Monday, March 2, 2015

Spring Fling Program 2015

The Alexandria Seamsters invite you to attend Spring Fling on Saturday, March 21, 2015, and enjoy our exciting speaker program - along with lunch, social time with your sewing buddies, and our member’s show-and-tell. (Click here for the registration form.)

Caroline Cutrona Hottenstein is a self-employed artist, accomplished seamstress, and needlewoman. She has extensively collected antique textiles since 1976. Her textile programs provide a fascinating look at clothing and accessories that were stitched, worn, and used by women of another era.
“Stitches in Time – A Woman’s Handiwork,” is a program that relates a legacy of handiwork of past seamstresses. Caroline will present a selection of 19th century needlework tools and fine examples of linens, lace, and clothing from her antique collection that show needlework styles and techniques. She will also talk about the importance of the needle arts in women’s lives.

Oscar de la Renta Exhibit

Now through May 3
His Legendary World of Style
SCAD Museum of Art
Savannah, GA

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) Trustee Andre Leon Talley has brought together some of Oscar de la Renta's iconic gowns in this, the first exhibition since de la Renta's death in October 2014. Featured are gowns worn by Laura Bush, Anna Wintour, Taylor Swift, and Sarah Jessica Parker as well as several bridal ensembles. Google "scad oscar de la renta" for more articles and photos.
This exhibit is a must-see if you are traveling south in the next couple of months.

Reporting from the road
Linda Wyman
Shenandoah Valley Girls NG

Turn Grosgrain Ribbon Into a Beautiful Pillow

By Lorine Mason
Sterling Sew n' Sews Neighborhood Group

Have some spare ribbon lying around your house? Here is a fun way to fold, twist and sew it into a pillow. I did this challenge piece for Offray Ribbon. Full tutorial along with step by step diagrams on my site.

Shenandoah Valley Girls Community Service – Doll Clothes

For the past couple of years members of the Shenandoah Valley Girls Neighborhood Group have been involved in making clothing for the 18” American Girl doll and/or dressing and donating a doll for the auction fundraiser held by the Henry & William Evans Home for Children of Winchester, VA.  All proceeds from the annual event go back to the Home, which provides an alternative environment for children who cannot live with their families and who would not thrive in a foster or adoptive family.

Members of Shenandoah Valley Girls, Sharing Threads and the Couture neighborhood groups contributed dolls and custom outfits to the recent auction held in December. These items raised $1,645 of the $10,000+ total and rated a mention of ASG in the local newspaper. The Evans Home Board sends a heartfelt thank you to all who made and donated the doll clothing.

Special mention goes to Anda Lind who provided a case containing an antique doll and wardrobe that sold for $110 and won 2nd place in her category; to Sheila Bohannon and Michelle Parker, who dressed a Hermione doll from Harry Potter that sold for $120 and won 2nd place in their category; and to Linda Wyman who made a trio of “Frozen” outfits that started a bidding war before selling for $275.

The 2015 auction will be held at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester and will be included in the museum’s fall calendar of everts. This should generate lots of additional publicity and attendees as well as a need for more items to auction.

Our annual doll clothing “sew in” will be held on Wednesday, June 24th at the Clarke County Memorial VFW in Berryville, VA. Please join us for a day of sewing and lunch. We’re collecting your donations for the auction until the first of November, but we would like to have them sooner than that if possible.

If you have any questions please contact Linda Wyman or Nancy Melkerson.

Well—Who Knew! Sewing Machine Maintenance

By Carolyn Harris

Robert Hines of Sun Sew Vac (7770 Richmond Hwy Suite E; presented the Alexandria Seamsters January program at Hancock Fabrics. He gave us “Tips for Sewing Machine Maintenance,” and I was really surprised by a couple of them. I’ve always felt like I do a good job of maintaining my machines, but I fail on these two items, but I won’t any longer!
  • Oil your machine after every 2 hours of sewing (1/4 drop at appropriate places).
  • Change your needle after every 2 hours of sewing (he finds regular needles work fine). 
The other tips were pretty familiar:
  • Use a mini-vacuum attachment set to clean outside of machine and in bobbin area. (DO NOT use compressed air or blow into the machine.)
  • Use a surge protector for each machine (don’t confuse with a power strip).
  • Use best quality thread you can afford.
  • Have professional maintenance every year, at least & maybe more often depending on the amount of sewing done.
Robert is busier now after he was mentioned in a July 2014 Washington Post article on “How to Repair a Vintage Sewing Machine.”

