2 years + News + Giveaway! [CLOSED]


Twenty-four months is how long I’ve been blogging and you know, if I didn’t have an archive of all the posts, I wouldn’t believe it. My life has changed dramatically since I started this little online notebook of mine where I collect and share ideas and experiments.


I’ve talked about this before, but I began this blog with the intention of building an illustration portfolio. I’d been through the ringer with my last corporate job, and the concept of leisurely working with pens and paints and papers appealed greatly to me. I also wanted to explore other things that I thought would add more joie de vivre to my every day because things were bleak. So bleak. Eradicating the bleakness was at the forefront of my mind.


And so I started to draw. And to take pictures. And to write (though I’ve always written, just not so publicly). In doing so, I’ve been fortunate enough to check off that long-time dream of writing and illustrating a children’s book. Which I’ve not been very good about highlighting here, but you’ll see why soon.

2years-4And then the sewing started. I think the sewing — more than anything — catapulted this blog into something far beyond anything I could have ever expected (admittedly, I had zero expectations since my old, now defunct blog had no readers. It would have taken very little to far exceed my previous attempts at blogging). I hate to sound like a broken record with how grateful I am that you stop by and read my ramblings and view my images, but it’s true. I’m amazed every time someone leaves a comment or asks me to participate in a blog tour, or to write a guest post or to get more information about a technique — as if I know what I’m doing.

I’m a one-woman show, making do with whatever I have on hand. Whenever you see that light wood surface, I’ve cleared off the console in the corner of our living room to take the photos. There’s a window right next to it and the light is lovely:


And all those selfies? On the opposite side of the living room, I’ve scooted my “work table” to the wall and use a remote to take a gazillion shots of myself so I can get maybe five passable ones (normally my laptop and an explosion of art supplies and books live on top of that table). K will often heckle me or will want to use the remote:


Over the course of time, we transitioned from K’s cramped room to my slightly less cramped room to take photos of K’s handmade clothes. We have the photoshoot process down to about five minutes now — any more than that and tantrums threaten to erupt.


This blog has been a game-changer on so many levels. A children’s book deal. Opportunities to collaborate with many, many talented women in the sewing sphere and beyond. Friendships. More than anything, it’s a place that’s all mine, to play and explore and create and muse and be myself. The learning process has been phenomenal. I’ve even contributed to a craft book that’s coming out in a few months — you can see one of the prototypes below (the final project is a little different). I’ll tell you more about it when it’s closer to the publication date.


But that’s not my big news. Friends, while working on my children’s book, I’ve also started a second book. I’m publishing two books!!! It’s nuts-o, I know. I still can’t say much about it, but it’s all official-like so I’ve been told it’s okay to mention it. It’s a sewing book! I’m thrilled and overwhelmed and pretty much in a state of permanent disbelief.


I have to give a shout out to my closest and dearest M and K. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to spend all this time on what started out as a whim and a hobby. M keeps the food on the table and tries really hard not to complain too much about the mess and my lack of income and all the hours I devote to my projects, and K has turned out to be a knockout model and indispensable partner in crime.


Another person who has been nothing but pure awesomeness is Keli of Drygoods. She’s like my sewing fairy godmother. She was one of the first people I ever revealed my blog to, and not only did she commission me for an illustration, she also invited me to be part of the Ballard Artwalk, gave me the chance to teach workshops, and continues to be the most supportive and wonderful friend. Those cool vintage wooden spools in the very first image above are, in fact, Keli’s and may be a prop in the new book. I love her shop, and she has an impeccable eye for textiles.

As part of my 2-year celebration of blogging (and still loving it!), I have a fun giveaway: FOUR $25 Drygoods gift certificates which is redeemable online as well. The four winners will have a field day trying to choose from theย beautiful fabric and product selections.ย I wish I could give every one of you a gift card, but this is the best I can do at this time… Perhaps I’ll be able to in the future!

