Needle Sharp Subscription – Named Pattern’s Kielo Wrap Dress

I received my first subscription box from Needle Sharp.  Now those that know me, know that I do not need any more fabric or patterns (my family will tell you so!).

 

 

 

 

 

My pattern stash (really organized though !) 
My guest room – sorry guests, I collect fabric !

Anyway, as you can now see, I don’t need any help buying fabric or patterns (or so I thought).  I really enjoyed getting the box in the mail.  The Kielo dress was right on target for August weather, the rayon is cool and comfortable and great quality.  And because I don’t use Instagram for my sewing inspiration, I was unaware how popular and flattering this dress is on all ages and body types.

Ok, now for another confession.  Although I had just cleaned and organized my sewing/office, I totally forgot about the box contents other than the fabric and pattern.  I just reached into my interfacing basket and grabbed thread off the thread wall.  Not until I finished the dress did I realize I had forgotten the thread, interfacing and bias tape were still in the box!

The interfacing was my favorite type, and I have already used it in my another sewing project.  And I had a yard of the rayon floral left over, so it is going to become a top in my Seamwork Fall Wardrobe collection.  I plan to wear the Kielo dress  as a jumper with a long sleeve top this fall too.

Reasons I love Needle Sharp:

  1. You can preview the box selection and choose among several fabric types
  2. You are in total control of your subscription: Join for one month, 3 or more.  Skip deliveries, too!
  3. Mary is out there scouring New York wholesalers and the internet for trendy and wearable patterns and fabrics.

Check out my Kielo dress sourced from Needle Sharp:

 

The Kielo dress was drafted for a 5’8″ figure.  I am 5′ 4.5″.   Using Joi Mahon’s  fit method, I added 3/4″ from shoulder to apex.  Cutting and adding through the armhole.  Note that the bust point and the armhole are nicely marked on the pattern.  I needed to decrease from apex to waist 1.5″ (again waist and hip nicely marked on the pattern)  And I decreased another 2″ divided between above and below the knee on the skirt length.  I didn’t need any back adjustments, just the skirt length.  Easy Peasy, I will make another soon.  The only additional change I think I will make is to scoop the center front neck a bit, so that if I make one more fallish to wear as a jumper there will be a little more breathing room at the center neckline.

The pattern has only 3/8″ seam allowances, so I chose to serge the edges (and I was lazy) instead of french seams.  Nice heavy color card on how to do french seams was also included in the Needle Sharp box.

So what are you waiting for ?  Check it out here:

 

Joi Mahon’s Sewing Holiday 2018

There are two posts on this adventure.  A travel log (Sioux City, Iowa)  and sewing class review (Joi Mahon’s Sewing Holiday).  

Joi Mahon’s tagline is “Your source for REAL fitting solutions and practical sewing knowledge”  I am a believer!  

I own both of Joi’s books.  “Create the Perfect Fit – Measuring and Pattern Fitting for Real Sewing Solutions”  and “Designer Joi’s Fashion Sewing Workshop”.

But this was my first class with Joi.  It was the 4th year for her “sewing holiday”.  The holiday was broken down into specific classes that you could pick and choose which ones to attend.  There was a two day quilting class, a two day leather handbag class, and 3 one day classes on each of these subjects: Fitting, Transforming Woven patterns into Knit, and Draping.  I signed up for all of the one day classes.  There was a one large prize and several small ones each class day.  And at the closing pizza party, a Baby Lock Imagine serger, a Baby Lock Jane sewing machine, and a Baby Lock embellisher was given away.  With the small class size everyone had a great chance of winning something!

One of Joi’s sayings is that learning is in degrees.  That is you can learn a concept, but you can continue to learn and hone that skill and expertise.  There is no way that anyone can teach all there is to know about any subject in a day.  

Draping was my favorite.  Instead of starting with a paper pattern, we created our own patterns by “draping” fabric on a dress form.  Everyone in class had their own dress form.  Some brought their own, some used full size, some used half scale.  The class had a wide variety of participants – costumers, garment sewers, and a teenage girl learning to sew.   We first draped a sloper bodice front.  For those not familiar with the terms, it is a close fitting top with a bust and waist dart.  With Joi’s fitting method, you can make any size pattern fit anyone.  Next we created a princess line bodice.  A princess line top has two pieces – a center front and side front.  Then we created an asymmetrical top.  It was fun to see the individual creativity.   

Front bodice sloper – bust and waist dart Photo ByMarkita.com
Markita with her blue size 8 dress form, The ribbon bridge between the bust is essential in draping. I wasn’t torturing my girl! Photo by DeeDee

 

 

Draped side front bodice for princess line Photo ByMarkita.com
Asymmetrical free form bodice design Photo and design ByMarkita.com

 

Moni working on her half scale dress form. You can see the class did not have fun!

