Bay Area Sewists – Meetup 4 and 5!

Bay Area Sewists - May 2014 Meetup - Pattern swap -

On May 17 Bay Area Sewists had our fourth meetup – a pattern swap – at Berkeley Public Library. Plenty of members brought scores of patterns – many more than I photographed here. But hey, I was took busy looking at patterns so I forgot to take photos at the beginning when the tables were really loaded with patterns. We had something of everything – dresses, suits, pajamas, vintage, kids, and crafts.

Bay Area Sewists Meet up - May 2014 pattern swap

Bay Area Sewists Meet up - May 2014 pattern swap

Bay Area Sewists Meet up - May 2014 pattern swap

And our May pattern drawing was for Lolita Patterns Olive blouse, which was won by Sarah! Congratulations to Sarah!

Bay Area Sewists - Lolita Patterns giveaway winner -

This past weekend we held our first fitting meetup at Lacis in Berkeley.They have a great classroom upstairs with plenty of space for sewing machines and layout measuring. You can see just one part of the space in this group shot. This shot just shows one part of the middle of the room. Unfortunately, we didn’t take this photo until later in the day so some folks had already left. But I can assure you we all had a really good time!

Bay Area Sewists - June 2014 meetup -

We had a measuring area. I printed out some body measurements worksheet – a very handy PDF that I found on, which you can download it here. It’s a two-page sheet and tells you where to measure on various points on your body and has space for you to enter each of those measurements. Folks paired off with one person measuring the other. It was great to get accurate measurements of everything from full back, neck to waist, waist to knee and ankle, and so many other numbers!

Bay Area Sewists - fitting meetup - June 2014 -

I brought the muslin of the dress I first tried to make for Sewing Indie Month – the Beatrice Dress by Sew Chic Patterns. This vintage-inspired pattern has a great neckline. At this point, I had already done a small bust and a wide shoulder adjustment. BUT the bodice was a little tight right around the fleshy area between my bewb and armpit. (You can read more about that in this post.) I got some advice from members Annamarie and Loran of Loran’s World and soon realized that I needed to drop the armhole about a half-inch and then add a little more width to the sleeve. And here’s Annamarie…

Annamarie at Bay Area Sewists meetup June 2014
(photo by Bay Area Sewists member Angie of Bonne Chance)

Pattern adjustments

And here’s Loran used a couple safety pins on my shoulder seam, which she suggested needed to come in a little more to avoid a potential wrinkle above the bust. Loran is a fitting expert. Many of us were asking her advice. She mentioned that safety pins and quilting pins were really useful for fittings. And she brought a box of quilting pints and many safety pins of all sizes.

Loran at Bay Area Sewists fitting meetup - June 2014
(photo by Angie)

And here’s Loran helping Shawn with her dress bodice.

Loran helping to fit bodice

Perhaps it’s only fitting (pun intended!) that Loran won the By Hand London Flora Dress pattern drawing! Congratulations to Loran!

Loran won the Flora pattern

We also had a real treat when Bay Area Sewists member Romy arrived with a HUGE box of vintage patterns that she didn’t want anymore. Apparently she had been given boxes of patterns and she didn’t want to keep them all. We were all giddy like kids in candy store and just swarmed the box, pulling them out to peruse the many offerings. Thank you Romy!!!

Box of vintage patterns donated

Of course the majority of them were bust size 32 and 34 but I did find a couple that were bust 36 and 37. I couldn’t resist bringing home eight of these patterns, including some that would need to be graded up. Here’s part of my vintage booty!

vintage patterns - from Bay Area Sewists meetup

Our next meetup is a fabric swap in Berkeley. If you live in the Bay Area, come and join us! It’s fee to join and once you join, you can RSVP for the fabric swap here.

Do you collect vintage patterns? Do you get patterns that match your bust size or do you grade up?

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Bay Area Sewists Meetup and Pattern Swap!

Many patterns

This year began with a bang:  In January I was promoted at work and I also decided to take up the reins as the new organizer for the Bay Area Sewists meetup group, which I mentioned in this earlier post. So life had been super busy, which is why I’ve hardly posted anything in 2014.

But I’m happy to report that on Saturday, February 22, the first official 2014 Bay Area Sewists meetup that I organized, finally happened in Berkeley. It took me a while to get going because I needed to find a free place to meet. One member suggested the San Francisco Public Library but I don’t live in San Francisco and you need to be a resident to use their meeting rooms. Then I discovered that the Berkeley Public Library has a great Community Meeting Room that Berkeley-based organizations can use for free. Our group qualifies because I’m in Berkeley.