I’ve been thinking about how to make this a better space for you to visit, my dear readers. Of course, I create my posts primarily for myself, but I’ve come to learn and appreciate that a two-way street is going on here. To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with any suggestions for improvement and/or what you’d like to see more of. More kids’ sewing? Adult sewing? Tutorials? Behind-the-scenes info about the books I’m working on? Something else entirely? I’m looking forward to reading the comments! I’ll keep the giveaway open until Thursday, July 24th, and will announce the winner the next day. International entries are no problemo. Good luck!!


76 thoughts on “2 years + News + Giveaway! [CLOSED]

  1. In the last few months I stumbled upon your blog and truly enjoy it. Congratulations on your new way of life. I am a sewer…or trying to be. I love the adult clothes as well as the things you make for your daughter. I also love the little pieces of art that you share. They’re beautiful, and I love seeing what you create. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I like your honest and pretty blog as it is. You post on a regular basis and show a great variety of projects, both the ones that work and the ones that don’t quite turn out like you wanted. I’m glad your blog is not always about giveaways and your sponsors and secrets that you can’t share. You have an eye for simple design and uncluttered photographs and those elements make your blog very pleasing. Congratulations on your second book deal!

  3. Congratulations, looking forward to seeing the book! I’m a very new reader and so far especially love the clothes you make for yourself. But it’s all great, the mix makes your blog unique.

  4. Congratulations on 2 years and your upcoming books!
    And thank you for the giveaway.

  5. When a new post pops up in my reader, I always click over to see what you’ve got to say. Sewing, art, life, doesn’t matter, I enjoy reading your point of view. Congrats on the new book(s), can’t wait to hear more ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Congrats on the book(s)! As a mother of a 2.5 year old, I’m delighted to get my hands on the children’s book, and as a sewer, I cannot wait to see the sewing book! I really enjoy it when you feature Japanese patterns and pattern books. I’ve bought a few because of your sewing, but still have a hard time envisioning what other pieces would look like “in person” (Straight-cut Saroeul Pants from Happy Homemade Sew Chic, I’m looking at you!) I’d love to see more of your interpretations of these pieces and what leads you to have faith and sew some of them. – Kate

  7. I love your blog. I live in Seattle as well. The clothes you so for your daughter are beautiful. I could live a dry good designs.

  8. I really enjoy all parts of your blog, I especially enjoy your illustrations! Thank you for sharing those with us and congratulations on 2 years!

  9. Congratulations on the book(s), Sanae! I love, love, love your blog and drop by at least a few times a day! It’s amazing that you post regularly..but what really draws me in is your writing. You write so beautifully, with so much honesty that makes your posts exceptionally inspiring. I’m woefully inarticulate so I won’t write more, except to say that I wish we were neighbours and friends!

  10. Congratulations Sanae! Your’s is one of the few blogs where I read all the words. just keep doing what you’re doing!

  11. Congratulations, Sanae! I love reading your blog. I do read other sewing bloigs and enhoy their tips and content, but yours is so inspiring, because you don’t consider yourself a professional sewer and your style is so much like mine. I love grey and indigo and the list goes on. It has also been inspiring to read about your transition in thinking about your own body. I have had the same transition in thinking, though I feel I have a way to go still. Throw in the fact that I am so jealous that you get to live up in the Pacific Northwest, and I’m hooked. I don’t know if i have any suggestions for improvement. Your blog is great.

  12. Bonne anniversaire, Sanae! Hard to suggest improvements because I like how you write and what you create… does “keep doing what you’re doing” count? ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I recently discovered your blog and keep coming back for the sewing for adults. Thanks so much for a wonderful place to come each day. Congratulations!

  14. Sanae, there is nothing that I would change about your blog. Your honesty, creativity, and simplicity make this blog so unique. It is a welcome change to sponsored posts and the newest patterns. I aspire to make the time to sew for myself and kids once a week. When I can’t, I get to live vicariously through you and your creations. Thank you for sharing!

