Jeans Repair

The repair day I held this weekend was successful – in that I finished all the pants what were dropped off and I made some money. Dave and I were laughing about how having designer jeans with repaired blown out crotches deliver a sort of street cred.

On most pair I created pieces that mimicked the patter of the pants and basted those pieces in. After checking for fit, I fasten the patches in place with a tight zig zag and then enforced the patch by zig zagging the hole down onto the patch. For the most part I used black or blue canvas or denim for the right side of the patches and lined them with a thick mattress ticking. I also had some screen printed patches left over from a previous project.

The jeans were a selection of Iron Heart Self Edge, Nudies, APC, and Kicking Mule Workshop (KMW) in a range of 10oz -22oz denim. Yes, even the 22oz blows out eventually. Most of these were on raw indigo dyed selvedge denim.

If you live in the Madison area and would like your jeans repaired the costs are $20 for the crotch and $5 for each addition repair. Patches that need to be removed are $5-10 depending the size. Contact me at midwesttextiles@gmail.com.

Thanks to little Nora Grey for the help.

I have been working on samples for the belt. While I am no longer designing this for Shelby’s dress, I will probably still make a completed piece. Creating lines and shapes with beads has specific challenges. The Indian style cord works really well but it is very difficult to work with. If anyone knows how shapes are created with that material please let me know.

Artist Statement – Sarah Gagnon

The City Underneath the City

As I walked along the sidewalks of my city I noticed hundreds of unique manhole-covers and grates. I found beauty in things that most people just walk by. These simple discs of metal are portals to a complex infrastructure of connected pipes beneath the city. In my work, this became a representation of the complexity of the human infrastructure of the urban environment.

I rendered this solid and industrial inspiration into smooth synthetic and silky fibers. I blended real images with traditional embroidery methods to create a new medium.

Daily Walks

A few years later I continued this series I was still interested I manhole covers and other street access points, but the context I was noticing them in had changed from downtown city streets to small neighborhood walks. The material culture of the American neighborhood is manicured with concrete sidewalks, turf and curbs. It noticeably contrasts less efficient and orderly cultures around the world. These pieces are a place to reflect on the design of the American neighborhood, both physically but also the places beneath that – the social and communal.

This series is rendered on more homey and natural fibers, including wool, linen, cotton ticking as well as antique linens.  I continued to use photographic transfers mixed in with the embroidery. My embroidery methods included free form lines along with traditional techniques, including tufting, weaving, couching, and beading.


After months of working on the embroidery pieces for the exhibit, I am struck with how much I love embroidery. I am committed to continue finding ways to integrate it into my body of work. As a gift to Shelby for her wedding I am creating an Art Deco style belt to adorn her dress. One of the things I considered is that there are so many pieces of beaded trim that can be bought for $20/yd so if I am going to hand make something, it is going to need to be significantly worth more than that. After looking at Shelby’s dress I was also convinced that this piece needed to go in the Deco style because of the architecture of the dress. I have been surprised at how difficult it has been to make our budget of $50 cover the materials. Beads are significantly more expensive that I anticipated. Nevertheless, I would like to see us come in on budget for this project. Here are some of the inspiration images I have been using. These are some of the materials I have picked up to use. I found most of the rhinestones on ebay as well as a Enchanted Treasures & Costume Jewelry company. The sequins are from M&J Trimming and the glass bugle beads and the seed beads are from Joann. The orange embroidery is an example of the gold cord I need to get to create the lines in the pieces.

I have been working with metal worker/artist James Poulos to design and create steal railings for our stairs and several coffee, side and couch tables out of wood and metal. I have enjoyed planning out the textured elements of these projects to create a industrial/romantic feel. I will upload images of the drawings and final result of the stair railings. Here are images of the perforated metal that I have been researching for the bottom of the tables. They all have a beautiful textile quality. Of course, according to me, these patterns are required to bring beauty into a room.










This looks like a peak into a miniature world.


The only confirms that things are better in multiple


Where can I get one of these?


A room with striped floor could hold my attention for hours. I would probably never want to leave.


Overdecorated to perfection.


King of fowl.



I found these photos on facebook – someone I know had linked to one of their friend’s albums on a trip to India. There is something about these that reminded me of my favorite book when I was young “The little princess.” The rooms are magical. I especially am drawn to the images of rooms where things are hanging from the ceiling. I am also more and more aware of my love of anything that makes animal references in art and design. The cages for birds and pigeons, the strange elephant horse and the rendered peacocks represent both beauty and childhood.

I have been working on a collection I started several months ago, but since then have been procrastinating. I put together a more developed story board. 

These images are developed from the following words: Old Timey, Elegant, Rag Doll, Laura Ingalls, Homey.

The color inspirations are coming from the following words: Organic whites; earthy beiges; and  faded colors such as denim blues, faded reds, mustard yellows, lavender.

Textile inspirations come from: Ginghams, Plaids, Cross stitch samplers, Ticking, Flax Motifs (Florals), Gingham and Polka Dot.

Dividing the story board into Design Story, Color Story and Textile inspiration or Structural Story has been helpful to create something more cohesive. The



For a couple of years I have been planning on designing a collection with a circus theme. I was so inspired a few years ago by MirrorMask and more recently by Coraline. With thoughts of my upcoming baby in mind, what better inspiration than the colors and whimsy of the circus?

Flax Works






Several months ago I started a collection based flax for a linen collection. After months of other projects including remodeling the kitchen, Christmas commissions and whatnot I am finally back to develop the collection. Here are some initial images I culled for inspiration.

Inspired by Doodle Art












A doodle artist I stumbled across on Flikr by the name of hanssolo grabbed by attention. A lot of the work seemed, well, like doodles, but there were elements that attracted me. Of course, the repeat/textile quality to the work as well as, probably unintentional, references to Agnes Martin and Sol Lewitt struck me. I also appreciate the free handed, youthful and joyful quality exhibited here.