Sunday, October 7, 2012

American Sewing Expo 2012 recap

This was my third year at the American Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan.  Where else can you...
  • meet independent designers and sewing personalities like Angela Wolf, Gertie Hirch, and Jennifer Stern, in one place?
  • meet a woman whose job title is "Project Manager for Zippers and Fabric Crafts"  (What a cool job title!)
  • meet-up with women (shopping, eating, chatting) who follow your blog on a regular basis?
  • meet the instructors of online classes you've taken?
  • take hands-on classes on ultra-cool, brand new sewing machines to learn new techniques?
  • buy hard-to-find notions like stretch twin needles in-person and buy patterns from the designers themselves??
  • meet the producer of It's Sew Easy and be asked if you want to be on tv!

I also want to say, the expo is way more fun when you have someone to share it with.  I need to say a great big thank you to Bonnie for being my partner-in-crime during the hands-on classes, fashion shows and several meals.  You rock, and definitely the expo was more fun overall because of you!

Also, after taking those hands-on classes I may need to upgrade my sewing machine.  Mine is a $300 Baby Lock circa 1994.  I had NO IDEA that machines will cut threads for you, put the thread in the fabric for you and lift it out afterward, allow you to set precise stitch lengths and widths, allow you to change to a zipper foot without having to unscrew the presser foot, etc etc etc.  A whole new world has appeared before my eyes!

The expo began on Friday but I couldn't fly out on Thursday due to other commitments.  So I missed the first day. While I was at the airport Friday morning, Bonnie texted me to say she had already arrived at the expo and purchased her first item!

I drove directly from the airport to Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak.  They always have a big booth at the expo but I wanted to check out their store.

back entrance to Haberman Fabrics, Royal Oak, MI

It is gorgeous inside. Clean, well-lit, spacious, well-organized. Not too big, not too small, not overwhelming. In a way, it felt like the best of what you can find in the NYC garment district (fabric and notions) in one store. They also have neat quotes on their walls.
Haberman Fabrics interior
This gives you an idea of just how spacious the place is:
Haberman Fabrics interior
When I arrived, a tour bus group was there. I didn't ask but assumed they were the Canadians who were heading to the expo (I learned the next day that I was right!).

I bought these lovelies (all knits except one buttery piece of rayon suiting) and had them shipped back home:
fabric I bought at Haberman!
I am really excited about that piece on the bottom; wait til you see what I have planned for it!

Then it was time to drive through the evening rush to check into the hotel, change, and drive to the ASDP Fashion Show. I texted Bonnie to let her know she wouldn't recognize me because I would be in wovens!
me and Bonnie after the ASDP fashion show
My outfit:  shirt:  simplicity 2892.   skirt:  new look 6103
Bonnie scoped out the best seats for us, a trend which continued during the weekend.  I'm really sorry I didn't say hi to Rhonda from Schmetz--I assumed she'd have a booth at the expo and we could chat later.  I was wrong!

The next morning I introduced myself to Jennifer Stern. She taught the online PR "break your serger out of the box" class this summer and I was able to tell her in person how much I enjoyed the class and that I am using my serger now!
me and Jennifer Stern, my online serger teacher
My dress:  Butterick 5559

Then I headed over to the blogger meetup where I met Gertie!
me with Gertie and her new book
and also met Allison of Welcome to My Home. She reads my blog! Yay!
me with Allison
Some neat things about the blogger meetup: learning that Cupcake Goddess is now A Fashionable Stitch, the Coats and Clark thread people have a blog, and one of the women who works at Coats and Clark has "Project Manager for Zippers and Fabric Crafts" as her title. What a cool title!

