Our region’s latest sewing expo was in town. Yes, it was short on garment/fashion booths and yes, everything was over priced. But, I still managed to find things I had to have including 3 rolls of Swedish tracing paper. Thanks to Jane for directing me to it at the last minute. Got to talk to a lot of awesome sewing ladies and met some new people who love garment sewing and fashion. One group that was new to me was the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. They have some amazing classes and meetings for the pros and not so professional as well. Had a great time, don’t know how I couldn’t. Here’s a few pics of the day. Continue reading
At our sewing meetup we are doing a fitting shell workshop. I have avoided doing this like the plague. 2013 I’m doing it and I’m bringing all my sewing friends kicking and screaming with me. For our January meetup some came with fitting shells and gingham in hand and got to work.
Well, not really. This was as far as I got. And, Jamie…well, she got the paper out of the envelope and cut out. The pattern that is, not the actual gingham Hmmm. Bad girls. Kim and Becca were literally wrapped up in their Costume-Con project and didn’t get the fitting shell even out of the packet.
Well, I was busy. I chatted with the ladies. We haven’t seen each in other in a month! Met new members (Yea!) Helped a new sewer with her machine, tried to anyway. Talked some more, snacked. Looked at sewing books, watched a fitting video, took crappy photos. Gabbed and snacked more. Fiddle with material. Drooled over some vintage linens Tiffany was using to make aprons with. Went in search of my sushi. Oh, but we did make a few resolutions.
- Make a gown for the Denver Film Society’s Oscar bash for 2014
- Go to the Edith Head show in March
- Go to the bar and do a Suds and Sew. Can’t wait for that one!
- Volunteer for Costume-Con in May
- Go to Sewing Expo in February
- Go to Sewing Summit in October
- Sew more from independent pattern makers.
- Do more charitable creating for those in need.
- Do costume shop tours of local theater/opera companies.
- And, whatever else comes down the pike.
Current new member Tish of HISS Studio (so awesome that she came) has opened a sewing studio and offers a variety of classes for seamstresses of all levels.
I look forward to collaborating with Tish and HISS Studio more in the future. Oh, and it was Miss Tish who came up with the idea of Sew and Suds. Stay tuned for that one.
I visited the Front Range Contemporary Quilters a group of artist quilters the other night. It was kismet that I came on that night because their sister group Wearable Art was having a fashion show. These women are amazing garment sewers using couture methods and in many cases drafting their own patterns for their designs. After talking with these lovely ladies I signed up to be apart of their group. My first meeting is in January and I’m really excited to be possibly learning a great deal from these women. So, do you belong to a sewing guild in your area. Do you like it and what do you do when you meet up?
If you would like to see their designs please check out the fan page of Denver Sewing Collective.
For all the sewing fanatics Denver is finally getting the Sew it All TV show which will air on PBS Saturday September 1. Check local listings for time.
September 8th Denver Sewing Collective is having a field trip to Denver Fabrics. Email me for directions and info or go to our Meetup site. Additionally we have our 2nd Thursday Sew Night on September 13 from 6-9. On this night we are having a fabric swap! And, don’t forget September 15th we are at the Longmont Museum for the Linda Beach exhibit. All information is on the Meetup site.
August is here and it is hot. There is a lot going on if you love fashion, sewing, creating or just love looking at beautiful things.
Click on the links for more information.
This weekend the Denver County Fair will be bringing its kitschy, crafty folky self to the National Western Complex on 4655 Humboldt Street, Denver (of course). Parking is 10.00. Adult tickets are 10.00, children 12 and under 5.00. Other pricing options available, check website for details. Fair is from August 10-12.
Denver Art Museum has only 2 presenters left in the fashion demo lineup. August 11, 12 and 18, 19 is Sew Heidi. Fashion Illustrator Jim Howard will be demo-ing on August 25 and 26 and again on September 1,2.
Stephanie O will be having a great trunk show on August 23. Check her Facebook page for more information. And while I’m at it Fallene Wells will be having a show at the Walker Fine Art Gallery on August 24 at 6:00pm. Tickets were selling quick so be sure to check of availability.
