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American Sewing Guild good to join?

Ckbklady | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi all,

I have been thinking about joining my local chapter of the American Sewing Guild for a while, but fear that it may be time-consuming. I am strictly a fashion sewer – no quilting or embroidery (but a little home dec) – would I fit in?

If you are a member I would love to hear about your experiences. How often do they meet, how much to join, what kinds of activities, cost of materials, how friendly are the groups, etc. If you left the ASG, can you say why? If you love the ASG, can you say why?

Thanks everyone! I always learn so much from the comments and advice here.

🙂 Mary

Replies

  1. Lynnelle | | #1

    Hi Mary,

    I, too, am thinking of joining a local chapter of the ASG.  I recently made contact with a chapter and was invited to join them at their next meeting.  They said I coud attend a couple of meetings to see if it would be something of interest. 

    Try attending a meeting at a few of your local chapters and see if their operations suit you (no pun intended).  That is what I will do.  If this one doesn't work out, then I'll find another chapter.  If that one doesn't work out, then...well...hell I'll start my own!

    Lynnelle

    1. Bernie1 | | #2

      I'm a member of ASG, and yes, it's worth joining. I, too, am a garment sewer but we have people in our chapter who do quilts, crafts and couture. Leaders from other neighborhood groups come to visit and do demonstrations and members in our group teach and demonstrate for each other. We had someone from one of the other neighborhood groups come and teach us to make underpants; someone from our group taught us basic knitting, and at our last meeting we learned to make scissor holders which have turned out to be so handy I can't even rave enough.

      As for time, it's what you put into it. ASG has neighborhood groups that you can choose to join and that's where you meet fellow sewists and make friends. My group leader happens to be an expert fit instructor and has taught me an immense amount about fitting muslins. You can get as much out of it as you want. Depending on which chapter or group you join, you'll find people willing to share their expertise. So yes, you should join ASG, find a neighborhood group you like and have fun. 

  2. ctirish | | #3

    Hi, I belong to ASG and a neighborhood group. Every neighborhood group is different and you can be as active as you want to be.  I personally think there are a lot of factors that determine how a neighborhood group functions.  One thing is consistent, they all love sewing and their goal is to promote sewing for future generations while learning new techniques and ways to create wonderful garments, accessories, crafts, quilts, home dec and sew many other items.

     If you live in a populated area you may be able to choose from a couple of different neighborhood groups.  They generally meet once a month and a topic or activity is usually announced in advance of the meeting.  I have belonged for a few years and don't make it to many meetings, because of when and where they are held.  There are community service projects that groups do and you can usually participate even if you can't make the meeting.  I know CT does Project Linus - which is blankets and quilts for children in hospitals - that is once a year. You have all year to make them and they are collected in February every year.  There are other meeting during the year sponsored by the region and state so there is a lot to choose from in terms of involvement.

    ASG negotiates discounts with some of your favorite stores and web sites. They are always looking for new ones too.

    Of course every group needs people who came help with running events and ASG is no different. Having said that, I think you can choose your involvement with ASG.  I have found ASG is a great place to meet other sewers in your area; they offer great opportunities to learn new things and share your knowledge with other sewers.

    You always feel like the newbie until you share what you know with someone else; that is when you realize you really are a talented, knowledgeable creator of fabulous garments. Then you can think about entering the Threads Challenge.

    1. MaryinColorado | | #4

      Thanks for the input on ASG!  I picked up the flyer at my Husq/Viking dealers a few weeks ago.  Now I just need to take that next step.  Mary

    2. Ckbklady | | #5

      Thanks for the detail - that sounds really appealing. I live in a twin-city with only one group, and the next nearest is a colossal hassle to get to (over a congested bridge into a really big city) so I think I'll just find things to love about the local group.

      The Threads Challenge?? I'm not quite ready for that! :)

      Thanks!

      :) Mary

      1. ctirish | | #6

        You are welcome, let me know if you have any questions after you check it out.  

        Next year you will be ready for the Challenge... 