There were exhibits on the expo floor. I just love the category for this; "Most Successful Pocket".
Isn't this coat goregeous? I think it was designed by Joi Mahon.
Around lunchtime Bonnie and I went to the Amazing Seams class where I stitched a flat felled seam and also French seams for the first time in my life. We also did Hong Kong finish, which I have previously done. I was hoping to learn how to sew lace hem tape to a hem but no dice.
in the Amazing Seams class
Bonnie and I went to the Passion for Fashion show where we had GREAT seats once again. (Passion for Fashion is like Project Runway at the expo...contestants are given $100, have to buy all materials off the expo floor and don't know the theme until the contest starts Friday morning.  They sew on the expo floor with everyone passing by!)
Passion for Fashion show
All outfits were on display the next day; here is the winner (the theme was about insects.) the winner of Passion for Fashion

I skipped a seminar class Sunday morning to do some shopping (loved how velosewer tweeted back at me that she would have done the same thing!).   There were particular booths I wanted to hit up and it was NOW OR NEVER.
First was to buy Gertie's book--she even signed it for me.
me with Gertie and her book
Next was Angela Wolf in her booth. She has a new line of her very own patterns which I'm so excited about! I picked up her t-shirt pattern. Was also excited that she had samples in the booth so I know which size to start with, yay!
me with Angela Wolf in her booth
My dress:  Butterick 5638

It was there that she introduced me to the producer of It's Sew Easy. So what do you think, should I try to be on tv???

I think next was Kai Scissors where I got a pair of embroidery scissors, which I think I will write about as part of my next post.

Then I hit up the Vogue Fabrics booth. The Vogue booth was much smaller compared to the last two years and in a different location. Mainly they had cut fabrics and not a lot on rolls. They did have plenty of luscious Sophia double knit--someday I will buy it!
Vogue Fabrics sophia double knit colors...
I also ran into Juliette Kimes...who I had last seen at her ranch during PR Weekend Austin 2011. We had a nice chat about her donkeys!
me withJuliette Kimes
Then I had lunch with Lynnelle and Momma Askey. I really enjoyed seeing them again, and we had a really nice conversation.  Lynnelle made her entire outfit, including her jeans!
me with Momma Askey and Lynnelle
Then it was time for Jennifer Stern's jeans class--3 hours, hands-on, where I sewed my first ever jeans front pocket and first ever front fly! I noticed Bonnie was taking pictures of each step so I started taking pictures too--what a great idea--to try to cement this words and pictures....
Jennifer Stern's jeans class
Bonnie sewing away....

I was SO excited that my sample resembled jeans!  Jennifer was a fantastic teacher--the pace of the class was great, I didn't feel rushed or bored, and most importantly, I "got it".
me and my sample from the Jeans class!
It's blurry, but it turned out Elnora from PR weekend Chicago 2010 was in the row behind Bonnie and me at the jeans class!
Me, Bonnie and Elnora from PR weekend Chicago 2011
Then it was time to say goodbye to Bonnie. I headed over to Jennifer's booth to get her jeans pattern. I was able to try on samples in her booth, and she wrote down the pattern alterations I would need to get the jeans to fit, yay!
So, look at all the goodies:
All the goodies from the ASE
I also bought this fabric from the SewkeysE booth, brown with brown and coppery glittery sparkles!!
gorgeously sparkly fabric I bought
So if you ever have the chance to attend the ASE, go for it!
I finished the pillow this weekend--but that will be in another post...

Be well!


  1. So glad that you had a wonderful weekend...and thanks for sharing all of the pictures!

  2. Thanks for sharing your weekend.
    I can see you making up jeans for sure now.

  3. Always fun reading your recaps! Glad you had a great time!

  4. What a great recap! I was so sad not to be able to come, but our granddaughter had her baptism that weekend and we were hosting it.

  5. I just found your blog and want to say thank you! What an enjoyable time looking
    through so many Free | HD Images . Thanks for sharing.

  6. "I had NO IDEA that machines will cut threads for you, put the thread in the fabric for you and lift it out afterward, allow you to set precise stitch lengths and widths, allow you to change to a zipper foot without having to unscrew the presser foot, etc etc etc."

    Muahahaha....welcome to the dark side! Now let's sew some jeans!!

  7. Great recap, Kyle! What a fun weekend it was. So glad we could spend time together - made it even more fun! See you in San Fran.

  8. So cool! Having a sewing buddy makes all the difference in the world. I aspire to be VP of Zippers someday, myself! What a great weekend!

  9. Sounds like a delightful weekend! It is such fun to meet other sewing gals :) You are lucky to have a sewing friend!


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