As we approach our first meeting after the summer hiatus, your Atlantic Sewing Guild Executive is getting very excited about new plans for the new season.  We’ve all missed your sewing camaraderie and look forward to getting together on September 12.  Look for an email from us shortly.

To tide you through these next few difficult anticipatory days, we thought you might like to visit some of the blogs we’ve been reading to keep us company as well as inspired:

From Karen LaDelpha, our Membership Coordinator:

Goodbye Valentino
Emily Hallman
Margot Berman (local Halifax creator!)

From Anita, our past Treasurer:

“fabric dictionary”
Curvy Sewing
Do it Better

From Bev D’Entremont, one of our two Librarians:

Lazy Girl
Sew Mama Sew (previously a blog & currently a facebook page)
Sewing Directory
Make It & Love It

From Marcia Swanston, one of our two Webmistresses:

Gayle Ortiz
Shams’ blog
Marcy Tilton for Everyday Creatives

From Kathleen Soares, the other Webmistress:

Our very own Barb Emodi (of course)
Rhonda never fails to inspire
Katie makes dresses
4 Ladies who blog together

SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 7:00 PM.
The Monsignor John Campbell Centre, behind St. Agnes Church
corner of Mumford & Chebucto: 6903 MUMFORD RD., HALIFAX
enter Mumford Rd. driveway only




Amy clothes rack


On May 9 AMY NEGUS, owner and designer of All My Fashions, presented a very interesting talk and trunk show.  Amy is a local custom designer who specializes in up-cycling, with a focus on feminine design.  She is a graduate of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She showed us a number of her designs.  Our members found Amy’s presentation & process very interesting.




Show and Tell was, as usual, full of a variety of creations ranging from men’s, ladies’ & grandchildren’s wear to an inventive sewing room tool as well as wall hangings & floor mats.


Sheila also showed us an example of the 44 very useful fiddle muffs that our lovely Community Charity Sewing contingent made up for several local homes to provide to their people with dementia.

fiddle muff

Upcoming: a very special farewell celebration to honour Julie Culshaw who is an original Founding Member of the Atlantic Sewing Guild.

Our next meeting will also have the election for vacant positions on next year’s Executive.  Please seriously consider offering your rich energy to complement our Atlantic Sewing Guild.

See you all for our final gathering of the year:  Tuesday, June 13 at 7:00 at the Msgr. John Campbell Center at St. Agnes’ Church, 6903 Mumford Rd., Halifax.

SEW we got together in a new space!

Our Atlantic Sewing Guild met in a new space at the Msgr. John Campbell Centre at St. Agnes’ Church on April 11.  Attendance was at an all-time high with some guests and members who have been unable to come for a while.

Tory LeBlanc gave a talk and trunk show about Zero Waste.  She modeled her beautiful blush silk Asian-influenced jacket, navy jacket and pants and a wrap-around dress all created with no wasted fabric at all!  Pretty impressive and stylish.

After Tory’s trunk show, the guild members were invited to try to figure out the construction process using paper and tape.   The results were amusing 🙂

We had our monthly show and tell including a variety of garments.  A challenge from a snowed out meeting earlier this year was to sew something “red/read”.   A couple of the “red” items created were the newly released Jalie cardigan pattern, Helène, (with it’s much touted ‘clever’ pocket construction and sewn up by several members) and a beautiful trench coat from a OOP Vogue 2915 from the 1970’s.

Other creations included a moto jacket, t-shirts and two iterations of the recently released Farrow dress from Grainline Patterns;  a top and a dress.


Anita MacDonald reported on the charity sewing day on April 22nd:

“The community sewing day was a great success. 9 volunteers made 42 fidget muffs for Northwood and St. Vincent’s Nursing Homes!  Thanks to all who helped and all who donated items for us to use!”

A reminder that elections for vacant positions on the Executive Committee are in June.  Are you interesExec meetingted in being our treasurer, librarian, membership co-ordinator or president?  Here we all are (Marcia Swanston taking the picture) enjoying a glass of wine at the Agricola Brasserie.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 9 and Amy Negus will give a talk and trunk show about her clothing line. dsc_0031

“I’m in The Navy now!” (?)

…Or so we are told by TORY LEBLANC…

…This is the theme of Tory’s collection of Zero Waste garments for our Atlantic Sewing Guild’s April 11th meeting (which is 9 days from the posting date of this message).
Come join us to find out why Zero Waste garments are a growing fashion trend and how you can make you own!

Tory is going to enable us to have participation fun and asks that we bring our own paper scissors & scotch tape.

