Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sue Johnson Estate Sale to be held July 31 @ 10 am – 261 Walnut Street, Ashland MS

From SB editor Kathy Barnard:
Many of you may remember the elaborate heirloom designs that Sue Johnson contributed to Sew Beautiful magazine. Her family is holding an auction of her estate including several of her dresses and heirloom designs, yards of amazing laces and fine fabrics, as well as a collection of Sew Beautiful magazines. Her home, furnishings, and fine collectibles are also for sale. I was a guest in Sue’s home many times and I can tell you she had some of the most beautiful dishes and collectibles and antique pieces I have seen, so the auction will be a grand one and well worth the trip. All of the proceeds go toward her granddaughter Christie’s medical school expenses. Christie grew up modeling on the pages of SB and I am sure Sue Sue would love to know that her Earthly possessions could send Christie to grad school.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Two Summer Projects from Shirley

Today we have 2 pieces to share with you from the same very talented reader, Shirley Clark of Logansport, LA! Above is her take on our Toddler Two-Piece bathing suit (a free pattern in issue #130). Shirley stitched her granddaughter Shelby a pink seersucker suit and trimmed it with green rickrack and a green monogram. Super sweet!

Shirley also made another free pattern project from a Sew Beautiful back issue, Erin's Sew Easy Sundress from #119. She made it her own in a chiffon-like fabric by leaving off the bottom ruffle and adding a sweet lace trim. The dress is lined and ties with satin ribbon at the shoulders.

Thanks for sharing your projects with us, Shirley!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Judy's Winter Christening Robe

We are in awe! Check out this gorgeous version of Kathy's Winter Christening Robe made and sent to us by reader Judy Italiano of Collie, Western Australia. Judy made this gown (pictured above) for her soon-to-arrive grandbaby, who is due in August of this year. Because it is rather hot in Australia, she used silk dupioni for the robe instead of Swiss flannel. She also chose to create a gathered ribbon trim instead of using ruched ribbon, which turned out beautifully. Judy says she is "so proud and pleased with the result," and she should be! The finished gown is a true masterpiece.

Sew Beautiful editor Kathy Barnard designed the original Winter Christening Robe, which was featured in issue #127 (November/December 2009). The gown pattern is offered free on the pullout centerfold of that issue. Back issues and all the supplies needed for this project are available from our webstore.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

School of Art Fashion Seminar: Publish Your Work

Are you attending our July School of Art Fashion in Huntsville, AL? Join Kathy and Amelia at our free SB seminar to learn about getting your work published in the magazine!

Have you ever considered submitting your work to Sew Beautiful magazine? Do you wonder how we find our wonderful designers? Much of what is featured on SB pages comes from readers themselves. So often, it’s just a matter of having confidence in your work and being able to put together a simple proposal.

Join Sew Beautiful editors Kathy Barnard and Amelia Johanson as they present “Publish Your Work,” at a FREE informational evening session from 6:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 21st and from 7:30-8:30 a.m on Friday, July 23rd in the South Hall Welcome Area.

Find out how they plan each issue, discover what makes an article or design appeal to the editorial staff, learn how to present your work in the best possible light, and receive a list of editorial guidelines, including a calendar, which reveals the best times to submit your projects. You could be our next Sew Beautiful designer!

To sign up for these FREE classes, call Sis or Kerry at 800-547-4176 ext. 4 today! Also, check our School of Art Fashion website for updates and Student Supply Lists, as well as schedules and other info. There is still time to register!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

From Our Readers: Sweet Summer Pieces for Girls

Today we have a showcase of work from our readers to share with you, all of which are great examples of summer sewing for your little girls. We hope they will give you some inspiration to beat the heat by staying inside with your sewing machine!

Our first submission above is from Kelly Stockstill, who made up our popular "Toddler Two-Piece" bathing suit for both of her girls in pink seersucker. Don't forget that this is a free pattern in sizes 6-month through 4T in our May/June issue of Sew Beautiful, #130!

The next piece is from Sonia Showalter, who made this cute dress for her granddaughter in "Flower Fairies" fabric from Michael Miller, which coordinates perfectly with the flower clusters on the bodice. Flower clusters were made using freestanding lace flowers from her "Violet Pin" and "Flower Bouquet" designs.

The precious pink bubble above was sent in by Pat Hutchison, who made it for her great-niece Anniston. Made in pink silk dupioni and trimmed with lace, Pat used Kari Mecca's machine embroidery designs from our new Fairytale Finery CD.

Jane De Bruin sent us the photo above, which was inspired by our "Dandelion Delight" free pattern dress from the Easter 1998 issue of SB While the original was published as a formal heirloom style, Jane adapted the pattern for more casual, sleeveless dress by modifying the armhole slightly at the upper edge, so that the yoke becomes the top of the armhole. Made with broadcloth and fully lined, the dress features piping into the yoke and armhole seams, and the bumble bee embroidery on the yoke was taken from the fabric design.

Last but not least, Amie Mleko sent in photos of her gorgeous daughter's 3rd birthday dress. Amie made the dress her own by adding her own touch to the pattern from Kari Mecca's Sewing with Whimsy book.

That's all for today, but we hope you enjoyed seeing these fun pieces made by our readers! Don't forget to send in submissions of your work to us at blog@sewbeautifulmag.com. We love to see and share what you are creating!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

June Designer of the Month: Karen Bosch

We are excited to introduce our featured designer of the month for June: Karen Bosch! Karen is a talented seamstress and embroiderer whose work has been featured in Sew Beautiful several times over the years. Most recently, her designs can be seen in our newest addition to the Sew Beautiful Collection, Karen Bosch's Summertime Baby (available at Martha Pullen Company). Additionally, Karen's handwork designs have been digitized into machine embroidery, such as the companion to Summertime Baby, My Lil' Friends, as well as the popular Blue Ribbon Baby disc. Karen shares more about herself and her sewing with us in today's interview. Enjoy!

