As Seen At The American Sewing Guild National Conference

Photos contributed by President Connie G.

American Sewing Guild National Conference logoThe American Sewing Guild National Conference was held in Los Angeles this year. Eleven of our Chicago chapter members attended and filled their days with learning new techniques and meeting old and new friends. Below are some pictures and tidbits that our President, Connie G. sent back.

Running In Stitches Neighborhood Group leader Celeste wrote about her ASG Conference experience on her blog. Be sure to take a peek at her jeans-to-skirt reconstruction with the pretty machine embroidery.

Sights and Thoughts From Connie

Gel-bleached jacket

Gel-bleached jacket

Linda MacPhee Transforms Fabrics
In Linda MacPhee‘s class, a denim jacket was transformed with dishwasher gel bleach. Use a squeeze bottle to control your lines. Save your squeeze ketchup bottles and use that or buy the squeeze bottles at your local craft store.

Linda is also know for her “beggar fabric.” But, beggar fabric is not easy to find. So, Linda made her own by cutting holes  in a top fabric and laundering. Then the fabric is backed with a dotted sheer fabric. Beggar fabric doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, it’s a great way to use up scraps and remnants.

Embellishments
Think that twin-needle is just for heirloom sewing? Try this: thread up some colorful thread in that twin-needle and wander your fabric. You’ll create a fun stipple that is perfect for quilting or embellishing a plain fabric.

Double-needle stipple Denim jacket

Use fleece as inserts to mimic bias to add texture to your piece. Since fleece doesn’t fray, you don’t need to worry about turning under tiny edges…just cut and sew. With fleece, you can also bend it any which way you desire without worrying too much about grains. Although, keep in mind that some fleece have a nap.

Fleece inserts

Fleece inserts

Button embellishments

Button embellishments

Add dimension to your machine embroidery with buttons! Don’t have an embroidery machine? Use your decorative stitches in rows with variegated thread. Or maybe even try hand embroidery.

Upcycle

Upcycled sweaterDo you have a bunch of sweaters that need a new life? You’re either tired of them or they might not fit as well as they used to? Gather them all up and upcycle them into a new sweater. Don’t worry about matching; the idea is to create a patchwork. Use your serger for quick construction…and leave the serged edges to the outside of the garment for additional texture and interest. Go ahead and raid your husband’s and children’s closets…because you’re fabric shopping!

Tip: Try to use similar fiber content within one garment. If you mix an all-wool piece with swatches from a cotton/acrylic sweater, you may end up with a shrunken, felted panel at the next wash.

Learn From the Experts

Sandra Betzina

Sandra Betzina

One of the many advantages of the American Sewing Guild National Conference is having access to many wonderful teachers who are known thoughout the sewing industry. Some classes are hands-on, while others are lecture. Sandra Betzina and Linda MacPhee were just a two of the instructors that were at this year’s ASG National Conference.

Did you go to the ASG National Conference this year in Los Angeles? Tell us your experience, we’d love to hear from you!

Add Dimension With Corded Pintucks

Twin Needles

(Photo source: Craftstylish)

Last year, some of the Sew Chicago NG members took a class about heirloom sewing Eveyln Cummings, co-leader for the Joliet Desperate Stitchers NG. That’s where many, including me, discovered the wonders of the twin needle. How lovely are  the rows of bumpy rows.

Where do you go from there? And are pintucks only for heirloom sewing. Colette Patterns shows how to add cording to the pintucking to create some added dimension. Sewn in a zig zag or lazy curves and it has a completely different feeling than heirloom sewing.

Corded pintucks

(Photo source: Colette Patterns)

Colette Patterns has a tute (tutorial) that is so much better to read for yourself than I can reduce here. She uses thick embroidery thread wound on the bobbin to give the pintuck an extra dimension and applies it to a pretty tap pant. It’s a nice extra embellishment.

Definitely something to try for a next garment, quilt or even a handbag. Wouldn’t this be just delish on a yummy soft leather? Or fun in rows on a grey flannel pillow? Maybe follow a couple rows of pinstripes on a wool suiting for a bit of nubby texture.

Corded pintucking on a curve

(Photo source: Craftstylish)

Nancy S. from Sew Chicago and I also played with a wide twin needle on fleece at this year’s Original Sewing & Quilt. The effect had almost a tarpunto feeling.

Here’s a cute idea: use a thick corded pintuck and make a corrugated cup holder. Keeps the hot coffee at bay while giving your fingers something to grip onto.

Reusable coffee sleeve with pintucking

(Photo source: Craftstylish)

This would probably be good for little people’s fingers to learn texture or to hold onto. Does your cat like texture? Maybe sew up a bunch of cat toys with this texture to distract kitty from scratching up your favorite chair. Here’s a link to the tuteon Craftstylish.

Get out and play with your (twin needle) feet! As always, please send us pictures or post to the ASG Chicago chapter Flickr album to share with everyone. We love to see what you’re making!

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