Making with Cal Patch

During this June weekend, my feed will be full of images of Jen Beeman leading a group of ten excited sewists in making an Archer button down shirt.  I thought this would be a good moment to share with you a conversation I had recently with Cal Patch.  If all the cool making you see on Instagram gets you thinking about joining in on the fun here at AGOS, we've got another garment sewing event coming up. Cal will be here next month to teach a really cool workshop called Design (And MAKE) Your Own Patterns!  I had the great pleasure to take a version of this workshop with Cal four years ago and it truly blew my mind wide open with the possibilities of fitting to my very own body.  If you sew garments for yourself already, you know how liberating it is to be able to customize a garment to fit the particular slope of your shoulder, or the length of your torso. Take that a step further and imagine starting with your dimensions, and creating garments from scratch to fit you in all your individual loveliness!  That's what Cal will be teaching here in our fully equipped studio next month.  And there are still a couple spots left. Not a lot, but a couple.  So if this idea rings your bell, go HERE and register.....soon!

 

In the meantime Cal and I are going to let you in on some of the workings of this terribly creative, and talented, lady's mind....

 

AGOS: How did you start sewing?

Cal: I've always been into art and craft, and I did play around with sewing clothes in high school, but not with great success. It was in college (I majored in clothing -- aka fashion -- design) that I learned how to sew properly.

AGOS: Can you tell me about an early make?

Cal: I remember a project I made in high school for art class; it was a dress made out of t-shirts that I over-dyed grey, with reverse-applique triangles out of some kind of sheer mesh, in neon yellow. I designed a brand and packaging for it too! I think it was after I'd decided to major in design in college. I'm not telling you the name of the brand because it's too embarrassing! maybe I'll divulge it in class if someone reminds me... {oh please, someone needs to ask...!}

AGOS: Do you have any favorite tools?

Cal: I'm not too fussy about tools, and I try to keep them to a minimum. I'm not one to go out and buy every gadget on the market. I've had my same Gingher shears since college, which means I've had them for almost 30 years! (gulp.) One little tool that I'm so glad i finally bought, after years of resisting, are those little bias-tape folders. I have 3 sizes and they do make bias-tape making much quicker, and the tape looks much better!


AGOS:  Do you have a favorite time of day (or night) to make?

Cal: I like to sew by day (afternoon is my prime time) and crochet by night, after dinner.

AGOS: Where do you do your making? Can you describe what you like (or don’t) about your creative space?

Cal: I have my own studio, which is the largest room in our house. It has one great feature, which is also its downfall: 3 sides of it are all windows and French doors out to a deck! So the light is amazing, and I can see nature all around me, and my garden and chickens! I love that. But, what I really need is 3 walls of floor-to-ceiling shelves, to house all of my fabric, yarn and other supplies.

 

AGOS: Do you practice any other Crafts? What are they, and why are they different from sewing?
 

 

Cal: Do I ever! Crochet is my other love, and for the most part they are perfectly complementary because I can crochet while traveling or in the evenings while watching a movie, so I do it at times when I couldn't sew. I love that crochet is very portable. Sewing tends to need a lot more space and supplies, so it only happens in my studio. I also spin, embroider, print, dye, and knit.

AGOS: Why do you teach?

Cal: I started teaching when I had my own shop, a dream that I learned was better (for me) as a dream than a reality. I'm not very good at selling, but teaching comes naturally, and I feel really good about empowering others to make. When I teach, I get inspired and excited by my students' enthusiasm, and it renews my love for craft. It also fascinates me how each student processes the skills they learn in their own way, and the end result reflects their own style.

AGOS: Can you describe a typical day for you?

