Dear ASDP Board

Chapter Update

03/05/2015 12:37 PM | Anonymous

Despite the winter weather, our Chapters are managing to get together for some inspiring events, programs, and fun!

Seven members of the New England Chapter visited the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA in January. Here is what they said about their excursion:

Artist Textiles, Picasso to Warhol” The exhibit was in two spaces, the regular special exhibit gallery and the upstairs gallery. It consisted of fabrics designed by famous (Picasso! Calder! Warhol!) and not so famous (Steinberger and others) painters of the 20th century. Some pieces were actually headscarves, most were fabric: printed woven, or painted. Picasso famously stated that his fabrics were not to be used as upholstery. It was ok to lean on his work, but not sit on it. There was only one photo of the artist (in this case, Picasso) with the artwork that was made into fabric. It would have been interesting to see some other similar photos, to see the artist’s work and how it was translated into fabric design.

Most of the fabrics really related to the era in which they were made- the big bright 60’s prints and the earthy 70’s colors. There were quite a few dresses on dress forms showing the cut and style of the era. One dress bothered us couture seamstresses; it looked like there had been no effort at all to match the fish print at the front closure, which looked strange to us. We did not know if that was a sign of the 60’s, when the dress had been made, i.e., purposely unmatched, but we did not like it! Some of the prints were, ah, interesting, others we thought could be used today; everyone had a favorite. We were sorry that the fabrics (replicas) could not be purchased in the museum shop, although there was a nice catalog of the exhibit.

We wandered into some of the permanent space where the textile exhibits continued to be fascinating... Jen Stern got the blower to work on the “feel the wind resistance” hands-on piece. We were surprised at how much resistance the sheer cotton provided. We guessed that it was because of the tight weave of the fabric.

It was a lovely and not too cold day, so we all walked to the restaurant, Fuse, which was quite close by. The food was tasty and the conversation flowed- we have no trouble talking about fabrics, techniques, family (with grandbaby photos of course), etc., etc.

The Textile Museum is always worth a visit, and though their special exhibits are small, they are worth seeing, sparking conversation and thought and, of course, it is always great to get together with the NE ASDP members! (review written by Pat Kane)

Unfortunately, the Heartland Chapter had to cancel January’s meeting “due to the rampant illnesses that are currently sweeping the Midwest.” They did get to meet before Christmas, however, and had a cookie exchange and watched the documentary, “Advanced Style.” They all enjoyed the film and highly recommend it to anyone in the fashion industry. In 2015, they will be starting a color theory DVD series that they will complete throughout the year.

The Oregon Chapter’s theme for the year is ‘A Year of Sewing Dangerously’. They have all “sewn for quite a while and need to get out of our ruts and boost our creativity”. They kicked off their year of programs with a presentation on Entering Sewing Contests by Robin Bolton, a Chapter member and winner of many awards. She presented material from multiple aspects to encourage members to participate in the many available sewing contests.

Midnight Magic Design: Robin Bolton Photo: Ann Vidovic

Robin began the talk by looking at some of the reasons it benefits you and your business to take part in a contest. Challenging yourself to learn something new, whether working with a new fabric or product or incorporating a new technique was top of the list. Also noted were using the experience as a talking point with potential clients, adding to your marketing material, and PRIZES! Robin made a great point that you should not be entering the contest solely to win, although winning is a great accomplishment, you gain as much by participating. Robin provided a great amount of information about the “technical” aspects of entering. A cell phone snapshot will not do your sewing any favors. Tips to create good photographs of your work: choose colors that show well, use good lighting, eliminate busy backgrounds and show garments on a dress form or a model, as opposed to flat on a hanger. She made sure to emphasize the importance of quality sewing to demonstrate your best skills.

HalfScale Entry Design: Robin Bolton Photo: Chuck IslanderA subject that Robin discussed, that is often not addressed, is proper “etiquette.” Acting in a professional manner during and after a contest shows respect to the planners, judges and other entrants. Being appreciative to the vendors who supplied prizes makes it more likely they will continue to be generous with their donations.

