Saturday, December 29, 2018

Happy Sew Year! Are You Ready for The Make Nine Challenge?

The Make Nine photo collage is an Instagram phenomenon which posted users' "Best Nine" photos that received responses on Instagram. A group of yarn and fabric bloggers spearheaded by Rochelle of Home Row Fiber adapted this to become the "Make Nine Challenge" in 2016. 

The intent of the "Make Nine Challenge" is to move you to complete projects over an entire year. The Make Nine Challenge officially begins on January 1, 2019! 

Rochelle has some good advice for you:

This is a gentle challenge. It’s not one that you can fail. It’s meant to be flexible, a tool you can use to evaluate your motivations and needs for working towards specific things as the year goes on. This is meant to be a challenge focused on learning more about yourself and your making habits while achieving goals. Work at your own pace and join in at any time. – That’s it!

Questions to consider when you choose your projects: 

  1. What do you want or need? Be forgiving about pattern choice, but get specific about what you want or need to make this year.
  2. What is important to you on this sewing journey? There are many ways to categorize your nine projects: specific patterns from your stash; techniques you want to practice or incorporate into your projects; Craftsy classes you've purchased but haven't watched, let alone do sew-alongs; maybe even new sewing books you haven't read....This can be an adventure or it can be something more practical. It's all up to you. 
  3. What do you love making? What do you hate making? There's no point in creating something that doesn't give you pleasure (even if it's a #failure in the end----it's still learning!).   
  4.  Is there a technique, sewing niche, or style you'd like to explore? If you have the time and patience to explore, knowing it may not be something you like or wear in the end, this is a wonderful opportunity to grow and improve.

If you're up for this challenge, which begins officially on January 1, 2019, tag Rochelle on Instagram (@makeninechallenge) and remember your hashtag: #MakeNine so we can see all the wonderful projects everyone is working on!

Friday, November 23, 2018

5th Saturday Event - Ellen's Esplanade Bucket Bag Class

Karen Hill of Cute Monkey Fabrics will deliver the 5th Saturday Program for the Northern Virginia ASG on Saturday, December 29th, from 10:30am - 4:30pm at Suzzie's Quilt Shop, 10404 Portsmouth Rd., Manassas, VA. The project is Ellen's Esplanade Bucket Bag by Chris W Designs. (Suzzie's Quilt Shop is only providing a location for the workshop and is not affiliated with the class. It does, however, make a great location for buying fabrics for this project!)

The Ellen's Esplanade Bucket Bag features two handy exterior side slip pockets with the main compartment closing with a recessed zipper. Inside you will find a spacious interior which includes a zipper pocket and a slip pocket. Make your bag completely fabric or create a combination of fabric and "vegan" leather vinyl or cork. Have a special fabric you've been dying to use? Feature it on this bag! Use fleece for the "slouchy" look or foam for a sturdier look. What about a brocade from G Street's upholstery remnants table? This bag will be one that you will want to make for family and friends for years to come.

All attendees must purchase their own copy of Ellen's Esplanade Bucket Bag, which is available for $6.95. It is a PDF pattern you download and print from home or your local print shop. You can also purchase it from Craftsy, which has the benefit of storage in your library, or through Chris W Designs

Supplies for sewing the bag are available on the Cute Monkey Fabrics website; use the code "ASG" to order some of the specialty and hard-to-find items (like hardware) and you can pick them up at the workshop, avoiding additional shipping charges. Even if you can't make this class, you might want to keep this site handy to order hardware and other bag supplies for future projects!

The class fee is $40. This is a great day project or gift, and if making a bag is on your to-do list, but you've been putting it off, this is a wonderful opportunity to learn tips and tricks that will make sewing future bags a breeze!

Need more convincing? Here's a review of sewing Ellen's Esplanade Bag: Review

Monday, September 3, 2018

Halloween Costume Consulting Service - Sunday, September 9 at the Pohick Regional Public Library

The Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild is partnering with the Fairfax County Public Library for National Sewing Month

*** Halloween Costume Consulting Service ***
Have a great idea for a costume but need help sewing it?
Learn basic stitches that take you from concept to reality!
Have a costume but it doesn't fit?
Learn how to lengthen or shorten sleeves, pants, or dresses.
Have a costume, but it needs embellishment to bring it back to life?
Learn how to securely sew on decorations with minimal effort and maximum effect!

