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.

An introduction to Beginning Sewing

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013, 2:00 PM

Round House Theatre Education Center
925 Wayne Avenue Silver Spring, MD

1 Sewing Enthusiasts Went

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…

Check out this Meetup →

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.

Tossed & Found Rummage Sale

Hello Readers!!!

It’s that time again for Tossed and Found Rummage sale sponsored by the Junior League Washington of DC.

T & F

If you miss this event you are truly missing a treat. They will have everything from housewares to clothing at discount prices. If you love thrifting then you will love Tossed and Found. The event is kicked off on Friday night with Hoops and Heels silent auction and sneak preview sale. All shoppers will get to see the goods first hand on Friday night. Admission is $45. However Saturday and Sunday they are open from 9-4pm and its FREE all day! If you can make it our group The Thrift Score Society will meet you there at 8:30am Saturday morning and a few of us will show you the best way to navigate the huge show room of items. Bring large tote bags and rolling carts!!  On Sunday you can purchase a large bag for $40 and stuff it with as much as you can carry away. Thrifters Heaven!!!

This year the location of the sale has move a couple blocks away from Crystal City. The Sale will be held at 251 18th street, 5th floor, Arlington, VA.

If driving, pull into the garage of 251 18th Street. Immediately past the ticket machine, take the first left. Drive straight until you can’t any longer. There will be an elevator bank with a large green stripe that says 251 18th Street and Square 5 in front of you. Please take the elevators to the Shops level, where a volunteer will meet you to give you access to the locked 5th floor. If taking other methods of transportation, you will need to meet a T&F representatives on the Shops level of the elevator banks that are located close to the Rite Aid on the Shops Level.

Please note: if you are coming on a weeknight, the parking in the 251 18th street garage is very limited before 7 pm. There is a 2nd garage next to Morton’s on Crystal Drive, labeled “Crystal City Shops at 1550.” You can park here, and take the blue elevators to the Shops level, where you will need to head towards Starbucks and take a right and walk until you see the Rite Aid. The “251 18th street” elevators are directly across from RiteAid. A volunteer will be there to give you access to the locked 5th floor.

Below are a few of the designer items you will find at the sale:







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!!


Sew Frugal’s Fabulous Finds of 2012


I really enjoyed wearing this metallic Jacquard 3/4 length jacket to the White House Holiday Tour. I purchased this jacket last week during the Edited4Goodwill Pop Up Shop for $9.95. This jacket has earned Sew Frugal’s “2012 Fabulous Find” award. One look and I realized this was truly an item I couldn’t live without.

As a matter of fact my shoes came from the Goodwill store in Glebe Road (one of my favs).

As we head into the new year and I consider my wardrobe challenge for 2013 I’ve decided to spend some time chronicling my wardrobe. If I’m truly honest I have more clothes than I need or wear 😦 More details in my 2013 challenge will be coming soon.

In the past year I noticed several interesting wardrobe challenges among my fellow bloggers and I’m inspired to try a few of them. I hope many of you will join me.

Have a great day!

Reposting from The Goodwill Fashionista! Edited for Goodwill Pop Up Shop

I just wanted to share this great recap of the Goodwill Pop Up shop with I throughly enjoyed last week. But first here is a little photo recap of my own.
December 17

Recap: Edited for Goodwill pop-up shop, Peace &


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No GravatarWe had such a blast at Edited for Goodwill last week, celebrating the season and spreading Goodwill’s fine bargains all over the land. I saw plenty of shoppers searching for perfect holiday gifts for family and friends…and I definitely spied plenty of you shopping for yourselves! (Go ahead, treat yourself.)Here are a few snaps from the pop-up shop!

What I Wore: Tip to Toe in Goodwill vintageBrea of What I Wore: Tip to Toe was one of the first to jump into the fitting rooms. This vintage dress was made for her!

Edited for Goodwill pop-up

We color-coded the racks to make finding your favorite shades a little bit easier.

So Much to Smile About Goodwill vintage

Liz of So Much to Smile About stopped by on Wednesday to pick up a great vintage top (it’s so shimmery and perfect for the holidays!) and a cozy sweater.


Sew Frugal and Fashionable Goodwill jacketJen of Sew Frugal and Fashionable (last week’s Fashionista Friday honoree!) fell head over heels for this glimmering coat. It almost looks like a perfect match for the outfit she wore to the pop-up shop! And yes, the pile to the left of Jen is the carnage from a bunch of us trying on jackets and sweaters right there in the middle of all the action.