  15. Hi Sanae! I would have to say that I like it just the way it is! I first found your blog whole browsing the web for adult sewing garments…i think i landed here from another blog that had a link to your wrap skirt. And then i checked back practically every day. This post was awesome. I love seeing how you do things behind the scenes with surface and background. You keep it real. And that is inspiring to me. I started sewing clothea for me..and your story and blog encourage me. I wish you had a little boy for inspiring clothes for boys. I have twin boys. Love all your content for kids sewing. And random recipes..art..life. thank you! Congratulations on your books! Can’t wait to check them out.

  16. Oh ! I just love your blog as it is, so inspiring !! I am so keen on taking a little time to come by and read it (I usually read French sewing blogs mostly, yours is simply my favorite US one – love your style !!! And thanks for the giveaway ! (hello from Paris;-)

  17. I’m a big fan of your blog. Happy “anniversary” and hope there are many many good years to come. Everything you put together here is real and beautiful. And I’m happy for you for all these exciting adventures that this blog has generated. Way to go.

  18. I discovered your blog quite recently and I love it! You have a great style and a fantastic taste in fabrics … and your projects are so nicely put together that I come back as soon as you have a new post. Love your blog as it is, keep up the good work! Congrats from Switzerland!

  19. Congratulations on making it to two years! I’ve been following for a while now and I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the mix of sewing, illustrations, a sumudgeon of baking and in depth real life. I love the fact that you don’t always have sewing projects to show us on the days that you’d planned to – it shows that even awesome bloggers are human too!

  20. Congratulations on the book deals! You’ve been busy. I don’t know how you fit your prolific amount of sewing. I love reading your blog and seeing all the things you’ve created. It’s inspiring. I enjoy the pattern reviews and your explanations of the modifications you’ve made. I’d love to read more about your other projects. Thanks!

  21. Sanae, I love your blog and am so glad I stumbled across another NW WA seamstress (sewist? I never know what to call us) :). I don’t know what you could improve on, I love it all!

  22. I would love to see more sewing exchanges. I participated in the Valentine exchange and really loved it! Also, it was nice to finally be able to put a (small part of a) face to the moniker M. Thanks for the peek into your family!

  23. Congratulations on two years and the second book! I’d love to see more construction details on clothes.

  24. I lvoe your blog just how it is. I do always appreciate the flops more than the successes- maybe becuase my kids are forced to wear my flops OR ELSE;)

  25. Wow, it is so great to read once again how this blog helped (and still helps) you to find your path. I think that is what I like so much about reading your blog, the combination of sewing (those great, great outfits) and the real life behind it. So cool also that you got that second book contract! I am looking forward to see it and learn more about the writing proces in the coming months.
    What I would like to see on your blog is ‘tabs’ to make navigating more easy. Like sewing for K, sewing for you, tips/tutorials etc.

  26. i love your sewing so much but i may even love your illustrations more. you’re writing and especially your poems are so fun. i’m not sure how much your blog has grown but you have not changed your “tone” at all. i love that this space hasn’t turned into blog tour after blog tour or sponsored posts. i still remember finding your blog through KCWC (now KCW*) and being delighted by your style.
    also for anyone reading this if you don’t follow Sanae on Pinterest you are missing out. I LOVE YOUR PINTEREST account–pretty sure i’ve never thought that about anyone’s Pinterest before. ๐Ÿ™‚
    i’ll always be a fan and i’m so glad that you are writing children’s books/illustrating. you are one talented lady and i’m so glad you told someone about your blog.

  27. Wow, a second book! Many congratulations.
    I love your blog as it is. Because it’s different to the other sewing/crafting/creating blogs, which are great too. Yours is different everyday. Funny, thought-provoking and inspiring!

  28. Having only recently discovered your blog I am enjoying it just the way it is! I do look forward to you sharing images from your books, as I think your paintings and photos are delightful, but I think your balance of life, sewing and art is lovely as is. Thanks for the competition!

  29. Happy Blog Birthday! I am happy for you and your success! It is wondeful to see your blog grow and that it has brought you so much joy and changed so much for the better. I love your mixture and I look forward to every post, I think it is pretty perfect already! It sounds like a good recipe to be writing the posts for yourself, so please keep doing that and sharing what you love and what moves your heart with us. I enjoyed todayยดs post and the look behind the scenes and it would be lovely to see more of your house.
    The three of you are a beautiful family!