APRIL 11, 2017 7:00 PM.Meeting at our new venue: The Monsignor John Campbell Centre, behind St. Agnes Church at the corner of Mumford & Chebucto: 6903 MUMFORD RD., HALIFAX – enter Mumford Rd. driveway only.



Zero Waste clothing…

What is it?

Why are Zero Waste garments one of the latest “it” trend trends in fashion?

How do you make Zero Waste garments of your own?

Join us for the April ASG meeting when Tory LeBlanc will share her experiments with Zero Waste clothing.


APRIL 11, 2017 7:00 PM.Meeting at our new venue: The Monsignor John Campbell Centre, behind St. Agnes Church at the corner of Mumford & Chebucto: 6903 MUMFORD RD., HALIFAXenter Mumford Rd. driveway only.

Cancellation of March 14 meeting

Mother Nature has not quite finished with us yet for this winter.

Sadly, we have decided to cancel our meeting this evening, March 14 due to the weather forecast statements/warnings for snow, wind and rain.  We want you all to be home safe, dry and warm.

Our first meeting at the Campbell Wing of St. Agnes’ Church will be in April 11th.  We will try to reschedule Amy Negus and her trunk show for later in the spring.

See you all in April!snow


AMY NEGUS Designer & Trunk Show Date Change to May 9 2017

dsc_00271After graduation from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2010 with a minor in fashion and a major in textiles, Amy Negus began the line All My Fashions. Negus’ goal is to create one-of-a-kind fashion pieces (up-cycling second hand fabrics whenever possible) that are comfortable but also allow women to feel beautiful and unique.  She has developed her skills over the years from her studies at university and from her mother who taught her to sew at an early age.

This year is the 7th year Amy has presented at the Atlantic Fashion week.  In 2013 she was invited to showcase her work at Plitz New York Fashion Week – her first international show!  She also works with clients to create custom dresses.

You can find her on FaceBook under All My Fashions or on her website: amynegus.wixsite.com/All-My-Fashions/about

We are excited to have Amy speak to us about her fashion journey and give a trunk show presentation of her designs.

Thank you, Minh Tan for suggesting Amy give a presentation to our Guild!

Next Atlantic Sewing Guild meeting is  Tuesday, March 14, 7pm at The Campbell Centre (behind St. Agnes Church), corner of Mumford and Chebucto Road, Halifax


Mary Baxter is undoubtedly one of our Atlantic Sewing Guild’s most experienced fitting gurus.  She proves to us that there is no body quirk that can’t be adjusted for and she is unfailingly generous in helping us figure out where and how to work on our patterns.  Most of us aim for a great fit in our garment sewing, so we asked Mary if she would share a few thoughts on the order she uses to make well-fitting outfits.

A few ideas from Mary:

I have been asked in what order do I alter a pattern?  Before I answer that question, here’s one to answer first:

How to choose the right pattern size?

The majority of us work from a purchased pattern. Most pattern companies follow a standard body measurement and a minimum fitting ease added of: bust 2.5″, waist 1″, hip 2″.

Body measurements + ease (fitting ease & design ease) = fashion silhouette.

The finished garment measurements on the pattern clue you in as to how much ease is included in the garment. You can establish the amount of ease you prefer by measuring your favourite garments.

Fitting is easier if you chose the right sized pattern based on 3 measurements:

1. bust: patterns are typically designed for a B cup (with the exception of patterns that provide various bust sizes). If you are larger than the standard B cup and your bust measurement is larger by  2″ (or more)  than your upper chest measurement, then use the upper chest measurement. The upper chest reflects the body’s frame, a better fit will be achieved and the garment will hang nicely from the the shoulders.

2. waist: place the waist where you prefer to wear your pants or skirts and use this measurement.

3. hip: use measurement at the fullest part. This measurement is often a standard 7- 9″ below the  waist but may be higher if there is  a full tummy.

For a good fit, trust your measurements. Then compare your measurements to the pattern, make alterations and then fine tune when fitting.

A current, comprehensive measurement chart is an essential tool for fitting. Always trust your measurements and measure both sides of your body in case there is any asymmetry.  Fitting takes time but once you have determined your body shape/measurements, it becomes easier to make the pattern adjustments.106-measurement-chart-01

(One of our own members, Barbara Emodi has two excellent articles in past issues of Threads magazine. How to Take Measurements is in issue #106 and How To Measure a Pattern to Assess Fit is in #112.)

Pattern Adjustments

Keep the original pattern intact and start by copying (tracing) the main pieces of the pattern. (I will not be explaining how to go about the alterations. There are various methods and articles on-line or in sewing books that cover this process.)

