March Madness – Sewing Style

Vortex Quilt 1I love March Madness, but not the same way that sports fans do.  I have my own March Madness, every March I attend the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Atlanta. It is an expo just for sewing and quilting enthusiasts, where you can shop, take classes, watch fashion shows, view the beautiful quilt exhibit, and just absorb all the energy from all the friendly sewing people walking around.  It is so much fun.  If you don’t live near Altanta they also have the expo in many other states, just visit their website above to see their schedule.

The Expo offers a variety of classes and workshops, some years I take classes and some years I don’t.  This year I decided to take four workshops spread out over three days. From past experiences I have learned to take a maximum of two workshops in a day, otherwise my brain gets tired and then I can’t truly enjoy the third workshop.  I like to only take workshops where we are actually sewing, these are called “hands on”, because I am taking the class to have fun, if I learn at least one thing than that is an extra bonus. You don’t have to bring your own sewing machine, the sponsors supply them, so I got to sew on a Pfaff, a Viking and a Brother, which was great because I sew on a Bernina at home.

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Jacket Pattern Alterations

Pink JacketI think the reason most people give up on sewing fashions for themselves is because of fit.  Fitting yourself can be quite a challenge, especially if you don’t have someone to help you pin, measure, take a tuck in, etc.  To be honest it can be quite a hassle, depressing and a very long process. But if you would take the time to get that perfect or almost perfect fit it can be so rewarding.  It makes you feel and look great in your well fitted outfit, much better than a store bought fashion. Also the more you fit yourself, the easier it becomes, then the more enjoyable the sewing process will become.

In this article I am going to show you some of the steps I took to alter the jacket pattern for my Reversible Jacket.  We are all made of different shapes and sizes, so I know you won’t have the exact altering issues that I have, but I hope you can learn from these examples and apply them in some sort of way.  Example, if I had to add to a curve, you might have to take away from a curve.  Same basic process, I add and you subtract, basic math and geometry.

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What Is Your Fabric Saying?

Coat

Fabric speaks to me, LOL.  Sometimes I have an idea and I search for fabric, other times fabric jumps out at me and inspires me or challenges me to come up with a design just for it.  That’s what happened with this fabric.

I don’t know what the fabric is called, or what it is made out of, it was a remnant I bought many years ago at an American Sewing Guild event.

The fabric is very soft, kind of spongy, stretches, and has a unique gimp looking pattern.  When I looked at it, I thought hand cut fringe.  I decided on making a coat out of it that would allow it to flow as I walked.

When I wear this coat, sometimes for special occasions and sometimes with jeans, I get a lot of compliments on it from people I don’t even know, asking where I purchased it.  To me, that is one of the greatest compliments a seamstress can get.

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Gail Patrice Yellen Workshop

Felted SkirtI had a great opportunity last weekend to participate in a Gail Patrice Yellen Workshop, sponsored by the Atlanta Chapter of the American Sewing Guild.  What a fun time I had. Gail is very talented, fun, knowledgeable, and she was very well prepared.

Friday night was a trunk show where she showed us her beautiful embellished fashions.  Saturday, was a full day of serger techniques, and Sunday was a hands on day where she shared some of her unique techniques while we made samples.

Here is a picture of her felted skirt made from sweaters. I love, love, love this skirt; I am on the lookout for some sweaters now so I can make one too. I also took pictures of some of her other embellished skirts that I will share with you.

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