Our Generous and Giving Members...

While it is common knowledge that women who sew are usually friendly and giving women, the Charlotte Dogwood chapter has been blessed by some of the most giving women.  The Wee Care gowns have been embraced by our newer members and we continue to get so many of the gowns turned in.  There is such talent in the group and we are seeing it displayed on the little gowns.

Kathy keeps a Pinterest page updated with the new gowns that are turned in and there's lots of inspiration and ideas for gowns on that page.  However, with so many new gowns being turned in, it seemed appropriate to showcase not only the gowns, but some of the clever ideas as well.

Janice has been busy and turned in this sweet mint green gown, smocked with pearl beads.  The beads add so much.

Janice also turned in this long sleeved version, with pretty Swiss lace insertion at the hem.

This was another gown that Janice completed.  So many pretty details on this gown - featherstitching on the bias, great use of tiny buttons in the smocking and the lace oval that was done at a recent workshop.  Beautiful!

Janice has raised the bar on this sweet gown - look at the pretty bullion flowers covering the few stitches on the back where the snaps are sewn!  So sweet!

Beth turned in a beautiful gown with beautiful details as well.  The perfectly spaced tucks have been embellished with a running stitch in the blue to compliment the smocking.

Beth always has her signature sleeve treatment (shown on a previously submitted gown), which is so pretty!

This is another pretty gown by Beth that includes a pretty hand stitched cross at the hem.

Kathy turned in 2 gowns that have the magic madeira hem treatment that Barbara O'Brien taught at the latest Saturday workshop.  The pin-stitching detail on the blue hem is so pretty!

Rebecca turned in a pretty gown that features beautiful featherstitching around the hem!

Kathy turned in 2 more gowns as well.

Kathy used the sleeve treatment shared by Sandra - bullion rose embroidered over tucked sleeve - for this gown.

We even had a guest at our meeting that had joined us several months ago for a workshop and she had 2 gowns to turn in - that's so special!  Thank you Diane!

I do hope that I haven't missed any of our recently turned in gowns.  There have been so many of them, which is wonderful!  We plan to get a number of them sent off to one of our military hospitals soon.   Hopefully this has inspired readers to try some new techniques and different ideas for their Wee Care gowns.  This is such a wonderful service project to participate in and we've had outstanding participation from our members!  

Thank you to all of our members that continue to produce the prettiest gowns for these families and babies! 

May Meeting - Pressure Feet

The Dogwood Chapter met in May and enjoyed a wonderful presentation by Barbara Kaylor of We're So Creative in Concord.  Barbara talked about all the different pressure feet and what they are used for.  She included many that are typically forgotten about and encouraged members to use their sewing feet to simplify sewing projects.  Many members brought in their boxes of "mystery" feet and Barbara helped identify the feet and their use.  It was a very informative meeting and everyone went away encouraged to break out their different sewing feet and use them!  Barbara also had stitch out samples of the various feet and what the end result is when using them.

Unfortunately, it was such an interesting program that nobody thought to take pictures of Barbara or of any of our members with their boxes of feet!  If there are any members that would like to be our "official" photographer, please let one of the board members know!

Before the meeting was over, there were pictures taken of some of the beautiful projects that our members brought for show and share.  The talent represented is always wonderful to see!

Gail brought in the beautiful smocked sheet and pillow that she had completed for her new granddaughter that will be arriving soon.  Pictures just don't do justice to how pretty this was!

Janice brought in some of the beautiful Christmon ornaments that she has been working on.  They were so pretty!  

Rebecca was working on this sweet boy outfit at the April meeting and was nearly finished with it.  She brought the completed outfit to share this time - it turned out just beautiful!  The shadow work and embroidery was exquisite!

Several more Wee Care gowns were turned in as well.  As soon as pictures are taken of these gowns, they will be shared.  We have such an incredible group of talented ladies in the guild.  It is always great to see what everyone is working on and even nicer when we get to see the finished products!

Looking forward to seeing everyone again at the June meeting!  Be sure and bring along the projects that you're working on as well as the projects that you've finished.

Saturday Workshops......

This past Saturday many guild members got together for a Working With Lace workshop. It was great to have our out of town members from Rock Hill & Boone be able to join us for the morning.

 It was a wonderful time of stitching with sewing sisters for a great cause.  A big thank you to Barbara O'Brien (finestitchery.com) who provided lace for the gowns.   Kathy Dykstra lead the workshop and guided members through the steps of attaching lace to the sleeves as well as  providing instructions on how to shape lace and pinstitch.  Though nobody got to that stage of the process, many were ready to practice the technique and try it out at home.

Everyone had such a great time that nobody even had a thought to take pictures.  Ack!  Maybe next time!

A big thank you to all of those that continue to learn new techniques and work on these sweet gowns.  We are seeing the results of all the learning and sewing/smocking efforts as several gowns were turned in at the workshop.

Sharon turned in 3 gowns.


Notice the pintucks on the hem of this gown - success from our recent pintuck workshop!

Chris turned in this sweet gown.