I start the alteration process with the length, both front and back which includes:

1. shoulder to bust in front, shoulder to waist in back

2. bust to waist

3. waist to hip

4. hip to hem, front and back

5. sleeve, shoulder to elbow, elbow to wrist

Next, I adjust the width:

1. back ( narrow or broad)

2. high round back ( if your clothing pulls towards the back & off the shoulder)

3. shoulder ( narrow, wide and slope)

4. upper chest ( narrow or wide)

5. bust (possibly a large bust adjustment)

6. waist

7. tummy & hip

8. sleeve

After these adjustments are done, pin the darts and then the seams wrong sides together. Carefully try the pattern on to assess and refine.

Make a muslin

Take the fitting one step further: make a muslin out of fabric similar to the fashion fabric you will be using for your garment.  After the fit has been fine tuned you can either take the muslin apart and use it as a pattern or transfer the final adjustments from the muslin onto your paper pattern.  Then cut your altered pattern from your fashion fabric.

The alteration and fitting process takes time but the end result is a well fitted garment and a huge sense of satisfaction.

Thanks, Mary for a very helpful article!

Next Atlantic Sewing Guild meeting is  Tuesday, February 14, 7pm at St. Theresa’s, corner of Dublin & North Streets, Halifax


Our January meeting

covered many items  (including heads & shoulders): notes for upcoming classes; a small challenge for next meeting (see below); Nancy showed us notable notions; Pat talked about intriguing feet and we enjoyed some interesting showing & telling.

Nancy presented a mind-boggling array of fascinating smalls & went on to interview Pat about feet

(note the great pin-cushion which originated as a teapot at VV)


Lorna is so resourceful.  Here are her husband’s mitts she made from a leather skirt remnant.  She wore a great vest created from the lining of a Lundstrom coat, while interviewing our youngest guest, Suzanne’s DD Leocadie, about her tiny, tiny sewing adventures.

And then Suzanne, wearing a fab party dress she dashed off (Butterick Gertie pattern), peaked into her bag-of-tricks & pulled out Sydney Swoon bags she made for herself & a lucky friend.

Few are as prodigious as our Edgar, who is producing The Shirt Wardrobe of Envy. One of his faves is McCall’s 6044.

When Minh isn’t showing us how to do shadow puppets, he’s got something else up his sleeve, such as a hidden credit card pocket with which he can wave his hand in the vicinity of a card reader to pay his bills.  Love our Nova Scotia tartan (did you know it was the first provincial tartan in Canada?) – always makes grand gifts!

Anyone for nesting(!) with Nancy & Pat- both showing Little’Uns clothes & quilts?

Our final treat for the night from Ingrid.  We sincerely wish for better photographic skills to showcase the fine craftsmanship of her stitched works of art.   Even with magnifying eyeglasses, most would not even accomplish the stitches, never mind the overall beauty of her oeuvre!

The Small Challenge for next meeting

Your soundtrack, should you choose to accept it:
Red red wine
Or maybe Dino’s Red Roses
Red Rose Tea

As someone we know is often not perfectly clear in her rambling & mental ring-around-the-rosies, the following is some attempt to clarify, if not further confuse (although from confusion, often sturdy oaks are born).
The challenge was suggested by a couple of our members & proposed by the executive.
/’red/ /’red//’red/, speaking phonetically: aka red.   This three letter word could be used as a starting point to ignite your creativity for a project to show at our next meeting on St. Valentine’s Day. The colour itself can be rendered in many shades & tones, from crimson, to Canadian flag red wave-it (who remembers the great debate 1963 & 1964?), to scarlet, to raspberry, to pink pink-power, to even burgundy.
And colours are just literal interpretations of our challenge.  How about using red as a jumping off point & doing the opposite?  Maybe green would be a better inspiration, as that is the opposite to red (i.e. a combo of blue & yellow, the other 2 primaries).  Or how about an anagram instead of an opposite?  The only one I could come up with is erd, which is an area of shifting sands in the Sahara, bringing us obviously to sandy thoughts – all those colours of sand around the world – black-grey-pink sands.  Or styles of clothing for the desert-?  Anyone seeing red yet?  What about styles from the ’70’s -Redd Foxx’s Sanford & Son, anyone? No? Then maybe movie style from the ’30’s Red Skelton style?

No rules img_2649-oh goody, read & red!
Ready?Fire! Aim! target-300x204


Next Atlantic Sewing Guild meeting is February 14 2017, 7:00pm at St. Theresa’s, Dublin St..  EXCITING NEWS IS COMING YOUR WAY