Cal: I'm not a morning person. I get up around 8:30 and ease into the day with tea (teatime continues all day, actually!), breakfast and emails, which always take much longer than I plan for. eventually I work my way into the studio where I work on orders from my Etsy shop, or design new patterns or samples for classes. Somewhere in there I have lunch; my boyfriend also works from home a lot, so we might have it out on the back deck or the front porch if it's warm out. Most days I get out for a walk with my dog Pippi; she likes to go down to the creek for a swim. After dinner I usually crochet on the couch while watching a movie or British detective series.

AGOS: If you could sew with, or for, someone living or dead, who and what would it be….

Cal: Oh wow! I think it'd be fun to go back to the 70's and sew with Betsey Johnson. I've always loved her energy and playful designs. We'd probably make wildly printed knit dresses and matching leggings... not so far off from what I make now!

You can read much more about Cal over at her blog Hodge Podge Farm. Check out her Etsy shop and see the beautiful garments that she has designed and offers for sale. She also has a numbers of classes available on CreativeBug which you can check out.  We are really lucky to have her coming to teach here in Maine, and I am totally excited to host her!  Will you join us?

A new member

If you've been in the space lately then perhaps you've been the recipient of the warm welcome of Katherine Ferrier. If not, what a treat you are in for!  We have a new member of the community, someone whose energy and creativity are boundless, and whose enthusiasm for making, and for A Gathering of Stitches, are infectious. I have been running things by myself for the past two years, and I cannot lie, it may be a bit beyond me. There is a lot of cool stuff going on here, and keeping up with it all is more than one full-time job. Katherine has generously agreed to come on as Studio Manager to help with the physical plant, our community programming, and general creative energy. I am beyond thrilled to have her lovely presence in this venture. I hope that you all take the opportunity to stop by and say hello, and meet this wonderful human for yourselves. Katherine is a force in the world of Making and artistic collaboration, her creative drive and expansive vision are a huge addition to the A Gathering of Stitches community.

To begin with, she will be around Monday through Wednesday holding down the fort while I take a short breather. But her fingers are in many pots, she will be part of our retreats, she's helping Adele Ngoy with the Stitcher Training, and there is another long-term project that we are not quite ready to share, that she will be integral to. How's that for a tease?  Katherine will be Fairy-Godmother-in-residence for the Open Studios weekends of the 14/15th and 21/22nd of this month.  Come do some making and say hello to Katherine this month!  Stay tuned for more exciting developments. And in the meantime, read about her road to A Gathering of Stitches below.

 

 

KATHERINE FERRIER is a quiltmaker, poet, dancer, visual artist, educator, curator and community activist who has been immersed in making since the late 80s.  She earned a B.A. in Dance/Women’s Studies from Middlebury, and M.F.A. in Dance and Performance from Sarah Lawrence.  She’s recently moved to Portland from Bethlehem, NH where she’s been based since 2009.

A co-founder of The Architects, an improvisational quartet with a collaborative performance history spanning over 20 years, she is also the founder and Artistic Director of Immediate Theatre, and a founding member of Haiku Analog, both ensembles working with dance-theater-spoken word hybrids.  Her creative research is born from the intersections of movement and words, text and textures.

A year after moving to Northern New Hampshire from Raleigh, North Carolina, Katherine founded Cultivate, a festival designed to nourish community in Northern New Hampshire through contemporary dance and art.  The festival hosts cutting edge dance artists from around the country and abroad, who come to Bethlehem to teach and perform, and immerse themselves in the local community, creating opportunities for North Country audiences to see work and engage with artists otherwise unavailable to them.  A year later she founded the Bethlehem Art Walk, a day long festival of art and performance that fills the tiny town of Bethlehem with the work of over 100 artists, artisans and performers and draws visitors from around the region.  In 2014 she was the driving force behind the creation and installation of a 22 by 10 foot “Welcome to Bethlehem” mural comprised of over 200 panels, each painted by a different member of the community.  The mural is installed on the side of WREN’s Local Works Marketplace and is highly visible while driving down Rt. 302, inspiring many tourists and passers-by to stop and linger in Bethlehem.

