Monthly Archives: December 2011

Great New Pants Design. First Sample in Mens’, Womens’ soon to come

Last Wednesday I was doing my volunteer shift at Swift Waters and a customer I know happened to come in on her way to the Peace Vigil. She was wondering if I ever made loose elastic waist or drawstring pants. Her husband had been looking for a pair.

Mark gets his new pants just in time.

What a question she asked. My relationship to pants is a long one. If you have ever wondered, “Why can’t she just make pants?” you have only scratched the surface of why I design and do the quirky things I do. If you’re really good, I’ll tell you one day.

All this happened over the Holiday. I wanted to make Mark a pair of pants.  Mark has been asking me for a pair all this semester. He only had one pair he would wear to work and I didn’t have a pattern I liked.

Deep Pockets you can love!

In this business I depend on Mark a lot for input in my Mens’ line. (One of the aspects of why I design as I do: my Muse’s taste.)  I pump him for design ideas. What kind of pocket is he looking for? Why don’t you like drawstring pants? How long should I make the crotch length? Do you want a cargo pocket? You see where I am going with this. I take Mark’s opinion seriously when it comes to Fit and Function in Mens’ Clothing .

And here they are. A good midweight twill. Same fabric as the Murph actually. The belt is built in. I goes around the entire waist and tightens with a side release buckle. And I love the pocket detail.

This is the First Sample and you can look forward to me perfecting the pattern.

Here’s to a Good New Year full of many New Designs and New Inspiration.

I’m in Stitches!

Santa’s elves have been busy sewing. Three outlets, customers finding me and Etsy sales have kept my fingers flying at the sewing machine.Over the holidays you can find Clothworks in town at:

Swift Waters 866 Main St, Willimantic Tuesday-Saturday 11-6.

Kerri Quirk Gallery 861 Main St, Willimantic Wed-Friday 10-6 Saturday 11-3

It’s getting pretty late in the season for custom orders, but if you have an idea, give me a call or email and we can see what we can do.

Give Praise for the Industrial Revolution

Occupy Yourself, Occupy the Globe!: Democracy in Action and the Positive Process of Change

by Sasha Bajjo

We’ve all been “occupied” over the past few months, so it seems, but what does that really mean? Have we been increasingly occupied, or distracted on the whole as a society? What does the word “occupy” even mean anymore?

When I think about the word occupy, being occupied, or applying occupy as a verb to various situations (e.g. “occupy everywhere!”), many thoughts come forward. I think of the current occupy movement as a symbol of all events going on around the globe and how they affect us as global citizens. The nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima plant comes to mind. The Arab Spring. Hurricanes and wildfires raging around the globe. Political corruption and the escalation of violence against peaceful protestors by those who are attempting to usher in a police-state as global citizens chant down authoritarian regimes…

It all gets to be overwhelming when we try to sift through all the news and map out global events to see where we fit in all this, what place(s) or role(s) we “occupy.” At the same time, major news corporations tend to gloss over the occupy movement and portray it as a fad while encouraging, demanding that “consumers” spend more money and remain distracted by celebrity hijinks and “reality” t.v. Unfortunately for them, however, many of their “consumers” are unable to keep up the façade. Too many have refinanced too many times, lost another job, another home, another American Dream. People are seeing and acknowledging themselves as the ninety-nine percent: the over-worked, under-paid, under-employed, paying more while the one percent richest of the U.S. population pays less and demands more. More tax cuts for the wealthy, more bonuses for CEOs. Americans are distracted by a corporate media telling them everything’s fine, but occupied by mortgages, medical bills, rising tuition costs that tell them otherwise.

Think about the word “occupy.” What comes to mind? Citizens demanding social equality and an end to the corruption and fraud that brought about the recession? Popular uprisings against abusive, tyrannical leaders owned by corporations? Current crises at home like the increasing income inequality and security as costs of living skyrocket and wages stagnate and diminish along with benefits like healthcare? I have decided to find an occupation that represents my current situation, and help my fellow citizens on a global and local level however I can. I sincerely hope more of my fellow citizens will do the same.

Peace, love, equal rights, and justice.

An International Movement: Talk To Your Neighbor

by Mark Svetz

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Martin Luther King’s words are in my mind often these days, as we seem to be in the middle of a worldwide movement toward Justice.

In the opening hours of 2011, the arc bent dramatically toward justice as the “Arab Spring” swept across North Africa. In Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and elsewhere, people came out to demand change.


A demand for change from Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt

Ten years earlier, that arc was bent in Argentina, when, faced with a national fiscal collapse, tens of thousands of workers, students and citizens rioted. The people ended up taking over national industries, demanding changes.

