Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Paganoonoo on It's Sew Easy!!!

Hello!  It's been quite a while since I posted and there is all kinds of great news.

For you "It's Sew Easy" fans be on the lookout for me in upcoming programing!!  It's a nationally syndicated PBS show on sewing featuring guest presenters.  One of my segments from the 1300 series is already on You Tube:

Michelle talking Double Collars

It's a great program with a good variety of speakers! Visit their website to find your local station. Also check the episode descriptions after June 22 to find out content details.

I'll be on 4 episodes in the 1300 series (1303, 1304, 1305 and 1312) which starts airing June 22, 2017. The episodes will also become available on their You Tube channel (contains other programing from the same production company).

The Paganoonoo Double Collar pattern, which covers split collars, is available on the Paganoonoo Etsy site in both hard copy and digital download.  While you are there check out the new summer skirt pattern, The Bekah, and t-shirt pattern, the The Ellie.

Our class visiting an Artist
In late May and June (up until now) I was in Europe getting inspired.  Half of the trip was a bucket list item - "study abroad".  I took Canada College's Fashion Department's study abroad program in Florence (a.k.a. Firenze) Italy.  It was informative and inspiring.

The whole class
I can't recommend the fashion program at Canada program highly enough.   The college is located a Redwood City, CA and I have loved every one of my classes plus I gained the skills to start Paganoonoo!

You'll be hearing from me more!  Check PaganoonooPaganini on Facebook for more frequent news. 

Monday, May 8, 2017

Simple upcycled summer skirt - The Paganoonoo "Bekah"

Paganoonoo is offering sewing instructions for this upcycled DESIGN, perfect for summer!!
The Bekah skirt is an A-line skirt constructed of dress-shirt sleeves and front plackets.  The sleeve cuffs form the waistband (built-in interfacing, pleating and flair!!).  Harvested front plackets are used to make a front button closure. Three to six men’s (or women’s) dress shirts are used to achieve the color blocking.


RESULTS IN A CUSTOM FIT! Sizing is scalable; fit is adjustable based on the shirt sizes chosen as starting materials. The key to sizing success is to select shirts with total cuff widths larger than your waistline. Instructions for calculating useable cuff width, including seam allowances, are included.  For example, an XL might take 3-4 shirts, which includes 6-8 sleeves.

Click here to purchase yours today! 
$16 for digital download, $22 for hard copy

INSTEAD OF FABRIC: 3-5 Men’s dress shirts or equivalent women’s shirts.  Select shirts that are not prone to excessive wrinkling.  Cotton/ploy blends work well.  If you are a larger size or want a longer skirt stick with men’s XL and XXL shirts.
NOTIONS AND EQUIPMENT: Thread, 2 hook & eyes, 2 small snaps, iron and ironing board, marking tool (dressmaker’s chalk, etc.), pins, hand sewing needle, ruler, tape measure, seam ripper, sewing machine and scissors.

All information copyrighted by Paganoonoo.  

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Sewing pattern sizing

Did you know that sewing pattern sizing is not the same as retail clothing sizes?  

I wear a 14 retail and a 22 or 24 pattern size.  If you've ever been faced with making massive adjustments trying to get a pattern to fit you've probably purchased the retail size. Choose your proper pattern size from the measurements on the back of the envelope. Also note that vintage pattern sizing is different than today's sizing. 

One of the advantages of Paganoonoo upcycling instructions is that they self adjust the sizing.  Because you are starting with a ready made garment, the fit is all determined by the starting garment you choose. 

For instance with the Patti Pattern so as long as you choose a dress shirt that fits the way you would like across the shoulders and bust, you get a perfect fit.

Buy your Paganoonoo today:

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Happy Earth Day! 30% off Paganoonoo

In celebration of Earth Day Paganoonoo upcycle sewing instructions are 30% through April 28th!

With Fashion being the second largest polluting industry on the planet we stitchers can make a difference by sewing "green".  The greenest clothing that exists is that which has already been made.  No new resources are depleted when we "Upcycle" a.k.a. "add value" to unwanted clothing by reinventing it.

As a citizen of the planet my commitment is that every stitcher try upcycling at least once, successfully, and get hooked, adding upcycling to their sewing tool chest.  Together we can help green the planet and look great.  Paganoonoo sewing instructions set you up for upcycling success!
Rebecca and I wearing the "Rebecca Dress", one of our three new patterns.
Happy Upcycling!  Michelle

Friday, February 10, 2017


My best friend Patti Searle, of "Paganoonoo Patti Blouse" fame died yesterday. She was the most extraordinary woman I have ever known.

Her commitment in life was to make a positive difference with people, and she did.  She had a living memorial 1 year ago, invited 500 people and 250 came. If you viewed even a few minutes of it her contribution would become clear.

