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Q&A

Q&A: Jen Hewett’s New Book, Print, Pattern, Sew + Giveaway!

by Kelli Kehler

To many in the creative community, Jen Hewett‘s name is synonymous with mastery of craft: she’s widely revered for her prowess in printmaking, an artist with a true grasp of her talents. A print maker, surface designer, textile artist and teacher based in San Francisco, CA, Jen’s style is unmistakably Jen — a knowingness of self that comes from years of developing her taste, skill set and confidence. But she’ll be the first to tell you that it wasn’t always like this.

Growing up, Jen was one of four African American children at her Catholic school, so she found comfort in a uniform that allowed her to blend in. It wasn’t until Jen attended the University of California at Berkeley did she discover the freedom to dress as she pleased and find her own true sense of style. While working a corporate job, Jen took a screenprinting class for fun, igniting her passion and artistry in tactile creative works. Jen moved from printing on paper to eventually printing on fabric. In 2014 she started a project called “52 Weeks of Printmaking,” where she honed her skills in block printing with a soft carving medium. In that same year she learned how to sew her own clothes, and combined her newly mastered craft of block printing on fabric with sewing complete garments. She then launched a new project — “Print, Pattern, Sew,” a process Jen documented on her blog in which she block-printed fabric and then sewed it into a complete outfit for herself.

The lessons and tactics learned from that project have been distilled into her new book, Print, Pattern, Sew: Block-printing Basics + Simple Sewing Projects for an Inspired Wardrobe. The book (which is out today!) is a treasure trove of knowledge that coaches novices and experts alike through the process of creating block-printed garments — it’s like one big, handy how-to guide that breaks down everything from tools needed, to navigating mistakes, to easy-to-read steps on each project. Print, Pattern, Sew also includes seven full-size original patterns, so you can get started right away. With projects that include making your own tote bag, apron, fold-over clutch, cap-sleeved blouse, and more, it’s hard to choose which project to tackle first!

To celebrate the launch of Jen’s book and get to know more about her process, I interviewed her below to talk about everything from her beginnings in both sewing and block-printing to her community and self-care rituals. Read on to learn from Jen’s stellar advice and see how you can get a copy of her new book. —Kelli

Today we’re giving away 10 copies of Print, Pattern, Sew (thanks, Roost Books!), so to enter for a chance to win, please leave a comment below sharing your favorite creative hobby — or one you’re hoping to start — by May 28, 10 am EST. 

This post is brought to you by Juniper & Scout, an online shop offering the best in modern, handcrafted design so you can always find the perfect gift (or well-deserved treat for yourself). Visit the shop here! Thank you for supporting our small business sponsors who help us bring you free, original content every weekday!

 

 

 

Photography by Jen Siska

Tell us about your relationship with block printing and sewing. Did one love come before the other? How far back do your memories of each go?

I received my first sewing machine when I was 14. I was constantly talking about a classmate who sewed her own formal wear for all the cotillions and parties she was going to, and my parents thought that I was hinting that I wanted to learn how to sew. However, what I really wanted was to go to dances and wear party dresses! That sewing machine sat, mostly untouched, for 20 years.

I rediscovered sewing around the same time I started screenprinting fabric, and that’s when sewing finally clicked for me. I began by sewing my printed fabric into bags, which were the only things I could sew well at that point. At the same time the indie garment pattern scene was exploding, and suddenly someone like me, who hadn’t learned how to sew from a family member or a Home Ec class, had not only simple garment patterns with easy-to-follow sewing instructions, but also access to the pattern designers’ online tutorials.

It wasn’t until 2015 that I challenged myself to sew clothing using my printed fabric. Every month that year I printed yardage and sewed a garment using either a self-drafted pattern, or a pattern from an indie designer. I called this project “Print, Pattern, Sew,” and it became the basis for my book.

What inspired you to create Print, Pattern Sew?

I’d been teaching block printing – both in person and online – for a couple of years, but wasn’t sure that I had anything to add to the existing library of block printing books. But then a culmination of things happened. My block printing classes started to sell out within days. I’d created my “Print, Pattern, Sew” project. Later that year, my friend Kristine’s book The Modern Natural Dyer was published, and I realized that there was a market for more complex craft books. That was such a revelation for me. I’d been told that craft books needed to be simple and straightforward, yet here was a book that showed people how to dye their own yarn for knitting, or dye plain fabric for sewing – and its first print run sold out really quickly. I think publishers – and authors – had underestimated their readers.

