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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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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Running in Stitches

The most northerly reaches of the ASG Chicago Chapter is home to the aptly-named Neighborhood Group Running in Stitches. They get together in Lindenhurst on the first Thursday of every month at 7:00 p.m. One definitely does need to run to keep up with its members.

The leader of this energetic group is Celeste, who describes herself as a Home Fashions Fabricator and Sewing Educator, which omits the facts that she also creates great garments and quilts. As if that weren’t enough, Celeste is an active blogger (http://sewmuchfun-creationsbyceleste.blogspot.com) and a marathon runner. It’s enough to leave us lesser mortals breathless.

On a recent visit to a meeting, Susan and I had the fun of experiencing the group’s annual charity auction. The idea is brilliant in its simplicity. Members bring items they no longer need, some sewing-related and some not. “Paddles” constructed of round paper plates (dessert sized) mounted on popsicle sticks with a number written in the center are distributed and a member records bids and tallies the totals owed.¬† The auctioneer adds wit and fun to the proceedings and bidding sometimes gets very competitive! The hottest item of the evening was a collection of vintage handkerchiefs that one member had in her basement “forever” and didn’t think anyone would want. Not only was this evening fun for everyone, but it raised over $500 to benefit The Sewing Machine Project and St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Well done!

The Lindenhurst Neighborhood Group does tireless community service work for many organizations throughout the year. Most recently, to participate in ASG’s national community service project for this year, nine members made 28 blankets donated to Project Linus.

If you live in the area hugging the Illinois/Wisconsin border and you’re looking for a fun group who use their talents and skills to give back to their community, check out Running in Stitches. You’ll be glad you did.

Eve Kovacs Wins ASG Creativity Contest Honorable Mention

Eve KovacsThis month, our Sew-lebrity Spotlight shines on Eve Kovacs. Eve Kovacs is not only the group leader for the Wearable Art special interest group of our chapter, but she is a recognized and award-winning wearable arts sewist. There is probably even a secret fan club judging by this person’s blog post declaring Eve as her hero after seeing Eve on Sewing with Nancy.

We’re celebrating Eve today because she has won the Honorable Mention in this year’s American Sewing Guild Creativity Contest. Congratulations, Eve! We’re very proud that our Chicago chapter was so well-represented with Eve’s beautiful jacket and pants.

Eve’s ensemble was made from Simplicity 2288, and uses a¬†combination of several different fabrics: a handwoven silk ikat from Thailand, three colors of silk¬†dupioni, and a cotton sateen.

Eve Kovacs 2011 American Sewing Guild Creativity Contest Jacket Front“The jacket design incorporates a number of panels that provide¬†opportunities for combining fabrics in innovative ways. My goal, with this ensemble, was to use¬†the silk ikat as an inspiration for the color, the surface design and the styling of the pieces. Since¬†I had only a single panel of about one yard of the ikat, a good solution was to use it for the¬†center front and back panels of the jacket. With careful cutting, I had enough left to make cuffs¬†to accent the sleeves,” explains Eve in her contest description.

“The colors in the ikat inspired the selection of the purple sateen and the¬†magenta, olive and light lavender silks. The geometric pattern in the ikat inspired the design of¬†the patchwork on the middle-front panels of the jacket. I paid careful attention to the proportion¬†and position of the colors so that the patchwork complements the style of the ikat by mimicking¬†the pattern in the weave.”

Eve Kovacs American Sewing Guild 2011 Creative Contest Jacket BackEve machine quilted all the jacket panels to give a subtle texture and to unify the design. She used diamond shapes on the ikat and zig-zag shapes on the patchwork panels. The side panels and sleeves are quilted with diagonal lines of double-needle stitching. (Love how many techniques Eve Kovacs was able to incorporate!)

“The jacket panels are accented with piping to give the ensemble an¬†oriental look. This necessitated changing the collar to a cut-on shawl collar to ensure that the¬†piping flowed smoothly around the edges of the jacket. To complete the Asian styling of the¬†ensemble, I cropped the pants and added a piping embellishment at the hems.”

