Mary Lou Rankin is best known as the creator/owner of the Park Bench Pattern Company.  Join her as she reflects on her creative journey from childhood through her work years to her current semi-retirement.  She will talk about how and why she started Park Bench Patterns and answer questions from those of you who might be thinking about starting their own journey.

Although Mary Lou is enjoying the perks of semi-retirement, such as not having to adhere to a specific schedule, she’s still very active in the sewing world.  She’s participated in sewing retreats, studio “sits” several times a month for a few studios in San Diego’s Balboa Park area and sews for three art shows each year to keep her creative juices flowing.  She is excited to teach again at PenWAG.

Meeting and Lecture: 10:00 AM 

Campbell Community Center, 1 W Campbell Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

Multipurpose Room – M-50

Free for members; $5 guests at door img_0949


Saturday workshop:   Dress the Spirit as Well as the Body

This class is for all of you who…. just can’t get started!  This is a “hand holding” class.  Bring your pattern and several pieces of fabric and trims you are thinking about using, but can’t make a final choice.  We will select the right fabric and plan your garment.  We will discuss sewing techniques and embellishment ideas.  You won’t finish the garment in class, but will be at a point where you can finish it at home.

June 10 2017 supply list

Multipurpose Room – M-50

1:30 to 5:00 PM   3 1/2 hour workshop

Class size: 24 students

$55 members, $70 guests  img_0962 img_0973


Sunday workshop:   It’s All About the Fabrics & Colors

Mary Lou discovered during her many years of teaching that the largest sewing problems rarely are connected to sewing skills.  Most often, the problems occur in picking out the right fabric for a pattern design.  She knows PenWAG members are very creative – she has seen our creations at sewing and fashion shows.  What she will explore with us in this workshop are ways to open some creative doors to encompass a wider range of opportunities to use fabrics and colors in unexpected ways.  Sometimes adding something very small can make a design stand out as special.  Sometimes by using unexpected colors and textures in a design you can create that “ohhhh!” moment.  We all have fabric….now let’s throw it all up in the air and see where it lands!

Villa Teresa Mobile Home Park

5680 Santa Teresa Blvd, San Jose, CA 95123

10:00 to 4:30 PM   6 1/2 hour workshop

Class size: 24 students

$85 members, $100 guests  img_0976img_0977img_0971