Edited for Goodwill: Peace and Goodwill

Visitors from near and far shopped with us! This group of ladies came all the way from Georgia and took a moment to pose with Pepcoand Goodwill staff.

For more photos check out Worn Magazine, and our Facebook pages! Many thanks to all who shopped with us last week!

You might also like:

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Day Two: Edited4Goodwill Pop Up Shop

I couldn’t resist swinging by the Pepco Gallery for a second day in a row to check to see if it was possible to add a few additional treasures to my collection.


When I visited the Pop Up shop on Wednesday I failed to notice the folded paper birds in the ceiling. I suspect I was in too big of a rush.

Returning on the day two yielded a great result. I scored this vintage, union labeled, red wool coat. The mock Mandarin collar, swing cut and the weight made this coat a must have.


And finally I wanted to feature another shopper who made a major score. This young woman found this purple formal gown for $40! It was absolutely beautiful and the photo doesn’t do it any justice. It’s perfect for prom and what a bargain.


Oh did I mention I will be returning for day three? Well, I am 🙂

Awesome: “Edited for Goodwill” Pop Up Shop


I stopped by Edited for Goodwill Pop Up Shop today sponsored by Worn Magazine and Pepco. One word, AWESOME!! I love the space, I love the location and I love the merchandise they have selected for this three-day event. This is a must see and I recommend all my thrifty friends make their way over to this spot before the week is out.

The kick off breakfast was this morning at the Pepco Gallery located at 720 6th Street NW near Gallery Place. Although I was a tad late and missed the main program I spoke briefly with Debbie Jarvis the Vice President of Communications at Pepco, who knew all about my thrifty business and how I’m not purchasing any new clothes for a year :-), Lisa Rowan the Goodwill Fashionista and Shanna Gidwani who we all know and love the Marketing and Communications Manager at Goodwill.


As you walk in the first thing you notice is the open floor plan which allows for and easy perusing of the clothing items. It’s was very Barney’s like. 20121212-231422.jpg

All clothing separated by color,  is great for someone like me because I am attempting to refrain from black, gray and brown. Only bright colors for me in the fall (arms folded determined). Uh, wait then how do I explain what occurred today? During this shopping experience I walked away with all three. Brown, Gray and Black. A magnificent 3 I might add.

Sidebar – Did I mention Goodwill served breakfast? Yes, they served breakfast with plenty of coffee and mimosa’s. Although I was too busy browsing to eat anything 😦 20121212-231447.jpg

The displays and layout of the rooms completely remove you form the mindset of 2nd hand shopping.  This space is a great combination of boutique, showroom and department store all wrapped up in one. 20121212-231456.jpg

I would be remiss if I did not mention the menswear included in this Edited Collection. I saw many men’s suits sweaters and most definitely….ties 20121212-231503.jpg Here is one of my awesome finds. A gray wool Tahari suit. I’m always looking for suits for work and especially from one of my favorite designers Tahari. The fit was perfect and I can’t wait to wear it 🙂 20121212-231512.jpg My second great find was this fabulous metallic embroidered jacket. I love the shortened sleeves and the 3/4 length. I truly wanted to wear this out of the store! 20121212-231528.jpg

And finally this vintage black velvet blazer that Lisa is wearing. I hemmed and hawed about getting it. At $9 it did not make sense to leave it in the store. Besides Debbie and Lisa were putting on the extra Goodwill pressure to take this lovely item home with me. I couldn’t resist.


As I was checking out I chatted with another fashionista who found this Fendi bag that we think might have been authentic. Couldn’t pass this up for her daughter for $7.95


the last thing I did before I departed was enter the lottery for this Audi station wagon. The company who donated it will give the person $5,000 if they decide to give it back. Either way its  win win.


So don’t meet me there, beat me there before Friday ! Grab some great items from the Goodwill Edited Collection. Let us know what you scored. We love to hear shopping success stories.

Modern Vintage Shop and Social in Review

As I begin to catch up on blog post I will periodically insert some of my favorites from 2012. This happens to be one of them.

I must begin by saying I can always count on Lisa to have at least one item in her collection that screams at me……”Don’t leave the store without me”. Always one item that has Jen’s name written all over it.  FYI  as I decide my Sew Frugal & Fashionable challenge for 2013 this sentiment will be one of my new guiding principles. Before I buy any article of clothing it must speak to me and make me feel as though I would regret leaving the store without it.  🙂

At the most recent Modern Vintage Shop and Social this little brown dress did just that. I saw it, picked it up and I couldn’t put it back on the rack. My only hesitation is that recently picked up a brown vintage two piece dress suit from an estate sale and I thought I don’t need two brown dresses. In the end I figured when I finally get around to having my own vintage pop up I will offer it as an available item.









