Monthly Archives: January 2016

A True Sewing Adventure – Sewing At The Beach

Last week was spent at Sewing At The Beach, in Myrtle Beach, SC.  What a wonderful sewing event that the Stranded Smockers put on!!!  I had a great, though exhausting, time!


The ocean front view (first night) from the room was a bonus!  It’s a good thing that this wasn’t the view from the classroom, or I don’t know how much would have gotten done!  LOL!  Then this was the morning view.


I taught 6 different classes and had some great students in each one of them.  Some were students that I’ve met before, but many were new faces to me.  In each class there were several first time attendees.  I’m pretty sure that most of them will be back!

The classrooms were really nice – spacious, and with all that was needed for the students to work on the projects.  Here’s some shots from a couple of the classes:

Students hard at work on their pinafores…



Different classroom with students working on linen bed pillows and learning heirloom sewing techniques….
thumb_IMG_1159_1024 thumb_IMG_1162_1024

These 2 ladies (Margaret and Gail) are from the Stranded Smockers guild and worked tirelessly (as did all their other members that put on this event!) throughout the week.  Many times they had to leave class early to help set up the break room or help with the lunches.  I’m so appreciative of this guild and all those that put on the event.


I wish I’d taken pictures of all the different ladies that work so hard on this event – but they were always “working” and hard to keep up with!

Each day at lunch there were donated items and/or baskets to be raffled off.  There were a couple of auctioneers during the course of the week, but the most memorable one was Connie Palmer with her special hair accessories!


Then last lunch of the week, all attendees were given a raffle ticket as a chance to win a top of the line Babylock Ovation serger – donated by Babylock, of course!  What a fabulous prize!  The winner was speechless, as you can imagine!  She was a student in my last class and I think she had a hard time concentrating the last half of the day after that win!  LOL!  It couldn’t have gone to a nicer lady and she was thrilled to be able to replace her serger with this fabulous machine.  Just look at that smile!


Our week ended with a banquet and fashion show.  As with the entire week, there were table favors for all the guests and even a centerpiece that a guest at each table won.  Aren’t these handmade dolls cute!


I had the pleasure of sitting at the table with Margo Dukes (you must check out her blog of beautiful creations!) and Jan Kerton – both extremely talented teachers.  I can’t resist showing some of the wool felting done by Margo and being modeled at the fashion show.thumb_IMG_1166_1024

Pictures really don’t do justice to her work.  It’s stunning!

When it was all over and I returned to my room, there was the most beautiful sunset!  What a wonderful way to close out a fabulous week!


You’ll have to pardon the cell phone pictures, but that’s all I’ve got.  This was my first time at SATB, and I look forward to returning in coming years – if not as a teacher, as a student.  If you haven’t attended a sewing event, this is definitely one that should be on your bucket list!!!

It has taken me a couple of days of being home before I could write the post. I’m unpacked and nearly everything has been tucked away where it belongs.  I’ve spent some time revising/improving some of my class notes, which happens each time I teach a class.  Now it’s time to clean house and move on to my next project.  I’m looking forward to some stitching time!


Pretty Pillow

This past week I’ve been busy getting ready for the Sewing At The Beach retreat.  I’m so thrilled to have been asked to teach at this event.  One of the classes I’ll be teaching is a North American smocking technique – otherwise known as fabric manipulation – on a sweet halter top.


I recognize that not everyone sews for little girls, so it had been my earnest desire to make another sample that was on a pillow.  I could see this on pillows made in a variety of fabrics.  Silk is one that comes to mind.  I have yet to try this on silk.

However, I did make the time to do the smocking on a piece for a pillow, using the same white sateen fabric as I used for the top.  I finished up the pillow and am quite pleased with the results.  Of course, the pillow was much more smocking than the halter top!


So now I have something to show with this interesting technique that anyone could make.  If I had more time, I’d be bringing samples of the technique on different fabrics.  But alas, I am making up some last-minute kits, so that’s not possible at this time.  Maybe next time.  🙂

I head to the beach tomorrow and will be there for a week.  I know this will be a fun event and I’ll be sharing it with many other women that love all types of sewing and needlework.  Hope to see some of you there!!!



Happy New Year!!!

Today is the start of the new year and I’ve been busy doing what I love to do the most – sewing!  It’s been a lovely day!  I’ve heard of a saying that what you do on the first day of the year is what you’ll be doing all year long.  I’d love that!

I have finished up a project that has been a long time plan – which is to redraft a pattern that I taught at the Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion in 2013.  I was seriously pressed for time when I designed the first dress and made the sample.  While I was satisfied with the dress, I knew that in time I would want to teach the class again and offer more sizes as well as tweak the pattern a bit.  I’m happy to say that I’m very pleased with the results.


The newer version has several minor changes from the first version of the dress, but I think that the subtle differences are more pleasing to the eye.  I’ve also drafted the dress in several sizes as opposed to the one size that was offered at SOAF.

This was the first version of the dress, which was worn by our first granddaughter and the rest that followed.  It was an ensemble that included a bonnet as well as coat and looked adorable on all the little girls.

IMG_6867 IMG_6884

Ella-Easter_2  Ella-Easter_6

I knew that I wanted to change the collar to have a slight roll to it, even though a true Peter Pan collar is not supposed to have  roll.  I also softened the shape of the bodice curve and thought it is a slight change, I do prefer the new shape.  I also changed the shape of the sleeve somewhat.  These minor changes have made me much more happy with the overall appearance of the dress, though I doubt that many would even notice.

When I taught the class at SOAF, the bow on the dress was machine embroidered – with a sewing machine and not an embroidery machine.  I like the softness of the shadow work embroidery and have drawn out 3 different bows that students will be able to choose from – the 2 pictured on these dresses as well as one more that is a bit simper and will stitch up even quicker.

Needless to say, I’m very happy with the first day of the new year!  A sewing success is always great way to finish any day, but it’s a fabulous way to start the new year!


I hope each one of you has had a wonderful start to the new year as well and pray that the new year will bring many blessings to you and those that you love!

Keep on stitching…….