In Spain, Greece, and Italy, fiscal crises are causing governments to make huge changes at the behest of the international bankers. People are taking to the streets in protest of these measures.

Beginning in New York, and quickly spreading to hundreds of cities and towns across the US, the Occupy Wall Street movement has brought hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in protest against the universal abuse and political power of multi-national corporations.

The revolutionary feeling I sense growing in my community excites me. I think we smell the sweet aroma of democracy, for the first time in many years. The arc is bending slightly more toward Justice.

More demands from Tahrir Square

In the local Occupy Willimantic, it is refreshing to be part of a group of people that wants to listen to each other.

People in the movement talk about “horizontalism.” As I understand this term, it means: everybody is equal, every voice must be heard. There are no leaders, no spokespeople. Everybody has an opinion. Every opinion is important.

We have, many of us in modern America, never experienced democracy, or, at best, have forgotten what it feels like.  Time and again, lobbyists carry the day in Washington or Hartford, despite what people in our communities want.

Now, I see general assemblies of dozens, and even hundreds, of people using variations on the Consensus model – a refreshing substitute for Robert’s Rules – hash out ingenious solutions to community problems. It is such a breath of fresh air.

That is the spirit and power that connects all these movements rising up around the world: the fresh scent of democracy. The power and dignity of the movements comes from hearing what our neighbors think.

Democracy in action on Main Street, Willimantic!

I have heard this again and again on the news from people on Wall Street, Tahrir Square and Main Street, Willimantic. People want to be heard. We are weary of watching while our governments cater to corporations at our expense. Laws and policies often make little sense to the citizens who must live under them. And always – the corporations prosper, regardless of the devastation they cause.

Naomi Klein said it beautifully at a recent forum: “We need an alternative to unchecked corporate greed. It’s not what demands do we make, but what do we build in the rubble of this system.”

Horizontalism – or democracy – seems like a great alternative to corporate greed. And it seems like a great way to build whatever we decide in the rubble of this system!

Occupy Willimantic

by Sarah Winter

“Exercise your right to peaceably assemble, occupy public space, create a process to address the problems we face and generate solutions accessible to everyone.”    From the early “Occupy Wall Street” Manifesto 2011

Occupy Seattle - A Sea of Tents

Overnight “Occupy Wall Street” has become an American movement.
Individuals around the country are meeting and rallying; discussing their
frustrations and strategizing solutions. Except when they can’t because
they are being beaten, tear gassed and arrested.
I am a part of this movement. I haven’t been to Wall Street or L.A.,
Philly, or even Hartford. I stay local and attend the Occupy Willimantic
General Assembly. Since the days grew colder and darker we have been
meeting at the Windham No Freeze Shelter on Saturdays .
At the No Freeze we are all thinkers looking for solutions that will end
or slow the corruption of society. At first, many of us were strangers to
one another. But respectful conversation makes short work of strangers.


Occupy Portland

Removed from the drama of the big city, we always have to ask ourselves:
why are we here? What is the point? Do we have any hope of doing any good?
I am part of the Occupy Movement because the US needs to have a discussion
of priorities. We need to pry our selves away from the TV and video; away
from the i-phone and Facebook; even Newspapers which appear to be
engineered to make us fear one another and keep us ignorant of the great
swelling of humanity in which we share.

Martin Luther King Jr.

“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each
other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other
because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are
separated.” Martin Luther King Jr.
It is our right as citizens to peaceably assemble. And where would we
assemble but in public spaces: the Town Green or the Public Park.  In
Willimantic we often are at a loss of where to meet and talk that does not
require a price of admission. In New York a group of more than 10, even a
family on a picnic, needs a permit to assemble. There are many barriers to
group discussion.
In cities around the country the police have been instructed to break up,
beat up, tear gas and arrest those who are peaceably assembling in public
spaces. The US does not take kindly to people working to generate their
own solutions to domestic and international problems.
Our ruling class is doing everything it can to block discussion. The
Occupy Movement is ridiculed, dismissed and beaten up.  Today instead of
discussing solutions we are kept moving and worrying about the immediate
needs of first aid and safety.
This is the insanity of institutional corruption. America needs to have a
deep discussion of our goals and priorities. We need to talk to our
families and listen to our friends. We need to talk to strangers. We need
to listen to people who look different from us. It is this possibility of
“Occupy” that calls to me.

Occupy your World


Here on Pleasant street we have been reading and listening to lots about Occupy Wall Street. Three of us, Mark, Sasha and myself challenged ourselves to write a 500 word essay each on what we think of the Occupy Movement.

Without peaking at each others work we submitted our essays and are pleased to share them with you now. Please read on.