Photographed by Paige Green Photography
Our friend and Fibershed artisan Heidi Iverson offers a place to slow down and enjoy the beauty of consciously created textiles through her online shop, Honey Folk Clothing, and her workshops. Along with a selection of naturally-dyed clothing and homewares, Honey Folk provides products and resources for your various stitch projects, including thread and yarn, fabric, mending kits, and patterns.
Heidi is also a lead mending teacher at our monthly Mending Bar Happy Hours hosted at the Fibershed Learning Center.
Below, read our Q&A with Heidi to learn more about the Honey Folk philosophy and how she mindfully selects the materials she uses in her products. Plus, explore one of her sewing patterns (and try it yourself!).
Photographed by Paige Green Photography
Tell us a little about your connection to Fibershed: What does Fibershed mean to you?
I am a founding member of Fibershed. I made a garment for Fibershed Founder Rebecca Burgess way back when she did her year-long garment challenge. The process changed how I thought about clothing and started me on a path to making garments, knitting patterns, and a journey into natural dyeing. Fibershed means possibilities, community, and a thoughtful way of living.
Tell us a little about Honey Folk: What products and resources does Honey Folk offer?
Honey Folk is always evolving. It’s somewhere between a clothing brand and a haberdashery. I offer garments, hand sewing and knitting patterns, naturally dyed sashiko thread, sewing supplies, and workshops.
I share my natural dye discoveries and tips and tricks on my blog when I have time to write. I’m always sharing on Instagram (@honeyfolkclothing). I started a Patreon because I wanted a safe space to build a creative community outside of social media.
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What is Honey Folk’s philosophy?
The Honey Folk philosophy focuses on slow living and a zero-waste lifestyle. The clothing I create is from natural fibers, including the thread they’re sewn with. My garments can be naturally dyed, mended, or even composted if they’ve reached the end of their journey — although I encourage people to transform worn-out garments into other useful objects.
How do you select the materials and dyes used in your products?
Most of the materials I use are industry waste that I purchase from a local charity shop that exclusively sells second-hand sewing and craft supplies. The traditional natural dyes I use are from Botanical Colors because I love them, and it’s a fantastic company. Otherwise, I gather different plants in my area. I’m lucky to live in a tiny second-growth Redwood forest in Western Sonoma County. I can walk out my door and find dye plants all year long.
I use these materials because they make me happy. It sounds kind of silly, but it’s true. I also try to support other businesses that align with my values and do good work in the world.
What advice would you give to other artisans looking to embed regenerative practices into their work?
It’s easier than you think. Part of it is just unlearning what we’ve been taught living in a disposable world. Start small — it can be overwhelming if you try to change everything overnight.
Pattern share: Try the Honey Folk Patchwork Pouch Pattern!
On her website, Heidi offers a number of sewing patterns, including pouches, textile vessels, and clothing items. Many of the patterns are free or low-cost to make them accessible. Among the free patterns is the Honey Folk Patchwork Pouch — a small pouch that can be made from fabric scraps. Continue reading to learn more about the pouch, then make your own!
We love that you offer sewing patterns — including free patterns — on your website. Can you tell us more about your Patchwork Pouch Pattern? What’s your favorite thing about the Honey Folk Patchwork Pouch Pattern?
I made the Honey Folk Patchwork Pouch Pattern when I first started teaching mending at my friend’s shop pre-pandemic. I discovered a lot of people wanted to learn but didn’t necessarily want to mend clothes. The patchwork pouch pattern teaches all the basic skills you need. Plus, you can use it to store your mending supplies. It’s the first zero-waste pattern I made, and every time I make one, I think about the hours I spent connecting with people all over the world during the first year of the pandemic when I was teaching free virtual classes and live streams.
What would you recommend to anyone learning to mend or make their own pieces?
Celebrate your mistakes as much as your successes. The more you stitch, the more you’ll find your creative voice. Remember to be mindful of your hands and body. Use tools that prevent/limit hand fatigue. Remember to stretch, take breaks, and have fun.
Let us know if you try out this pattern! Leave a comment below sharing your experience, or upload a photo of your pouch. Plus, join us for our monthly Mending Bar Happy Hours! These events are on the fourth Thursday of each month at our Fibershed Learning Center in Point Reyes Station, California.