Sewing Vloggers

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Kathy's Sewing Adventure

I have known my sewing friend, Kathy Dykstra, for a long time, Today I would like to introduce her to you. I have a few reasons why I would like to feature her incredible work .

First of all, Kathy's work is among the highest quality out there. She has had articles in Australian Smocking and Embroidery and Sew Beautiful magazine more times than I can count. She has taught at Martha Pullen's School of Art Fashion. She will be teaching at the upcoming SAGA Convention in Orlando, Florida. (Smocking Arts Guild of America). I would wait in line for one of her classes any day.

Another reason I want you to meet Kathy is that over the past few years we have lost the triumvirate of heirloom sewing magazines, the magazines that featured Kathy's work. First to fail, to the chagrin of many was Creative Needle magazine. Not long after saw the end of the magazine that in my opinion set the bar for all heirloom publications: Australian Smocking and Embroidery with their gorgeous children's photos and clear instructions and patterns.  And now, we have lost Sew Beautiful magazine as well. While you may be ho humming at this point, don't. Kathy's work can be quite contemporary and lively. She is highly skilled at the Swiss batiste, French lace embellished bits of froth that SB was noted for but you should see her designs she makes for her grandchildren, bright colors, contemporary shapes and embellishments, a refreshing wake up to the heirloom sewing world.

Kathy is VERY prolific and a typical week will see her turning out  3-4 of her lovelies. She has been working very hard on her upcoming class for SAGA and I can assure you, this is a woman totally prepared for her class. Here are just a few of her efforts. I love acknowledging my friend's amazing skill.

Her machine embroidery skills never cease to amaze me.
She uses lots of bright colors and has a real gift for combining prints, not an easy skill to come by.

But Kathy doesn't make just great children's clothing. Look at her recent trip into home dec. Can you just feel the precision?
 A fabulous silk pillow, one of a non matching pair she recently completed.

Kathy recently did a very informative post on "Hemline Solutions". There is a lot of skill and inspiration there. Here is a dress, perfect for a dedication or First Communion, that she made last year and that is featured in her Hemline post as well as published in SB.
Do you see that exquisite smocking?

 And just so you know she is capable of the more frothy style of Heirloom Sewing, look at this mint ribbon beauty above. It's loaded with entredeaux, French laces, Swiss batiste and silk ribbons.  Her little granddaughters are soooooo lucky!

Being a wise Grandma, Kathy knows that her little granddaughters need lots of "fun" type garments too. Look at these matching outfits she made for the beach for them. She's not afraid to use ric rac and always does so with a creative twist or two.

I can tell you, this is a tiny drop in Kathy's bucket of incredible garments for children. She inspires me and deserves to have her work seen and honored by sewists everywhere. Since the magazines that carried her work are no longer in print, I offer to you the link to her blog Sewing Adventures. She has recently started blogging and is doing a wonderful job of it with great photography and clear writing.   She is generous with her knowledge and inspirational with what she shows that she has made.

Most of all, I would like to thank Kathy  for being a great sewing friend   for these past years. Your friendship has pulled me through a few dark hours. It has also let us share many, many a laugh, too. Top secret what the sewing laughs were about! ......your friend forever, Bunny

Find more of Kathy's wonderful work on her blog Sewing Adventures.


  1. Thank you for this post! I have only subscribed to Sew Beautiful for the last three years, but I loved the magazine. Mrs. Dykstra is extremely talented. I'm glad to have a new blog to follow for inspiration

  2. Thanks for the link and the post! If I may ask, when did Sew Beautiful go away?! I use to buy the issues when my daughters were smaller but of course since I've had no need for it recently, I stopped purchasing them. Just never thought it would go away!

    1. The last issue is on the newstand now, Caroline. It is a compendium of some of their more popular articles over the years. Some years back Martha Pullen sold SB to Hoffman publications but continued as the magazine's figurehead. Hoffman then sold it to the mega publisher, F&W publications who publish many of the new sewing and craft books out their. The sale has been controversial.That happened maybe about 2 years ago at the most. In the past few months Pullen's contract with them did not get renewed and the magazine gave notice that the September issue would be it's last. I am not quite sure why they bought the magazine as they have discontinued many of the things associated with SB such as the store with heirloom fabrics and trims and the School of Art Fashion. It was the last to go of the three magazines that existed ten years ago. Time moves on......

    2. I also want to add that I am so glad that Kathy has the blogosphere in which she can continue to share her work.

  3. Thank you SEW much for letting us know that Kathy now has a blog, Bunny!! I adore her work & have missed seeing her beautiful creations. I shall run over to visit her, toot-sweet!!

  4. Thank you for the post. I learned so much from Creative Needle and Sew Beautiful when my children were young. Like others I only used the periodicals intermittently after my children outgrew classic styles. As a new grandmother I returned to Sew Beautiful and was so disappointed to learn of their demise. Every change is not progress. Pam B.

  5. Hi there,

    So lovely to see Kathy Dykstra showcased on your blog Bunny.
    Kathy encouraged me, whilst living in Turkey to go for my goal to be published in AS&E magazine. A very talented lady and kind and generous with her support and advice. Not surprised to learn that you are close friends.............two big hearted ladies, happy to share their talent and experience.

  6. Such a very talented lady, I remember seeing her on Martha TV show which sadly is not on PBS anymore. Sad to hear about the other 3 magazines biting the dust as well...that is where the internet can step in and revive the options for those who still believe in high end sewing and quality heirloom garments.Fingers crossed we will not lose such a treasure!

  7. Bunny, So wonderful of you to showcase Kathy D and her beautiful creations. I know her exposure at the SAGA convention next month will lead to her ever increasing popularity in the sewing world. I can't wait to meet Kathy in person. We should all find a time and place where we could meet in person and enjoy a weekend of classes with Kathy D. Susan VH

  8. I want to be a little girl again and have Kathy sew for me!! Or at the very least own that pillow. What beautiful work!

  9. I was very disappointed in the content of the last issue. I was a subscriber from the second issue on, but this is the sign of the times. My favorite of the three magazines was Creative Needle. Not so much fluff..........Lydia (anon.)

  10. Thank you for such a glowing post Bunny. I have loved sewing since I was a child and after having children of my own, sewing took on a whole new meaning. I adore smocking and heirloom sewing and particularly love to teach that to others. I hope to at least inspire others to have a desire to learn this as well as good sewing technique, which you always show on your blog. It's an honor to be included on your blog. :D

  11. I love Kathy's work. I have emailed her a few times for info on how to do something and she is always happy to help.

  12. Kathy's work is an inspiration to me for increased precision in my own sewing, use of trims, and giving a little bit more on embellishments. Just lovely work!


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