  3. dressed2atee | | #7

    I, too, am an ASG member.  I sew mostly garments too.  Our group is mixed so it's very interesting.  Because I sew for others and also work full time, I don't get to attend the meetings as often as I like.  There is a web site similar to this though so you can keep up with everything.

    I in the midst of planning a weekend sewing retreat for our chapter (Maryland) and we are also working on a community sewing project.  We're meeting this weekend to sew kids pjs that in the hospital in Sacramento.  We are having our annual conference there this year (July) and I can't wait to go!!!

    I think you will enjoy the ASG!

    1. Ckbklady | | #10

      Hiya,

      LOVE your screen name - if it would only fit on a licence plate!

      Your description of the ASG sounds very appealing - thank you so much!

      :) Mary

  4. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #8

    Hi Mary,

    I joined ASG a couple of years ago, and I attend a monthly neighborhood group meeting fairly regularly.  There are lots of benefits to joining--meeting new friends who share your love of sewing, attending meetings/workshops to learn new things, and don't forget the discounts offered by local and national retailers!

    I don't know about your chapter, but ours has 8 different Neighborhood Groups.  Most are general interest groups, but there is one for Machine Embroidery, and one for Couture sewing.  Some meet during the day, others meet at night.  We have people who are quilters, others do only garments, some are quite creative thread/fiber artists, and others of us (like me) just enjoy sewing and learning new things.  At each group meeting there is a "Show-n-Tell" where we get to ooh and aah over everyone's latest project.  There is usually a short program to demonstrate a new technique, share an idea, discuss books or patterns, etc.

    Our chapter has a weekend retreat at the beach twice a year, where you get to sew to your heart's content.  I have not gone to one yet, but I've heard they are great fun.  We have offered workshops by nationally known instructors--Sandra Betzina, Emma Seabrooke, Peggy Sagers, to name a few--as well classes taught by local ASG members.

    You can be as active as you want to be in ASG, whatever fits your schedule.  I work full time, so I can't attend some of the projects or meetings that are scheduled during the day.  I also live about 25 miles from Raleigh, so weekend activities are sometimes not convenient for me either.  But I do what I can, when I can fit it in.

    My sewing knowledge and skills have definitely improved since I joined ASG.  I get new ideas from seeing what others are doing.  I have learned some tailoring techniques.  I have also learned about embroidery machines and software (which led to a purchase!), and have found online sources for fabric and notions that I didn't know about before I joined.

    If you haven't checked it out already, look at the ASG website http://www.asg.org to find out more.  Go to the "Chapter Info" section to see if your local chapter has a website where you can find out more about what's going on in your area.  I think you can attend 2 meetings before you actually join ASG, so you can see if your local group is right for you.  I think you'll enjoy it!

    1. marg | | #9

      I am a member of the Danbury ASG.  Each month we do something interesting. We learn a new technique or do a small project. We meet once a month and that hour or 2 is spent with people who know how to sew many different things. I am not a quilter but a lot on members are and their knowledge has helped me in my garment sewing. The best reason to join is the discounts. ok one of the best reasons. Our group has gone on field trips, we have a retreat (sewing) once a year.  As for the time you spend just go and enjoy.  Some people are members and only come to meeting  some become group leaders of talks and meetings. You will enjoy the oppertunity to be with like minded people. Also the people are very nice.

    2. Ckbklady | | #11

      Hiya,

      Thanks for all the detail - wow. In our area, we have one ASG group in my suburban city and a couple over the bridge in the big city. Traffic is horrendous, so I am setting my sights on the local group, even though they have more of a quilty focus than my garment skills will provide.

      A sewing retreat would be incredible. Hubby goes on a golf trip each year - why can't I pack up Fred (sewing machine) and Mrs. Fred (serger) and go somewhere too?

      It sounds like everyone who joins the ASG learns various skills regardless of their sewing preferences - that sounds appealing.

      That's it - I'm sold. I'll email them today and ask to go to the next meeting.

      Thanks so much!