One thing that you appreciate about Eve Kovacs’ wearable art is that it truly is wearable. It may take a bolder personality to wear the garment, but it’s definitely wearable in everyday life.

All the winners and honorable mentions can be viewed on the national American Sewing Guild contest page.

[edited] You can find more of Eve Kovacs’ beautiful creations on her webpage.

Congratulations on your beautiful outfit, Eve!

Sew-lebrity Spotlight: Ina R. – Love Means Not Counting The Days…Or Months

My apologies, dear readers, for the lapse in posting. I’ve been so caught up in visiting museums, neighborhood groups and tweeting, that I’ve started many blog posts, but haven’t finished any. But no worries, I’m back on it and have many things to share with you.

This month’s Sew-lebrity Spotlight is Ina R. from the Material Girls Neighborhood Group, where she showed her recently-finished quilt that took her 18 months to make. Yes, you read that right…18 months! Not that anyone’s counting. ūüôā

Ina and her quilt that took 18 months to make

You might wonder how someone can spend more than a year on a project. But when the¬†recipient is a special girl for her bat mitzvah, it’s easy to understand that every stitch is knowing that it will bring a smile.

The quilt is a combination of appliqué and machine embroidery in the corner squares.

I don’t know if Ina realizes it, but this quilt is a bridge of the traditional and modern quilting. The¬†appliqu√©d¬†blocks are pretty traditional, but the colors and the design simplicity of the pink block crosses over into “modern” quilting. You haven’t heard of modern quilting or modern sewing? I’ll have a post on that in the coming weeks.

Brava to Ina for this amazing work of love!

Do you have a project that you’ve been working on for quite a while? Email me your story and a picture; we’d love to showcase you with it!

Road-Trip Reading List

This week, the Material Girls NG in Long Grove asked themselves the question: You’re about to go on an RV trip with your spouse or other; and there is room for your sewing machine and a book for the trip. What one or two books would you take along?¬†

The variety of book titles and the topics of the book are a great example of the breadth of an American Sewing Guild neighborhood group. From pattern design and fit to embellishment and some very special books. Such fun! Thanks, Material Girls!

Pattern Design and Fitting




Half Scale Practice Pattern (Measuring from side-seam) from Conselle Institute of Image Management, “A 34-piece master set of basic and fashion patterns, rendered in half-scale, to be photocopied for use in practicing pattern alteration and flat-pattern design procedures before you carry them out in full scale.”






Sewing Skills








Happy Reading and Happy Sewing!

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo

Susan and I spent today setting up our ASG booth at the Original Sewing & Quilt Expo that started today with pre-conference workshops. The show is officially open March 31-April 2.¬†Are you going to the expo? We’d love to see you at the booth, #619. Drop by and say hello!

Setting up the booth

We're almost finished setting up.

Follow Us At The Expo

Susan setting up

Susan carries in her mannequin to set up the booth.

I’ll also be posting pictures from the Expo. You can follow along in real-time as I tweet them onto Twitpic or click the links in my tweets and you’ll be able to see them. I’ll also be posting them at the end of the day onto our Flickr album. If you see me at the Expo, take a picture with me! I’d love to see you!

New Member Raffle

If you’re not a member of the American Sewing Guild, be sure to sign up in the booth. You’ll be automatically entered into a raffle for a gift basket of sewing notions worth more than $150.

Already a member? Encourage someone new to join and maybe (s)he’ll split the basket with you!

Mess with my fabric, I'll rip your seams out t-shirt

We love this t-shirt on our new friend, Elaine!

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 ‚ÄĒ 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!

Call for Volunteers: Original Sewing & Quilt Expo

Submitted by Susan Gerbosi, ASG Chicago Membership Chair

Original Sewing & Quilt Expo logo

Image source: PRWeb

The Original Sewing & Quilt Expo is coming to the Chicago-area on March 31 through April 2 at the Schaumburg Convention Center and the ASG needs your help. There are two types of volunteer opportunities at the Expo:

    ‚úĄ ASG Chicago Chapter Booth Volunteer ‚ÄĒ Member volunteers will help promote the ASG and encourage membership or renewals for half-day or whole day shifts.
    ‚úĄ Expo Ambassador Program Volunteer ‚ÄĒ Volunteer for classroom assistant, ticket taker, information desk assistant, set-up/tear-down assistant, sewing studio organizer, white glove gallery monitor, and general booth help for half-day or whole day shifts.