The wonderful Tactile Arts in Denver is currently showing Elfriede Style until August 25. Check their site for hours. Elfriede is a long time business owner in Boulder and a designer extraordinaire. See her amazing work before it’s packed up.
Denver Design Incubator is holding free sewing workshops at their studio. If you have ever wanted to start sewing this is such a great opportunity.
The Denver Modernism Fair again at the National Western Complex is happening August 24-26. Check website for a variety of pricing options. This is a fun fair aimed at all things modern and funky.
And, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Denver Sewing Collective is having their 2nd Thursday Sew Night on August 9th.
Awesome things going on here in Denver, I’m sure I missed several more. If you know of something please reply in the comments and If you want to be mentioned for September please let me know!
Hey, I had the opportunity to do a guest blog post for Sew News Blog. Thanks so much to Beth Bradley of Sew News for giving me the opportunity. Please read, it’s very short, won’t take a minute. And be sure to make a comment on their blog! We all love getting those comments.
Denver Sewing Collective has a new website, you can look at it here. It works best on updated Chrome browsers or IE 8 or 9, then you can see all the great pics. I still have to get the mobile site up, I having problems with switching the DNS blabity blah thing. I’ve been testing this new site on a variety of different computers, if you find a problem please let me know.
Starting in July the Denver Design Incubator is offering. sewing workshops conducted by a professional in the industry. Dates start July 18th and 25, August 1, 8. Much will be discussed and taught. Check out DDI’s page for more information.
Denver Art Museum has wonderful workshops and demos in their Design Studio area. These are free IF you are a member of DAM. Otherwise it is a cost of admission into the museum. These continue through early September. Don’t miss out.
And, yes the Rocky Mountain Sewing Expo is roaring through town July 12-14 . Here’s hoping there is more garment sewing representation.
Tactile Arts is doing wonderful things as usual. July 14th there is a meet and chat with Elfriede of Elfriede’s of Boulder. This is from 1-3pm. Tactile Arts will also be holding a retrospective of her work and custom designs. Please see Tactile Arts website for more information and cost. I am also going to be listing this as a meetup as well.
Did it again. Spent most of the weekend sewing, thinking about making dresses, listening and watching people design beautiful things oh, and sweat a lot. Saturday Rae Marie of Fashion House of Rae Marie held a lecture/demo at the Denver Art Museum. If you have not gone to one of these it really is a fantastic way to get a look at the design process for fashion. Rae Marie used her time quite interestingly. She takes you along from concept to finished dress. So the sketch, the draping and so forth is presented to the audience. We got to see the design move from drape to I believe what is the flat pattern. She took the muslin and began making the pattern pieces for the skirt part of the dress. She had already finished making the pattern pieces for the bodice at an earlier time. She fielded questions from the pesky home sewist sitting in the front row (me) very politely. In addition to seeing the entire dress completed I would really like to see a detail of the curved seams that she is planning on doing as French seams. This seems mind boggling. I can’t evenly do a rolled hem on an armhole nicely for a sleeveless top. It comes out all twisted and unseemly.
Next the Denver Sewing Collective had its Sew it Forward Day at Fabric Bliss on Sunday. From 11-4 we sewed and sewed and sewed comfort care pillows for the organization Cuz We Care. And, to be honest if I do not see another comfort pillow sleeve or even a sliver of fleece for awhile I will be happy. However, I am really thankful for all the people who showed up. Plus Aurora of Fabric Bliss brought up 3 trash bags full of pillows that were created by her customers and adoring fans. Thank you so much! All this and I wrote bad directions on how to make the pillows. Note to self: Double check directions!!!! Arrrgh. Even with that I was surprised to see so many people help out. But, then again was I really that surprised? No. We are talking about sewers who love to spend time doing what they love not matter what it is they are sewing. And, fortunately, they are smart and figured it out too.
This was my first charity event and I learned a lot and can’t wait to get started on the next one. I think dresses are in order. But would love to hear from you and any organization that you know of that can benefit from a sewn item for those in need. So, I’m home now sewing up that silky blouse, ’cause I hear the heat is here to stay. But, I’m keeping the iron off. Below are a few photos of the event. Yea!!!