I asked Kirsty of Tea and Rainbows if she could help me with this first meetup and she was happy to help. She checked out a Berkeley cafe and restaurant for potential meeting places and she arrived early to help set up. She also had her husband print out some labels for the various pattern categories (dresses, skirts, tops, menswear, etc.) And Meg of Made by Meg, Bay Area Sewists founder, also came early to help set up and stayed to get the room back in order. Thank you Kirsty and Meg!

The room has great tables on wheels that you can easily position around the room. I decided to put them in a square so people could wander around and look at all the patterns. As more and more members and patterns arrived, we added more tables. We began with four tables and ended up filling up eight tables. Dress patterns took up two tables!

Looking over patterns.cropped

More than 20 members came, and nearly everyone brought patterns – anywhere from three or four to more than 30! I handed out “tickets” (small history cards that I had at home) for each pattern. The idea was that people could take as many patterns as they brought.To be fair, everyone who brought a pattern got to pick one pattern, and then after everyone picked one, they got to pick a second one, and then we did a few more rounds and then everyone could just pick however many patterns they wanted.

I brought seven patterns and picked up these four at our swap:

Patterns from swap

I absolutely adore the hat patterns! I have another Patricia Underwood Vogue hat pattern that I got a few years ago. I really like her designs. I want to make that black hat. You can never have too many hats, right?

The vintage Simplicity pattern is from 1967. I always liked those dress/jacket outfits you see in those 1960s films. And now I can make my very own combo!

The Vogue dress pattern appealed to me because of the dropped waist and pleats. And I thought the Very Easy Very Vogue pattern could add some nice casual staples to my wardrobe. And all of these patterns were uncut.

At the end of the swap we held a drawing for Christine Haynes‘s lovely Emery Dress pattern, which was won by Nancy. Thank you, Christine for donating your pattern for our meetup!

If you make the dress, be sure to check out Christine’s Emery Dress Sewalong blog posts on making the dress. You’ll find tips on making adjustments and installing the invisible zipper, and plenty more.

More than 60 leftover patterns were donated to the nonprofit East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland. Just for fun, I did a count and discovered that among this pile were 27 McCalls patterns, 12 Simplicity, 11 Vogue, 9 Butterick, 3 New Look, 2 Burda, and 10 miscellaneous (not Big Four).

Patterns donating

Oh, and as I counted the patterns, I found this XL, XXL pajama pattern – perfect for my husband who needs some new pajama bottoms.

Pajama pattern

Karen of Blinky Sews brought her husband to our meetup and he took some group photos at the end. Unfortunately, mine came out blurry so I won’t post them here. But Meg wrote a post last week about the meetup and included a nice group photo, which he also took. So be sure to check it out!

Big News

Bay Area Sewists Meetup -

January has been an intense month for me – new job responsibilities due to my promotion, getting old machine repaired, buying a new sewing machine – and (drum roll, please) Big News – I’m the new organizer for the Bay Area Sewists Meetup Group!

Yep, the group was about to be abandoned because the founder of the group, Meghan (who blogs at Meg Made This), didn’t have time to maintain it any longer.  So I decided to step up and be the next organizer. Meghan designed the lovely logo for the group – don’t you love it?

In between work stuff (and not sewing, blogging or anything else) I was running around trying to find a free and available space for the group to meet. I finally ended up applying to use the Community Meeting Room at the Berkeley Public Library. And I just heard that my application was accepted.

So our first big Meetup “Pattern Swap, Spring Wardrobes & Pattern Giveaway!” will be at the Berkeley Public Library (2090 Kittredge at Shattuck) on Saturday, February 22, 10:45 am to 12:15 pm. We’ll pass out one ticket per pattern you bring, which you can exchange for another pattern. Because this event is open to the general public, this will make it fair to everyone who comes. Any extra patterns left over will be donated to the nonprofit East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland.

Also, Christine Haynes has graciously donated one of her Emery Dress patterns for a giveaway drawing at this Meetup! Thank you Christine!

Here’s the event sched: Patterns displayed/organized (10:45 to 11 am); Pattern swap (11 am to 11:30 am); Giveaway drawing and discussion of spring wardrobes/fabrics (11:30-12:15).

Kirsty of Tea and Rainbows will be helping me set up for this event before she takes off for Australia. Thank you Kirsty! I’m really looking forward to meeting other Bay Area Sewists. To RSVP for the event, just go to the Bay Area Sewists Meetup page. I hope to see you there!