Sewing Cafe

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Product review

Recently I was introduced to a very helpful product, which I thought I should share with all of you.  It's called:  How Much Fabric? Reference Cards by gwen hug.  These handy cards the size of a credit card can be easily carried with you while fabric shopping.  See a fabric you love but are unsure of the amount of fabric you should purchase?  These cards will tell you how much to get.  Love to buy remnants, but unsure what you can make from them, the reference cards will help with that too. 

Gwen was kind enough to send a sample of her cards to me, when I inquired about them for my students.  I just thought that these cards would solve a common problem for all of us.  How much yardage to purchase is a question I am frequently asked, my general response is 3-5 yards as there is not to much you cannot make from that amount of fabric.  But it's not the most economical way to purchase is it?  I think these cards will take care of two of the major stresses of fabric shopping,  1st - how much do I need?, and 2nd- how much is it going to cost? 

I am guessing that Gwen likes working with numbers and excel programs, because according to her website she cross referenced over 2000 patterns from 12 pattern companies to create the charts.  There is great visual reference....picture of slacks...slacks chart!  Let's say I want to make myself a pair of capri's the visual side of the card tells me that  is a "minimum" fabric requirement.  The flip side of that same card then allows me to chart my size (12) my yardage width (60") and lets me know I will need 1 yd of fabric!  That could be from a great deal on a remnant, or some fabulous but expensive fabric that I can only afford a yard of!  Looking further at the other attached cards, from that same 1 yard I could make a  "Minimim" to"average" skirt. a "minimum" top (cami, tank, etc).  Of course the same applies to our stash, which I will start going through now to start assigning yardage to projects.  Anyone want to join me?

The cards come in differents "sets"  - Set 1-Womens, and Set 2- Plus Size, with Mens, childrens and juniors to come this spring.  They  sell for $14.95 + tax and will be available in September during class.  Below you will find a link which will show you the acutal cards.  Check it out! or wait to see them in class.  I will be ordering the womens and plus size but would recommend that our male friends enquire at her website about the exact release date.  Maybe they can pre-order directly from her?

sample card

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August Report

August has been an interesting month, it seems everyone is quite busy with various plans and as the summer winds down there is always that rush to finish summer projects, and summer fun.  This generally puts sewing plans on the back burner for many, although a few hardy souls continue with their sewing, the pace is slightly more languid, which is as it should be I think.  I wonder though if I am the only one thinking fall/winter coat time.  Personally I have wanted to create the perfect raincoat for myself for a number of years now...maybe this fall will prove to be the one in which it gets accomplished.

But I digress....

...In class Lisa continues to work on her Roman Shades which she has decided to band with white trim and coordinating top-stitching.  For a beginner I am especially impressed with Lisa's cutting,sewing and pressing accuracy.  She is very careful and the beautiful results reflect that care.  All of us in class keep trying to persuade her to make some clothing....which she is currently demonstrating a strong aversion of, but I sense that aversion turning into reluctance.  Can acceptance be far behind?

Candy although having many family and polictial distractions carrys on like the trooper she is, whipping out button down shirts,  and vintage wrap tops.  Yesterday she traced a pattern for some Easy McCalls pants which she is planning on making up in a beautiful fabric purchased in India.  We believe the fabric is a silk and rayon blend, and we know its in a  gorgeous apricot color.  Next up for her is the same pair of pants in a turquoise quilting cotton. It can be a challange keeping up with Candy's projects.  She also brought in a Vera Wang skirt she purchased for a song which needs to be altered to fit.  Have I mentioned that she has lost 13 pounds!  Congratulations Girl!

