Registration is Open for Susan Khalje’s Class on December 3-4!

The class is starting to fill up, but there is still time and room to join us for Susan’s class!

The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals
New England Chapter, Inc.
Presents:  The Year of the Little Black Dress, Session 2

The Couture Little Black Dress with Susan Khalje
December 3-4, 2011, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Are you looking to take your Little Black Dress to the next level? Join us for this fantastic hands-on seminar with ASDP Lifetime Achievement Award Winner, Susan Khalje! 

For two days in December, we’ll immerse ourselves in the world of the couture version of The Little Black Dress.

Using your fitted muslin, you’ll learn to adapt it for pattern use. We’ll discuss in-depth the underpinnings that differentiate couture garments, including underlinings, linings and hems. Under Susan’s expert tutelage, you’ll make samples and learn different methods. You’ll learn two hand-picked zipper treatments. You’ll master a number of the finishing details that go into couture garments. This is an opportunity to learn with one of the acknowledged experts in couture sewing techniques in a friendly, supportive environment!   Susan Khalje is an ASDP LIfetime Achievement Award Winner, master teacher, couturiere and Threads Contributing Editor. She is the author of BRIDAL COUTURE, Fine Sewing Techniques for Wedding Gowns and Evening Wear, and LINEN AND COTTON Classic Sewing Techniques for Great Results. She was the host of “Sew Much More” on HGTV. She is also the author of numerous articles for Threads Magazine and every other major sewing publication.

Class Fee: $250 for non-members, $175 for ASDP members (and you know what a bargain that is???)

To Register: Send a check, made payable to ASDP, NE, Inc. to
Maureen Egan
12 Hamilton Way
Westfield, MA 01085

Upon registration, you’ll receive a supply list and materials relating to pre-class preparation.

And if that wasn’t incentive enough, Gorgeous Fabrics is offering a 20% discount on full-price fabrics to participants! So come and join us – it will be fun, informative and fabulous!!!!

Happy sewing!

Year of the Little Black Dress is Coming Up!

Grettings, you fabulous blog readers! For any of you in the Boston/New England area, the countdown is on to the inaugural Year of the Little Black Dress meeting. Sue Bennett will lead a seminar on fitting as the kickoff. ASDP and Sue did a fitting seminar that was incredibly well received last year. Even if you attended that one, I’d encourage you to come to this one. The focus will be different, and will cover things not covered last time. It’s going to be a great time. Hurry, though – space is limited and it’s filling up!

Date: Sunday, October 2, 2011
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Berlin Town Hall, Berlin MA
Cost: $20 (free for ASDP New England members)

To register, contact
Maureen Egan, 12 Hamilton Way, Westfield, MA 01085

In addition, there will be classes with Susan Khalje and Anna Mazur, and it all culminates in a fashion show for participants! For more information on the entire series of The Year of the Little Black Dress, check out the ASDP New England Website.

The Perfect LBD Fabric
Of course, I would be remiss not to mention that we have the perfect fabrics at Gorgeous Fabrics to make your LBD, whether you’re taking part in the YotLBD or just looking to make yourself a spectacular dress or suit. For my own version, I’m pairing this Italian Tropical Stretch Wool/Cashmere fabric with Style Arc’s Paris Dress. I think it’s going to be great. The drawing is very Lee McQueen or Victoria Beckham. And this fabric? Omigawd, it’s soooo fabulous! It’s incredibly soft. The cashmere makes all the difference. I just want to roll in it!

Please note that the ASDP and ASDP New England do not endorse Gorgeous Fabrics. I’m just putting in a shameless plug for my business along with plugging the series.

Parting Shot: Peridot!
Love this color from Chanel. It’s supposed to be the hot color for the fall. Last week when I was snoop shopping in Boston, I decided to treat myself.

It’s got more green and blue in it than shows up in the photo. It’s very iridescent. I think it will look great with a LBD, don’t you?

Happy sewing!

The Year of the Little Black Dress!

You may be aware that I am the program chair for the New England Chapter of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP). Starting in October, and continuing through May of 2012, the New England Chapter of ASDP will focus our programs around that perennial favorite and wardrobe staple, the Little Black Dress! Normally, we hold one session per year that is open to the public. This year, we have four, and they are all fabulous! Here are some brief descriptions to whet your appetite and hopefully entice you to join us.

