Inspiration at JoAnn’s

Having said yes to adding padding to a prom dress,
I needed supplies and headed over to the Yorktown JoAnn’s store. I found a great variety of padding
and some awesome activewear knits. (It’s so hard to buy just one!)
And then I ran into Clare LaFond! Some of you may know her from Fashion Sewing Club at Treadle but she’s been busy for the last couple of years. She has changed careers and attends Minneapolis Community Technical College in the fashion apparel area. The senior class fashion show, “Alchemy”, is this Thursday, May 7 at 7 pm. Here’s the link. Even if you can’t go, it’s fun to watch the video (you’re not in it, Clare!). And if you click on each designer you can also see a sample of their designs.
These are Clare’s-her inspiration is Frank Lloyd Wright architecture-

Anyone remember her Dr. Who raincoat using Spoonflower to design her own fabric? I’m trying hard to clear my calendar to attend the show. It would be fun to get her to do a guest appearance at Club and see the designs up close and personal.

Send all of your speedy/no ripping/problem solving sewing karma to Clare as she sews down the home stretch to the show!

Field Trip, Anyone?

Winter seems to be over, the flowers are blooming and sometimes you just gotta get out and see what’s going on.

Eagle Creek Quilt Shop in Shakopee is hosting Anna Maria Horner (fabric designer) on Wednesday, May 13 at 6:30. Debbie has already signed us up and we thought we might make a half day of it and go to the newer SR Harris in Burnsville, have dinner and then head over to Eagle Creek.

If you’d like to join us, please email us ( so we know to look for you at whatever point you choose to participate. Sign up for the Anna Maria Horner event by calling ECQS at 952-233-3774 (you’ll have to send a check or stop by and pay $10). There will be goodie bags and appetizers for all.

We all need inspiration to keep us going but if you can’t join us I’d encourage you to read her blog. I just read her two latest posts and can’t wait to meet her in person. Her writing is much deeper (nourishing) than the typical pattern review stuff I usually read.

I am back from an extended stay with our twin grand boys and Debbie is focusing on her son’s wedding. One of us has her sewing done, the other just getting started. Hope you all are finding your inspiration to pursue your plans for warm weather sewing.


Back in Portland after the second day at Puyallup 2014 and still no snow!!!

From Roving Reporter Kay Dole

My second day at the Puyallup Sewing Expo was as busy as the first! Although I didn’t spend as much money at the Marcy Tilton booth today as I did yesterday!

The four classes I attended today included one on monograms to use with my embroidery machine, a bag the jacket class with Connie Crawford, an industry insider class with Louise Cutting and an embellishing class by Barbara Crawford ( no relation to Connie). Lots of good ideas and practical information. I had a personal fitting with Connie Crawford which was a great experience as I have been focusing on fit with the last few things I have made. Very helpful.
But the highlight of the day for me was the fashion show by Linda Lee (right, above) of The Sewing Workshop and Louise Cutting (left, above) of Cutting Line Designs. Loved it, loved it, loved it. Their designs are so beautifully created with the home sewer in mind who wants to look great at any age and of any shape or size. (Patterns are listed at end of post in case you want to see how well you know the pattern lines-or you don’t know them well and would like to).




Louise has several new patterns and I don’t know about you, but I find that I don’t always visualize her designs well from the pattern pictures so seeing them made up is especially helpful. One of the other members of our group said the same thing so I don’t think it is just me. Her clothes were a mix of casual and more professional pieces using the same pattern but with changes in fabrics and colors. I am anxious to try “Snap to It” and “A New Angle“!



Linda’s newest pattern “Helix Tee” looks interesting to sew with only two main pieces. The pants in this pattern had a nice narrow leg which looked very flattering while not being too tight. She revisited several older patterns while updating her approach to them. Especially interesting was the Origami Skirt which I would not have considered until today. Take a look at these pictures and see what you think.



So all in all if you get a chance to come to Puyallup next year, do consider it. I am heading to the airport now to take the red eye flight home, tired and loaded down with 11 new pieces of fabric, 10 new patterns and a lot of sewing to do!!

(If you haven’t seen enough pictures yet-check out Marcy Tilton’s special Expo edition newsletter.)