She has devoted her professional life to fostering situations in which people can experience the transformational power of creativity, collaboration and community. A juried member of the New Hampshire State Council Artist Roster, she offers residencies and experiential workshops in both dance and writing throughout the country. She designed and facilities WREN’s “Business of Art” curriculum for artists and entrepreneurs, offering artists practical training in a comprehensive variety of topics including: publicity, promotion, pricing and selling one’s work. She believes art-making and collaboration are our most powerful tools for creating and nourishing all aspects of community and creating positive social change. Katherine has been instrumental in organizing art and cultural events throughout the North Country, including the Bethlehem ArtWalk and Cultivate, a festival designed to enliven community through contemporary dance and art in Northern New Hampshire. In recognition of all she has done for the arts and artists of the North Country, she was recently named the 2016 NH Arts Advocate of the Year by NH Citizens for the Arts.

Combining her love of writing and making, Ferrier developed Thread, a trendsetting on-demand typewriter poetry practice into a successful wedding industry business. Featured twice in The Knot, and regularly in North Country publications, she has written hundreds of spontaneous on-demand poems at weddings, art openings, reunions and other special events, and creates one-of-a-kind heirloom quilts. 

Katherine is eager to dive into the creative communities she has long been drawn to in Portland, and is thrilled to have found a home at A Gathering of Stitches.

 

 

 

 

Talking to Lladybird

We are less than two weeks from the arrival of this talented lady here at AGOS, so I thought I'd give you all a glimpse into the workings of Lauren Taylor. For those of you familiar with her very popular blog, this may be old ground, but for those of you new to Lauren I am offering a glimpse of what the upcoming retreat with her will entail....

Lauren Taylor, also known as LLADYBIRD, is a self-taught sewing force-of-nature.  Blogging intensively for over five years, Lauren is a prolific Maker. She even gets questions about how she can make as much as she does.... A lesson to us all that when you put your mind to something it is amazing what you can achieve!  Lauren is based in Nashville, home of other such Making luminaries as Anna Maria Horner and Craft South, Alexia Abegg (Green Bee Patterns and Cotton + Steel), Devon Iott (regular contributor at Colette Patterns), Karen Templer (Fringe Association), Elizabeth Suzann, Ann Shayne (Mason Dixon Knitting) and much more. Doesn't that line-up make you want to check out Nashville?  Surrounded by such creativity, Lauren is a fixture in the world of garment sewing. Her blog is an endless parade of delicious clothes, lovingly explained, and recorded, for our reading, drooling, and general admiring pleasure. In person she is even more delightful, being a sprite of sewing enabling, and the best cheerleader you ever wanted for your sewing practice. This weekend we do is unique in that it all revolves around you and your sewing desires and needs. I am thrilled to be hosting her, again, here at AGOS this month. You bring any project you want to work on and Lauren will help you sort it all out. There is still room in the retreat if you want to make an impulsive move and register for a long weekend of productive creating and making! And a ton of fun......! See if you don't find yourself smiling after reading the below! 

These are some of Lauren's most recent makes.... Cool, huh?

AGOS: How did you come to start sewing/quilting? Did someone teach you?

LT: My mom has sewed for as long as I can remember - she made all sorts of things, from Easter dresses to stuffed animals to home decor stuff like curtains and pillows. I had my own little sewing basket and I'd (hand sew) alongside her. I am almost entirely self-taught - despite having a mother who sewed, her method of "teaching" me was more along the lines of, "There's the instruction book. Follow the numbers on the machine to thread it. You can figure it out." A little frustrating at the time, but it definitely taught me how to problem solve on my own - as well as to be fearless with new techniques!

AGOS: Do you remember your early makes? Can you tell me about one?