So I put together a proposal based on my “Print, Pattern, Sew” project, and shopped it around. The response was really good (though some publishers did ask me to simplify it), and the book found its perfect home with Roost Books.

Sewing, in particular, can tend to be an intimidating feat for some people. Why do you think that is, and what would you say to someone who doubts they'd be good at it?

I think that we set ourselves up for failure by expecting perfection from the outset – we have an idea in our minds of what we want to create but there’s such a huge gap between our beginner skills and our visions. So, often, we convince ourselves to quit either before we’ve started, or soon after, especially if we take on overly-ambitious initial projects.

What I’ve found is that having a good teacher and a simple project makes a world of difference. I cut my teeth sewing really simple garments using patterns from April Rhodes and Sonya Philip (I’m lucky enough that Sonya is a friend and I could take sewing classes from her), and built my sewing confidence with those patterns until I felt ready to jump to the next level. From there, I moved to incrementally more complex projects, sometimes just taking the leap and sewing with a pattern that seemed just beyond my reach.

Similarly, printmaking can seem daunting in its own right - where to start? How do you develop a pattern and know it will look good in larger swaths? Do you have any quick tips for noodling with a sketch to test its viability for use in a pattern?

I’ve been printing long enough that I have a pretty good idea of what will work and what won’t! I can usually execute the vision I have in my head. But I also have a process that I call “thinking with my hands” – I create a block and print with it on muslin (an inexpensive fabric), playing with layout and color until I have something I like. Then I work backwards from there, taking measurements and noting colors, then formalizing it into a repeat pattern. With printmaking, it’s important to get out of your head and use your hands.

What did you learn about yourself and your craft in the process of creating this book? Were there any surprises that revealed themselves to you?

For a long time I’d told myself that I wasn’t a good project manager, that I couldn’t handle projects with too many moving parts. One of my last full-time jobs was with an e-learning/interactive company, and I worked with all these talented producers. I didn’t see myself in them. But in managing the process of creating the content for this book I realized that I was a far better project manager than I’d previously believed I was. I had to manage multiple timelines, work with (and art direct) a photographer, style photos, manage a pattern designer. Craft books are a huge production, and I mostly got it done without freaking out.

How does it feel to create a piece of clothing from start to finish - from pattern conception to sewing a complete garment?

It’s pretty amazing to be able to create exactly the garment I want. One of the great things about sewing my own clothing is that I get to free myself from whatever trends retailers have decided are in that season. Thanks to 12 years of Catholic school, I grew up wearing a uniform. Sewing allows me to create a new uniform of sorts, and I’ll often sew the same pattern, varying my fabric choices with each garment.

What does community mean to you and what communities do you consider yourself a part of?

I’m a part of so many different communities. I’ve lived in the same neighborhood for 22 years now, so I feel very much a part of a physical community. But I also am part of an artist community, a community of creative women entrepreneurs, a community of San Francisco black professionals (I’ve lived in SF long enough to have watched the sharp decline of the city’s black population), a community of multiracial women. And what each of these communities provide are understanding and acceptance, encouragement and celebration.

Work/life balance is a myth, but the things we do to care for ourselves are very real and important. What are some things, big and small, that you do for yourself on a regular basis to preserve your energy, health and well being?

I’m an introvert, and need a good amount of solitary time in order to function. I spent a lot of my twenties and thirties stressed about not being a super outgoing person, but have learned to embrace my need for quiet time and small group interactions.

When I’m not creating, I feel most myself outdoors, so I make time every day to go on long walks through Golden Gate Park with my dog. I’ve been like this since I was a kid and can’t imagine how I’d handle living in a place where I didn’t have access to open green space.

Lately my biggest splurge was taking a sabbatical from teaching. I had been teaching the same “Block Printing on Fabric” class every month on a Saturday, which meant that I would end up working least six days per week. After three years of that schedule, I took a three-month break, and re-evaluated how I want to structure my time. I’ll be stepping back from teaching that class regularly this year so I can focus on other projects and other classes – and get my weekends back.

What is the biggest/scariest ask you’ve ever made and how did it go? (ie: asking for a book deal, asking for financial support, etc.)

The biggest ask I’ve ever made came when I was still working a full-time job. I asked my boss for a promotion, and she agreed without hesitation. This came during a time when I’d been working hard on building my confidence and taking on risks (see below!), and it really set me up to ask for what I wanted once I struck out on my own.

Confidence is like a muscle – it has to be developed.

What advice do you have for others about asking for what you really want?

