Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sew Expo, Puyallup - WOW

All I can say is if you are a sewer, quilter, textile artist then you must visit the Expo at least once, it is amazing, the teachers, vendors and general energy of the whole site is mind boggling. This is the view when standing at one end of a row looking towards the back of the Showplex venue:

Photo courtesy of Alison

There were approximately 178 vendors attending and a lot of the teachers had their own stalls and were on hand to talk to or assist you.

See the brick wall way at the back, that is where some of the seminar rooms were and where Vogue Fabrics had their fabric stall set up, with different fabrics being added daily:

Photo courtesy of Alison

When I organised my classes I was concerned how I would survive 4 days arriving at 8am and leaving late, and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to fill the day between attending classes, visiting the various vendors' stalls and finally being able to meet my Internet sewing friends.

I had some wonderful classes during the 4 days and there was something from each of them that I have noted in this cute note book that we received at our first class on day 1.

  • When making a shirt/blouse, clip the top and bottom of the collar, collar stand, yoke and centre back of shirt and centre front fold lines (Marto Alto). I know I only clip some of those areas on one edge and Marto showed how the extra clipping sped up her sewing of the shirt/blouse.

  • Your neck binding for a knit top is the same length as your neck edge but seamed at 1.5cm except for a mesh binding which is 2 1/2" (6.3cm) smaller (Sandra Betzina).

  • When you press your bias strip in half, remember to remeasure it as it tends to stretch (Sandra Betzina).

  • Facings - pin front facing to neck edge and clip shoulder seam, pin back facing to neck edge and clip shoulder seam, then sew facing shoulder seams matching the snips and your facing will fit perfectly to the neck edge (Patti Palmer) - this has always given me grief.

  • Button loops, sew these in place on paper to ensure your placement is correct and then put the paper in between the fabric and facing and stitch, the paper pulls out (Connie Crawford).

  • Fancy Seams - Ron Collins showed us a pair of linen pants that were lined with silk organza to help the "wrinkle factor". I will be using this technique as I love linen, and I am sure others have documented it, I will once I get around to making the pants.

  • Have you ever had difficulty in tyring to figure out what colour you can put with the chartreuse garment that you have in your wardrobe? Visit the hardware and pick up 1 or 2 of the Inspired by Colour charts, they have a lot of very good ideas of colour groups (Sandy Miller).
I'm certain that the handouts that we were given at each seminar will provide a lot more for me to "try out".

Now I have to figure out how to get back their in a few years time :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What an adventure!

I am home from the USA and it was a fantastic trip, I hope not to bore you with the details.

Our flight to LA on the Qantas A380 was uneventful thankfully and landed us in a very cool Los Angeles for the day. We then flew to Portland on Saturday and hired a car and this is where the fun started.

Sunday saw Janis, who had contacted me via Stitcher's Guild offering us a natives tour of Portland, meet us at our hotel for a fabulous tour of her home town.

First stop was Fabric Depot, then to Mill End Store the goodies we found soon had us using our second bag.

Monday we headed to Joann's under our own steam and then on Tuesday we headed to Rose City Textiles on our way to Puyallup for the Sewing and Stitchery Expo.

For the next four days we attend the Expo attending the classes we had booked into and meeting up with Patti B, BeeBee, karent, Karen Roth, CarloynB and Janis (again) who are all from Stitchers Guild and managed to bump into a number of the Australian Sewing Guild Group who were there as well.

From there Alison and I flew to Utah where it put on a great snow show for us. This is what the car looked like after 1 hour and thankfully we had a helper to sweep the snow off the car before we headed 1 hour back down the freeway to our hotel.

After Utah we headed back to Oakland and drove back to Los Angeles for our flight home.

Now for the goodies:


Top Row: green/black knit, brown geometric knit, brown/red/coffee knit, purple mauve geometric knit and brown/coffee swirly linen. The two small pieces of black and green are wick-away fabric for a cycling shirt for DH.

2nd Row: 3 ply gortex, orange self patterned linen, aubergine Camel Hair for a coat and next to it is quilted fabric that I would like to use for the zip out lining that was in Threads No 152, and the next piece is a patterned fine cord for a jacket.

3rd Row: cream wick-away Lycra, aubergine knit with wool, orange wick-away and camel boiled wool.

4th Row: brown self patterned knit, camel waffle weave knit from M&L Fabrics; Missoni type knit, Rust knit, brown floral, cream stripe, cream/pale blue knit and open weave knit all from Marcy Tilton.

5th Row: multi coloured stripe and pale green waffle weave from M&L Fabrics, coffee/grey/cream knit from Joann's; aubergine/grey/blue silk and brown/pale pink silk from Vogue Fabrics.


Wonderful rhinestone zippers, buckles, brown and coffee sharpies, sewing machine and coverstitch needles, snap source goodies, Palmer Pletsch Interfacing packs, scissors and more.

Other goodies

2 Ottobre magazines, Sandra Betzina Power Sewing Books 1 and 2, Merino wool and pattern, beads and of course 2 rolls of Press "N" Seal, 2 Cross Stitch Fob kits.

We were entitled to 2 suitcases on our trip and luckily we didn't have any excess baggage costs and didn't have to post anything home.

I will be back soon to let you know about the Sewing and Stitchery Expo and the classes I attended.