To encourage the Chapter members, Robin brought a stack of entry forms for a few different upcoming contests.

Donut Challenge Design: Robin Bolton Photo: Chuck IslanderUpcoming programs for the Oregon Chapter will be a presentation “Inspired by Italian Fashion’, and a tour of the Italian Fashion Exhibit at the Portland Art Museum, and “Fitting Dangerous Curves” by Debbie Utberg and Elizabeth Miles with pattern fitting before and after the meeting. They will also be taking a field trip in July to the MaryHill Museum to visit the Theatre de la Mode exhibit. Tricia Crocket will be presenting ‘Looking Dangerously – Sewing with Leather’ in September and November’s meeting will be ‘Dangerously Feeling the power of Industrial Machines’. We all hope the Chapter survives this year of Living Dangerously! The Chapter will also get a chance to hobnob with the National Board when they host them for dinner during the Strategic Planning Meeting being held in Portland.

Other Chapters are also focusing some of their programs on this year’s Challenge. At their meeting in January, Chapter member Debby Spence demonstrated to the Baltimore Chapter how to do a full bust adjustment to a pattern for a darted bodice and a princess bodice. She suggested several ways to decide what size pattern to start with, as that is often the problem when trying to get a good fit. In preparation for this year’s Challenge, they will be fitting muslins for a sheath dress at February’s meeting. The great thing about having a well-fitted sheath is that it can essentially be a sloper to design other garments.

At January’s meeting of the Colorado Chapter, members practiced hand stitches from Claire Shaeffer’s Book, Couture Sewing Techniques. In February they are planning on showing the DVD Looking Good. It’s very comprehensive look at color analysis and garment selection will be useful education for members and a tool for applying the ideas to their clients’ projects. If you didn’t get a chance to catch the Downton Abbey exhibit at Winterthur, DE, perhaps you can go with the Appalachian Chapter on Mar.16 when they tour the exhibit at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC. The Biltmore in itself is a fabulous place to tour, so the Downton Abbey exhibit will be icing on the cake! If you’d like to attend, contact Judy Gross or another Chapter member about getting tickets and for all the details. Asheville is a lovely place to visit that time of year! (Or any time for that matter.)

New Jersey Chapter members began the New Year with an inspiring show and tell of special garments created during the past year. February brings a fullday moulage/sloper class taught by Sharon Zydiak. Upcoming meetings will provide opportunities for using their slopers to create different designs. They are also hoping this month to get into Brooklyn to see Amanda Madden’s recently completed studio expansion. In March, chapter members will have the opportunity to help area teens in need at the Cinderella’s Closet Boutique, where they will be fitting and altering gowns and tuxes to help make dreams come true!

The Wisconsin Chapter held their annual Winter Workshop in January in Rockford IL. They started this event 9 years ago with just members from their Chapter but now open it to other neighboring sewing friends. The commitment is to sew only for themselves. They do fittings on one another and share ideas and techniques. They also have a fabric swap that usually includes other items such as machine parts, accessories, notions, tools, books and a lot of inspiration! This year, those in attendance were Sue Tenney, Linda McCoy, Joan Kuhry, Katherine Merkel, Noreen Hoenig, Chris Kazmerzak (all from the Wisconsin Chapter) and Cisa Kubley, Denise Liss, Tina Colombo and (former member) Beki Biesterfelt.

Besides the knowledge and inspiration you can get at a chapter meeting, the socializing and networking is a huge benefit. If you don’t belong to a chapter, perhaps you might like to start one in your area. Also, if anyone is ever travelling in an area where there is a chapter, find out if they are having a meeting while you are there. I’m sure they would love to have you as a guest, and if they aren’t meeting, members may still enjoy getting together with you.

Noreen HoenigNoreen Hoenig

Chris Kazmerzak

Written by Debby Spence, VP of Chapter Relations

 Debby Spence VP Chapter Relations

2885 Sanford Ave SW #19588, Grandville, MI 49418 ~ Toll-Free (877) 755-0303 

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