  30. Congratulations on two years of blogging! I’ve always enjoyed the projects you share and look forward to many more in the future ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. Congratulations on two years, Sanae! You have such a distinctive and unique blog with your own voice, so it’s hard to believe that you weren’t here writing it two years ago!

    I really appreciate the sincerity, honesty and creativity that you bring to your blog writing. I love to read every post, but perhaps especially the ones about your creative process, or even about how you’re feeling at a given moment. You have a gift for writing and I for one feel as though I can always relate to what you are writing about, be that sewing or life-related.

    Keep up the great blog, the blogosphere would be a lesser place without it! And of course, huge congratulations on both of your books.

  32. Time has flown! A big congratulations to you. I ‘ve been following your blog for about a year now, and pop on enthuastically each morning before work to check in. I love the way you write so beautifully, with no pretension or fanfare. Your giveaways are sweet, heartfelt and simple. The lack of regular sponsorship makes your blog uncluttered, and adds weight when you recommend someone/thing, making it utterly refreshing. I love the clothing you show, especially the adult ones. Well done and keep up the awesome work!

  33. Oh Sanae – this post makes me so happy:) From catching glimpses of your beautiful home and a behind-the-scenes peek at your magical photos to reading about the growth of this blog and what it has meant to you. I have adored your blog from almost the beginning, and count myself fortunate to have made not only a “cyber” friend, but a real friend. And the icing on the cake today was the photo of the three of you – along with a first glimpse of M!
    It would be difficult to suggest ways to make your blog better. The writing grabs me first of all, so that must remain! The sewing you do for a K is also a highlight; you’ve inspired many copycat versions over here for my youngest. But I also enjoy your more recent foray into the world of garment sewing for yourself. And the give-aways are fun, especially this anniversary one – does it get better than Drygoods Design?!
    You continue to regularly post during this, your vacation week. I hope you are still finding time to relax and enjoy yourself with family between book work.

  34. Congrats on everything. I enjoy coming to your blog and seeing you wonderful creations. Lately have enjoyed knowing how you handle the little tweaks to patterns. How you fix them to better suite you body. I know I need to get better at that and love hearing your tips,or the things you learn along the way.
    Keep up the good work.

  35. i find your space so peaceful and inspiring especially your commitment to making all your own and daughter’s clothes! i have recently started sewing for myself and passing on the temptation to buy cheap clothes. thank you for your honesty and i look forward to your book! cheers

  36. Sanae, your journey has been a joy to witness. Thank you for sharing it with everyone! I love your blog just the way it is, a wonderful mix of illustrations, musings and sewing for you and your daughter. Its refreshing to see things that don’t always work out and I enjoy your focus on Japanese patterns. I’d love to see some more of your fabric stash though – feel like working your way through all 30 boxes?! Your watercolours are beautiful too… I work in a bookstore in Australia so I’ll keep an eye out for your new book(s).

  37. Very rarely do I actually read all the way through the words of a post, but it’s something I enjoy on your site. I’m here for the sewing posts, but I’d love to have a few watercolor tutorials for simple projects that don’t take much experience.

  38. I love seeing the outfits you make for yourself and your notes about fit! Congrats on two years

  39. Hi Sanae
    I stumbled upon you a few months ago and have checked in almost daily to catch up! That’s the best thing you blogg some other bloggs I read only post once a month! I can’t think of any improvements suggestions, your images are beautiful and writting is friendly like having a chat with a mate. From a purely selfish point of view some video tutorials I could follow when trying to add something new to my wardrobe would be great thats if you have the time. Congratulations on all the great stuff that has come to you over the past 2 years.

  40. Hurray for you, I am not surprised that with all your creative talents , that you have 2 books in the process. I like the variety of posts on your blog- the mix of illustration and photographs , as well as your honest writing. But my favourite are your sewing posts because I am always on the lookout for sewing inspiration.

