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:

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

Mozart’s Magic Flute, Feb 2-5 Designer, John Pennoyer

In December, John Pennoyer, gave a wonderful talk to the ASG.  A few members of the Guild asked about the production of Mozart’s Magic Flute, performances the first week of February, for which John is the costume and set designer.

The design concept is based on the work of the surrealistic artist, René Magritte, and many these images will be seen throughout the opera.  The production is an adaptation in English originally created for the Canadian Opera Company touring company and perfect for an undergraduate voice program.

All performances in the Sir James Dunn Theatre, Dalhousie Arts Centre and are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors available in person at the Dal Arts Centre box office or by phone/email as detailed on the poster below.

I’m told tickets are going fast!  (psst!  John himself is appearing onstage in a very special cameo!)







Note from Grandma Norma: Eila wanted to write her story out as she sewed, but we were a bit short of time, so Grandma suggested Siri. (Siri is Apple’s voice recognition software and it doesn’t always get it right, especially when it hears a new voice.) Eila was well aware of the Siri mistakes, but didn’t want to correct them because she thought they were funny! !

Hi my name is Eila and I am seven years old and this is my selling adventure. My grandmother brought her selling machine on this visit. First I did paper sewing on the sewing machine with only the needle it was fun! My brother is 4 and he can sew too, but not on the
We went to dress out and bought the fabric. My brother picked out the fabric for my mom and dad’s pillowcases and then I sewed the fabric. Farley picked out Mickey Mouse fabric for my dad and for my mom he picked out cakes and Holly. When we were showing the pillow cases we so a burrito and then pulled out the middle of the burrito. On the CMC I did French seams and regular seems! !!!
After we sewed pillowcases for our mom and dad I am sewing my own pair of pants that are turquoise.
the-pants-rearFirst we drew out the pattern of all the things we needed and then we sowed the fake pocket and the yolk. On January 3rd I am going to show my pants at school.

First we had to try them on to see if they fit. Even though they still had pansies (pins) in them.
Now I am doing the top stitching of my pants. I just sewed the elastic onto the waistband it was a zigzag stitch I had to do two rows of zigzag stitching. My grandma is going to help me so on the waistband. I don’t have much time left because I want to wear them to marry Poppins the play.
My grandmothers made her pants too and they are the same as mine and they’re almost finished.
And now I am selling the heaven (sewing the hem) together. I just sold the pockets on the back.
My grandma showed me how to erase magic pen I had to rub water onto the fabric where the magic pen was.


Editor’s note: Sew many Good Things in this story – Thank you Eila, and Norma for letting us share this special day.  I see that Norma taught how to sew straight lines, using lined paper; the burrito method; French seams; pattern transferring; fitting; top stitching and how to apply elastic, not to mention pride in hand work!  Good job, Ladies!  This is exactly what our community needs.

ASG meeting Dec. 13 2016



Nationally respected costume designer John Pennoyer gave a wonderful presentation to the Guild.  He took us on an illustrated journey ranging from his costume designs for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, to the inspiration behind Lady Curzon’s vicereine coronation gown, the Peacock Dress designed by Jean-Philippe Worth and ended with illustrations for John’s upcoming costume designs for the 2017 Stratford production of A Winter’s Tale.  His humility, humour and creative genius delighted us all.


Pat’s power stretch socks Peek a Boo pattern

fullsizerender_3Nasirah’s own design of an East Indian dress, pants & handbag

Lucy’s top from Burda 6722

fullsizerender_8Barb’s Thread Theory Dopp kit bags of recycled VV leather jackets

 Minh’s own design hats, in which he extols the power of mathematics
Wearing his no-side-seam leggings; its pattern; hooded bolero combo

Live Long & Prosper                              The Ruby Slip in black

Norma sent her regrets, but has been sewing up a storm, including a Jalie shirt and a well-buttoned backpack


Class January 26 2017        Jalie’s Éléonore pattern

We look forward to sew many interesting and inspiring meetings in 2017!  See you soon.

Next Atlantic Sewing Guild meeting is January 10 2017, 7:00pm at St. Theresa’s, Dublin St..

New Classes for Early 2017

We have the following 3 classes confirmed.

  1.  Our first day-time class on a week-day is Jeans in a Day with Tory LeBlanc.  (Thursday, January 26)
  2.  Serger Basics with Pat Nicholson. (Saturday, February 11)
  3.  (this class is now confirmed) Serger Beyond the Basics with Pat Nicholson (Saturday, March 11)


Want to sew a great pair of jeans but are leery of the time commitment? Or fitting challenges?
Using Jalie Patterns’ Eleanore pants pattern (click for link), you can make a wonderful pair of stretch denim jeans in a day! Designed with a traditional back yoke, butt pockets and double top stitching, this slim legged pant has traditional jean styling. However, the mock fly front, faux front pockets, and elastic waist make these pull-on jeans an easy sew.
Once you have perfected the fit, you can easily “hack” the pattern to make them in the traditional way with a zipper fly, functioning front pockets and a button waistband with belt loops when you have extra time to sew these details. (Handout/links provided as part of the class.)
This class is primarily a sewing class, rather than a fitting class. Minor fitting tweaks that can be addressed during the cutting/sewing process are part of the sewing process and are expected. For major adjustments, expect to use class time to make muslins (1 or more), working towards developing a custom pull-on jean pattern.
Jalie patterns can be purchased at the Halifax Fabricville or online at (available as an instant electronic download or as a standard paper pattern that will be shipped). The pattern calls for 60″ stretch denim, with at least 20% stretch and has good recovery. Fabricville has some lovely stretch denim at the Halifax store, but please note it is only 45″ wide. You must buy extra! You can make this pattern with any stretch woven fabric, provided it meets the stretch/recovery requirements.

Please contact Tory if you have any questions or concerns.


In this class we will learn how to thread your serger for 4 thread overlock, also 3 thread wide and narrow overlock. We will go over the different parts of your serger and what they do and when to use them.  Please bring your serger and different colors of thread ( colors corresponding to the colors of your tension discs would be helpful) also bring some scraps of different fabrics you might use .  Bring  your serger manual and any accessories that came with your machine.


In this class we will learn about the other stitches on your serger. We can start with rolled hem and flatlock, then depending on people’s machines cover hem, chain stitch, 4 and/or 5 thread safety stitch.  We can also talk about specialty feet any specialty feet you’re interested in, if time permits.  

Classes, Registration and Payment

  • Classes are full day (9:30 AM set-up for 10:00 to 4:00 PM) unless otherwise stated.
  • Full day class is $35 for Guild members and $40 for non-Guild members.
  • Registration for all classes will be on a first come, first served basis.
  • Registration will be first done at Guild Meetings, then via email to the Guild afterward.
  • Post dated cheques will not be accepted for registration of a class.
  • If the classes fill up, you can put your name on a waiting list.
  • All classes have to be paid up before the class date or you will lose your spot
  • Classes held at Halifax Christian Church at 51 Farnham Gate Road, Halifax