Sewing Cafe

Patterns, Tutorials and Works in Progress from the Sewing Studio of Lynne Williams

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Check it out!

Hello one and all, Recently I picked up a Sew news magazine and there were a few interesting items I thought I would pass on to you:

1- Sandra Betzina has a new site where she has video tutorials for sewing. There are 3 on the site that you can view as a trial. After that you can pay as you watch, or subscribe to see them weekly. Check it out at

2- Lorene Bonewitz of The Grapevine Collection has created the Sew It Up line of fashion sewing kits. Each kit contains everything you need to sew up a garment. They have items for adults to babies. Check it out at

Please, please, please, post what you think of these sites. I am so curious to hear everyones opinions. What do you like? What didn't you like? Were you inspired? Would you pay for the services? What about the pricing?

I look forward to your comments - Lynne

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The long awaited...

After much patience on your part, I have finally managed to get some pictures of the elusive red silk dress! Big foot and Nessie have been easier to capture on film then this lovely 1st dress by our beloved Elizabeth. There is nothing quite like silk, this dress was done in a dupion which means "double". So named because it utilizes both types of silk worms. This is a very popular silk which can be used for a large variety of items. Elizabeth ordered hers from in this very light and crisp version but it is also available in heavier weights currently popular for drapery's and soft furnishings. A versatile silk indeed.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March Madness

March Madness is probably a fairly obvious title for this post, just due to the fact that winter is still upon us here in the North woods. You must be composed of some pretty hardy stuff to survive here might just happen to belong to this fabulous sewing group who listens, acknowledges, supports, and accepts each other all while producing some wonderful garments. We have been enjoying some fine old movies during our sewing time lately as our classroom has a projector screen and I have a netflix account! Another fabulous combination as this screen also allows us to see what fabrics and sewing supplies are available on line as well as get some inspiration from pattern companies to fashion designers. Our pick for this week is a designer by the name of Karen Millen check her out on

But what I am really here to talk/brag about is our current sewing projects:

Elizabeth completed a cotton sundress which I call "Cherry Ambrosia" and is well into "Starlight" from the same pattern. She is pleased to discover that making it a 2nd time goes really smoothly as you have all the difficult bits figured out.

Michelle completed her "Frayed Jkt" and we are all so impressed. If you click on the image you will get a larger picture and then I think you will be able to see all of the special stitches and embroidery she used to quilt her layers.

Here is the back view. I just love how the colors she used compliment her hair color so nicely. Once this was wrapped up she launched into a gored A-line skirt from a printed suede.

Paula began sewing her 24 piece jkt on the first Friday of the month and this last week she wrapped it up with just a little handwork to do along the hemline. As usual the fit is fantastic and she did a great job with all the top-stitching that was required for this style. Paula owns a Bernina machine and she used the #5 foot which is actually for blind hemming as a top stitching foot. This foot has a guide that runs down the center, which you place right along your seam line, then you move your needle postion to the right or left 3 spaces and you get perfect top stitching on every seam. I feel Paula has made some incredible progress in this last year as evidenced by her family and friends requesting garments projects from her now! We are looking forward to her return at the end of the month as there is a wedding in her family and we all know what that means.....Party Frock!!

Our sweet sweet Lotus is making nice progress and learning new skills as she assembles her red cotton lawn dress. This is a slightly difficult fabric to work with as it requires a delicate touch, which not to any one's surprise Lotus has. She is lining it and or flatting it to a cotton batiste as the situation requires. And you might notice that she is wearing her recently completed grey jersey dress, which due to winter in march must be warn with a turtleneck yet. I am hoping that when she completes her red dress the weather will have warmed up enough for her to enjoy wearing it. Although a trip to Hawaii would certainly be appropriate.

Liz began working on her "Spitzen Tote" by yours truly Williams Studio 2! I appreciate her making this in class as it gives me additional opportunity to triple check the pattern instructions. So far so good, it seems to be smooth sailing. I love her color palate which incorporates some deep rich reds and there was some talk of a gold monogram.

Thea completed her free form skirt despite some frustrating machine issues. I call this skirt free form, because she did not use a pattern but started by draping a underskirt, then using a striped jersey she draped, bunched and pleated a pleasing silhouette. She basted it into place on her underskirt and then starting at the waist and working her way down sewed the final elements together. Then she cut some strips of jersey braided them into ropes and added these elements by hand. The finished skirt is very Thea, very cute, and fresh, and all things unconventional. The picture at left is the draping in progress and I will try to get a finished pic posted soon.

How adorable is this dress!! Now some of you know my friend and long time student Peg, who works for me part-time in the studio. I have waited way to long to post pictures of her beautiful work. Here we have a childs dress with some well executed smocking. If you enjoy embroidery and handwork Peg and I can recommend smocking, it is quite fun and the results are just spectacular. We would now like to attempt some small sections of it on blouses for ourselves, or perhaps the yoke of a skirt. Intriguing if you ask me. Let me know if you are inspired to try something new, I always encourage that.

Until next time remember to Enjoy the process.

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