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Nancy Murakami Is My Sewing Guru

Nancy Murakami: 'I like to beat up on my fabric...'

My friend Nancy makes clothes and has a sewing style that I admire. Her clothes are always interesting; not too fussy and never overworked. She does not own a serger and is a friend to an honest unfinished seam. Nancy lives in Gresham, Oregon and works in the local JoAnn Fabric store...are they lucky to have her on their staff!

You may know Nancy from our booth at the Puyallup Sewing Expo.

Nancy's clothes are practical but always with a twist, she tweaks and adapts as she goes and the results are always inspiring. She cavalierly tosses the fabric in the washing machine and dryer (hoping for something interesting to happen), puts things in the dye pot, cuts up the fabric and puts it back together again, cuts holes in it and...



'I should know better than to put pale gray next to my face'

This bias cut linen dress started out as a project that did not work. The pattern is a tried and true Nancy basic, here cut on the bias using our Watercolor Brush Stroke Linen, (sold out, but see the photo below for the original color). When she tried on the finished dress, the result was....'meh', wrong color.

To bring in more of her favorite basic black, Nancy tried out a new product: Tulip Spray Paint, a non-aerosol spray designed for fabric, available at JoAnn's and online.

How she transformed the dress using spray paint:

  • Pre-wash the fabric
  • Prepare an area to work
  • Nancy laid the dress out on the lawn, applying more spray at the neck area, gradually lightening the spray toward the hem.
  • The paint does add a bit of weight to the fabric, but not too much.
  • The results are appealing and bring out the weave of the fabric.


The fabric started out like this...


Neck detail

You can see a faint shadow of white next to the seam on the binding, it serves as an accent.


The hem edge is left raw.

The 'rule' of bias is that the edge does not ravel.


Mummy Needs A New Dress

Another Nancy project is this knitted piece we featured at the Puyallup Expo Fashion Show. Here worn by the model who wore it...the crowd loved it. The 'yarn' is fabric. Nancy started with 6 yards of chiffon torn into strips. The knitting needles are PVC pipe. No pattern, knitted by pure instinct and intuition. When she ran out of 'yarn', Nancy knew she was done.


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ALL FABRIC PRICED AND SOLD BY THE 1/2 YARD UNLESS OTHERWISE INDICATED :)
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