Bay Area Sewists Meetup No. 3!

Bay Area Sewists - April Meetup

On April 19 Bay Area Sewists met at Lacis‘s classroom space in Berkeley for Meetup No. 3 this year! Not everyone who came is in the photo because I forgot to take the photo while everyone was still there.

Our topic was  Show & Tell, WIPs, Tour Lacis & Pattern Giveaway! I thought it would be a nice to talk about embellishing clothes because we were meeting at Lacis, where you can buy lace, ribbons, embroidery thread, and other notions.

We had a lot of fun seeing what everyone made. I took some photos – unfortunately, I didn’t capture everything because I was so busy looking at what folks made – but you can see a few of the things below.

Erin's purse - Bay Area Sewists - csews.com

Lindsay (@lindsaymarsh) (left) of Baking Making and Crafting is looking at an embellished and embroidered purse made by Erin (sitting next to Lindsay).  Veronica (right) is looking at a Christmas tree skirt made by Lynda (not pictured).

Erin's embellished purse - Bay Area Sewists meetup - csews.com

Pretty amazing details on Erin’s purse, eh? Erin’s philosophy is that if it doesn’t look right, just add more! She also brought a pirate jacket, which had all kinds of things going on – braid, ribbons, a tassel.

Beth of SunnyGal Studio - Vogue dress

Beth of SunnyGal Studio talked about the Vogue dress (8904) she is wearing and a black jacket (on table) that she embellished with fringe. You can read her post about this fun striped knit dress here. She said the dress was easy to make – you attach the panels to another piece of fabric. To her left is Lisa (@jlellis) who brought her Grainline Moss skirt, which she recently finished. She really liked the pattern and said it was easy to make. Lisa did a nice job on the top stitching. Oh, and I should mention that she’s wearing a knit dress she made from the Red Velvet Dress pattern by Cake Patterns.

Beth's Vogue jacket

The black jacket is from Vogue pattern 7975. The pattern didn’t look very exciting but the addition of fringe gave it a very nice touch. Beth added fringe to the edged and to the pockets. She used the jacket fabric to make the fringe.

fringe sample by Beth of SunnyGal Studio - csews.com

Here’s my out-of-focus photo of the jacket and the sample fringe, which Beth brought to the meeting. You sew the fringe fabric to a piece of silk organza. All of her fringe was along a straight edge but if you are going to put fringe along a curve, check out this post on bias fringe on the blog Communing with Fabric.

Renfrew cardigan - Bay Area Sewists meetup - csews.com

Here’s Lisa showing off the cardigan she made using Sewaholic’s Renfrew pattern. If you’re not familiar with it, the Renfrew is for a knit top with three different necklines to choose from, it’s not a cardigan pattern. So this is Lisa’s clever pattern hack. I have this pattern so I’ll definitely try making a cardigan once I get some tops done!

Allison  - Bay Area Sewists meetup

Allison (@allisoncole85) of i like candy talks about the things she made from the fabric she got at our fabric swap in March, including the top she’s wearing and a couple of the things in front of her. The embroidered and beaded fabric in front of her is a skirt that Veronica made. She’s often sitting around waiting for her kids at a practice or events so she spends her time doing some hand sewing like embroidery and beading. Her embroidery was very detailed and precise.

Pattern drawing - Bay Area Sewists

At the end of our discussion we held a drawing for Bluegingerdoll’s latest pattern, the Winifred Dress – and Lynda won the pattern! This indie pattern company, which launched just two years ago, is based in Australia. Lynda was excited to win because the pattern is drafted for larger busts. You can buy the pattern in paper or as a PDF download.

There are plenty of tutorials on the Winifred sewalong posts that were created for this pattern. The talented Heather (@knitnbee) of Handmade by Heather B, wrote up the various adjustments you can make, including one on full and small bust adjustments. I am in the middle of making my Winifred Dress and used the small bust adjustment instructions. [Full disclosure: Abby send me a copy of the pattern for me to try out.] Thank you Abby, Bluegingerdoll’s designer, for donating the pattern for our meetup!

After the pattern drawing some members continued to chat and others went on a tour of the smocking exhibit currently on display at Lacis and to check out the store. The smocking exhibit will be on display until October 4. There are docent tours on Saturdays – and if you go on a tour you can see the actual pink smocked dress Anne Hathaway wore in Les Miserables. It’s in a special room, separate from the rest of the exhibit. Only a few people at a time are allowed in to see the special items there. You can see a photo of it on this Jane Austen blog post Smocking: A Stitch in Time. But you can see it in person at Lacis! All I can say is that Anne Hathaway is very slender – such narrow shoulders!

Our next meetup will be a pattern swap and a discussion of indie patterns on Saturday, May 17, 10:45 am. If you’re in the area, I hope you can join us! I hope to finally meet Melizza (@Pincushiontreat) of Pincushion Treats. Our May pattern drawing will be for Lolita Patterns latest release. Thank you Amity for donating your pattern!

On another note, our June 7 meetup at Lacis will be on fitting. If you have any suggestions about how we should use our time, please let me know. We’ll have the space for four hours. Some folks will be bringing their sewing machines. I figure we could have an area where people can get accurate measurements, maybe an FBA/SBA area, or something like that.

People will bring their muslins, etc. and we’ll all muddle along. If Loran of Loran’s World comes (if she’s not too jet lagged after her trip to Australia!), she can really help folks. She’s had plenty of fitting experience. My experience is limited to SBAs, wide shoulder adjustments, and a little waist tweaking.

I’m excited about this meetup because I’ll finally get to meet Angela (@bonnechanceblog) of Bonne Chance! She just moved up to the Bay Area from Los Angeles. She had wanted to come to our meetup this month but had to go apartment hunting instead.

