The Story Behind the Notions Story – Fall 2016

by Ramona on October 11, 2016


Guest post by Anne Marie Soto, editor of Notions, the ASG publication available with membership in the American Sewing Guild  

A subscription to Notions magazine is one of the members-only benefits of belonging to ASG. If you are reading this blog and aren’t an ASG member, I hope that this peek into its contents will inspire you to become a part of this great organization. 

Our cover story, “Oh, You Beautiful Doll,” is one that sewers of every age can relate to. Who doesn’t enjoy making doll clothes? With the holidays approaching, custom-made doll clothes make a wonderful gift. Doll clothes are also a great teaching tool for members of the younger set who want to learn to sew. The article also showcases several ASG chapters who have created and raffled off wardrobes (18” doll included). The money it brings in helps underwrite the cost of guest speakers and other educational sewing opportunities for their members.

One of the most heartwarming stories in the issue is “A Fabric Legacy.” Dallis Hardwick was chapter president and beloved member of ASG’s Dayton, Ohio Chapter. She lost her battle with cancer in early 2014 but, thanks to the generosity of her family and the efforts of the Dayton Chapter, she impacted every person who attended ASG Conference 2016 in Indianapolis. Dayton Chapter members participated in the annual fashion show, wearing garments made from fabric from Dallis’ fabulous collection.  Her patterns and yarns were donated as supplies for several classes. Some of her knitting and crochet books served as prizes at the Friday evening Attendees Get-Together. Fabrics and books, courtesy of Dallis, were fashioned into centerpieces for both the Saturday and Sunday luncheons. Everyone who attended ASG Conference 2016 was touched by Dallis in some way – an extraordinary legacy! 

There is no end to the talents and enthusiasm of our members. The Sew Young section of this issue includes four inspiring stories of chapters and members who are reaching out to teach young people to sew. They are truly committed to keeping the ASG mission – “Advancing sewing as an art and life skill” – alive with future generations. 

If you have knowledge you’d love to share with your fellow ASG members or comments about what appears in Notions, I’d love to hear from you. Email me at

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This is the final installment of the 4-part reconstruction of a yoked shirt for our daughter’s friend. In this section you’ll learn the steps to finish topstitching the shirt front and re-assembling the shirt to look about as good as new. You will also learn the reaction her friend had to his “new” shirt.













As you can see, our daughter’s friend loved his “new” shirt! It is quite satisfying to get that kind of a reaction. Many times as sewers we can see in our head how something will look when finished but those that don’t sew can’t envision things like that so our “customer” has to go on faith in what we tell them and our skills in completing the task. If you are just beginning an alteration business it is things like these simple alterations that will spread your skills by word-of-mouth; the best advertising there is. Be sure to hand your customers a few business cards and ask them to hand them out for you when they are very pleased with your work–soon you’ll have a lot of business coming your way.

Sew ’til next time…enjoy the journey of sewing!


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The stitching on the band could have been done with a zipper foot for the machine, but this machine does not have a zipper foot that could work around the snaps while stitching–this machine also has a stationary needle with no other options for the needle position. Your machine may have a zipper foot (with needle positions) that would work–it takes a bit of experimenting to determine the best method to use.

Next week is the final installment to complete putting the shirt together.

Sew ’til next time…enjoy the journey of sewing!


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Guest post by Anne Marie Soto, editor of Notions, the ASG publication available with membership in the American Sewing Guild 

Ruffles are one of the easiest ways to add your own personal touch to a sewing project. They are a beautiful addition to both fashion and home décor items. And their flirty personality goes well with summer sewing. So here’s hoping that our cover story, “Ravishing Ruffles,” will give you the inspiration to have a bit of fun with your next project.

Speaking of fun, what could be more fun than working with kids who are eager to learn to sew? This issue’s Sew Young section includes several inspiring stories. There’s Deborah Barcello, owner of Cattell’s Sew & Vac/Sewing Academy in Medford, N.J. “Miss Deb” (as her students call her) has not only developed a thriving enterprise teaching young people to sew (85 students per week!) but has also created an innovative system whereby students can progress at their own pace; interested students have the opportunity to transition into an intern position as an unpaid helper in the classes. If this is successful, the student is put on a list of potential hires to be a teacher and to work in the shop when she is old enough. Then there is the story of members of the Greensboro, N.C. Chapter (specifically the Kernersville Neighborhood Group) who mentor a sewing club at the Noble Academy. ASG members managed to get the one machine that Noble Academy already owned back into working order and acquired three more machines for the school. The club meets weekly for two hours and always involves hands-on sewing. The Sarasota/Gulf Coast, Fla. Chapter participates yearly in the Manatee County Fair. They take a booth and develop easy-to-make sewing projects that are high in kid appeal. This ambitious undertaking is an 11-day commitment that gives so many young people the opportunity to sit down at a sewing machine, spend a little time, and leave with big smiles and a project they can be proud of. And then there is the Central Savannah River, S.C. Chapter who shared their sewing skills with members of a local church who “paid it forward” to young people who benefit from the Mission on the Move program in Tapachula, Mexico. These are only four stories. There are countless other ASG chapters, Neighborhood Groups, and individual members who are Teaching Another Generation. We are all so grateful for their efforts!

If you couldn’t make it to ASG Conference 2016 in Indianapolis, check out Exhibit Hall Review, which includes a sampling of the new fabrics, patterns, books, DVDs, and more that attendees saw in the exhibit hall. And watch for the fall issue of Notions, with lots of conference coverage.

If you have comments about what appears in Notions, topics you would like to see covered, were inspired on your sewing journey by something you read in our magazine, or have an idea for an article you might like to write, I’d love to hear from you. E-mail me at


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