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.

Enjoying Hand-Sewing

In today’s world of computerized sewing machines that you can plug a USB drive, here are two videos that watch the hands with needle and thread. Maybe it’s the music along with these that make hand-sewing so beautiful to watch. Tell me, do you enjoy hand-sewing?

Did you ever wonder what the left-hand is doing on the underside as your quilting the top?


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Tangerine Tango Quilt Challenge

Tangerine Tango Quilt Challenge logoI know, I know…you’ve barely have any of your holiday sewing finished and I’m suggesting a quilt challenge? Well, not me specifically.

a.squared.w is, though.

What is Tangerine Tango? tsk, tsk, tsk. If you don’t know, that means you haven’t been reading the color forecasts here. “Provocative Tangerine Tango, an enticing juicy orange, is a vivacious and appealing refresher to enliven anyone’s outlook this spring.”

Now, I’ve heard from some of you that Tangerine Tango just doesn’t fit into your wardrobe..either you’re just not an “orange gal” or that it’s too bright for your classic wardrobe. So, why not take up the Tangerine Tango Quilt Challenge and make a cheery quilt?

If you’re a tried and true Chicago Bears fan, you could use the orange as a memorial to the season we almost and could’ve…should have! had before Cutler’s thumb injury.

Line Your Spring Coat with Tangerine Tango

Still not convinced of making a quilt because it’s too fussy? Still want to hold true to making garments? So, why not challenge yourself to add a bit of Tangerine Tango as a trim…perhaps, some piping…or be bold and use one of these tantalizing Tangerines to tango as a lining in a new spring coat.

Tangerine Tango fabrics
1. Free Spirit Designer Solid in Tango 2. TaDot Tangerine 3. Lizzy House Jewels in Orange 4. *VOILE* Solid in Tangerine 5. Alice Kennedy Orange Crush Wavy Optical Stripe Punch 6. dear Stella Meet Me at Sunset Stella Dot Orange 7. Half Moon Modern Big Zig Zag Tangerine 8. Kona Tangerine 9. Half Moon Modern Scissors Tangerine

Here’s the simplest reason to try Tangerine Tango: Winter is finally creeping up on us today with a very cold chill in the air. Maybe a little Tangerine Tango will bringing warmer thoughts until the temperature starts rising again. Follow the quilts that will be posted on the Tangerine Tango Quilt Challenge Flickr album; I’m sure that if nothing else, you’ll love seeing what others will be inspired to do with this beautiful, bright hue.

Happy Sewing! Happy Holidays!


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

Giveaway Winner…umm, Winners!

Random Number GeneratorWe ran our first giveaway a couple of weeks ago. We asked our readers:

If you were to write a memoir about you and your sewing, what would be your snappy, marketable title and tagline?

The Random Number Generator selected entry #1 for “Pressing Matters”! With only two entries, I ran the Random Number Generator in a best of 5, just to be fair. Congratulations, Marie!

Pressing Matters

Trying to buy an iron has become an adventure over the last several months! Who knew there was so many systems to select from. And the price range started at $100 and went up to the cost of a used car! I really don’t need to drive my pressing system on the road!!

Giveaway prizeMarie wins the Sew U and Making Handbags & Purses books, zippers, buttons and fold-over elastic.

Giveaway Prize 2Since we only had two entries, I just couldn’t let our other fabulous entry go without merit. So, for the hilarious memoir titled “I Came, I Sewed, I Conked Out”, CKSewist will also win a prize. CKSewist will win a yard of blue-green ombre mohair and two altered couture magazines to continue her sewing (and conking out).

I Came, I Sewed, I Conked Out

A woman of a certain age goes to her local ASG chapter’s retreat where she eats too much pasta, drinks too much wine, stays up all night finishing UFOs, and passes out on a cutting table as all around her are women packing their machines into attractive wheeled carrying cases for the trip home.

Email me at tinawong[at]asgchicago[dot]org to claim your prize! Send me your mailing address and I will ship it to, so you can continue your sewing journeys!

Videos from Fashion’s Past

I found these two fun videos and had to share them with you, dear readers. Enjoy while I finish some other blog posts for you to read this coming week.

Upcycling is not new. During the 70’s, recycling became the popular phrase. But even before we started to become earth-conscious, sewists always found ways to re-use fabric. Take a look in this wartime video; the phrase was “Make It, Mend It”

This is a fun look at the past looking into the future. A 1930’s prediction of what fashion will be in the year 2000. They really weren’t too far off with day-to-evening and “transparent knits.”