Anyway, feel free to offer any tips about holding a fitting session! Thanks for visiting!
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A Liebster Award Nomination!

Liebster Award

The talented Melanie of The Seeds of 3 nominated my blog for a Liebster Award – THANK YOU, Melanie! The Liebster Award is for bloggers with fewer than 500 followers. One part of receiving this acknowledgment is to pay it forward and list eleven other blogs with fewer than 500 followers as well as answer and ask questions. And Melanie listed mine in her post, which you can read here.

For some reason, I didn’t get pinged that she had nominated me two weeks ago so I didn’t know about it. I checked my email and nothing posted there (oops – sorry Melanie for my belated response!).

Here’s what you do when you’re nominated:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
2. Answer the 11 questions given to you
3. Nominate 11 other followers with less than 500 followers
4. Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
5.Tag your nominees & post a comment on their blog to let them know you nominated them

Now I have a moment to answer Melanie’s questions:

1. What was the first thing you’ve ever sewn? 
I really can’t remember what that first thing was – I’m sure it was something I did with my mom because she taught me and my sisters to sew on her Singer. I got more formal instructions in my junior high home ec class. We all made stuffed animals from kits that came with the fake fur fabric, etc. I made a gray whale, which had a mouth that opened (pink fake fur inside!). In high school I made a hat from some off-white fake shearling. I didn’t use a pattern – I just made it up as I went along. It was inspired by those Russian hats with ear flaps – kinda like these hats.

2. Did you wear it? Why or why not?
Yes, I did wear the hat a few times but the fit wasn’t great so it ended up in the closet.

3. Do you believe in fate?
Depends on when you ask me and what’s happening in my life at the moment. 😉

4. What is your earliest memory?
One of my earliest memories is my dad taking me to a toy store and letting me pick whatever I wanted except that I couldn’t make up my mind. I was about five years old. I think I was still getting over the fact that my mom threw away an old but well loved blanket of mine just before we moved. I’m sure she thought it was old and ratty so it was time to get rid of it. Bad timing though – apparently I cried from the moment it was taken away and the entire two-and-a-half hour drive to our new home. I have no memories of that blanket or the move. I think they felt guilty about the blanket – thus I had carte blanche at the toy store.

5. If you drink, what is your favorite cocktail (recipe please!)
I don’t drink very often but the last mixed drink I made was an egg nogg martini. I can’t remember what recipe we used. I found something online – vodka, eggnog, and something else. Just search “eggnog martini” and you’ll find many recipes.

6. What kinds of books do you like to read?
I like nonfiction history – especially true stories that seem unbelievable that they would be hard to believe even if they were fiction. I’m currently reading The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo by Tom Reiss – absolutely fascinating biography of General Alex Dumas – the father of the novelist Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Muskateers. And my guilty escapist pleasure is science fiction and an occasional historical romance.

7. When was the last time you were sick with something other than a common cold? What was it?
[Knock on wood] I have been very fortunate not to get sick with anything other than a really bad cold.

8. Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
I lean more towards being an introvert but over the years I’ve become more of an extrovert and more comfortable with public speaking.

9. What sewing tip have you learned that blew your mind?
Use a highlighter to mark pattern notches so you won’t forget to make them in your fabric. I got this tip from Brooke of Custom Style. I think I posted on Instagram or maybe it was a tweet  – about how I forgot to mark my notches and then had to go back to the pattern and put them in (so annoying!). Brooke responded that she uses a highlighter so she won’t forget – such a useful (and time-saving) tip.

10. What is your dream sewing machine if money was no object?
I don’t like machines with a bunch of fancy programmable electronics so I would just say a machine that easily sews a variety of stitches and all types of fabric really well. Oh, and that it comes with every type of foot imaginable. 🙂

11. Do you prefer hot or cold climates? Why?
My true preference is warm but if the choice is only hot or cold, then I pick hot. Being cold and shivering is worse than being hot and sweaty.

Now here are my eleven nominations for a Liebster Award. I referred to my bloglovin’ account to determine the follower numbers – but please note – just because people have fewer than 500 followers on Bloglovin’ doesn’t mean they don’t have more than that elsewhere. I also picked folks who I follow via Bloglovin or Twitter and/or who have commented on my blog. Some of you may have already received a Liebster – sorry I don’t have time to vet all my nominees. I like many of the blogs on Melanie’s list but I left them off my list so I could nominate different folks. In no particular order, they are (drum roll, please):

1. Sew Cro and Quilt

2. Custom Style

3. Another Sewing Scientist

4. Love Teach Sew

5. The Somnolent Dauchshund

6. Sewtell

7. Bonne Chance

8. Life in a “Mads” House

9. Tumbleweeds in the Wind

10. Seams and Finishes

11. A Make It Yourself Mom’s Diary

12. Sew Exhausted [Ok- I was supposed to stop at 11 but I just had to add Laurie’s blog!]

And here are my eleven questions for you:

1. What is the first thing you sewed that you liked enough to wear in public?

2. Where did you grow up?

3. What are your favorite colors?

4. What’s your favorite season of the year?

5. What’s the last sewing book you bought?

6. Have you made anything from a vintage (or vintage-inspired) sewing pattern?

7. If so, did you like how it turned out and did you wear it out?

8. What helpful sewing tip did you pick up over the past year?

9. What’s your favorite sewing machine presser foot?

10. What’s your favorite cuisine (Thai, French, Italian, etc.)?

11. What’s your favorite dessert? If you have a recipe, please share it!

Well, that’s all. Thanks so much, Melanie, for the nomination – I really appreciate it!