In the fitting class day we adjusted Joi’s McCalls’ pattern M7280 to fit ourselves.  The dress in person is so much more beautiful than it is in the envelope picture.  The details are amazing on this ensemble.  The fabric is from Chanel, and the jacket sleeves are cleverly cut on the bias.  

 

In the woven to knit pattern class we used McCalls 7659.  Joi wrote an article for the March 2018 Threads magazine, and this top is featured on the cover.  I learned that you can add all of the shaping (back and shoulder darts) you like to a knit garment, just like you would in a woven one.  What you take into account is the degree of stretch of your knit and you adjust the ease accordingly.  Check out the Threads issue to learn more!

Here are the current patterns Designer Joi has created for McCalls :

   

Besides sewing we had fun cooking and shopping together!

   Checking out the samples at Palmer Candy Company!

And of course let there be cake!!!

You too can learn about all of these sewing techniques by following Joi

Facebook Live every Thursday 1 PM CST

Instagram.com/designerJoi               www.designerjoi.com       www.sewingholiday.com       www.designerjoiTV.com

 

   

Sioux City – Sux not Sucks

There are two posts on this adventure.  A travel log (Sioux City, Iowa)  and sewing class review (Joi Mahon’s Sewing Holiday).  

Travel notes first.  If travel highlights don’t interest you hop over to the sewing class review.

This was my first trip to Sioux City.  I was a math whiz in school, not geography.   I didn’t realize that Sioux City ( pop.  approx 83,000) borders Nebraska.  Actually just across the Missouri river is South Sioux City, Nebraska.  And if you are a tourist like me, maybe you too will start singing the words to Oh, Shenandoah every time you see the “wide Missouri”.  It is also about 1.5 hours from Omaha, Nebraska.  So you can either fly into Omaha or Sioux City, which has the clever airport designation of SUX.  And you can buy a tshirt with Fly SUX.  I didn’t, but was tempted.  

Sightseeing Highlights –

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center   Quick history lesson – After President Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he sent scout Meriweather Lewis to chart the territory.  The goal was to document the territory, the flora and fauna, and find a water passage to the pacific ocean.  Lewis, along with William Clark and his slave York lead a team of 31 men.  They were guided by Sacagawea (the spelling and pronunciation are debated)  who carried her infant son on the journey.  Now that is one tough mama!  The dog Seaman got to be in the statue.  I will just leave that for you to think about.

 

Lewis, Clark and Seaman statue at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center Photo ByMarkita.com

 

 

The only fatality of the expedition  occurred near Sioux City.  Sgt. Charles Floyd died of what is presumed to be appendicitis and was buried along the river.  There is a monument as well as a street and river named after him.

Sargent Floyd River museum    A glimpse into life on the river in this free welcome center and museum. 

Trinity Heights    A memorial garden featuring giant statues of Jesus and Mary.  There is also a life size wood carving of the last supper.  

Sacred Heart of Jesus statue by sculptor Dale Lamphere Photo ByMarkita.com
Immaculate Heart of Mary Queen of Peace statue Photo ByMarkita.com
The Last Supper was completed in 1993 by award-winning carver Jerry Traufler of Le Mars, Iowa after seven years of work. Photo ByMarkita.com
Close up of the incredible detail of this art carving

 

Palmer Candy     A very sweet stop on the trip!   I had my first “bing”  which is like a cherry mash (chocolate and nuts over a cherry concoction)   Besides antique candy making equipment, they have a selection of made in Iowa goodies, and will give you a free bing if it is your first trip in the store.

Cherry Bing by Palmer Candy Photo ByMarkita.com

Jolly Time Popcorn    Not one but two foodie snack places in one town!!  The coated popcorn here is fabulous.  I brought home 4 different flavors, all of them amazing.  Check out the virtual museum on the website.  

Jolly Time Popcorn – Museum and store Photo ByMarkita.com

And if you visit – I recommend Linda Sue Manor   I spent every evening on the wrap around porch, wine glass in hand enjoying the lovely summer evening!

Linda Sue Manor – built 1900 Photo ByMarkita.com
Ballroom Suite 3rd floor – Linda Sue Manor Photo ByMarkita.com

Cheers !

Markita

Pattern Review Weekend – Canada 2018

PatternReview.com  is a 16 year old online sewing resource website created by Deepika Parkash.  There are currently over 430,000 users across the world.    I recently attended my 4th Pattern Review Weekend.  Deepika is the featured speaker at the July 2018 national ASG (American Sewing Guild)  convention.

And before I talk about the event, I want to share with you a note about Deepika from the website.

 Deepika Prakash is the founder of PatternReview.com – A site she started in November 2001 when she couldn’t find any sewing resources online. A lover of fabric and patterns she has a simple goal. “Everyone should sew!” and with this goal in mind she decided to teach her first video class right here on PatternReview.com. “Anybody CAN sew“, she says.. “You are only limited by your own desire to learn”.