The Great British Sewing Bee

By Denise Marois-Wolf

Like so many of my sewing friends who were enchanted with the early years of Project Runway, I’ve grown weary of the series. Despite Tim Gunn’s insistence that each season’s designers are the most talented group ever, I haven’t been impressed with the designers in a while (really, Tim, don’t you remember Jay McCarroll, Daniel Vosovic, Laura Bennett, Uli Herzner, Christian Siriano, Mondo Guerra?) The product placement has become more prominent, the back-biting and drama takes center stage, and you only see brief periods of garments actually being sewn. ‘Nuff said.
Then I heard that the Brits had come up with a sewing show that follows the same format as The Great British Baking Show, which has become so popular on public television. Each season, they select a crop of “amateur,” or as Gunn would say with a sniff, “home sewers,” give them three challenges to complete over a weekend, and send one contestant home each week while naming one top sewer.

ASG NoVA Winter Retreat Reviews

My First Winter Retreat

By Adrianne Bennett

The ASG sewing retreat was held last weekend. It was a first time adventure for me. We stayed at the George Washington Hotel in downtown Winchester, VA. The posh setting of this hotel was more luxury than I expected. The rooms were lovely and clean and I had a good rest both nights. I loved the fact that the hotel room wasn't too hot during
the night. The hotel staff was most courteous and helpful. We enjoyed two buffet dinners and breakfasts and they were simply delicious.

What sewing did I get done? Well, I finished several small projects that had been left undone at home. One of them was a mending job and another was to make two pillows out of preprinted fabric squares that were from my mother's stash. I also used lace from her stash as well. I finished my quilted table topper. I got some great advice from Barb who is an experienced quilter. My other project was to sew embellished stitch combinations onto 17 5 inch squares. I did complete them, but it got a little tedious after a while.

Neighborhood Group Plans

Upcoming meeting plans for our Neighborhood Groups:

Sew and Go Falls Church Neighborhood Group

Meets on the 1st Thursday of the month from 7-9PM at G Street Fabrics 6250 Seven Corners Center in Falls Church.
March 5th, group leader Sherri Bertrand will talk about manipulating fabric. Further details will be available on the Yahoo Group site. April 2nd, Lynn Berry will explain bias making techniques.
May 7th, Robert Hines from Sun and Sew Vac will discuss basic sewing machine care and maintenance. Please let Sherri know if you would like to attend this meeting before April 30th
June 4th, Marianne Dunn will demonstrate making fabric and acetate book covers. This will be our second challenge. Sherri Bertrand
ASG Falls Church Sew and Go leader

How to Register for our NoVA Yahoo Group

By Kaye Gonterman
Neighborhood Group Coordinator

The ASG NOVA yahoo group is a great way to stay informed about what the various Neighborhood Groups are doing. Hopefully, this will take the mystery out of how to get approved for the ASG NOVA Yahoo Group site.


  1. If you don’t already have a Yahoo account, register for one at .  In the upper right hand corner, select “Sign In”, then “Sign Up”.
  2. Sign in to your Yahoo account (this is the only way you can get onto the Yahoo Group page).
  3. Search for NorthernVA_ASGChapter.
  4. On the main page of Northern VA ASG Chapter look for/click on +Join Group. A new window will pop up – fill out any blank information. In the Comment to Owner block include your name and ASG member number (this is very important to expedite your approval).
  5. Click on Send Request. The approval process may take a couple of days.
  6. After approval, sign into Yahoo.
  7. Look for/click on Groups in header. A list of your Groups will appear.
  8. Select Northern VA ASG Chapter. Click on Membership/Edit. This is where you can edit how often you get notifications and other changes.

Hope this clears up any questions you might have had about signing up for the Northern VA ASG Chapter yahoo group.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Annual Meeting Fabric Challenge

It’s time to put your creative thinking caps on and plan to take part in this year’s Annual Meeting Fabric Challenge. This year, you’re asked to do something with either a tee shirt or a sweatshirt. You can refurbish it, or deconstruct and repurpose it in any way. The limit is your imagination and creative energy.


Welcome to our updated website!  We hope you like the new format of our chapter's website and find it easy to navigate and find useful information.

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