Things to do-places to go-

After a great round of Fashion Sewing Club meetings I’m inspired to get out and take advantage of some of the cool events going on around me. Thought you might be interested-

Griffin Gallery is teaming up with Luxury Garage Sale, a new high end designer consignment store, for an event full of art and fashion!
Thursday, March 16
4:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Friday, March 17
11:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Griffin Gallery located at NE corner of 494 and 100 (old Camelot building).

Hats, Horses & High Tea
A Trunk Show and Fundraiser at Scarborough Fair Boutique
Saturday, March 18, 11 am – 4 pm
Hats, Horses & High Tea
The 3rd annual “Hats, Horse & High Tea” event will feature the handmade hats of Karen Morris, Monica Lyon, Candy Kuehn and other milliners from Minnesota. The hats being showcased are perfect for the Kentucky Derby, a polo match, Easter, or upcoming weddings or any another event befitting a show-stopping hat.

The featured milliners will offer demonstrations, and tea and other beverages, and cake and scones with clotted cream will be served.

Textile Center will be the beneficiary of the event; ten percent of all sales that day will be donated to Textile Center.

Scarborough Fair
Scarborough Fair Boutique
2238 Carter Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55108

Got fabric? Spring cleaning? Need fabric? (OK, want?)
Textile Center’s Garage Sale is coming up-
Lots of us have been, donated and taken new goodies home with us 🙂

Pattern Review Weekend, Anyone?

Always on the lookout for sewing related things to do, we’ve decided to take in the Pattern Review Weekend as it is so close by in Chicago. Our rooms and flights are booked-now all we have to do is decide which indie (or other) patterns to try before we go.

Dates are Friday and Saturday, May 15-16. Check-in is Thursday night, a full day of panel discussions, etc. and a dinner on Friday and shopping on Saturday.

Grainline Studio, Jalie, Janet Pray of Islander Patterns and Angela Wolf will be on the panel.

We’d love to have company so email us if you are planning to go to.

Here’s the link.

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.


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!

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.

Post Peggy Sagers Fit Workshop

From our California Material Girl, Carrie, after the whirling in her head slowed down 🙂
(To see the first two entries, see The Art of Fitting-Before and The Art of Fitting-In the Thick of It.

So, how does one feel after being enmeshed in fitting muslins for almost 4 days? Tired!
My head feels full of information that I didn’t even have time to get into notes. And I’m excited by all that I learned about how to fit patterns.
I still need to find time to take the adjustments from my muslins and adapt my tissue patterns according to the changes.
I brought 10 muslins with me to the training and all 10 came home fitted to me – first by another student, then reviewed, adjusted, and modified by Peggy.
I’m very happy with what I learned and am also happy to have 10 patterns fitted to me that I can use as a baseline going forward.

The training schedule is 80% hands on fitting. The other 20% is direct explanation and training from Peggy. There is no magic formula for fitting. Each wrinkle is unique to each individual, but Peggy has tried to create a common sense approach that breaks down the most common sources or reasons for wrinkles. I like that Peggy is all about taking a simple approach to fitting – what’s the fastest, easiest way to eliminate the wrinkles? Let’s not create a new arm hole shape that would require a new sleeve. Let’s not make several modifications to one garment – maybe we have the wrong size to start with etc.

After Day Two I think most people in the class felt frustrated with the learning process. Most of what we were doing to fit the muslins was still “wrong.” We were able to identify the wrinkles, but not always what was causing the wrinkle, so therefore, not fixing the wrinkle in the correct way. Day Three Peggy came in with a new class format and, in general, I could tell that by the end of the class we were starting to “get it.” Day Four, the last day, Peggy offered to start early and most people showed up early, already jumping in with a partner before Peggy even arrived. Each fitting was reviewed and corrected as needed by Peggy. She would often ask what the fitter saw before making an adjustment, then review what should be changed and why.

Overall, learning the fundamentals of fitting and the hands on experience is totally worth the cost of the class. Leaving the class with at least 9 fitted muslins- more if you have time to make more – is totally worth the cost of the class. If you want to become a fitting trainer and offer sewing classes – you won’t walk away with a packaged program or curriculum to do that. In my class about half of the ladies were interested in teaching fit classes. Peggy does share experiences and what works or doesn’t work from her personal experience and the experience of previous students.

So, am I a fitting expert now? No, but I have a really good set of tools in my tool box. From what I’ve heard and now experienced, it takes practice, practice, practice and I’m ready to jump in!

Thanks, Carrie. To find out more about Peggy’s class fitting class, click this link.

