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.


Stitch, Des Moines

Taking full advantage of a duct tape dress form request, I traveled to Des Moines to visit my youngest daughter, take in the Broadway show, Once, and discover a great new fabric store!
Stitch is located in East Village-a happening place in Des Moines with lots of local businesses and restaurants. The shop carries cotton fabric, patterns and yarn.
I had to pick up a few things and support my daughter’s friend and one of the partners of the business.
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Great displays-made me want my own store. I hope to use a few of the patterns I picked up for Club next week. Good luck, Jessica and Madie!

How Do You Recycle?

Since I’m going through my stash so quickly (ha, you really can’t see a difference in my closet) I need to be sure I am getting rid of things in the right places. An added benefit is feeling good (!) about letting go of fabric that I spent hard-earned money on. Here are my benefactors-please share if you know of others:

Bundles of Love-quilters, sewists and knitters make layettes for moms who have very little as they leave the hospital

Knit fabric for gowns/sleepers
Fleece for buntings
Quilt fabric for quilts
Yarn for sweaters/booties
Serger thread
sheet fabrics (cotton or cotton/poly blends, at least 45″ wide and 70″ long)
Quilt batting

Bring your donations to Fashion Sewing Club and I will get them to the group or go to website.

Family Resource Center, Minneapolis (Latino Women’s Group)
This is a group of women that meet and learn new skills

Fabric and patterns

Bring donations to Fashion Sewing Club.

Spool Racer Contest, Prior Lake Schools
Students build racers from thread spools for a science project.

Any straight thread spools (not serger cones)

Bring to Club or drop at Treadle or Make It Sew and ask them to save for us.

And then just plain recycling-

Fabric remnants and clippings (all leftovers from cutting out, too small to keep)
USAgain, for profit group-green drop boxes found in parking lots-website has locations
Someone mentioned a place that accepts scraps for dog beds-anybody have a contact?

I keep a basket next to my wastebasket and then bag it up when full.

Paper from pattern cutting, out of style patterns

I keep a bag hanging on a lamp close to cutting table and empty into paper recycling.

And then if you’ve read this far, you deserve a reward-
the grandbabies in their fire engine pants. I’d like to say they are from scrap fabric but I bought the fabric just for them. But I had a friend once who ripped all her remnants into strips and sewed them into log cabin squares as she went. I think I might start sewing my remnants into clothes for the boys as I go-the machines will have the right color thread and can just have a few quick patterns like pants and tops. We’ll see…

Have a great weekend!

August Fashion Sewing Club Sheets Online

Thanks for coming to Club this month. Each meeting/location has taken on a personality of its own and because of that Debbie and I have our tanks filled by the end of the week. We hope you were inspired too!
Here are a few highlights-(Club sheets can be found under Club Sheets/Garment Photos above)

Roberta has been sewing! This is a wonderful Japanese double weave cotton that is as beautiful on the wrong (!?) side as the right side.

Su got creative using only what was in her stash. She’ll be doing a trunk show at Make It Sew on Sept. 6, 6 pm and again at Treadle in October. Can’t wait!!
A very proud grandma brought her pupil/granddaughter to model her latest project.

And finally, just wanted to show you the final version of the striped Anthropologie Dress-



Perfection (or another version, thanks to a belt from Target 🙂

(Directions for the dress can be found in the Club Sheets.)

First Sewing For Babies/Gorgeous Fabric/Three Thread Overlock

I know, the title is too long but depending on where your interests lie…

And yes, the babies are boys but this was my best photo…

Treadle has two soft Japanese double layer pique knits, one pink, one blue. A bit spendy and only 32″ wide but in my mind that said, “Baby Layette Blanket”. All I had to do was finish the edges and since we have had quite a few serger classes lately and we often got the question, “What do you use the 3 thread overlock for?” I thought I might share what I did.

Blue is 3 thread, pink is 4 thread

For the blue three thread I used off white Jeans Stitch cotton thread in the upper looper along with a heavier poly/cotton Gutermann denim thread that I had picked up at the Expo in the lower looper.

For the four thread I used Pearl Crown Rayon in the upper looper and Heavy XP Coats and Clark in the lower looper-serger thread in needles.

Square up the fabric-selvedge says “peaceful cooing” so I left it on

Serge around all four sides leaving a tail

Using a blunt tipped needle, go back under stitches

Pull through and clip

I didn’t prewash the fabric as I didn’t want the layers to separate before sewing. The fabric did shrink 4 inches both ways but it also got thicker and the pique showed more.

I tried to take photos of turning corners without cutting threads but my camera didn’t have high enough resolution. We teach this method in our Beyond Basic Sergery (Treadle) or Advanced Serger (Make It Sew) classes. Practice makes perfect.

