Our Classes at Minnesota Pinners

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The Minnesota Pinners Conference is coming to the Minneapolis Convention Center next week, Friday June 22 and Saturday June 23, and we've been invited to participate. I've never been to a Pinners Expo, so I'm not quite sure what to expect, but the idea is to see and try some of the kinds of projects/ideas you might have seen on the Pinterest platform. There are lots of classes in a broad spectrum of categories such as Home, Decor, Lifestyle, Crafts, DIY, Entertaining, Food, etc. There is also a huge long list of vendors who will be represented. We'd love to have you join us for any (or all) of our 4 classes! Feel free to use (and share) our code LAKE when you register to get a 10% discount of admission/class fees. To learn more about the Minnesota Pinners Conference, click here.

We have been busy pulling fabrics and prepping kits so that our projects can be completed (or at least well underway) within the one hour (!) allotted for each class. The sewing classroom will accommodate 30 people and will be set up with Janome sewing machines, scissors and ironing stations. We understand (and fervently hope) that there we someone from Janome there to help with thread jams and other sewing machine issues...

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We start out Friday morning at 11 AM with our tried and true Kenwood Party Buntings. This is always a fun project and is super beginner friendly! Each bunting will have 5 flags in different fabrics and shapes on a long grosgrain ribbon. We'll have a big variety of lovely fabrics and different color schemes kitted up for you to choose from.

Boho cloth trivet

On Friday Evening we'll debut our Japanese Boho style trivet. Each kit contains a variety of vintage and new cotton, linen, flax and wool fabric pieces that you can arrange into your own design. There is a layer of heat reflective fleece for the lining. We've included a sashiko needle and two colors of sashiko thread and we'll review a variety of simple stitches that you choose from to complete the project on your own time. The design is completed with simple leather handle that you can also sew on by hand.

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Everyone can use a new oven mitten, can't they? On Saturday at 1:00 pm we'll make a lined, heat resistent hand or machine quilted oven mitten. We have these  kitted up in a wide variety of fabrics with contrasting linings and a handy leather hanging loop. We're going to have to move fast to get this one done in an hour, but I think we can do it!

Handmade zipper pouch

Last, but not least on Saturday at 2:30 pm we'll make a super simple, but oh-so-useful zipper pouch (the Kennilworth clutch) with the worlds easiest zipper application. Again we'll have a bunch of different styles and colors of fabrics in our kits, so everyone should be able to find one they love. We've included a Kraft-tex patch so you can personalize the outside with your own sewn on label.

If you're at the convention, stop by and say "Hi." we'd love to meet you.

Two Roscoe Dresses, a Tried and true Pattern from True Bias

Roscoe corduroy

My first version of the Roscoe, I made from a piece of baby wale corduroy that I bought when my daughter was a baby. I loved the way the bright cornflower,  plum and leaf green floral pattern contrasted with the black ground, almost like velvet, but not quite. It reminded me of a Liberty print (which it's not) and at the time seemed like the perfect fabric for a little girl's holiday dress up dress or jumper (like velvet, but not too "fancy"). Fast forward almost 17 years and I finally found the right pattern.

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This dress has a simple gathered "peasant" neckline with ties that can be worn open, and a bracelet-length raglan sleeves that gather gently into narrow band. It can be made up as a top, tunic, or even a maxi dress, with or without a gentle ruffle at the bottom. Soft but not to "frilly" or "fancy" (kind of like the corduroy). Perfect with tights and boots for my now- grown-up high school girl at holiday time this winter.

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Roscoe dress number 2 was a "selfish make" for me. I've taken to wearing flannel as often as possible during our Minnesota winters. My "uniform" has become 3 flannel Wiksten Tovas, and a Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt dress with tights/leggings/or long underwear , and boots or clogs (weather permitting).

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I had also fallen in love with the Jolie-laid ("pretty ugly") mustard and grey checked Mammoth flannel in the shop. It got to the point where I was jealous every time I sold a piece, so I knew I had to save some for myself. Enter Roscoe. I made mine longer, and perhaps a size too big (big enough to layer over a cozy turtleneck). Almost, but not quite as cozy as pajamas. Perfect with a cup of coffee by the fire on a chilly

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Now that the days are longer and the snow is almost melted (it is Spring after all), I'm waiting for the new lawns and double guazes to arrive. And I'm dreaming up my next round of Roscoes, after all the pattern is at traced, marked, ready and waiting. Another TNT* pattern...Don't you love it when that happens?

*Tried and True

Melange: Bridgetown Backless Dress + McCalls M0525

Several months have gone by, but I finally promised myself I would get this posted today. It's snowy outside, but not as cold as when we took these pictures. If you scroll down you'll see that is was leafy and green in early fall when this garment was actually finished. This was my daughter's choice for her high school homecoming dance. I thought is was a bold one...first of all long flowy pants in a sea of short dresses, and then the bright red, super-saturated color of the Rifle Paper Co Les Fleurs rayon for Cotton and Steel. The look was topped off with vintage Kork-Ease platforms (not the snow boots she's wearing in these pictures) which gave it a seventies, comme Halston vibe, without being costumey.

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We used a combination of patterns, starting with the Sew House Seven Bridgetown backless dress with its dramatic draped back (perfect for the substantial, yet drapey Cotton and Steel rayon that I love to sew with). We then looked to McCalls M0525 for the flowy pants part. We has this pattern in in the stash having sewn the short, off the shoulder romper variation earlier in the summer).

We choose a size 6 for the top and a size 8 for the bottom, figuring it would be an easy adjustment to fit them together, as both patterns have elasticated waists. Then miracle of miracles!....They fit together perfectly, so we skipped the muslin part and forged ahead. or course this was also necessary because the garment was completed the day before the dance. (In my defense Homecoming was the very first week of school this year.)

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The only adjustments we made for her petite 5'3" frame were 1) shortening the bodice and 2) shortening leg length for a 5'3" frame, though less than usual to account for 3" platforms. We added a drawstring to the elastic, softly tied to add a little detail to the front. Add big dangly earrings, a bracelet, and platform shoes and you can go straight from your volleyball match to the dance (which is why we didn't get any pictures taken last fall).

Would I sew this again? In a heart beat! The fit was so easy given the drawstring/elastic waist and lots of ease in the silhouette.  It was really easy to sew, and I think it looked quite elegant. (It would be beautiful in velvet)  I also think it would be flattering on lots of body types.

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What would I do differently? I stabilized the seams that wrap at the back with thin strips of very light weight interfacing. Because these were cut in the bias, I was afraid they might stretch and become distorted and "baggy". This turned out to be overkill with this fabric, which would have been stable enough to omit this step. In the end, I think the stabilizer inhibited the drape a little. Despite this unnecessary step, we were both happy with the way it turned out.

Do you have examples of melange or Franked-Pattern sewing from your experience