Sunday, September 30, 2007

American Sewing Expo Workshop Review 2007

This Thursday I took the "Industrial Shortcuts and Easy Zippers Combined!"at the American Sewing Expo, in Rock Financial Showplace, Novi, Michigan.

I throughly enjoyed myself. I forgot to count the people in the class, but I'm gonna guess 18. All skill levels were represented, with some people finishing quickly and others having trouble getting each task done in the allotted time. There was one person younger than me and the rest older, not suprising, I think there are a lot more people my age sewing, but life keeps them away from the classes. All women, also expected.

I got a lot more than I expected out of the class, and probally different things than I would had I taken the class as a beginner.

Most of the class was about Industrial Sewing Techniques from Islander Sewing Systems. We watched a bit of the Margaret Islander videos. I met Margaret once, too. I doubt she would remember, but I found her very likable. Her videos showcase her excellent sewing skills as well as her cheery nature and sense of humor.

The instructor, Rosebud, is a skilled sewing machine operator and a patient and pleasant instructor. Rosebud and Janet Pray have created a "Easy Zippers" video, I didn't ask if there is a book to go along with it. We also watched part of this video during the class, I really needed the multiple showcasing of the techniques. I always say that I need to be told twice. The video has Janet introducing each technique with useful information and Rosebud operating the sewing machine. I did find some of the banter between them to be scripted and humorous (though not meant to be), but the sewing is flawless and worth the watch.

I was definately on the right track with the zipper insertion. That whole part of the class was new to me. I'm looking forward to incorporating the new techniques in my sewing. I had no idea that an invisible was soooo easy!!I've never taken any classes besides a quilting class 10 years ago at a Hancocks Fabric Store. Most of my instruction has come from books and there is no substitute for *seeing* something done!

Like I said I enjoyed the class very much. It was all day, 9 to 5, with a 1 hour lunch. I knew I would have some waiting, so I set myself up to be patient. When we were cleaning up Rosebud asked me what I do, I told her that I work for people who sell at art fairs, she said "I thought you caught on fast". That made me feel great! I can't wait to take another one next year. I already have my sights on the Patternmaking Class by Connie Amaden-Crawford.

I plan to take another ride to the Expo Center today, Sunday, to take a look at the vendors and the results of the Baby Lock Passion for Fashion Sewing Challenge. I'll let you know what I think of the show!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Zipper Tutorial

Zipper Tutorial

Originally uploaded by Diane Slade Inc

I mentioned earlier that I put in a zipper without basting or pinning. I decided to give it another try and post it here before my class tomorrow. I'm still very interested in what they will suggest.

First picture shows the unsewn seam and zipper.

I line it up and sew the first side.

Take a look at the first side.

Flip it over and measure for the other side.

Now the two sides are sewn.

I make sure the sides meet up and I sew along the seam line to just past the botton of the zipper.

I flip it over and start to do some pressing.

The outside of the skirt is ready to sew, in the picture it isn't perfect. I do my *best* work *at* the sewing machine.

I switch the zipper foot for the topstitching. Right to left. Ahhh! the joys of industrial machines!

I'm pleased with the result and the finished product!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I'm Taking a Class

At the American Sewing Expo, at Rock Financial Showplace, Novi, Michigan. Its called "Industrial Shortcuts and Easy Zippers Combined!".

Though I am mostly taking it for the zippers I'm sure I will learn something that I forgot or haven't done correctly in the Industrial Shortcuts segment.

I've actually done sewing for Janet Pray and her clothing company Jan`et. I usually got a 15 or 20 minute lesson on the techniques and did it as well as I remembered. It was most important that I made the garments successfully. I'm sure its been moved around in my head since several years have passed, so I'm interested to see how it really SHOULD be done.

I'm mostly interested in the zipper portion, I haven't done much in the way of zippers in my Contract Production Sewing, and I've never had a lesson. I like zippers better than elastic waistband on skirts and I'd like a few pointers even though I've done quite a few zippers successfully over the years.

Basting and pressing open and pinning just isn't for me. I recently put a zipper in with the side seams unsewn and then did the seams around it. I was quite proud. I should have documented it here, but it is difficult to stop and take pictures when I'm on a roll!

The teacher, Rosebud, who I only remember as the woman who hand wound her bobbin so she could do a double needle on one of Christine Jonson's Patterns, was a zipper setter, so it should be a good class.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Skirt has been blogged!

My recycled denim skirt that I'm so proud of was featured in a couple of blog posts by Crafter by Night. I can't tell you how exciting it is for me to have this recognition. Even though there WERE only 7 skirts on Mindt at the time. ;D

I found the Posts when I googled myself "Diane Slade Inc".

Here are the posts here and here. Miriam found it when she created an entirely indie outfit from finds on Mintd.

I have taken the skirt off of Mintd and sent it to NY with a bunch of other things. A friend of a friend is planning to take them to shops in NY and sell them. I'm anxiously awaiting the results of this new endeavor. Wish me luck!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Update NYC

I have just learned that my clothing will not be at the Market this weekend, but they have arrived safely in New York. We may go to the Market in the near future.
I'll keep everyone posted!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Nolita Market NYC

I have a bunch of things that I have made going to Nolita Market in NYC this weekend (Sept. 15th or 16th, 2007). I'm very excited to see how things turn out.

I am definately having trouble figuring out this whole Flickr thing! So you can see the things at or click on the links below!



I am reminded, as I work on a project, that it is oh so important to have the right kind of interfacing in a project. The interfacing I chose is much to heavy for the fabric I'm using and I fear that I have ruined the jacket. This was an experiment, hence the grabbing and using of the nearest interfacing, but it is a pain to have to analyze an element that i wan't looking into!

The purpose of interfacing is to give a design element more body. The purpose is not to change the fabric into something else. A lightweight fabric calls for a lightweight interfacing. Adding an interfacing that is too heavy will only compromise the quality of the fabric that you enjoyed before you began.

So now I'm back to the drawing board!!