Patterns shown above:
1-3-Louise Cutting, Dimension Jacket
4-Linda Lee, Alex Top
5-Linda Lee,Eureka Top, Plaza Pant
6-Louise, Anything but Ordinary Jacket, Artist in Motion Top, One seam Pant-Narrow
7-Linda, Sienna Shirt, Mix It Tank, E-dress Skirt
8-Linda,Opal Jacket, Mimosa Top, Plaza Pant
9-Louise, Fun With Fabric Top, One Seam Pant
10-Linda,Balboa Topper, Mix It Tank, Ikina Pants
11-Linda, Helix Tee and Pant
12-Linda, Trio Top Adaptation, Eureka Skirt
13-Linda, Helix Tee and Pant
(How did you do, Cheri and Kathy? :))

The fashions are great at the Puyallup Sewing Expo 2014 and best of all, there isn’t any snow!!

From Roving Reporter Kay Dole-

Joining a “Sew Many Options Tour” with Marsha McClintock for the sewing expo has turned out to be a good decision. Lee, from the Saturday Fashion Sewing Club, did this last year and recommended it. My day started with a two hour bus trip from Portland and a winning ticket for one of the door prizes on the way. Now if only my luck would hold out for one of those new sewing machines being given out at the expo…….
Classes, fashion shows and shopping filled the day. A leather sewing class by Peggy Sagers was filled with new information including that you can wash leather in the washing machine. Who knew?

The first fashion show I attended was narrated by Patti Palmer of Palmer/Pletsch fame and featured patterns from McCalls, Butterick and Vogue. Lots of dresses which seemed to fall into two major categories: form fitting sheaths or twirly full skirted dresses. Most were sleeveless which is not always the most flattering for those of us of a certain age. Trends were described as including either brightly colored solids or water colored or splashy prints. Dresses with interesting details were also featured. Check out these pictures and see what you think.





Also, the fashion show by Marcy and Katherine Tilton was delightful. Their choices are always interesting and include styles we can all wear while still including some edgy items only for the brave. See a few pictures from their show.



I did find a few pieces of fabric while shopping at their booth. Also, if any of you follow the blog “Communing with Fabric”, its author, Shams, was shopping while I was there and we picked two of the same fabrics. She has good taste!

I found some things at Linda Lee’s booth as well as a new pattern from Louise Cutting. Diane Erickson has some beautiful new upcycled items that are fun to see. She is so creative and is using Tee Juice markers to draw and embellish items. I had to buy some to try.
All for now as I have to rest up for tomorrow. They are predicting some snow, just can’t seem to get away from it.

Bits and Pieces

We’ve had three Fashion Sewing Club meetings and just Saturday morning at Treadle to go. It’s been fun to be back in the sewing groove. New faces showed up at Treadle and Claire came back after missing several months. She’s been bitten so hard by the sewing bug that she’s enrolled at MCTC and is taking classes in fashion design. We got to see some of her work in progress. She will be at the Hearts for Fashion style show at the Mall of America on Saturday, February 9th. The event is listed as 10 am-5 pm so stay tuned for further info.

Another face that we’ve missed showed up in these shoes-(fine, her feet were in the shoes, not her face!)

I hadn’t heard of John Fluevog (Fashion Sewing Club can be such an education :). Evidently he designs shoes for the likes of Alice Cooper and Madonna and opened a store in Uptown in November. Might have to make a trip just to see them all!

Pictures are slow in coming from the wedding but here are a few teasers-

The Shoes

The Jewels

The Dress (and the groom many years ago…)

We have one more class at Treadle before their new class calendar begins (so you can’t find this on their webpage but it’s still on ours). We call it Build a Basic Wardrobe: Casual Jacket and it will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 1:30. We define a casual jacket as easy to throw on, a bit more than a sweater or sweatshirt but less than lapels and linings. I’ve “pinned ” several jacket patterns on my “Patterns” board on Pinterest if you’d like to see them. Are you on Pinterest? It can be habit forming but it’s an easy way to keep track of ideas that you see online. Here’s the link to my board-Patterns

Serger Club at Make It Sew is next Thursday( 1/17 at 10:30 and 6:30). We will make pj pants with a wide knit band. This makes it easy to sew them for others when you don’t know where they like to wear their pants. Comfy fit and lots of options. If you need a pants pattern, Kwiksew 3980 also has the pj lace top that we’ll be using for the February Serger Club meeting. These same two garments will be the topic for Eternal Sergery at Treadle Yard Goods on Feb. 12 and March 20.

That’s enough for now. Hope to see you Saturday if you haven’t made it to Club yet. Enjoy your weekend. (Or one of my favorite quotes from the dowager in Downton Abbey, “What’s a week end?”)

Whirlwind Week; June Club Sheets Online

June Fashion Sewing Club began on Saturday at Treadle followed by a full class of beginning sergers. Mary, the owner at Treadle started the day off right with the announcement that they will be offering Butterick, Vogue, McCalls and KwikSew at a discounted price all the time! You’ll have to check on the start date as there were a few bookkeeping kinks still to be worked out. What a good deal for all of us. Basic Sergery is so satisfying for Debbie and me because students, for the most part, learn a lot and leave feeling much smarter.

