection on Spoonflower!

I’m super excited to tell you my very first fabric collection just came out on Spoonflower!

I have four new designs in fun cheerful colors. They’re perfect for sewing garments, home decor, bags, and other creative projects.

Eat a Rainbow fabric comes with two background colors: light grey and light blue green.

Rooster Friends fabric is just SO MUCH FUN.

When I shared this design with my followers on Instagram, a lot of people said it would be perfect for a little kid-sized apron. Anyone want to make one and show me?? I think it would be ADORABLE.

Succulent Plants fabric comes with three background colors: light yellow, charcoal grey, and pink.

Last but not least, I love the rainbow colors in this I ❤ Seattle Rainbow Mugs fabric!

What’s cool about shopping your favorite fabrics on Spoonflower is you can choose from so many different fabric types (24 to be precise!) from basic cotton to flowy chiffon to snuggly fleece. The possibilities are truly endless!

Hope you enjoy 🙂

xo

p.s. Be sure to use the hashtag #honeyberryfabric if you post your sewing project with my fabric on social media! I’d love to see what you come up with.

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

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My Creative Sabbatical

I took my mini sabbatical during the July 4th week, and it was so refreshing and relaxing.

(In case you are not familiar, I’ve been taking every 7th week off to relax and recharge since 2015. This brilliant concept was inspired by Seanwes.)

Mini sabbaticals are like staycations with intentions, and I try to do things that refuel my creative and spiritual reservoir.

I used to schedule a bunch of lunches and coffee dates with friends during my sabbaticals because I never saw them otherwise. But then I realized it was not very relaxing 😀 (introverts, you feel me.)

Lately, I try to keep my sabbatical weeks open and unscheduled as much as possible and decide what to do when I’m actually on my sabbatical.

It’s also a time for me to pursue things I normally don’t get to do – like spending hours exploring and organizing recipes online (which I’ve done during this sabbatical) and read books on my couch in the middle of the day.

Here are some of the highlights from my most recent mini sabbatical!

1. Marimekko, With Love exhibit at the Nordic Heritage Museum.

I’d been meaning to check out the exhibit for some time, and I’m so glad I went before it ended!

The show was absolutely STUNNING. I loved all the beautiful designs, colors, and art… Sigh.

And, what I appreciated the most about the exhibit was that you know they’re not trying to be like someone else or please everyone – they have a very recognizable style and that’s what makes them so iconic.

I sometimes feel self-couscious about my style, feeling it’s too simplistic. But, after visiting the exhibit, I felt inspired to keep doing “my thing” and be myself creatively!

2. Sewing with my new fabrics

I’m a fabric lover and love spending time at fabric stores ❤ I love examining beautiful fabrics and dreaming of all the things they can turn into.

However, I’m not very good at sewing (yet!) so I have stacks of fabrics I’ve collected over the years in a bin on my craft shelf 😀

I’ve recently created my own fabric designs on Spoonflower and ordered them to see what they look like in person.

I’m very happy with how they turned out, and it’s a special feeling to see your art come to life on fabric 🙂

I’d originally attempted to make zippered pouches with the new fabrics but realized it was a bit beyond my current skill level.

So rather than stressing about it, I sewed a few things that were easy for beginners.

This bag was really easy to sew! I could carry snacks or use it to organize things in my big bags.

Simple coasters with the grey and pink succulent fabrics! ❤

And even made these hoops – no sewing involved 😀

Pssst… If you want to know when my Spoonflower shop opens, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!

3. Block printing

After the Marimekko exhibit, I was inspired to create block print repeat patterns.

I came up with this original design when I was making my daily painting a few weeks ago.

An image of simple blue birds in flight came in to my head and I thought it would make a cute pattern!

I’d love to print this on a simple linen to make a scarf sometime. Or a T-shirt?

And I created this mushroom design – just because.

Wouldn’t it be a cute tea towel or tote bag design for fall?

Most of my sabbaticals go by really fast, but this one felt like it went by slowly. 

It was a good combination of staying home to work on my creative projects and going out to see friends and family.

Since I’ve got a pretty busy summer coming up preparing for my very first trade show in August (!!), I really enjoyed this break.

Hope you get to have some creative fun this summer, too!

xo

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot

p.s. Wanna see what else I do during my sabbaticals? You can check out the archive here.

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My sabbatical block printing & sewing project!

Hello!

I took my sabbatical week off during the week of April 18. It’s been a couple of weeks, but I wanted to show you the block printing and sewing projects I worked on.

I take every 7th week off to relax and do things I don’t normally have the time to. 

It’s kind of scary to take a week off so regularly, because, I often feel I need to be making $$ and can’t afford to take a time off. BUT, it’s important for me to make the time for reflection and recharge on a regular basis. It’s been one of the best business strategies I’ve taken! (You can learn more about what the mini sabbaticals are all about here.)

Sadly, I’d been sick with a cold for a couple of weeks and was behind on some work stuff, so I ended up working a little bit during my sabbatical.

But I also made sure to do something just for fun!

You probably know I’ve been practicing block printing on fabric for a while now.

I love the whole process of designing a block to seeing the prints on the fabric. Time just flies by when I’m engrossed in block printing!

block printed bags and towels
My block printing family 🙂

But I’ve also been feeling a bit burnt out on making block printed products, like tea towels and bags.