Deepika has been a contributor to many sewing publications over the last few years like Threads and Stitch. She is currently designing easy to sew patterns for all body types. She has also been featured on It’s Sew Easy TV series.

 

PR Weekend is a 2-3 day event that is in a different location every year.  This year for the first time the event was held in and around Stratford, Ontario, Canada.

The event is limited to 100 participants, and is totally organized by volunteers.

Several of us arrived early so we took a side trip to the town of Kitchener.  There we shopped Spool and Spindle, Len’s Mill and Shall We Knit (http://spoolandspindle.ca/  and https://lensmill.com/  and https://shallweknit.ca/ )

Shopping buddies: Karin from Sweeden, Lisette from Maryland and shop owner.

 

Stratford is the home of the Stratford Festival. (https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/ThePlays?gclid=CjwKCAjw6djYBRB8EiwAoAF6odFtdjx7koKl1cRYasFybaxSrMGoBLvZUQ9p2NUeSW4wxAw_sPGJIRoCFNkQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds )

Many of the attendees took advantage and attended one of the plays.  I totally enjoyed Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors”  and the costumes were outstanding.

The costuming was in a steam punk style and features 2 set of twins separated a birth and the confusion that occurs when they meet as adults.

The highlight of the first official day of the event was a tour of the Stratford Festival Costume Wearhouse.

(https://www.stratfordfestival.ca/WhatsOn/PlaysAndEvents/Tours/Warehouse-Tour

They operate tours from June through December.  It is a must see!  Principal actors get custom made costumes, wigs, hats, hair and makeup and even custom made shoes!!!

Photo by Judy Voss

Photo by Judy Voss

One of many racks of hats

 

Elizabethan ruffs – photo taken just for Jami

We were treated to a class from Gillian Whitcombe of Crafting a Rainbow (https://craftingarainbow.wordpress.com/ )  formally a blogger for Cashmerette’s Curvy Sewing Collective. (http://curvysewingcollective.com/)

The class was on how to take better pictures to show off your sewing.  She has a section on her blog if you want to check it out.

PRweekend always includes a pattern exchange.  Attendees can bring patterns to swap, and even if you don’t bring any, you are welcome to take home as many as you can carry.

The day also included sewing demos from the Jalie Pattern team of Emilie, Jean and Mel.  Jean is the creative designer behind the patterns and she is so much fun, as well as being Emilie’s mom)  They also introduced their latest pattern collection with a discount.  (https://jalie.com/) I added Clara and Julia to my collection.

The evening included a camp shirt contest that honored recently deceased member Kathi Rank.  A pajama contest was also on tap.  We were even entertained by organizer Connie Bontje’s ukulele band.

Saturday was non stop shopping bus tour to Hamilton’s Ontario street (home of Beverly Johnson’s Bra Lady store), Ann’s fabrics and Lens Mill in Woodstock.   We ended the evening with the Fabricland store in Stratford staying open late for our group.  Before the late night shopping our bus had purchased 700 meters and bus two 680 meters of fabric.  A meter is 39”.  Many stayed after for shopping and sightseeing in Toronto.

Next year – Portland Oregon.  I will be there!

 

 

I met and/or reconnected with so many amazing talented folk.  Here are a few with great blogs:

Kay Young – (one of my sewing crushes!)  http://kaythesewinglawyer.blogspot.com/

Olga Balasa https://www.ageberry.com/

Sue Anfang (https://sewstashsew.wordpress.com/)

Masha Zelenaia (from Coppell,TX !!)  https://www.instagram.com/maze.handmade/?hl=en

Mary Grabenstatter has a subscription company Needle Sharp ( https://needle-sharp.com/ )

Margaret De Lap (http://stoffandnonsense.blogspot.com/ )

Krstina Rudnitski has a silversmithing blog on using sea glass  (https://www.seacycledglass.com/)

Kyle Burkhardt – great info on shopping NY (http://vacuumingthelawn.blogspot.com/)

Lisette Albano – (http://lacubanitacose.blogspot.com/ )

Karin Mantefors (http://karinskammare.blogspot.com/)

Helen Wilkinson  creator behind Helen’s closet (https://helenscloset.ca/)

Lori Beckstead (https://frivolousatlast.com/)

Helena Ashbridge http://www.grayallday.com/

Lori and Helena also have the podcast clothes making mavens http://www.clothesmakingmavens.com/

Heather Gibson http://www.thepugandneedle.com/

Devery Ward https://boonetowneseamsta.com/

Anya Cooper http://www.anna-zoe.net/

 

Bonnie Ossege http://tresbonbabble.blogspot.com/  and one of my fabric twins. (Running skirt Jalie #2796)

Bonnie always organizes a run or walk before the events.

 

Want to read more ??   Here is a link to Deepika’s review and pics of the weekend.