Monday, February 11, 2013

Louise Cutting Class and The Cloth Merchants

Goodness!  I feel like I have jet lag, but there were no jets involved in the class I just returned from with Phylly.  It could be the part where we both took half our houses with us, and we had to load and unload and load and unload and load and unload ......................  I think that part is the MOST tiring.  You don't dare leave anything in your car these days for fear someone will snatch it.  It happens even in broad daylight.

We arrived Thursday night at The Cloth Merchants (TCM) in Tulsa, OK.

TCM is owned by Nancy and Debbie.  They are two lovely ladies that love to sew.  They carry fabric you will never find at Hancock's or JoAnn's.  It is beautiful and completely irresistable.  It was $600 worth of irresistable to me, and Phylly spent $300, I think.

I would show it to you -- and maybe I will tomorrow -- but you can't get the real understanding of the value if you can't FEEL it.  You know what I mean if you sew.

Debbie and Nancy are blessed with amazing employees.  I became acquainted with Judy and Barb while I was there.  There may be more.  Judy and Barb help in every way you can imagine.  The personal service is just unheard of.  If it wasn't for the service, I would probably not have spent much at all, and I'm sure Debbie and Nancy realize that.  It is like having a bunch of Glenda Sparlings giving you personal attention.  WOW! 

The TCM website is, and you can buy fabric on line.  I am not affiliated in any way.  I'm just a very satisfied customer.

Thursday night was the trunk show where we met Louise, and she showed us all the garments she had made -- well not ALL, I'm sure -- but a lot of garments she had made.  The purpose of that was to inspire us to purchase her patterns, of course, and it seemed to work.  I didn't plan on buying any, and I came home with 3 of them.  While we watched the fashion display, we were served an assortment of Hors D'oeuvres and something to drink.  The classroom which was next door was opened for us so we could unload our machines and get them set up for the next day.  VERY, VERY NICE!

The next morning, class began at 9 AM.  The accommodations could not have been more pleasant.  I have NEVER, EVER -- NOT EVEN ONCE -- been to a class or a seminar where I didn't find something unsatisfactory or worse. 

One time, I attended a class at a Bernina store, and there were NO CHAIRS there.  We had to stand around for over an hour waiting for the owner to arrive with chairs.  At the same event, one lady forgot to bring her dongle, and all of us had to wait for her husband to drive to the class and bring it to her!  Then, when the class FINALLY started, there were no handouts.  Someone had forgotten to copy them.  I was SO MAD, I almost left! 

I could tell you of many more instances, but why mess up a great weekend story.

Let me find a picture that shows you the classroom...........

There were six tables set up, with 2 ladies at each table.  Louise was set up there on the left with her charts.  In the doorway by the clothes rack is the kitchenette area where there was constant FRESH, HOT coffee and snacks.  In the back where the white board is was a room for luggage parking and our coats -- another room for ironing boards and irons -- two large bathrooms -- and more room.

The lighting was wonderful all over the room with large windows at the entrance.  There were two large cutting tables at the other end of the room and two tables with sergers set up.  All was clean and user friendly. 

Phylly was very studious and serious while working on her projects, so I had to take a picture of myself to prove to you I was there.  YEP!  I'm in the rooster feather blouse.  I received several compliments on it.  If a lady likes your garment, they ask what pattern it is.  Since I had never made a Louise Cutting pattern, I couldn't wear one to class.   

Here is Phylly getting personal instruction from Louise.  Yes, I asked them to pose.  Louise told Phyllis that it is "against the law" to have more than one bust dart in a garment, and Phylly had one garment with 2 bust darts on each side and another with 3 bust darts on each side.  She got in really bad trouble!!! 

Louise has a brand new pant pattern out that we all really liked.  It has a narrow leg and an elastic waist.  Louise had very generously brought us all a blueprint copy of the new pattern, and then she spent time with each one of us showing us how to make it fit according to the measurement chart she had us all fill out.

