Did you shop like Ivana Trump at Sew Expo?

Another Sew Expo has come and gone, and it once again included plenty of shopping and learning opportunities. This year I did most of my fabric-shopping damage at Billie’s Designer Fabrics, and for once I managed NOT to buy any predominantly black or grey fabric! I came home with a lovely royal blue rayon knit, a royal blue + white + grey + black ITY knit print, and some nice bottomweight navy ponte for slim pants. All I can say is it is probably a good thing this gem of a fabric store is located more than two hours from my house. 😉

I took a fair number of mobile pix-  none of which are that great – but I was tweeting like crazy woman during the show. If you want to see the whole kit and caboodle, check out my Flickr Sew Expo 2013 set. DOL’s can see a couple of not very good shots of Loretta in the ASG Fashion Show and a great shot of Marcy and Katherine in their booth. 😉

My classes were mostly good. Here is the report card I would hand out:

  1. B-     Industry Insider Techniques for Garment Sewing (Louise Cutting) Needs to update herpresentation. Not much that was new to me, but I did like her method for easing in a sleeve. Also she should use a video cam or some projection system so all attendees can actually SEE what is being demoed.
  2. C-     Stabilizers – The Backbone Behind Stitching. This was heavily slanted for quilters/crafters. Teacher knew her stuff, but garment sewists can feel free to bypass this one.
  3. A      No Pins, No Basting, No Kidding (Islander Sewing System). Good presentation using a video cam so it was easily seen by all participants. And great techniques!
  4. A++ Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob. He was funny, organized, and so dang knowledgable. Learned a ton and laughed a lot!
  5. A      Make Your Fabric Work for You (Katrina Walker). I love textile geeks. You always learn something from Katrina! Rule #1. The stiffer the fabric the closer it needs to be to your body. (Unless, of course, you want to look like a tent.)
  6. A       The Ultimate in Under Things (Jan Bones). Those Canadians are a hoot. Debra Justice, Ce Podolak, Jan – they are all excellent teachers. Not to mention funny as hell! Take any class they offer.
  7. A      Cover Hem Workshop. Very good hands-on class and Gail Yellen was a great teacher. My goal for this year is to push the envelope a little more on my serger, and I got a good start in this class.
  8. C-      Designer Serger Techniques. This hands-on workshop turned out to be techniques only for knits, and very little of it qualifed as “designer” IMHO. No way was this worth $70. Narrow hemming with decorative thread = “designer” ? More like “basic utility stitch”!!

The “After Expo Banquet” on Saturday night was festive(as usual), and the opportunity to be surrounded by my “tribe” of fellow sewing nerds for a few days is always inspiring and exhilirating. What am I looking forward to at next year’s Expo?

  1. I am thinking maybe I should enter the IPCA Sewing Contest. You know – challenge myself a little. What do you think?
  2. The hands-on workshop can definitely be worthwhile. I think I will try more next year.
  3. Shams – you should definitely join the party. (You will love it!!)
  4. Marcy – I know you are a drapey kind of gal and I am a structured kind of gal, but think about tossing in some heavier ponte-type knits for slim pants. For those of us who want to skim over our lumps and bumps instead of draping right onto them! 😉

What did you think of Expo? What do you want to see more/less of next year?

Happy sewing!

Maris Olsen




6 Responses to Did you shop like Ivana Trump at Sew Expo?

  1. I did some damage with Batik Butik. They had 3 fabrics I couldn’t live without! Otherwise, just a few notions and one class, Linda MacPhee’s Nitty Gritty on Knits. She’s a good teacher, very funny, had many samples modeled,and focused on slinky and bamboo knits. The class was good for me because I like and sew mostly kits.
    The one thing I was disappointed with is that about 85% (my estimation) of the vendors sold quilt-related products. I don’t make quilts so that their offerings didn’t interest me. I’d appreciate more garment-sewing vendors. Also disappointing is that Marci and Katherine Tilton were low on fabric choices by the time I hit their booth. Oh, well, guess I’ll have to get there earlier next year.
    I had to skip 4 other classes due to a health condition, so I definitely plan to return next year.

  2. Hi Anne,
    I TOTALLY agree with you that the show vendors are more focused on quilting. Unfortunately for us garment gals the sewing world is more heavily populated with quilters. Next year try to visit Billie’s – they have knits and wovens – and their prices and selection are always good. Vogue Fabrics can be a good source too – if you can stand pawing thru the crowds to get to the bolts.

    See you next year!!


  3. I’m feeling so grateful for my sew expo trip. And yes, I feel like i shopped like Ivana. I took Connie’s 4 needle fitting class on Wednesday; it was well worth the $ as I came home with a fitted sheath that was draped for me. And because of that, I felt free to shop the Tilton’s booth Thursday morning and came home with some Italian linen and a nice thick and liquid rayon knit, oh, and some designer buttons from Paris. I missed the banquet this year as it’s hard to stay from Wednesday until Saturday, I did have time though to visit Jan (love her bike shorts for under all my dresses)………..but Maris, I really feel left out as I have know idea what the shams party is all about. 🙂

    • Good for you Ruth! Sorry you missed the banquet – maybe next year. And the “Shams party” is a reference to “Communing with Fabric” – a blog by a lovely gal in the Bay area names Shams. She was recently bemoaning the fact that she had never been to Expo and I was just encouraging her to try it out sooner rather than later!

      Happy sewing with your lovely new fabrics!

  4. Shams here. Thanks for your report, Maris! I especially enjoyed the pics in Marcy’s booth and seeing Gwen again. One of these years I’ll make it!

    • You are welcome, Shams!! I hope to see you at Expo next year, and whenever you head up north to the land of rain, do please hook up with me. I’d love to meet you in person!

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