So many wonderful vintage items adorned the racks at Nana’s in Mt. Pleasant. Lisa had dresses, skirts, blouses, shoes, purses and vintage jewelry.




At this Modern Vintage Shop and Social Quarterlife 2o2 showcased items which were great for holiday parties and work. Any of these items could be easily added to your current wardrobe.



Did I mention she served cookies and hot apple cider? Yummy





More items from the Quarterlife 202 Collection…….





And as always Lisa services you with a smile. Happy shopping! I can’t wait until the next Quarterlife 202 Pop Up Shop. Wonder where she will be popping up next? We will keep you posted in 2013.


Back from Sewing Hiatus….

Hi there readers. Many of you have wondered where has she gone? Where is Ms. Sew Frugal? Is she no longer Frugal? Well I’m back from a long break which included and unsuccessful attempt to switch the blog to Bluehost. What a nightmare!! I’ve posted but you got nothing from me. I’ve decided to come back to WordPress and simply enhance what I’ve already put in place. Life just became much easier. I have also been completely bogged down by work. But now that we Have November 6th is behind us perhaps life can return to normal. (yeah right). Well at least Jen’s kind of normal.

This summer was a whirlwind of activities and I will begin updating the blog later this evening. There is so much to catch up on and soon you can join in a sewing challenge for 2013. We will announce in the next few weeks. SEW EXCITING!!! We’ve been swapping, thrift shopping, NYC Road tripping and have had many sewing classes over the past 6 months. In fact we have a Basic Sewing Class coming up on November 28th. Click the Link for more details:

I’ve also started running since we last spoke and now I’m into making running skirts. I’ve found a few companies that make some great skirts but after a few trips to NYC I’m convinced I can design a few for myself which are just as comfortable and even more fashionable. I will also begin promoting my hats. I discussed this is an earlier blog post this year and I’ve worked hard at building up my inventory. Etsy store here I come!!

Well that’s about all for now. 2013 will be all about the Sewing Challenge and believing and realizing my dream. Below is the first step in making that happen. They say if you can see it you can believe it. One day I hope to grace the cover of Sewing Today and have an article written about my latest innovating teaching techniques 🙂 Yes it can happen!



First and Second Lady Fashion

Been a little behind on posting. Lot’s going on in this Sewing Diva’s world. But before I allow any more time to elapse, last week I had the pleasure of attending the One Year Anniversary of  Joining Forces on the White House South Lawn. Joining Forces is a national initiative launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden to mobilizes all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned serving our nation. I have had the pleasure of working on this initiative over the past year and am very proud of all the work that has been accomplished. However…… know me, where ever I can find a fashion statement in the midst of work I grab it and run with it.

On a cold Wednesday morning about 100 of us waited on the south lawn for FLOTUS and SLOTUS 🙂 to arrive. As usual neither one of them disappoint on their fashion. Dr. Biden steps out in a winter white 3/4 length coat with a bright pink cashmere scarf that really hit the mark. It look great next to her hair, eyes and pink lipstick. Dr. Biden is always very stylish. Yo Go Jill!

Oh and don’t think Dr. Biden stopped at the coat and scarf. Her shoes were really cute. They were a blue and pink suede. She was wearing them well.

Of course next up was the First Lady who in her own right is a fashionista extraordinaire was bearing the cold weather in style. She wore this burgundy 3/4 length flared coat with 3/4 length cropped sleeves accented with cream-colored buttons. This coat is a must have addition to the wardrobe.



After the program ended I had an opportunity to have a brief chat with the First Lady. And this is how the conversation went: FLOTUS: Hi Jennifer, How are you? Always good seeing you. Me: Always good seeing you too. How have you been? FLOTUS: I’ve been well. Are you hangin in there? Me: Yes I am. By the way this coat is fabulous. Mind making it a hand me down next season?  LOL!! (Just kidding, I did not ask the First Lady if I could have her coat:-) But I do plan to do some research to find where I can get it.

Reposting from Goodwill Fashionista: Fashion Forward: No lace, please

I love this post from Lisa the Goodwill Fashionista and wanted to share with you. As you know I’m all about refashioning vintage and looking beyond a piece that at first appears to have no potential. The jacket Lisa refashioned is uber cute and the removal of the lace really made it hit its mark. Lisa you might consider this as a new talent :-).

