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

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Happy November

We’re busy sewing for Fashion Sewing Club at the Expo. We hope to see many of you Thursday at 9:30 or Saturday at 10:15. Wear your garments so you can model them on the runway. I registered for classes yesterday and some of them were full and the hotel is fully booked so it should be a great Expo.

If you want to see us before then or get a jump on some Christmas sewing, we’ll be at Eagle Creek at 1 pm on Saturday (11/5) for Cute Skirts or serging yoga pants/leggings at Treadle on Tuesday, 11/8 or napkins/scarves at 6 pm. A phone call will get you registered-Eagle Creek-952-233-3774 or Treadle-651-698-9690.

Cute Skirts Class

October Fashion Sewing Club pictures are on the website-our first Saturday morning meeting at Treadle was well attended with 10 people and Dress Your Best was a packed house with 22 people! It was a great day and I’m trying to continue the momentum of managing my stash and sewing wardrobe capsules.
Wedding was great-loved my dress. New display option-don't we look good?

Well, it’s back to my machines. I’m trying to get into a Project Runway frame of mind-they get their garments done quickly, right? and everything goes perfectly? I can always dream…

Dress Your Best event

Bits and Pieces

If you need something fun and inspiring to do this Sunday, the fashion show at Eagle Creek featuring Amy Ordahl and company is at 1 pm and there’s still room. Should be fun to see what she’s creating and the fabrics she uses. Call 952-233-3774 to reserve a spot.

It's a Girly Thing

We had 14 Girl Scouts at Hancock/Bernina on Tuesday. They each made an infinity scarf and a wrist pincushion. It’s always inspiring to see small hands working so hard at something new. Because there were so many, I was trying to think of things to entertain them if they finished early (one never knows) and I remembered a button toy from my childhood. Anybody remember a large button on a loop of string and then you spin it and once it gets twisted enough you can gently pull and release and the button spins and the string hums? I experimented with several different strings and yarns. A fun toy to keep in your sewing room for distraction ( who said anything about children-I need a diversion every once in a while! It gets the creative juices flowing 🙂 There are lots of you tube videos showing this toy so I guess I’m not alone. Google “spinning button toys”– evidently the erotic world has a corner on “button toys”. (Now you’re curious aren’t you!)

Happy Sewing, see you next week.

Make It Sew is Open

A new fabric and sewing store to check out in the western suburbs! Cathy Guy and her team have done a great job of setting up the new space. Half the store is fabric and a large classroom space and the other half houses the Bernina portion of the store. New fabric coming in every day.

Make It Sew, 600 Market St., Suite 110, Chanhassen-near the movie theatre.

Everything is 20% off through this Saturday to tempt you!

It even smells new!


Feeding My Sewing Spirit

I made it to the Junk Bonanza down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee. My registration for Creative Connection got me in free and a nice person gave me her $2 discount ticket for my friend. We wandered through on Friday morning. Three buildings of old furniture, stuff, jewelry, vintage everything. I find that it feeds my creative spirit. Seeing things that others do, their unique displays and some of the genuine characters who move from junk market to junk market across the US. I wish I would have taken pictures of a few of them.

So here are a few pictures of things that may feed your creative sewing spirit-the first one is of the treasures I picked up-cordial glasses and vintage button/jewelry from the junk market and the owl and headband from Handmade Market downtown. Handmade Market is over at 3 today and the Junk Bonanza is open till 5 today for $8. Today is the last day.

My Treasures

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Have I convinced you that wandering/shopping can be part of the creative process?

July could be a busy month

My sons just spent their last days in my house as single men(!). We had a great family potluck shower at my sister’s and now the weddings are becoming a reality. Decisions need to be made, etc., etc., etc.

July Fashion Sewing Club will reveal a few dresses as options for the mother of the groom but I’ve got to admit that Nordstrom’s is my fall back. Club meetings begin this Thursday at Associated Sewing in Bloomington (10:30 and 6:30) and Saturday at 10:30.

