It’s an understatement to say the spring of 2020 has been like no other before it. What we members of the American Sewing Guild count on is coming together with others who share a passion for sewing to hone our skills, share our triumphs, get guidance on the things that aren’t going as planned, encourage and inspire one another. With the increasing vibrancy of the online sewing community, ASG is one of the few organizations that stand apart with its opportunities to meet in person (IRL for those of you who aren’t of a Certain Age) and know the joy of being in a room filled with others who are eager to “speak sew”. Those opportunities evaporated along with so much else that was lost or put on indefinite hold in response to the pandemic.
At Sew Chicago, we did a quick pivot to convert our March meeting from in-person to virtual on the day of the meeting and then put our minds to finding ways to give our members a quarantine treat that was not fattening and didn’t leave our kitchens with piles of dirty dishes. The idea was simple: if we are all logging in from remote locations, why not invite a celebrity teacher to give our programs from yet another remote location? That’s exactly what we did.
In April, Sarah Veblen gave us endless inspiration for combining different fabrics in a single garment. Each sample she presented has a story that tells what she was trying to accomplish, what her starting point was, what discoveries she made along the way and why she chose to go in one direction rather than another.
Our guest speaker in May was Jennifer Stern Hasemann of J.Stern Designs and in June we heard from Gail Yellen of Gail Patrice Design. These two fantastic teachers just happen to be the two halves of Stitching Zen with Gail and Jen.
Both Jen and Gail generously donated their time to present to us and other members of the ASG Chicago Chapter. Jen gave in-depth advice about how to work with different types of knits, starting with how to hold the fabric to test it for stretch. It’s always fun to gain new insights into things you thought you knew already, as well as things you’ve been meaning to explore but haven’t gotten to yet.
Gail’s topic was decorative hems, but she took us way beyond that. She covered her great technique for getting a cover hem to stay straight, even when it crosses seams in the garment, and gave us some great troubleshooting tips.
We had every intention of sharing some video clips of these programs with you, but video editing turns out to be something that has to go on the To Learn list. Trust us when we say you should jump at any opportunity you have to take classes from these three teachers. We are so grateful to them for providing us with time immersed in the pastime we love just when we needed it most.