TCM is the space right next door to this, so we could just walk over there whenever we felt the urge to buy more fabric.  Lunch was served every day in the TCM store, and it was beautifully done as well.  Barb seemed to be in charge of that.  I can't imagine how tired she must be today.  She waited on us all day long at both locations.  She made quiches one day.  The next day, we had box lunches.  The third day, Barb had fixed the most delicious chicken-tortilla soup, and Nancy had made some special corn muffins with pumpkin seeds (?) in them.  There were also assorted mini-cheesecakes which I made myself pass up.  Lunch each day was a surprise and a special treat. 

Another wonderful thing about going to any class that TCM puts on is that everyone there sews, and they are always wearing something they have made.  It is like a constant fashion show.

Here is Nancy wearing a jacket she made from one of Louise's patterns.  I don't know what Louise is showing someone about the back of the jacket.

Debbie wore a gorgeous outfit one day from one of Louise's patterns, but I didn't think to ask her if I could take her picture.  Here is a picture of Debbie in another outfit.  Debbie is the other owner of The Cloth Merchants fabric store in Tulsa.
I don't think anyone was taking pictures but me, so I was a little shy about it.  You never know if the owners want you snapping photos or not.  I asked Louise about it, and she said I could take all the pictures I wanted, but I could not show them to you.  THEREFORE, I will tell you where you can go to see for yourself Louise's tips for a VERY NOMINAL price.

Two places:  Louise Cutting's website which is  You can see all of her patterns there, and some of her tips are there.

and start either a 14-day free trial, or pay a pittance for a year's subscription to Insider if you subscribe to Threads Magazine.  Louise Cutting's DVD's are all available there except for the latest one, and you can watch them over and over.

I can't think of a single negative comment about this 3-day plus class.  Louise is a friendly, patient, helpful instructor.  She handles the tension very well.  Her system is well-organized and professional, and there is no silliness.  That is NOT to say, that she isn't fun, and we didn't laugh a lot.  There just wasn't anything going on that shouldn't have been.

I attended a class one time that was supposed to be on fitting, and the teacher spent the first 10 minutes showing us how to do arm exercises with 2-pound weights.  The girl sitting next to me asked me if she was in the right class.
OH MY GOODNESS!  I almost forgot to tell you the VERY BEST PART OF ALL. 

While I was in Tulsa enjoying this class, my husband was here in our Edmond home cleaning up after the demolition derby last week when the new windows were installed in the house.  The entire house was covered with white dust.  Jerry vacuumed the WHOLE house, and then he steam-mopped all the hard floors in the house.  It looks wonderful, and I feel so guilty.  I should be home taking care of him.  He is the one who still works 7 days a week, with days often beginning at 5 AM.  WHAT A MAN!  I am truly blessed in so many ways.

Hugs, Joy


  1. Ha! You don't trust me to take your picture! You know it would be blurry if I did. Yes, Louise blew my sewing world apart when she told me I couldn't have a three inch dart (which I then split up into two or three darts). However, she put it all back together when I figured out that I don't need darts that big in her patterns, I don't have to do a round back in her patterns, and best of all, the crotch in her pants pattern fits the one on my body. I didn't even have to scoop. Woo! Hoo! If you have seen gravity severely deflate your backside, you need Louise's new pants pattern (coming out soon). It is called the Swing Set. If you ever get a chance to take her class, DO IT. If you ever get a chance to visit Cloth Merchants in Tulsa, DO IT. They have a great website where you can get their wonderful service for yourself. I don't know of another fabric store that always cuts fabric on grain. Always! Yes, they chase that thread across the fabric so you don't have to!

    Joy, Joy, thanks for going with me. SO MUCH FUN!
    Hugs, Phylly

  2. Thanks for this wonderful review and the photos. I love taking Louise's classes. Maybe one of these days I'll make it to Tulsa. She is so much fun and so knowledgeable.

  3. What a nice report Joy! sounds like you did some serious stashing. I know you found some lovely fabrics. Louise is really a great teacher. What fun for you and Phylly.

    I can't wait to see your new creations.

  4. Joy. Can you tell us Louise would work around needing more than one bust dart?

  5. Anonymous:

    Louise's patterns have a huge amount of ease. Adding a bit of length and width is what she does. You can see it at Threads Insider.

  6. Glad you had so much fun. Louise is a hoot, but very organized. She often comes to Atlanta, so plan another road trip!


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Hugs, Joy