Free Tickets Available!

The ASG Chicago Chapter will have a booth at the Expo and we need volunteers for the following times. The first two (2) volunteers to register for each section will receive a free general admission pass to the Exhibit Hall.  The pass will be good for just the day volunteered.

  • Section A:¬† Thursday, March 31 ‚Äď 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Section B: ¬†Thursday, March 31 ‚Äď 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Section C: ¬†Friday, April 1 ‚Äď 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Section D: ¬†Friday, April 1 ‚Äď 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Section E: ¬†Saturday, April 2 ‚Äď 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Section F:¬† Saturday, April 2 ‚Äď 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering at the ASG booth, please email Susan Gerbosi.  Be sure to give Susan your name, return contact information, date and volunteer section for the ASG booth.

Expo Ambassador Program Volunteer

American Sewing Guild artwork: Lorelei's Three PeopleVisit the Expo website’s Ambassador Progam application page. Complete the online application and click ‚ÄúSubmit‚ÄĚ at bottom of page. Be sure to list your Group Affiliation as ‚ÄúASG Chicago‚ÄĚ. You may leave the Ambassador ID# section blank.¬†You will receive an automatic email confirmation after you register.

For your convenience, you can download the Volunteer Information and full details of the Ambassador Program Application.

We hope our members take advantage of these volunteer opportunities as well as visit the Original Sewing & Quilting Expo.

Stop By and Say “Hello!”

ASG Member logoBe sure to stop by the ASG booth between classes or while you’re shopping. We’d love to see you! If you’re not an ASG member, come see us at our booth. We’d love to show you what the American Sewing Guild means by “Advancing Sewing as an Art and Life Skill” and having fun learning and sharing with other members.

A Weekend Well Spent

Submitted by Marge Damm, ASG Chicago Community Service Chair

Hold the housework. Leave dinner for dear husband in the ‘fridge. Pack up up your unfinished and not-yet-started projects to spend a weekend at a sew-in.

In late January, 19 ASG members and friends attended a special sewing weekend sponsored by the Tinley Park neighborhood group.¬† They enjoyed seeing each others’ projects progress and having time to relax with¬†friends and exchange sewing ideas and techniques.

Beautiful Results From A Well-Spent Weekend

Rita Fallara of Palos Heights models a Curvy Girl dress she made at the weekend sew-inRita Fallara of Palos Heights (Sew N’ Sews NG) models a prom dress she made at¬†the weekend sew-in for the Curvy Girl Prom Dress community service to the Glass Slipper Project. So beautiful, Rita! Some girl will be very happy to pick this dress for prom.

Sew-In Finished ProjectsSome of the participants show items they worked on during the weekend.

Standing (from left): Jay Watts (Sew Chicago NG) and Louise Dergantz (Sew N’ Sews NG)¬†with Curvy Girl dresses; June Sullivan (Desperate Stitchers NG) with her quilt; Rita Fallara (Flying Needles NG and Sew N’ Sews NG) with a prom dress; and Pat Frederick (Sew N’ Sews NG) with one of a set of aprons.

Seated (from left) are quilters Betty Krainik (Flying Needles NG), Sandy Migitz (Flying Needles NG), Carol Rasmussen (Flying Needles NG and Sew N’ Sews NG) and Terri Kowalski (Flying Needles NG).

Your projects look GREAT, ladies! Looks like you had fun hanging out with each other and working on some wonderful sewing projects!

Are you an ASG member, but don’t have a neighborhood group (NG)? We can help you get in touch with one nearest to where you live or work in the Chicagoland area. Not an ASG member yet, but would like to get in on the fun and learn new techniques? Membership is available online. Join today and a Neighborhood Group leader will be happy to welcome you at the next meeting!

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