September 15: Make a Hat Day

Today, September 15, is Make a Hat Day! It’s also Felt Hat Day, but we’ll just focus on making any hat, whether it’s felt, cloth or another material. Hats are again back in style since Kate & William’s wedding. Have you ever made a hat?

Make a Hat Day is is a day for fun! Design, make, and wear your a hat for yourself today. Put your personality into it. Or, make a hat from a character you would like to imitate for a day.

This day is very popular with preschool, kindergarten, and grade school teachers and students. Early in the new school year, teachers look for fun and interesting projects to break up the classroom routine, or for art projects. Kids, who love arts projects by nature, can use their creativity in making a hat that fits them!

The rules for Make a Hat Day are quite simple. Just make a hat, any hat. It can be for you, or for mom or dad. Wearing the hat is optional. But, it’s half the fun.

Source: Holiday Insights

Twitter logoSpoiler Alert! #makeahatday Tweets

How can I resist a themed day of tweets? Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know what today’s tweets are. I’ll be using the hashtag #makeahatday today with links to patterns and tutorials (tutes) of various hats. Usually I re-cap the day after the themed tweet day, but since today is MAKE a hat day, I’m giving you the links today so you can make a hat today.

Map Cap
Image source:
Art Deco Society of California

Whew! that was a lot of tweets! I hope you were inspired to make a hat today. If you make a hat, send me a picture. I’d love add it to our Flickr album.

twitter-elephant Follow us on Twitter at @sewchicago. We share tips, links on the Web and from other tweeters.

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Lights! Camera! Conference! ASG visits L.A. for 2011

The American Sewing Guild (ASG) held its 2011 annual conference in Los Angeles, CA, from Aug. 18-22. Among the several hundred attendees were a group from the ASG Chicago Chapter. We send a big thanks to National and the L.A. chapter for making this a fantastic conference.

For anyone who has never attended conference, imagine a few hundred ASG members in one location with classrooms, an exhibit/vendor hall, and access to fabric shopping. It’s wonderful! Even if you attended alone, there are no strangers at conference because we all have a common interest: sewing. Mary Ann R., one of the Chicago members, explained, “The conference is a way of bonding with your peers and this happened to me the moment I entered the shuttle at the airport with other ASG members. Everywhere you went, there was another ASG member with a big smile and ‘Hi!'” This statement is so true. In fact, I had a mini-reunion with some of the ASG members I meet on the April 2010 Sew Many Options tour to New York with Marsha McClintock and Marla Kazell

Conference mostly focuses on workshops and classes and this year there was a wide variety from which to choose and those were primarily offered in two- to three-hour slots. “The classes brought out your creativity and made you think outside the box.  With each one, you walked away having learned something new,” said Mary Ann R.

Here are some highlights from some of the Chicago members who attended.

My Purses by Design handbag. Love it!

Purse Basics with Pamela L. Day and Roseanne Lauters of Purses by Design held a special half-day class on Aug. 18 that I attended and walked out with a fantastic handbag. Pamela and Roseanne prepped the class by having all the fabric pre-cut and interfaced. All we had to do was insert the magnetic snap and sew. It was a blast. They use a special interfacing for the lining that helps keep the bag stable but flexible. This was one of four classes the PbyD ladies offered.

Marie Yolande teaching "On the Edge." Wendy G. said Marie turned a hotel meeting room into a couture atelier.

On the Edge with Marie Yolande taught ASG members Wendy G. and Elizabeth H. the beauty of edge finishes and how they can “separate the amateurs from the professionals.” Marie, who has an extensive background in french needlework, showed the class how to use custom piping, shirred and ruched trims, and many other edge techniques. Wendy G. said it was just like being in an couture atelier.

Liz H. showing off her sample of fringed wool in the the "On the Edge" class

Sharleen from ASG Chicago attended Vest-S-Cape with Marsha McClintock of Saf-T-Pockets and walked out with a finished cape/wrap. [We’re waiting for a stunning photo of Sharleen in her cape; check back later to see it!]

It’s almost impossible to list all of the workshops we attended. If you’d like to see who taught, the 2011 conference brochure is still posted on the ASG national website.  Some of the others that quickly come to mind are: Christine Haynes‘ Creating Runway Looks at Home, Katrina Walker‘s Sensational Seams, Diane Ricks‘ Washaway Stabilizers, Anne St. Clair‘s Bra Fit. To read more about the workshops, visit Connie’s post As seen at the ASG National Conference or Celeste’s site “Sew Much Fun” for ASG Conference Reviewed.

Rami Kim's cathedral window coat.

One last class I’d like to mention is Hand Smocking with Rami Kim. She had the class work on two samples and something that seemed so difficult actually was incredibly easy. North American Hand Smocking is a lot of connecting the dots to create the design of your choice. These puckers and pulls of fabric create stunning designs for blouses, jackets, purses, or any item. Rami taught a few other classes on fabric folding, or Chopkey, as she refers to it in her native Korean language. She also displayed a beautiful gold coat done in Cathedral Window pattern.

For English Smocking, visit Vaune, one of the vendors at the conference. She had a beautiful selection of fabric and sold pleaters.

