Spring Break – Lots of Learning Going On !!!!!

Hello A-Team:

Pictures of the week:  Men’s Fitted Shirts at the National City Swap Meet



I can not thank Chris enough for his awesome questions concerning darts in men’s shirts.

This week there is no class.  Easter Sunday was March 25th.  It is good to have a break every once in a while.  I got a chance to update the grading charts.  I will be able to show you how you stand on hours & projects.  Did you sign up for Sew Pro’s Trip to LA???  It is on April 16th.  Call them.  Amy says they will take your over the phone payment.    Remember:  The Accreditation Team will be coming to view the classes next week.  Have you learned your Student Learning Outcomes?  (SLOs).  Here they are again:

Current SLOs  2016 

SDCE Institutional Student Learning Outcomes:

  1. Social Responsibility

SDCE students demonstrate interpersonal skills by learning and working cooperatively in a diverse environment.

  1. Effective Communication

SDCE students demonstrate effective communication skills.

  1. Critical Thinking

SDCE students critically process information, make decisions, and solve problems independently or cooperatively.

  1. Personal and Professional Development

SDCE students pursue short term and life-long learning goals, mastering necessary skills and using resource management and self advocacy skills to cope with changing situations in their lives.

SDCE Fashion Discipline Student Learning Outcomes:        

Students completing a fashion or fashion production course or program will be able to understand and apply concepts, technologies, related skills and techniques by successfully completing class projects in order to prepare for fashion careers.

J McKenna’s Student Learning Outcomes for Spring 2016 Courses:

  1. Sew Like a Pro:  Students will be able to demonstrate advanced sewn product stitching & construction skills as evidence by the completion of an Advanced Sewing Operations Portfolio,  and the completion of basic clothing alterations using garments from their own closet or from a thrift store using professional standards of workmanship.
  1. Fundamentals Of Patternmaking: Collections:  Students will prove their Fundamentals of Patternmaking course learning and competencies by the completion of their first 3 garment (or one 3-Piece outfit) collection.
  1. Tailoring:  Upon completion of this course, students will be able to complete a tailored/couture garment using professional standards of workmanship.  Evidence will be the selection and use of fabrics and supporting materials suitable for the garment which meet established standards for tailored/couture construction.
  1. Sewing Fundamentals 1:  Upon course completion, students will be able to demonstrate basic sewn product stitching & construction skills as evidence by the completion of a Sewing Techniques Portfolio.
  1. Fundamentals Of Patternmaking: Drafting:  Students will demonstrate their Fundamentals of Patternmaking course learning and competencies by drafting and using their five piece Master Dress Sloper to pattern and construct a garment from their text book.

Last week in the classroom:

Drafting:  We are still finishing up our sleeves.  We learned a new method for “walking off” sleeves in an armhole.  Of course, over this break, I made handouts for you.  Teaches you how to make changes 2 – 3 different ways.  Next week:  We will make the skirt front and back and finish up the sloper pattern collection.

Sew Like a Pro-Both Classes:  We are still learning how to construct sleeveless facings.  We are almost done.  Next week:  We will finish up our sleeveless facings and learn how to put in a Fly Front Jeans Zipper.  Both these classes have open spaces.  If you need extra sewing time, you can join us.

Sewing Fundamentals 1:  We are making our way through our sewing techniques portfolio grading sheet.  Next week:  We will be learning to make flat-felled seams, inset right corners, facings, and collars.  Keep those questions coming, Chris!!!!  We even did an extra credit: dart in a seam to show how you can hide darts in a fitted garment.

Tailoring:  We just finished our 7 portfolio Tailoring Operations.  I have one more demo to show you concerning double buttonholes.  I just had to think of another way to do tailored jacket buttonholes without cording because you just can’t do it EASILY, on a keyhole buttonhole.   Remember to bring your pattern guide on Monday, April 4.  We will also read through and UNDERSTAND, what they are telling you to do.  We all know how to read.  We all need to understand that the guide is a guide and not a God.  Words to remember:  You have the opportunity to use different methods, if you don’t like what the guide is telling you.  On Wednesday, April 6, your Tailoring Operation Samples are all due for grading.  I will be taking pictures of your samples and you wearing your jacket toile.  WHAT FUN !!!!!!

Collections:  There is a month left.  In the right hand side bar, there are the rules and flyer for Mesa’s 2016 Golden Scissors Fashion Show.   Read it. I have already asked questions about it.  I need to send in pictures on April 26.  We will talk in class.  After the show, we will concentrate on making a Tech Pack for our garment (s).  Thank you for your patience while I worked with the tailoring class.

Links and Things to Know !!!!

Joan Hankin’s Stash.  Email her.  She wants to sell it all for $1 a yard.  The fabrics are all cotton like.  You have a variety of knits and wovens.   sewingsister5@cox.net.  Her phone number is:  619 442 8128.  I do have samples of the fabrics.  Ask me in the classroom.










Check out Elo’s Website!!!!!   Good morning my friends. I would like to introduce you to my first food blog. More recipes coming up soon. Stay tuned http://www.chefscanteen.elodesigns.com/

For more about the artist visit:  www.artshop.elodesigns.com

Richard’s Great Fashion Videos and Websites:  These need to be seen to be believed !!!!  I need to add the following about Richard’s links.  I do believe that at least one link, uses nude models.  They had to use a nude model to do what they did.  It is still worth seeing what they SPRAYED on her !!!!!!