The expert sewists of the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Sewing Guild are ready to help you have a ghoulishly good time practicing sewing skills to take your costume from an ordinary get-up to sartorial splendor suitable for any Halloween Ball!

BONUS! You'll learn techniques that will last longer than the Halloween candy in your secret stash.

Details: Sunday, September 9, 2018 from 1-5pm at the Pohick Regional Public Library, 6450 Sydenstricker Rd, Burke, VA

What to bring: Your costumes or even regular garments that need hemming, buttons, or repairs! If you have sewing tools or notions, please feel free to bring them and we'll help you learn to use them better.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Last Call for Summer Sewing Retreat!

Who: Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild Members and Friends

What: A fabulous, fun and popular sewing getaway with sewistas!
Time to work on independent projects at your leisure. No cooking, cleaning, spouses, kids, interruptions or obligations.

Where: The National Conference Center - North Building
• Same venue as last year but different space.
• Large, windowed retreat space!
• 2 tables per workstation and rolling conference chairs.
18980 Upper Belmont Place, Leesburg, VA 20176

When: August 10 – 12, 2018 (9 AM Friday – 4 PM Sunday)

Meals: Full hot breakfast buffet included with room reservations. Other meals are on your own or with your friends. Delicious award-wining onsite dining is available.

Lodging: A web link will be made available to make your own room reservations. $109/room or $129/suite. Rooms are small but clean, and include a double/queen bed. Suites include a pull-out sleep sofa.

Book a room or commute from home!

Only $50 to reserve your retreat space for 3 packed days of sewing fun!!
*Non-ASG Members* pay $100 (plus lodging if staying overnight)

Included in your cost is *unlimited sewing time in the retreat space* from Friday morning at 9:00 AM until Sunday afternoon at 4:00 PM. The room will be locked when it is unattended, so you may bring your supplies and machines and leave them without having to pack up daily.

For those wishing to stay the weekend, please book directly using the weblink provided (will be sent separately). Rooms are available with a queen or double bed. Suites include a pull-out sleeper sofa. Accommodations include high-speed Internet, fitness center access and a complimentary full hot breakfast.

Don’t delay your registration for this popular event! Checks must be received in order to hold your spot. An e-mail will be sent as receipt of your check and registration.

Deadline is August 1; please use the "contact us" form to request a form for submission.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Class Registration is OPEN in Fredericksburg!

Grab your tablet or computer and check out our NEW CLASS SCHEDULE!
Looking for NEW classes to discover? Want to meet NEW faculty to inspire you? How about some NEW techniques to add to your toolbox? You'll find all of that and more when Original Sewing & Quilt Expo returns September 27, 28 & 29, 2018 to the Fredericksburg Expo Center.

Class Registration is OPEN. When you register for a class value package, you'll save with discounted class fees, FREE general admission and shopping bag. Complete pricing and class details online at

Discover what's new in Fredericksburg!
Click for all the details.

It's a creative world inside Expo classrooms. Spend time with a talented teacher and experience something new. For the best selection of classes and special pricing, register now! 

From cute boutiques to your favorite manufacturers – get your creative juices flowing...and sewing! Shop all the latest tools and supplies for sewing, quilting, embroidery and more.

Fredericksburg Expo Center

2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway

Fredericksburg, VA 22401

September 27, 28 & 29, 2018

Thursday & Friday: 10:00am - 6:00pm

Saturday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

Stay at a host hotel
Take a break from your day-to-day routine and stay at a host hotel with special rates for a mini-vacation, all for YOU! 

Parking is FREE!

Immerse yourself in a one day or two day workshop before the Expo opens! Share in the guidance, artistry, technical advice and inspiration these experts bring.

