The Murder Mystery Quilt and The League of Adventurous Dressmakers: Last Day to Join!

The League of Adventurous Dressmakers

It’s only February, and I’m deeply immersed in the League of Adventurous Dressmakers.  I feel so inspired and motivated and excited about the garments I have in my queue.  Part of what slows me down, looking back on past years and the to-sew lists that never get completed, is that I love the planning stages of a sewing project, but don’t always feel accountable–everyone who reads and comments on my blog is super encouraging (loving you guys!), but you’re so supportive and understanding that when a project stalls, there’s no real pressure to pick it back up.  With the League, knowing that there are folks who are excited and asking questions and posting photos and watching to see what comes next really gets me sitting down at my needle.

pressing bodice with steam

We’ve just spent the month of February working on seams and seam finishes, learning the details and techniques to make every seam strong and clean.  What I was most interested in thinking about as I shot the video and did the research was how to reduce bulk in my garments, and make every one of them lie smooth over my curves when the garment is worn.  I feel so invested in the ladies who have joined the League this year, and dove DEEP on this subject, more so that I would have done in the past–plus, I got to indulge my passions for bias tape and French seams.  Which means that I’m learning a ton, answering all the little questions that I never took the time to look up before, and feel so much a PART of the League.  We are all in it together.  (You can read more about the birth of this group here.)

hong kong seam 4

In March, we’re working on gathers and pleats, and all the many ways to make them.  It involves marking and pressing and stabilizing, all techniques that benefit from practice and finesse.  I’ve done hours of research to prepare the e-book and video for this month, and have made dozens of samples–and seriously, it was really, really fun.  I felt like I was channeling Colette Wolff and immersing myself in exploring how to adjust volume and shape fabric using simple skills.  I can’t wait for the League to see the mini-pattern (two words: tuxedo tank top, y’all).


Later this year, we’ll be taking our measurements and discussing selecting the correct pattern size, and how to blend between sizes on a garment pattern–a skill I need desperately, since I’m busty but have zero bottom.  Sigh.  After that, we’re making muslins and drilling down on what techniques will help up adjust the first fitting to make a beautiful finished garment–like manipulating bust darts, something I need to do on nearly every pattern, and it turns out is a real in-demand skill for most folks who sew their own clothes.  In the months to come, we’ll cover ease without puckers and explore interfacings and make the best buttonholes of our lives.

This group is smart and curious and helpful and generous.  Such amazing women, and all of them cheering one another on to finally tackle those patterns they have been putting off.  I feel energized to get through my queue of un-sewn garments in a way I haven’t in years and year.  I so want you to join us–today is THE LAST DAY of registration!  Sign up here.

The Murder Mystery Quilt

Just a few chapters in, and already, we are having such, such, SUCH a good time in the Murder Mystery Quilt.  It is beyond my hopes, and the people are so smart and funny and kind and helpful and enthusiastic–you guys!!  It’s my nerdy dream come true.  I get to write a murder mystery AND design a modern quilt where the clues are hidden in the blocks??  It absolutely doesn’t feel like work, and every time I sit down to work on this project, I get a tingle of delight.  No joke, y’all.

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 11.23.03 AM

When I first came up with this idea, four years ago or so, I didn’t imagine that it would turn into a vibrant, exciting club filled with interesting people who have cool stories and who love to share their sewing with one another.  (You can read more about the background on this project here.)

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These are just a few of the blocks sewn up by our Murder Mystery Quilters so far, in January and February.  Choosing fabrics, mastering applique and half-square triangles, sharing the excitement of completing the blocks and meeting the characters, even bouncing around ideas about what’s coming next in the story–it’s all happening in this group, and I am having the best, best time with them.

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So far, we’ve met the main characters and most of the supporting cast, and they’re all nearly to the setting where the remainder of the story will take place.  There have been some major clues dropped, but there is SO much more to come–and this group is almost full!  If you want to get in on the action, register now and get started before the next block and chapter are released on March 9.

As always, thanks you guys.  Thanks to every one of you who read this blog, who have supported and encouraged and befriended me over the years–without all of that, I would never have had the desire or the courage to launch these two clubs, or to be on the starting edge of what looks to be my Best Year Ever.  I am so grateful to share it all with you!

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  • Jan Sturtevant
    February 29, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    I just signed up and I’m eager to get started. I sent you an email asking how to get January and February blocks and chapters…can’t wait!

    This is such a fabulous idea–thanks!

  • Cherie
    February 29, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I’m in both of your clubs and loving them! I’m already feeling more confident in my sewing skills. Without your clubs, especially the Dressmakers one where I am being helped to get out of my comfort zone, well I would still be back where I was before I joined. Just thinking that I need to improve in my sewing. Now, thanks to you, I’m actually doing it. Thank you again, Deborah!

    • Deborah
      March 1, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      I’m SO, SO glad you’re a part of them, Cherie!! I can hardly believe how wonderful everyone involved in these groups is–I keep having to pinch myself! Am so excited about everything we’re going to make this year…. 🙂