LT: Well, once I started sewing with patterns (around age 20), I got reeeeally into New Look 6557. I have made that pattern dozens and dozens of times, improving on each version as I figured out how patterns worked (my first version did not have any gathering under the bust. It was completely flat. My boobs did not fit into it and I couldn't understand why haha). Most of my dresses are long gone, but I still have my favorite one. I made it using an old Laura Ashley bed skirt, with the ruffled border print around the hem of the skirt and hot pink colorblocking and piping scattered throughout. Oh, and hot pink and red tulle attached to the lining (I should add - which I was trimming it with my brand-new Ginghers, my then-kitten-now-cat got in my way and I nearly lopped off her tail. She had a bald spot for months). You can actually see this majestic beauty over on Craftster, when I posted it back in 2008. MAN how blogging has changed!

AGOS: Do you have any favorite tools?

LT: My very favorite tool is the humble seam gauge. I think it's useful for almost every thing - I have several scattered around my sewing room. I also love my bamboo point turner and sleeve board, both which make pressing so much easier.

AGOS: Do you have a favorite time of day to make?

LT: I love sewing in the morning! The early sunlight really inspires and energizes me, and it's really awesome to kick the day off with some creativity.

AGOS: Can you describe your making space? What parts of it do you love? What parts of it frustrate you?

LT: I am lucky enough to have a full, dedicated sewing space (http://lladybird.com/2015/07/29/time-for-a-sewing-room-tour/)! It's a strange open room in a basement, so there are nooks at either end that are perfect for my sewing machines and cutting table. I have plenty of room for fabric storage, notions storage, a pressing area, and even a desk. It's a great space and I love the color and set up! The only thing I don't love is the one thing that I can't change - the fact that it's in a basement. It's cooler than I would prefer, and I always want more windows!

AGOS: Do you practice more than one Craft? What others do you do? And why?

LT: I do! I knit - it's a wonderfully portable hobby that is great for traveling :) I also dabble in watercolor painting and sketching. I love learning new skills and am always looking for new ways to expand my craft repertoire.

AGOS: Why do you teach?

LT: Because I love sewing and I want everyone else to love it as much as I do :D

AGOS: Why do you sew?

LT: I love all forms of art, and sewing is such a beautifully practical one. You get all the benefits of making something beautiful with your hands, but then it's also actually useful (you can WEAR it!). I find the problem-solving aspect very therapeutic, and I love having the ability to improve on my art/craft with each new project. I think it's important to always seek out new ways to continually learn and increase your knowledge, and surround yourself with things that you find beautiful and that make you happy. Sewing does all this for me.

Now go read some of her blog posts...!  And come join us to sew!

Janome Memory Craft 7700 QCP

ETA:  We have sold this machine!  Thank you to everyone who looked at it.  Next week we will have two new machines in the studio....!

We have a beautiful sewing machine for sale!

When we first opened the doors I had a picture in my head of what would happen in this space. As is often the case, what has come to be is rather different from what I saw in my head. It is always good to be flexible, no?  The sewing machines that I bought initially are not entirely appropriate for the needs of the studio as it is currently functioning. So I have decided to sell one of our Janome quilting machines. I intend to replace this quilting monster with a couple of heavy duty multi-purpose machines. So do not fear that our collection of sewing machines is shrinking. No, on the contrary, we have more machines now than ever. But as I fine tune the programming and the offerings here at AGOS, I need to also adjust the tools.  The right tool, makes the job so much smoother and easier. We are refining!

