One More Exciting Week before Winter Break

Dear A-Team:

Hope some of you went to the meeting: Coffee with Cops. It was held in the West City Center Main Lobby on Thursday, Dec 6th @ noon. I heard it was very informational. If you are interested in an embroidery course this summer 2013, send me an email. The more students that show interest, the easier it will be for me to hold the course. At the bottom of this email, I have copied the story of Mistletoe that I found in a local sales catalog. It’s quite the story!! You need to file this story under “I Never Knew that Before !!!!” Plus I have added 2 more informational tidbits about this season. Read on down !!!!!!!

Now for the classes:

Flat Patternmaking:  Last week, we finished flat patterning the raglan sleeve blouse with the convertible collar. We also had a catch up day to turn in all the flat patterns we made thus far for a grading. I called this a Portfolio of work, but, I LOVED all the shoeboxes. Next week, we are going to learn another way to make a pattern. I am going to teach how to do a knockoff of a finished garment. There are actually 4 ways to do this. We will talk about 3 of them and do the 4th. Come prepared to work on Monday and Wednesday night. The lesson will start @ 6 PM. Don’t push to come from work. Be safe. Remember your croqui picture(s) are due on Wednesday for your final project. Here is a list of the things you need to bring on Monday night.

1.  You can either choose one blouse or shirt with sleeves or one pair of jeans.

2.  Needle point tracing wheel, if you don’t have one. I have T-pins I can give you.

3.  Cardboard cutting board, if you have one. OR a large piece of corrugated cardboard. (We cannot damage the tables)

4.  Pencils and pens.

5.  Rulers.

6.  Sewing kit with paper scissors and straight pins.

7.  And I always like to have a religious object hanging around to help with the process. (I have seen beautiful angels, small bibles, dreidels, and quite a few hands of God.

Using your First Commercial Pattern: We are now making our garments according to our pattern guides. AND as you have discovered, the guides leave a lot for you to know that they don’t tell you. Thanks why I am here. As a sewing operation comes up that you don’t know….just ask Joanie! She will show you how with some little tricks and tips. Last Thursday, I showed how to put in set-in sleeves. This Tuesday, I think some of you will be ready for me to show you how to put in an elastic waistband.

It’s a Tradition to Kiss under the Mistletoe

Mistletoe is a parasitic plant that attacks and grows on a variety of healthy plants, most frequently trees. It is most commonly known culturally as the cute little plant that we hang in the doorway and traditionally kiss beneath around the holiday season. Yet, with such a bad rap in botany, why do we celebrate the plant and share an intimate moment beneath it around Christmastime?

In ancient Europe, nature was religiously revered as a gift from God. It was often incorporated into religious holidays and observances. Because mistletoe is an evergreen plant, it was believed to have mystical properties and was commonly hung in doorways for protection.

The tradition of kissing beneath mistletoe began in ancient Greece, during the festival of Saturnalia and later in marriage ceremonies. It was believed that mistletoe could heal illness, protect against nightmares, and even provide fertility. In the 18th and 19th centuries, kissing beneath mistletoe became a widespread tradition maintained around the superstition that women kissed beneath the plant would be married, become fertile, and bear many children.

Although kissing beneath mistletoe is not taken so seriously anymore, we still participate in the ancient tradition during the holiday season. So the next time you are feeling a little daring during the holidays, hand a sprig of mistletoe in a doorway. Pucker up and kiss the one standing beneath it to continue on the tradition.

Adam Sandler’s The Hannukah Song

Put on your yamukah
Here comes Hannukah
So much funnukah
To celebrate Hannukah

Hannukah is: the festival of lights
Instead of one day of presents
We have eight crazy nights


Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration held in the United States (and more recently, Canada) but also celebrated in the Western African Diaspora. The celebration honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1, culminating in a feast and gift-giving.[1] It is ideological, with seven core principles (Nguzo Saba): Unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. It was created by Maulana Karenga, and was first celebrated in 1966–67.

For more go to:

I would LOVE to post other Holiday traditions. If you know any, let me know.

Until then……Have a GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON !!!!!! HO! HO! HO!

Make Money with your Skills ! ©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Leave Time for Personal Growth

Dear A-Team:

I know that this is a very busy time of year. There is lots of shopping and baking to do. Take time for yourself. Come to class !!!!! These weeks between Thanksgiving and Winter Break are filled with instruction and learning. I updated the blog’s right hand column with the flyers for Spring 2013. Check it out !!!! Hope to see you in my Spring courses !!!! Also, there is a flyer from the Campus Police Department concerning Personal Safety at the West City Campus. I made the flyer printable. Print, Read and Be Aware.

