The Sew South Retreat was held in Charlotte, NC March 21 – 24, 2013. I was lucky enough to be one of the 50 attendees.
There is so much I would like to write about this retreat, but today I’m going to concentrate on the workshops. The retreat included 4 sewing workshops. We had to do some prep work beforehand for some of them, which made it feasible to leave the retreat with 4 FINISHED projects.
Workshop #1 was paper piecing. We were given the pattern for this star and for a bunny in a basket. This workshop was taught by Jennifer Mathis of Ellison Lane Quilts.
Jennifer was the organizer of Sew South and did an AMAZING job!
Workshop #2 was the Travel Duffle Bag by StudioCherie. The pattern is available here for $7 on Craftsy. Or sold here in the StudioCherie etsy shop for $189. This is the mother of all duffle bags!
We came to the retreat with the fabric for the bag all put together with batting and backing and quilted. Lindsey Rhodes of LRStitched instructed us on making the handles and putting the bag together. We did not use jute for the handles which the pattern directions do use. There is a zippered pocket on one end, an open pocket between the handles on one side as you can see above (looks like the perfect size for a boarding pass to me!), and I put a pocket on one end of the inside as well (for charging cords!).
I finished my duffel just after midnight on the first sewing day. We had a lot of free sewing time in the schedule which allowed us to finish up things (or work on something else of our own choosing). It was just FUN to be in a room with 50 other sewers. This bag is so large and so thick, that there were MANY sewing machine needles broken during the sewing. As each person finished theirs and held it up, a roar of cheers and clapping would go up in the room. Whew! We really felt that we accomplished something big, when this duffel was done.
Workshop #3 – Framed Clutch. I’ve seen these frames a lot but had never bought one and tried to make it up. I was so glad this project was included in the retreat.
Diane Stanley of Random Thoughts Do or “Di” was the instructor. She came all the way from California to teach and attend Sew South. The frames were provided by While Baby Naps which is an etsy shop. The exterior and lining fabrics are sewn together and turned to create a finished edge and then glued into the frame. The success of this project seems to be all about the glue. We used Gutermann Creativ Glue and since my first attempt of using it was so successful, I don’t think I’d try anything else. The glue is clear, not very runny (which means it stays in place) and takes long enough to set that you have time to fool with getting the fabric inserted without panicking.
I lucked out in the framed purse category. I was Diane’s secret sister and she surprised me with this:
As if the coin purse wasn’t cute enough, she filled it with Clover binder clips. I have sewn some projects lately that included vinyl or laminated fabrics or had a lot of thick layers that a pin won’t go through and wished I had some of these. Now I do!
I also, just by random chance, was in a swap group with Diane and swapped the chicken pincushion that I made for this pretty clutch:
I can’t wait to buy more frames and make some of these up for gifts. The possibilities are endless! They are pretty quick and simple. The sewer behind me at the retreat had some embroidered fabric that her (now deceased) mother-in-law had sewn and she made this:
Diane showed us this pretty clutch she has made as a wedding purse for a friend’s daughter:
The inside of it is gold fabric. So beautiful!
Workshop #4 was garment sewing and we made pajama pants.
We used Kwik Sew K3602 as a pattern. Our instructor was Jennifer Roycroft from the Concord, NC store We’re Sew Creative. Jennifer and her shop hosted a field trip to the store before the retreat began for those who could get there early and a cocktail reception to kick off our time at the venue which was the Renaissance Charlotte SouthPark Hotel. She showed us how to make these pajamas with a cute coordinated cuff (which I did not do but wish I had) and overcast and flat felled seams.
Karen Linton who currently lives in Arkansas was sewing in front of me, and after much sewing, ripping and resewing (because she sewed one of her cuffs onto the pant’s waistband instead of the bottom) ended up with these adorable pajama bottoms with contrasting cuffs:
She probably won’t be wearing them with that exact shirt but you get the idea. This picture was taken just as she finished and was trying them on.
The retreat was a blast and I can’t wait to share some more on another day!