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Jane Foster Sewing and Clothing Design Classes

Events in Jane's Studio

What's Happening in Jane Foster's Sewing and Design Studio


I Challenge you....

Students and Friends...

to make something using reverse applique - Alabama Chanin Style


Remember their is no pressure... you don't have to accept my challenges, but they are offered to encourage you to try new things.
This challenge uses reverse applique, in the Alabama Chanin style. It involves some design work, a little art work, some hand work, and then some sewing. If you have never heard of "Alabama Chanin" , then you are in for a treat. Natalie Chanin started this cottage industry some years ago and now it's a very successful business.

I want you to go to http://www.alabamachanin.com and explore. I find it a tricky website, but see how you can manage it. She sells organic cotton fabric, kits, thread, stencils, garments made up patterns and 3 books. Try not to be overwhelmed, You can start small.

The one thing that stops most people from starting, is getting their design onto the fabric. This is where I can help. You can get a silk screen made by Sally Baker at https://www.etsy.com/no-en/shop/MissMouseSilkScreens, or you can buy or make a stencil and spray or sponge the paint onto the fabric. Once your design is on the knit fabric then you layer a different colored knit underneath and start your hand stitching around your design through both layers. Later you cut away the top layer in some chosen places.

So if you think you can accept my challenge ........get your designs chosen. I will allow plenty of time for this challenge.










I Challenge you....

Students and Friends...

to use a Kantha quilt in some way.



What is a Kantha quilt? Kantha is a form of embroidery practiced in the regions of West Bengal, India, and the independent country of Bangladesh. Kantha is very popular with tourists visiting Bengal and is a specialty of Bolpur, West Bengal, India.

Nakshi kantha, a type of embroidered quilt, is a centuries-old Bengali art tradition in Bangladesh. The basic material used is thread and old cloth. The running stitch called "kantha stitch" is the main stitch used for the purpose. Traditionally, kantha was produced for the use of the family. Today, after the revival of the Nakshi kantha, they are produced commercially.


You can now buy these quilts from Amazon, Ebay, or Etsy for well under $100. In fact most are under $50 with no shipping cost. The vintage Kantha's are made up of pieces of used cotton saris and are more expensive that the newer commercial ones.

I have bought about 4 of the newer ones so far and made the one in the photo above for the StyleARC Challenge. The more modern ones have a solid cotton on one side and a print on the other.
Designers are now using these quilts to make garments to sell. Click here for some photos of what designers are making. A photo of Heidi Klum wearing a garment made from a Kantha quilt is shown below.

I challenge you to buy a quilt, or quilt scraps, and make something. It might be pillows or a tote bag or purse, a short or long skirt, a vest or a jacket or coat. Some kantha are made from silk and not cotton. The fun starts when you choose the quilt online. If anyone needs help, I will be happy to help you. I look forward to seeing what you choose.

Many of Jane Foster's students took her Kantha challenge. You can view their finished garments here.





StyleARC Pattern Challenge


Jane challenged her students to make a garment using a StyleARC pattern. The patterns are made in Australia and can be purchased from them or some styles can be purchased on Amazon or Etsy. The patterns purchased from StyleARC directly are for a single size. The patterns purchased from Amazon are multi sized. Students could choose any of the patterns for the challenge, and they made many interesting garments.

Enjoy looking at all the StyleARC garments Jane's students created.


Fall 2016 Sewing Retreat and Vacation in Auburn, CA


The 5 day retreat in the Fall 2016 will be held at the Mercy Center Retreat and Conference Grounds in Auburn, CA. Dates are from Sunday Oct 30, 2016 to Friday Nov 4, 2016. Retreat is now full. Contact Jane to be placed on wait list.

Private sleeping rooms with shared bathroom
Three full meals a day
A spacious sewing room
Tea / coffee and snacks
Massage therapist on hand for paid chair/full appointments.
and Jane Foster to guide you through your projects.

$100 deposit needed to have your name on the list. . Call Jane for details and to sign up for the Auburn Retreat.

The format is similar to my sew labs where each person works on her own projects and schedule. The level of sewing is as intense or as relaxed as you choose.
Cancellation policy: If you cancel before August 1, 2016, you will receive all your money back minus $100. If you cancel on or after August 1, 2016, there is no refund and the full amount is due, unless a replacement person is found. If a replacement person is found, you will be refunded all moneys minus $100.

Sewing Retreat in Auburn, CA with Jane Foster, Fall 2015

Spring 2017 Sewing Retreat and Vacation at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA

Jane is planning another sewing workshop for 2017 at the Asilomar Retreat and Conference Grounds on Monterey Bay, CA. The dates are Friday March 31st through Friday April 7th 2017. Jane is looking forward to hearing from you if you would like to join her. A deposit is required.   More info here.




Call Jane to sign up for the next Big Collared Shirt Class.

Class Photos.



Jane Foster's Fabric Collage Challenge

Deadline Saturday October 17, 2015


This time I challenge you to produce a .......FABRIC COLLAGE........a work that is made by attaching pieces of different fabric to a surface.

This again is a very open ended challenge....... you can make a garment, a piece of art, a wall hanging, or anything where fabric is applied to a surface. It can be sewn or fused or glued into place. It can be mixed with other items such as paper and beads and thread.

So....take pictures of your cat, your dog, yourself or a scene you love and get cutting out bits of fabric! Decorate jeans or a garment you already have or make something new. Choose something that has meaning for you. Youtube has a lot of examples too!!

Click here to see the student's fabric collage photos.


Color Challenge

Jane had students blindly choose a paint strip which had one color family on it and 7 different values. The challenge was to use at least three of these color values and create anything they wanted as long as fabric was included in the project. Only the colors on the paint strip could be used. This was an exercise in accurate color matching and "making them all work together".

Everyone met in Jane's studio for a potluck and to share their creations. Take a moment to enjoy the creations for this color challenge.





Article Featuring Jane's Class in Vogue Pattern Magazine


EXTRA...EXTRA.....EXTRA.....red hot news.

Be sure to buy Vogue Pattern Magazine, the February/ March issue. This issue features Jane's "California Class" in a six page article starting on Page 56 ! Jane describes how she challenged her students to use a pattern by the Italian pattern company MARFY. These patterns come with no instructions, no seam allowances, and no pattern layouts. So they are quite a challenge. So get a copy of the magazine, and enjoy!

You can also see the garments from Jane's Marfy Challenge here. !








Needlewoman of the Month

Jane monthly features one of the women who sew with her. They are all so talented, and she wants to share their creations with you.


"Needlewoman of the Month" for December 2012


I have known Laura for many, many years. In the early days she came to my Monday night sew labs and sewed beautiful dresses for her daughter Ellen who was a toddler then and is now off to college. I was in designer heaven because Laura brought so many lovely fabric choices for me to suggest ideas for each dress.

In later years, Ellen started to ice skate and that started a whole new type of sewing for Laura as she created the most amazing skating dresses for Ellen's competitions.

Laura also has a love of quilting and has made amazing quilts for family and friends. Her attention to detail and incredible tenacity for high standards shows in all of her work today. It is such a pleasure to show you some of Laura’s garments and quilts...Jane.

View Laura W's Slideshow

View slideshows for all the Needlewomen