The following is from Janet Prey.  She lives in Michigan.  Someday, I want to take classes from her.  She IS terrific.  She teaches the Islander System of Sewing.  Here are her 6 Tips for Interfacing Shirts.

Interfacing is one of today’s most missunderstood products in home sewing. It is important to know there are several reasons for interfacing a pattern piece:

  1. To create a crisp appearance such as collars, cuffs and plackets. 2.To reinforce areas where buttons, buttonholes and topstitching will be applied. 3. Adds to the longevity of the garment. To follow are 6 tips for interfacing shirts that rival top ready-to-wear garments selling for hundred dollars.
  1.  Choosing only high quality fusible interfacing is a no-brainer but I felt the need to say it anyway. The quality of the interfacing you choose is equaly as important as the quality of the fashion fabric.
  1. Two types of interfacing are required in the classic button-up shirt: a firm and a soft. The firm is applied to the collar, cuffs and buttonhole placket. The soft is used on the pocket hems, collar facing, cuff facings, sleeve plackets and button placket.
  1. Leave the seam allowance on the interfacing everywhere except the collar points.
  1. Cut and adhere interfacing to all pieces well in advance of starting to sew.

      5. Use a quality iron made for garment sewing. It must have good steaming capability and it should be heavier than the       average home iron. For best results in fusing interfacing, use a pressing cloth, lots of steam, firm pressure but you don’t need to apply your entire body weight. *Apply heat and shots of steam for 30 to 60 seconds or according to the instructions from the manufacturer. Now, don’t touch it! This is very important and where many fusible interfacing projects go wrong. It should cool for several minutes before you handle it as you could disturb the the glue before it has a chance to set and permanently adhere to the fabric evenly.

  1.  I use my press for fusible interfacing, it’s the best! All the same rules apply; to create steam use a damp press cloth, clamp the press shut until the alarm sounds. I open the press and close again for one more alarm, let it cool and it never fails.

“It doesn’t get any better than that!”

Remember to read the manufacturer’s directions on any fusible interfacing as they may vary in time, temperature and steam or no steam.

When I have the time, I ALWAYS put it into my blog posts.  See you all next week !!!!!


O Snail/ Climb Mount Fuji/ But slowly, slowly! Kobayashi Issa

Hello A-Team:

The Haiku was suggested to me by student Whitney.  And it is SO true !!!!!  The tags for the Haiku are: Tags: buddhismhaiku,persistencestruggle    You can click on the links to read more fabulous quotes.  Thank you, Whitney !!!!

The picture of the week is a series of pictures showing what you can develop with a half size dress form that has current body measurements. In 1795 women’s bodies were very different.

Marie 1
The Chemise goes on first.

Marie 2
Panniers & Corset – Front.









Marie 3
Panniers & Corset – Back.

Marie 4
Bodice & Under Skirt.

Marie 5
Jacket-Dress Back









Marie 6
Jacket-Dress Front









The Classes:

Drafting:  Last week, we finished drafting our Bodice Front and started on the back.  Next week, we will finish drafting our Bodice Back.  And we will move on to drafting the sleeve sloper.

Tailoring/Collections:  We are right in the middle of making a double welt (buttonhole) pocket for our portfolios.  Once we are done, we will sail into the double welt pocket with a flap.  The collections group is going forward with the completion of their computer patternmaking project.

Sew Like a Pro:  On Tuesday night, we will be making an open kick pleat with mitered corners.  On Thursday morning, we will be learning how to make sleeveless facings with understitching.  Our portfolios are growing !!!!!

Sewing Fundamentals 1:  We finished all our prep work and have started to learn to sew.  Last week, we learned about different kinds of stitches.  We ran out of time, when I wanted to show you how to sew a serged seam with a straight stitch sewing machine.   So we will begin there, next Thursday night.  It is a great technique to know about at 3 AM when you don’t have a serger and your fabric is raveling like crazy.  We will also study different seam edge finishes.


Bamboo Bodice Tutorial   by Shingo Sato.  Thank you for sending this to me, Shante.

Sewing Parts Online  This site is great to know about.  You can get parts and manuals for your sewing machines.  They also have sewing videos.   I WOULD caution you….do not buy any sewing machine online.  You won’t get lessons with it.  Always go to your favorite dealer.

S is for Start Menu – Tech Tip from Cindy

On your PC computer, are you aware of the one place where you can search for files and programs stored on your computer, get to your picture files quickly, find the programs you recently used, or access the drives on your computer?  Yes, it is the Start MenuS is for Start Menu.