This Janome Memory Craft 7700 QCP has a wide throat (or harp) of 11 inches that makes it a joy to quilt quilts up to Queen size, even King if you're really careful. So for someone who is looking to do a lot of their own quilting, instead of sending it out to a long-armer, this is a big step up from an average machine. I personally have a very similar machine, an Elna Excellence 740, with the same throat dimensions, and it is a pleasure to quilt with. This machine also has a built in walking (or even-feed) foot which is great for quilting, and for sewing on thick or napped fabrics. And lest you think this machine is only good for quilting, I have made many, many garments with mine. The buttonhole function alone is bliss. It also has a great blind-hemming function, and foot, a sweet rolled hem foot, and many other garment sewing attachments.  Initially I bought two of these creatures, but they are being under-utilized, so I have made a decision to sell one. We will still have one that you can come in and rent time on for your quilting needs.  I will use the funds from that sale to buy two new heavy duty multi-purpose machines that will have much more use for the studio.  So our change is your opportunity. If you have been pining for a bigger machine, this unit is going for a good price. The list price is over $2,000, but I am asking just $1,200.  It has been well-loved, and maintained with annual check-ups at South Portland Sewing Center. It purrs like a tiger and quilts like a dream. It has all it's accessories and options including many feet, a knee lifter, its manual, and a cover. I do not have the box anymore, sorry, but the important stuff is here. You are welcome to come by and give him a test drive. Oh yeah, his name is Dumbledore, which came from the person who contributed the funds (and naming rights) to purchase him during our IndieGoGo campaign. Contrary to expectations, he was named for a dog, not the Harry Potter character.

baby quilt

I haven't posted many quilts lately. They are made. I give them away. Sometimes I remember to photograph them. Sometimes I do not.... My quilt making is so often a response. A baby is expected. A couple is marrying. A friend, or acquaintance, is hurting. Someone needs recognition, appreciation. Unlike my garment making, which is primarily selfish, my quilt making is for others. They are made, and then then they go to a new home. The giving of them is almost as satisfying as the making of them. If I had the time management skills to actually execute all the quilts that I would like to give to people, I would be a very prolific quilter. But I am human, so many of those quilts never leave the confines of my mind (heart). Perhaps someday....?

 

 

 

This quilt was made for the child of my Osteopath, who has so many times over the past year been an oasis, and a savior, for my battered psyche, and body.  I would not have it any other way, but owning your own business is a stressful venture. Especially a creative business that relies on people's discretionary time and income. So this quilt was made with much gratitude, and love, for the soon-to-arrive offspring of one of my lifelines. A perfect example of when and why I make quilts. How do your sincerely say thank you for kindness shown? For a Mitzvah? A card? Flowers? Dinner?  For me, it is a quilt....

The form this quilt took was partially born out of a need for a traveling project on my Caribbean trip last January. My hands needed a rest after this year's Holiday knitting so I looked for a hand stitching outlet that could travel with me.  Being a HUGE fan of Carolyn Friedlander and her needle-turn applique, I turned to Savor Each Stitch and was drawn (again) to the Arc quilt blocks.  Having once played with this shape for a small mini-quilt, that was never finished, I was eager to revisit this shape. And this time I wanted to play with the layout. I had a charm pack of Heather Ross' fabric, Tiger Lily, that I was given at her Schoolhouse at Quilt Market last Spring. These two elements came together effortlessly in my mind. I was looking to stretch beyond my usual pretty bold color palette, and embrace the softness.  I dug out some low contrast greys from my stash for backgrounds and cut the whole thing out in a couple of hours. The small pieces fit perfectly in my carry on. My tool kit was packed, thread choices were simple, I was off to the races....

The finished blocks sat for a spell while I traipsed out to Pasadena for QuiltCon, but when I returned I had a fever to assemble this quilt. Perhaps it was the visual over stimulation of beautiful work out West, but I struggled, mightily, with this part of the process... Perusing Instagram, as I do (although their threat of Algorithms has been enough to make me set up an Ello account- same handle over there, let me know if you would like an invite?) I happened upon an image of blocks on point that got the wheels turning in a different direction.  Just to reinforce my belief that the algorithm model is NOT the way to go, I saw this image on the feed of someone who does not post often, and who I only recently follow. Someone whose posts a mathematical equation would most certainly not show me....! But I digress.

