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!).
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:
You can preview the box selection and choose among several fabric types
You are in total control of your subscription: Join for one month, 3 or more. Skip deliveries, too!
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Visiting New York again – this time with my sewing sisters. If you have just started following my blog, let me just say that I sew. It is a passion, a creative outlet and a boutique business for me. And there are makers out there that share my passion. You will find them in the online community located at www.patternreview.com. Launched 16 years ago by the fabulous Deepika, the site has an international community of over 450,000 members. You can find reviews of sewing patterns, books, classes, stores, and machines. And once per year, some of these enthusiasts get together for a weekend of sewing fun and shopping.
First up was a tour of the New York office of the McCall Pattern company (McCall/Butterick/Vogue/KWIK SEW patterns). We were not allowed to take photos past the entrance, due to all the secret designs coming soon. It was amazing to see how much creativity is generated by so few employees. It requires planning and coordination among departments and teams.
We visited the fabric library where swatches are cataloged by color and type. Learning how Pantone and garment color trends influence the fabrics that are chosen for the pattern sample garments.
One of the most surprising things to me was the reverse engineering that is done to create the Vogue designer patterns. A team of experienced and talented makers receive the garments from the fashion houses. Then they create both patterns and instructions with out taking apart the original garments.
We also visited the photo studio, where next season’s shoes were lined up awaiting the models for the next catalog.
The first official day we had a great panel of sewing experts to answer our questions and give us their ideas on the state of the home sewing industry. The panel featured actress Marcy Harriell known for her blog oonaballona; Meg McDonald, social media manager of McCall pattern company Deborah Kreiling, design development director, Simplicity creative group; and Karen Groner, professor of fashion design, FIT.
Day two was fabric shopping!!! As you can see from my suitcase packed to the 50 lb limit, I had a very successful trip. Swatch, the famous dog from Mood fabrics (taken on thehttps://bymarkita.com/diy-cord-organizer-travel/ previous New York trip). Marcy gave us the tip about AKN as a source of wax prints. I also made purchases at Elliot Berman Textiles and Purl Soho (both opened just for our group); Pacific Trimming. Going shopping in New York? Drop me a note and I can share some stores and addresses for fabric fun.
This year the PRweekend “contest” was to create a travel accessory. Yes, I won the contest with my black and white hair on leather handbag and travel organizer for chargers and cords. How to make your own
I love the sewing community created by Pattern Review – where I hang out until the next PRWeekend!