  41. The posts about sewing are my favourite usually, especially the clothes you make for your daughter. I really enjoyed participating in the secret valentine and I hope you do that again next year. Your post on tolerations was an inspiration to us as a family and we have been working on crossing off items on our list hung in the kitchen. I look forward to following your blog for years to come. Alison

  42. I already love the way you blog – from the heart! I like reading about your mom and K, and the latest sewing projects you have going on. I don’t know what I’d add since you already put so much of yourself out there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  43. Happy blog birthday Sanae. I think you’ve hit on a great format. I like the predictable posting of something for K, something for you and a gentle verbal ramble with illustrations and haiku. Personally I have no interest in face creams or weird bread recipes, yet I still read your posts, when I may have glossed over someone elses. In truth, some of those weird bread posts were hilarious. Your honesty is always much, much appreciated. I feel confident that if a pattern has a weird armhole or a badly instruction you’ll call it as you see it. Not in a nasty way, but refreshingly honestly.
    Keep it up, and I was also curiously pleased to see M’s appearance.

  44. huge congratulations. i love your blog and look forward to hearing more about your books. you have a raw honesty about your work which is refreshing. all the best for your continued success.

  45. I cannot remember when I didn’t read your blog. Has it only been 2 years? Please more thoughts on color combos!

  46. Congratulations, Sanae! Wow, another book – how wonderful! I love everything about your blog as it is – I can’t wait to read your posts everyday!

  47. I’m a recent follower of your blog and come every day. Your pictures bring a sense of calm and inspiration that is a great start to my day. I love the clothes you sew both for your daughter and yourself. I look forward to your book!

  48. Felices 2! Congratulations Sanae!!!!. This post really put a smile on my face! after many days apart from internet, today in the middle of baby nap I found this post. You are so talented and is very nice that you are able to show all the world your beauty translated in all the things you do. For me no changes needed, I heart the freshness and the authenticity that you share with us…and of course all your sewing projects!!!..also the yummy things you cook sometimes!

  49. Your blog is gorgeous! I would love to see more grown-up sewing, and yes, a few tutorials would be brilliant, too. But even if you change nothingโ€”I’m always happy to sneak a peek at your latest projects. Thank you!

  50. I’m so excited for you! Two years and two books <3 For what I'd like to see, you did it today! I love the little behind the scenes glimpses, like how the perfect photos are all taken in a few small corners and that K doesn't think photo shoots are cool. Everyone wants to see the beautiful pictures, but adding the little bits that keep it real keep it from feeling unattainable.

  51. I have been reading your blog since the third or fourth post and I really really hope you won’t change anything. When i read blogs I almost always leave yours last, it is like a piece of really good chocolate after a meal ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. Congratulations!! I would love to see more tutorials. Tutorials are helpful for me and serve as a great visual aid.

  53. I discovered your blog recently and I absolutely love your style… very pure, simple and elegant. I don’t think I will have anything interesting to suggest to improve it… sorry! Congratulations for your blog anniversary!

  54. Wauw, I only recently discovered your blog, but I really enjoy it ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m from the Netherlands and would love to join this give-away, but am I allowed to?

    Greetz from Lobke

  55. sanae i’ve loved your blog from the day robin told me about it! you’re an inspirational person in so many ways and you deserve all the success and attention in the world. can’t wait to see your book(s)!!!

    my oooonly thing is i love your outdoor photography. i know it’s harder but it’s so pretty. ๐Ÿ™‚

  56. Congrats! It’s wonderful to read about the challenges of moving from business to the creative world!
    I have to admit it’s extra special that you have an Asian connection. (Little fantasies that live in my head that say even if I don’t come from a patch working tradition, maybe it’ll be sashiko instead!) That being said, I am a sort of rare 3X Japanese-American woman who would like to see a occassional plus size dress project. My dream project would be a nani iro dress.

  57. So happy for you on all accounts!! I love your blog- just the way it is… But you are such a creative lady that anything more your bring to it would be even more reason to read it. Congrats on the books- so so excited!! Xo

  58. Wow! So many congratulations to offer!

    I honestly came here (I can’t remember which link on the chain brought me) and was instantly smitten with your aesthetic, honesty, talent, prodigious production, and everything else. I can’t think of one thing I’d suggest to improve. Your updates are frequent (so frequent, I often think you should give yourself a bit of a break), the content is great, the photographs are amazing. I could go on and on and on.