Sandra made another of her gowns with the embroidered sleeves.

Kathy brought along her example of the gown with lace sleeves and lace shaping  as well.

Many families will be blessed by these gowns.  Thank you to our giving members!!!

The next workshop is scheduled for May 16th and will be led by Barbara O'Brien from 9am-12pm, to learn the ‘Magic Madeira Hem’ technique using wash-away thread. This hem technique is really very simple and easy and gives absolutely stunning results! We’re going to make a simple tea towel so everyone can have a hands-on learning experience in a short amount of time.  Please email Barbara to make your reservation at  barbara_o@yahoo.com

Some examples of towels that Barbara has made:

Once you learn to do the Madeira Hem on a towel you’ll easily be able to apply the technique to the bottom of a little girl’s dress, a WeeCare gown, your own fancy linens or anything else you can imagine.  Here's an example of the technique on a gown that Kathy made:

Barbara will have a supply of colorful cotton towels which cost $1 each, they come in a selection of bright colors – yellow, pink, orange, blue, green or white. OR you are welcome to bring your own cotton (NO terry) towel(s). When you sign up for the workshop. Barbara will need to know if and what color towels you’d like.  You’ll also bring a quilting weight cotton fabric of your choice to use for the hem or you can choose one of mine. After you sign up you’ll be emailed a supply list – which is very minimal.  

Barbara will have YLI Wash-Away thread for everybody to use the day of the workshop but if you’d like your own spool you can order it from Farmhouse Fabrics  http://webstore.quiltropolis.net/stores_app/Show_Big_Cart.asp?Shopper_id=719842095147198&Store_id=198&page_id=15

Come on and join us Saturday May 16, 9am-12pm and learn a fun new sewing technique!

April Meeting Pictures

The April meeting of the Dogwood chapter proved to be a fun and informative meeting with everyone sharing some of their favorite tools.  Here's a sampling of the tools that were shared at the meeting.

Virginia shared her left handed rotary cutter.

Connie shared a vintage pinking tool that was found at an antique dealer.

Chris shared some of her grandmother's vintage tools.   The aqua tool in the center had 5 handy tools in one and the green sewing machine tool is a needle threader.  The instructions with the threader included 6 steps on how to use the needle threader.  A good laugh was had over the extensive instructions! 

Several members shared their awls, chop sticks, purple thangs.  Many other tools were shared and just about everyone learned about new tools or new ways to use non-sewing items for their sewing projects.  

The favorite tool of the evening was Darcy's magnification, which comes complete with a LED headlight!  She recently was able to purchase these magnification glasses with headlight from Amazon for under $10.  Great find!!!

Many beautiful garments were shared at the meeting.   Janice brought her award winning Christening gown and bonnet.  It was breathtaking!  Hopefully we will have pictures of it to share soon.  It was quite the labor of love and a real work of art.

Rebecca shared doll dresses that she had made years ago to match the dresses that she made for her girls. The shaped hems and necklines are stunning.  We hope to have a workshop later that will feature this technique.  Stay posted for that!

Two more Wee Care gowns made by Renee and Sandra were turned in as well.  Both gowns are so sweet and will be much appreciated by the families that receive them. 

The meeting for May will be another informative one.  We will have a guest speaker, Pam Carter, from Mary Jo's Cloth store that will be teaching/sharing about all the different "feet" for sewing machines and their different uses.  Pam has been involved with sewing machines training for years and is familiar with many different brands of machines and their particular features.  Plan to bring along your "feet" collection in order to label the mystery feet lurking in your sewing room.

The next Wee Care workshop will be on April 18th, from 9am - 12pm at the Keller Williams Ballentyne office.  The workshop will be Working With Lace.  Barbara O'Brien of Finestitchery.com has donated lace for this workshop.  Reservations are required for this workshop as kits will only be prepared for those that have made reservations.   Supply lists will be emailed to participants once the reservation has been made.  Non-members are welcome to attend.  The workshop fee for a non-member is $25.  Make your reservation with Kathy (kathy-dykstra@carolina.rr.com) no later than 4/10/15 so that a kit will be available for you.

What's in Your Tool Box???

The March meeting of the Dogwood Chapter was another great meeting with several guests joining us to learn and/or refresh smocking skills.  Thank you to the seasoned members that helped our newer members and visitors with learning their stitches!

The April meeting of the Dogwood Chapter will be a fun meeting where everyone will be able to participate and learn from each other.  We want to know what's in your sewing tool box!  Members are encouraged to bring along guests and everyone should bring along a couple tools from their sewing room and be prepared to share something about it.  It can be your favorite tool, your most used tool, your most unusual tool, your oldest tool, etc.  You get the idea!

We want to see what you've got and why you have it.  All your sewing friends are welcome to come and see our fabulous selections of sewing tools!

