Tuesday, September 30, 2014

SAGA visits Paris

Well, actually, it was a SAGA member who visited Paris and took her SAGA tote bag with her.

Dian shared the photo with me while she was attending the SAGA Sewcation in Florida.

So, where will you be taking your smocking and maybe teaching? Take a photo and email it to saganews@smocking.org and let's see how many places we can cover as SAGA Smock's Across America  (and the world)!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Hidden Treasures

Have you ever visited your local historical society? Maybe you have been on a school trip or been to a reenactment of a local civil war battle, but have you ever wondered what they might have hidden away in their collections?

I recently visited an historical society in a nearby town because they held an exhibition entitled ’White Linen and Lace: Baby Clothing from 1800-1950’, selections from the permanent collection.  The items, ranging from christening gowns to under shirts; bibs and bonnets to knitted socks and were beautifully arranged in a small room used for temporary exhibits.
Pintucked and feather stitched bonnet

Usually the items are hidden away in a storage room, along with many other pieces of local history. So where did the ‘collection’ come from? Well, the usual story as pieces came from local families who when a family member died, found grannies christening gown wrapped up in a trunk in the attic and no one in the family had use for it, so –oh yes, let’s give it to the historical society! The historical society then catalogued the items and noted the name of the donor, any known history and off into storage it goes with the many other items no one knows what to do with. 

Sometimes, as in the case of the exhibit I visited, someone decides to use some of the items and showcase a piece of local history, but many times the pieces are just stored and often forgotten about.  Maybe you could visit your local historical society and make enquiries as to what they might have in storage? You might find some beautiful pieces and encourage them to hold a display.  They may not have as many christening gowns or heirloom pieces as the exhibit I visited, but I am sure that there are other textiles of interest, such as ladies gowns, quilts, bed linens etc. that would make an interesting display. You might find that they just need a little encouragement from a member of the public and the idea that others would like to see these pieces.

If the historical society holds an exhibition, you could offer to have a Smock in Public Day to coincide with the event and maybe even offer to hold a learn to smock class. Even if they do not want to set up an exhibit, maybe they would let your chapter visit and view their collections? A great chapter programme and field trip! It is a great chance to see some wonderful heirloom techniques up close and get some inspiration for your own projects. The exhibit I viewed even had a copy of a magazine with some of the embroidery designs that were used on one of the gowns on display.

The designs in these books were stitched on the gown in the previous closeup
So, ladies, don’t just walk or drive by the building that contains your town/local history items and dismiss it as dull and boring, pop in and make a few enquiries as you never know what hidden treasures they may have!

This gown was stitched by the baby's grandmother sometime between 1870 and 1900.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Where SAGA Members Actually Sew-Part 3

The last two posts showed some interesting sewing spaces. I am sure you can relate to them in some way? Whether you dream of a huge space with custom built cabinetry or just dream of having your sewing machine out  and accessible some where in your home. Today's sewing spaces show that some thought went into these rooms and the minute someone walks in they would know that this was the space of a serious stitcher.

Anonymous Stitcher #6

You will notice a theme with these rooms- they use sewing items, garments, storage as part of the decor.

Anonymous Stitcher #7

Anonymous Stitcher #8

Now how creative would these rooms make you? I would just want to sit there and look at everything so not much stitching would get done!

I hope you are enjoying seeing these sewing spaces and maybe you are planning changes to your own sewing space using some of the the ideas you have seen here?

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sewcation coming to and end...

Today will be the last day of the SAGA Sewcation.

Of course, last night being Saturday was banquet and the highlight of the event the raffle baskets!

The banquet meal was delicious and the dessert a picture-literally.

It has been a wonderful event and thank you to all who helped make it possible.

I hope that many of you are planning to attend one (or more) of the Sew Across America retreats planned for 2015- I might just see you at one (or more) of them!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

SAGA Market and Lectures

After a half day of classes, there was time to relax before the big shopping event-SAGA market!
                                            Waiting for 3PM and the doors to open

And off to shop!
Lots of great things to buy!
 Then this year there was a free lecture from Liesl Gibson. Everyone who wanted could attend and the lecture was repeated three times to fit in around shopping needs.

Today it's a full day of classes and banquet tonight.

Where SAGA Members Acually Sew Part 2

Okay, so the first blog on SAGA members sewing rooms showed examples that went from one end of the extreme to the other. Today I will share a couple of sewing rooms that are maybe a little more middle of the road....

Anonymous Stitcher #3


 I see a lot of interesting methods of storage from plastic boxes to wooden shelves.  Using sewing items and storage as part of the room d├ęcor is also a common theme.
Anonymous Stitcher #4

Anonymous Stitcher #5

Do any of these rooms look like yours? I am sure some of you are seeing similarities!

There will be more Where SAGA Members Actually Sew soon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Unsheduled Smocking Classes at Sewcation!

Wanda De Witt, Wee Care chair took time out of her day at SAGA Sewcation yesterday to teach smocking in Hospitality!

Her first pupil was Mel, from the Bernina Sewing Centre, Lake Mary, Florida (who was there as they are the business renting the machines for use this week). Mel did so well, that she completed a Wee Care gown and is now planning on starting a SAGA chapter at her store!

Wanda's second pupil was Liesl Gibson (Oliver & S Patterns) who is here to teach and lecture this weekend.

Both pupils did well and well done Wanda for teaching!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another sunny day in Florida

The weather is warm, sunny and very humid here in Orlando, but inside the SAGA Section hotel it is cool. Everyone is into day two of the classes and events. Today was the Annual Meeting followed by a wonderful talk and slide show on the history of smocking presented by Barbara Meger.

Great lunch with wonderful table favors and then there were door prizes too.
At luncheon, Wee Care chair, Wanda DeWitt presented token Wee Care gowns the representatives from the two local hospitals that will receive the gowns donated at convention.

                    Wanda's counter has risen today. The total can be seen in the photo below.

Tonight will be Show & Share and the Teacher Showcase.
The raffle basket count is over 60 -so many cute baskets!
More fun tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wish You Were Here!

SAGA Sewcation has officially begun!

Kenneth King taught a class yesterday and then was the guest speaker at the evening welcome reception.

Wee Care chair Wanda DeWitt is counting gowns donated and displaying them for all who visit Hospitality. The total before lunch today can be seen in the following photo.

The raffle baskets are taking over the tables and there are more to come!
Everyone is in classes and really working hard.
Certainly no time to lounge about at hotel pool, but certainly having lots of fun!

Places SAGA Members Actually Sew

Some of the photos shared by SAGA members of their sewing rooms have been used to make limited edition notecards, but what of the other photos we received? Well, in today’s blog I thought I would share a couple of sewing rooms with you.

The next few photos are where Anonymous Stitcher Number 1 creates her heirloom garments.  This set up is obviously handy if you have to wash your fabric before you use it or just have a lot of laundry to do as you can pass the time at the  sewing machine while the load washes and dries!

But it works, as Anonymous S titcher Number 1 makes beautiful items, as can been seen in the photo below.


Anonymous Stitcher Number 2 shows the complete opposite of the spectrum-an empty sewing room! But what a room! It is approximately 19' X 35". It has a half bath and washer/dryer in it also. Do I see a theme here with the washing machines? This newly completed sewing room seems to have some wonderful views and lots of natural light, as well as lots and lots of built in storage.  I am sure that the owner will soon fill it! Sorry no photos of her latest sewing project-I guess she has been too busy planning this room!

I will share some more sewing room photos soon!