Here are two skirts I finished over the weekend. The black and white number I ‘ve been working on and off for awhile. I love the black and white floral plus I lined it with a beautiful blue silky something I found at the Denver Fabrics Annex store which is no longer, (very sad to see that one go). I also put in a matching blue zipper. I had other plans for some neat design features but implementing those just kept me from comleteing it so I just stuck with the tried and true “Jill’s Fabulous Skirt Pattern” which I drafted last year. It is not a true pencil, straight skirt but has just a small bit of flare to it so I don’t have to put in a slit.
The next one is something I whipped together after talking with Annie (Denver Sewing Collective member and an all around super nice girl who has lots of great ideas!) We were discussing how we like clothes that look fabulous but also have that sort of French sexy, causual, “Oh, this? I just fell out of bed with this on” sort of look. Or perhaps better expressed in French as Je ne sais quoi. We were talking about cute elasticized skirts in cotton that you can pull on and look great where ever you decide to go. This I made from a pattern that has long been since discontiuned but can be found anyhwhere. I made this one as a prototype and will be fine tuning as I go. I love the idea of just pulling something nice on that fits, looks great and isn’t yoga pants or ugly shorts. Here’s what I like and don’t like so far.
I got the material at JoAnn’s.
Would like to experiment with waistbands
The material is extremely static-e. I’m going to be walking around with dryer sheets to keep the static down.
I don’t like a lot of gathers at the waist and hip. I’d like a smoother waist band area but still be able to slip it on.
The material is rather thin, I didn’t line it, so I’ll need to wear a slip.
Other than that it’s a keeper.
Memorial Day Weekend has been a good one. I have completed the 1970’s apron, wrap dress. Here are the alterations that I did on the dress. I would absolutely do this again. I would love to refine the alterations and do a few things differently next time.
Shortened it considerably
- Shortened the halter straps
- Placed halter strap closer towards center front
- Cut halter straps in two and placed a snap on the back of strap. (Couldn’t get it over my big head)
- Small bust adjustment ( but could have done a bigger small bust adjustment)
- Lined it with a vintage silky type
- Doubled the length of the tie
- Placed snaps inside the dress to hold it up
- Stitched in the ditch so the lining is just a little visible
- Created the slight flip in the back to see the back of the lining
Check it out!
I recently posted a couple of photos of sewing/creative spaces on The Blue Thread my new mini blog. One was of Yves Saint Laurent’s very tidy, austere, non cluttered studio. Then there is mine which looks like Clotho, Lachesis and Anthropos were having some kind of drunken smack down. Fabric everywhere, thread completely unraveled (thanks to the cat) irons precariously close to pattern paper. A glass of water on the ironing board, books falling out of the bookcase and so on. I will never be on the cover of Creative Spaces. But, looking at Yves space that’s fine for drawing beautiful sketches and all that, I need space. I used to sew on the kitchen counter before I kicked out my newborn (I’m hard core) and made him bunk with his older bro. Before, I would dutifully pack everything up – don’t want little ones to swallow scissors or something – and be generally very tidy. Once I got the room all fabric hell broke loose. Now I find I work best when I can have oh, maybe three projects out so that I can work on them at a drop of a pin (couldn’t resist). But, I feel a bit like the old room is closing in on me here. Too much stuff. So, big challenge here, I’m going to really go through things and Goodwill it, Sell it, Use it or Toss it. What does your space look like? Post a photo on the Denver Sewing Collective Fan Page or on our new Meetup site. I would love to know what your space looks like.
Here is another photo of mine.