A new pattern line you may want to check out

Sunday we drove to Truman, MN (Iowa, as one Club member insisted 🙂 to stay overnight at The Whittler’s Lady Bed and Breakfast so we’d be near Fairmont for our class and trunk show on Monday with the Prairie Star Quilters. The class, Summer Coats, was held in a church and no one did the same thing! We had one Sophia Trench and lots of upcycling of favorite or “too good to get rid of” garments. That might be a good class to try up here.

Tuesday we had a packed house at Treadle. Wednesday we “Focused on Fit” with a basic shell-several full bust adjustments and nips here/tucks there. Thursday was Fashion Sewing Club at Make It Sew; Friday, Sewing With Sheers and Saturday, a full class of Sophia Trenches at Eagle Creek.
All Sophia Trenches except one student made a pillow for her future nursery-and my grandbabies 🙂

Whew! Doing lots of what we love to do. Hope all those who were part of our week had as much fun as we did. Club Sheets are online if you missed it.

First Time at Textile Center Garage Sale

Guest post from Kenzie Carlson to brighten a dreary Monday morning-

Good Morning, Ladies!

Thank you for the announcement of the Textile Center Garage Sale! Otherwise, I would not have known anything about it!

Yes, I did go and spend the whole day there, subsisting on the mere rations I brought along (2 granola bars and a water bottle…who knew that the years of scouting, alongside my son, were the training grounds for the Garage Sale?!). I thought enough ahead to bring ex-large and ex-small reusable shopping bags…and a strategized list of items to focus on – no willy nilly purchases today!! This would be a good place to look for those OOP (out-of-print) patterns as seen on my late night browsing on Pattern Review, fabric for those upcoming designs, notions of needed things, and reference materials.

I arrived around 8:00ish, paid a buck for parking and received a $2-off coupon for the Garage Sale and $3-off for the Reuse It Center. Stuffed those in my wallet and forgot about them…onto the Sale!

There were tons of things everywhere-in boxes on tables, under tables. I rummaged through tables (and under) of patterns dated from today back to the 50’s. 10 patterns for a buck! Likewise for books and magazines in display and price. Unbelievable heaps of fabric in every type of fiber content possible…expensive silks, wools, to scraps of leftover craft projects. Honestly, it got easier to look through the material after folks picked the top layer off. Some fabric came from a loving home as it was carefully wrapped in ribbon or string to endure the strains of the Garage Sale. (I had notes attached saying the fabric was machine washed and dried before storage!) Other fabric seemed to be happily rid of the previous life of some gone-wrong project as it was only circumferenced in masking tape and nearly falling apart. The notions were an extravagance of a multitude of junk drawers with everything possible co-mingling in boxes, on tables and underneath.

I slowly went through patterns, books, notions, fabric-once. Then, after a granola bar/water break, dove in for a second time!

At 2pm, I made it through checkouts and s-l-o-w-l-y hauled my overheaped, over weighted bags to my car. Since it was so close to the 3pm $1-bag sale, I was off to join that line. I overheard the party of 3 ahead of me (looked like an older-than-me couple with their college-aged daughter). The mom instructed strategy assignments to the other 2 on the impending break-loose bag sale and distributed HER OWN brown paper grocery-sized bags (no need to waste time stopping for bags!). “Okay, stay away from UFO’s, unless they contain LARGE balls of yarn!” Wow, what a good tip!! I had passed by the UFO’s (unfinished projects) because why would I want someone else’s bad karma projects?? Who thought to look through them for goodies??

Standing there for almost an hour, I realized there was a $2-off coupon in my wallet that I’d forgotten about! In the spirit of strategizing as did the threesome ahead, I decided to limit my fabric intake to the two bags covered by the $2-off coupon. I didn’t need to become a hoarder. I didn’t need to take ANYTHING that fit into my bag just because it was a buck. What I really wanted was 4 yards of Treadle silk fabric, originally priced $120 for $40, that everybody walked passed, unnoticed. I couldn’t decide if the mustard plaid gorgeous fabric would be the right color for a coat. Since I couldn’t decide when the fabric was close at hand, I thought to wait until the bag sale to see if fate was on my side.

Fate was not on my side. I’m still mourning the loss, but still can’t decide if the color was right. (Sounds like a bad teenage relationship….)