You may want to take in the Eagle Creek Garage Sale in Shakopee on Saturday (9 am-2 pm) after Club. I haven’t been for a few years but I remember some great vintage notions and fabric. Click here to go to the website.

On Tuesday, we’ll be at Treadle Yard Goods (10:30 and 6:30). Their big summer sale goes from July 8-18. Some of their dress silks are on my MOG dress list.

We’ve had a few requests to hold Fashion Sewing Club at The Sampler (551 W. 78th St.) in Chanhassen, so this is our trial month. Wednesday, July 14th we’ll have our meeting at 6:30 pm only, but we will have it no matter what. We’d like to see eight people to continue the meetings into the fall. Email us or call The Sampler (934-5307) to let them know you’ll be there. Bring your friends-first timers are free (at any meeting). The store is starting to carry more fashion fabric so support them if you want great fabric in a west metro location. Pics of some of the fabrics are below.

Remember Kathy’s scarf from last month? Here is a picture of it laid out. It’s a 32″x22″ rectangle and 7″ wide until it goes down to the points. Hopefully we’ll see a few from the serger class at Club meetings this month.

And then there’s the half of an oak tree that fell on my deck last night. No one woke up, no holes in the roof or broken railings-at least as far as we can tell at this point. Someone is coming later this afternoon to get the tree off so we can look more closely. Life is never boring!

One last clean up detail-last month Sarah Tufford told us about a group in the Madison, Wisconsin area. New homes are found for sewing machines that still work, and in the process gives new hope for the future to poor people. They sew for themselves, their families, and to make a little money to live on. Here’s the website: thesewingmachineproject.org. Some of us have been thinking about a trip to Gayfeathers in Madison and a trunkful of donated sewing machines would be a great impetus! Any takers?

Other calendar details (listed on the website)-Join us Tuesday, July 27th for a trip to SR Harris. Imagine the treasures to be had when a bunch of us start looking! We’ll car pool up to Brooklyn Park and have lunch because it will be hard work 😉

If you’re looking for a sewing related getaway, you may want to consider the Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. What if we got a group going together? Novi is supposed to be THE expo for fashion sewing. Here’s the link to the registration: americansewingexpo.com. The dates are Sept. 24-26.

Well, that’s all for now folks. I better get back to my sewing. The tree is being removed piece by piece (and distracting me just a wee bit). Every once in a while everything shakes as it falls more and more! Glad I slept through it.

Knits at The Sampler
More Knits

Kathy's scarf
Tree Down

Seven of Eleven Flights

We managed the subway from our Shanghai hotel to the airport with a little help from a local retired engineering professor. Now we’re in Shijiazhuang where my daughter has been living for almost a year. Quite a change from the wonderful hotels we’ve been in and the cleanliness of Shanghai. I have a new respect for her.
Wireless availability was spotty in our previous destinations. The Shanghai hotel decided to charge for Internet during the Expo.
I bought silk at the factory store in Suzhou, but it’s nothing out of the ordinary-just nice silk. Touched some great wool and cashmere at the custom tailor suit shop in the hotel.
Fashion here is interesting. I can’t say that I’ve been seeing the elite walking the streets of Shanghai. I have seen plenty of big name designer stores along the Bund. Chinese women seem to go for colorful patterns, sheer synthetics and metallic embellishment. Wearing sandals with hose (footies, knee high or rolled) are seen everywhere. And to be fair this is representative of the tourist class, but I guess that would include myself. Chinese women are usually dressed modestly as coverage goes and they don’t seem to perspire!
We spent our free Friday in Shanghai at the Expo from 9 am to 9 pm. Rode the special subway into the park-managed to see 10 country exhibits. It was a drizzly day-the ony one of our trip but only 70 degrees so quite nice. We figured the crowds would be smaller because of the rain but a record attendance of 377,000 was set that day! The scary part ish

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Breakfast Buffet

Just had another wonderful breakfast full of new things to try:

Lychee fruit
Hydroentangled eggs (custardy scrambled eggs)
All Kinds of Pickles
Black rice cakes
Yogurt with a straw to drink it
Yellow Knife steamed buns
Sushi
-and that’s only a partial list!