SB: Karen, thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions that we can share with our readers! Let's start out with an introduction; tell us a little bit about yourself.
Karen: I am from Zimbabwe and had the most wonderful childhood growing up in wildlife parks where my father was a researcher. My lack of human playmates was more than made up with the various wild animals my Mother and Father took care of, my greatest friend being an orphaned baby elephant. After leaving school I went to secretarial college and then worked as a secretary in the Foreign Office. Later on in life I studied to become a Hospice Bereavement Caregiver. I now live in South Africa with my husband, we have two grown-up daughters (both Arts Graduates). Last year I became a grandmother!

SB: Many of us who sew also participate in other crafts and hobbies; do you?
Karen: I am interested in so many things! Apart from heirloom sewing, I enjoy general dressmaking, embroidery, bobbin lacemaking, smocking, knitting, crochet, gardening and baking. I also enjoy going to the occasional antique auction sale in the hopes of being able to buy antique textiles, sewing tools and old needlework books.

SB: How long have you been sewing, and how did you get started?
Karen: I have been sewing since my legs were long enough to reach the treadle on my Mother's Singer sewing machine - I was about 4 when that happened, what a memorable day it was and the beginning of my passion for all types of needlework. Now I am 50+ - that's quite a long time I have been sewing, but I never stop learning and being inspired

SB: What is/are your favorite kind(s) of sewing?
Karen: My favourite type of sewing is heirloom sewing by hand - I like the control that one has over each and every stitch. Yes, it takes time, but I always have a "special" feeling when I'm doing handwork. I now include my handmade bobbin lace in my handsewn articles, so it really is 100% handmade. My favourite type of embroidery is shadow-work, I love the simplicity and gentleness of this technique, it works so well with heirloom fabrics.

SB: From where would you say you get your inspiration for your sewing projects and designs?
Karen: I get a lot of inspiration from my collection of old textiles - my favourite gown I made was a copy of a dear little antique gown I found in tatters. It was featured in Sew Beautiful as "Sweet Serenity", Sew Beautiful issue #74, 2001 (pictured above). It's so satisfying to know the design lives on. My love for animals and flowers inspires a lot of my shadow-work designs.

SB: Hand-in-hand with inspiration goes motivation. As creative types, sometimes even though we have plenty of inspiration, we can't seem to motivate ourselves to actually keep creating! How do you combat this struggle?
Karen: Yes, I certainly know about that! Take a break and do something completely different.

SB: We at Martha Pullen Company are thrilled that our newest book featuring your designs, Summertime Baby, is now available. You worked on these designs with your daughter, Tamzin. Tell us a little bit about your collaboration with her on the Summertime Baby designs and how the book came to be!
Karen: Tamzin (Tammy) is an Honours Graduate in Fine Art. She loves to draw, and if there is a piece of paper available, Tammy will draw whimsical animals on it. She started drawing and painting her animals (the ones featured in Summertime Baby) onto cards and selling them for pocket money, they were so successful she couldn't keep up with orders; I then knew how much people enjoyed her happy little characters - they are especially popular with young people. She was happy for me to use some of her designs on baby linen I was making, and when I showed my sewing friends the designs, they just loved them. I then re-did the designs on wearable articles for Sew Beautiful and they have now turned it into a book! Tammy also does "serious" art, I am so proud of all of her work.

SB: What would your advice be for a true beginner of sewing and embroidery?

Karen: My advice would be try to be as orderly as possible - pre-sewing preparation is good - before you settle down to sew make sure you have all your fabrics prepared (rinsed, and if necessary, starched), threads pulled, pattern pieces traced, a selection of laces to choose from, needles, pins, sewing cottons, etc., readily available. Try and keep your workspace as neat as possible, it is so frustrating to continually look for little items that have a habit of disappearing whilst we sew! I always tidy my sewing room when I have finished for the day, it's helpful to find everything in order when I get back to my sewing. Also, the ultimate joy of sewing is the successful completion of a article, so try not to accumulate too many unfinished projects. Learning to sew and embroider is not difficult, but it takes time, just enjoy it and if possible go to classes - they are fun and inspirational.

SB: What are some of your favorite go-to sewing tools?
Karen: My favourite sewing tools are my little 4" embroidery hoop - wonderful for shadow embroidery - a tape measure which I always wear around my neck, my blue dressmaker's pen and an old silver thimble which belonged to a very special great aunt.

SB: What about some of your favorite sewing resources (publications, websites, individuals, etc.)?
Karen: My favourite sewing publications are Grandmother's Hope Chest, published by Martha Pullen, Sarah Howard Stone's Heirloom Sewing by Hand books - I refer to these books constantly. I don't have a favourite web-site yet, only having just been given my first computer, am still very much a novice and a little intimidated by the workings of my laptop! My favourite heirloom sewer is Margaret Boyles - I was so lucky to have attended her classes on both occasions I went to Martha's School of Art Fashion - her work is beautifully perfect. I am also a great admirer of the work of Jeannie Downs Baumeister, Wendy Schoen and Debbie Glenn - their designs are truly inspirational.

SB: Any last words of advice for our readers?
Karen: Enjoy your sewing, even if you are occasionally disappointed with a project, the next one will be better