A conference wouldn’t be complete without shopping and tours.  The conference had a exhibit hall for shopping and we made that most of that! But the best is L.A.’s downtown fabric district. It’s maze that could take you weeks to go through. Thankfully a group of the ASG L.A. chapter members put together a handy guide to point out a few spots to visit if you were running short on time. It’s a crazy mix of elegant and inexpensive textiles and trims. From home dec to silk to basic cottons, there was no shortage. If you are visiting on your own, some places you might want to hit in that 8th and 9th street area are: L.A. Fred’s for home dec; Eco Fabric for home dec and Tex Carmel for silks and linens; Trim 2000 for (you guessed it) trims; Michael Levine and Michael Levine’s Annex from just about everything; and off the beaten path were B. Black and Sons for a “step back in time to what a fabric store would be like in the 1920s and 1930s.”

Connie (L) and Wendy (R) with Judy Fitzgerald of Sawyer Brook Fabrics at breakfast. Wendy was thrilled she meet the lady who cuts her fabric and processes her internet orders.

A few of us stayed through Monday to take advantage of some of the fabric shopping tours to Santa Barbara Lace and Textile and another to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and more fabric shopping. The FIDM group was definitely the most packed with three busloads of ASG members. Sharleen and I made it to the bus that started the tour at Mood in L.A. And even thought I don’t have a photo of this to prove it, I do have witness . . . we meet Burt from Project Runway at Mood! He was so nice and posed for pictures with anyone who asked. You guessed it, I didn’t ask to have my photo taken, but I did wish him luck.

I could go on and on about the L.A. trip. It was a blast. The 2012 annual conference will be in Houston, TX from Aug. 16-20 and 2013 will be in Arlington, VA. Hope we see you at both!

How Does Your Garden Grow

Where flowers bloom so does hope. — Lady Bird Johnson

The snow has finally melted and flowers will soon be showing their colors. But if you’re like me and have a black thumb, you’ll have better luck with making some flowers with fabric, needle and thread. In addition to the beautiful pieces from Candace Kling and Soutache Ribbons, here are some floral embellishment ideas that will hopefully inspire you and brighten your day.

Flowers by Ruth Singer

(Image source: mantua-maker.blogspot.com)

These beauties are brooches from textile designer Ruth Singer‘s flower/corsage workshop. Study this picture and you’ll see flowers made from felt, leather and yo-yo’s. Ever see a pretty button, but have no idea what outfit you would put it on? How something like these pretty flowers?

Imagine this next bunch of hydrangeas as a pocket on a swingy, skirt or clustered on a jacket…a sewn-in corsage! Or make it in an embroidery hoop as e tells tales does and enjoy over a kitchen sink or in your sewing studio.

I wonder if this flower was made in green, if it would look more like an artichoke? 🙂 Crafty Chicks’ tutorial on their blog will show y0u how to make this vintage-looking rose.

This next floral display of poppies(?) simply screams spring with its color and fun spirit. Sure, the colors aren’t true to Mother Nature’s palette, but there just seems to be a fresh feeling to it. Could be that the vibrant colors are set against the crisp white cotton.

Felt flower pillow

(Image source: CraftholicsAnonymous)

And you don’t have to give up if you’re working with knits. Imagine a trail of these next posies on your garment or a pillow. A beautiful tone on tone, texture effect. Sew It All has a full tutorial how to make this on their site.

Flowers made from knits

(Image source: sewitallmag.com)

Flowers and bugs from Clotilde

(Image source: Clotilde)

Clotilde’s Garden Zips pattern has some fun with zippers! And what’s a garden of flowers without a few floral-friendly insects? Sew cute!

When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not. — Georgia O’Keeffe

Happy Spring! If you make any of these or any of your own flowers, please be sure to send in a picture or post it to our Members’ Projects Flickr album. We’d love to see what you’re making!

Sewing With Nancy

Sewing With Nancy

(Image source: Louisiana Public Broadcasting)

Did you know you can watch full episodes of Nancy Zieman’s Sewing With Nancy shows online? From the Wisconsin PBS Station. Yay public television!

 

March is National Craft Month

National Crafting Month logo

Image source: Burdastyle.com

Yikes! Where did the time go?

Sorry, dear readers, for being so silent on you — but part of the reason that I’m so late about talking about National Craft Month is that I’ve been prowling around other sites looking for ideas to share with you…and before you know it, it’s 2am and I’m too buggy-eyed to write. So, I’m back in the saddle and have several things to share over the next few posts.

National Craft Month

Ok, if you haven’t heard, March is National Craft Month. Some people think of crafts as something less than serious…that’s ok. Why not use this month to explore other types of sewing to add to your repertoire? Free yourself from rules; play a little…or play a lot. If you’re not a quilter, try a quilting technique to add to your next project. Ever made plush food? They can be fun to make as well as calorie-free! Or maybe you’ve been admiring an embellishing technique…give yourself the freedom to explore and play this month!

Just make something!

Here are some idea starters in case you don’t already have a When-I-Finish-This-I’ll-Try-This list:

ASG Chicago's Pincushions NG make pincushions

Pincushions NG make pincushions.

Don’t be afraid. Just try something new. Most of all, making a craft is about having fun! As should sewing be! If you make something, be sure to post it to our Flickr group of Members’ Projects. Or email me a picture and I’ll be sure to post it for you. Maybe you’ve already made something for St. Patrick’s Day?

Happy Craft Month!

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