Thursday, September 24, 2015

5th Saturday Event - Charity Sew-In


Mark your calendars! The October Fifth Saturday event will be held October 31, 2015 at Manassas Mall.  Mary Grace Ronan will lead this event, a Charity Sew-In, and we will make Sailors/Soldiers quilts.  Show your support of our active and retired military members while having a fun day sewing and socializing with your friends.  Additional details about this event will follow.  

Deb Tollin’s Skirt Fitting Workshop will be rescheduled.

Your Oct 5th Saturday Team

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Taste of Retreat!

Our annual Taste of Retreat was held August 14-16th at the National Conference Center in Leesburg, VA.  With almost 6000 square feet of retreat space, we had lots of room to spread out.  The 3-day weekend retreat was a fun and relaxing way to spend time with sewing friends and catch up on sewing projects.  The onsite dining was delicious too!

Book Review: The Battle of Versailles by Robin Givhan

The Battle of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled into the Spotlight and Made History by Robin Givhan
Book Review by Joyce Jones

It’s 1973. Versailles is crumbling, and the French government doesn’t have the funds for restoration. What to do? Will a national treasure succumb to termites, mildew, mold, and decay?
Enter the Baroness de Rothschild and her plans for a Fashion Show fund raiser that will pit five established French designers from the world of Haute Couture against five American designers known for ready to wear casual and work place comfort, and even jersey fabric.
But how to attract the moneyed set and elevate the event from the norm to the unexpected?
Perhaps, Eleanor Lambert, American fashion publicist, who is itching to show what American fashion is all about, might be interested in a show down of sorts.
The French have the tradition of haute couture; the established elegance and prestige, and five weighty designers (Yves Saint Laurent, Hubert de Givenchy, Emanuel Ungaro, Pierre Cardin and Christian Dior’s Marc Bohan).
The Americans have clothing designed for the American middle class; sportswear, safari suits, and five designers who include one woman, Anne Klein, one black man, Stephen Burrows, Bill Blass, Halston, and Oscar de la Renta.
Staging by the French designers includes a full orchestra, Rudolfo Nureyev dancing to Swan Lake, and a two hour production of manicured models gliding down the runway at a leisurely and practiced pace.
Left with only 35 minutes of show time, the Americans send out Liza Minelli for an upbeat song and dance routine to invigorate the staid crowd. Taped Barry White and Al Green songs rush from the sound system as a cadre of unknown American models, 1/3 of whom are black, prance, strut, and move to the music in a parade of quick garment changes.
After all the petty squabbles, grand standing, politicking, and back biting, the Americans emerge victorious. Thunderous applause from the audience ushers in the realization that American fashion does not have to compete with the French. Americans have created clothing that reflects the tensions of race, feminism, and freedom of the 70’s as well as the comfort and practicality pulsating in the American culture at the time.
Well written and researched, The Battle of Versailles will appeal to those interested in fashion, history, and American culture. A read that won’t disappoint. 

Manipulating Body Darts

by Kathy Wright

While at the ASG Conference, I took an all-day class on Manipulating Body Darts withy Hisako Nakaya, owner of Professional Sewing Supplies in Seattle, Washington. I thought to myself, why is the class all day long? I will by sooo bored. I was not!
Here is a much simplified version.
We started out with a blouse pattern that we liked. Any pattern with darts will work. We then taped those darts together as if we were sewing them. Then we decided where we wanted to put new darts, such as the shoulders, under the arms, or around the neck. You can put them anywhere you want. I and the lady next to me chose shoulder darts. We cut the pattern twice, down to about 1 inch from the apex of the dart. We put the pattern on new pattern paper and taped it down. When you lay the old pattern on the new pattern paper the dart will separate where you cut it. You just have to make sure that the design lines are even when you tape the pieces on to the new paper. That is the hardest part.
We traced the pattern on the new pattern paper, checked that new pattern for fit, and cut out a muslin. We sewed the new darts in to see if we liked them and checked again for fit.
It was a time-consuming process, but we had fun and learned a lot. 

Sew Expo is Coming to Fredericksburg

By Kathleen Saladino
Sew Expo is Coming to Fredericksburg on October 1, 2, and 3rd. The Chapter needs volunteers. Kathleen Saladino is again coordinating our volunteer efforts, so please consider helping out with one of the following.

