Lorine Mason - Designer, Author, Innovator

Archive for American Sewing Guild

American Sewing Guild Challenge Project

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photoHere is a photo of my creation. If you remember I wrote a few weeks back about this challenging fabric and what I might possibly create with it and make use of in my lifetime. I really do not have time lately to sew something that is of no use to me and that I think was my biggest challenge. I would never wear this fabric, decorate my home with this fabric or give whatever I made to a friend or at least a good friend. Or that is what I originally thought anyway.

I created this fun bag using a pattern from Lisa Lam’s book entitled, The Bag Making Bible and although I tweaked it a bit here and there, it essentially came from her pattern. I added two additional fabrics to my creation and I honestly love it and will use it on my next trip. I talked about the bag being given to  my daughter and yes I am still tossing around that idea but for now I will just admire it and decide later.

This challenge was a blast and I want to Thank a couple of great gals and everyone else involved with the project from the bottom of my heart. I have not sewn anything for myself for ages. This is what the American Sewing Guild and it’s members is all about and I am so glad I joined in the fun!

The American Sewing Guild Challenge

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ASG Challenge Fabric The Official Challenge Fabric (as well as a fabric I chose to accompany it)


I belong to the American Sewing Guild and my local chapter came up with a challenge for it’s members. If you are not familiar with the American Sewing Guild, it’s members are fabric lovers of all ages, sexes and skill levels. We have garment sewers, quilters, home decorators and more. Basically it is about fabric and our unadulterated love for it. On to the actual challenge….


At our Spring Fling event we were given the opportunity to sign up for a Fabric Challenge. The only information we were given was that we would be shipped a piece of fabric and had to create something with that fabric. We did not know its fiber content, the amount we would receive, or whether it would be a print or a solid. The only rules were that we needed to sew something and bring it back to our Fall meeting in October. Let us fast forward to September 30th.  Yes, my fabric has managed to sit on a table for five months. Now I have to do something. What was the plan or did I even have one….


It took some thinking and I tossed around numerous ideas but still no action. Then my eldest daughter, Jocelyn came over to the house for a visit and I told her about the challenge and just how much I ‘did not love’ the fabric I was to create something with for the challenge. Her reaction, “Oh, I kind of like the fabric”. Finally, the sun shone brighter, it stopped raining and my eyes were opened to the possibilities. Almost instantly I spit out an idea for The Challenge Project. She loved it and asked if there was anyway she could have the finished project once I had it completed.  That was all I needed – a purpose and a chance to impress my daughter……


The hunting and gathering started almost immediately. Here is what I gathered together for my project: additional fabric ( that was the best part) , zippers, plastic tubing, fleece batting, interfacing, buttons, assorted jewelry like findings and thread. I decided that I would work with a basic pattern in one of the books I had on hand and then change it up to make it mine. The journey has begun and this is what I have learned thus far….

  • Although I write instructions for a living, apparently I do not always read or understand them very well. Numerous times I was left unsure as to what the designer of the pattern wanted me to do.
  • Adapt your mistakes and/or design around them as one can only tolerate removing stitches so many times.
  • When completely stumped ask a non-sewer or even a beginner sewer what they think the instructions mean because apparently you are over thinking it.
  • Run out of fabric…luckily we are creating this item in a time when adding yet another print to the project  is seen as trendy, or edgy if I might go so far.
  • Stay focused on the vision, ignoring all the looming deadlines around you as this project is actually coming to be before your eyes and yes you really do like it. You still have 28 days until that book is due.
  • Finally I learned that I need to tell my daughter that I like this project so much that I do not think she will be receiving it for awhile.

Are you intrigued by what my Challenge Project might look like? So sorry but I cannot share it as yet.  The big reveal will be at the October 26th meeting. Stay tuned.









Sew Much Comfort – Veteran’s Day Sewing Workshop

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It was sew simple to convince three members from my local American Sewing Guild to accompany me to a Veteran’s Day Sewing Workshop held in nearby Fairfax, Virginia. Seen here are Barb H., Ruth L., and Barbara D. That’s me wearing a yellow ribbon.

Our wonderful, Sew Much Comfort instructor and coordinator Lynne T. She was very patient with us as she explained in great detail every step of the process to adapt simple boxer shorts to fit over the bulky medical equipment necessary for the proper healing of broken or missing limbs.

We were all very intent in doing it right so concentration was a must. I think Lynne thought we were good students. Quality is a must and adhering to the proper way – The Sew Much Comfort Way – if you will, was very important.

Here is the entire group of ladies, with me in the middle once again. Oops not the entire group- we are missing one lady – she acted at our quality control person and took the photo. She inspected each pair before they received a label and were ready for delivery to Walter Reed Hospital.
Velcro was generous to donate three boxes of their wonderful product, which is used in each clothing item. As you can imagine we used a lot of Velcrothroughout the day. Thanks Velcro – it really made a difference.

We were also helped by Westcott, who donated three pairs of scissors for the event. Having a sharp pair of scissors handy is a must whenever you are sewing and Westcott makes great scissors. Thanks Westcott.

Urban Doodles on the Road

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Recently I was asked to teach a 1/2 hour class to the ladies at our Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild’s annual meeting. I decided my foray into doodling might make a good class and hopefully the ladies would enjoy something different although still sewing related yet very different from traditional sewing based classes. We had a total of 81 ladies sign up for the event. The photo above is the project.

Why you might ask did I call it Urban Doodles…well I probably should have called in Suburban Doodles but that just sounded a little strange at the time. My good friend, Cyndi Hansen designed the logo for me and I love it…. Here I am just getting started.
I showed the project photo and the ladies could be heard collectively saying, I can’t draw or doodle what am I supposed to do with this. I reassured them – and moved on with the basics. My wonderful helpers from my local Sew n’ Sews group handed out cardboard templates of sewing machines and dress forms and we got started. The ladies traced their choice of outlines and I showed them how to outline the image and then divide it into sections using a ribbon like line.
Here are a couple of examples of pattern fills that a couple of the ladies chose for their design. I started getting a little worried as the room was so darn quiet I thought I had bored them to death. No, I was okay they were all concentrating on their work. I was awed by what I saw. These ladies apparently can draw.
Now this one is fun. The fabric piece underneath the drawn design is an example of doodling with fabric. Whether hand stitched, sewn by machine or simply fused to a backing fabric this is real fun!

Urban Doodles class at Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild Annual Meeting

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Recently I taught a group of ladies at the Northern Virgina American Sewing Guild’s annual meeting in Springfield, Virigina an Urban Doodles class. I call my version of the popular zen doodling style – Urban Doodles. We had a wonderful turout of 81 ladies and it was a blast. Here I am at the podium getting ready to get started. The project was a dressform or a sewing machine and I provided carboard tracers for everyone to start off the project.
Explaining the basic techniques was simple. Start with a pencil outline of the dressform, then outline the drawing with thick and thin lines. Divide up your design using a ribbon technique I like to use in my doodling.

Recently I was asked to teach a mini class or make it and take it at the Northern Virginia American Sewing Guild annual meeting and high tea event held in Springfield, Virginia. We had a total of 81 ladies register for the event. The photo above is the project I created to inspire and give the ladies a brief lesson in ‘how to’ create their own version of either the dressform or sewing machine using templates I handed out at the beginning of the event.