Confidence is like a muscle – it has to be developed. I’m not a naturally confident person, and spent a lot of my thirties working with a therapist to get over my anxiety and perfectionism. The first assignment my therapist gave me was to consciously make a mistake and see what happened. I made that mistake, and nothing happened – no one died, no one laughed at me. Heck – no one even noticed. And so I learned how to take increasingly bigger risks. The same goes for asking for what I want. I have gotten so into the habit of asking for what I want that it’s not as scary anymore.

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Comments

  • I love the idea of “thinking with your hands.” I’ve been doing a bunch of weaving lately – much less structured than some of my other craft/creative pursuits, and I’ve enjoyed seeing where it takes me.

  • print making is on my want to list…. I’ve made a couple simple ones at artist demos. I love mixed media/watercolor and need to spend more time honing my skills but my most long time creative activity has been re-purposing things my entire lift… i take a find and make it into something else be it vintage fabric, furniture, plants/flowers ( keep adapting the bouquet until the last bloom/stem is gone), putting outfits together …… i would love this book. thank you for offering it.

  • Sewing, mainly quilting and bag making, and knitting are my focus with a little drawing and painting thrown in the mix as additional creative outlets.

  • I love Jen’s work (and her instagram)! Last year I started making cyanotypes, the first art/craft I’d done purely for my own enjoyment in many years. I really love it!

  • Omg, Jen’s paintwork is so amazing!!! I really want to start making my own clothes! There’s just always something “not right” about items bought and I wannna tailor them or create my own!

  • What gorgeous designs! Creativity is so important–writing takes my top slot, but I also enjoy sewing, drawing, and building things. I took a printmaking class a few years ago, and seeing these incredible designs makes me want to go back! :)

  • Oh, how exciting, I’ve loved Jen’s work for years. We sold her stuff at the Museum of Craft and Folk Art (may it rest in peace) and she was a star.
    I’d love to try my hand at sewing clothes for myself. I think it would be fun to pick out the patterns and fabrics that really speak to me. Also, I’ve long thought that clothes should be made and sold according to actual real person measurements and not the bizarro sizing we have to chose from now.

  • I’ve recently started getting back into sewing. I’m taking a natural dying class this summer, so this book would be a great addition to my library!

  • I’m getting back into garment sewing and finding the fabric selections rather frustrating – this would be perfect to figure out how to do my own printed fabric!

  • I’ve actually always wanted to try my hand at making my own clothes, since I always have trouble finding things that fit me perfectly. I’m working on sharpening my sewing skills, and recently learned how to make a tote bag. Printmaking is also something I’ve been wanting to try, because it’d be amazing to be able to add my own designs once I am able to create my own outfits! I love crafting, and will try anything at least once to see if it’s something I want to keep doing! Right now I’m learning amigurumi, which is not that easy (since I’m a beginner) but it’s fun!

  • I really enjoy basket weaving and would like to have more time to devote to that practice an learning.

  • I’m a quilter, and my next goal is to learn to make clothes for myself! I don’t naturally have the patience for following a detailed pattern, and I’m trying to learn to slow down and focus.

  • Jen’s designs and fabric are incredible! Creating with thrifted clothing and yarn is my passion. just finished sewing curtains from thrifted linen pants which ended up looking like stained glass! Today’s project is weaving a scarf with unusual yarn!

  • I’ve been into sewing rope coil baskets lately. I like working on projects that make useful gifts. I also enjoy starting out with a simple design and then moving into more complexity as my skills improve.

  • I’ve been playing with collage recently, which I loved as a kid. Jen is inspiring me to make some of my own prints to cut up and work with!

  • I’ve been getting back into block printing – first with potatoes and now with linoleum. The first time I heated up the block with a hairdryer the smell took me right back to junior high art class! Jen is the best!!!

  • Quilting! It’s such an intensive process but so rewarding. I’d love to throw in the knowledge of how to make garments as well.

    Congrats on the book!!!

  • Congrats Jen!

    I’ve been following her for a few years and love her work. I have a knack for going deep on creative hobbies and I’ve been resisting the pull to sewing (because I already have so many hobbies) but this might push me over the edge! In addition to being an avid home cook and baker, I knit, am a musician – but I have been most dedicated to my woodworking hobby in the last 5 years. Within the past year, I’ve taken a Windsor Chair Building course with Peter Galbert and a 3-month Lutherie (guitar-building) Workshop with George Morris of Vermont Instruments (who’s been teaching since the 1970s)!

