The Great Halifax Sewing Bee! April Meeting

ASG’s April meeting features The Great Halifax Sewing Bee, an evening inspired by the BBCTwo’s popular show, The Great British Sewing Bee. With three seasons under its belt, the British sewing show has a huge international fan-base. 

To pique your interest, I’ve provided links to two shows, the first from Series 1 (Season 1 in North American television speak) and and the second from Series 3. (You can find most episodes on the Internet by Googling The Great British Sewing Bee.)

Two women popular in the sewing world, Ann Rowley and Tilly Walnes (Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons), were contestants in Series 1.
Series 1, Episode One  

While every series/season has featured men sewists, Series 3 is outstanding for male representation.
Series 3, Episode One

From the spark of an idea to a full meeting’s program, the ASG Executive have worked hard to pull this event together. We hope our mini-adaption of the Great British Sewing Bee will make for a lively and entertaining evening. 

Please note: Due to time limitations, there will not be any Show and Tell, and the library will be closed, for this meeting only.

For all the posts related to this event, past and future, please click here.

Monthly Spark Nov 2015: One Piece Garments

November’s meeting was fantastic with 44 members turning out, amazing Christmas quickies projects members showed how to do, fantastic show and tell items that showcased new members, new talent and new levels of talent for some! A lady named Sheila MacDonald also donated some wonderful fabric and sewing supplies that our members were delighted to have. Thank you Sheila! More will be posted later from these events in the form of pictures, links and so on… and sooner than last month’s content! Apologies from a very busy person! 🙂

This month’s Monthly Spark idea is to sew “garments” which’s patterns is “essentially” one piece. “Garments” can be something worn, or not if you want to try a bowl holder, or other household items, or whatever you can come up with. What is “essentially”? Essentially, it means you can do the garment without any other pieces you might choose to add, like pockets, trims or other decorative features. If you need something like a string to make it work, that’ll be OK as you’d just buy the string, not make it in a pattern.

Some people will have sewn things with only one piece in the pattern, but others might not have. For either, here are some options for you to consider, from simple to more exotic. Click on pictures to enlarge.

Bandanas are triangular, or triangular-ish, while headbands are long rectangular-ish.

These are circular, or circular-ish.

These are elongated rectangular-ish, with a lot of ways to wear!

These tend to be shorter rectangular-ish than scarves, but can be more chic. They are often knitted, but can be sewn like this Craftsy blog entry shows. I am planning on making some of these. There’s a simpler tutorial here but I think it’s oversimplified.

Neck warmer
Neck warmer

These can be anything from triangular-ish to square-ish, to rectangular-ish, and more likely quadrilateral-ish. Here’s a nice one below, with a handle put on, but you could really just cut two slits to create a less attractive handle, so it falls in the “essentially” leeway allowed. 🙂

Tuck Shawl
Tuck Shawl

And speaking of wraps, how’s about

This site has a nice tutorial to make what’s seen below. You’ll have to fit it to you, though, of course.

Wrap Pants
Wrap Pants

This is more about how you wear a square Hermes scarf sort of garment than anything else, but it counts. Sew a square and wear creatively! This site even has cards you can print out to remind yourself of all the creative ways you can wear a square! If you like this sort of thing, you’ll never have sewn so many squares in your life, and can have a wardrobe of it, too!

Square scarf wearing
Square scarf wearing

These rectangles are like the square scarfs in that they give new meaning to “it’s all in how you wear it”. I’m not going to post pics of beach cover ups cause most are just pics of women’s crotches with fabric for background, and most of you would know what I’m talking about.

Cover Up Dress
Cover Up Dress

Did you know you could make underwear can be made in one piece?

One piece underwear
One piece underwear

But seriously. Why sew underwear when you can sew thongs??? I was going to bring these for Christmas quickies, but I thought of them as underwear and not sexy thongs, so I didn’t. People probably wouldn’t want to get underwear for Christmas, but thongs, if from the right person? Probably a small hell yeah! These might save you a small fortune in the long run if you make your own. I’ll blog more about it in the future when it’s colder out and we might need something slightly hot to warm up our lives. 😉

One piece thongs
One piece thongs

Dresses? One piece dresses? Am I serious? Definitely! Here’s the Armhole dress and Whirlaway that Butterick had in the good old days seen below. You’ll have to figure it out, though, as it’s no longer sold.

Armhole Dress
Armhole Dress
Whirlaway dress
Whirlaway dress

I’m not sure of the proper name or pattern for these, but one looks like what’s below. There’s a tutorial here. Men were intended to wear these as well as women. You can try modifying the Whirlaway dress above with this to add sleeve if you want.

Caftan / Viking Coat
Caftan / Viking Coat

You will need one of these for cooking sushi. 😉

Japanese apron
Japanese apron

OMG!!! I want to do this to ALL of my towels! Here’s how.

Topsy Towel
Topsy Towel

OMG2!!! Try making this by these instructions! I need to get some chairs for my apt!

buttoned chair covers

Those are just some ideas to get you started. I’m sure there are a LOT more out there. Please feel free to share ideas in the Comments section. And anything you make that you have a picture of, please share as well! I can’t wait to see what people come up with, whenever they do it because these Monthly Spark ideas are only timely for when we share them, not when you do them.