Your registration automatically qualifies you for a Value Package, which includes discounted pricing on your MDB class AND any additional Expo class sessions, 3 free General Admission tickets and a free shopping bag! Lunch is included.
Click here for details and to register.

Two-Day Workshops
September 25 & 26 | 9am-5pm

Kathy McMakin & Alicia Welcher
One-Day Workshops
September 26 | 9am-5pm

Cynthia Guffey

Karen Benke

Jill McCloy

Connie Palmer

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Anyone Can Win!

Submit your entry for ASG's Anyone Can Win contest
Deadline to Enter is Midnight EDT, July 1, 2018

No special sewing skills required! Because the winners are selected electronically at random, everyone who enters has an equal chance of winning.
  • Get started by making all or part of one of the 13 designated ASG Simplicity patterns. Unsure which ones they are? Go to the Members Only section of the ASG website or check the contest information in the Winter 2018 issue of ASG Notions.
  • There are two categories: one for ASG members “over age 18” and one for any sewer “age 18 and under.” The latter does not have to be an ASG Junior Member. However, these youth entries do require an ASG member as a sponsor. You don’t have to be involved in the young person’s sewing; we just want you to encourage he/she to enter! 

The entry process is easy

  1. Take a digital photo of your creation.
  2. Go to the Members Only section of the ASG website.
  3. Click on Submit Your Entry.
  4. Fill out the entry form, and follow the easy instructions to upload and label your photo (only one photo per garment, please – but you are welcome to submit more than one garment).

And what will you win?

  • The first ASG “over 18” member selected will receive a wonderful assortment of Clover sewing tools from Nancy’s Notions.
  • The second member selected will receive an assortment of A&E Intressa premium polyester thread.
  • The first “18-and-under” winners will receive gift cards from Nancy’s Notions - $100 for the first winner and $50 for the second winner. Both young winners will also receive one-year ASG Junior Memberships.
All winners will also be featured in ASG Notions. So . . . what are you waiting for? Start sewing!!!
Enter by Midnight EDT, July 1, 2018

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sew a Chanel-Style Jacket with the Kingstowne Clothiers

Over the next 6 months, the sewists of the Kingstowne Clothiers will be working on a Chanel-style jacket sew-along beginning in July. Joann's frequently features sales on sewing patterns, so here is an opportunity to mark your calendars for good deals (Simplicity is on sale May 25-28; Butterick is on sale May 30-June 2; and Vogue and McCall's are on sale June 1-4). Alternatively, you may purchase them online (good deals for Club BMV members).

Suggested patterns include:
Additional supplies you will need for this sew-along include:
The sewing calendar and details are listed below. All meetings take place at the Franconia Government Center Community Room, 6121 Franconia Rd, Alexandria, VA. The meeting location is approximately 2 miles from the Franconia-Springfield Metro for those who use mass transit. The Moovit app provides more detailed instructions.

All meetings start at 10:30 am and end at 12:30 pm. Many times, the room is not booked after 12:30 so we may have the option to remain longer to finish up our sewing tasks.

June 16: At this meeting, we will discuss patterns, fabric and lining selection, and any supplies needed. We will compare measurements to the pattern, and make any adjustments to create our muslin. Please bring swatches of your potential fabric and lining to this meeting. Your homework will be to purchase the fabric and lining and any additional sewing supplies.

July 21: The focus will be on fitting the muslin and thread tracing the pattern onto the fashion fabric. At this meetings, sewists should expect to complete the shell tracing. They should also cut out the shell and lining fabric.

August 18: At this meeting, the focus will be on quilting the lining to the shell pieces and quilting the sleeves. Home work will be completing any remaining quilting tasks.

September 15: The focus of this meeting will be on assembling the shell and hand-sewing the lining. Sewists should expect to complete the shell and any remaining hand-sewing at home before the next meeting.

October 20: At this meeting, the focus will be on completing the sleeves. If not accomplished at the meeting, homework will include sewing the sleeves and sewing in the sleeve lining.

November 17: The focus of this meeting will be on making buttons and sewing the bound buttonholes. Sewists should complete the buttons and buttonholes for the coat prior to the December meeting.