Reporting from Down Under

Lucia (some of you may know her from Treadle and others as the serger teacher at Make It Sew) nabbed a great gig for house sitting in New Zealand and misses Fashion Sewing Club so here’s her Show and Tell and a bit more…

Hi,Kristin, Debbie, Laurel and all of the Treadle Material Girls group!

The first week of every month since I arrived I’ve been determined to write. Yeah; well, finally I’m getting to it. Miss my garden terribly (hope there is some shred of life left after the inferno), and, the Material Girls meetings – other than that I’d be happy to stay here. I’m 10 minutes walk from the ferry into downtown Auckland. Lots of walking opportunities – up very steep hills – the only kind of hills they have in N.Z. Just saw the tax value for the apt. I’m in and it’s unbelievably $1 Million. It’s nice but not that nice! Property here is very expensive. Greater Auckland has about 2 million people – a big place. $500,000 buys you a very, very small, 40-50 yr. old place.

Here are some pictures off my balcony –

My favorite view out the kitchen window

Devastation in the dining room

I’ve been sewing up a storm with a Brother machine – no Serger – boo-boo. Tackled the chevron striped pattern from the cover of Threads – July issue. Made the sleeveless top below to test out the pattern and my stripe matching ability. Yikes, what a job. I am going to try the dress this week. Made a couple Quincy tops (Sewing Workshop). I like the window pane knit fabric – probably not the best pattern for a check but it turned out okay. Am disappointed with the wool selections here – lots of mixes like 40% wool and 60% acrylic. Found a discount fabric store where I paid $3/ meter for the dotted knit top fabric but it’s hard to get to. I’ll have to wrangle a ride back there some weekend.

The knit top is a Marcy Titon t-shirt with a Katherine Tilton double collar. Loved making the collar – so much fun.

Just joined a website from U.K. – Wardrobe unlock’d – ever heard of it?

Summer sounds like it’s been so much fun in Minnesota. I just got up to turn the heat on! When the sun is out it warms up nicely by 1 or 2 p.m. to around 58. Otherwise it’s pretty much heavy sweater weather – but I am not complaining at all. If I get too cold I just throw on my Eddie Bauer “can-take-anything” raincoat and go splash around in the rain.


P.S. Am open to any introductions you may want to make on my behalf to single, millionaires who are interested in spending 1/2 of each year in New Zealand, the land of Frodo, Peter Jackson and the occasional earthquake.

Great to hear from you, Lucia. Thanks for sharing!

Catching Up on Summer and Oh, By the Way…

It’s time for Fashion Sewing Club! This Thursday, August 9 at Make It Sew, Chanhassen at 10:30 or 6:30, Saturday at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul, 10:30 and Tuesday, August 14 at Treadle, 10:30 also. Love to see you-sew up that one fabric that you can’t put away for yet another season and wear the garment while it’s still summer. Here’s what’s on my sewing table:

Summer or Fall?

I missed out on the last two Clubs in July because I was in NYC meeting the new in-laws. We had a wonderful time. It looks like we covered alot of territory, and we did. Hot and sweaty but my favorite way to travel-on foot. We started at the lower end of Manhattan in the financial district full of families-that was a surprise, not at all an uptight neighborhood but lots of play space for kids and they were everywhere, all the time. Then the garment district-yup, made it to Mood (Are you watching Project Runway?). Husband chose the chair just outside the elevator and got to know the owner, Jack;Lizzie and I looked for tie silk and textured knits-with plenty of help from employees that wanted to cut samples for us. I’m surprised they didn’t check for scissors at the door. Then up to Museum Mile and the Schiaparelli exhibit. Well worth the time. We enjoyed “Harvey” on Broadway starring Sheldon from Big Bang Theory (that’s the only way I know him). The subway (a very warm wait before the air conditioned cars-how do men walk down into the subways in suits and long sleeved shirts and still look cool?!?) took us to the northern tip of the island to see the Cloisters and we sampled a food fair after a ferry ride to Brooklyn. Such a different atmosphere in all of the areas and we only hit a small part of New York. I watched for my “Sartorialist” moments but had to be happy just making camera noises as we had things to see and places to go. But there were dresses everywhere, even Bill made mention of it. So this is the summer to wear them. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. And speaking of people to look at-Abercrombie had a few young men in swim trunks in front of their store-thanks for the eye candy for females!
Here are a few pictures:

“Lunch” exhibit at NYC Public Library

World Trade Center Memorial

Brooklyn Bridge
Louis Vuitton Storefront
Schiaparelli/Prada Exhibit at the Met
Cool Artwork along Chelsea Highline
View from the apartment roof

I told the girls at our summer sewing camp that they’d be on our website so I best keep my word. Four days of fun and their favorite thing was the hand sewing! Whodda thunk? We hope you come back for MEA break girls!

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!