The 2023 Annual ASDP Conference will be in Denver!

Core Conference will by October 19-22. Master Classes are before core conference.

Conference will be in the Tech Center area of south Denver metro area.

Details will be posted at the Association of Sewing and Design Professions (ASDP) web site (sewingprofessionals.com) as they become available.

SCHEDULE:

  • Master Classes ~ October 18-19, 2023 (pre-conference)
  • Core Conference ~ October 19-23, 2023 (Charity Sewing and then Reception Thursday October 19, Classes Friday-Sunday October 20-22)
  • Post-Conference Tour ~ Monday October 23.

Other Topics of Interest

Invisible Seams Video

Video about Asian garment workers in New York City.
Invisible Seams on Vimeo

Fabric Sale for the Win-Win-Win:
Lessons Learned for a Successful Event

By Carol Phillips, ASDP Colorado Chapter Treasurer. May 15, 2022

Our sister society, the Denver Chapter of American Sewing Guild (ASG), held a very successful fabric sale in April 2022, their first sale in 2 ½ years. A lot of work was involved but the results were worthwhile! As a volunteer I gained some insights to share.

Firstly, having a sale of donated items is a good thing. It allows donors to curate their collections and feel good that their fabric/notions/books/patterns have a second chance. This is especially true about donations from retiring or deceased sewers.

Secondly, it gives newer sewers an economical path for nice-to-have notions and books and a variety of fabrics. Sometimes one is lucky and finds usable pieces of extremely upscale fabric. (Chocolate brown wool satin, I’m looking at you!)

Thirdly, it generates much needed funds to the non-profit group that sponsors the event. For example, the ASG chapter expects to underwrite classes by out-of-town experts and to support other community-building events with their proceeds.

How-To Suggestions, divided by topic so that planning can be split among several people:

Start with location: Church basement? Community center? Spare room of a store? Garage sale? Be sure to be clear that sales are involved! (That requirement eliminates some facilities like libraries.) Think about handicap access, parking, available equipment like tables and chairs, etc. Will the location work well in case of hot or wet weather?

Accepting donations: Can volunteers store some boxes in their homes in clean and dry condition for a limited time? (But it is easy to abuse people’s good will and easy to forget who has what.) Is it economical to rent a storage locker?  Once your organization develops a reputation for accepting these donations, you may be amazed at the volume of “good stuff” out there and be able to schedule more than one sale per year.

Curating donations: Pre-sorting and evaluating donations is an overlooked but important part of a really successful sale. The ideal is for a few volunteers go through donations as they come in, or just prior to the sale. Measuring and tagging fabric regarding width, length and probable fiber content will help greatly on the sale day. Weeding out stained or ineligible fabric and books (no cookbooks here, thank you!) also reduces the volume of “stuff” needing to be handled during setup. If necessary, rebox items to make boxes no more than 30 pounds and of reasonable dimensions. (Donations from estates frequently minimize their handling burdens by using huge, heavy boxes. Black plastic garbage sacks are a poor choice – prone to tearing and hard to handle when full of heavy fabric.)

Advertising: Start with your own organization and similar groups, requesting email blasts, word of mouth, newsletters (deadline dates?), etc. Ask to post simple one-page flyers in fabric/yarn/quilting/etc. stores. Online resources such as Facebook or Eventbrite are excellent new avenues to advertise to a much wider audience. (On Eventbrite, your event can be listed as free or can charge a ticket fee, which is one way to cover expenses like room or truck rental.) Ads should prominently give the date and location of the sale. Ads should mention starting and ending time, and say “no early sales” if necessary. Ads should mention payment methods: cash, checks?, credit cards? (via Square, Venmo etc.)

Setup Logistics: Will you have access for setup prior to the sale, or must the entire event happen on one day? At the sale room, you need tables for display, a station for accepting payments, a few chairs, ready access to bring in the inventory, space to temporarily stash empty boxes, and (most importantly!) people to lift and carry the boxes. Encourage strong husbands, kids, and grandkids. Discourage anyone with physical limitations, such as “I can’t lift more than 10 pounds right now”.  For large inventories consider hiring labor such as “two-men-and-a-truck” local movers. Develop plans for picking up inventory from storage units or from volunteers’ houses. Will labor be needed to be return unsold inventory to storage, or are there other alternatives? If unsold inventory must be sent to landfill, where will that happen?

During the Sale: Make sure that the room is easy for handicapped people to get around. Place fabric on tables where it can be seen. (One 6-foot table probably can display fabric from two boxes.) Set books/magazines, notions, and patterns each in a separate area because people tend to browse slowly over those items. Have an empty table adjacent to the cashier so people can lay down their items and make it clear what needs to be rung up. Volunteers can circulate to answer questions, help carry selections and refold fabric. If available, folding picnic wagons are wonderful helps and lead to higher sales because people select more than they can carry in their arms.

Cleanup from Sale: Designated person takes care of money and receipts, prepares for bank deposit and preliminary financial report. Plans for room cleanup and lockup? Plans for leftover inventory? Is labor and transportation needed for reboxing and return to storage? For transport to some other non-profit? For transport to landfill?

I hope these comments will spark additional sales in many places. If you have sewing friends, maybe they can be involved even if not members of our ASDP community.

Please join the conversation with additional suggestions, insights and experiences of such events, by posting on the ASDP Colorado Chapter Facebook page or by contacting Carol Phillips at cpdenverco@outlook.com

August 2023: Picnic

It was a beautiful day in Colorado, which worked perfectly for a potluck at the picnic facility where member Jane lives.

We had a comfortable size group, and all fit around one table.  We had hoped for several more to attend, but life got in the way, and they sent their regrets.