December 15: The focus will be on the final details: trim and pockets as well as adding the jacket weights to make it hang nicely! At this meeting, sewists should expect to apply trim, stitch the  pockets into place, and sew in the chain. Anything not completed should be easily finished at home!

January 19: Everybody should be ready to model their Chanel-style jackets for the January meeting and be prepared for runway modeling at the Spring Fling!

References include:
Craftsy Class: The Iconic Tweed Jacket
The Couture Cardigan Jacket: Secrets from a Chanel Collector by Claire Shaeffer
Couture Sewing Techniques by Claire Shaeffer
Couture Sewing: Making Designer Trims by Claire Shaeffer
Creating Couture Embellishment by Ellen W. Miller

Other resources:
Threads magazine (Part 1-3 series)
The Jacket
Tweed and Boucle: The Classic Cardigan Jacket

Is sewing a Chanel-style jacket on your bucket list? What other sew-alongs would you suggest?

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Save the Date! June De-Stash in Baltimore!

Do you have patterns, fabric, yarn, and other sewing assortments (even magazines and books) inciting guilt? Would you like to find a good home for these and possibly leave with stuff that makes you infinitely happier? Then you'll want to save June 24 as Renee, the blogger for Miss Celie's Pants has an awesome event planned! Registration for tickets will open on Friday, June 1, and even if you don't find a taker for your unloved items, Renee will make sure they find a home!

Start your personal de-stashing now, and plan on meeting cool sewists from around the region! Don't have a car? No convenient way to get to Baltimore? Comment below---maybe we can get a carpool going!

More details can be found here: #DestashBaltimore

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Kenneth King Sit & Sew Planned for June 29-30, 2018

The Kingstowne Clothiers of the Northern Virginia Chapter American Sewing Guild have planned a Sit & Sew Weekend with Kenneth King for Friday, June 29 (10 am - 6 pm) and Saturday, June 30 (10 am - 5pm)!

At a Sit & Sew, you bring your projects to work on, and Kenneth King will be available to offer advice  and recommendations.

It will be held at the Fabric Place Basement, 6660 Richmond Highway, Alexandria (located in the old Hancock's Fabrics in the Beacon Mall Shopping Center)
The cost is $233 for ASG members and $275 for non-members.

Space is limited to 15 participants and is filling quickly.
Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis so don't wait! A deposit of $100 is due by April 7, with the balance due May 15.

If you have any questions, please contact Denise Marois at
Friday June 29 (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) - Saturday June 30 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

Monday, February 19, 2018

Let's Go To NYC!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Departing Fair Oaks Mall at 5:30am
& Departing NYC at 7:30 pm

Join us for a Bus trip to NYC for a day of fun, fabric shopping, theater, or whatever your heart desires in the Big Apple.  Plan your own day - there is no tour guide.  Dress comfortably!

Cost is $65 roundtrip per person.

Sign up by May 1, 2018 (no refunds after April 19)

Family and friends are welcome, you don’t have to be an ASG member to travel with us!

The bus loads ½ hour prior to departure.  We must have 50 people or the trip will be canceled. 

Send restaurant suggestions and fun places to visit to  A list of stores in the garment district and your NYC suggestions will be distributed on the bus.

Arrangements will be made with Fairfax Mall Security to park in one of their parking lots - you will be notified of the location of secure parking before the trip. 

If you wish to stay close by, consider the Fairfax Marriot at Fair Oaks, 11787 Lee Jackson Memorial Hwy, Fairfax, Virginia, 703-352-2525.
Please complete and return the registration form (found in the latest issue of "Full Seams Ahead" or on MyGrove) with check payable to NO VA ASG.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Winter Retreat Coming Up!

38 people are signed up for this year's ASG Northern Virginia Winter Retreat at the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, VA!

DittoForm will be doing body scans for those who want accurate measurements and made-to-measure mannequins.

Sewing games will be played (looking forward to "Left, Right and Center" with fat quarters and sewing notions).

Sewists will have opportunities to visit local purveyors of craft, knitting, and sewing supplies and make visits to local restaurants and tea shops!