I searched out a tutorial for putting blocks on point, tried one, and liked it. Very much.  I made me some ugly getting there, but then it slid into place like a key in a lock.  The top assembly went fast, and then it sat again while I pondered the quilting. I am not a great free-motion quilter, but that is mostly because I don't practice. So I took this moment to do some practicing, and found for the first time that, if I keep practicing, I might actually like this part of quilting!

Each quilt is a journey. I know, it's such a hackneyed cliche. But it is a cliche for a good reason. Working through the life cycle of a quilt is a creative, soul-nourishing, brain-teasing, exploration. And I love it.  Don't talk about them as much as the garments, but they hold a sweet place in my heart. On to the next one.....

~Quick note on the photography in this post, it was all done on my iPhone 6S Plus. As a lover of film and cameras and the analog element therein, I am more than a little impressed with what my phone can do.....

Making clothes

It's been kinda quiet in this space lately, hasn't it? A challenge of the modern small business is which platform(s) to focus your energies on. There are so many places to share your mission; blogs; Facebook; Instagram; Twitter; direct emails, and more. I for one, am still not entirely sure where to put my time. I appreciate the long form potential (as it were) of a blog post, but I seem constitutionally unable to write one quickly. So to populate this forum, I must set aside time. Time is that precious commodity for small biz owners. When I have a spare moment I want to be sewing. Yeah, so what's a sewist to do?  Sew....

Do you make clothing? Are you a garment sewist? If so, are you as overwhelmed by the multitude of patterns, and fabrics, and garments swirling around the interwebs as I am? It is all very inspiring, and stimulating, but also a bit daunting. Where to dive in? Where to spend that precious time? I have been making clothes for myself since my teens. That means that over the years I have made many, many garments, some successfully, and more than a few wadders. Yet, I find myself just now starting to truly focus on my making in terms of a wardrobe, and a consistent and coherent style. Have you been following along with Christine Haynes as she explores the Wardrobe Architect series first brought to us by Sarai Mitnick of Colette Patterns?  When Sarai first started writing about this subject back in '14, I was still dazzled by all the opportunities in the sewisphere that I was grabbing wildly at whatever caught my eye. Now that Christine is addressing the same concepts, I find myself drawn to this train of thought. I encourage you to click through on those links and see what these thoughtful and talented ladies have to say.

This subject rings true for me now because of my need to time manage my making. I run my own business, and while that business revolves around stitching, I do not have endless hours (does anyone?) to waste making an item of clothing that doesn't suit me, or that I will only wear sporadically.  This is the old cake versus icing question. Do you make for special occasions, or for daily wear? Do you purchase fabric in colors you know you will wear, or are you distracted by pretty in the store, and end up with a mis-matched closet of orphans and unicorns? I can confess to being a member of the latter camp for much of my sewing life. I will throw in the added complication of being inevitably drawn to the sale table, a condition that does NOT make for a coherent wardrobe. Or at least not without a lot of will and determination. I am first and foremost a garment maker, but in the last few years the quiltmaking impulse has nestled into my psyche as well, taking up precious making time. So when I do sew I need to be very calculated, and mercenary about my time. Last Fall when Lauren Taylor of LLADYBIRD first came to teach here at AGOS, she explained some of her methods around making in a manner that has rung true for me. She counts her time sewing as both entertainment, and wardrobe building. Lightbulb! It's true that the sessions when I am working through a garment is often when I am most zen, most meditative, often (though not always) calm and happy. The way I see it, making clothing is good for my state of mind, good for my wardrobe, AND good for my economy. With this knowledge in hand I have started looking more critically at my choices of fabric and pattern. So when Christine started talking Wardrobe Architect, I went along for the ride.

A Linden from October, my trusty denim Moss, and my 2nd Greenfield Cardi...

A Linden from October, my trusty denim Moss, and my 2nd Greenfield Cardi...