      :) Mary

      1. dressed2atee | | #12

        Hello,

        Another consideration would be to see if there are other garment sewers that want to start a new ASG group.  You could put out notices in the fabric stores and local papers.  There may be some others interested in your area that don't want to drive a long way eigther.

        Good luck

        Tee

        1. AndreaSews | | #13

          I'm near a metro area, and we have numerous ASG Neighborhood Groups. One I go to frequently is oriented entirely to fashion sewing. In 2 yrs, I've learned so much and gained so much confidence in my skills. Our chapter organizes a bus trip from DC to do fabric shopping in NYC, and at least one sewing retreat a year. Some months I'm busy, and I skip out, but I have more fun when I join in :)

          1. dressed2atee | | #14

            Are you in Maryland or DC?   I'm planning a sewing retreat for Nov 11-14th.

          2. AndreaSews | | #15

            Actually in VA. See how these things connect us? It has been a joy to discover so many people who share the same creative passion.

          3. dressed2atee | | #18

            Glad to meet you, I'll let you know about the retreat also.

          4. Pearl5 | | #16

            Hello -- I'm in DC and a new member of ASG that meets at Rockville G Street.  What can you tell me about the retreat?

             

             

          5. dressed2atee | | #17

            Hi, the retreat will be held 11/11-14/07 at the New Windsor Conference Center.  I will be putting the flyers out in 2 weeks.  I'll make sure you get one.

          6. Pearl5 | | #19

            Thank you.

             

             

        2. Ckbklady | | #20

          Hi there,

          That's a great idea for those with the time and energy to start a new ASG group. I think I will start by checking out my local group and see if it works for me. Great idea though - I hadn't thought of it, and it may inspire another reader here. Thanks!

          :) Mary

  5. User avater
    TwilaTee | | #21

    I have just joined the ASG. I like you am mostly interested in Fashion sewing. As far as I know and can gleam from the workshops and their website, fashion sewing is their main focus. I have received a package from them with a discount card to hancocks and Joanns, so that in itself seams encouraging. I'll let you know how it goes at the first meeting I will attend.

    1. Ckbklady | | #22

      Thanks - it would be great to hear your experience. My local group meets at a quilting fabric shop, and have a lot of craft projects listen on their website. That's what made me hesitate. I would love to do charitable and useful projects, but I am no crafter.

      :) Mary

      1. User avater
        TwilaTee | | #23

        I went to my first meeting today. It was very nice. Many ladies were there. 15? 20? It was a general meeting. The meeting started with a discussion about upcoming events. They do so many things. It was a definite mix of crafty stuff, and fashion. I'm excited about an upcoming class/seminar about altering off the rack clothing for better fit. This will be good for me because often I am asked to alter things and I just do what I think is best, I will be interested in seeing if what I think is really the right thing. Also so many charity things! That would make me VERY happy to be involved in. I received a free gift. cool. 10 schmetz sewing needles, a marking pencil and some weird magnet wand thing.... but there were other things to choose from.Lots of contests and fairs to win accolades and ribbons! and so many classes are offered! The lady I sat next to, I recognized, and I asked her where it was that I had met her before. She, it turns out, sold me my sewing machine! both of them! Vegas is actually a small place. Things like this remind me of this fact.After all that there was to discuss was mentioned, they made a project, I was not interested in doing this....very crafty... nice but not for me. It was a necklace... fiber art. Do you know the type of thing I mean? Very large and chunky, I couldn't pull that off.But the lady sitting on the other side of me was working on it. Doing a very good job. The sewing machine sales woman introduced me to her. She it turns out teaches pattern drafting, and draping at the Art and Design Institute here in town.I was very impressed with all the talent surrounding me! Even though I wasn't interested in the project that was currently being working on, I was in very good company. I think more than anything, the ladies that I will meet and the great charity projects that I will have a chance to contribute to were definitely worth the $40 dues.

        1. Ckbklady | | #24

          Wow - thank you for the report! It sounds like a very nice group. I am sure that my local ladies (and maybe men? who knows) will be as friendly.

          :) Mary

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