  • I love and admire the work and evolution of Jen. I work in my own screen printing business and really love it, especially when the inks are transferred on the fabric. Grettings to all from Chile!

  • My favorite creative hobby is a daily sketch in my sketchbook, which I also fill with simple hand make rubber stamp designs made from erasers, corks, or other materials I recycle. Jen’s work is an inspiration and I would love to learn her techniques in her new book! I am usually frustrated with the patterns I find on clothes – they’re just not me – maybe I need to start making my own printed yardage and make my own!

  • This is a wonderful article about a really cool designer that has brought back to me my old days of sewing a lot of my own clothes. I have wanted to do some block printing for awhile so this looks like a good source of incentive and knowledge.

  • My current crafting hobbies are crocheting, jewelry upcycling( I hate to see stuff thrown out that could be reincarnated into something:) , watercolour painting, and diy furniture rehab. I am working on learning to sew better and now I want to screen print too!:)

  • I’ve recently started sewing and am loving it. Learning how to block print so I could design my own fabric would be so cool!

  • I have started sewing again, after not doing it for avery long time. I made a simple top. Also, I have been doing some embroidery, using pieces of fabric and floss I found among my stored materials. Later in the summer, I want to try coloring embroidery floss with plant based colorants.

  • What a great interview! You are such a generous person to share your story, creative process and sage advice! Thank you for giving me a creative boost today, I needed it!!! Can’t wait to see and delve into your new book! Congrats on its launch!

  • I would love to start sewing again. I took printmaking in college and I’m excited to see how Jen does it all.

  • Wow somehow I felt like I was reading about myself… a lot of similarities in terms of personality and experience. Yet there’s so much I learned from you. Thanks for sharing. My favorite hobbies are reading design sponge and flipping through Pinterest for inspirations, gardening and doing small house improvement projects:)

  • It’s mostly about knitting for me but I include sewing, crochet, collage and other crafty arts on my list.

  • My main creative ‘hobby’ (but also a side business) is watercolor painting, but sometimes I even take breaks from that to block print, make jewelry, make tapestries, embroider, etc… I just love to mix it up!

  • Oh, give me one of those free copies! My current favourite creative hobby right now is sewing & quilting, but I have done some linoblock printing on paper in the past and it’s so much fun!

  • I love all the creative hobbies, but there are a few I haven’t tried yet and would love to, like ceramics and printmaking! Sounds like I need to check out Jen’s new book. Congrats to her on the publication!

  • My newest craft is weaving. It’s so slow that sometimes I take a break from it, but I love the process of building up so many layers to get something from nothing.

  • So excited about this book. My favorite hobby has been knitting for the past 10 years or so but I’m not starting to branch into sewing. Working on my first big quilt and have plans to start sewing soon. The idea of creating my own fabric has me really jazzed — as does the upcoming release of Jen’s fabric line with Cotton + Steel!

  • I’ve been intrigued by Jen’s printmaking for a while now and am signed up for her class in New York in June. I can’t wait to meet her!

  • This process is beautiful and inspiring — makes me want to try my skills beyond embroidery and see what may come! My planned project has been sitting at the ready for June 1, when I will have more time: I plan to begin a crewel embroidered Craftsman-style table runner on Irish linen. Wish me luck!

  • I love sewing – garments, bags, quilts, anything! I did print making in high school and it was a blast! Would love to try my hand at it again! Can’t wait for Jen’s cotton + steel collection!

  • Painting (acrylic and watercolor) and card making were my favorite creative outlets back in my school days, but both fell by the wayside due to anxiety and perfectionism not dissimilar to what Jen described above. It’s encouraging to read that she struggled with those as well. Printmaking and pattern making have always been alluring to me, and this book looks like a great way to jump in (anxiety and perfectionism be darned).

  • Printing my own fabric is something I have always wanted to try, so I would love to have one of Jen’s books. I would design the fabric for use in my modern quilts!

  • I sew during the long winter nights and do a lot of gardening instead when the weather is nice. I would love to turn the flowers and plants of my garden into printing patterns for my own fabric!

  • For years, my creative outlet was teaching…and then my partner and I adopted two kids within a year of each other. Suddenly I needed a different kind of outlet and I got my first sewing machine in 2015. I am slowly teaching myself to sew in my spare time (hahahahaha…what spare time!). I find I am more drawn to handmade fabrics and holy cow this book looks amazing! #want #mustbuyimmediately

  • I have to say that my favorite craft is what I will call ‘gift making’. I recently bought the supplies to introduce myself to printmaking. Thank you for the chance to win this book.

