Here’s to Sewing Retreat Weekends!

I’m still basking in the glow of a sewing retreat I enjoyed this weekend, with the members of NJ ASDP culturedexpressions.com Vogue 1313 - Here's to Sewing Retreat Weekends!(Assn of Sewing & Design Professionals) in PA.  And as much as I love speaking, vending and teaching Cultured Expressions stuff, it’s always a luxury to be a “pay-my-way-and-just-show-up” kinda participant when I can! Three meals a day were prepared for us in between time in the big room, sewing and laughing, snacking, sipping, and ripping out in some cases… I got to work on this Vogue 1313, a DKNY dress.

(VENT: Why do they continue to photograph these designer styles in BLACK when you can’t see the details??  Dammit! Even with line drawings, you want to see the details in real life.  Can you at least show them in taupe or grey occasionally??)  Anyway, I cut mine about 7″ longer for the option of trimming the length later, and made a couple of standard pattern adjustments.

OK so I try it on – the hips were snugger than I wanted, but more importantly, the cotton blend rib knit I chose ended up much dressier than I need it to be, not as sporty/casual as the photo.  I was in NO MOOD for alterations, I just wanted to continue sewing and laughing and snacking and sipping.  Like stress-free! So…

culturedexpressions.com Vogue 1313 Here's to Sewing Retreat Weekends!I re-imagined the garment into a high-split tunic, to be worn with leggings or wide-leg pants with some drape.  I cut the side panels up the middle to the waist, turning the edges in as a self-facing.  I just need to finish the top of the split, then hem it. Not only was this “easier” than alterations, but realizing how much dressier my fabric looked, this gives me a more casual garment, that I could dress up OR down, and get much more use out of it than a regular dress. (OK, I realize the irony that my tunic is ALSO black and you STILL can’t see the damn details, but I’m not the one selling the pattern, LOL…) I was able to keep the pockets in place, which I love.  Add a Kuba handbag and I’m set to go!

So, here’s to sewing retreat weekends.  I highly recommend them.  Yeah, I’m a little sleep-deprived, but satisfied with my project — a fair enough trade off… I’m in a zone… maybe because I just sent Issue #6 of Fabrigasm magazine to the printer, and in  it, we take a look at “Sewcrastination” – what holds us back from indulging in a favorite pasttime, and how can we beat it?  The issue will be available in about 2 weeks!

CulturedExpressions.com Fabrigasm Magazine Issue 6 Spring 2017

6 comments on “Here’s to Sewing Retreat Weekends!
  1. Tanya M. says:

    Great Article. Tunic looks fab! Looking forward to next issue

  2. Mary D says:

    I am so looking forward to a sew retreat to experience it all. I have always considered clothing patterns a starting point and I would add my own design element from there.

    I made clothing for many years and I’m slowly feeling the pull to jump back in.I feel a retreat is near in my future.

  3. Celia Ambrose says:

    Lisa, I love what you did to the pattern! It looks great! I haven’t done garment sewing since taking up quilting, so I admire your courage to make it work for you. Very nice outfit.

    • Lisa Shepard Stewart says:

      Thanks, Celia – I encourage you to take the plunge!! Just start with simple garments, not too much fitting involved. ; )