Sewing Study Group

Following the Daryl Lancaster workshops in the fall of 2022 several of the workshop participants decided they wanted to carry on the learning momentum that Daryl inspired, so we decided to start a Sewing Study Group. Our focus is on sewing with handwoven fabric, though it’s also okay to use commercial fabric. We will be using Daryl’s YouTube video tutorials for guidance, as needed. We’ve met twice so far, via Zoom, and have seven members. New members are always welcome! For more information, email or


Notes from meetings are shown below.

December 2022 Sewing Spotlight –

Katherine Manfre shared some beautiful pajama bottoms that she entered in the member show (her very first handwoven show entry). The fabric for the pajama bottoms was woven in 20/2 production excess cotton (from R&M yarns) set at 40 epi.  Warp was medium gray with a dark gray weft for the body and light gray weft for the woven-in contrast stripe.  The pajamas were sewn with a basic 4 piece elastic waist pattern modified from an old commercial pattern. The inside seams were serged, the hem and elastic casing were sewn with a basic straight stitch.  The yardage was woven as 4 panels (front and back, left and right). The contrast band at the bottom of the pajamas was woven in a light grey weft as a stripe at the bottom of each panel section and the pattern pieces were aligned based on this stripe before cutting.  This was a 6 shaft / 6 treadle design, slightly modified from #14334 (in Fiberworks), woven on a Macomber loom. The pants are generously sized for comfort. The cotton bloomed in the heat of a normal wash/dry cycle, making these pants thicker, and warmer, than expected. Katherine throws all of her cotton handwovens in the wash with everything else – no special treatment.

Cynthia Creech sewed some comfy overalls using some purchased African indigo dyed cloth that was woven in 7” strips and sewn together (that was how she bought it) combined with commercial denim.  She used McCalls M8162 pattern.  Cynthia’s next project was a pair of wrap pants that sports a wrap around front with an attached tie, which allows for an adjustable fit and great mobility. She found the pattern, called Papao Wrap Pants, at Cynthia sewed the pants using a combination of another piece of African cloth combined with some canvas fabric that she dyed herself.

Pat Callaway experimented with Daryl Lancaster’s Walking Vest pattern and used inexpensive fabric she picked up at a SEFAA yard sale. The black fabric is some kind of poly-cotton blend and the pink collar/band is made from a Guatemalan handwoven cotton remnant from the same yard sale. As a musician, Pat has a large wardrobe of black clothing that she can wear with this beautiful vest. Pat chose not to line the vest because she needed something cooler than regular coats to wear to concerts.  Because the vest was to be unlined, Pat chose to use Daryl’s recommended Hong Kong seam finish. Even though the Hong Kong seam finish did provide a beautiful look to the inside of the vest, Pat states that the miles of seams that had to be  finished were a lot of work and she’ll probably choose to line the next vest she sews. Pat used several other techniques she learned from Daryl’s workshop in this project, including how to piece bias strips together. That proved to be very useful when Pat made a mistake and accidentally cut a hole in the fabric…twice. The pieced together pink bias strips became a lovely design element on the garment and masked the two cut areas beautifully. People who work with textiles are great problem solvers! Pat is hoping that her husband, Ray, will provide her with lovely handwoven fabric for the next vest.

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