Probably one of the most underutilized features on your PC, the Start Menu can be a terrific timesaver when trying to find a file/program/drive quickly.  Here are a few Start Menu facts (using Windows 7):

  1. Typically, you click on the Start button in the bottom left corner to open it up.  But, you can also hit the Windows (or Windows Start) key in the bottom left area of your keyboard.  This is a fast way to open the Start Menu, especially if you or your students are viewing a software program full screen and you want to open a second program or file without closing the first.  Press the Windows key again to close.
  2. Find the Search box at the bottom of the Start Menu and type a word or two contained in the title or text of the file you need (or name of a program).  A list of all associated results will appear.
  3. Click Programs (or All Programs) to see a list of all the software available on your computer.
  4. The left side of the Start Menu shows the recently used programs and the right side contains default locations (e.g. Pictures, Music, Computer, Control Panel).
  5. Did you know you can customize the left side with programs you regularly use (on your desk computer or personal computer)?  Just like you can pin programs to the bottom taskbar, you can also pin programs to the Start Menu.  From the list of Programs (#3 above), right-click on the program name and choose Pin to Start Menu.  The program will move to the top of the list and you will see a small line separating the pinned programs and the others.  Conversely, right-click and choose Unpin from Start Menu to remove a pinned program.

Note: If you are using Windows 8, learn about the Start Menu here:


If you are using Windows 10, use this link:




A Negative Mind will NEVER Give You a Positive Life – Unknown

Threads Sewing Guide. Thank You, Maureen !!!!

Hello A-Team:

The picture of the week, demonstrates how important it is to press while you sew.  The article starts on page 146.  There are NO WORDS that can say this better.

The Courses:

Sewing Fundamentals 1:  We have now finished all our prep work.  It is time to learn to sew.  Bring your straight stitch sewing machine to class and let’s learn !!!!!

Sew Like a Pro (Day and Night Classes):  Thursday’s Day Class has a bit of marking to do.  Then the focus will be on Kick Pleats and Mitered Corners.

Tailoring:  Last week, we practiced jacket vents and mitered corners.  This week, we will be practicing an upper welt pocket.  Now that the muslin toiles are complete, you can go ahead and mark where you want to put your practice welt pocket, your buttonhole pocket, double welt pocket with flap, bound buttonhole with cording, bound buttonhole without cording and corded machine made buttonholes.

Drafting:  We will complete our bodice front draft.  By now, you all have pattern hooks to hang your completed drafts.  And we will go on to our back bodice draft.

Links and Good Things to Know:

One of my patternmaking students, Juliana or Nora, found a site with other sizes of french curves, besides the ones that I have posted on my downloads page.  They are great !!!!!  This blog has so much information on it, that I just have to share it with you.   http://www.growyourownclothes.com  

http://www.advanced-embroidery-designs.com/freedesign.html   This link has a free embroidery design.  It is a classic !!!! Pick it up in the PES format.  If you do not own an embroidery machine, PES is the most universal format.

6  Tips to Better Sewing

  1. Cut, Interface, Serge and Bundle the Day Before 

For the very best sewing experience I like to cut out the pattern the day before I sew it up. Then I fuse the interfacing to all required pieces. If there are raw edges on any pattern piece that you want finished with the serger do that next. The final step is to gather all necessary notions (thread, buttons, hook & eye, etc.) and tools. Place them in a neat pile or bundle them by wrapping the pieces around the notions tied together with a piece of string or a strip of selvedge. When you arrive in your sewing room the next day your project is ready for you to begin construction and you have the peace of mind that everything you need is there and you won’t have to stop to cut, fuse or serge!

  1. Sew with a Flat surface Around the Sewing Machine 

(Extension Table or Cabinet)

This is more important than any other sewing tip I can give you. By having a flat surface around the machine you will find the project is easy to manipulate while sewing. It’s easier to accomplish straight and accurate seams because the project is not dragging down off the back of the machine and you have more room in front of the needle to get the best start. If you are currently sewing using only the small bed of the machine while setting ontop of a table, you are working way too hard!

  1. Sitting at the Machine Your Arms Should be Bent at a 90 Degree Angle

If your machine is sitting high on a table top you are probably reaching up to sew, possibly even raising your shoulders while sewing. This causes stress to your back, neck and shoulders. To remedy this problem you will need to either lower the machine on a shorter table or raise your chair. For optimum comfort and to sew longer periods with ease also make sure your legs are bent at the knee at a 90 degree angle.

  1. Use a Straight Stitch Throat Plate for Straight Stitching

Multi-functional sewing machines usually come with a throat plate that has a wide rectangular hole in the middle for the needle to pass through. This is great when you are using specialty stitches the zig-zag, however when straight stitching it can be a real problem. In the construction of most garments only straight stitching is required so using a throat plate made for this type of sewing is optimum. There is just one small hole only large enough for the needle to pass through, which will keep the end of a collar or the raw edge at the beginning of a seam from getting pulled down into the machine. Newer machines are starting to include both types of throat plates, but if yours didn’t come with a straight stitch plate ask your sewing machine dealer if one is available to order.

  1. Clipping Curves

To clip curves so they lay nicely, with scissors that are sharp all the way to the point (sometimes called tailor point scissors) clip the seam allowance all the way to the seam stitching but not through. Space clips about 1/4″ apart – no closer. Do not shred the seam allowance by using too many clips and NEVER clip “V” shapes out of the seam allowance. This will cause empty spaces in the seam allowance and will surely show on the right side of the garment when pressed and will certainly cause topstitching to look unprofessional.