  • I would love to start up sewing- especially some clothes for myself. It would be great to design something that I know I would like, that I cannot find/afford in stores :)

  • I am a lifelong knitter but started printmaking on my own right before my daughter was born. Primarily I do my holiday cards but would love to do fabric from prints! Thanks for the inspiring article.

  • My favorite creative hobby? Being a mom. :) But really. I’m working on getting my sewing sea legs. It’s relaxing, fun, and a great way to let off work- and parenting-related steam.

  • I love sewing pretty much anything & everything. I’ve never gotten into print making but would LOVE to, so I can print fabric to use in my projects. I also really enjoy naturally dyeing fabric & think layering print over top would be fun.

  • My favorite creative hobby is a tie between weaving and knitting. I’ve never tried block printing and have been eyeing Jen’s book since she announced it!

  • Wow cool,
    I personally love learning, but to do that I need to clear my mind, and the easiest way is meditation and writing.

    I love writing, because in a way it’s like time traveling someone from the future could be reading what you wrote!

    Being able to create is truly amazing and seeing just how talented people are, takes my breath away!

    One day I will have my clothing line and store! Here’s a tip for ya, if you haven’t yet tried, try a push-up bra without wires. They’re really cool and fun to wear, because you feel amazing and nothing is stabbing you throughout the day!

    I want to make such clothing, that makes you feel special, good, happy.

    So much to do, do much to say,
    but don’t worry, there’s still another day!

    Lots of Love
    Luka

  • I one of those creatives that is always trying any type of hobby. I really love to draw (make a mess), and sculpting. My best creative skill has to be drawing since I do it since I’m a kid. But besides wanting to master all the creative techniques in the world (I know, huge dream 😋) I would love to learn about ceramic and sculpting.

  • Mending and gardening are the things that soothe me, but I love the results of sewing clothes. Jen was (and is) an inspiration — her Instagram acct is full of really clean, simple, flattering clothes. The kind of thing I wanted to wear but either couldn’t find, or couldn’t fit, or couldn’t afford (all of the above really). Learning to sew and committing to it has forced me to slow my clothes consumption. If there’s something I want I need to find a pattern for it, sew a muslin, fit it, and sew it again with the fabric I want. I wind up collecting fabric on the sidewalk for my muslins. I just made a pair of pants out of some faded orange curtains my neighbor was giving away. I take a lot of pride in reuse.

  • It would be great to be able to take up sewing. It’s definiteñy something that I’ve always wanted to do but have always been intimidated by since it seems so easy to mess up. This book could be super useful

  • For years my go-to has been embroidery, but in recent years I have started learning to make quilts which has been very satisfying. I would like to start making clothing for myself and my family in the years ahead!

  • I love wool applique and creating my own designs for this and I am currently making a,one of a kind quilt and would love to win th is book

  • Wow! I love her work, I can see myself creating like Jen, printing and then sewing, how fun!. My newest project is making pottery with my son (12 years old and a natural on the wheel!). Every Sunday afternoon we go to a Wheel-Pottery class for Parents/Child only. It’s a pretty special time, not only we get to create and make new pieces, but now we have a shared language that we both share and will cherish for a long time. Another current project is sewing/making a spring/summer bedspread for our master bed with different kinds of geometric fabrics. The patterns are either geometric, some have lines, others have shapes and or funky vintage. They are all in colours like browns, grays, yellows, turquoise, oranges. And a third one on the go as well, is reupholstering an office chair with a funky geo canvas fabric and making new pillows for our patio set. I got excited again!

  • I really enjoy creating, specifically sewing. Though still very much a beginner, I’ve grown from buying patterns online and in store to learning the process of creating my own custom patterns. I’m looking forward to mastering the art of sewing and creating my own garments. The gap between our beginner skills and our vision is so true for me, so I really appreciated and needed that advice Jen offered when it comes to getting intimidated by sewing.

  • Recently, I’ve been playing with hand lettering, using fountain pens and dip pens, something I did a lot of when I was younger and it’s so much fun to get back to it.

  • There are so many I’ve tried and want to do more of: sewing, woodblock printing, drawing, painting, embroidery.

    It’s such a relief to learn that Jen only made simple bags for a while, because that’s the only thing that I feel confident making now. What a joy it would be to print my own fabric for them!

