Vintage Button Show

IMG_3676I had no idea there was this was going on; button collecting!  The Colorado State Button Society puts on a button show every year.  There are juried competitions and of course dealers and collectors go to buy. There are classes, lectures and workshops too. And, oh all the buttons. Beautiful buttons, everywhere.  Old ones,very old ones, Bake-lite, glass, buttons from Germany, China, Egypt.  The most expensive I saw was almost 2000.00.  The cheapest was a quarter.  That’s the bin I was in. Continue reading

What I got at the Sew Expo

Of course....

What else would I buy

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

Do you belong to a sewing guild or club?

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.  

Sewing, Fashion and more for July 2012

News and Events for July

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.  

 July 12  Stephanie O is having a trunk show at Goldyns.  You can rsvp here.

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.  

I am in the planning stages of a Fabric Shop tour and a Meet the Designer too.  Just need to get a little time to get them together.  Stay tuned here and on Facebook and our page.

Meet the Designer and Sew it Forward Day

Rae Marie @ Denver Art Museum

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!!! 

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Skirts Completed!

A fabulous skirt

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.

Zipper detail

Blue lining

Bad attempt at fashion photography

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.

Upcoming sewing events for January and beyond

Here is a list of events that are sewing and fashion related in the Denver area.

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 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!

Meet the Designer – Janet White of JM Designs

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.

Progress on Advance 7770

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.