Here is the written version from the Babylock website, check out a serger book and you will find it too.
“Outside Corners: Stitch to the end of the corner edge, but not beyond. Stop with the needles up and raise the presser foot. With tweezers pull approximately 1/4″ of slack thread above the needles. The slack will allow the fabric to be pulled slightly to the back, clearing stitches from the stitch fingers. Turn the fabric, aligning the new edge with the edge of the needle plate. Remove any slack from the needle threads. Lower the foot and continue sewing.”

I was only trimming the tiniest edge off the fabric but if you trim more you will need to trim by hand for about 2″ at the beginning of each corner. You’ll see what I mean if you try it-the blade won’t get a chance to cut right at the very beginning and that will make everything gum up.

Can’t wait to wrap up babies in these blankets!

Fun With Colorblocking

Contributed by Carrie Diamont

This idea started after I went through my fabric stash and started categorizing by color. I found a nice gray knit and another knit that was gray with purple stripes (Debbie had given it to me-some of her scraps). The two fabrics just looked great together but both were only about 1/2 a yard or so. I’m not very creative when it comes to color blocking so I wanted to find a pattern that basically offered me the creativity I wanted with out having to think about how to do it myself.

I found Kwik Sew 3842 awhile ago and loved the lines in this pattern -I think this pattern can be used for a great slimming affect. I decided my two gray knits would be a great muslin opportunity to try out this pattern. I admit I have a phobia of wearing anything with horizontal stripes – even very thin stripes! So to counteract any girth that could be added by the horizontal stripes, I kept the solid gray on the outside to create a column effect. The pattern went together quickly-very simple- the triangles were not difficult to sew on my serger at all. I made no adjustments to the pattern. I’m very pleased with the result and I hope to play around with some other color block combinations in the future. The pattern also comes with an attractive v-neck, long sleeve option.

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.

It’s all about the fabric

I bought this beautiful fabric at Treadle before leaving MN.  It was so beautiful- and I didn’t really know what I wanted to make with it – but I knew I had to have the fabric.  I bought 2+ yards of it and I’m so glad I did.  I’m learning that if I really love a fabric – buy 2-3 yards because it will give you the flexibility to make one bigger item (like a jacket or dress) or a couple of smaller items. It’s similar to the theory that if you like a pattern and get it to fit you well – make two or three more!

First, I made Vogue 8597 with this fabric.  I did check out Pattern Review first – and there were a few complaints, pretty minor, most people had good things to say.  One person wanted more drape in the neckline so included instructions of how to create more drape.  However, I’m very happy with the drape of the neckline and I think it really has to do with the choice of fabric.  Isn’t that the best part of sewing – when you hit the right combination of fabric and pattern choice? I’m so glad even some of the experts recognize that this can be a difficult thing to do! This fabric works perfectly for this style.  (One note on the fabric – I did find that it seemed to catch on the metal plate of my Elna Lock, so I had to keep a close eye on feeding the fabric through my serger.) I’ve been finding that when making knit items using Vogue patterns, if I use my regular pattern size -the finished garment ends up too big. So, for this top I compared the finished bust measurement to other patterns I’ve made and either liked or didn’t like the fit. Based on the finished bust measurement of this pattern I decided to size down and it fit exactly how I wanted the first time around. Overall the top came together quickly, nice and easy!

Next on deck for this fabric is a t-shirt using Vogue 8536. I’m always looking for a great T-shirt pattern! I know other ladies at club have made this pattern and it is a great basic fit. They’ve dressed up the basic T by adding a bit of gathering on the side at the bustline and an easy-to-hem side vent. I like that this pattern includes several options- vneck, cross over, sleeveless…great to have in your pattern stash.

One more note on the fabric, I first saw this at Treadle over a year ago, I have since seen variations at Mood in NYC, Christine Jonson online, and even a local independent fabric store – so if you like it you should be able to find it some where!

Dress Your Best on Saturday??

We need a few more people to make the Dress Your Best event happen on Saturday. If you are on the fence, please get off of it by 8 pm. today, Oct. 12, by calling Treadle Yard Goods (651-698-9690) and registering. Then look in your closet and find a favorite garment or winter fabric that you’d like to build a wardrobe around. Bring it on Saturday with any complementary fabrics in your stash and get started with a productive winter sewing agenda. We’ll talk latest trends, what not to wear, make up and image ideas….

And just in case you missed the Missoni at Target….

It’s at Treadle!! This is only one of them-they arrived after Club yesterday. Must have!! I hope there’s some left on Saturday when we’re back for Fashion Sewing Club and (hopefully) Dress Your Best.

All Knits Do Not Roll Equally

Several tees in the new Talbots catalog caught my eye:

It looked like the rolled knit embellishment I used on my “Strip Tees” last month at Fashion Sewing Club.

Which made me wonder if I was limited to cotton/lycra knits for this method or if some of the rayon and poly knits were candidates. So I sewed a few strips together, got them wet and threw them into the dryer.

Here are the results:

Unfortunately these are remnants from my stash so I can’t say exactly what the content is but, for me, the bottom line is: It’s worth the time to make a mock up and be sure I’ll get the roll I want.

Now to the sewing table to copy the tees!