1. Sign up at Sew Expo website to be an Ambassador You can hear a class while you are an assistant in a classroom, admit people into the Expo, be a greeter, help at the information desk, or be a white glove sitter for the exhibit, any number of ways. For each half day of service you give (we need 24 half days), we get our ASG booth for free (a $1200 value!).
On the website for Sew Expo “Fredericksburg” you will see Ambassador in the purple column. Click it and fill out the form. Someone will call you and together you will decide what task you will perform. After that, please e-mail me at Kathleenand let me know what you are doing!! It’s the only way I have of tallying how many hours we have signed up for! (Last year I thought we only had 18 when in fact we had 28, so please let me know so I don’t get any more gray hairs with worry.) Your ambassador badge will get you in to the Expo if you do not register for classes on the day you serve.

2. Spend one or more hours in the ASG booth in the exhibit area to sing the praises of why you love ASG! In the booth we will have a display of the “made with Muslin” Challenge projects from NOVA, a map of where the neighborhood groups meet, and MD will have a video presentation. All this to interest new members to come to our neighborhood groups. Sylvia Gould has created the signup sheet; when you know when you are going to have some free time, please select a time slot or two to sit in this booth and visit with perspective members. See: You do not get free admission to Sew Expo with this job. 

Sew Expo Offers Even More This Year 

Did you see that Fredericksburg Sew Expo has a three day retreat before the official expo begins? Six classes over are on tap to kick off the event this year, with topics that include embroidery, tailoring, sewing-on- knits, serger school, and heirloom sewing. Then plan to attend Sew Expo Oct 1, 2 and 3rd ! Martha Pullen herself will make some guest appearances! Registration has been open for a while so if interested, act immediately to secure your spot.
During the Expo, classes this year are offered on dress forms, embroidery software, long arm quilting, and many others that are new. Previous instructors are back along with many new ones. With Maryland not having an Expo this year, it appears to me that Expo has even more classes than other years. So explore the class offerings and find some that interest you, and register.
Remember, it’s a reverse commute for those of you from Northern VA, so traffic shouldn’t be too bad. The convention center is immediately off I-95 with many restaurants and lodging facilities close by. So treat yourself to a special mini-vacation. And don’t forget to volunteer. See you at the Expo. 

NoVA ASG Annual Meeting is coming!

The Annual Meeting is October 17, 2015, from 11 am to 3 pm. at Lakeridge Baptist Church, Woodbridge. Woodbridge Loose Threads is in charge of the event. We will hold our annual election of CAB officers. We will have a fashion show of the sweatshirts and t-shirts that have been resewn and "blinged" up to wear, and a short presentation from Attic Treasures. Please bring your membership card with your number. See the ballot in the Fall newsletter.

Pattern Review Simplicity 1318

by Tina Chester

I love kimonos and soft flowy dressing, especially in the
summer. I thought this would be a great cover up for going to
dinner or a social event. My plan was to make it out of a silk fabric for the Springfield NG challenge but decided a prototype was needed to make sure I really liked it. I found
a bold summery print at Hancock Fabrics that had the right drape and was on sale. My only concern was it being polyester, which I rarely sew with these days. Hey, it is just a prototype, so why not. More on that decision later. The pattern is very easy. I made View C and barely squeaked it out of 2 yds (60 wide) by creative
placement of the bands. I decided to sew French Seams since that is what the silk version would need. The only issue I had doing with this type of seam was where the underarm seams all came together. I left a small opening and went back at the end and closed it up, after all the seams were sewn. I used a lightweight interfacing on the bands. I did not follow the directions on the band, however, since I wanted a cleaner finish. They want you to attach the band facing, turn under the seam allowance, and hand stitch it in place. Anyone who knows me knows I do not do hand stitching if at all possible, and to me it was a very ‘loving hands at home’ look. So instead I applied Steam a Seam to the facing seam allowance and pressed it under. Then I top stitched in place, making a cleaner and more commercial finish. I did the same thing with the sleeve bands and the hems.
My only issue making this pattern was with the fabric choice. The neck portion of the band and its facing really needed to be steamed and shaped around a ham to get the right shaping, and polyester is just not easy to work with in that way. After a LOT of steaming and pressing, I finally got it to look right, but it reinforced my opinion on not working with polyester unless I really have to. The final product is cute and easy to wear and I just bought a piece of silk cotton voile to make the ‘real’ one.
The pattern comes with 4 versions and two band styles. I made the long one but this would be so cute in the shorter version. If you are looking for an easy project with no fitting needed, I would definitely give this pattern a try.