The American Sewing Guild Conference is an event that I really look forward to all year. If you’re not familiar with the American Sewing Guild, it’s a sewing membership organization with chapters all across the country. ASG welcomes sewing enthusiasts of all skill levels, and provides an opportunity to connect with other people who love to sew, participate in community sewing projects and learn new skills. Conference occurs once a year, always in a different location. ASG members converge and spend the week having fun, taking classes and sewing together. What’s not to love?
ASG invites excellent sewing educators (many of whom write for Sew News) to come and teach at Conference. It’s hard choosing which classes to take because they all sound fun and interesting. My first class was Jacque Goldsmith’s “Adapting Fashion at Any Age.” Jacque shared really fascinating information on the way new fashion ideas become trends, and gave us lots of inspiration for incorporating these ideas into our fall sewing plans in a way that feels right for our own personal style. One big trend this year is the bomber jacket. Here’s Jacque showing a very cute pink bomber jacket she made by refashioning a blazer:
Next up, I got to learn all about bound buttonholes with Daryl Lancaster. I’ve taken Daryl’s classes before, and she has lots of great methods and tips. First we made classic bound buttonholes. Daryl showed us how to sew all of the strips for each buttonhole at once so that they’re consistent. They take a little extra time, but are so worth it for the polished effect they give a garment. Here’s one of mine!
Next up, we learned how to do triangular bound buttonholes for a fun twist. Daryl actually originally found this technique in a very old issue of Sew News, so look for us to feature it again in an upcoming issue with her updated instructions:
I took several other excellent classes during the Conference. I learned how to make a super-cute wristlet with Cheryl Kuczek, how to embellish with different decorative threads from Linda McGehee, how to work with drapey fabrics with Rae Cumbie, and how to embroider on silk with Lisa Shaw. Here are just some of the photos I took throughout:
Another highlight of the Conference was getting to hear Nancy Zieman’s keynote speech. Nancy recently wrote her autobiography Seams Unlikely, so she shared what motivated her to write, as well as some very funny and moving stories from the book. Here she is showing a dress she found from her teenage wardrobe, which she’d hemmed a whopping 8″ to fit in with the mini-skirt craze of the era!
I also got to see the ASG member fashion show, which is always fun and inspiring. Here are some adorable little girls who are lucky enough to have an ASG member for a grandma! They’re modeling matching summer sundresses under the mini Arch the St. Louis ASG chapter very creatively used to dress up the runway:
I also loved that both of these ladies found that they’d purchased the same fabric during last year’s ASG Conference, so they decided to enter the garments they made into the fashion show (ASG Chairman of the Board Janelle Archer on the left). Both jackets turned out beautifully!
ASG Conference is always such a wonderful reminder of how fun and rewarding it is to share the love of sewing with others. Are you currently in a sewing group or guild? If not, consider joining ASG! You can find out more information and locate an ASG chapter near you on the ASG website, which also has lots of great resources about upcoming sewing events and community service projects. I hope you join, and I hope to see you at the 2015 ASG Conference in San Diego!