  1. Attend a Sewing Retreat to Learn & Relax!

Improve your sewing skills by learning from teachers who can’t wait to share their knowledge.

See you all in class this week !!!!!!

Be Safe !!!!


I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious. Albert Einstein

ALL Winter Holidays

Hello A-Team:

The year has gone by so FAST !!!!  Can you believe it?  This is the final week before Winter Break.  Classes will resume January 6th, 2016 !!!!  This is the last A-Team email till the new year.  I will send out a post to remind everyone when classes resume.  Computer Patternmaking will resume January 6.  Sewing Fundamentals 2 will NOT resume until January 11.  

Last week, in Sewing Fundamentals 2, we only met on Monday.  On Tuesday, I had to go to an eye doctor because I broke a blood vessel in my eye.  Thank God it was only a surface vessel and I came back to teach on Wednesday.  Last Monday, we practiced with the school’s and student’s straight stitch sewing machines.  They run differently than sergers.  The two machines are staples for sewing.  Note:  the very first sewing machine you should purchase should be a straight stitch sewing machine.  You can do a great fake double needle stitch that looks just like a cover stitch.  You can stop your edges from raveling with the various utility stitches available on a straight stitch sewing machine.   And there is the famous 2 mm x 2 mm zig-zag stitch that can sew knits with a small width seam that stretches.  On Monday, we will begin to sew our shirt and pants.   Remember to bring your scrap fabric to test your stitches before you start to sew.  By following your pattern guide, you will create your first garments !!!!  When you run into pattern guide interpretation problems, I will be there, to guide you.  I am also planning on demoing our embroidery machines, just in case you want to embroidery on your shirts or pants.  SEW FUN !!!!!

In Patternmaker Class, we finished our final sloper patterns this week.  I sent out emails stating that the 5 students who finished their patterns, would get them plotted by a fellow student.  This happened on Thursday night around 11 pm.  Thank you Pedro !!!!  This coming week, we will be back in room 209.  Now is the time to make up the garment/project toiles.  We have about 5 weeks to make up the toiles, and correct the patterns.  In this way, if you ever want to plot out your garment/project again, the pattern will be perfect !!!!  Side note:  I tried on Richard’s Patternmaker corset, after he set the grommets.  Maureen laced me up.  The fit was marvelous !!!!    

Terrific Links:

How Silk is Made.  Thank you Jena !!!!!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqFm_7KyfHI

This link is from Hungry Girl.  I love all the Weight Watching advise on the site.  Check out survival guides to 10 chain restaurants.  http://www.hungry-girl.com/go-to-guides/ultimate-chain-restaurant-survival-guide-roundup  

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/45848/gift-to-sew-easy-and-classic-wool-scarf?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=eletter&utm_content=th-eletter&utm_campaign=threads-eletter  Sew up a classic wool scarf with Kenneth King. 

Free CUTE monkey ornament machine embroidery.  http://www.advanced-embroidery-designs.com/freedesign.htmlhttp://www.advanced-embroidery-designs.com/freedesign.html   Remember, if you do not own an embroidery machine, download the design in the .PES format.  This is the most universal.  

Have a Happy & Safe Holiday Season !!!!!!!!!!



Do or Do Not. There is No Try. – Yoda

Morgan's Personal Helper.
Morgan’s Personal Helper.

Hello A-Team:

Isn’t Morgan’s helper cute????  Even though they really really want to help you cut your fabric and sew your projects, be very aware, that they also can get into pins & thread.  Make sure supplies and notions are put away in such a way, as to NOT encourage cats or dogs to use them as play toys.  This also goes for when you wrap holiday gifts.  Take care.  There is danger in ribbon.

So last week, in Sewing Fundamentals 2, we mastered the serger and one of its many uses:  To prevent raveling of woven fabrics.  Then we moved on to learn how to mark notches and other important symbols on the non-public side of our cut fabric pieces.  On Monday, we will have tender loving care (TLC) lessons for the straight stitch sewing machine.  Missing this class tells me that you are going to bring and use your own straight stitch machine for the rest of your time in this class.  And that you already know how to care for it.  Make sure you bring some fabric scraps to try different things that can be done with any straight stitch machine.  As a fun aside, we will see some wedding pictures from one of your classmates, Whitney.  CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!  On Tuesday, you will be cut loose, to sew up your garments using the instructions on your pattern guide.  I will be here, for questions and concerns.         

In Computer Patternmaking, we are beginning our last week of classes in the computer classroom, using Patternmaker.  We should be all finished with our final patterns on Thursday.  DO NOT “CUTE PDF” your pattern(s), till I look them over.  However, it is okay, to place your pattern(s) on the prerequisite 36″ x 108″ paper inside Patternmaker.  After you get the OKAY….then CUTE PDF your final pattern(s).  Over next weekend, we will get them printed.  Then, its back to the sewing room to make sample ‘toile’ garment(s).  You will need to have one pattern hook for your cut patterns to hang on and you will need inexpensive fabric that simulates your final fabric.  Make note of how much fabric, you are using for your toile.  This is approximately what you will need for your final garment(s).  Your ‘toile’ is due at the end of January.  There is plenty of time to work on fit.  The ONLY push I have for this course, is that you come to class regularly and sign in.  Some of you come to class, and don’t sign in.  These students will be in for quite the shock, when I can’t give them a final grade.  