Considering all the hard work that goes into it, it’s not very profitable, and frankly, printing the same things over and over got old pretty quickly.

I was afraid I was losing the joy of block printing.

While I continue to focus on developing my art product lines, I’ve been focusing more on producing things that are easily replicable, like art prints and greeting cards, and moving away from block printing for production.

But a lot of people like the block printing aesthetics, so I started teaching block printing on fabric workshops recently at a local art studio, and I really enjoy it!!

IGIMO block printing on fabric workshop
Beautiful student work from my first class!

By the way, if you’re in Seattle area and want to join my class this summer, I just posted new dates on my website 🙂

With that being said, I still love to do block printing and want to continue practicing. I think for now I’ll be teaching more and block print for personal enjoyment rather than making products.

For this sabbatical week off, I decided to make a garment from my block printed fabrics!

I’m not good at sewing – I’d hemmed my pants and made simple tote bags before. But beyond that, it seemed really intimidating.

Sewing a garment seemed particularly challenging because you can’t just wing it, right? You need to follow a pattern, cut the fabrics nicely, and all of your pieces need to match up…

I like to do all of my creative work very loosely and wasn’t confident that I could sew something I’d actually want to (and can) wear!

But, I was inspired by two of my printing/sewing heros – Sarah Golden and Jen Hewett (check out her Print, Pattern, Sew project from 2015 – It’s really gorgeous and inspiring!) and decided to finally tackle this!

Japanese sewing book
Making garments by sewing straight lines? Yes please!

I got this Japanese sewing book, titled “Making Garments by Sewing Straight Lines” several years ago when I was visiting Japan. I was naturally attracted to the title 🙂 and all of the pieces looked adorable. I’d been just admiring the pictures until now and I’m glad I didn’t throw it away!!

I chose one of their patterns for a top that seemed pretty easy.

Japanese easy sewing pattern
This one!

I didn’t want to spend a  lot of money for the project, so I went fabric shopping at Goodwill as per my friend Sarah’s recommendation. If you’ve never gone fabric shopping at thrift stores, they’re awesome.

I looked around their fabric section, bed sheets, table cloth, and curtains. I saw so many cute fabrics there and was tempted to get them all! But I wanted to start small in case I hated sewing 😀 and bought two fabrics.

I wanted the color and pattern on the fabrics to work well with my block print design, not compete against it. So I picked a simple grey and white porka dot cotton bed sheet and a light weight cotton ready-to-sew blue flower pattern skirt.

And I got so much material for $5 each! Score!

ready-to-sew-skirt_liberty
Ready to sew? I like the sound of this…

For the block print design, I thought it would be fun to carve my recent obsession – poppies.

pink-and-purple-poppies-9x12_lores
Can’t seem to stop drawing these lately…
Poppy-hand carved blocks
Hand carving poppy & leaves. I use Speedball linocut tool and Moo Carve soft rubber blocks.

After I hand carved the pieces, I test print on a white cotton fabric. This is where I see areas I want to tweak and refine.

block printing on fabric poppy design
Test printing on white cotton fabric. I print with water-based fabric screen printing ink.

Once I was happy with my blocks, I started printing on the actual fabric I was going to make my top with!

For the  fabric design, I decided to do just a simple block pattern. I toyed with the idea of incorporating the leaves too, but it just got too complicated… I believe in simplicity!

block printing on fabric poppy design
Printing on upcycled bed sheet from Goodwill

It took forever to print my poppy design on enough fabric to make one top, y’all. Then I had to air dry it over night and heat set with the iron before cutting into it. Phew.

Though I picked a very simple sewing pattern, (and the book promised it was “easy” and “quick”) there were so many little steps, and it was still pretty challenging for beginner like me. I mean, I still can’t sew straight lines, you know? 🙂

But, I didn’t quit and finished my very first hand printed garment!! Ta da!!

Hand block printed poppy design upcycled women's shirt
My very first block printed sewing project! It’s so cute ❤

And, I love how it turned out! ❤

hand printed upcycled poppy-shirt-front
Not bad, right?
upcycled hand printed popy-shirt-side-back

Of course I see all the flaws and mistakes, but it’s good enough to wear around the house 🙂 It fits quite loosely, so it would be perfect during the hot summer months.

I just hope it won’t come apart when I wash it in the washing machine… 😀

For the ready-to-sew skirt, it was a lot easier because all I needed to do was to adjust the waist and the length. No pattern required!

Poppy-skirt-wip_1000px

I printed the poppy and leaves along the bottom. Honestly, I didn’t have the time or energy to print all over on another big piece of fabric and thought it would be a cute design anyway.

Since this was going to be a more dynamic design, I incorporated the leaves to add visual interest and movement.

I sewed and attached the shoulder strap and made it into a multi-purpose dress and a skirt!

Poppy-Skirt_1000px

It’s super light weight and again perfect for hot summer days ahead.

Block Printed Poppy Skirt & Dress
2 ways to enjoy one skirt! p.s. Modeling is super awkward… 😀

It was a lot of work but (or maybe because of it) it was also very satisfying to make my own clothes with my hand printed fabrics!

I always had respect for people who can sew, but this experience definitely made me appreciate the craft 100x more!! Bravo, you sewists out there!

I’d love to continue practice sewing and deepen my block printing practice in the future. 

And I can’t wait to share my process with you on this blog 🙂

xo Yuko

Yuko Miki Honeyberry Studios Headshot