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.


Wonderful Women Sharing their Talents!

Our small guild is growing and many members are brushing up on their sewing skills while working on the Wee Care gowns.  The results speak for themselves.

The guild has had a couple mini-workshops on the Wee Care gowns.  These have been to teach/improve sewing skills as well as learn new ones.  Most recently participants were able to learn and practice pintucks - some for the first time.  After a bit of practice (and maybe some frustrations as machine settings were figured out), many were able to put pintucks on their gowns and now we are getting the gowns in with the results.  The special touches on these gowns are wonderful to see.

So many new gowns have been turned in the last couple months that it seemed appropriate to share the talent of our wonderful and giving ladies!

Chris is one of our new members turned in her first gown and it is so sweet.

charlotte smocking guild

Renee was excited about learning the pintucks and tried them out on one of her gowns as well.  She used corded pintucks at the hemline of this dress.

charlotte smocking guild

charlotte smocking guild

Sandra rejoined this week and turned in 3 gowns the same week!!!  Impressive.  :)  She's been attending the workshops and has had fun sewing with us at the workshops.  We've enjoyed having her back!  The embroidery details that she added to her gowns are so sweet!  She also practiced her pintucks and by the end of the dress, she really got good at it!
charlotte smocking guild

charlotte smocking guild

The embroidered roses on the sleeve tucks was such a clever idea and co-ordinated with the pretty roses and pintucks at the hemline so nicely!

charlotte smocking guild

charlotte smocking guild

We can always count on Beth to smock a sweet gown as well.

charlotte smocking guild

Brenda also turned a pretty gown.

charlotte smocking guild

Kathy finished up a gown with pintucks as well.

charlotte smocking guild

A couple gowns that were turned in went immediately to the library display, so pictures of them will come later.  Heartfelt thanks to each of these women for sharing time and talents to produce such lovely gowns!  Other members are hard at work on theirs and they will be showcased later.  

Special Meeting - Welcoming New Guests

Plan to come to our monthly meeting and welcome our guests that are planning to attend.

February 5, 2015  -  Thursday Evening
Meeting at 7:00 p.m
Keller Williams Realty Office - Ballantyne Area
3430 Toringdon Way, Suite 101
Charlotte, NC  28277  

"Smocking Stitches Sampler"  

Members be sure and bring your floss, darner needles, light, magnification, scissors and, of course, your pleated fabric.  

Kits will be available to those members that don't already have one for a fee of $10 and will include everything needed except the floss colors of your choice.  Choose 4 or 5 colors that will work for the color scheme you'd like.

Main Building Door is a Security Door  - Text to have someone Open Main Door
Sharon - 704-400-5290
Renee - 704-609-4241
Kathy - 704-650-1835

GAIL DOANE WORKSHOP - IN JUNE 2015-So excited about our meeting to announce the dates for our Gail Doane Workshop, on June 25, 26, 27.
Presentation of ideas to have Gail Doane teach at our workshop in June.  Members will have the privilege of registering for the workshop first.  We hope to have a 2-day Project Class and 1 Notebook Class (teaching skills and techniques).  

What is a Notebook Class?   Remember a day when you said to yourself, "Just how did I do that?"  Well it's not just taking notes, it should be called a SAMPLE NOTEBOOK CLASS - and yes, you will learn skills and techniques you will use in your everyday sewing and have a reference guide in your book with a sample.  Gail Doane teaches notebook classes on collars, etc. and techniques.  

Special Gift for each visitor on Thursday night to help you start stitching again or for beginners to get started. Come be a part of an exciting planned year of new ideas, creative thoughts and learn and grow with us.  Bring a friend too, even if they have never smocked or stitched.  

Table Display of Ideas - For our members and guests, a table will be provided to display what you have started, finished or what you may be working on that relates to sewing, smocking, embroidery or a tool you found that you love to use in your sewing.

We plan to make beautiful things this year for ourselves, our families and others & our Wee Care gown program is off and jumping to a great start.  Don't have a small child to sew for - don't worry, we have babies that need your gift.   We will be presenting another Saturday Morning Skills Workshop  for those that haven't been able to attend and it's free for members and a small fee for guests, so get your machines cleaned and ready to sew.  

It is our goal to encourage, help you and hug you all the way as we use our hands to become better at all of our skills. And on top of that we have a great group of people who love to share.

If you need further information, call Sharon Finch, 704-400-5290 or e-mail her at:  sharonfinch1234@gmail.com

Our meetings adjourn about 8:30 p.m.   If you need to ride with another person, send me your name and address and we'll connect you with someone close by that might be able to share driving together.  

We look forward to seeing you at our First Thursday Of The Month Meeting - February 5, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.

The New Year - off to a Great Start!!!

The Dogwood Chapter of SAGA met on Thursday night and had a great crowd - big enough that we had to move to a larger meeting room!!!  New members joined and were welcomed.  The program was a continuation of the smocked sampler that was pleated at the November meeting.

Phyllis Brown showed the group how to tie off a sampler - the correct way!  She was so exact in her technique and explanations.  As always, it's such a delight to learn from one of our seasoned and professional teachers!

Saturday the learning continued with a workshop on the Wee Care gowns.  Participants came with their gowns ready to attach the bias bands.  Kathy Dykstra shared her method for easy bias bands and Phyllis Brown shared her tips as well which resulted in a wealth of valuable information for everyone.  

After getting bias bands attached, the group moved on to pintucks.  Machines were tweaked, tucks practiced and eventually corded pintucks and scalloped pintucks were shown and practiced.  It was a great morning of fun and fellowship while continuing to learn and perfect new techniques!

As happens with all our workshops, we have curious people in the building stopping by to check out what we're up to.  Sharon never misses an opportunity to find out if they so and to invite them to our meetings.  LOL.  Overall, it was a great success and we are looking forward to more gatherings and workshops over the course of 2015!!!  This has been a great start to this new year.  

If you're interested in finding out more about our guild and visiting, please don't hesitate to contact us through this blog and join us at the next meeting!  We will meet again on the second Thursday evening in February - Feb. 5th at 7pm at the Keller Williams Ballentyne office building.  Hope to see you there!

Until then, keep on stitching......

Merry Christmas!!!

The Dogwood chapter of SAGA enjoyed a fun evening of fellowship and delicious food at the home of one of our members.  Sharon welcomed members to her home with typical southern hospitality.  Appetizers were enjoyed and everyone got a chance to catch up with others before sitting down to a nice dinner.  After dinner, gifts were exchanged.  What a fun evening with fellow sewing/smocking enthusiasts!!!

After a Merry Christmas and New Year celebration with family/friends, the Dogwood chapter will meet once again on 1/8/2015 at the Keller Williams office at 7pm.  Phyllis Brown will be doing the program and helping everyone get started on the stitch sampler that will be worked on during 2015.

Members and guests should bring their pleated (24 rows) piece of fabric, a padded board for tying off (June Taylor Lace Shaping Board works well), a 12" ruler, straight pins, flosses in the colors that have been chosen for your project, smocking needle, small scissors and the smocking graph that was given out at the Nov. meeting.

Visitors and new members are always welcome.  If you'd like to visit and participate in the stitch sampler, please notify us so that a sampler kit can be ready for you.  Contact:


Enjoy the holidays and may the new year be one of blessings for you and your loved ones!