Another Wee Care workshop is tentatively being planned for April 18th, from 9am - 12pm.  You won't want to miss this one.  This workshop will focus on Working With Lace!  So, if you've been afraid of using heirloom laces, this is your chance to try it out.  Barbara O'Brien of Finestitchery.com has generously agreed to donate laces for the gowns.  Reservations are required for this workshop as kits will only be prepared for those that have made reservations.  Members can attend this workshop free of charge.  Non-members are welcome to attend, but they will have to pay a $25 fee.  Please let Kathy know if you're planning to come!

Until then, keep on stitching!!!

Wee Care Workshop Day

Saturday was another successful Wee Care workshop day for the Dogwood chapter.  We had a wonderful turnout for the event - 11 ladies in total.  Thank you to everyone that participated in the workshop.  Many gowns are well under way now!  We had 5 members and 6 guests in attendance, and by the end of the workshop, 4 of our guests had become new members!!!  How exciting!  Welcome to the Dogwood guild Liz, Joyce, Rebecca & Michelle!  Our membership continues to grow - we now have 19 members!!!

As you can see, everyone was busy at work!  One of our guests that joined came with a finished gown for us - that was really great!  Several new gowns have been turned in.

Kathy turned in a sweet pink gown.

Renee turned in a lovely boy gown with featherstitching at the hem.

New member, Liz, turned in a sweet boy gown as well.

Kathy has added a SAGA Wee Care gown showcase to her Pinterest board.  If you are a Pinterest fan, you'll want to check there often to see the pretty gowns that members continue to turn in.  Each gown is special and much appreciated by the recipients!  Many thanks to each of you that are faithfully making these gowns and turning them in.


I think it is safe to say that all the participants at the workshop had a great time of both sewing and getting to know one another.  We hope to have another workshop soon - be watching for the date and details!

This coming Thursday, March 5th, is our monthly meeting.  We will continue working on the sampler project and will learn some additional stitches.  Guests are always welcome and we have a gift bag for our guests with supplies that will allow them to practice stitches along with guild members.  

Members working on the sampler can bring along their sampler, floss & supplies to continue their stitching!  Needle threaders are highly recommended as many of our members discovered that "mature" eyes have made threading the needles a bit more challenging!  LOL!  Guests are encouraged to bring along some small scissors as well and needle threader if needed.

For those that are thinking about attending the Gail Doane workshop in June, bring in your deposit check to hold your spot.  We have had several more deposits for the workshop and expect it to be filled before long!

See everyone on Thursday!!!

Wee Care Gown Tucked Sleeve Instructions

A lot of interest has been shown after a Facebook post showing some of the gowns that have been turned in recently and particular interest in the tucked sleeve.  We are blessed to have not only members with a lot of talent, but also willing to share.

Several months ago, Beth Sartori turned in a super sweet boy gown with tucked sleeves.

As expected, many members were interested in the directions for these sleeves, so Beth shared with members at the next mini-workshop and many other members attempted to recreate her cute sleeves.  However, as is often the case when working on these gowns and trying something different, notes weren't taken and exact measurements weren't known.

Kathy recently made a gown with sleeve tucks as well and again, no notes and exact measurements unknown, though the end result was also pretty.

This week, Sandra Dreyer turned in 2 gowns with similar sleeve tucks.  While most members considered the tucks perfect for boy gowns, which they are, Sandra used them for a girl's gown and with her special embellishments they are perfect for girls as well.

Each of these gowns manage to tie in the sleeve treatment with the hem treatment and the results are so sweet.  The gowns represent the varied ideas of our members.

So much interest was expressed when these gowns were posted on Facebook, that it became clear that some specific instructions would be helpful.

The following instructions were tested on the SAGA Wee Care Gown sleeves in the 3-4 lb. size as well as the 5-6 lb. size with pleasing results.  Suggestions for the 1-2 lb. size will be given in parenthesis.  

1.  Measure 2" (1-1/2")  up from the bottom edge of the sleeve and draw a line parallel to the bottom of the  sleeve with a blue wash out marker - pictured at the top.  

2.  Find the center of the line by folding the sleeve in half and draw a vertical line at the sleeve center.  Draw vertical lines on each side of the center 1-1/4" away from the center.  Fold  sleeves, right sides together, on the vertical lines and stitch 3/8" (1/4") away from the fold, from the bottom of the sleeve to the 2" (1-1/2").  After the 3 tucks are stitched, press them with equal amounts of fabric on either side of the drawn line - 2nd sleeve pictured.

3.  Press unfinished bottom of sleeve up to the drawn blue line, wrong sides together - 3rd sleeve pictured.

4.  Turn raw edge inside the pressed hem and stitch to secure.

With the sleeve treatment  finished, complete the gown as instructed.  The sleeve can be embellished however desired.  Pictured below are the sleeve embellishments of the gowns pictured above.

Beth wove the perle cotton through the machine stitches to create a whipped stitch appearance.

Kathy did a chain stitch over the machine stitched hem.

Sandra embroidered flowers at the stitched hem of her tucks.

Hopefully this will provide the inspiration for others to create unique sleeve treatments on future gowns.  Thank you to Beth for our first inspiration and to Sandra and Kathy for their variations on the sleeve tucks.  We look forward to seeing what others will do next.