Awhile back I moved the Denver Sewing Collective group from Meetup to Groupspaces.com. Meetup made major changes to the way they did business as well as making huge changes to the website and how groups/ organizations were seen by users. There was quite an uproar and the people who made Meetup what it is/was were seething. People are tired of big companies like Google, Netflix, Facebook and so on forcing change on users with little regard to functionality and privacy issues (which are pretty much non-existent I know). The irony here is Scott Heiferman the CEO of Meetup.org lectures around the country about social democracy yet applies little of those ideals to the way the roll out was conducted. Sure, it is a corporation that’s primary goal is to make money but there sure are better ways of doing it then shoving change down consumers throats. And, yes change is good, change is inevitable but the thing with Meetup’s change was that no beta testers were used, the higher-ups didn’t go to long time users of Meetup and involve them in their new ideas. What Meetup did was take away things that any Organizer would and were infuriated with. Removing photos, allowing anyone to schedule a meetup and on and on. I am happy to say that some of the features were brought back due to strong vocal opposition and many organizers leaving. There were 16,0000+ complaints after the roll out. So, maybe the power of the people does still mean something. But organizers had a right to be angry. Many of these groups are related to a business and have a branding/image to present. When an anonymous computer programmer starts messing with a person’s business watch out.
So, why go back? Well, Groupspaces.com is going to start charging for use so I thought if I’m going to be charged why not go back to Meetup which does have better features damn it. Plus, Groupspaces is great if your group is more static than dynamic. With Meetup there is more people coming and going into the group, there is more movement. Groupspaces is just not that well know here in the states and there were other lackluster features too. I hope people are willing to go back and be patient with me. But, please tell me what you think
The Denver Sewing Collective will be at most if not all, and it is going to be a busy couple of months.
Don’t forget DSC now has an established day and time for our North meetings. We meet every 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-9pm. Next meeting is February 9th. Check our website or groupspaces.com for more information.
January 25th is COSewn’s crash course in how to get involved in the Denver Fashion Scene. Located at Fashion Denver headquarters at 1070 Bannock Street, Denver, CO 80204. Meeting starts at 6:30 RSVP on their Facebook page.
Denver Sewing Collective will be at Fabric Bliss for Your Crafty is Showing on February 15th starting at 6pm.
Front Range Contemporary Quilters as usual has an amazing line up of quilters and garment artisan’s at their monthly meetings. Two that sound very exciting and where DSC will be for Meet the Designer are on April 16th with Ayn Hanna. She will talk about her creative process and her life and work as a fiber artist. Her work is absolutely stunning and will be an interesting night. Read here for more information. Price for admission is 10.00 and can be paid at the door. The 10.00 will go to a year’s membership of 30.00 so if you plan on making this group a regular stop for your sewing and inspiration needs it would be worth it to get the membership.
We again will be meeting another designer at Front Range Contemporary Quilters on May 21st. This one is Carol Mier and she will discuss the importance of creating your own individual style and fashion sense. This is going to be fun.
Don’t forget the Rocky Mountain Sew Expo. A great place for quilters and crafters but in years past it does not have the focus on garment sewing it once did. But, maybe this has changed, I’ll be sure to check it out. That will be February 2 -4 at the Denver Mercandise Mart.
And the mother of them all is the YSL Retrospective at the DAM. I am going for sure, and I’m getting information on group sales for this event. All though to be honest I don’t think the logistics of that will work out with so many people only able to go on a specifc time and date. I don’t want to be left holding 10 tickets to this so, I’ll keep you informed. Stay tuned for more details on those and other fun and inspiring events.
Leave me comments on things I’ve missed!
At the Denver Sewing Collective’s 2nd Thursday Sew In we left our machines at home and spent over 2 hours listening to Janet White talk about her passion for sewing and teaching. Janet is a long time seamstress, designer and instructor in the Denver area. She teaches a variety of classes and you can check her out on Facebook or on her website. In addition to teaching classes she also makes custom clothing for men, women, children and of course bridal wear. Her approach to instruction is hands on but allows for all levels of sewers to be in the same ‘class’. If a student is just starting out she gives a lot of guidance and suggestions for a first time project. For more advance seamstresses she wants the student to challenge themselves. If you are confident making lined skirts bring a dress or pant project in, something that will challenge yourself as a seamstress. Can you imagine working on a difficult project and have someone right there to help you out? No running to the internet to view some blurry and in my case choppy You Tube video trying to figure out what to do next. Just what the doctor ordered. Class sizes are small so that she can attend to all students and give them the attention they need.