Enhance and Bless Your Sewing with Symbolic Stitches

Here’s a fun idea and game to add a little creativity to your sewing with stitches. Look your stitch dashboard on your machine. Give each or some meanings, especially the decorative ones, but even the basic ones you use a lot. Give them meanings as if they were symbols for luck, longevity, health, prosperity, etc.

Then keep these in mind when you sew and have to use a stitch, especially a visible decorative stitch, to “bless” your garment with luck, prosperity, etc. Choose the stitch best suited for the purpose of your garment, like prosperity for a professional garment, health for pyjamas in which you sleep and rest a lot, and so on!

Attached is a sample stitch board, which may have some common stitches to your machine, but you should really use your own machine’s stitch selection for this to be practical.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Introducing the Monthly Spark

At the last Sewing Guild meeting, I introduced a quick new feature to our meetings to help give people ideas and/or inspiration with their sewing. It was called the Monthly Spark.

The Monthly Spark is a monthly idea that people can take up at any time, not necessarily for the month. Hopefully, it will often be a different way of thinking not typical to how people usually go planning or getting ideas for their sewing projects. Whatever the idea is, though, it will be easy enough to describe that a minute should be all it takes. It will also be general enough to be inclusive for all who sew, whether they take the idea as is, or put a spin on it for their liking.

October Monthly Spark

The Monthly Spark for October is to make a type of garment you’ve never made before, or a version of a garment quite different from any such garment you’ve ever made before. The former is easy to explain, like a cloak if you’ve never made a cloak before, or maybe a garment from another culture. The latter could be a style of dress quite different from any dress you had ever made in terms of how it’s put together, pieces to the pattern, how it’s worn, etc.

Each Month Spark idea will be announced at our monthly meeting, and shared here and on our Facebook Group for anyone interested.


What’s Your Sewing Identity?

Sew, here’s a simple question for you in preparation for the new sewing year for the Guild (or your own efforts).

If you had to describe your sewing in a minute long elevator ride, how would you do it? The minute long “elevator pitch” is a common summary style concept used in everything from sales to business to military briefings, among other situations. It can be prepared, but really, to be true to stepping into an elevator for a short ride and having someone ask you about it, give an off the cuff answer.

Then, after you answer that, ask yourself so will you be changing up anything this year?

I guess if I’m going to be asking that of you, I should provide an answer myself.

I sew a wide variety of garments for men and women that are eye catching from across the street or further away, for reasons of style, design, colours, symbolism and/or other features. I prefer solids and high contrast, three colour combinations over prints and patterns, though I am fond of jacquard and textured fabrics when I can find the right features on them. I serge just about everything for durability and quality, and have as much practicality in my designs as flash. If I’m wearing something I made, or showing off something I made for someone else, doesn’t make me feel proud, I either don’t start it or donate it rather than keep it.

I wouldn’t change anything, only expand my portfolio and repertoire.

And you?

Please leave your answers in a comment, or at least think about the question for your sewing this year. It’s good to just stop and get a self-analytical overview from time to time.

Our New Facebook Group!

We are excited to share with you that the Atlantic Sewing Guild now has a Facebook Group!

The group is open for anyone who shares our sewing related interests to join, Guild Member or not. It will be our way of interacting with not only other Guild members, but also the rest of the world who share our passion.

If being part of our group is something you think you would like to do, or try, please head over to the group and request to join. Thank you and we hope to see you there!

We Have Our Own Domain – AtlanticSewingGuild.ORG

After almost 300 posts over the past two years, over 33,000 views and 140 followers, we have decided our site deserved its own domain! 🙂

If you look up in your address bar, you will see that the domain is no longer a WordPress domain, through which this site is based. Anybody continuing to use the old address, or any old links to our past posts, will have no problem accessing the same content. It will automatically redirect as if someone substituted the old domain with the new one for you.

Thank you to all those that have viewed, followed, commented and contributed in other ways in the past. We look forward to continuing to do so with you and others who will find us in the future!

We have an exciting year coming up in the Guild, including online content for those of you not able to join us in Halifax. We will do this our site here, and expanding social media presence that will allow for even more interaction. We will share that news within weeks when we are ready! I hope you’ll join us for the ride!

Minh, webmaster

Some Things You Might Want to Know about Frixion Pens

Our Guild Member Faye wanted to share the following articles with you on Frixion Pens. From the articles linked, “Frixion pens are a line of pens and highlighters made by Pilot that are heat erasable. Frixion pens make a crisp, clear mark which goes on smoothly and easily with no skipping.”

Frixion Pens – All You Need to Know

The article referenced three other articles the author had written, but I couldn’t find a link easily so one link is all I can give. Besides, if it’s all you need to know as the title says, then you don’t really need the other three articles, do you? 🙂

Enjoy! Thanks Faye!

National Sewing Circle Website

Beverly in the Guild wanted to share an online sewing resource with you all called the National Sewing Circle (

National Sewing Circle Screen Capture (click to enlarge)
National Sewing Circle Screen Capture (click to enlarge)

It is a site of sewing videos, with a blog, projects and things you can purchase. Some of the content is free, but some is for members only.

You can get a free newsletter emailed to you if you sign up that way, perhaps to find out more about things before deciding whether or not to commit to a membership.

For those of you looking for new online sewing resources, this site “seams” to be well worth a look! 🙂

Thank you, Beverly!