Sewing project in German Magazine!

I spent a lovely weekend in New Hampshire with some old friends and my family and came home to find this in my mailbox!
Inside the magazine was this!
Burdastyle is a great German pattern company that creates an amazing magazine full of patterns each month. It is translated into other languages and also has an American version. I post my sewing projects on This past spring, Burdastyle magazine contacted me to see if they could post my Dirndl in their fall issue. Of course I said yes! They asked me to write a few things about the dress. What they took from that was, “Mein Halloween Dirndl ist kurzer als das Original.” Which apparently means, “My Halloween Dirndl is shorter than the original.” I think that is funny. I guess that works in case others want to make a similar design.


So excited to have been asked to be in two magazines in one year! It is great to have my sewing projects featured as well. I am currently working on a line of sewn bags and I will share these soon!

My Etsy!

Now that we have been in Maine a year I am wanting to shift some things. Summer is creeping to an end and snow will be coming sooner than I would like. With the change of the season comes a change of my creative work habits.


As an artist I usually schedule shows and create work for these. What I am more interested in doing these days is creating work that combines my new sewing skills. I have tried to combine paintings and garments in the form of a solo art show before but I felt that it didn’t really connect. I am thinking about creating some hand made items for my etsy account instead. Etsy is an online marketplace where people sell their hand made creations. I have had my account open for years but never really posted much. I would love to spend my days making things for this and being able to make a living this way.

I have uploaded a bunch of work that I have created over the years that are from a variety of different shows. I created an inventory list, a monthly checklist of things to do, and organized the drawings into an easy to access booklet.


I also moved my inside studio around. I moved a desk from our front room into the studio in order to have my sewing machines on this rather than the large work table.


I had some spray paint and gave it a quick update. I love having the color in the studio area.


I also put my sewing supplies in an easier location. Having them at a easier to access place will make things smoother.


My dog also loves this set-up. The sun comes right in and he gets to have his sun pigging in!



















If you would like to check out the work that is available, please follow this link:
RebeccaShellyArt (etsy)

Have a lovely day!


Rebuilt Dress

Recently I was looking at to get some inspiration for some dresses that I was working on. I came across a dress that was marked down from $100 to $30 because the last size was an extra extra large (4x). I thought that I could take it apart and put it back together.

So, I purchased it. I fell for it in the photo and thought that it would be a good challenge for me.
I did quite a bit of adjustments. If it were just a slightly larger size I could have taken it in at the sides. I had to take each of the parts and sew them back together at different locations. It was a chance but it worked.














































It is called the “Wild Flower Photographer” dress. This seems fitting for me since I take photos of flowers and make paintings.

I am currently in the process of changing my blog up. This is going to be a very exciting process for me. I hope that you enjoy the change as well! :)

Teaching Life Drawing

This past month, I had an amazing opportunity to teach Life Drawing for the Maine College of Art’s Pre-college program. I was fortunate to have an amazing group of students and wanted to share some of this work on here.

I would start off each class with quick gesture drawings. This was a great way for the students to loosen up and get into the drawing mode.


















I would then move onto longer poses and have them focus on certain aspects. One of the first things was building the form using cylinders. This helped to break down the body into shapes and forms. This seemed to help many of them from the start and used this throughout the class.





















One of my favorite parts about teaching was walking around the classroom and watching the students develop their skills. There was a range of ability in the class and I was careful to focus on different aspects for each student. Some things were universal and I would share this with the students as I walked around.





















































For some of the last classes I brought in some grey toned paper and some white charcoal. This gave them the opportunity to develop tones quickly without having to build up the middle ones. Some really amazing drawings were creating using this technique.
















































































































I am sad that the class is over, but I am looking forward to the next.

Moto Jacket

My latest creative project was a Burdastyle Moto Jacket in silk. There was a sew-along that I used to make this. Prior to this I did a lot of fitting for the jacket. I wanted to make sure that it was the correct fit. I made a bunch of practice rounds to make this work.

Here is one:


























I did a forward shoulder adjustment, swayback, added more at the bottom to fit my but, sliced some fabric at my shoulder blades for more room, realigned the sleeve to fall properly after the adjustment, altered the front to fit me better, etc. Lots of changes happened!





















Sewn Bike Bag

Recently I purchased a bike that would allow me to have bags along the back. I wanted something that I commute with and be able to go to the store, farmers market, park etc. What is exciting about being a sewer is that I was able to custom fit it for my needs. I found plastic coated cotton material at Z Fabrics to make it. I measured my boyfriend’s bike bags and created a pattern from it.

I changed it a bit and turned it into a single bag. I created flaps that protect it more and added a strap from another bag to be able to carry it outside of the bike.

The inside is a canvas duck with pockets that house my bike lights and locks.


There is a large amount of space to add many items. My purse fits really well inside.
It folds up if there is not a lot of items inside.


























The back side I have some hard plastic preventing it from going into the wheels and some marine grade vinyl that I found in the scrap section at Jo-Anne Fabrics.


























