Friday, December 16, 2016

After hours of pressing the gowns, our kind-hearted, hard-working Wee Care chairladies have gently stuffed all the sleeves and bodices of these gowns with tissue paper in preparation to ship them to the hospitals.

The gowns are then inserted into individual plastic bags to protect them during the shipping process.

A tag is attached to each gown which shares information about our chapter.

Carefully packed and ready to be mailed...

Ann and Susanna would like to THANK all the members of Midnight Oil Smockers!

A total of 116 gowns, 17 bonnets and 2 blankets were sent at this time. Earlier in June, 64 gowns were mailed...bringing the year total to an incredible 180 gowns for the year.


Monday, December 5, 2016

the tables are set...

The guests are arriving...

The food is ready...

Leda and Karen are chatting...

Susanna, Susan and Ann share stories

Everyone is hanging around the kitchen...

someone please just start the line...

Mary checking out the 'sewing needs' gift exchange booty

and now for a little fun...
everyone is pleased with their gift!

A few of the new board members for 2017!

From top to bottom, left to right:
Debbie and Kathleen
Roberta, Karen and Brenda
Denise, Teresa, Susanna and Susan (just above Susanna)
 (bottom left) Joy   (bottom right) Leslye

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


American Doll Fundraiser:
And the Winner is…
Beth was the lucky winner of our chapter's fundraiser this year! 
A special 'THANKS' goes to all of the families, friends and other generous donors who supported our efforts. Our service project of Wee Care Gowns donated to local hospitals for the Bereavement Programs is well funded.

Trena, chairperson of this year's fundraiser and Brenda, incoming President watch over Roberta, outgoing President as she pulls the winning ticket from the purple treasure box.

2nd place: Teresa is beyond delighted...

3rd place:
winning ticket was sold by member Terry and she will hand deliver those items.

Program: Handkerchief Wee Care Gowns

Joy presented a workshop on her design of Wee Care Gowns made from men's handkerchief. This project can also be located in SAGANews vol 37 issue 2 pg. 12-14.

Joy begins her lecture of how these sweet gowns came to be created. They can be machine embroidered, hand embroidered or smocked. The front, back and sleeves are pre-hemmed by the manufacturer of the handkerchief and by simply following her directions for cutting out the pattern; the seamstress needs only to sew 2 side seams and a neckline casing. 

The members, anxious to get started, listen attentively to the instructions. 

Joy shares that the hand or machine embroidery can be accomplished prior to or after the construction is completed. Below you can see she has hand embroidered a feather stitch using the handkerchief's pre-marked lines.

The example below indicates how perfect placement of the pattern pieces along the pre-hemmed kerchief allows for the center back rolled hem to also be finished for the seamstress.

Throughout the workshop, members were sewing, ironing and asking specific questions to Joy.

Program: SAGA Trunk Show
The 2016 Trunk Show featured items from the national organization's membership which displays a variety of smocking and heirloom sewing as well as 18 smocking variations from the Lacis Museum 'Fabric Manipulation and Beyond' exhibit. Are you aware there are approximately 20 different types of smocking? Bargello (2 forms), Diagonal, Background, Continental (center sampler in below picture, created by our own member, Roberta for the Lacis Museum), Italian, Reverse, Crossover, English/Geometric, Bulgarian, Flower/Canadian, Picture, Lattice and Lozenge (also known as North American Smocking but separate in their own right as well) Lace, Clamshell, Counterchange, Vertical, Free Form, Jigsaw, Template, Direct/French Smocking. You can visit the Lacis Museum and view the samplers on the website. click on 'previous exhibits', scroll down to 'smocking', then find 'smocking techniques slide show' and click through pictures.

Show and Share:

Susan has sewn a coordinating Christmas quilt pillow. What a stash of fabric she must have in her closet, under the bed or perhaps in the extra bedroom now that the kiddos are out of the house.

This precious day gown was made from 'Baby's Smocked Layette' by Old Fashioned Baby using striped Swiss dimity. The pattern includes the smocking design. Roberta shares that she added about 1 and 1/4 inches to the front pattern piece which gave her a few extra pleats, but didn't add that much fullness to the front panel.

Is there anything sweeter for a little girl than a bishop? Chery Williams' 'Baby Bishops' is perfect for any sewist, whether a beginner or a seasoned seamstress. Roberta used a Liberty lawn fabric, Elizabeth and an AS&E smocking design 'Beginnings'. The lace at the bottom adds such a dainty feminine effect. 

Another Creations by Michie, #138, made by Nikki. For this outfit she used a pale blue pique with ivory trim. She created her own smocking design to add that special touch. 

Move over Prince George, Deacon is about to make his first appearance and he will be wearing smocking!

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Gail Doane Workshop
Gail's sample; our goal

The Midnight Oil Smockers hosted Gail Doane for a workshop featuring her fabulous ‘Jelly Roll Jacket’. The kit comes in multiple fabric choices and each member had a difficult time making up their minds.

First things first...all kits were handed out and each member began the process of cutting out the pattern pieces for their specific size.

Once that was completed, the batting needed to be cut into blocks to fit the front, back, sleeves, and yoke of the jacket. 

Now the ever daunting task of selecting the sequence of fabric strips to be sewn together for all of the various sections of the jacket. Gail discusses with Colleen some tips on the best method to begin the process.

As you can see, Leslye and Susan are pondering their selections, however Nikki appears to be quite delighted with hers.

After a quick break for lunch, the sewist set up their machines and get started...

Here is Ann sewing the selected strips to the blocks of batting which essentially 'quilts' the fabric in preparation for cutting out the front, back, sleeves and yoke pieces of the jacket.

Throughout the activity, Gail is called upon for her expertise. Here she helps Joanne decide strips for the jacket back while comparing what she has already placed on the front.

Above and below are some examples of how these strips of fabric come together to create a beautiful 'one of a kind' garment.

Gail frequently gathered the members together while she shared tips and techniques to get the best construction results for the jacket. She had several examples of each step of the process which she shared with us as we continue in our tasks.

As you can see from these pictures of the table tops, sewists are not necessarily tidy while sewing...

but there is always a method to our madness.

Look, there is still smiles on everyone's face even after 2 days of sewing. 

We are all on a different step in the process, but we all have the same goal; a completed jacket. Looking forward to seeing them!

As mentioned above, Gail always shares her tips and techniques with the class. Today's special 'favorite find' for a new sewing tool was the Fiskars folding ruler.

Here is a youtube that discusses this tool.