Her death was a planned exit, permitted by California's death with dignity law. She'd had cancer, breast (10 years ago), then bone (4.5 years ago) then lungs-liver-etc. Stage 4 for about the last 12 months.

She publicly shared the intimate details of her cancer treatments with everyone in her life -her feelings, everything about the journey including her decision to stop treatment and request death with dignity. Her goal was to change the dialogue about cancer and death & dying. Her journey is documented on her Facebook page.

I had the privilege of supporting her, going to all Drs appointments, chemo treatments, etc.  She had a wicked sense of humor and we were often the only ones laughing and having a good time in the infusion center.

I moved in with her a week ago to help while we waited for the meds to go through. She was rapidly deteriorating and did not want to be stuck in limbo, in pain, unable to end things (legally you must be able to take the "cocktail" yourself.)

Today, with a team of loving friends by our sides I held her as she died. I am a far better person for knowing and loving her.

#deathwithdignity #remarkablewoman #bff #centerforspiritualliving #nastywoman #paganoonoo

Thursday, February 2, 2017

It's Sew Easy - Filming is complete

I had the absolute pleasure of visiting KP Productions in Cleveland and being filmed for upcoming episodes of "It's Sew Easy". Episodes will start airing in June this year.

The topics will all be upcycling (naturally).  We did 3 segments (about 11 minutes), 2 tips, and 3 Instagram commercials.

The crew was wonderfully supportive and I learned some the tricks for filming vs. live presentation.  They said I did well, whew!

Here are some photos from my adventure:

on set with #AngelaWolf, she's wearing Paganoonoo!!

The taping was in February. I saw and touched real snow! 
In my TV makeup. 
The set

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Puyallup Sewing Expo soon and more events in early 2017!

Hello and Happy New Year! All kinds of good things are going on at Paganoonoo:

I've accepted an invitation to go to Ohio and film 3 segments for It's Sew Easy,  the nationally syndicated sewing show. I am honored and thrilled with this opportunity to newly introduce many stitchers to the concept and benefits of upcycling.
We film in early February and episodes will air sometime over the summer.  I will keep you posted as to dates.  The program is shown on PBS affiliate stations, and also on the web and their YouTube feed.  I've never done TV before so I'm a bit nervous.

The following week I will also be participating in a TV panel of fiber artists for a local Santa Cruz show, Step Into Fashion.  Air date TBD.  The production is affiliated with a benefit show put on by Palo Alto Medical Foundation in early April.  Paganoonoo will have a booth, more details to come.

March 2-5, 2017 – Paganoonoo will have a booth at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA, USA. If you've never been consider going, it is the largest sewing expo in the US and it takes at least a couple of days to get through all the exhibits and squeeze in some workshops.
I'm thrilled to have been selected to teach again. The topic is transforming a unisex t-shirt into a more feminine silhouette. The class will coincide with the release of a new pattern, the Ellie Shirt.  An example is shown above. It will also include a trunk show of various other upcycled t-shirts.

 The two-needle workshop is on Sunday, March 5th.  
It is open for registration now, #2710D 
Transform Your T-shirt with Upcycle Sewing, $20.00

Speaking of pattern releases the long, long overdue Rebecca Shirt Dress will also be released at the expo.  Anne and Ellie have been proofing the final patterns and test sewers are trying out the instructions right now!  
Here are some in-process shots and Rebecca herself modeling the prototype.

A knee length version of the Rebecca Shirt Dress.  Looks great below the knee too!

Many of you have probably noticed I’ve not posted much lately.  I’m still working very hard on Paganoonoo but I have spent a considerable amount of time on my “day job” in medical device regulatory compliance consulting during the last 6 months (pads the bank account).  Our son was married in out backyard (a wonderful day). And a number of other scheduled shows and events have kept me on the verge of burnout.

While I would like to think I am the Energizer Bunny, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, I do in fact suffer from anxiety and depression (long family history).  Most of the time I’m able to productive but then there are “crash days” (ask my husband).  Thanks to family and friends, I have a great support system that helps pick me up when I’m down and stroke my head when I need it.

Over the last 6 years, my best friend has been battling cancer and the fight is just about over.  We are very close and seeing her move towards the end has been painful to watch and I’m very glad her pain will be soon over.  She's promised to record some short video clips I can watch when I need a dose of BFF.

Why am I talking about all of this??  I want to promote transparency for those in the same kind of battles I’m in.  Knowing I’m going to lose my very dear friend has made me think about my own future and legacy – I’m still youngish, but you never know.  Paganoonoo/upcycling is my passion. I’m committed to having all stitchers try upcycling at least once, have a successful experience and add it to their toolkit – together we can make a huge difference for the planet and each other.

Thank you for your patience and enthusiasm.

 I hope to see you in Puyallup.  Happy Upcycling!!  Michelle