This past year has been one of the happiest, most rewarding years I have ever spent sewing, and that is down to a single factor: the people I spent it with. I made the decision almost exactly one year ago that I was going to focus on two groups in 2016: The Murder Mystery Quilt and The League of Adventurous Dressmakers. The first has been a pet dream of mine for ages, because who doesn’t love a mystery?? The second was a passion project, born directly out of my desire to sew better clothing with people who love to learn.
It was so, so, SO much better than I ever could have imagined. I discovered through these clubs THE KINDEST people on the internet, folks who are clever and creative and funny and kind, who are interested in seeing what you’re sewing and who get inspired by the projects you’re creating. They made me laugh more times than I can count, they have quick wits and nimble fingers, and they are happy to welcome new friends to share their interests and ideas. For real, all year long I’ve been saying that if someone looked at these groups and thought the entire internet was like this, they’d assume that the internet was HEAVEN. I am not convinced that I expected to find bosom friends in these clubs, but there is no question that I have, and it has made for an incredible, rewarding, exciting, FUN year. I am so indescribably grateful.
Even better than that, I get to do it ALL OVER AGAIN IN 2017!! I am launching registration for BOTH these clubs again, and hope that you’ll be a part of it this year. Some quick snippets below (with registration links if you’re chomping at the bit to be part of our group), and more details next week–including some samples and treats for you to download and print for free. These clubs are my babies, and combine all my most favorite parts about what I do at Whipstitch: designing curriculum, shooting video, writing, creating patterns, exploring a story and building community. The response this year has been overwhelming and invigorating and exciting–and I am elated to share it with you in the coming year!!
HUGE shout out to all my 2016 club members–such an amazing group. I can’t wait to see all of you back next year and to share more adventures with you! And WELCOME to those of you who will be joining us in 2017 for the first time. You are in for a treat, with new friends and new skills and lovely patterns and lots of laughs.
See below for details on each club and links to register!
The League of Adventurous Dressmakers is a monthly subscription club that explores in-depth technique lessons for better garment sewing. I am super, super excited to launch this group–it is, I think, what my pursuit of building better online classes has been leading toward for years. This monthly group features up-close video lessons on a new garment technique each month, with an accompanying printable guide. By exploring THREE core patterns for the year (a woven top with sleeve options, a shift dress with drawstring waist, and a straight skirt with functional zip fly and belt loops), we will tackle concepts up close and then apply them directly to a practical pattern. Each month you are guided through the steps of the pattern with particular focus on the key technique needed for that stage of construction using text, full-color images, and tips & hints, all specifically designed to make your garment sewing SING (and clocking in between six and twenty pages, they’re really e-books!). Every guide includes a quick-start “cheat sheet,” too, so if you don’t want to print the whole guide, you can have a handy reference available near you as you sew.
The patterns are included in your registration, but each month the lesson is built based on your feedback and needs–so the year’s experience is really customized to the folks who join. We’ll be covering adjusting fit and manipulating darts, working with a fly opening, sewing thicker fabrics, converting a sleeve to a raglan, hemming special fabrics, and so much more, even a VIRTUAL FABRIC SHOPPING TRIP that will help us all make the best choices from available fabrics for each style we sew. I can hardly wait to share the whole “classroom” environment and share these videos with you. And! I’ve scheduled monthly live video chats so we can share comments and concepts in a real-time environment. There’s even a private Facebook group so you can tag your own projects, ask questions, get to know your other League members, and share ideas!
The Murder Mystery Quilt is also a monthly subscription club, but with a whole different twist. This is a mystery quilt in the traditional sense–you sew a block each month and the overall design of the quilt isn’t revealed until all the blocks are sewn–but it’s also a MYSTERY quilt: each month, along with the block pattern and design, you receive a chapter of a mystery story. Each chapter reveals clues as the plot unfolds, and it’s your job to seek out whodunit!
In addition to the chapters holding clues, as any mystery story does, the BLOCKS you’re sewing have hidden clues, as well. So each block you sew gets you closer to learning the identity of the murderer. Every block you sew and share with us through Instagram or our private Facebook group also earns you an additional clue via email, so you’re rewarded every month for completing the block and staying on track to finish the quilt! This year’s blocks are a modern take on traditional quilt designs, in a medallion-style setting that gives you lots of options when you complete your quilt. The skills included in each block pattern are suitable for anyone from adventurous beginner to seasoned quilter–the instructions are clearly detailed to make it possible for anyone to follow along and learn as they sew, but the designs are interesting enough to keep anyone engaged. Plus! Clues!!
When you’re sure you know who the killer is, you get to guess. Every correct guess is entered to win a fabulous prize goodie basket of quilting tools and fabrics at the end of the year! You only get one guess, but for each month before December that you submit your guess, you get an additional entry–so the sooner you know the answer, the more chances you have to win. But use it wisely! Incorrect guesses don’t get entered into the drawing. (Don’t worry, there’s also an alternate prize for folks who finish the quilt but don’t figure out the clues and solve the crime, so everyone has a chance to shine!)
I have been marinating this idea for years and years, and was so nervous and excited to unveil it last year–turns out, LOTS of quilters are also puzzlers who love a good mystery, and this has been SUCH A GREAT GROUP. The story is so fun (and funny), the blocks are so enjoyable to sew, and the project has a fun twist that leaves me tickled. I can hardly wait to reveal this year’s setting and characters, and to send out the pattern for the first block!!
More details on these clubs next week. Registration is open now! I hope you’ll join me as I sink into some fun in 2017. Let’s get sewing!