  • My favorite form of making/crafting is knitting. I also love surface pattern design and am keen to learn more about printing

  • Congratulations, Jen! I ordered your book when I first learned about it in your “Design, Carve’, Print” class last October, so I can’t wait for it to be delivered by Amazon next week. I loved your class and recommend it highly. Aloha and best wishes on your continued success!

  • I like to do a lot in my time. I worked at an art studio and print shop my freshmen year of college. My current hobby is to paint pots and plant beautiful plants in them. It allows me to give living things beautiful homes that they can grow in.

  • Knitting. I love that I can start with a skein of hand-dyed yarn and turn it into a form of expression. I’ve been knitting for almost 10 years and love that I can learn new skills at my own pace. Lastly, I’m fortunate to have found a wonderfully supportive community through Ravelry!

  • I so enjoy the opportunity to read and learn from other artists – creativity is a blessing to be shared.

    I’m more of a dabbler in many different arts – and hope to never stop!!

  • What a lovely interview to give a glimpse into such an artist! I love being able to wear things I’ve knit or sewn and find Jen Hewett’s work to be very inspiring.

  • I’m an art teacher so I love learning about all things creative! Hoping to get back into some needlepoint, encaustic painting, and oil painting this summer

  • Knitting is my regular hobby but I also love sewing and quilting. Textile and textures, pattern and design. There’s so much to be inspired by.

  • Textile design is my favorite creative hobby! I use photography as a jumping off point and like Jen adore printmaking, as well as silkscreening and hand printing. Her book on how to make hand printed yardage into one of a kind fashion is inspiring. Would so enjoy having her book in my for inspiration.

  • I love to carve stamps, but have never tried to print on fabric. I would love to win this book to take my hobby to the next level. Thanks for the chance!

  • My favourite creative hobby is screenprinting t-shirts! I always have one of a kind graphics for me and my friends :)

  • Thank you!! This summer I will be experimenting with gouache paints & monotype prints…onto books & cards.

  • My favorite creative hobby is sewing! I love to sew and quilt. I taught myself through the internet after my “baby” left our house to be a grown up. It makes me incredibly happy and helps me to relax after a long day of teaching.

  • My favorite hobby is to find unique pieces, fabrics, and textures at local thrift stores and then to transform them into something more useful. This has come in the form of quilts, leather pants becoming hot pads, a linen dress becoming a linen jumpsuit, as well as tailoring all sorts of clothing to fit better.

  • What lovely prints! I love your designs and the colors! We moved into our dream house a year and a half ago and I have yet to find the perfect curtain for our windows (to my husband chagrin). Any kind of crafts are my hobby but more recently I’ve gotten into sewing. I am more looking into printmaking so that I can try to recreate the exact curtains I see in my mind! I’ll have to look up if Jen teaches any other classes…

  • I love doing letterpress and printmaking — I love being creative within confines of the process involved in each. I’ve never done printmaking on fabric before but would love to try it out.

  • i love to draw comics, sewing, am an enthusiastic knitting starter, but my brain has to grow a few new strands for the encyclopedia of knitting language ;), but they are growing!
    and next – real truth – beside wood working – is textile printing! i already bought some material ( mhm…over a year ago actually ) and still in that stage: okay…how do i start? :)

  • CREATIVE hobby? My hands have been itching to endeavor any slöjd craft: starting with hand carving a replacement for my beloved wooden spatula that has since bit the dust. Printmaking and sewing? If I’m lucky enough to score this book, a printed cap sleeved top comes first!

  • I really enjoy textile related crafts. They come naturally to me.. One of the things I wanted to try is block printing. I already sew and dye fabrics, but I think block printing would up my game to the next level. :)
    I’ve followed Jen’s work when she did Print, Pattern, Sew project and I find it so inspirational.

  • My favorite creative hobby is learning new skills. I will take a class (or go to the school of YouTube) to try out anything!

    What I create most consistently are quilts/blankets from found fabrics at thrift stores, etc. I like to be inspired by what I have (and keep the creative projects financially manageable).

    I cannot wait to read this book!

  • Sewing is my hobby. But I like to dabble in most types needlework and or a combination. To add print making would be a blast to my creative projects.

  • I love being creative with my hands. Be it sewing , painting, multi dimensional wall art, jewelery making, etc. I would love to learn block printing or silk screening. Would love your new book!

  • I love sewing clothing and gifts. I recently upgraded my machine and my new one includes embroidery which has been a fun autocorrect to my projects.