The picnic included pleasant conversations and a wide variety of edibles.  It was fun to meet with each other in an informal setting and talk about whatever came to mind.

To be added to the mailing list for our chapter’s Zoom meetings, contact Pat at colosewingpros@gmail.com .

December 2022: Holiday Potluck

The Colorado Chapter of ASDP had a social gathering in December to celebrate the holidays.  Many members were present and enjoyed socializing in member Jane’s lovely home.  We also met Anne’s new assistant Kristen, who recently graduated from CSU (Colorado State University) with a degree in Fashion Design.  Kristen is the person who took the evolution idea (from Pat’s husband, Gary) and ran with it to design the poster announcing the annual ASDP conference that will be held in Denver next year (2023).

The potluck format worked well this year.  We had waffles, ham and chicken, sweet potato casserole, various dips with crackers and veggies, and of course a range of sweets and drinks.

We enjoyed the usual small group interactions.  Conversations ranged from admiring each other’s outfits and the Fashion and Design Program at CSU to current topics such as electric vehicles and the newly announced fusion research in physics.  On parting, everyone wished each other Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

To be added to the mailing list for our chapter’s Zoom meetings, contact Pat at colosewingpros@gmail.com.

November 2022 – All About Silks

The Colorado Chapter of ASDP met in-person and via Zoom in November to learn all about silks from member Clara Dittli.  We learned that momme is the weight of the silk fiber and that the shine comes from the triangular prism shape of the fiber that reflects light. 

Clara talked about the reasons why she liked different silks: Jacquard is her favorite silk fabric, while 4-ply silk is another favorite although it can be difficult to work with.  Clara described silks that are often used for informal garments (silk noil and raw silk) and silks that work well for members of a bridal family (silk dupioni) and silk that works well for evening gowns (silk chiffon and georgette).  Clara likes to use silk organza to underline fabric to create body for a garment and Crêpe de Chine for the lining.

Clara also talked to us about the differences between Italian silks and silks from China.  They both use similar silk fibers, but Italian silks are printed with many more colors (7-11+ versus 2-3) and are woven slowly by only one person.  These differences are reflected in the price of Italian silks, often $400-500 per yard.

To be added to the mailing list for our chapter’s Zoom meetings, contact Pat at colosewingpros@gmail.com.

October 2022 – Leadership & Art Museum

The Colorado Chapter of ASDP met twice in October.  First for our usual monthly presentation and second to view fashions at the Denver Art Museum.

Our technical meeting included a zoom presentation by Art Bierschbach on Leadership and Communication.  Art reminded us that everyone is always a leader, whether or not they think they are.  As such, communication is 85% of the success of a leadership and 15% is technical skills.   Poor communication leads to lost productivity and high turnover in business.  Poor communication often occurs due to insufficient listening because we are no longer in the era of “Do as I say” style of leadership.

Art talked to us about a two-axis system of leadership styles:  on axis is the task oriented vs. people-oriented leader and the other axis is passive vs. assertive leaders.  He spoke of how to address people in each quadrant to improve communications and deal with disagreements.  For follow-ups after meetings, he suggested Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software because it allows notes about the people present and connects to your calendar for the time frame for the follow-up activities.

At the Denver Art Museum we viewed garments by Mexican fashion designer Carla Fernandez.  She uses artisans from across Mexico to decorate her designs. One video showed an artisan quickly machine stitching intricate designs through a decorative layer and the garment fabric.  The design was then carefully cut along each side of the stitching (see photo).  An example of this work is shown on the sleeve of the black wool and gold leather garment (see photo).

To be added to the mailing list for our chapter’s Zoom meetings, contact Pat at colosewingpros@gmail.com.

August 2021: Picnic

In August the Colorado Chapter of ASDP met as a group for the first time since January 2020; we had a picnic at member Marci’s back yard.  We enjoyed decent morning temperatures, low humidity, and relatively little smoke from distant states. 

After enjoying a diverse arrangement of egg dishes, fruits, and deserts we had a short Sew-And-Tell.  Marci had made fourteen WW1 Women’s Signal Corps uniforms for a stage play, and Carol showed her method of computer cutting slits in a sheet of oaktag (Manila folder material) for marking cutting and sewing lines of a pattern.  We also had freebies: Yvonne brought a box of quality fabrics looking for new home, and Pat brought a canvas organizer to hang from an ironing board.

Next month we plan to meet together at our usual library location and finish the gloves we started pre-Covid, based on a class Pat attended at the 2019 National Conference of ASDP. In the future we plan to alternate between online and in person events.

New topic for August meeting: Fly Front Zipper

Due to circumstances beyond our control, the scheduled topic for the August 26 meeting has been changed. 

Instead of a talk about the “Sewing Industry in Denver” by Jack Makovsky from Ralph’s, we will have a hands-on activity.

Karen Bengtson will lead the group in making a Fly Front Zipper styled for including in your next pair of pants or skirt.

Please bring a sewing machine along with the zipper foot and regular sewing foot, a ruler (6” is sufficient), thread to contrast with red fabric, tailor’s chalk, seam ripper, and other usual sewing supplies.

Karen will supply the zippers and fabric for a $5 kit fee. (Irons and ironing pads will be provided.)

The General Meeting will begin at 9:30 am and the group activity will start at 11:00 am.

Special Evening Meeting: March 25 at 6:30 pm “Buttons: The Finishing Touch”

The Colorado ASDP has made special arrangements for an evening meeting with a presentation by button expert Harriett Britt. The meeting with begin at 6:30 pm in the Forum(Theater) Room of the Koelbel Library. This meeting is open to the public. We hope to see you there!

The Board Meeting will begin before the presentation, at 5:00 pm, in one of the conference rooms.