Janet talked about her love of the details and how the underside of a garment can be just as beautiful as the outer. Janet loves hand sewing and told us of how she does a basic zipper. My hand sewing tends to look like someone ran a lawn mower over it. Plus, I’m the type of sewer who thinks that if it can’t be seen then why bother making it look good. I don’t know how many skirts I’ve made where I’ve never even bothered to hem the lining or at the least I’ll zig-zag it. And, excuse me those little metal closure thingy’s? I’m lucky to have the patience to put the damn zipper in. But, I’m learning ever so painfully that sometime sewing needs to be done slowly and with care. Sure, I want to wear the thing I’m making, why would I be making it, but taking time and care will only serve me better in the end. Right? Well, maybe Janet can help bring out the Zen in my sewing style. We shall see.
For more information on Janet White’s classes please check out her website or call her at 303-237-3930.
At our next meetup on November 18th the members of Denver Sewing Collective are going to be making Mug Rugs. I had no idea what a mug rug was until a couple of months ago. Fellow member Amy posted this idea on our meetup site. They are like mini fabric placemats, or a big coaster. Perfect to put your mug on and a few cookies. I have seen photos on Flickr of all kinds of mug rugs. They’re very popular to make for gifts. Some ideas are to make the mug rug and add a cute coffee mug filled with favorite teas, or instant coffees, put a bow on it and you have a great gift.
In a bold move on my part, I contacted Ryan Walsh of Ryan Walsh Quilts to see if he could supply our group with a tutorial and to my pleasant surprise he not only asked which design I would like but will be mentioning our group on his blog. I stumbled upon Ryan when I was looking at photos for mug rugs. He has a blog called I’m Just a Guy Who Quilts and it is packed with inspiration. The guy lives the life! Travel, fabric, sewing, creating, la dolce vita!
Rachel Lyddon of Contented very generously supplied a tutorial on her lovely mug rugs as well. She resides in South East England with her two boys and husband. By all accounts she is a prolific Mug Rug Maker. Check out her blog Contented and her awesome Flickr Page and last but not least her Esty store Contented Be. I love her cute little felt birds. Check them out!
This has been a lot of fun ‘meeting’ other sewing and fabric enthusiasts and building our little community. Our meetup will be a really great one. I will post on our meetup site and here on the ‘ol blog.
Here is the lining for my Advance 7770. The construction is going along smoothly with one exception; the SBA. I cut out the original SBA here and trying on the muslin in looked fine. But, the lining still looks baggy up top. The original dart was 2 inches wide and 7 inches long. I narrowed it to 1 inch and 5 inches long. But what is up with th bagginess? It can’t be see in the photo but I had the iron on to high and did melt a little bit on the left side. This side by the way fits better which led me to the conclusion that I did not do all that is needed for a SBA. If you look below there is what I did for the muslin. I took this to the Denver Sewing Collective meeting and got advice from Jane and Vicki. They suggested that I go with the original. But, I’m going to try one more idea. If you have any ideas please let me know! Oh, and the meeting was awesome, as usual.
At one of the Denver Sewing Collective’s lovely meetups someone noticed that I sew with no shoes on. Not sure why I do this, think it has to do with the pedal and having more control with barefeet. Found out several people there like to sew in their stocking or barefeet. So, this got me thinking how others like to sew. Here are a few seamstresses sewing in a variety of ways. Do you find yourself in here?
Sewing in your undies is always nice in the summer.
Maybe you prefer sewing outdoors. That would be nice. I wonder what that sign says?
Or maybe you’re one of these new EXTREME Sewists who like to sew in such dark conditions you might run over a finger or two. A hobby where the possibility of losing a digit always ups the excitiability factor.
And, my favorite EXTREME sewer is this lovely lady. Not only is she breaking the rule of running with sisscors but in high heels that look like they are breaking a couple of laws of physics.
Find yourself in here? I would love to hear your comments.
I am amazed at the people I meet at the Denver Sewing Collective and their enormous creative output. There are women in the group that have families, jobs, school all sorts of life commitments and they still carve out time to create, and they create a lot. This gives me inspiration, it tells me that I can do it too, that I need to do it. Some do it as a side job, most do it for the pure joy and satisfaction it brings to their lives.