  • Favorite creative hobby… too many to pick just one!! Quilting, knitting, embroidery, weaving, etc etc :) anything I can get my hands on!
    I recently started carving stamps for block printing cards but am a bit lacking in inspiration for what to carve next. Would also love to start painting with water colors, they are so dreamy!!
    Thanks for all you do! Loved reading your book and listening to you on Sounds Good recently.

  • I’m a novice sewer (bags, my first quilt) and a beginner knitter (just finished fingerless mitts!). Would love to tackle garments but admit I need to build up the courage to do so. Jen’s book looks like just the right inspiration!

  • I adore sewing. Dressmaking is a form of mindfulness for me and I love that it allows me to switch off for a few hours at a time and then to have created something at the end of it

  • I love pottery and screen printing! also textile design is an interest and this book is incredibly inspiring!

  • I have recently taken up quilting. How lovely it would be to incorporate some block printed fabrics into my next quilting project!

  • I like to make cards using a variety of specialty papers, but I’d like to start making my own patterns and designs.

  • I love quilting and sewing. I love sewing clothing because you use fabric and a silhouette to create a garment that expresses your creativity. Beautiful fabrics and I can’t wait to see them.

  • Wow! This interview is very inspiring. I really like Jen’s style. I enjoy lots of needle arts, & I sew more than I embroider or needlepoint. I get a kick out of taking a 2-D material (fabric) and sewing it into a 3-D garment.

  • I love to see each day if I can. Creating gifts for family and friends. I’d love to add an element of my own fabric design to these gifts xxx

  • I smiled reading the comments. So many of us have more than one creative outlet and love the idea behind combining them that this author demonstrates. I am a landscape painter, book artist, stamp carver and printmaker as well as a seamstress. Go, makers!

  • I want to learn pattern making to sew my own clothes. I have some great vintage books that will guide me. I need to make some time! Right now, my main focus is crocheting a rug out of my son’s cast-off tees.

  • Love this!!! Thank you for the introduction to Jen Hewett’s work. This is right up my alley and I can relate on all levels. I am a sewer and stamp lover and created a line of rubber stamps for stamping on fabric. Never carved my own designs so her design process is intriguing. Thanks again.

  • I started printmaking, especially on fabric because I saw Jen’s 52 week project. I was amazed that she printed the fabric in that small room, it is very inspiring and encouraging. It is okay to start small with whatever you have. I am a self taught artist in printmaking and sewing so this book will be a perfect guidance for my journey forward. Thank you Jen! 😃

  • What a wonderful interview! I have been waiting, rather impatiently, for this book to come out since I heard about it last Fall. I loved hearing from the author in this interview!

    Over the last couple of years, I have been building a handmade wardrobe based on my own style and preferences, and it has been so freeing! No longer do I spend time in department stores feeling disappointed by cheap, synthetic fabrics and designs that don’t suit my minimalist style. I now have a pared down wardrobe of well-made clothes in natural fiber fabrics, and I honestly love every piece in my closet! I’m feeling more ready to start tweaking my favorite sewing patterns to include surface embellishments, and I’d absolutely love to try block printing!

    Thank you for hosting the interview and very generous giveaway!

  • My favorite hobby is knitting, by far but I’ve been practicing sewing garments for a little while and am finding it very rewarding!

  • I’ve admired Jen’s work for a while now, and I am thrilled she has a book now! My favorite creative hobbies (because there is no such thing as just one!) are sewing, embroidery, and printmaking. I also am a sometimes knitter

  • Thank you for posting this inspirational and beautiful article about Jen Hewett. I am working towards getting back to my surface pattern design after devoting my time and career to graphic design while raising and supporting my daughter. Now that she’s grown, this post inspired me to start to get back to my love of fabric and print and pattern.

  • I love Jew Hewett — and her little dog, too!

    I’m a quilter, so any new technique for working with fabric is a plus.

  • I’d say my fave creative hobbies are a mix of painting and lettering — I actually would love to grow in being able to mix the two together and create pieces that include both! :-) Love the colors and prints that Jen creates!

  • I think I was always meant to sew. Some of my earliest memories are sitting under my grandmother’s treadle sewing machine, pushing on the foot peddle and watching all the wheels turn. It was fascinating! Then, at the age of 5, I began to sew with the guidance of my grandmother. Taking a piece of yardage and creating a 3 dementional garment was magical. Now, I can’t imagine a life without a closet full of pieces I’ve made.

  • I really enjoy crafting in general and have done some block printing of my own! Also some very basic sewing. Last year I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in a natural dye class. We brought with fabric that we wanted to dye and went outside collecting various plants and used them in our dyes! I brought a duvet cover and some linen fabric and got some really lovely purples and pinks. Definitely a makes the end product all the more meaningful when you are involved in it’s creation from start to finish!

