Happy National Sewing Machine Day

National Sewing Machine Day

Treadle, mechanical, computerized or embroidery…hug your sewing machine today because it’s National Sewing Machine Day today! Don’t forget your coverstitch, Sashiko and sergers. They could use some love, too.

How about showing your love to your machine with vacuuming the dust out? Or maybe it deserves a trip to your friendly serviceman for a once-a-year check-up.

Or maybe make it a fun cover. Your machine helps you make fun and beautiful things, why not make something for your machine? Maybe a fun machine cover. For some inspiration, check out these lovelies on Pinterest.

 

 

City of Chicago April & May Fashion Events

The City of Chicago is hosting some exciting fashion related events starting Monday, April 28 and, the best part, these are free!

  • April 28 from 5 pm to 9 pm screening of the film of Men of the Cloth and a panel discussion with the director and members of the bespoke tailor community, and a networking reception. Free admission and the event Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E. Randolph St.
  • May 3-4, 2014 Saturday, 10am-6pm. Sunday, 11am-5pm. FashionChicago® (Spring 2014):  Shopping Event in the Tent. Join StyleChicago.com in the tent at Millennium Park on Saturday (10am-6pm) & Sunday (11am-5pm), May 3-4, 2014 for FashionChicago®, an amazing designer shopping event featuring more than 30 of Chicago’s finest fashion designers – all under 1 tent – in the heart of downtown Chicago. Free admission for this event in Millennium Park – Chase Promenade North, 201 E. Randolph St.
  • July 22-23, 2014 Fashion Focus Chicago Sidewalk Sale. The Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events presents the eighth annual Chicago Sidewalk Sale on July 22 and 23 at Daley Plaza from 9am to 3pm daily. The two-day shopping event will offer fashion enthusiasts and bargain shoppers an assortment of affordable apparel and accessories from Chicago designers and independent boutiques. Free admission for this event in Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington St.

Gee’s Bend Quilts on display at DePaul Art Museum

Whether you’re an experienced quilter, novice, or know nothing at all, you still can appreciate the artistic beauty and historic significance of Gee’s Bend Quilts. Now through June 22, the DePaul Art Museum (located at the DePaul University’s Lincoln Park campus),  will display examples from Gee’s Bend in addition to other more modern quilts from the region of western Alabama. Gee’s Bend quilts, some dating back to the 1800s, carry more colorful and geometric designs from the Euro-American quilts of that time. The departure from that style is just one reason why these quilts are so sought after. For more information on the exhibit, visit the DePaul Art Museum at 935 W. Fullerton, just east of the CTA’s Fullerton ‘L’ stop in Chicago. It is open Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The museum is closed Mondays and Tuesdays. For more information, call 773-325-7506 or visit www.depaul.edu/museum.

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This 84-by-87 inch quilt made by Mary Maxtion was made around 1991 and is called the “Everbody Quilt.” It is made of cotton, polyester, wool and rayon. The quilt will be on display at the DePaul Art Museum April 10 – June 22. (Image courtesy of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts)

Dazzling Dancewear

Those attending the 2013 ASG Chicago fashion show were treated to a display of absolutely gorgeous dancewear. These are the creations of two of our members, Karen and Lisa. Enjoy!

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Fabric Challenge 2013

Every year, we give 1 yard of fabric to members who are up to the challenge of incorporating it in a project that falls into one of five categories: children’s wear, toys, quilts, adult wear, accessories or home decor. This year’s fabric was a multi-colored stripe, some on a white background and the rest on a black background. It was donated by ASG Chicago supporting retailer Linda Z’s.

The projects are displayed at our annual meeting/luncheon/fashion show and attendees vote on their favorite in each category. This year, the fabric inspired lots of great entries. See for yourself:

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The voting is anonymous, and it was tough to choose a favorite. They all look like winners, don’t they?

National Sewing Month at Area Libraries

Some enterprising ASG Chicago Neighborhood Groups organized displays at their community libraries to celebrate National Sewing Month. We have pictures of displays at the Oak Forest, Illinois Library, prepared by the “Bobbin Along” group and a northwest Indiana library prepared by the “Thread Heads” of Valparaiso. Don’t they look great?

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Sew for the Skill of It

Internaional Sewing Month

September is National Sewing Month and this year’s theme is Sew for the Skill of It. We’re always thinking about ways to sharpen our sewing skills and it’s always exciting when we find new ways to celebrate the gift that those skills are.

Recently, word has been spreading about a fabulous reality TV show called the Great British Sewing Bee that has home sewists competing based solely on their sewing skills. The show sprinkles in some interesting historical information and gives glimpses of the contestants’ backgrounds, but the focus is the craft of sewing and how well the contestants execute the challenges, which include following a pattern, making made-to-measure clothes for real people and upcycling a purchased article of clothing. The sewing room is stocked with exquisite fabrics and trims referred to as the haberdashery. The judges are an expert sewing teacher and a Saville Row tailor and the drama comes, not from personality conflicts, but from hoping the contestants will be able to finish the challenges in time. It’s all very civilized and no bleeping is required. Contestants talk about “unpicking” their mistakes (so much gentler-sounding than ripping) and one remarked that a fabric had a mind of its own so she had to “speak to it very firmly.”  Wouldn’t it be great if we had something similar here in the US? A contest like this would be a great addition to ASG’s National Conference, for instance.

Season Two of the Great British Sewing Bee is in the works and the full episodes from Season One can be viewed on YouTube.  Watching is fun, but doing is what we sewing fanatics love best. Let’s all celebrate National Sewing Month by tackling a project that tests our skills, learning or brushing up on a technique that’s gotten the better of us in the past. Do it for the skill of it.

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