October 2, 2011 – Fitting and Pattern Adjustments with Sue Bennett
In this session, fitting expert and author Sue Bennett will explain techniques and tips to help you get the best fit from your garment, including obtaining accurate measurments, picking a flattering pattern, alterations to your pattern, and, if you bring one, fitting a muslin. This is the kickoff to the Year of the Little Black Dress, program, but participants can bring other garments as well to this session only.
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Berlin Old Town Hall, Berlin, MA
Fee: $20 (free for ASDP New England members)

December 3 and 4, 2011 – The Couture Little Black Dress with Susan Khalje
Join us for 2 days of immersion in couture construction techniques to give your Little Black Dress the oo-la-la it deserves! Renowned instructor, author and couture expert Susan Khalje will show you ways to take your LBD to the next level. In this session, Susan will demonstrate techniques including underlinings, structure and construction considerations, and hand picked zipper applications.
Time: 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM both days
Location: Gorgeous Fabrics Studio, Billerica, MA
Fee: $250 ($175 for ASDP New England members)

March 10, 2012 – Embellishments with Anna Mazur
Spend an afternoon with internationally recognized designer, author and teacher Anna Mazur. You will learn and practice creative embellishments to add that extra oomph to your Little Black Dress.
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Charlton Sewing Center, Charlton, MA
Fee: $20 (free for ASDP New England members)

May 20, 2012 – The Little Black Dress Fashion Show
As the culmination of the Year of the Little Black dress, we’ll hold a fashion show! Strut your stuff on the catwalk and show off your creation to an appreciative audience.
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Berlin Old Town Hall, Berlin, MA
Fee: $20 for fashion show entrants.

For more information on programs, deadlines, supplies, etc., check our website at

To register for any program(s), contact:
Maureen Egan, 12 Hamilton Way, Westfield, MA 01085

If you’re in the New England area, or if you want an excuse to visit, I hope we’ll see you there! I know that several of the sessions are filling up already, so if you are interested, don’t wait. Attendance is limited in the class sessions, so sign up early!

Happy sewing!

Sunday Sundries

Happy weekend! It’s been kind of dreary here in the Boston area this weekend. My tomato plants are really happy, and my oregano is growing like a weed. We had a nice weekend. Saturday was spent doing house stuff. DH stained some doors. DS the eldest had a graduation party to go to, and we took DS the younger to dinner at the local Chinese/Sushi restaurant. I did get to spend some quality sewing time, which is always nice! I made another version of Simplicity 3503. I had made two versions of this dress, and I love it, but I had pretty much forgotten about it until Eugenia highlighted her fabulous versions in a recent blog post. I wanted a maxi for summer, and this did the trick. I made it with Abstract Animal-ly Print Rayon Jersey. I’m not going to re-review it here. The difference from my other versions is that I didn’t line the bodice this time. I kind of wish I had, since this knit stretches in the length as well as the width. I haven’t hemmed it yet. I’m going to let it hang on Shelley overnight. I’ll probably take a solid foot off the bottom and then hem. It’s really, really long. I went down to a size 12, and I could probably go down another size. But doesn’t this scream “cocktails by the pool”?

Oh Cabana Boy! Bring me a drink please?

New England ASDP Program!
You may know that I’ve been the VP of programs for the New England Chapter of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (formerly known as PACC) for the last four years. This year is the end of my term, and I gotta tell you – I think we have one hell of a program coming up! It will start in September, and it revolves around the theme of the Little Black Dress. Four of the sessions will be open to the public. The first will be on fitting. Sue Bennett, who did a wildly popular seminar on fitting in general, will be back to bring her expertise to fitting your LBD. The second public program will be in December, and it will be a two-day seminar by (are you ready?) Susan Khalje! The third public program will be in March, on embellishment, and it will be by (another are you ready?) Anna Mazur! The final public program will be a fashion show featuring Little Black Dresses by participants in the programs. I’ll post more details later, but do join us!

Speaking of Susan Khalje, I have been asked to fill her place (Aaaaah! I’m not worthy!) on the board of the Master Sewing and Design Professional (MSDP) Certification Program. It’s a great program for professionals.

That’s about all the news that’s fit to blog. I hope you have a great remainder of your weekend. Anyone watching the Tonys?

Happy sewing!

ASDP Meeting Today!

What fun, and great information! Sue Bennett spoke at the New England Chapter of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. She talked about fit and pattern adjustments. Sue is an engaging speaker, and an absolute font of knowledge! After she went over some common (bodice) fitting issues and techniques, she and other ASDP members helped folks fit muslins that they brought. You know what was even better? My friend Robin came to the meeting! I haven’t seen her in person in a few years, but it was like we just got together last week. That’s one of the lovely things about the internet – you can keep up with your friends so easily! Of course, thanks to busy lives/kids/husbands etc, I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with her, but I’m hoping we’ll get to do so again soon! (Oh crap – I just realized I didn’t get a picture of us together. Rats. Well, it gives me an excuse to get back together with her.)

Here are some pictures from the meeting:

We had great attendance!
Sue talking about bodice fitting issues
Sue discussed all sorts of upper-body fitting issues
Fitting muslins
Everyone was helping, and incredibly generous with their knowledge
Helping to adjust a pattern
How fun was this?

So, if I can put in a plug for next year, we’re going to do a whole year on The Little Black Dress. There will be two meetings that are open to the public, in October and in March (most likely – that may change depending on schedules). Keep an eye out here for information as it becomes available. It’s going to be great!