Here is a reminder for all my classes:  Without a ‘C’ hours grade, no matter how good your final project is, you won’t pass the course.  Read the evaluation at the back of each syllabus.  You need to come to class 80% of the class hours as part of your grade.  NO EXCEPTIONS……

Links and Things:

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/45803/a-secret-to-threading-a-needle?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=eletter&utm_content=th-eletter&utm_campaign=threads-eletter  The Secret to Threading a Needle

http://view.e.quiltingdaily.com/?j=fec21c70776c007a&m=fe90157370600c7b71&ls=fdf615747467007476127372&l=fec7157172610279&s=fe2a16747461007b721272&jb=ff67157577&ju=fe6517757466057b7712&utm_source=newsletter&utm_campaign=qd-nln-nl-151201&utm_content=802847_QE151201&utm_medium=email&r=0  Foiling Letters on Fabric

http://www.suebox.com/store/Embroidery-Collections-amp-Designs/Everlasting-Embroidery-Collection/09-Ribbon-Design.html  Free Beautiful Ribbon Embroidery from Sue Box.  Format of choice when you don’t own an embroidery machine:  .PES  

Looking for a Job?

MANPOWER is coming to San Diego City College to interview for jobs available now!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

San Diego City College

1313 Park Boulevard

San Diego, CA 92101

Business Technology Building

 To RSVP prior to the event, e-mail an electronic copy of your resume to ppugnier@sdccd.edu.  On Tuesday, December 8, come to Room BT‑203 (at the corner of 16th and B Streets) starting at 10:45 a.m., and check in at the front desk.  Dress in business attire and bring a resume printed on standard paper.

Interviews are on a first‑come, first‑served basis.  Meet and greet style interviews will last approximately 10‑15 minutes.

Part‑time and full‑time positions in various industries are available.


Manpower is a world leader in the employment services, creating and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work.

 —–Original Message—–  Terrific trip to LA…….GO !!!!!  I am sad because I can NOT go…..
From: Gwen Edwards [mailto:gwencarin@gmail.com
Sent: Monday, November 30, 2015 7:28 PM
To: Gwen Edwards
Subject: Heart felt Happy Holidays!

Hello All,

Don’t spend all your money in December!  We are scheduling another wild ride to Los Angeles on Saturday January 9th in the party bus!  Anyone who is interested shoot me an email and get on the list.  Space will be limited.  We will be going to Mood fabrics with the option to go to The Fabric Store as well.  It’s a long strenuous day of fun – The bus fee is $60 and we will enjoy discounts as a group at both Mood and The Fabric Store.

Stay well.  Be Joyful.  Sew as much as you can!

All the best,


Gwen Couture

4007 Wabash Ave.

San Diego, CA 92104



See you all in class !!!!!

Be Safe !!!!



Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one. Brad Paisley

vintage sewing girl 2

Hello A-Team:

I hope you had a great holiday break.  It is time to come back and learn some more.  

Sewing Fundamentals 2:  Apparel Construction.  In our last 2 classes, we had pattern fittings, read our pattern guides, learned about grainlines with a PowerPoint, and laid out our shirt and pants patterns with a nap layout and on grain.  Then I sent you home to cut your fabric out.   Tomorrow, in class we are NOT following the syllabus.  Bring all your cut fabric attached to your patterns.  Bring all your fabric scraps.  We are going to have a class on TLC for sewing machines and sergers.  If you have a sewing machine, you want to use in class, learn how to clean, take care of, make bobbins for, this is the class to bring the machine to.  We will go over threading straight stitch machines.  Printout and bring:  Trouble Shooting Your Machine, from the downloads page of this blog.  We will also master the use of the serger.  Be prepared:  This class can take up to 2 class periods to teach.  

Computer Patternmaking with Patternmaker.  There are 2 weeks left before we are going to get our patterns printed.  I WANT you all to be ready.  I hope you all worked on your patterns during the break.  Those of you who are late with your patterns will have to get them printed yourself.  So work hard and I will see you all on Wednesday night.


http://www.urbanthreads.com/free.aspx  Great Xmas Embroidery Design.  Remember to download it in PES format.

You NEED to go to this site !!!!! http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=f8c95083dae7cbbbdc4d7ab5f&id=08d021b792&e=aa6f2dee5f     This is a great website to visit.  They have sewing gift baskets.  So give your loved ones hints about this site !!!!!  And then if you tinky down the page, you will find 10 sewing videos. I may not agree with all they have to say, but  this is knowledge at its finest.  Spend some time here.  You will pick up lots of hints and tricks.  

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/44990/how-to-make-a-fortuny-gladstone-bag-part-1?utm_source=eletter&utm_medium=eletter&utm_content=th-eletter&utm_campaign=threads-eletter For all you bag lovers, see what Kenneth King has to say about taking apart old bags to see the construction and take a pattern.  This is part 1.  I will publish the link for part 2 as soon as it comes out.  


See you all in class.  


The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Capt. Jack Sparrow

Hello A-Team !!!!

