Friday, September 24, 2010

American Sewing Expo Day 1

What a day! I attended day one of the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. 4 seminars, 1 fashion show and several booths later, here's what I have to report:

My first seminar was with Rhonda Pierce of Schmetz Needles. If you've been reading this blog since the spring you know how much I love twin needle stitching! I wound up buying a variety pack of needles from Lucy's and now use their needles exclusively. I love the quality of the needles and how they come in holders so it's easy to return them to their proper place, thereby not getting them mixed up. As soon as I saw the Schmetz super needle during the lecture I knew I had to get a picture.

me with Rhonda Pierce, Schmetz Needles

The lecture was super informative (now I know what all those numbers mean on the packaging!) and I learned about needles I never knew existed (triple needles? double eyed needles?). And Rhonda is super nice. We had a great chat in her booth. I bought the "I made this button" and Rhonda took my picture for their photo gallery.

The takehome message for me from that lecture for me was how to determine if a needle is too dull to use: run it across your fingernail. If it leaves a mark, it has a burr, and should no longer be used. (Alternatively, run it across knit fabric and see if it snags.)

I attended the Simplicity "Hot Jacket" seminar which was AWESOME. The Chanel style jacket is hot for fall, and Simplicity has an Amazing Fit jacket pattern 2284 with multiple cup sizes. Deborah Kreiling from Simplicity brought the jackets in several sizes. Her goal was to have everyone try on samples and she would help figure out the right size and any necessary adjustments. I wore my Simplicity 2473 Project Runway dress and she recognized it right away and had me model it for the class. She said I did a great job on the dress, which felt amazing coming from a person who works for Simplicity! Then she asked what size my dress was, and had me try the 12 in a B cup. The audience oooohed. I was shocked at how well it fit as I would have started that jacket in a 14. I also tried on the 10, but it was too small in most places. The 12 was too small just in the bicep. I asked her if she thought I needed a swayback adjustment and so she pinned that in. The jacket looked great. We also determined the short length would be more flattering than the long length.

The main takehome point from that lecture is to start with the right pattern size in the shoulders and adjust everything else to fit-- a point I had never considered before. Also it was great to see how the same jacket size and bust fit different people.

I also attended a lecture on 20 tips for improving sewing and a lecture about fitting pants.

Other highlights included attending the Simplicity fashion show with the actual outfits that were photographed for the pattern envelopes:

fin of the Simplicity fashion show

And finally meeting Deepika, founder of Sewing Pattern Review(photo taken by Antoinette's friend "Leslie in Austin". I brought my SPR bag with me that I got at SPR weekend Philly.
me with Deepika of Sewing Pattern Review

So it was a long day and I'll do it all over again tmw: 4 more lectures, one more runway show, and several booth visits!

Ok, so I'm staying in an extended stay place, and my room is right next to the boiler room, and there's something that keeps cycling on and off in that room, and it's driving me insane. My room faces the freeway and the fridge in my room keeps cycling on and off as well. I had the a/c on last night too and that was making noise. I prepaid the room to get the cheapest rate. Should I suck it up and stay here 3 more nights or should I move to another hotel? I asked if I could switch rooms and the answer was no, but maybe this weekend if someone else cancels their reservation. Maybe this should just be a character building experience? (Also, after I stayed in the cheapest place in Geneva in 2002, I vowed never to stay in the cheapest place again...I am renewing that vow now...)


  1. thank you for the comments and observations about the sewing conference. I would ask for another room--what is the worst that can happen?

  2. Wow, what an opportunity and it sounds like you are having so much fun and learning so much too. Have a great time tomorrow. I will be anxious to read what you learn.

  3. Wow, sounds like you're having a fantastic time! Thanks for sharing - and good luck with living the sewing dream a second time today!

  4. Yes, I'd ask for another room every day till you get a new one. And if you don't, I would spend each night with headphones on, and reminding myself of my renewed vow for next time.

  5. Kyle, you said that the Simplicity AF jacket that you tried on was 2284? That's a new pattern then, right, since it's at the beginning of the number set? (They've been adding patterns at the beginning of the catalog this year.) The only AF jacket I've seen is 2446, which I've purchased and not sewn yet. I love the multiple cup size patterns.

    Enjoy the Expo! I thought about going this year, but the timing didn't work out.

  6. I'm so jealous, enjoy yourself! Do you remember the pattern number for the coat/dress? on your first runway picture?

  7. Thank you for all the amazing tips Kyle! I love the tip for testing needles, I will definitely be using that one. The sewing expo looks like a dream come true. I hope to be attending one in the future.

  8. I would have oohed and aahed over your dress too - it's wonderfully charming, especially with the cool outline stitching.

    Bummer about the hotel. I was pumped to get a corner room in Novi on Friday night, but apparently there was a strong wind advisory and it sounded like the exterior was being ripped off bit by bit into the wee hours of the night. Just my luck!


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