This coming Thursday, the college police will have an open “Coffee with Cops” event. It will be at West City Center. The main Lobby. Thursday December 6, 2012. 12PM – 1:30 PM. Go and talk with them. They are here to protect us. The meeting will have an informal format, designed to be informative regarding public safety and quality of life issues that impact our campus. All Students, Staff, and Faculty are welcome.

The Classes:

Flat Patternmaking: Last week we finished up our Torso slopers, graded them, and started the Raglan Sleeve with Convertible Collar pattern. We will finish this up on Monday. Next Wednesday, December 5th, your patternmaking portfolios are due. We will spend the whole class getting your shoe boxes ready for grading. Of course, I will take pictures of all of you with your portfolio. I am SO excited to do this !!!! The following week, the week before Winter Break, we will be learning and doing completed garment knockoffs. This is great to know how to do. You never know when you will want to knockoff a favorite pair of pants or blouse.

Your First Commercial Pattern: Last Tuesday, we learned some new words: encased and enclosed seams. These seams will not ravel because they are enclosed. They do not need to be finished. Just sew them up. We also learned how to fuse our fusible interfacing to our fashion fabric. Remember, to fuse to the wrong side of your facings and under collar. We also serged with a 4-thread serger or by using decorative stitches on your straight stitch sewing machine all the seams that are open and will ravel. Last Thursday, we marked our fabric with all the necessary pattern markings. You also had a chance to embroider your pockets. I was surprised at how much you loved doing the computerized machine embroideries. I would like to teach you more about computerized machine embroideries next summer, 2013. If you are interested in this, sign up for the class. If I get enough student signups, I will be able to teach it. Also……….YOU have got to remember to clean up your area before you leave. It isn’t fair for 1 or 2 people to clean the whole room. I have cleaner for the tables and I have 2 brooms with dust pans.

Next week, we have course evaluations and it’s time to start following your pattern guide. I will always be near to answer questions and help with technique.

Due to the fact that you LOVED embroidering so much…

Every Link following will lead you to free embroideries… (There is also a job posting)

Remember, if you are given a choice, choose the .PES format. This is the most universal format for home embroidery machines. bobbin lace square that can be turned into a Christmas Ornament.

Appliqué Alphabet called Lombardi. Now Available “X, Y, Z.” This ends the Lombardi alphabet. If you missed some, you can buy the missing letters for $5 apiece. Christmas bell. Apex 3-Letter Master Monogram font. Add this to your cart. You get 3 different sizes for the monograms.

Hi Joan,

Hope all is well with you. I miss getting your midnight emails 🙂

I just wanted to let you know I had a call from a fellow that was looking for someone for a full time position working as a stitcher on industrial machines to create banners and other marketing items. Here is his contact info: Arthur 858 678 8909. The company is called ” Above All Advertising” and it is located in Mira Mesa. – Just thought I would throw that out there in the event you had a student looking for such a job opportunity.

Take care,


Gwen Couture
5745 La Jolla Boulevard

See you all next week !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

The 2012 Holiday Season is FAST Approaching !!!!

Hello A-Team:

I hope you are more ready for the holiday season than I am. It seams that it is just creeping up so early. AND I am NOT ready…………………… Also remember: There is NO classes scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving. Remember there is no classes from Monday through Friday, November 19 through the 23rd. Classes resume on Monday, November 26.

So much is happening !!!

This past weekend, we had a fandango field trip to Discount Fabrics on Morena Blvd. It was a great trip !!!! Everyone got their supplies and fabric for their projects. Remember to Preshrink your fabric and interfacing before class on Tuesday night !!!!!! You can’t cut until you do this. Six of us, went over to Bull’s Smokin’ BBQ for lunch after we finished up at Discount Fabrics. This place is just a kick !!!! I love the fact that they allow dogs on their patio. And the dogs are supplied with bones and water. It is very nice to see. Check them out at

First Commercial Pattern: Last week, was the first week of class. We learned how to read our pattern envelopes and choose the right size pattern. Last Thursday, we tried on our patterns and did just a bit of pattern fitting. Everyone who put their name on the board, was helped. A special Shout Out to the fit models who came down to be fitted!!!!!! This coming week, AFTER PRESHRINKING your FABRICS, we will lay out our patterns, all in a napped layout. Then you will be able to take your layout home to cut. I know this will take time to do. So on Thursday, we will practice TLC for the school’s machines. I will be teaching care, maintenance, threading of home straight stitch sewing machines and sergers. This will give you more time to cut your pattern pieces out at home. Our classroom just is NOT big enough for this to happen in. If you want to bring in your own sewing machines for the TLC class….this would be fine !!!!

Patternmaking Class: We worked on Blouse Style number 903 starting on page 233 of our text. We will finish this up next Wednesday, plus learn other ways to do the flounces. This Monday, the school was closed because of Veteran’s day. I do hope you all used the time to reflect on how much we owe the military for our safety. This coming Wednesday, we will also make a Torso block. So bring in the rest of your manila paper. The Torso block will be graded.

Some of my students from my other class, want to come and learn how to knockoff a finished garment. The dates this will occur on, are December 10 and December 12. You will need to bring a simple blouse or pants to knockoff. No jackets. Also bring your pencils, curves and rulers. You will also need a needle point tracing wheel. You can purchase this item at Central Sewing. Note, you will have to sign into the class to learn to do this, so bring your CSIDs (attendance) card.

Martha Rockford is selling three sewing machines and a sewing machine cabinet. The machines are not new. BUT they were all top of the line in their day. They are all Berninas.

From: Martha Rockwood []
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2012 11:19 AM

I am selling my Bernina 1630 – straight stitch/embroidery machine. I also have a Bernina Deco 500 and a Bernina Serger 2500. All are in great running condition. The 1630 has many attachments and I have some deco some cards. All this is part of the package. All three machines are in the whole bundle for $1,200.
I also have some Deco cards to go with the Deco. Some Cards I have never used. All machines are running and have been maintained by Brian at the Sew Hut.
The 3 machines go as a group. I will have them prepared for their new home by wed. next week. I also have a corner sewing desk for 300.00 more with the inserts for the 1630. and another spot for the serger. So someone for $1500 dollars has a whole sewing group. My phone number is 858-922-4306. You can also email me at mrockwood5647.
my price is firm. The machines are in good shape. The table is in good shape.


****************The following is a sewing job in San Diego:

Job Summary


2325 Marconi Court

San Diego, CA 92154-7241

Industry manufacturer of industrial and recreational fabrics for agricultural screening products, fence construction screening, truck tarps, overhead dispensers, pet protection screening, sports products, a full line of nursery fabrics and windscreens.

Job Type

Full Time (40 Hr plus some Saturdays) Employee

Required Years of Experience

Minimum 1 Year

Education Level

High School or equivalent

Career Level

Experienced (Non-Manager)


$8.​00 – $10.​00 /​hour


Industrial Seamstress/Sewing Machine Operator

About the Job

**Seeking either an Experienced Industrial Sewing Machine Operator or an Experienced Home Sewing Machine Operator willing to learn to operate an Industrial Sewing Machine (not an automated sewing machine)***

Job Purpose / Summary:

Sews products together using synthetic bindings, heavy duty screening and tarp weight fabrics, and other durable materials using non-automated industrial sewing machines.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

1. Selects thread, according to specifications or color of project.

2. Aligns parts, fasteners, or trimmings, following seams, edges, or markings.

3. Able to work with long lengths of fabric 150 feet to 300 + feet at a time.

4. Familiar with basic threading and tension balancing of industrial straight needle machines.

5. Self-motivated quality production ethics.

6. Spanish/English bi-lingual a plus

7. Experience with Singer 300w, Juki LUH521, Juki LU563, Consew 339RBL-25 and Consew 339RBL-1 a hiring point.

Supervisory Responsibilities: None

Required Experience, Education, and Abilities:

High school diploma or general education degree (GED); or one to three months related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies :

· Stand, stoop, bend, kneel, walk, reach, lift and carry up to 40 lbs. on a regular and repetitive basis.

· Manipulate and sew fabric with manual and automatic devices.

· Read, interpret, understand, carry out, and communicate instructions both orally and in writing.

· Count, add, subtract, multiply, and divide in units of measure, common fractions, and decimals.

· Analyze and resolve problems in standardized situations.

· Look for ways to improve and promote quality; demonstrate accuracy and thoroughness.

· Follow policies and procedures; support organization’s goals and values.

· Meet productivity standards; complete work in timely manner; strive to increase productivity.

· Observe safety and security procedures; determine appropriate action beyond guidelines; report potentially unsafe conditions; use equipment and materials properly.

Work Environment:

Production environment with exposure to moving mechanical parts and moderate noise. Shop is located very near the international boarder in a heavy industrial area and personal transportation is a must.

Resumes should be sent to Leo Persello at lpersello with the subject titled Seamstress Position.

I ran across this cookie recipe from NPR’s blog called The Salt. It sounds particularly wonderful.

Aunt Ida’s Poppy Seed Cookies

Our Aunt Ida baked this cookie for more than 60 years, to the delight of four generations of our family, transporting them to parties in covered tins. We baked these cookies and served them at Aunt Ida’s memorial gathering after her funeral since this recipe is part of her legacy. She always stored her poppy seeds in the freezer to keep them fresh.

Poppy seed cookies bring back memories of watching Dallas with Aunt Ida, the Brass Sisters say.

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup poppy seeds

1 cup peanut oil

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Set the oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a 14 X 16-inch baking sheet with foil, shiny side up. Coat the foil with vegetable spray or use a silicone liner.

Sift together flour and baking powder; add poppy seeds.

Separately, whisk peanut oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add sifted dry ingredients and mix to combine. Chill the dough in the refrigerator one hour, or until firm enough to handle.

With floured hands or wearing disposable gloves, break off teaspoon-size pieces of dough and roll into small balls. Place dough balls on baking sheet about 2 inches apart, or 12 cookies per sheet. Pat into circles with your fingers (rather than rolling or stamping). Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned around edges. Let cookies cool 1 minute on baking sheet on rack and then transfer cookies to a rack. Cookies will become crisp as they cool.

Store between sheets of wax paper in a covered tin or freeze in a tightly sealed plastic bag or container.

Yield: 60 cookies

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

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Midweek A-Team Post

Dear A-Team:

Yes…..I will be holding class this Thursday Night. There is just too much we need to do. I will teach you how to insert a lapped zipper and I will teach you to make buttonholes. AND most of all, I need to grade your portfolio/shoebox. So, there is NO choice, those of you who want to pass Sewing Fundamentals I, need to come. Just, all sit in the back of the room. I have been taking Zicam, real Sudafed, Vitamin C, and Echinacea/Goldenseal, at least every 4 hours. I am thinking of getting Dayquil and Nightquil

I don’t think I will be writing an A-Team email this weekend. I need to sleep off the residual whatever I got. I am improving. By tomorrow, I will look like Rudolf the red nose reindeer…..AND this is an improvement!!!!!! Think twice before getting this year’s flu shot. I want to thank all the well-wishers who emailed me. Thank you !!!!! I got to see Dancing with the Stars on Monday night. I hope you all have seen this. They do such wonderful things with circle and gore skirts!

You all know that I adopt and worry about people. So I have been emailing my former students and friends who are living in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Stratford, Ontario Canada. (The news just doesn’t tell you enough about Sandy, once it leaves the US. So I got an email from a friend of mine. I wish I knew him when I went to college the first time……. This email was from Robert Doyle. Check out what he is up to, now. What a career he has had !!!!!!!!

Bless you for your concern Joan – Stratford was hardly touched by Sandy, lots of rain, but no over-all damage unlike the eastern seaboard. We still have rain, and the drains will fill up and cause some mild flooding, but God has spared us for the moment.

I just finished designing the costumes for Ballet Jorgen’s Swan Lake – go to their site, (Click on videos.) there is a trailer for you to see on Y-Tube, well parts of it. I am pleased with the outcome, especially my new design for the swan tutus. There are about 9 fascinating videos there for you to see the work of a costumer. (Marcine….this is for you !!!! because I can’t get together with you this week.)

Best ever


Tonight is Halloween. Warren went to work today, dressed as Zorro. He will be giving out candy tonight. I want every person safe tonight. Go treat or treating with your kids. Here is some guidelines from the Campus Police Department:


 Children become careless from excitement and may run into the road.

 Dusk is the time of poorest visibility for drivers. Try to Trick or Treat while it is still daylight.

 Choose a costume that is easy to walk in, easy to see out of and can be seen by drivers.

 If the Trick or Treating lasts into the night, wear a light colored costume.

 Use reflective tape on the costume for additional visibility.


 Loose costumes, oversized bags or unsafe shoes can cause falls or accidents.

 Masks reduce vision.

 Sharp or pointed toy weapons are unsafe

 If wearing a mask, choose one that is cool, comfortable and easy to see out of. Take the mask off before crossing the street. Better yet, wear make-up instead of a mask.


 Billowing costumes are dangerous around an open flame.

 Flowing false-hair wigs are unsafe around candles

 Wigs and costumes should be of non-flammable materials.

Use a flashlight. It makes children more visible and lights their way.


 It’s sad, but true, that some people wish to cause harm. Treats must be checked for potential poisoning.

 All fruit should be washed and cut into small pieces to make sure nothing has been placed inside.

 Unpackaged items such as popcorn or small candles should be DISCARDED.

 Candy with loose or torn wrappings should also be DISCARDED.

If you should discover anything wrong with the “TREATS” brought home, report it to law

enforcement so that other parents may be warned and the people responsible caught.


Compliments of:

San Diego Community College District Police Department

Attached please find the flyer and the map to the Anita Goodesign Event that will be going on this weekend. Click on them and print them out. I probably will not be able to go. I need to sleep off this bug that I got. I spoke to Paula and she said that you ONLY need to bring 2 pair of scissors: 1. Applique Scissors, and 2. A curved bent scissor to cut threads in the hoop. I do hope you all have a great time. Paula told me to tell you that you can pay at the door. Just call her up to tell her you are coming, so she counts you for the lunch boxes. 619-447-3244.

I will begin next week where I left off last week, for the Patternmaking students. We will begin with a Blouse pattern. I will also show you the grains on a full size circular skirt I have.

Flat Pattern Manipulation: Last week, we concentrated on Skirts. We completed our first pattern will seam allowances. We learned how to make circle skirts and we made a gore skirt for our portfolios. I forgot to show you a complete circle skirt. You need to see what the grain does. Next week, I will show this to you along with making another pattern. We are going to make our bodice sloper into a blouse pattern. Come and learn how to do this. Yes….there is NO class on Halloween !!!!! (I am just too ill.) We will begin with this, next week.

Portfolio: Last Tuesday, we learned how to make 3 pockets: an off-set inseam pocket, a lined patch pocket, & an unlined shirt pocket. Last Thursday, we learned how to sew 3 different kinds of hems. We learned the catch stitch/cross stitch, the slipstitch/pick stitch and the blind hem. We even sewed a hem by straight stitch machine. The thing to remember about stitch names is that the same stitch can be called many different names depending on what part of the country you learned it in. Tomorrow……Thursday night, we will learn one lapped zipper and machine buttonholes. If there is time, you can practice this with your knit buttonhole fabric. I will be grading your Portfolios/Shoeboxes.

Next Tuesday, will begin a NEW Class for Sewing Fundamentals I: Using your First Commercial Pattern. This will teach you everything that I could not fit in to the Portfolio course. AND I will be well by next Tuesday………………..

Remember to set your clock back an hour on Saturday Night !!!!!!

See you all in class !!!!!

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Grossmont College Campus Map 1-12.pdf

Happy Halloween !!!!

Dear A-Team:

I just can’t believe how fast time marches on!!!!!! November 1st is the final day for the Fall Portfolio Course. I will be sad that this course is over. You have learned SO MUCH !!!! I get to see your portfolios/shoe boxes on Thursday !!!! Next weekend is the Anita Goodesign Event put on by Central Sewing. It will be held in Griffin Center at Grossmont College. Call them if you are interested in learning how to embroidery by machine. 619-447-3244. I can guarantee that you will want to learn more when the event is over. God willing, I will be able to teach an embroidery course next summer.

Here is an interesting place to look for jobs: The sports industry needs fashion people, too. CHECK IT OUT !!!!!!

Flat Pattern Manipulation: Last week, we concentrated on Skirts. We completed our first pattern will seam allowances. We learned how to make circle skirts and we made a gore skirt for our portfolios. I forgot to show you a complete circle skirt. You need to see what the grain does. This week, I will show this to you along with making another pattern. We are going to make our bodice sloper into a blouse pattern. Come and learn how to do this. Yes….there is class on Halloween !!!!!

Portfolio: Last Tuesday, we learned how to make 3 pockets: an off-set inseam pocket, a lined patch pocket, & an unlined shirt pocket. Last Thursday, we learned how to sew 3 different kinds of hems. We learned the catch stitch/cross stitch, the slipstitch/pick stitch and the blind hem. We even sewed a hem by straight stitch machine. The thing to remember about stitch names is that the same stitch can be called many different names depending on what part of the country you learned it in.

This upcoming week, is the final week of this class. Starting November 6, we are going to start using our First Commercial Pattern. So this week, we will learn how to sew in zippers and how to make buttonholes. Make sure you bring in your portfolios/shoe box on Thursday.

Interesting & Amazing Links: Download the Lombardi Applique “S” free !!! Skeldalehouse is a terrific site. Check out what they have to offer!!!! Knit a fabric clutch purse. Serger 101 Techniques This is a mobile e-magazine. Check out the fashions !!!!! You can page through 14 magazines……….. Unbelievable !!!!! Click on the magazine to start.

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Happenings in the Classroom

Hello A-Team!

Here is what is happening in the classes:

Patternmaking: Last Monday, we finished making our ½ size slopers. Last Wednesday, we started learning the art of making new pattern designs from our slopers. We made sure that we all had a two dart and a one dart sloper. We manipulated our one dart sloper into a French dart. We also manipulated the two dart sloper into neckline darts and made our first facing. This coming week we will be making a bateau neckline bodice with facings.

Portfolio: On Tuesday, we learned all about darts and how to gather in ratios. 3 to 1 gathers look fuller than 2 to 1 gathers. Last Thursday, we learned all about Pleats. This coming week, we will be studying closures, buttons, snaps, sequins, patches and more !!! This coming Thursday, we will be leaning about patch pockets and inseam pockets.

Remember to call Central Sewing (619-447-3244) to reserve your space for the Anita Goodesign Embroidery Party on November 3 and 4.

There is a Fashion Career Day on Saturday, October 20, 2012 at Mesa College. I put flyers in the classroom.

There is an Artwear Fall Show and Sale at the Al Bar Temple in Kearny Mesa. The creative use of fabric. Beads, yarn, make this show spectacular. If you want the address, I will have it in class. Just ask. has an applique Q for free. Weight Watchers published 14 things to do with Greek yogurt. Here is a video on using the stitch in a ditch foot from Sewing Parts Online.

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

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Yes, There is Class on Monday !!!!!

Dear A-Team:


The Classes:

Patternmaking: Don’t stress. I know drafting slopers is not easy. And truing up slopers is like working on a puzzle. This week, we will go at it again. I hope you just didn’t finish everything up for homework. We need to move over the skirt darts to match the bodice AFTER we figure out if the bodice and skirt match at the waistline. In order to make the skirt match the bodice, you have to know where to take the fabric from. If the darts are huge, you take the fabric from the dart intake. If the darts are little, take the fabric from the skirt side.

I have been thinking about this since last Wednesday night and I think I can explain this in a MUCH better way. Come to class and learn !!!!.

Portfolio: Last Tuesday, we studied fullness and how to control it. On Thursday, we practiced 5 different stitches on the sergers: The 2-thread, the 3-thread, the 4-thread, the rolled hem, and the cover stitch. These machines are amazing !!! And yes, I will give extra credit for the 2-thread. So instead of today’s lessons being 12 points, it is 15 points !!!!! After this, we had a guest speaker: Paula and Mike Rupley from Central Sewing. They demo’d the accessory feet you can buy for the Imagine serger. The 6 feet come in a kit. The demonstration was an amazing demo done with ease and finesse !!!! This upcoming week we will delve into darts and pleats. Check the right hand column and find Lydia’s Labels for the Portfolio. THANK YOU, LYDIA !!!!!! Print them out on Avery Label # 5160.

Links for Learning: Free Applique Lombardie P machine embroidery. CUTE !!!! Kitty Cat Hat made from a recycled sweater. Free Halloween Printable. It is a 3-D project. Take a look. It is too cute to be scary. Video on how to use a hemmer foot.

If you have NEVER BEEN TO AN ARTWEAR SHOW….GO… will never be the same……………………

Our Fall show is coming on October 28th from 10 am to 3 pm at Al Bahr Temple. Please let your family, friends, and neighbors know that we have a great selection of one-of-kind artwork that is not only beautiful, but also functional.

For additional information, please see our website at

For driving directions, please click and enter your starting address.
Note: If clicking on the above link does not load the map, please cut and paste the link into your web browser.

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

Make Money with your Skills ! ©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Best Weekend @ the Swap Meet !!!!

Hello A-Team:

On Saturday, I got the chance to go to the National City Swap Meet with Jaci Gibson Henrie, a GREAT fellow instructor. They have great bargains there !!!!! NEVER go without CASH and a LIST of your needs……………….

I am sure you have noticed: Due to our low enrollment numbers, I am opening my Tuesday/Thursday class, for anyone who just wants to come and sew. If you know anyone who wants to just come and sew….please let me know.

The classes:

In Portfolio: Last week we learned 7 difference kinds of seams. This week, we’re going to learn about easing and elastic. On Thursday, we will learn a lot about our sergers and what they can do to make your sewing easier. For this class, you need to come SAFELY on time.

In Patternmaking: we had a grand time last week draping our slopers. This week, we will turn our 5 pattern pieces into ½ size production slopers. I packed the manila paper into my car on Saturday. I am just so excited to show you how to do this. It’s just SO easy !!!!!!

Video Mania: See how to Make Free Standing Christmas Ornaments.

Real Age Health videos: There is a bunch of them here.

Free Embroideries: Download another Lombardie letter in PES format: “O” CUTE birdie freebie. Download it in PES. Make sure you get the one that is less than 4 inches by 4 inches. (100 cm x 100 cm) Or in the size that fits your hoop.

Remember to sign up for Central’s Anita Goodesign event. (November 3 and 4th) 619-227-3244

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

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

News Flash: Upcoming Events !!!

Dear A-Team:

I know you all know that Sew Pro’s is going to the LA Garment District and M & L Fabrics on October 13. If you haven’t gotten your ticket for the bus, yet: Call the Clairemont Store. 1-858-270-4700. The bus trip is worth $45 because you do not have to hassle a car. You don’t have to hassle parking. AND the best part: You can sleep on the bus.

Let me tell you about another event that is truly thrilling if you are even thinking about learning computerized machine embroidery!!!! Central Sewing Centre is teaming up with Anita Goodesign for a two day embroidery event. You will be spoiled by using top notch Babylock embroidery machines. I have attached a flyer for you to download. I also attached a map to Grossmont College, where the event will be held. Park in the parking structure. I’ll see you there !!!!!!  The attachments are at the bottom of this post.

The Courses:

Portfolio Class: Last week, we learned to control our sewing machines and how to sew with the default regular stitch, which you will use the most, and the basting stitch. Then we learned 6 seam finishes !!!! It was 2 days of fun filled learning !!!! This week, we will learn 7 different kinds of seams and what they are used for. Come to class and learn to sew. You will use these skills for a lifetime and then some !!!!!

Drafting Class: We drafted the back bodice and sleeve last week. Of course, there were minor corrections. In Monday night’s class, I have some neat ways to make these minor corrections to show you. We will also be drafting the skirt front and back. I know, you wish there were easier ways to make a sloper. Well….on Wednesday, I will show you. I also revamped the syllabus a bit. I know, last Wednesday, I gave you the page numbers of the upcoming assignments. When I got a minute to think about this…..I changed it a second time. I made a handout of the second changes. I will give it to you on Monday. I KNOW you will like this !!!! Come to class and master a moneymaking skill !!!!

A Few Great Links !!!!

From Threads Newsletter:  BEST TIP FROM KENNETH KING !!!! Pleated Ribbon Trim Free Letter N. It’s ornate and beautiful. It’s from Skeldalehouse applique’ alphabet.

Tuesday’s Tech Tip, September 11, 2012

Storing files ‘in the clouds’ This Tech Tip is emailed to the faculty by two very savvy instructors: Cindy and Donna. They are the ESL Tech Resource Instructors. This is so important to know about. Find out if this is for you.

Today’s tip is about storing files online, which has become more and more popular. Easy access from any computer, tablet, and some smart phones has made this even more attractive. People are moving away from saving everything (e.g. documents, photos, videos) on their computer desktop or removable storage devices (e.g. flash or thumb drives) in order to have the freedom to find, share, and edit files ‘in the clouds.’

Here are two free online places to store files. Both are available for Mac and PC platforms:

1. Dropbox. Started in 2007 by two MIT students. Watch the short video and then download if interested. Free account starts at 2GB of space. Get more space by referring people.

2. Skydrive. Run by Microsoft. Another short video and then download if interested. Free account is 7GB of space.

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

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244

Grossmont College Campus Map 1-12.pdf

Trust In Your Lessons

Hello A-Team !!!!

Last week was an exciting week. You can now see that the lessons build upon one another. Missing a class does not mean you do not have to make up the class at home. YOU MUST keep up with the workload or you will fall further and further behind. Plus….due to the recession…..the school is going to close courses that have less than the average 26 students in them. Here is the language that I received from the Vice President concerning this: Subject: ACS and Enrollment Management 2012-13


As we begin the fall semester it is important to keep in mind the need to effectively manage class enrollment. As you know, average class size (ACS) is the primary indicator of class enrollment and is used to manage class closures. Below is the CE statement, which has been in place for many years now, addressing ACS and class closures. Given the fiscal situation of the state of California and the district, CE has been asked to reduce the instructional program this fall, as have the colleges, so that budgets remain in alignment with the number of class offered.

“All classes with an ACS of less than 26 will be placed on an enrollment watch list. The following guidelines will be used to determine if a class with less than an ACS of 26 will continue:

· If 18 to 25 students at any session, the class may continue with Program Dean approval.

· If 15 to 17 students at any session, meet the full class hours on that day but inform students that future class sessions may be cancelled. Program Dean approval is required to continue holding class with an ACS of 15 to 17 students.

· If 14 or less, meet 1 hour and dismiss. Again, inform students that future class sessions may be cancelled. Program Dean approval is required to continue holding a class with an ACS of 14 students or less.”

Come to class. Both my courses have low enrollment. They are both on the watch list.

Lost and Found: Someone left some safety glasses in the classroom on Thursday night. I have them. See me.

Portfolio Course: Last week, we cut our fabric patterns on Tuesday. You got to do the layouts in class and finish cutting at home. The classroom hasn’t got the table space for everyone to cut. You learned the importance of Commandment #12: Respect Thy Grainlines. I also demo’d how to test and mark dots, notches, etc. Tracing paper and a fabric tracing wheel are essential to do this. On Thursday, we learned the basics of operating stitches on our straight stitch sewing machines. You learned how to wind a bobbin. You started sewing your practice control sheets. I had a serger set up for you to serge your edges so that they would not ravel as you practiced. The alternative to this, was to use the decorative stitches on your straight stitch sewing machine. This coming week: We will finish up our practice control sheets and go on to plain seams, basting seams, and the famous 2 by 2. You will soon discover that Commandment # 14 is true: Thy Iron is thy friend. On Thursday, we will use what we did on Tuesday, to learn how to finish seams in 5 different ways.

Drafting & Flat Pattern Course: Last Monday, we measured our dressforms and you learned a hard lesson. Wednesday, we drafted the front bodice. The drafts come out only as good as your measurements. Will your measuring improve over time? Of course. Will you strive for perfection? Of course. When your first draft comes out correctly, will you still doubt it? Of course !!!!!! If I let you use Lorie Knowles measurements from her pages, the drafts would have been perfect. WHY did I NOT let you have a positive experience during Thursday’s class???? Because you would NOT have believed me: The human body is not symmetrical. Living bodies move and breathe. Inner Stucture also affects FIT. Could you believe where those boobs were on those dress forms? They were set like a teenagers. Older fit models are NOT so perky !!!!! You needed to learn HOW to fix errors, EASILY…… You need to learn how not to get frustrated. I can’t apologize for putting you through these basic lessons. You will always remember the fix. It took 5 minutes……….. Those of you, who left early, missed the best part of the lesson. This coming Monday, we will be doing the back bodice. Wednesday, we will be doing the sleeve, which, if you want, you can stuff. I have stuffing. I also have patterns for the armhole and wrist covers. Check out my arms to see how I did it. I don’t remember how much stuffing I have in the classroom. Remind me to check. There is no time to make the arms in the classroom. IF you want arms, you will haveto make them @ home.

Links and Miscellaneous Knowledge:

Did you know that crushed Eggshells can remove coffee and tea stains from mugs????

Did you know that you should soak your showerhead in distilled vinegar for 15 minures to remove a coating of mineral deposits? MUCH safer to use than chemicals !!!!!

Go here to check out Life’s Simple 7 steps for a healthier heart.This site will rate your answers to their quiz. It lets you know where you need to improve. Blind Hemmer foot video from Sewing Machine Parts Online. Great place to get things for your sewing machine. Realage Terrific Videos !!! Take a look at this site !!!!!! Make sure you scroll down to see all the rest of the videos ……………….. Hand knit an amazing scarf with step by step instructions. Great LIST OF INDEPENDENT PATTERN COMPANIES. And it is a LONG list !!!!! Check this out !!! This is incredible !!!!!!

In honor of Constitution Day, Monday, September 17, I am going to end this message with a picture. It says A LOT about our founding fathers………

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

Make Money with your Skills !©


Joan McKenna

Associate Professor

San Diego Continuing Education

Hospitality & Consumer Science

Fashion Department

Office: 619-588-2244