 

 

This Fall I began taking a little more thought and care in what I make, gearing my choices to holes in my closet, and garments that I pull on over and over again. To that end I made a pile of Grainline Studio Larks and Lindens. Pile? Well, I made three each. But now I have a stylish tee for each day of my working week. I like Tee's, especially when I can make them in slightly more sophisticated fabrics to dress them up a hair. I also finally tackled the Archer, a pattern that I found intimidating for no good reason whatsoever. I have made three, and tweaked the fit each time. I have plans for more. Have visions of a wardrobe of these tops, jeans (yes, Ginger's I am in the midst of muslin'ing) and a mix of jean and A-line skirts. (see right) This approach also coincided with Felicia's (of The Craft Sessions) discussion of Stash Less as a challenge for 2016. Over the past few years much (MUCH) more fabric has come into my stash than has gone out as garments or quilts. I am determined to sew with this beautiful collection I have, as opposed to buying more. Stitch More, Buy Less.  That's on a T shirt somewhere isn't it? I am making a concerted effort to reduce the stress in my life, increase my pleasure, build out my wardrobe, and save some money, all by sewing carefully from my stash.  Sounds lofty, no?  But I'd say it's attainable. Ring true for anyone else?

 

 

Further to that end, and in the same vein as the Wardrobe Architect series, I wanted to talk a bit about the next retreat I have planned here at AGOS next month. Lauren Taylor is coming back for the second time, to lead another garment sewing long weekend. This format fits very well (!) with the themes I am discussing, because the outline of it is inherently customizable for you and your goals. If you are unfamiliar with Lauren, I suggest you check out her blog to get a feeling for what she is all about. In a crowded field of independent sewing pattern designers and teachers, she is unique in her pragmatic and encouraging approach. She is largely self taught, and passes that can-do attitude on to her students. She is refreshingly empowering (I know, that word is overused, and fraught, but here it applies) with her sewing knowledge and how she shares it. This weekend of sewing is a bonanza for those who have been sewing away by themselves with mixed results. Having another set of eyes, and hands, to help with adjustments and alterations is invaluable!  Especially when that help is so practiced.... For three + days you can bring your sewing challenges, your unicorns, your Mount Everest's in, and Lauren will help you climb them!  Want to finally master zipper insertion, swayback adjustments, the FBA or SBA alteration....? Or maybe you want to make a coat, or a pair of trousers, or a blazer, from start to finish, with someone to help all along the way.... This is a great retreat for someone who has some successes under their belt, and now wants to move a step or two (or three) forward with help. Many educational outlets (including AGOS) focus on a particular pattern or technique, and while that is a great learning environment for many, it is just one stop along the way to being an accomplished sewist.  At a certain point you have learned all you are going to from a particular project or technique, and you want to move on to a more personal and custom approach.  To step back and see your sewing practice as a whole, and not a lot of disparate attempts. Let's say you have determined that a fitted skirt is really what suits you, makes you feel beautiful, excites your sewing.  You can bring a pattern, or two, to this weekend and Lauren will help you build the perfect skirt fit just for you.  This weekend is entirely what you make it, and that can be scary for some. But for others, it is an amazing opportunity.  Lauren's fitting knowledge, construction tips and tricks, and general enthusiasm for the craft of making clothing, are a precious resource! Come expand your skills, take that next step, conquer those technical fears, move closer to wearing a wardrobe that fully reflects who you are....!

I love this picture of Lauren, it captures her spirit and her energy!

I love this picture of Lauren, it captures her spirit and her energy!

 

 

We have a few more spots available, we'd love to have you join us. We take over the A Gathering of Stitches studio, all fully equipped 2500sf of it. You can set up a machine (or use one of ours), use the cutting tables, the sergers, the expansive array of tools, and make some real progress.  I will feed you lunch each day, so you don't have to think about that. Lauren will cycle around the room, available for hours on end. The rest of the world can recede for a moment, while you focus on your making. We'll celebrate with a mini fashion show, and a delicious meal at one of my favorite Portland restaurants on the last night. You can read all the details HERE, and there is also another blog post HERE.