This coming week, is the end of Sewing Fundamentals 1:  The Sewing Techniques Portfolio.   Last week, we learned how to make three types of pockets, and we learned how to hand hem.  We also practiced blind hemming with a sewing machine.  I personally do not like this technique, but it is good for curtains and drapes.  On Monday, we will be learning three ways to input a zipper and we will be having buttonhole practice.  On Tuesday, your portfolios are due during class.  Class pictures will be taken.  The week after this, will start Sewing Fundamentals 2:  Apparel Construction.  Sewing Fundamentals is now taught in 2 parts.  Each part will teach you to sew.  So don’t worry if you are just coming on board to learn.  Print, read your syllabus and come to class.

In our Computer Patternmaking Class, we are now back in room 208, to begin computer patterning our final project with Patternmaker.  For the past three weeks, we made muslin toiles to ensure that our measurements were inputted in the program correctly.  We worked on our final croqui images so that we knew what our final project will look like.  AND we made quarter size patterns of what we need to do in Patternmaker. What creativity !!!!!  How exciting !!!!!  


https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-E1j9DxEEUw      This fun video is about vintage sewing in the 1948.  Thank you Kelly for sending this !!!!  YOU WILL LAUGH at the attitudes portrayed.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqEuVgO8Rno   The Joan Dress – This video is over an hour.  I have NO IDEA why it is called the Joan Dress.  I just could NOT resist putting this video in my blog.  She follows her pattern guide to sew the dress.  And she does an excellent job on putting in the back zipper.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IdxkC6bmkNI  A NEW take on shoes with Feetz…… using a 3D printer.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9faErEnVb8s  Ever wonder how a professional dress form is made?  Well here is your chance to see a video on it.  This video is for Alva Forms.   Get a cup of coffee and sit and relax.  There is really 2 videos here, back to back.  The first one, is a commercial for the second one.  Enjoy !!!!

I find my motivational quotes from the tag that hangs on the kind of tea I like.  The company’s name is Good Earth.    Here is my last motivational quote for the week:  The author is unknown.  Don’t let someone dim your light, simply because it’s shining in their eyes.  

See you all in class !!!!


The Week Before Halloween !!!!

Halloween 1Hello A-Team !!!!  

I hope you are all busy making Halloween Costumes !!!  And remember, Just because Halloween falls on a Saturday night, doesn’t mean that you can go crazy.  I want you all safe and back in class on Monday, November 2.

Sewing Fundamentals Portfolio:  Can you believe that this class has only 2 more weeks in it?????  This past week, we learned how to make and insert a collar in a jacket.  Last Thursday, we mastered closures, patches, sequins and beads.  Next week will practice sewing 3 different kinds of pockets and how to hem things, 5 different ways with 4 different stitches. 

This is the final week in room 209 for Computer Patternmaking.  By the end of the week, we will have completed and fit our slopers, tweaked our measurements, and designed our final garments on our croqui.  The first week in November, we are back in the computer classroom ready to design our final garment patterns in Patternmaker !!!!  (www.patternmakerusa.com)  

Great Links !!!!!!

 fa 15 ceramics fundraiser  If you get a chance, Go to ECC and support this fundraiser !!!!  For artisan holiday gifts, you just can’t beat this !!!!!!

Here is the link for the Donna Karen interview from Tracey !!!!  This is phenomenal !!!!!  You can hear and read the interview from NPR.  Thank you, Tracey !!!!!!  

http://www.marthapullen.com/?et_mid=626265&rid=241546762 This is a link to the Martha Pullen website.  There is an article on beginning smocking.  

http://leitesculinaria.com/90444/writings-breast-cancer-awareness-month.html The Pink TuTu project.  Thank you for sending this, Maureen !!!!!  This link has a button you click on, to make a donation to the Pink TuTu project to support Breast Cancer Research and Awareness.  

Rrom Threads Magazine online:  How to Achieve Ideal Sewing Machine Thread Tension

  The bobbin thread tension is too tight.  The upper thread tension is too loose.  Balanced thread tension.   Balanced thread tension.
Balanced thread tension.
Poor thread tension on a machine-sewn seam can result in an unstable seam, puckering, or just plain unattractive stitching. Perfect machine stitches interlock smoothly and look the same on both sides of the fabric. If you see small loops on the right or wrong side, the thread tension isn’t correct.

achieve ideal sewing machine tension

  The red stitching is the upper thread; the black is the bobbon thread. The tension is balanced.

 A tension precheck

A number of factors can throw off thread tension besides the machine’s tension settings. Before trying to adjust the machine settings, take a look at other issues than can throw off the tension:

Is the sewing machine needle bent or does it have a burr on the tip?

Is the needle the correct size for the fabric?

Is the machine threaded properly? Most machines have thread guides, tension disks, a tension regulator, and a bobbin case spring that controls the bobbin-thread tension. Be sure the machine is threaded correctly. Remember, most tension discs close when the presser foot is down, so be sure to thread the machine with a raised foot. A good habit is to put the spool on the machine, and pull out 18 inches of thread. Hold the thread firmly in your nonthreading hand, so you can “snap” the thread into the tension disks (much like flossing teeth). This ensures the thread is placed correctly in the tension disks.

achieve ideal sewing machine tension

Does the bobbin have the same weight of thread as on the top spool? Is the thread good quality?

