Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sewing and Stitchery Expo - Pam Damour

Just returned from a sewing dealers wholesale show in New Orleans. What a city! Love the food, the music and the energy! Pam Damour, the Decorating Diva, and I caught up and here's a little preview of what you will see in a few days at the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA.

Besides having a new book, Cheaper By The Dozen, Pam has a new fabric line called Artistry.

In Puyallup, Pam will be exhibiting and teaching all those little - but necessary - tips and tricks that nicely finish your home dec projects. Ask which SCHMETZ needle is her favorite.

The Sewing and Stitchery Expo starts on Thursday, March 1.  Four days of frolic for everyone that loves to sew!  If you cannot attend, do not worry.  You can get live Facebook updates direct from the show floor.  Go to www.facebook.com/sewexpo .



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sewing Whirlwind

I have been married to my sewing room this past week in preparation for a March whirlwind of sewing shows and SCHMETZ classes which means . . . new clothes, new patterns, new ideas. So first I raided my husband's closet. "Honey, do you wear these sweaters anymore?". Before he could reply that they are a "little tight", I grabbed two choice sweaters with colors and textures that played nicely together.

The skirt turned out pretty nice, but needed a top to complete the look. Luckily I found a sweater vest - also from my husband's closet that may or may not be too tight for him, he can wear it again in April. Anyway, the outfit looks terrific, but could it look even better with a little sequin embellishment? The sequin applique from Trims on Wheels lends a retro look to the outfit. We'll see, I'm still a few days away from deciding on how many sequins.

When traveling for SCHMETZneedles I try to visit local fabric shops. Yes, "I am a fabriholic" and will never sew all my fabrics, but I love the textures, colors and stories of these fabric forays. The next two projects use luscious fabrics found last fall at Treadle Yard Goods in St. Paul , MN.

What a joy to sew Marsha McClintock's newest Saf-T-Pockets Pattern, the T-Shirt Trifecta. Seams were serged on the right side and the top finished with flirty little flounces at the hem and lower sleeves. Already I know I'll be sewing this pattern again. I may raid my husband's closet again, this time for some of those heavy weight bright t-shirts that are a "little too tight". This is a cute and cheery little top!

My sewing spree would not be complete without a Sandra Betzina item. I chose a pullover top with a ruched front panel and ruched trimmed sleeves: Sandra's Today's Fit Vogue #1275. Another quick and simple to sew project in just one morning. Ruching by pulling a cord through zig zag stitches was a new and fun technique. The top looks great with black slacks, but there was enough fabric to make a simple skirt. So, this is a splashy outfit that is destined to be a favorite.

All that is left are a few touch-ups, then it's time to pack and go. First to New Orleans for VDTA/SDTA, a wholesale show, then off to Puyallup, WA as the Facebook hostess for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo, followed by SCHMETZ classes at Steve's Sewing, Vacuum and Quilting in King of Prussia, PA, then back to the west coast to Sewing with the Stars hosted by The Sewing Place in Santa Rosa, CA.

March is a sewing whirlwind. If our paths cross, say hi. I would love to know which SCHMETZ needle is your favorite!




SCHMETZ needles used on these projects: Stretch 75/11 and Universal 80/12.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Gail Yellen, Gail Patrice Design

Last year my path crossed multiple times with Gail Yellen at several Original Sewing & Quilt Expo shows.  What first caught my eye was this wonderful tone-on-tone jacket on display in Gail's booth.
It's sophisticated, subtle color blocks and textures drew me to Gail's booth.  The jacket is so cozy - although I refrained from hugging the sample - and made from her Mother's sweaters.  Gail excels in designing comfortable and flattering jackets from sweaters and sweatshirts then adds her own distinctive details.

Twin needle work is frequently found in her samples such as on this sleeve cuff.

Here's the back view of the jacket with the inverted pleat and you can see how snazzy the twin needle work on the cuff edges adds subtle attention to the jacket.

Gail's work with beads is intriguing especially on the back of this jacket,
but this close-up of the bead work on the front shoulder blew me away when Gail said it was done on a serger.  One of her favorite tools is the Edge Perfect Blade to perforate the fabric.  I really need to take one of Gail's classes and get a hands-on experience on how to do this beautiful bead work.

Gail wearing the beaded Counterpoints Jacket
Gail's teaching schedule is posted on her website.  I'll see her next at the fabulous Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA.  Sign up for her classes now and make sure you drop by her booth to see her Counterpoint Jacket and other patterns perfect for embellishing.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

HOG & Simplicity

Seeing HOG (Harley-Davidson Owners Group) magazine and a Simplicity pattern on the same work table is not a frequent occurrence in my travels, but last fall while vending at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo in Kansas City, I met the ever energetic and talented Virginia Phillips. 

HOG and Simplicity Pattern
Ever so gracious Virginia invited Rita Farro and I to her home before chowing down on ribs at Ricky's Pit BBQ one night and Stroud's Restaurant another night.  Virginia has more than a passing interest in riding Harley's.  She travels to local Harley dealerships setting up an on-site embroidery service for those hearty leather motorcycle jackets.  Plus she creates custom garments for Harley customers - leather jackets, chaps and vests. 

Leather Vest with Embroidery & Patches
Virginia gets a very pretty penny for her work, and rightfully so.  Just look at the detail in this leather vest.

Inside Detail of Leather Vest
Every stitch is in place, but the remarkable feature is the side detail. This vest will last forever - no matter how the wearer's body will change or bulk up.  Virginia's thoughtful solution is lace-up sides instead of the traditional side seam.  Gain a few pounds, not a problem, just loosen the sides.  Ingenious! 

Harley T-Shirt Quilt
On a lighter note Virginia showed a Harley t-shirt quilt hanging in her dining room that she made for her husband.  

Just a Sampling of Virginia's Machines, Tools & Notions
She sews on a variety of machines - home sewing and commercial machines with all the appropriate notions, tools, books and inspiration galore. 

Glove Dyes
We also saw a broad collection of glove dyes.  Really, when was the last time you thought about making gloves?  Maybe knit a pair of mittens, but sew a pair of gloves?  Hmmmm, maybe next winter. . . .

The Dynamic Virginia!

Virginia, thanks so much for sharing your love of sewing.  Glad to know SCHMETZ is your favorite needle brand!  Learning about your experiences as a nurse, American Red Cross volunteer, brewer of Kombucha (a miracle health tea), Street Strider elliptical trike rider, foodie and Kansas City historian made a nice trip . . . .  fabulous and delicious too!