But, I did find some wonderful fabrics!! Since I didn’t really know what to take, I started going for the large yardages thinking, if nothing else, they would make good muslins. After going through the frenzy of gathering, I carefully packed my limited 2 bags and presented the $2-off coupon to the cashier. Yes, he accepted the coupon and the bags were FREE!!

Some of the things I ended up with, costing $25:
– 13 patterns, including a Marcy Tilton and a Silhouette;
– 17 books and Threads Magazines;
– 25 pieces of fabric yardage, including the free $1-bags;
– 4 packages of sewing machine needles, including twin and spring;
– 1 spool of ribbon;
– several sewing machine presser feet (some fit my machine, some didn’t)

I spent the evening pouring over the Threads Magazines, ripping out “valued” articles at a coffee shop in St. Paul until 9pm, then in my car until 11:30pm. Who knew that I was the ride for my son and his friend to a metal concert, to enjoy 3 bands I never heard of…. Yes, it took that long to go through the stack of Threads!

Sunday, everything got laundered, ready for sewing. When I pre-wash, fabrics go through a machine wash (regular cycle with soap) and machine dry. After the garment is made, they never see the dryer again as does the RTW in the house (except jeans). Each fabric is cataloged on a 3×5 card, including measurements pre- and post-washing, and post-drying. It’s a good indicator for fabric content. (Oh, I also toss a dye-catching sheet in the wash to give some sort of indication on the amount of dye lost in the wash.) The dry-clean-only got the washer treatment, too, because I don’t want to dry clean. The fabric is folded (and some cases, ironed) after the dryer. Surprisingly, it took all Sunday to do just this! (Thank goodness, I stopped at TWO $1-bags!)

Today, I’ll pick up my pin-head-sized sewing studio (nobody has a “sewing room” anymore….) of past project fabric laying around and incorporate the newbies into storage. The stack of my current project focus (t-shirts, blouses) grew immensely. I can hear the call to create!

Again, thanks for sharing info on the Garage Sale!

Make It Sew One Year Anniversary

Save 30% on garment fabric-Thursday only (more great deals-see their Facebook page). It’s a great time to come find them in Chanhassen. We’ll be there from 1-8 pm with garment samples from Fashion Sewing Club and will do complimentary bust/waist/hip measurements and help you choose your best pattern size-bring a pattern you have or we will have samples.

In a New York Minute!

Contributed by Carrie Diamont

In 2009 I attended the MN Sewing Expo and watched my friends, the Material Girls, participate in the Peggy Sager’s customer fashion show for a chance to win a trip to NY to shop for fabric in the Garment District. In 2010 I attended the Expo again, but this time I was determined to have a fighting chance at winning the NY fabric buying trip. Luck was on my side – I was one of two customers to participate in the afternoon fashion show. And I had come prepared – I brought two garments with me so I had two chances to win the trip. Surprise, surprise, with a 67% chance of winning the trip – my name was picked out of the hat and I won!

I asked Peggy if I could join the next December trip as the December 2010 trip was already full.
Can you believe I waited just over a year to go on the NY Fabric buying trip? Although there is a spring option – I prefer fall fabrics of wools, heavy knits, darker colors, etc. Although it was a long time off -believe me I didn’t let Peggy forget that I would be on the December trip in 2011!

The trip begins officially on a Thursday afternoon and wraps up on Friday evening. You would not believe the amount of shopping you can do in just a day and a half! Peggy brought us into places that don’t sell to the public, and specialize in designer lines. As part of the trip we had a once in a life time opportunity to tour the design studio of Nanette Lepore, an American designer who still manufactures the majority of her line within the 5 blocks of the NY Garment District. While the shopping and the tour were awesome, the only thing that could top that was sharing this experience with 40 other sewists. Dinner on Thursday night was a room full of ladies chatting about sewing and sharing experiences. Who knew that a room full of sewing enthusiasts could get so loud! Of course the night ended with a round of show and tell of our best fabric finds from the day. The fun of the companionship was certainly as much fun as the shopping!

Luckily for me, my roommate had been on several of these buying trips. She gave me the inside scoop on the places we would be visiting – where to splurge because you won’t have the opportunity to go back, what types of fabric to expect to find in the different locations, and where to browse. A high number of the ladies are repeat attenders, some have been coming since the first one! It’s easy to see that this trip is a great value for the price and a wonderful experience. For those who have been able to attend the Material Girls’ hosted SR Harris shopping trips – The Peggy Sager NY trip is like that experience on steroids. Unforgettable is the best way to describe it ; )

Pictures include: Peggy and friends shopping in NY, me with two bolts of amazing Helmut Lang wool