Happy sewing!

Boston/Worcester MA Locals – Pattern Fitting Seminar!

If you’re in the Boston or Worcester, MA area, and you want to work on fitting your patterns, here’s a seminar for you! It’s sponsored by the New England chapter of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. I’m the Program Chair for the group. Sue, the instructor, is excellent. It’s well worth your time and the $20 to come! Read below for the details.

Please don’t contact me or comment here for more info – Maureen Egan is the one who has all the details. I hope to see you there!

Association of Sewing and Design Professionals,
New England Chapter, Inc. presents:

By Sue Bennett

Saturday, March 19, 2011
1:00-3:00 PM

At this meeting Sue Bennett will give a presentation on fitting commercial patterns. We’ll start at the beginning: choosing the correct pattern in the correct size size, “reading” the pattern envelope, and the pattern pieces. From there you’ll determine what changes to make to ensure a proper fit.

You’ll receive a comprehensive measurement chart plus a “road map” showing just where those measurements apply to the paper pattern. We’ll go over some of the more typical fitting issues many women face and the solutions. Following the lecture we’ll have a hands-on Fit Clinic. Here you’ll have an opportunity to be fitted by one of our members.

Please bring a pattern for a dress, top, or jacket ( upper body only) that you’d like to have fitted. Make the pattern up in muslin. You only need the main pieces, small details like facings won’t be necessary. If the garment calls for shoulder pads, please bring them as well as fabric scraps, scissors, pins and your pattern.

Sue Bennett is the owner of Private Label, a custom clothing design and alterations studio in Holyoke, MA. She taught for 10 years in the Marist College Fashion Department and has written several “Fitting” columns and articles for THREADS magazine. She is presently teaching at the Holyoke Creative Arts Center and is a certified instructor and re-seller of Wild Ginger Patternmaking Software.

Reserve up to 7 days prior to this event for $20 per ticket through:
Maureen Egan, 12 Hamilton Way, Westfield, MA 01085. Phone: 413-568-4366

Email: Checks payable to ASDP, NE, Inc.

Remaining tickets, $20.00 at the door.
CHAPTER MEMBERS, no fee, but please RSVP to Maureen Egan

Location: Berlin Town Hall, 12 Woodward Avenue, Berlin, MA
From Route 495: –Take the RT-62 W exit, EXIT 26, toward BERLIN/CLINTON.
–Turn LEFT onto MA-62/COOLIDGE ST. Continue to follow MA-62. 2.0 mi
–Woodward Ave. is on the right and Town Hall is on the hill to the left at #12 Woodward Ave.

Like I say, I hope to see you there. Happy sewing!

Mark Your Calendars, Ladies!

How excited am I? If you are in the New England area listen up, please… The New England Chapter of ASDP is hosting my BFAM Emmett McCarthy Next Saturday October 25. Emmett will be talking about his experiences, design inspiration, and what is happening in the design world. He will also show examples of his work and will be (get your checkbooks ready!) holding a trunk show! Can I tell you fabulous? FABULOUS!!! The program is free for ASDP members. There is a $20 fee for non members to attend the talk. But all proceeds go to ASDP efforts to promote sewing and programs in New England. Here is the official announcement:

Association of Sewing and Design Professionals Presents

Emmett McCarthy
October 26, 2008 1pm – 3 pm
Berlin Old Town Hall 12 Woodward Avenue, Berlin, MA
Google Map to Old Town Hall

Immediately following his stint on Project Runway , Emmett McCarthy launched EMc2 and opened his flagship boutique on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan’s chic Nolita district. The EMc2 store established itself quickly as destination shopping for New York’s fashion cognoscenti and celebrities from Debra Messing to Heidi Klum.

Emmett is going to talk about his history, his design style and inspiration, and his experiences as a designer both in large companies and in his own store. He will present several of his garments as examples. After his talk, he’ll be holding a sample sale, and will be available for pictures.

Free for members of ASDP — $20 for non members payable to NE ASDP. Advance ticket payment deadline: October 17, 2008. Remaining tickets, $20.00 at the door. Please Respond ASAP as space is limited
Jo Frongillo
Phone: 508-528-2348
Mailing address: 519 Coronation Drive, Franklin, MA 02038

Directions to Old Town Hall: From 495 take route 62 exit 26 towards Berlin
Turn left at Central street (route 62) towards Berlin and continue for aprox 2.0 miles.
Turn right onto Woodward Ave. The Old Town Hall is the first building immediately on your left. It’s the big white building with the long wide stair case going up to the front door. There is also a ramp in the back for handicap access.
Google Map

So come on down, meet Emmett, and get inspired all for a great cause! Please RSVP to Jo Frongillo (see above) and we will make sure you get in. This is going to be lots of fun, and I hope to see you there!!!