In order for it to sit and stay on the bike I created some Velcro flaps that keep it in place.

























It comes off easily and I can use it as a messenger bag style.


























I have used it many times and I love it!


My potted garden…

The last four years I have had a few garden beds at my apartment in Oregon. Now that I am in Maine I am trying to create some garden spaces using pots.

My dad started some tomato, pepper and onion plants and brought them up on his last visit. They are amazing! It is mid may and one of the plants is already laden with tomatoes.


























I placed them against the fence near where my trailer sits. Now I will have a view from my trailer of my plants growing into the summer. My neighbors have two big dogs and I added some fencing that I found on the property to discourage the dogs from going into it.


























I have empty containers that I will fill in with some of my seed starts.
Some of these already seemed big enough to transplant to our porch.
Stuart created an installation for the morning glory seeds that we bought. They have already started to climb since taking this photo a few days ago.
This is one of my favorite “rooms” of our apartment. We only get to use it part of the year. I got a table cloth at Jo-Anne’s Fabrics on sale and thought that it brightened up the space.
Do you garden? Is there something that you like to grow?

Featured in Studios Magazine!

I am super excited to share this moment with you! This past winter, Studios Magazine contacted me to see if I wanted to have my trailer featured in their summer issue. They were going to focus on traveling art studios and they thought that my trailer would be an interesting one to share. They asked for certain types of photos and I answered a bunch of questions for them. I hired my friend Dylan to take some shots and we had to do this when it was probably 10 degrees and snow outside!

Rebecca Shelly - Artist Space - by Dylan Verner-188

The other day I get home and I see a package. It is the magazine! It was so exciting to open it up and see how they put everything together. I brought them out to the trailer for a photo shoot. I thought that this was fitting.


If you are interested in reading the magazine, you can get it through their website:

I also know that Jo-Anne Fabrics and Longfellow Books carries it as well. It was fun to come up with items for the “Get the Look” section of the magazine. I chose the fabric that I bought for the curtains and some drawers that were similar to the ones that I had built for my own trailer.

It is the Summer Issue and will be on stands for a few months. It is an interesting issue and features Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Kristina Wentzell another New England artist who turned a vintage trailer into a gallery space for art shows, and another artist Jacqueline Newbold who lives in Oregon and Maine.


I really want to thank everyone who helped me keep this trailer in my life. It was a year ago that I ran my Kickstarter. I have enjoyed making the pieces for people and sharing my enthusiasm for creating. I am trying to figure out what the next stage of the trailer will be. I am wanting to teach and maybe I will start some workshops inside the trailer. It would have to be only a few people at a time but this may be fun. If you are interested in a workshop just send me an email. I will come up with some ideas and post them here soon.

Beautiful Spring Weather!

I feel like all that I have been talking about here is wanting spring to get here! Well, the last few days have been beautiful! Mother’s Day we spent in New Hampshire with my family and we went for a little hike at Sandwich Notch.


The water was cold but it was still fun to pretend that it was almost summer. Stuart stuck his whole head into the water.




















































Today I got to work in my trailer studio. I had most of the windows open and it got to be almost 80 Degrees today! I worked on some drawings that I am doing for a show that will be about jewelry that was inspired by what goes into making alcohol. I am creating cards, a poster and a title. I have seen some of the work so far for the show and it is going to be really interesting! I had a glass of wine while I worked on it. Thought this was fitting.



Tomorrow is my birthday and for it I plan on creating Pannier bags for my new bike. I have all of my materials now and this should be a fitting thing for me to do tomorrow.


Sewing Success!

The beginning of the year I tried to make jeans. I failed for two months and had a really difficult time. I decided to draw for the month of April to remind myself that I can be successful with my creative projects. It has been a great process and I have enjoyed the challenge.

I also started a new Craftsy class called Sewing With Knits by Meg McElwee. It has been an amazing class! She talks about the recommended materials needed and supplies a bunch of free patterns.
























The t-shirt came out way better than I expected! She recommended getting a “Walking Foot” to keep the fabric moving properly and equally through. I didn’t want to spend $50 on a foot for this, but didn’t want to waste my time also. I was going to sew with some oil cloth type fabric as well and learned that this is useful. There were some cheaper models yet there was a lot of reviews saying that they didn’t work for the Janome machine. This neckline has a consistent stitch most likely because of the Walking Foot.


























I also got some twin needles and learned how to use these with some knit tricot for the edges. She purchased it precut in strips. I just bought larger amounts and cut it myself.


























The fit is good but could be great. I usually give a forward shoulder adjustment and noticed that there was a funny thing that happened to the back while wearing it. I may try the adjustment to my next one and see if it is better. Most people wouldn’t notice it, but if you sew and know how well something can fit, you want it that way.



























I also may add a sway back adjustment. It is a tshirt though and this could be fine. I am very pleased with it and look forward to making more! It felt good to be successful with a sewing project. I will try jeans again, but for now I am going to have fun sewing with knits for a little while.

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