Giveaway! What’s Your Sewing Journey Memoirs Title

Extreme sewing: Sewing machine in the ocean

Image source: U-handbag extreme sewing on Flickr

Hello, dear readers! We’ve reached a milestone…well, actually, we reached it a while ago. We have been on Twitter and have 265 followers and have sent more than 2,000 tweets of tips, news and tutorials. That’s a lot of stuff to share. Now in standard Twitter-quette, I should have had a giveaway when we hit our first hundred followers as a thank you (THANK YOU!), but that slipped by me, then 200 slipped by me. Then my 1,000th tweet slipped by me. Then National Sewing Month slipped by. But, I still wanted to take the opportunity to thank our followers on Twitter and of this blog, so WE’RE GONNA HAVE A GIVEAWAY!

You don’t have to do anything crazy, like sewing in the ocean (but that does look like fun, doesn’t it?)

I’m inspired by America’s Test Kitchen blog post Silly Question of the Day: Faux Food Memoirs. America’s Test Kitchen asks readers what the title to their food-centric memoirs. I thought it was so much fun, so why not ask you, dear readers, to give a thought to your sewing adventures or your sewing journey and share your self-titled tome. Or maybe it’s a novella!

Would it resemble any of these?

  • A Tale of Two Stitches
  • Mary Poplins
  • Prairie Points Home Companion
  • War and Piece
  • Project Runway Called, But They Didn’t Leave a Message

Tell Us Your Story Title To Win

If you were to write a memoir about you and your sewing, what would be your snappy, marketable title and tagline?

Feel free to expound on the general theme, plot, and (juicy) narrative.

Leave yoRandom Number Generatorur silly answer in the comments section below! Let’s see what everyone’s story is for the next two weeks. Entries have to be in the comments section by midnight Central Time on Saturday, October 15…the day of the American Sewing Guild Chicago chapter’s annual Fashion Show! Have you sent in your reservation, yet? Don’t forget we’ll have raffle prizes and our fabric sale and the great bargains of the Pattern and Book Sale!

After having a giggle, we’ll use the Random Number Generator to pick the winner.

The Giveaway Prize

Giveaway prize

Of course we have to have a prize! For this giveaway, we’re focusing on garment and handbag sewing. No worries, future giveaways will have something related to quilting, heirloom and other types of sewing.

  • Sew U Home Stretch: The Built by Wendy Guide to Sewing Knit Fabrics by Wendy Mullin
  • Making Handbags & Purses: 50 Patterns & Designs from Casual to Corporate by Carol Parks
  • A 22″ handbag zipper that opens from the center out with two zipper pulls
  • A 16″ Riri zipper“It’s Not a Zipper…It’s an Embellishment!” This metal zipper has a full stop part way up the zipper, then the leftover zipper tape is used as piping; and
  • 4 yards of fold-over elastic in shades of blue. Use this to edge knits (perfect for your new book)
  • A card of vintage buttons in shades of green.

So leave us a title, a plot and have fun telling us your sewing journey! Good luck!

Edit: Due to postage, the giveaway is limited to U.S. mailing addresses. But, if you’re not in the U.S., we’d still love to read your sewing memoir title.

These (Sewing Machine) Boots Weren’t Made For Walking

Yes, I know these aren’t boots, but even if they were, I don’t think they’d go very far or you’d have to have a long extension cord. the late fashion great, Alexander McQueen, designed a series of abstract art using household items. These sewing machine shoes were among them.

Shoes from sewing machines by Alexander McQueen

Image source: switched.com

Coming Up On The Blog This Week: A Giveaway!

One of the  exciting things that I’m putting the finishing bits on is our first blog giveaway! I’ve been a bit remiss in acknowledging our @SewChicago Twitter tweeps. We have 259 followers and have been added to 12 Twitter lists! In the Twitterverse, I should have thanked our tweeps with something when we hit 100 or 200 tweeps. And several of the tweeps visit our blog to learn and share their sewing experiences. To honor them and our blog readers, I’m putting together a small giveaway coming…>drumrolll<…soon. 🙂 Wouldn’t be fair to tell ya, yet, would it? So, be on the lookout.


Just in case you can’t the song out of your head, here’s a little nostalgia of Nancy Sinatra singing “These Boots Were Made For Walking.”

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