Is the upper thread catching on the thread notch or on another rough spot on the edge of the thread spool?

Did you drop a metal bobbin on a hard floor? If so, nearly invisible damage to it might keep it from working properly.

Are the tension disks clean? Lint sometimes collects in the tension disks. Thread your machine as usual. Pull some thread off the spool in the machine and cut it close to the spool. Tie two or three overhand knots in the thread, and be sure they are tight. Unthread the needle, and pull the knotted thread through the tension disks down by the needle. The tiny knots often catch bits of lint in the tension discs. Remember to cover your machine between uses to prevent dust from collecting in the machine.

achieve ideal sewing machine tension   achieve ideal sewing machine tension

Diagnosing faulty thread tension

If you’ve eliminated all of the possibly causes listed above and the tension is still bad, try this diagnostic exercise.

Begin by making test swatches. Get some light-colored fabric. Thread the machine with different colors of thread in the needle and bobbin. Sew 6 inches or so, and look at the fabric’s right and wrong sides.

achieve ideal sewing machine tension   If there are loops on the right side (red thread with black loops), the upper thread tension is too tight.


achieve ideal sewing machine tension   If there are loops on the bottom side (black thread with red loops), the bobbin thread tension is too tight.

Most of the time, the upper tension needs to be adjusted.

Adjusting the upper thread tension

When you’re adjusting the upper thread tension on your machine, remember that higher numbers on the dial indicate higher (tighter) tension, and lower numbers indicate lower (looser) tension.

Try changing the tension dial up or down one unit. Sew another line of stitching on your sample to see if the tension is balanced. Continue to change the tension settings until the stitches are balanced and no loops are visible on the top side. Run your fingers over the stitches on both sides of the fabric; they should feel smooth.

Adjusting the bobbin thread tension

To check the bobbin thread tension: If you have a front-loading bobbin, remove the bobbin and its bobbin case from the machine. Be sure the bobbin thread is threaded through the bobbin spring. Holding the thread, release the bobbin case over a padded surface (bobbin cases should not be dropped on a hard surface, as the impact may change how they perform). If the bobbin case falls a couple of inches, the tension is correct. If the bobbin case falls several inches, the bobbin tension is too loose. If the bobbin doesn’t fall at all, the bobbin tension is too tight.

If your machine has a top-loading bobbin with a nonremovable bobbin case, you can’t adjust the bobbin thread tension. Always, balance the tension by adjusting the upper thread. Although you have less control, you can usually set the tension successfully by working with only the upper thread.

When to consult a professional

If you have tried all of these tips and your machine is still not making good stitches, it is time to take it to the shop.

Sometimes “bad” tension is a good thing. When basting a garment, change the tension so the stitches are loose. After the seams are permanently stitched, removing the basting stitches is fast and easy. Just remember to correct the tension before you sew more seams.  Contributor:  Ruth Ciemnoczolowski 

See you all in class !!!!!!!

Make Money with your Skills ! ©

Be Safe,

Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department


Knowledge is Power

Hello A-Team:  

Motivational Quote:  Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass.  It’s about learning to dance in the rain.  Unknown Author.

Do YOU know how to fix this common                          pattern problem????

Learning to sew means that the above problem will never ever happen to you again !!!!  Sounds too good to be true???  Come to class and learn !!!!  Knowledge is power !!!!  Knowledge is a skill that can be sold for profit  in the job market, along with confidence and courage.

Sewing Techniques Portfolio:  Last week, we finished up learning all about sewing prep.  I hope you all realize how important this is.  Without it, nothing, and I do mean nothing, gets done well.  And of course, as the instructor, I want all my students to be stopped in their daily routine and asked, “That’s a fantastic shirt, pants vest, etc.”   Later on in the semester, you will learn how to fix the problem in the picture.  This will occur in Module 2.  We also practiced TLC for sewing machines.  We learned the difference between basting and default stitching.  We mastered a technique to sew knit fabric with a straight stitch sewing machine with the famous 2 x 2 mm stitch.  Next week, we will start learning how to do seam finishes and all kinds of crazy seams.  Plus we will discover how to handle darts………

Computer Patternmaking:  Last week:  We started manufacturing our initial sloper garments in our Patternmaker Software.  This will be a bodice and a pair of darted pants.  Once our personal measurement table checks out, all the macros in Patternmaker are there to be utilized.   This week, we will continue with this.  By next Thursday, we need to have all the seam allowances,  all the text, extra notches put on, and then….we need to place the pattern pieces on 36 inch wide x 108 inches long “paper” inside the Patternmaker program.  Then we get to PDF this.  Put it on your USB and off you go to get the pattern printed at your local Staples or Fed Ex.  

Remember:  Next Saturday, October 10, is a Fandango Field Trip to the LA Garment District.  If you want to go, call Sew Pro’s to pay for your ticket on the bus.  1-858-279-2500. 