  59. Congratulations on two years of blogging and all that has come from it! And thank you for continuing to be honest and forthright about your successes and stumbles; it is refreshing and what keeps me coming back. Cheers!

  60. I’ve only just discovered your blog in the last 6 months and have fallend hard for it. I get excited when I see a new post in my reader feed. I really appreciate your honest and open writing in addition to admiring your creations.

    I don’t think I can say what I want ‘more’ of because I really do enjoy it as is. But I can say what I enjoy the most are your adult sewing posts – my personal sewing focus these days – to discover new patterns and learn your lessons from making the garment. And especially when you plan and paint your future or current wardrobe. I adore those water colour clothes.

    Thanks for sharing!

  61. I enjoy your style and the esthetics of your art, sewing, and blog. Your writing voice is charming and personal, honest, funny and not too precious, which I love. This combination makes your blog feel aspirational, but not too out of reach to be inspirational. I would love to see more of your illustration as well as your adult sewing. Thank you!

  62. Love your blog and can’t wait for more=books! Always inspired by your projects.

  63. What a generous offer Sanae. Thank you!
    I realise the over the last year your is the only blog that I read regularly, and when I participated in the SSV exchange, I was so delighted to actually be getting the gift from you. It was like something of your magic rubbed on to me. You, your sewing and esp your writing are a bigger insipration for me than you can imagine. Congratulations on the book offer; I am sure you will do a fantastic job, and I am already planning to buy the first one that is coming out. I hope I can get the second one too.
    My suggestions for future blogging? Really? But you do such a wonderful job already!
    Okay, maybe two things I would like more off: 1) perhaps if you can share something more of the process whereby you stitch clothes for yourself. I find adult clothes very intimidating, and you are such a good writers, that I think anything that you share of this process will be really useful and a great learning experience. Something like what you had planned a while ago I think–take a book or two and go through a few projects and really compare them, review them, talk of the tweaks you have done. That kind of a thing. 2) [and this is only if you have time] maybe some more tutorials.
    And lastly I hope you don’t go down on your contemplative posts. Because those are really the best.
    All the best for many years of blogging. Today is Monday and I am already looking forward to your post today ๐Ÿ™‚

    P.S. That is a lovely picture of you with the family. we rarely get to see M, so it makes it nicer if I may add!

  64. I really love your blog, and what I think attracts me to it the most is your honesty. I have loved reading about your past and how you transitioned from a corporate job to staying at home and following your passions. That’s my dream too! So it’s amazing to read about how it’s worked out for you. I also love the sewing posts, both kids and adult. Congrats– you’ve come a long way in two short years!

  65. Congratulations on a second book and a blog birthday! So glad you had a lovely down time with family in the midwest.
    What I love about your blog…
    The quiet visual space.
    The great questions you ask, the real and respectful conversations that happen in the comments.
    Your process, not just finished products and promotions.
    Your intentionality.
    Your generous spirit – you share yourself with us even though you don’t know us.
    Your creativity and bravery.
    That you actually read/respond to readers. (Thank you for taking the time!)
    The respect you show your family and anyone else you write about or interact with.
    That is all the feedback I can think of. :o)
    Thank you!

  66. Congratulations on 2 years of your wonderful blog! And the book is a dream come true. I can’t wait to check it out. I think it’s awesome that you found a way to do something that you truly love for a living. What an inspiration you are.

  67. congratulations! I know your works will be great as all that you show on the blog are :).
    life is good!

  68. congrats on the blog anniversary! your blog is an inspiration to me and is definitely a part of my daily read. i love the “style” you have on here. keep up the great work.

  69. wow, two years! it’s truly amazing and inspirational to see all you’ve accomplished in that time. high five, lady! and i can’t come up with anything i’d like to see more of- i feel like you cover it all. love your blog, friend!

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