• ASG Member logo
  • Follow us on Pinterest!Follow Me on Pinterest

    We're pinning pictures and tutorials from around the Web onto a Pinterest board to help inspire you! Click the red button; check it out; and follow us!


    Got An Announcement? Show it HERE!

    If your NG has a special event, project or community service that you want to announce or remind members, you can have it publicized in this space.

    For more information send an email to tinawong@asgchicago.org

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 447 other followers

  • Follow Us on Twitter

    Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

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!

Hug Your Sewing Machine Today!

First sewing machine

One of the first sewing machines

June 13, is /was National Sewing Machine Day. It seemed to slip by us, dear readers. But, we’re in luck! There also seems to be another National Sewing Day in August. But, whatever the day, let’s just say we’ll celebrate our sewing machines from today until August! Go ahead, hug your Husqvarna. Snuggle your Singer. Bow to your Bernina. And exalt your Elna!

The First Sewing Machine Patent, Then A Riot

The first patent for a complete sewing machine was issued in 1790 to English inventor and cabinet maker, Thomas Saint. The patent was for an awl that punched a whole in leather and passed a needle through the whole. Although issued a patent, a later reproduction based on Saint’s patent drawings did not work.

First sewing machine from  Barthelemy ThimonnierIt wasn’t until 1830 that the first functional sewing machine was made. And it was met with a mob riot! Inventor and French tailor, Barthelemy Thimonnier was almost killed by an enraged group of French tailors who burnt down his garment factory because they feared unemployment as a result of his new invention. Wow, so much for wanting progress.

“Sewing machines did not go into mass production until the 1850’s, when Isaac Singer built the first commercially successful machine. Singer built the first sewing machine where the needle moved up and down rather than the side-to-side and the needle was powered by a foot treadle. Previous machines were all hand-cranked. However, Isaac Singer’s machine used the same lockstitch that (Elias) Howe had patented. Elias Howe sued Isaac Singer for patent infringement and won in 1854.” Source: Stitches — The Birth of the Sewing Machine

Read about the beginnings of Bernina on the Bernina blog.

Birth Of The Serger

“Overlock stitching was invented by the Merrow Machine Company in 1881.

J. Makens Merrow and his son Joseph Merrow, who owned a knitting mill established in Connecticut in 1838, developed a number of technological advancements to be used in the mill’s operations. Merrow’s first patent was a machine for crochet stitching. Merrow still produces crochet machines based on this original model.” Source: Wikipedia

You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby!

If you read our earlier blog post about today’s sewing machines having USB ports and hi-resolution screens, you’ll be just as amazed as we are to think about how far sewing machines have come. So, the saying of “a stitch in time, save nine” might need to be updated with more than saving nine stitches. 

Where can sewing machines go from here? Will they ever be able to get a precise 1/4″ seam without tweaking? Will sewing machines of the future be able to self-guide through curves? Or will they get simpler? Ask today’s designers to look into the future and they have pretty unique designs.

Future Sewing Machine Design

Sewing Machine Design by Brian Kang

Universal Truth of Sewing Machines

Regardless of what new features sewing machines will have or what they will look like or how far we’ve come, I’m pretty sure there will be one constant between the sewing machine and the sewist: Some days the machine just says “ptooey!” to your fabric. Happy Sewing Machine Day…Month…Happy Sewing!

For Better or Worse cartoon

%d bloggers like this: