The Sewing Society is adding Fall Classes

Class is in session! The Sewing Society Fall Sewing classes are rolling out. Beginning sewing, Understanding patterns, Skirt making and Tote bags are all on tap for this fall. Click the link below for a full list.

Calling all beginner seamstresses and those who need a little refresher course.

Have you ever picked up a pattern or guide sheet and you feel like you are reading another language? Or been in the fabric store and it seems like the people are speaking a different language? Do the words bias tape, tracing wheels and notches mean nothing to you? Fear No More! Silver Spring Sewing Society is here to help. Learning how to sew and communicating in sewing terms can become second language within just a few lessons.

This Very Basic Sewing Class will focus in on the very basic components of sewing. You will learn the parts of the sewing machine, how to take your measurements, what to look for if you are buying a new machine and you will practice sewing stitches. Come join us to get all your sewing questions answered. For this class you should bring your own sewing machine and all the attachments including bobbins.


If you do not own or have access to a sewing machine we have a limited number of sewing machines available for rent. Prior to registering for this class please send an email to reserve a machine.


Please arrive 15 minutes early for set up

Additional supplies for this class will be provided.


Please see the supply list below:

A working sewing machine – Please have your machines serviced before bringing them to class if they are older and have not been used in a while


(be sure to bring your foot petal and manual if you have it handy)

Presser feet for the Sewing Machine

Extra sewing needles

Sewing shears

Seam ripper (this will be your best friend 🙂

Tracing wheel/tracing paper or chalk (whichever you prefer)

Spool of Thread


Tape Measure

Pin cushion

Bobbins (make sure they fit your machine)

A sewing box or carrying case to keep all your supplies

Patience and a sense of humor 🙂

We have sewing machines for rent: Please email to reserve before registering for this class

Classes and Meetups will only be confirmed and booked at the location after at least 6 people have RSVP’d. If registration drops below 5 the class or meetup is subject to be canceled. Please check back periodically.

PhD (Projects Half Done) Class and Fabric Swap with The Sewing Society

This weekend the Sewing Society met for our second PhD class and Fabric Swap at the Roundhouse Theater Education Center in Silver Spring.  Every quarter The Sewing Society hosts a class where members can bring in their sewing projects in and get help with completing them. There is nothing worse than UFO’s Un-Finished Objects! LOL!!  I’m sure any of you seamstresses out there can agree. On Sunday the students brought in some great items to work on this week and a couple even completed them during out three hour session.

Pictured here: Mary putting in Tailor Tacks on a very stylish Vogue jacket. Kanisa worked on a cape she has been nursing for a couple weeks. These ladies bring water and snacks to stay hydrated. This sewing stuff is hard work 🙂


Breyan decided to put the finishing touches on her fabulous Skirt


We were all proud and amazed at her progress!



Heather picked up a dress from the Thrift Store and wanted to turn it into a more fashionable blouse.





Patricia pictured below had a black and white knee length dress and converted it to a shirt with a peplum bottom




We also had a fabric and pattern swap. These are the most fun



I got lucky!! Must be St. Patty’s day!! Patricia brought a dress in for alterations and decided to give it to me!!! Thanks again Patricia!!


And as always we laughed and had a great time!!


Recapping Basic Sewing Class Part 2

Once again I had the pleasure of teaching a group of novice seamstresses for a basic sewing class. Most of the students participated in our Beginning class two weeks ago and this week we took things a step further.

We began with a review of parts of the sewing machine. Then moved into  instruction on flat seams and french seams.

The class went back to their seats to begin working on the flat seam

We then moved to the sewing machine where we had a quick lesson in pressing and the importance of pressing seams properly.

Xtine, our teachers aide, shown here assisting a student with her sewing machine

The next part of class focused on how to properly take your measurements

After Xtine and I gave the instructions they tried it on their own. Needless to say the “taking measurement class” always brings about funny comments and memorable expressions 🙂

The last part of our class covered the pattern envelope and how to read the envelope and select the right size.

Silver Spring Sewing Society is the place you want to be if you are interested in learning the basics of sewing and have a great time doing it. Hope you can join us in two weeks at our new location for another tote bag making class.

In the meantime

Happy Sewing!

Finally finished Jean Bag project…..Whew!

As a sewing instructor the goal is to actually make the project before teaching the class. This doesn’t always happen. As of late I have been completing the projects by the day before. But this time I’m “on fire”. Here we are over two weeks out from “Jean Tote -Bag Making Class” and I’ve already completed one bag and cut out a second even more fancy than the first. I’m proud of myself especially since I’m in the middle of a sewing room revamp and I only have a small little corner open for sewing. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other in-process photos only the final product. If I had to stop in the middle to take photos I might not have completed this tonight.

About the project: Even though it has taken me weeks the project only took about 1 1/2 hours to finish. This pair of size 4 jeans, The Limited brand I picked up at a swap earlier this year. I added the silk scarf for a little color. I could have done more but I’m saving that for bag #2. I will post the second bag in a few days. This one will be alive with texture and embellishments.

If you are interested in learning how to make this bag in just over a hour, Join the Sewing Society on April 15th form 1:30-3:30. Location TBD.

Basic Sewing Class Recap

One of my favorite things to do when it comes to the wonderful world of sewing is to teach beginning sewing classes. Those who have never sewn or who have little to no experience have the mind of a sponge just ready to soak up everything. They are open to new ideas and willing to try new things. The excitement that fills the room is like no other. I’m not sure who is more excited about class, me or the students 🙂

19 budding seamstresses arrived at the Sewing Society’s 1st beginning sewing class of the year held at Wheaton Public Library. 

Wide eyes, anxious stares, nervous looks, wringing of hands and intimidated looks at sewing machines……..All this was going on among the beginner seamstresses in our most recent class. But two hours later there were smiles, laughter and lots and lots of relief.

After introductions which included stories of taking sewing in home ec in high school, buying a machine on craigslist, being a crafty person, made a new years resolution and always been interested we began talking about the parts of the sewing machine and how it operates. Some actually feared they wouldn’t be able to sew a straight line others were just unsure of making the decision to even pick up a sewing machine. As class went on and we went step by step the more we worked away the anxieties. Each student learned to thread their sewing machine and the bobbin.

Two students shown here threading their machines giving one another some encouragement

Afterwards the class received step by step instructions on how to sew the flat seam, flat seam with zig zag edges and a flat felled seamed

The students then went back to their seats and worked on some samples.

A successfully sewn flat seam. Look at this happy face!

In our class students receive one on one instruction and ask questions about their machines and other sewing projects they are interested in working on

 Thanks to my two teachers aides: Ann P and Xtine H

The Basic Sewing Class of Silver Spring Sewing Society showing off their samples

If you would like to join us for our next Basic Sewing Class on April 1st please click the link:

See you in class. Happy Sewing!

Sip & Stitch with DC Threads Recap

Last Friday night I was excited to attend an event at DC Threads in Adams Morgan. My friends and fellow lovers of all things creative, Allison Lince-Bentley and Laura Lee hosted  women business owners who discussed the challenges and rewards of starting your own business.

Laura and Allison

What and inspiring and enlightening discussion about how Crafty Entrepreneurs turned their Hobby into a Business. If you missed this event you truly missed a treat.

The panelist from left to right were as follows:

Evelyn Bandoh, writer, speaker, creative business strategist, trainer and coach through her business, EAB Creative Planning Services

Holly Slayton, founder of Artikal Millinery, owns a studio in New York city where she keeps the art of hat making alive with her beautiful designs and engaging classes.

Anne Smyers, owner of House to Home One-Day Redecorating, assists clients in making living spaces more beautiful, comfortable and functional using what they already own

Valerie Williams is the designer and owner of Holland Cox, a line of handcrafted fabric handbags and fashion accessories.

and of course the host for the event

Allison Lince-Bentley, co-founder DC Threads Sewing Lounge and the owner of the Bits of Thread Sewing Studio

Allison began the discussion with telling the story of how she first began by volunteering as a sewing teacher at various locations while still working her day job. Fortunately she worked a job that would allow her some flexibility and she could still get her work done and fullfill her passion. Unfortunately it wasn’t a job she was thrilled to be doing and she was quite anxious to move on. Once she decided to take the leap of faith and open up a sewing studio she had a sense of satisfaction and never looked back.

Valerie and her beautiful purses

Valerie who has worked with Allison on various projects throughout the years took a few sewing classes and soon found her passion in making purses. She too was working a job where she was not feeling much self-worth. She longed for the day to spend her days sewing. When her job had to make budget cuts her position was one of the first to go. Her colleagues knowing her passion said to her “congratulations”. She knew this was one of the best things that could have happened to her.


Anne who has taken a very interesting approach to interior design decided that she wanted to start her own business whereby she would help people use the items they already have in their homes and re-purpose and reuse them to make their space more livable on a tight budget. Having the support of her family she too took a leap and has explored and eco friendly way of redecorating

Holly and her fascinators

Holly a self taught knitter/crocheter currently lives in NYC  but lived in DC several years ago. While she was living here she bar-tended and made crocheted hats, shawls, scarves and ponchos for some friends which quickly caught on and suddenly there was a demand.  One day she was asked to take on another shift which would prevent her from working on her the one thing that was fulfilling and made her feel whole. She decided she would walk away from that job move to NYC and pursue her passion. She soon ventured into the hat making arena and now creates these beautiful fascinators. In addition she hosts parties and travels along the east coast teaching class.

Evelyn who was the last speaker spoke about getting yourself in the right mindset to make a decision on whether or not your hobby is a hobby or could potentially become a business. She refers to herself as a chief creator alchemist. She works with women who are considering taking th leap to make certain this is the right move to make. Essentially she is a business coach who helps people to build on their dreams. She too worked a great job but decided to put a stake in the sand and set a date for when she would depart. She determined she wasn’t being paid enough, the job was not all that it was cracked up to be and she knew she had a God given gift to marry common sense reasoning with the creative innovator and bring them to an organized thought.

These five women were such an inspiration and so encouraging to those who are longing to step out on their dreams. Listening to how they all shared a common theme which was do what you love and love what you do. They all started out a little afraid of what was to come before them but believed in their talents and remained determined to make it work.

I look forward to connecting with them in the near future and inviting them to come speak to the Sewing Society very soon.

Zip and go Makeup Bags” – Who knew??

It’s always so funny to me when class doesn’t exactly turn out as you planned. A couple weeks ago we have a little mishap with the room then this week we are making these zip and go bags when half way through the project half the class decided they didn’t want a strap after all. Instead they wanted makeup bags. LOL!! It’s fine with me as long as they are happy and feel a sense of accomplishments. Whats even more hilarious. I decided I wanted a makeup bag too! I discarded the fabric I cut for the straps and sewed it up and was done with it.

We got started on time with a few instructions. Everyone was excited about inserting a zipper and since I am an unconventional seamstress I teach sewing in a zipper somewhat unconventionally. After receiving a few instructions the class went back to their seats and got started.

Yes that's me wearing my new refashioned sweater. And yes I sew standing up. Told you I was unconventional 🙂

Pretty intense faces huh? Easy goes it after this demo

Stephanie got right to it and was full steam ahead

Ericka working on her strap which she too tossed to the side

Here is Ann (AKA Speedy Gonzales Jr.) giving a little extra thought to the zipper placement

Kanisa had to leave early but she was able to get her zipper in and make it half way through the project before departing.

Sharaelle struggled a bit at the beginning but look at her smiling and with a great attitude the whole way through.

One last demo and the class is good to go

In the end 13 members of the Silver Spring Sewing Society made these great zipper bags turned make up bags

Stephanie with a big smile and totally cute bag

Xtine, did I mention she is "Speedy Gonzales"? She and Ann were neck and neck completing this project. You go gurls!!!

Andrea and her very snazzy Star Wars bag. Made from flannel Star Wars themed fabric.

Finished bags