Kathy Chester arrived with a suitcase full of patterns to alter.  On our recent trip to Mill End she found some skirt fabric, some Poly. georgette which she wanted to make into a skirt she had seen me wear.  My skirt is by CAbi and is a comfortable reversible skirt.  Yes you heard that right.  The skirt has a waistband made from a wide strip of spandex, thats the comfort part, and is lined with a coordinating print so that you can wear either side out!  Brillant concept by a wonderful designer Carol Anderson.  Kathy's version starts with a Simplicity skirt pattern.  She chose view F, we chose the size by her hip measurment, then altered the length to fall mid calf.  The next step was to create an additional waistband to attach instead of their elastic waistband.  We used her waist measurment and then cut a rectangle twice the desired finished width.  My skirt has a wide spandex band on it, so that you can wear it as a top or a versatile is that?  Kathy decided to make hers though at a finished 2' wanting it only as a skirt.  She also altered a pattern from Great Copy Patterns called the Last Tango Skirt.  Again this just required a length adjustment, but the pattern is mighty long as we had to shorten it by 9" which we accomplished at the adjustment line printed on the pattern which falls above the flounce detail.  After shortening we blended the seams along the sides and she is now ready to cut and sew.  I have not seen the fabric which she is making the Last Tango skirt from but it was described as a rayon batik from Sew Smart in Wausau.  Sew Smart carries mostly quilting fabrics, but the owner will pick up a few garment fabrics for her personal use and then offer them in the Wausau store.

Seams like enough for now, but stay tuned for more updates


Monday, August 16, 2010

Fall Registration

Can you believe that Fall is just around the corner?  We only have 2 more Friday sessions in August and 1 more Saturday! 

I want to encourage all of you to register for all of your fall classes ASAP.  This will help to avoid confusion especially during our transition.  For those of you who have not been to class recently a update may be in order.  Our wonderful coordinator Debbie Jones has left Nicolet and moved to Illinois.  Currently her position is open, which means that if we want to insure that our sewing classes run, we need to be certain that we have registered for them ahead of time.  I understand that this can be difficult with so many plans to coordinate in our busy schedules, but remember you can always cancel a class 24 hours ahead and still receive a full refund.  This is in contrast to the class not running at all if it does not have the minimum requirements 3 days before!  I mention this because we have had problems in the past with people not signing up in time.  In the past Debbie would contact me and ask if I knew of who was planning on participating so that she could clear the class to run.  This will no longer be happening!  if you are not registered the class will not run.  The other benefit quite honestly to signing up early is that then I know if I will be teaching from week to week or not.  My schedule hangs in the balance until we meet the requirements which is rather tough. 

We also have a new location.  We will be out at Nicolet's beautiful campus starting in the fall.  Some people have expressed concerns over the parking situation, but the campus does not hold regular classes on Fridays and Saturdays which of course means there is plenty of parking.  The acess to the buildings is easy as well, you can drive up, unload your equipment, and then park nearby.  Our classes in September will be in  TC -108 which is the 2nd building on your right, here is a map of campus to help.  You will notice that it is surrounded by parking and the classroom is on the first floor.  Nicolet's website can also provide your with driving directions if you are unsure where the campus is. 

Mail in registration began on the 13th and phone in registration begins on the 25th of this month. The entire Fall schedule is posted to the left, and our first Self Paced Sewing begins on Sept 10th. 

Please contact me right away if you have any problems with registration.  The girls in the office have over 400 classes to coordinate and sometimes things do not go smoothly, but if you contact me we can usually get it resolved in time.  This is another reason why early registration is so helpful.

You will notice that in addition to the Self Paced Sewing and the Learn to sew classes I am offering 4 additional classes.  A Pant alteration, a Shirt alterations, A skirt draft and sew, and the Fabric Painting class. 

As always, please spread the word about our classes.  The Learn to Sew has been a wonderful way to find some new sewing enthusists, maybe some of your friends and family members would like to join us as well. 

I sure look forward to seeing you all this fall,


Friday, August 13, 2010

Learn to Sew

The Learn to Sew classes are introducing us to some wonderful new students.  A warm welcome to Amy from the Philipines, Autumn and Bonny from Armstrong Creek, Joan and Kathy P some recent young retiree's.

 Its always exciting for me personally to introduce new students to my passion for sewing, and I am hopeful that we will be seeing alot more of these gals.

We are taking a break this weekend, but will be back at Northern Advantage on the 20th and 21st.  There is still time to sign up for the Saturday session on the 21st but just a few openings left.

Enjoy your weekend,
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