  • I would love to learn how to make my own fabric designs. I’d like to wear Faris that no one else has for a change. This book looks amazig. Thanks for the opportunity to win one.

  • I am super excited about this book and learning more about printmaking and working on my sewing skills. Just sad I’m going to miss Jen’s workshop in Hudson, NY.

  • I recently made the decision to start sewing, so I can create beautiful things for my beautiful 4 month old. I don’t think I’ve done any sewing beyond hemming pants since junior high school home ec, so it should be an adventure!

  • Such amazing work, congrats Jen! The book is beautiful and an obvious labor of love — so inspiring. Hope to join you for another block printing on fabric class soon.

  • Did some block printing today in Jen’s himetown of San Franciso, as part of a work event. It was so much fun!

  • I currently do more peyote beadwork than anything else, but I’m dying to get back to sewing. I have two granddaughters that I’d love to create for!

  • This is such an inspiring article! The photos capture her beautiful work and charm so well, and the interview has some great life lessons. I studied printmaking at UC Santa Cruz and then continued at the Fort Mason Print studio (in SF) for a couple years before grad school, jobs and family life took over my time. I’d love to get back to printmaking again.

  • I also love block printing, and took a class about a year ago. Bought all the materials and made a few things, then life happened and I haven’t done it since. I’d love a copy of this book to learn more!

  • I have been a knitter for years, but I am just getting back into garment construction and it’s so much fun! It’s been a wonderful way to connect and spend time with my mother, who quilts. We’re taking a class on how to sew clothing together at a local fabric shop next month!

  • i love sewing and also bold graphic patterns, but for some reason have never thought to put them together! Just the look of this book inspires me! :)

  • This book looks amazing! It’s already been on my Amazon wish list for a week or two. I am very interested in learning more about printmaking… I already know how to sew.

  • I’m super weird and love to clean. It’s my biggest hobby. To me, it’s like a meditation. I’ve drawn and painted my whole life and I’ve also wanted to start looming for awhile now.

  • I love making ornaments, primarily for Christmas, but ones that can be enjoyed year round. I have used felt to create 3-dimensional trees, animals, and flowers, and then embroidered with silk thread and added beads for embellishment. I used to water colour in the past and found painting to be an outlet for my creativity and uplifting for my mood. Using my hands and mind to create interesting and beautiful things is so liberating. My “day job” is a very analytical and exacting profession that does not allow for “freedom of expression” and demands a lot of conformity. Creative hobbies in art and music make LIFE enjoyable and bring me happiness! I will devour this book!

  • I love knitting, and have since I was little. Primarily I’ve focused on large clothing items (sweaters, dresses, etc), but recently have grown to appreciate the fun in knitting accessories like hats and shawls too.

  • I love making designer cushions. Some with piping or fringe. Ball tassels and pompoms. You name it. I make and sell them on my etsy shop and at local makers markets. So much fun to change a look in your home and bring a smile to someone’s face!

  • My sister and I took some sewing classes and we are getting better! I am making her her dress for her 20th anniversary party.

  • Knitting and sewing. I especially enjoy it when my crafty friends meet up and do it together! So much fun, so many laughs.

  • Sewing is my favorite creative outlet. It keeps me sane! There may be days I don’t go into my sewing room, but there is never a day that I don’t think about it or want to be behind my sewing machine. I love creating new, unique projects and putting love into every stitch!

  • This book and Jen’s work is so inspiring !! I have been sewing custom curtains and home furnishings to the trade for over 25 years and am looking to learn block printing to design my own pillows and fabrics !!
    Thank you so much !!
    Luann Mullen

  • I love painting!! I’ve done some block printing, but would love to learn more! Jen’s work is gorgeous and inspiring.

  • I love gardening as a creative pursuit, but I’ve been wanting to get into sewing for a while now! I just repaired a couple pairs of jeans instead of buying new ones and it reminded me how fun my junior high sewing projects were… Love the idea of this book and loved reading this interview.

  • May have found my new creative crush. She is amazing. Photography is my drug of choice, but I love expressing creativity in different ways. Jen’s book sounds amazing.

  • Thanks everyone for the great comments! Our 10 winners were chosen randomly and have all been contacted via email :)

  • I’ve been making my own clothes and household goods for years, and these fabrics are just beautiful. Now I’m interested in learning color blocking!

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