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One of my pet peeves is throwing on a pair of super soft, worn-in, cotton leggings only to find a tiny hole near my knee. The culprit: over-exuberant Boston Terrorizers who love to do nothing more than bounce all over my thighs when I come home from work each day.

But never fear “not-pants” attire! There’s help yet!

I found this adorable tutorial on Karen Barbe’s blog. This uber talented textile designer put together an easy how-to for patching up holes and tears in style. Using little more than a cereal box (and you know how much I love to use those!), a needle and colored thread, she shows us how to create folk inspired patches with which to stitch up our most beloved garments.

So next time you find a critter has torn a hole in your favorite pair of leggings – don’t toss ‘em –  bust out some serious stitching and you’ll be glad about your now happy accident.

I’m really looking to infuse more  prints and patterns into my handmade garments. Not only does it require me to develop this portion of my skills as a designer, it’s also a real challenge as it stretches the aesthetic combinations of my pieces. By adding these re-occurring elements I’m hoping to bring more of a folksy look to my otherwise retro and urban inspired style. The Flirty Flounce is my first in many upcoming ventures to combine a feminine shape, casual cotton and whimsical pattern into one piece.

What I love about this design in particular is the soft peplum flare along the bottom and how it combines with the look of the assymetrical print. The image along the top is hand-stenciled using two different shapes – one which I created myself. I alternated the colors to enhance the ‘textural’ appeal of the garment.

The clothing sample in the photograph above also brings together some of my favorite colors for the upcoming season: teal, silver and grey. Seeing that this piece hits on all my interests and goals for upcoming looks – how could I not have chosen it as the “Item of the Week?”

Whether it’s posting incredible finds on her blog, Wanderlustings, or creating effortlessly elegant and retro-inspired jewelry for her Etsy shop, Caitlin’s a force to be reckoned with! So how could I not invite her to pose for me in a Pierogi Picnic photo shoot?!

To get into her lovely brain further, I asked her what inspired her. Here’s Caitlin’s response:

“Possibly anything. But constants seem to be: being different, creative and driven people, cinematography, music designed to tell a story, architecture, anything experimental, Paul Pope, comic books in general, decades past, Klaus Nomi, playing pretend, Ray and Charles Eames, self-awareness and letting your imagination run wild.”

Beautiful inside and out – isn’t she?!

I am heading to Poland this August to spend time with family, and it’s got me thinking about my roots. And with these musings comes the question – how do I translate my heritage into my designs? How can I integrate my background into the clothing I make?

These questions led me to the idea for a new set of designs inspired by Polish “Wycinanki.” What literally translates as “cut-outs,” this  tradition unites a pair of scissors and sheet of paper to create stunning high contrast designs. Symmetrical, whimsical and super folksy, wycinanki are made for seasonal decor by children and adults alike. Artists also use the technique for intricate detail work that has a characteristic finish that invokes Eastern European stylistics.

I’ll be debuting my new pieces which include home-made wycinanki stencil work later this month. So check back to see where this inspiration has led me.

I absolutely adore Caitlin Peters of Wanderlustings! Not only is she my craft fair collaborator extraordinaire - she’s also the brains behind the exceptionally beautiful line of jewelry and the blog that goes with it. Imagine my delight when one of her recent posts featured my “No Sweat” upcycled sweater! I love the way Caitlin layers the piece with a delicate white lace undershirt and pencil skirt. The cowboy boots are a nice touch too! It makes the top perfect for lounging and wearing to the office.

I just couldn’t resist sharing this adorable photo!

Fellow crafter and artist extroadinaire Angel D’Amico of Ad Love purchased one of my sweater bow ties at the Renegade Craft Fair. After bringing the piece home she made a wonderful discovery – her cat Mumu could rock the bow too!

This handsome gent looked so dapper in his new accessory that it inspired me to design some duds for our furry friends. So keep your eyes peeled for some Pierogi Picnic Pet items soon!

Bombi Forest is a charming Etsy shop that I find myself going to over and over and over again.

From sweet printed tunics, colorful jewelry, stunning art prints, and cute cards – this shop truly has it all. I love the bright saturated colors and folk inspired themes. Horses, feathers, and sea shells, combined with modern shapes and textures, really make these pieces come to life! And with the incredibly modest personality of its owner, Lee May Foster, you too will soon become an addict as well!

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