Now Touring: Sew Adorkable by Samarra Khaja

teri • September 16, 2015 • 24 Comments

Sew Adorkable Cover Image Sew Adorkable: 15 DIY Projects to Keep You Out of Trouble by Samarra Khaja (Stash Books, $26.95)

Few of us have enough fun in our lives, but we can solve that problem by tapping into author/designer Samarra Khaja’s charmingly twisted sense of fun with her new book. Really. Want to know more about this talented designer, and how her mind works? Read on.

A title like Sew Adorkable has to have a great story behind it. Our readers are all ears.

 The title is the perfect two-word explanation for everything contained in the book. And the book is quite likely a perfectly curated cross-section of how my brain functions. So, you know, welcome to my world.

What are the top 5 things people don’t know about you?

1. Surrounded by sheep that couldn’t care less, I’ve zorbed in Rotorua, New Zealand. And I’d do it again.
2. I have a two-panel outdoor mural called “Heartbeat Brooklyn” that resides outside the Lowe’s Home Improvement along the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn. You can see it from the F-train, if you’re sitting on the right side of the train, heading towards Coney Island. Yes, I stalk my own artwork. So what?
3. I’ve been lucky to get a personal tour of the Oval Office. The hallways are crazy tiny and JFK’s desk is a giant beautiful piece of furniture that I made sure to touch for posterity’s sake. I didn’t get a chance to check if the little front panel door still opens. Next time.
 4. In 5th grade, I switched from playing the clarinet in the school band to the trumpet because the idea of blowing spit in the back row with all the boys seemed hilariously awesome.
5. I’m a super-nerd graduate of the Talented and Gifted Magnet high school (T.A.G.), land of intensive toothpick bridge-building competitions and high-stakes egg drop contests, making me a certifiable geek and unabashed pun-loving dork. It’s really no wonder I wrote this type of book.
Sew Adorkable must  use this

Prehistoric Portrait Painting from Samarra Khaja’s new book, Sew Adorkable.

What is the most fun project in the book? Yes, we know this is like asking who your favorite kid is….
Much like when my kids ask me to pick favorites, I know this is a trap and nothing good will come of it. So I refuse to fall for it. How was that for sidestepping?

Sew Adorkable they look like adipose from dr who

Toothy, the Tooth Fairy

What are your 3 top tips for fashion sewing?

Take time and be generous with ensuring a piece of clothing fits your particular body type, regardless of preconceived ideas about sizing and the psychology behind it. We are not cookie-cutter copies and commercial clothing casts merely a generalized idea of shapes and sizes of garments. So remember that they’re not the standard to live by. Along with that, have fun with your clothing choices. Life’s seriously too short for clothes to make you anything but happy.

Sew Adorkable looks like candy from my childhood

Candy Dots

What are the 3 most fun things about designing your fabric Great Gotham? (And where can we get this?)
1. NYC has a gob of bridges, some well-known and others not so much, and I was completely consumed and obsessed with depicting each and every one of them as accurately as possible.
2. I threw in personal fave landmarks, including the Astor Cube, the Love sculpture, Patience (the southern-most lion at the NY public library; there was no room for Fortitude) and especially the Flatbush trees sculpture.
3. I also wanted to pay homage to 5 Pointz, which sadly is no longer, but once was known as “the world’s premier graffiti mecca.” It’s a real shame it’s gone, but it will always live on in Great Gotham.You can find Great Gotham, by asking/searching for it by name. Other fruitful keywords in your hunt will likely include: “Samarra Khaja,” ” Timeless Treasures,”and SKU# “C2428-white.” Good luck! It’s a special print and I encourage everyone to find some for themselves!
Favorite Designing Beverage
If it’s daytime, it’s always coffee. If it’s nighttime and the kids are finally in bed, it’s sometimes tea but most likely red wine.
Favorite type of chocolate
I’m well aware that dark chocolate is better for you and I’ve been known to eat almost any type of chocolate if I’m in a sweet-toothed bind, but I do prefer milk chocolate. But it’s got to be the good stuff made with cocoa and none of that waxy vegetable oil nonsense. That’s just criminal right there.
Top 3 things about being a fabric designer
1. Seeing my ideas come to life and repeated over and over again. It’s better than Groundhog’s Day.
2. People sharing all the wonderfully fun things they’re inspired to make with my designs, rendering the entire venture a sweetly collaborative effort.
3. Designing fabrics is a great way to bridge that space between 2D and 3D design, because although it’s a seemingly flat medium, the dexterity of its composition makes it a marvelously transformable matter from which an infinite number of things can be created. Whoa, that was a big thought. Excuse me while I put my head down and rest for a minute…


Great Gotham, one of the prints in a collection Samarra created for Timeless Treasures.

The photos may have hinted at the coolest feature of this book, lots of varied projects from clothing to quilts, and home dec and pillows. The Pencil Skirt, along with the artwork is a fave.
Most photos courtesy C&T Publications. Great Gotham courtesy Samarra. A little bit more about Samarra. Purchase the book on the C&T website. And don’t miss other stops on Samarra’s blog tour.

Of course we’re giving away an actual copy of the book in the U.S. or an ebook if you’re outside the U.S.  Simply answer this: What is the most “adorkable” thing you’ve ever made? We’ll draw a winner on Friday, Oct. 23.

