Sewing Classes!

Cashing in on that plan to make clothing this year, my card is charged and classes registered-- the Sewing & Stitchery Expo is in March! If this ends up similar to last year's experience then I'm bound to be overwhelmed with new ideas and information, taking home loads of notes, and buying patterns and drooling over fabric and notions. I'm so glad my mom decided to make this her annual birthday get together and even better, my sisters are coming along too! There were a few time conflicts between multiple classes I wanted to take and ultimately I sacked Pattern Alterations (sigh) for Understanding Wool because sheep have an extra special place in my heart. Fitting Sleeves went out the door so I could learn about sewing a muslin since there are a few fancy dresses in my queue for the year, and sadly the 2 hour class on Pattern Grading (scaling sizes up and down) sold out very quickly.

Here we go! Details below for my faulty memory. I wish I'd written down the classes I went to last year... the coat making class, sewing needle seminar, and upcycling/recycled clothing classes stand out as my favorites. Attending a lecture with my mom by the TV sewing sensation Nancy Zieman was like a childhood dream fulfilled (seriously mom, why did I sit and watch Sewing with Nancy and The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross? Funny childhood) and the billion opportunities to spend too much money were... expensive.

2012, coming right up.

PS. Did I mention I got a serger for Christmas? Booyah!

#1007 Details
Sandra Betzina, Power Sewing
It’s all about the subtle details which make it fun to sew and guaranteed to make your creations stand out in a crowd without screaming homemade. Learn couture seam finishes, pocket details, buttonhole treatments and fabric combinations including some tricky fabrics.

#1010 Anatomy of a Collar
Jan Bones, Lingerie Secrets
Collars come in an endless variety—crisp cotton shirt style, soft bias cut or maybe the classic mandarin. Jan will teach you to select great fabrics and Interfacings for  collars and then help you to choose the ones to best suit you. Learn how to design a collar for any pattern in your stash and also how to mix/match collars between patterns. You will receive a detailed class handout.

#1031 Cutting to the Chase of Great Garments
Louise Cutting, Cutting Corners, Inc.
Why not use the great patterns you have to create variations...a blouse can become a jacket, a shell can become a dress, a pullover top can have a front opening. Don’t be afraid to cut across the ‘big black line’. Learn how to enlarge or reduce the patterns as needed for your personal fit and taste. You will learn various methods for putting in darts, moving dart boxes, enlarging darts for cup sizes, and removing darts that are already in patterns.

#1046 Figures Come In Combo Packs
Lorraine Henry, LH Enterprises/Two Easy Tape Company
In the real world, we come in all shapes and sizes. We hopefully all have one head, one trunk, two arms and two legs but the various lengths, shapes and sizes are amazing! Come and explore the world of figure combinations. Learn how to analyze and compare measurements to best adjust the patterns to fit your own unique physique! A class that will benefit your fitting skills forever.

#1071 Happy Pants
Pati Palmer, Palmer/Pletsch
If your pants are smiling, you need help! Wrinkles point to the problem, whether they point to the thighs (smiles) or to the knees (baggy back). Learn to fit YOUR waist, hips, and thighs and look pounds thinner in pants that fit. Pati will explain tissue-fitting and crotch oddities for fine-tuning fit. Pati has nearly 40 years experience in hands-on pant fitting and will share tips for fitting and sewing your own jeans.

#1073 Sewing a Muslin Test Copy
Cecelia Podolak, Material Things
Get tips on how to sew a test copy and check the fit of a pattern before cutting into fashion fabric. Use this technique when trying a complex or unusual pattern, using a new pattern line, or sewing expensive fabric. Accuracy is a must at all stages of the test copy; from taking measurements and selecting pattern size; to using the right weight of muslin; to cutting, marking & sewing. Make adjustments right on the test copy and you are ensured of a great fit when you cut and sew your fashion fabric.

#1086 The Sheath Dress
Peggy Sagers, Silhouette Patterns
The dress is the most difficult garment to buy off the rack because the neckline, sleeves, length, etc. must fit the wearer perfectly to look fabulous. But, it is one of the easiest garments to sew for the perfect fit. The sheath dress is the most classic of all styles, always a great look, appropriate for any occasion and the single most flattering look on every body! Learn about the five different styles, how to choose the most  complimentary collar, neckline and sleeve choices that work for you.

#1095 Pairing Pattern and Fabric
Marcy Tilton, Marcy Tilton
Putting together pattern and fabric is a skill you can learn to fine tune. Learn which fabrics are ‘foolproof’ and which ones to avoid: determining your big YES and big NO. This class includes figuring out different fabric alternatives for the same pattern and solutions for making ‘hard’ fabrics easier. Learn the basics of building a core wardrobe and making the best fabric/pattern choices. Hear suggestions for mixing different fabrics in the same garment or ensemble, and combining patterns and prints. See a slideshow of examples including things that did not work and learn why.

#1101 Understanding Wool: A Sheep of Many Different Colors
Katrina Walker, Quality Sewing/Katrina Walker
Wool comes in many different flavors from a whole menagerie of animals. Whether used for warmth and high-performance gear or for tailoring a luxurious couture garment, wool textiles remain an essential workhorse of the apparel world. Join textile expert and wool aficionado Katrina Walker in an exploration of the world of animal fibers as you gain a stronger understanding of the various types of wool fabrics and their best uses in clothing construction.

#2011 “Use the Serger” Techniques
Kathy McMakin, Martha Pullen Co.
Get more out of your serger than ever before - tips and tricks for serger sewing, serging knits, turning corners, curves, beginning and ending serger seams, piecing for quilts, serger crochet, zippers, piping, using decorative threads and much more. Kathy will give you lots of ideas for those forever-needed quick projects.


  1. I'm so excited for you. I've been staring at my sewing machine this last week. It will be simple sewing for me for now. At least until my kids start school. I can't wait to see what you will post about. I need a few tips. Good luck!


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