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:

charlottesmocking@gmail.com

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


Wee Care Workshop/Skill Building Saturdays - Jan. 10, 2015

Chapter members and guest gathered on Dec. 6th to work on Wee Care gowns.  Everyone had a great time, learned and practiced new techniques and enjoyed a morning of fun and friendship while working on the gowns.  It was so much fun that nobody remembered to take pictures!!!


The next workshop is planned for Saturday, Jan. 10th.  The workshop will be held in the training classroom at the Keller Williams building (3430 Toringdon Way, Suite 101, Charlotte, NC) from 9am-12pm.  Plan to come and begin the new year with a fun learning/sewing time and fellowship with others while stitching on these precious gowns.  The workshop will be a continuation of working on the gowns and will begin with learning a simple technique to attach the bias bands to the neck.  Members can bring the gowns that they began at the first workshop.  New attendees can bring along a gown that has the sleeves set in and is pleated but not yet smocked.  There will be pre-constructed kits available to Dogwood members at no charge or available to non-members for a small fee to cover the cost of the supplies.
After bias bands are attached, the workshop will continue with instructions and demonstrations on how to make pintucks and corded pintucks, both straight as well as scalloped.  Smocking can be completed at your leisure after the gown has been finished.






These workshops are open to anyone in the community that wishes to learn and/or improve their heirloom sewing techniques (basic sewing knowledge required!).  All techniques learned can be used in other heirloom sewing. For SAGA Dogwood chapter members (must have paid local and national membership with current ID#) the workshop is offered at no cost.  For SAGA members (current SAGA ID#) that are not members of the Dogwood chapter, the workshop will cost $10.  For all other participants, the cost will be $20.  Reservations are REQUIRED for this workshop for planning purposes as well as to allow entrance into the (locked) building on Saturday morning.  Once you’ve made your reservation, you will receive an email with the list of supplies needed for the workshop.


This is an exciting opportunity for anyone desiring to improve their heirloom sewing skills from as well as learn new ones (from a seasoned teacher) while providing sweet gowns for the Wee Care project in our community. Non-SAGA members can choose to donate these gowns themselves, return them to the Dogwood chapter for donation, or keep them for future reference.

To make your reservation for the workshop, please email Kathy at kathy-dykstra@carolina.rr.com no later than Jan. 2, 2015.  

Hoping everyone enjoys a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Wee Care Workshop/Sewing Skill Building Saturdays

Kathy Dykstra, SAGA approved teacher, will be leading several skill building workshops over the next few months.  The focus will be on mastering heirloom sewing techniques while working on Wee Care *** gowns.  This is a unique opportunity that you won't want to miss.  Consider taking a couple hours away from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and enjoy a morning with other sewing enthusiasts.  The workshop location is convenient to shopping in the Charlotte area, so you can enjoy lunch at nearby restaurants and spend the afternoon doing a bit of seasonal shopping!   Call it a girls day out!

The first workshop will be held in the training classroom at the Keller Williams building (3430 Toringdon Way, Suite 101, Charlotte, NC) from 9am - 12pm on Saturday, Dec. 6th.   All participants will be working on a Wee Care gown.  This first workshop will cover cutting out, mastering tiny French seams, pleating and bias bands. Participants will complete as much of the gown sewing as time permits.  Gowns will then be finished and smocked at home.

These workshops are open to anyone in the community that wishes to learn and/or improve their heirloom sewing techniques (basic sewing knowledge required!).  All techniques learned can be used in other heirloom sewing. For SAGA Dogwood chapter members (must have paid local and national membership with current ID#) the workshop is offered at no cost.  For SAGA members (current SAGA ID#) that are not members of the Dogwood chapter, the workshop will cost $10.  For all other participants, the cost will be $20.  Reservations are REQUIRED for this workshop for planning purposes as well as to allow entrance into the (locked) building on Saturday morning.  Once you’ve made your reservation, you will receive an email with the list of supplies needed for the workshop.


***What is Wee Care???  Wee Care gowns are a project that the Smocking Arts Guild of America has adopted this as a service project many years ago.  All chapters participate in the making of these gowns.  Wee care gowns are tiny, smocked gowns that are donated to hospitals for families to use for the unexpected loss of their baby. The burial gowns are made in tiny sizes (1-2 lb., 3-4 lb. & 5-6 lb.) and are a special gown for these precious babies.  The guild has stitched and provided these gowns for many years – it is such a worthwhile cause.  Below is a beautiful example of one of the gowns.


Future workshops will include techniques such as lace shaping, pintucks, flat lace application, etc. – depending on the interest level.  These workshops will offer many options to embellish the gowns while learning/mastering techniques.  Having the gown put together, as will be done in the first workshop, will enable participants to further embellish the gowns at these future workshops.  This is an exciting opportunity for anyone desiring to improve their heirloom sewing skills from as well as learn new ones while providing sweet gowns for the Wee Care project in our community. Non-SAGA members can choose to donate these gowns themselves, return them to the Dogwood chapter for donation, or keep them for future reference.

Plan to invite your sewing friends or make new ones at this workshop!

To make your reservation for the workshop, please email Kathy at kathy-dykstra@carolina.rr.com no later than Nov. 30, 2014.  

More Wee Care Gowns

We are so thankful to have members committed to completing Wee Care gowns for grieving families.  Three more beautiful little gowns have been turned in.  These gowns are lovingly created and each member offers her own special touch to the gowns.


The creative use of tucks to the sleeve of the boy gown combined with the weaving of the thread through the stitching is not only functional in drawing in the fullness of the sleeves, but is a lovely designer touch to the gown.


Thank you for your efforts to continue this special ministry.  Families are blessed by your efforts as they walk through a most difficult time.  

There will be kits available at the December meeting for anyone that would like to participate in our Wee Care gown project.   Both kits with pre-pleated gowns as well as kits that just include supplies (these gowns will need to be cut, pleated, smocked, etc. from the beginning) will be available.  If you would like a kit prior to the December meeting, please contact Kathy at kathy-dykstra@carolina.rr.com.  Thank you everyone!

See you November 6

See you at our next meeting,  Nov 6, at 7pm at the Keller Williams office.  Program planned for November is smocked sampler pillow.

At each meeting, Wee Care gown kits (gowns already cut-out and pleated, ready to smock) are availalbe for members to stitch. Come be part of this special community service - these gowns meet a very special need for the parents faced with the loss of their babies.

November is our last meeting until after the New Year. Our December holiday social will be hosted by Sharon - details will be emailed to members.

Upcoming June meeting - Wee Care mini Workshop

The Dogwood chapter will be meeting again on June 5th at 7pm at the Keller Williams office.  We will be continuing our work on the Wee Care gowns in an effort to have some larger size gowns on hand.  Please plan to bring sewing machines and basic sewing supplies to the meeting.  The gowns are cut out and many are partially completed.  Hopefully we will get several of them finished up and ready to smock at the meeting.  These meet a very special need for the parents that are grieving the loss of their babies.


If you have any blue or pink Imperial batiste on hand that you'd like to donate for the Wee Care gowns, please bring them to the meeting where they will be put to good use.         

Happy Stitching!