9/14/15 C&T Blog
9/16/15 That’s Us! Welcome
9/18/15 Sew Timeless
9/21/15 The Fire Science Blog
9/23/15 Art School Dropout
9/25/15 Craft Buds
9/28/15 Pellon
9/30/15 Crafty Planner
10/2/15 Modern Handcraft
10/5/15 Imagine Gnats
10/7/15 May Chappell
10/9/15 Nancy Zieman
10/12/15 Dritz
10/14/15 Spoonflower
10/16/15 Sew Sweetness
10/19/15 Aurifil
10/21/15 Accuquilt
10/23/15 Schmancy Toys
10/26/15 Samarra Kajah


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  • Allison Evrard • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #1

    The most adorable quilt I ever made is my grandson’s quilt. It has robots and spaceships and planets. So cute!

  • Arlene Thomas • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #2

    The most adorable thing I ever made was a pair of cuffed pocketed shorts made from plaid fabric with boxer dogs on it… therefore, my favorite “boxer shorts”

  • Melissa • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #3

    I made a whole family of pac-man costumes last year because we are a family of video game dorks 🙂

  • Sarah • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #4

    Probably the most adorkable thing I’ve made was a toothbrush for my son’s stuffed Minecraft Ocelot. 🙂

  • linda • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #5

    I made a Chthulu stuffie for my grandson recently using ‘minkie’ furs. Turned out pretty cute.

    🙂 Linda

  • Beth T. • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #6

    Hmmm…does the little “Stay Shiny” message on a baby quilt label count? That’s assuming you think Firefly is dorky, and I’m not necessarily ready to concede that…I’m not sure about this question, but I do really want to enter the giveaway, so I’ll go with “Stay Shiny”.

  • Hayley Pearce • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #7

    I once made a ‘bank’ out of an old cardboard tea box and some toilet rolls and fully expected my parents and brother to bank all their money into it and I would monitor it for them. I was 7. As for sewing, the one I’m most proud of is the ‘One hour skirt’ according to Bernina or whoever made the pattern that took me SIX HOURS to make. x

  • SonJa • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #8

    The most adorkable…oh my! I love Samarras BLACK MATH fabric very best of all (I bought a whole bolt!) ! I’ve made a purse from that fabric, which I thought was awesome and geeky and adorkable….but I think the baby blanket, bib, burp cloth and little dress I made from that same fabric for a newborn baby was the best! Though, I did make matching shirts and bandanas for my last two Foster dogs out of that same fabric (I named them Root and Rhombus).

  • Lisa E • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #9

    I made these cute little stuffed rabbits out of striped jersey shirts!

  • Alla @ rainbows.bunnies.cupcakes • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #10

    I think a lot of my projects fall into “adorkable”, but top honors goes to the tote bag I made out of a bathrobe and pair of slippers. The slippers form pockets on the outside–and I use it to carry my quilting projects to stitch-n-bitch sessions.
    See details here

  • QuiltShopGal • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #11

    Total #CreativeGoodness. I’ve made funky 60’s embroidered jeans.


  • duchick • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #12

    I have a soft side for anything adorkable! The most adorkable thing I’ve made is an outfit I made for my 2 year old great-niece. I made a hot pink simple dress and embroidered a giraffe head on the front. She loves giraffes and it was so perfect! Then I made a matching little purse with a smaller giraffe head on the flap

  • Debby • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #13

    As a math teacher and curriculum writer, I have made a lot of adorakable stuff. Anything mathy, with pi or an abacus or just numbers is my style. I have been making lots of adorkable pencil pouches lately. Working on a math quilt idea to make this winter.

  • patty • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #14

    The most adorkable quilt I ever made was two yo gabba gabba quilts for two 3 years olds.

  • Deb • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #15

    A Tardis halloween costume that was dress-code appropriate to wear to school? The year before it was a Tardis candy bag. This year, we’re thinking weeping angels…

  • teri • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #16

    Probably Halloween costumes are the only things that fit the category but I love the stuff in this book.

  • Nicole Sender • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #17

    I made an old fashioned poodle skirt!

  • jane d • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #18

    Would have to be black & white cow print skirt and sneakers painted to match–for me!

  • janet moilanen • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #19

    I just finished a Christmas Countdown calendar for my 3 year old grandson. I customized his ornaments to his 3 year old adorkableness – a T Rex wearing a scarf, a Shark eating a candy cane etc.

  • Niku Arbabi • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #20

    My most adorable are probably holiday themed skirts I make every year. The best is a hand turkey skirt – wood grain fabric with a felt hand turkey who is all done up with rhinestones and feathers. Oh and giant orange ric rac along the hem of course 🙂

  • Jan N. • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #21

    I designed the bird in Art class when I was in grammar school (many years ago) and recently recreated it by making a mini quilt with very colorful fabric.

  • June @ QuiltQuest • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #22

    I made a robe using the sweatpants and sweatshirts that had holes or stains I couldn’t get out. Thanks for the chance.

  • Jean • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #23

    Furry puppets (think Sesame Street) for my children, oh and Pound Puppies, remember those? We still have 2 and I wish I still had that pattern.

  • Tina Jeo • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #24

    I made a Princess Leia costume for my daughter complete with cinnamon bun hair.

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