Links:  You know, most of the links I give to you, I think are great.  This one, is no different.  Only, I swear to you, do NOT use any kind of pins when you use a serger.  I don’t care where you put them.  This is an accident waiting to happen.  This being said, I feel the video has some terrific tricky fabric techniques to share:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srQ6-c-P0gU&feature=youtu.be&utm_source=Baby+Lock+List&utm_campaign=711ee09b11-10%2F1+BL+consumer+enews-less+than+N+greater+than+G&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_32babebce8-711ee09b11-274787417

http://www.advanced-embroidery-designs.com/freedesign.html  If you do not have an embroidery machine:  Start collecting freebie embroideries in the PES format.  It is the most universal.  

Sensible Advice:  For the school district and all of us !!!!!

From: Kent 
Sent: Thursday, September 03, 2015 4:18 PM
Subject: Email, Internet and Identity Reminders

For District-wide Distribution:

Every Fall term, I like to send out a reminder that hackers, spammers and identity thieves have spent their summer thinking about us!

Please remember to be careful and to scrutinize the emails you receive and open.  If you don’t know the sender, or you rarely, if ever, receive emails from the sender and the subject doesn’t look right, then don’t open it.

Also, don’t click on any internet hyperlinks within the emails if they look suspicious.  (Remember, you can usually move your mouse curser over the hyperlink to see the actual URL.   If you don’t recognize the URL and/or it does not match the sender email domain, it’s probably not legitimate and the email should be deleted.)

Remember my Internet motto.  Whether from an email or a website, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

District IT and all other reputable companies will never ask you for your network or login account ID, or your password via email or on a web form.  Please remember this whether you are at work, or on your home computer doing your personal business.  Your name and email address are usually not considered Personal Identifiable Information, but your address, phone number, bank accounts, credit cards, mother’s maiden name, passwords, etc., should always be protected.

Lastly, please protect your email account and never share your password.  One compromised district email account which is used for spamming can impact our “email reputation” causing Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, etc., to either slow down our email delivery (referred to as tar pitting) or block it completely for a day or two.  You can imagine the panic this causes for our faculty and students at the beginning of the term!

Anyhow, I hope I haven’t scared you too much but safe computing has to be a way of life as our personal digital footprints continue to grow exponentially.


Director, Information Technology

See you all in class this week !!!!!

Make Money with your Skills ! ©

Be Safe,

Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office:  619-588-2244


Picture of the Week !!!!!

Global Warming
Thank you for sending this, Sandy !!!!

Hello A-Team !!!!!

Things are finally coming back to normal.  YEAH !!!!!  

Sewing Fundamentals:  Last week, Jeanne had you cut your portfolio patterns and showed you a power point of supplies that you will need to buy.  Then last Tuesday, we went on a field trip to buy supplies.  Not many students showed, due to the rain, but a good time was had by all who came !!!!  This coming week, we will learn how to lay out and cut our patterns correctly on grain.  What fun !!!!  Here is what I wrote in the syllabus, about the upcoming week.

Week 3:  Mon  Sept 21Fabric Prep work is the most important part of sewing:  Totally take notes on this lesson if you come unprepared !!!!  Truing your fabric on grain, Layout your portfolio patterns on your preshrunk fabric.  (View the pictures:  Finding Grainlines & Layout.)  Remember to:  1.  Lay everything on grain.  2.  Get an okay from the instructor to cut.   Production Term of the Day is commandment #12:  Respect Thy Grainlines.  Remember to cut your interfacing:  WOVEN:  Back neck facing, Front facing, Collar, V-neck facing, Two 8 ½ x 11 sheets (woven buttonholes and closures).  KNIT interfacing for one 9 x 4 inch pattern pieces. Check what is written on your pattern pieces.  Homework:  What you do not finish in class, you will need to do at home.  Come to class tomorrow with everything cut out on grain.  Remember to bring Scrap Fabric to all classes plus all your cut out fabric pattern pieces and patterns.  Individual and Group Help.  

Tues Sept 22 – More Prep Work:  Demo & Do:  Fusing interfacing with a press cloth, Serging, and Marking:  Darts:  regular 4 & fisheye 2, Dots (inseam pocket, shoulder on sleeve), lines, corners, swirl, wrist ruffle.  Commandment #14:  Thine Iron is Thy Friend.  Learn to give TLC to the school’s sergers.  Homework:  Finish up what you didn’t get to complete in class.  Individual and Group Help.  Remember to bring Scrap Fabric to all classes plus all your cut out fabric pattern pieces and patterns.  Individual and Group Help.

Computer Patternmaking with Patternmaker:  Last week, we made our croqui pictures.  These will be used to design on.  Remember, to draw as if someone else will be making up your garment.  We also started researching what we want to design.  For the next 2 weeks, we will have an introduction to Patternmaker’s icons and menus.    

Great Links:

http://www.threadsmagazine.com/assets/pdf-download/One-seam_poncho.pdf  Great Article !!!!!  Download the PDF.

http://www.urbanthreads.com/newsletter.aspx   Great FREE Halloween Bat from Urban Threads.  Grab it.  If you do NOT have an embroidery machine, get the design in .pes fromat.

This is the latest book catalog from Bloomsbury and Fairchild.  Great current book offerings !!!!!

Enjoy !!!!!       See you all in class this week !!!!!

Make Money with your Skills ! ©

Be Safe,

Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office:  619-588-2244