It was my very first experience at the Sewing & Stitchery Expo ever, and it did not disappoint! I am so glad to be living near enough to attend this year. Hubby and Bean the toddler dropped a squealing me off that morning and went back home.
My jam-packed schedule (that I coordinated with my sewing meetup buddy, Amy) started with a quick ogle around the booth areas -there were so many people- and then I headed straight to the Simplicity fashion show at 9.30 a.m. where I was to meet up with my sewing meetup friend Sherry who saved me a seat at the front row with her daughter and friend! :) We were given a handout with a list of pattern numbers of the outfits to be modeled ahead of time which to an expo-newbie me thought a great idea! For me it was esp helpful to see the clothes on the runaway to find out the type of fabric used.
My favorite outfit though must be what the emcee was wearing! She (Debra Kreiling of Simplicity) made it herself based on Simplicity 1650, a project runway collection, princess cut bodice with peplum dress in black. She added a cuffed elbow length sleeves and it really complemented her petite and curvy self. It is always more inspirational when I see how other women made patterns work for them. I really like the princess bodice of this peplum, and the neckline, but preferred it to be a separate rather than a dress.
Caught up with Amy who sat a few rows behind us, we rushed out to find our first class in another building but not before first indulging ourselves in a scone for me and strawberry shortcake for Amy. The first class was a 1 needle ($5) seminar by Lorraine Henry on "What Comes First in Fit?"
... which is of course, measuring... Lorraine was quite funny :) and while I did jot some notes, I will have to sit down and revisit her handout again as she shared with us a condensed version of alteration procedures. I was quite excited by her two way tapes, and booklet Measuring Made Easy (at the end of the day, was able to stop by her booth and purchased a set to be delivered home as they ran out of a copy by then) which I can see will help me measure myself better. To be honest, I have been winging it with my measuring and pattern alterations a lot, so just seeing "live" what is meant by measuring high bust and so on was way much better for me than seeing it in books. I mean, now I can imagine stuff better when I see these explanation in books.
After the seminar, Amy and I stopped by the Vogue Fabrics booth before going into the 11.15 a.m. fashion show. I've purchased from them online before and very satisfied with what I got so was super excited to see they were at the expo (Hmm, now I am thinking if the Vogue Fabrics and Vogue patterns are the same company. Are they? Somehow I didn't think so all these while...Anyways, lots of fabric were purchased by me at Vogue Fabrics in 2 separate ocassion, although I can't recall now when in the day the first set of purchases were made)
The fashion show (Fashion Trends & Sewing Tips for 2013 Vogue, Butterick, McCall's & Kwik Sew Patterns) was hosted by Pati Palmer, and one of the models was Marta Alto. Yes! It is kind of funny that I was so excited to see them on the stage. :) One of the patterns I like most was M6601 print silk blouse made and modeled by Marta. And I kinda like the red wool crepe V1327 neck twist dress by Anne Klein, but probably interpret it into a sleeved blouse than a dress with those waist seamed pleated skirt that doesn't suit me.
Next class at 12.30 was another one needle seminar: Thread Therapy with Dr. Bob (Bob Purcell of Superior Threads). Very very informative. He gave us quite a few pages of notes to take home! Too bad I didn't get to find his booth. But, here's what I got:
Didn't get to shop during lunch... We bumped into our sewing meetup fearless leader :), and then Amy and I grabbed lunch. Then, while our sewing meetup group met somewhere to catch up around the grounds, we marched on to our 3 needle class "Embeadery" on Fabric.
Here is Amy with our instructor, Cindy Rowell.
I enjoyed the introductory class immensely. We get to actually work on a mini project (picture below is of our kit, supplied by Cindy), so it's quite hands on.
Amy and I left just a little bit earlier to get to our last seminar of the day at 4.30pm at another building. The seminar, Tissue Issues by Peggy Sagers of Silhoette Patterns, must be my most favorite class of the day. There was just something about her way of talking and explaining that just resonated with me. She seems like a no-nonsense kinda lady, but yet not in an intimidating kind of way and came across as very genuinely wanting us to achieve what we wanted. It was too short a session IMO, but it was only a one needle class anyways. Since then, I have watched a couple of her past webcasts. If you want to catch her LIVE webcasts on myriad of sewing related issues, she goes on air every alternate Monday nights starting at 8pm CST where you can have live Q&A too. Lucky for me, they will post these videos online on her Silhoette Patterns website.
Oh, at each of these classes there were lucky draws, and my ticket numbers came close a few times, but as usual, not lucky enough compared to Amy ;). We split up at the booths, and I guess we had about 30-40 minutes to shop before the expo ends for the day.
On to my loot:
Must have been my first purchase of the day, in the morning. Quilt template and chalk marker at the Clover booth, with free measuring tape. :)
From the 2.5 yds remnants section of Vogue Fabrics L-R: Black, Black with white and red print Silk chiffon, orangey rust silk chiffon, green with orange, red and cream swirls silk twill?, another silk twill and a black with small prints thin silk charmuese (which I might make into M6601 like Marta once I get the pattern).
Knits L-R: 2 yds of yummy orange knit from Marcy Tilton's booth (last purchase just as they were closing up shop. I wished I had more time to look at their fabric or attend their seminars/fashion show.), and 2 more pieces from Vogue Fabrics a designer poly-lycra crepe in cobalt blue (3yds), and another knit which i can't recall but I like the colors a lot (i can't remember, it could be 3 yds or 5 yds).
First fabric purchase of the day from Vogue Fabrics L-R: 2 silk chiffons and a silk twill (all 2 yards).
I also purchased some patterns from Silhoette Patterns (they had a buy 3 and get 4th free package):
Two very achy but satisfied SewExpo attendees:
p/s: I was wearing my red wool knit V1179 and lugging a HUGE zippered tote bag I made the day before from thrifted a panel of woven curtain
(yet to be posted).
Thoughts: I wished I had more time to go around the booths. I didn't even take any time to visit quilt related booths as promised to my mom, and must have missed out on some deals on quilting fabric and infos. Hubby offered to take me the next day, but I thought 4 hours total of driving on Saturday (send, home, pickup, home) for him and the Bean were a bit much, plus I had tonnes of quilting fabric in my stash (90% were thrifted in Iowa) that should be sewn up first.
Maybe it is only my first time at a sewing expo, or maybe because this is the biggest (or one of) sewing expos here in the US, I didn't feel like it is overwhelmingly catering only for quilts and crafts. There were quite satisfying a number of booths and classes that are for apparel sewing enthusiasts IMO, and I hope next year there will be even more. Amy and I are already planning for a 2 day participation next year, with a probable hotel stay nearby where the hubby and Bean can hang.