Sunday, March 6, 2016

Sew Expo 2016

I live in Seattle, which is an hour north of Puyallup, home of the Sewing and Stitchery Expo.
I live right off Interstate 5. I can hear it from here.

After a great deal of calendarical dithering, I determined I'd be going to SewExpo on Thursday to catch Laura Nash's vintage pattern class, and whatever classes worked out for the rest of the day.

Which I would have made if I had left Seattle about an hour earlier. Not for traffic on the highway, but traffic trying to get ON to the highway.

Seattle, you have too many cars.

The weather was perfectly nice. This is a terrible photo, because I take terrible photos out of the car window while I am driving (nuff said). But that grey mountain shape in the lower center of this is Mount Rainier, which is very visible from some parts of Puyallup. And you could see all of it's snowy glory that day.

A really sad attempt to yarn bomb the Sasquatch at the entrance of the Washington State Fair grounds.  He needs a full sweater.

Since I missed the 830, I did the shopping first.

Vogue Fabrics had wider aisles this year, and nothing I needed.

Love this shirt. Love Judy. More on her later.

I took an illustration class from Julie Paschkis once. She is a great example of how you can use your talents in all markets, and her lines for In the Beginning's quilting cottons are clothes-worthy.
And hard to cut into. I just pet mine.

I predict more people will do scale draping. It really works, and it's easier to take a gamble with a smaller amount of fabric to try something out. Especially next to a mountain of magnetic pincushions.
Are they cushions if they aren't cushioned?

Buttons. I am a sucker for you. Put five on a piece of string and watch me drool.

New pattern this year. 
Look familiar?

Huh. I must be crazy.

Lorraine Henry does a nice presentation about moving darts and altering pattern pieces. I have seen this several times before, done by a variety of people, and she does a good job of explaining it. She does not have a book, but her methods are all over the internet. The key to her method is preserving the seam line length, rather than cutting through it to alter. 

This year the omnipresent WSU banners cracked me up. My elder child, Thing One, is a freshman at WSU, over in Pullman. So I give them more money now!

Marla Kazell was the  technical advisor for the book, Couture The Art of Fine Sewing by Roberta Carr,  which is kinda like finding out someone else painted the Last Supper. Marla's presentation was about prepping a jacket pattern, and recutting the center edge and facings offgrain so they would hang straight. It's just how it is. This was a tough sell for some of the participants, who just couldn't get it. 

And Judy Kessinger's Fit Nice class. 

Theoretically about pants, but about her pants pattern, with some great old lady advice about just not giving a dang. I don't need another pants fitting system, but I enjoyed my 90 minutes with her. It was a hoot and then some. Her website is full of videos that are worth your time, videographed by her sons. Go check em out.

And then we go back to shopping. Or buying in this case.
Treasures of the Gypsy. 

Yes, they have many shiny things and they are really serious about you keeping your damn hands off them. I get where they are coming from, I love them to bits. Don't mess with them!

The Venus of Willendorf. And five thousand Elinor Peace Bailey patterns.

I own about four hundred yards of that nylon bird fabric. I pick the birds off and use them for trim.

My beloved needle threader was on sale at Hancock's booth. I did buy another, as a gift. Really.

A scone for luck

The haul: the free tote bag, the black striped 3 yards of japanese woven cotton goodness, the poly digital print from Marci Tilton, 18" of shiny beaded red trim, six beautiful resin buttons, a 3/8" curved ruler (finally, now I can stop coveting one), more typewriter fabric (two 1/2 yd pieces to be kluged) and class info pages.

And how quickly I sewed this beauty up! Thanks Ms Tilton!



  1. Wow, such great buying opportunities there, it looks fabulous. I'd love to see Marcy's fabrics.

    I'd seriously spend at TSW stand too, I agree that there are some similarities with their current dress and Marcy's pattern but the style lines are different and really you could make that claim for every shift dress pattern there is. Both companies are influenced by the same aesthetic, Katherine's patterns are quite similar too. TSW pattern instructions are incredibly well written and include some good techniques. It's we who a the beneficiaries of competition,. Twas ever thus.

    1. It's so hard to be truly original every single day of the year, as both Tilton and Lee have been, often when they were both TSW back in the day. And even then, there were a few things that were....questionable.
      And I have bought all of those questionable things, and a few others. So I find this interesting (especially since they were were collaborators, and perhaps still are) enough to mention. Mud will not be thrown.


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