April 4, 2012

Fashion Forward: No lace, please

CategoryFashion Forward with the DCGFCategoryTags: 

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After a fruitless day of shopping at the Columbia Pike Goodwill store (okay, I got plenty of stuff, but not what I set out to find!), I struck out on my own to peruse the Rockville location. I had to find something to wear to the Fashion Fights Poverty gala!

I did find something: a vintage red suit jacket and skirt that fit me to a T. I loved the color, the puffy shoulders, and the tuxedo-esque back of the jacket. But the lace collar…it just had to go.

Rockville Goodwill vintage suit

When in doubt, text message bathroom-mirror photos to your friends on the Goodwill staff! At least, that’s what I do.

The suit fabric perfectly matched the Jason Wu for Target dress I planned to wear it with, but the lace was just out of place. My black dress had sequins around the bottom, and as much as I do like both lace and sequins, they didn’t need to be anywhere near each other for this event.

I took my sharpest sewing scissors and cut carefully around the collar of the jacket, hoping to remove the scalloped lace in one piece. Success! I am now the proud owner of this versatile piece of lace:

Lace Lace Lace!

I have received several suggestions that I should use the lace as a collar with sweaters and tanks, and I think I’ll do just that. A fastener and a little starch is all I need to keep this lace looking fresh around my neck!

But I had one last challenge before I could wear the jacket out in public. No matter how carefully I cut, there were still tiny pieces of lace showing around the collar. When two friends suggested I color in the spots with a red marker, I laughed. Yes, I laughed at my friends and doubted them, but I cautiously tried it and they were right. Unless you were getting up close to smell my perfume (ooh la la), you couldn’t even tell the jacket had originally had a collar.

Vintage red jacket

Trying on the jacket at home. I LOVE the back of this vintage piece!

In the end, I was proud of my outfit for the event and proud of the bit of DIY work I had done. Maybe I should embark on fashion projects more often? What do you think, fashionistas?

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!

Awesomeness Squared at the Final Day of Tossed & Found

You see these smiles? This was after about an hour and a half of loading up our bags with as much as we could for only $40!! These women really know how to rummage…………

I can’t even begin to tell you how we all probably have a complete wardrobe for the rest of the year. A large portion of items we scored were brand new never worn with tags still attached. It doesn’t get any better than that.

The place was buzzing on the last day. Shoppers had rolling carts, IKEA bags, flashlights and lots of determination.

Kanisa seen here with her trusty flashlight


Here is a snapshot of some of the items we picked up

What $40 got me:

5 dresses, 4 blouses, 35 wool sweaters (mens & women’s) for crafting, 5 pairs of jeans & 3 jean jackets for our upcoming jeans makeover class, 30 men’s ties (for a crafting project), 3 pairs of corduroys, 3 blazers, and 1 tahari suit. Yes I love tahari 🙂 #rummagesalescore

What $40 got Ann:

40 mens t-shirts (future scarf class supplies)
7 pair jeans (to become bags in future)
7 cotton sweaters (future project)
6 t-shirts for ME
Mid-calf suede coat (future project)
2 leather jackets (future project)
puffy winter coat for me (Gap never worn)
dress w beaded fringe (future project)
Vintage French silk brocade, wide leg, fully lined, high-waisted pants- Ann says “these are so beautifully tailored it might kill me to cut them up” (whats a crafty girl to do?).
Red Polo brand shirt for me (she could not resist)

What $40 got Kanisa:

3 duster length spring coats
3 skirts
2 scarves
4 blouses
1 pair of cropped pants
2 pairs of trousers
a rolling bag for my sewing machine
a really nice wallet
a pair of brand new platform sandals
3 short sleeved jackets
1 dress
4 tee shirts (for projects)
1 strapless dress that was probably a bridesmaids dress(probably a future project but I am not sure for what)
a pair of jean for the jean tote bag project

This Brooks Brothers Skirt with the $88 price tag still attached. Great score!

As you can very well see we got more than our $40 worth.  Now we just need to find time in our schedules to go through it all, wash or clean it and create new projects. I’m planning to get started on at least one this weekend. Wish me luck 🙂

Bragging Rights……

I love it when one of the students from class takes a project to a whole nother level. Earlier this month I taught a class where we made tote bags with Zippers. I was so happy that everyone completed their bags by the end of class and each one had its own unique look and feel. Some made make up bags some made across the body bags and some made ones with a short strap. One student in particular, Stephanie K. really caught the sewing bug and she has been making tons of these little bags since earlier this month. We are so proud to have been the inspiration for this project. I feel like the proud mama. You go Stephanie!!! Keep up the good work 🙂

If you are interested in Stephanie’s bags or seeing more of her work you might check out her Etsy Shop


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.