I’m recognizing how important this creating is in my life. I don’t aspire to sew for money, I have absolutely zero desire to make tote bags or clothing and sell on esty. I’m extremely narcissistic when I comes to sewing – I just want to sew for ME. I made a dress several years ago and I thought to myself, ‘Gee I could go to the mall and buy something similar with zero fuss and be done with it. Why in God’s name am I spending all this time making this?’ My answer was because I LOVE to do it. That’s when I knew I was a sewer, seamstress, sewist ( I really need to pick a label and stick with it).
I have had so many abject failures in the area of sewing I could clothe a very ill fitted army. But, I keep going on, learning, failing, learning all in an effort to perfect the craft. Sometimes, (’cause I obsess about things I have little control over, like the future and superbugs ) I think I’ll need to find some young teen to thread my needle when I’m 89 so that I can keep sewing. But, then a friend informed me that now sewing machines can do that for you. One less thing to worry about. So, to the question at hand. How important is sewing or other soul craft that you do in your life? How are you to deal with when you don’t get time to create? I know for me I would survive but I would be the meanest, bitty on the planet.
Some times when I sew I feel like I have the attention span of a 3 year old. Right now, I’m still working on the Pants Project, slowly making headway with the SBA, but today I started a completely new project of sewing skirts for work. I have nothing to wear to this new job. I go to work looking like I just left a backyard bar-b-que. Hence the need for new skirts. This is one I’m working on now.
I bought the print fabric in Victoria BC a couple of years ago. The turquoise is from several years ago from a long since closed fabric store. Looking at how well the colors go together I’m so glad I didn’t give it away or something.
But, how quickly my thoughts move on to some other project I want to start. I want to make a bathroom rug, I’m thinking of the upcoming fall wardrobe and this new vintage pattern I got is crying out loud to be made NOW. My thoughts are running to Tenneesee Williams type hot summer nights where the only comfortable clothing is a slip dress. But, I don’t want to start until I at least get the pants and halter dress done. Stay focused….
There is a Denver Sewing Collective meeting coming up, I’d like to have made some progress on my projects that I keep dutifully keep lugging to the meetings. How many projects do you juggle? Do you find that works for you? Or are you a one project at a time person.
Almost finished with the pants. They are turning out awesome, can’t believe it. I’ll be posting on them when they are done. Plus, I’m finishing up the vintage dress I started awhile back and getting ready to copy another vintage Vogue dress pattern and start on fine tuning the SBA(small bust adjustment). Going to the Cherry Blossom Festival tomorrow. This is one of my favorite festivals. Going to be a hot one. Oh, and the last Denver Sewing Collective meeting was great, each meeting is bringing a whole set of new women to meet and sew with. Really enjoyable.
The Denver Sewing Collective had its first meetup Thursday May 20th. I was nervous ’cause I’m not exactly a graduate of Toastmasters. But, all went well. A great group of ladies came and one member, Amy brought cheesecake, she actually works at a cheesecake factory, well, something like that. We talked about charity nights, individual sewing skills, I got good advice on optimization and marketing and we came up with the next meetings agenda/plan. So all went well and I’m excited to move on to the next meeting where I believe we will be creating!
I liked how the DSC website was coming along. And, I especially liked the mini-blog features on the Home page with “Inspiration” and “Projects”. However, I found that the mini-blogs weren’t really open for two way communication that a traditional blog has. So, I removed the pages and moved Project and Inspiration over to here. What I’d like to do for the group is create a Members Projects page with a Flickr group link added. Members can join the Flickr group and we can all see the great work everyone is doing, especially when members can’t make a meeting. How do you like the website? Any recommendations?
Friday is going to be a No-work-on Denver Sewing Collective Stuff. Spending way to much time on this thing. But, since you asked I did get the meetup all ready to go and even have Members! Who are interested in the group! Yikes! So, Friday is back to look for work day. Man oh man how I am so not into it.
The Denver Sewing Collective web site is almost up and running. I just need to put some new posts up and edit and it is good to go. I don’t have a location yet, still looking. I have my blog on the web site so the blog’s tone will be changing to what I don’t know. Can’t do a blog roll on the web site. At least I haven’t figured out how to do one.