Wednesday, October 2, 2013

American Sewing Expo 2013 Recap

Friday: with Haberman fake fur
Shrug: Target.  Shirt: McCalls 6078.   Corduroy pants:  J Stern Designs jeans.

I spent the weekend in Novi, MI for the American Sewing Expo. This was my 4th year in a row at the Expo.  This time I took more classes than ever, shopped more than ever, met more sewing bloggers than ever, and had more wardrobe changes than ever (the new (and comfy) hotel connected to the convention center facilitated that!)

Like last year, I drove directly from the airport to Haberman's...

ASE Thursday: Haberman Fabrics
...and picked up some stretch denim and stretch corduroy and stretch lace.  STRETCH!
ASE Thursday: Haberman Fabrics
On Friday I visited Jennifer Stern in her booth...and was able to show her the jeans I made after taking her ASE class and online PR class last year.  Also she fit me for her new shirt pattern and her existing tee pattern--how awesome is that!  That is one of the best things about going to the expo--meeting the designers themselves, buying the patterns directly from them, getting to try on their muslins and having them fit you instead of you struggling all by yourself!
Friday: me with Jennifer Stern
Later on, I met up with Elvis (I *love* Elvis):
Friday: with Elvis

On Saturday I bought a bit from the Vogue Fabrics booth:
Saturday:  The Vogue Fabrics area
And got to talk with Anna Christina in the blogger meetup.  It was really nice to chat with her and learn more about her.  While we were in the blogger meetup she won a prize, and later  we met Ellen March, host of the Sew It All tv show.
Saturday: Anna Christina and Ellen March (Sew It All tv) and me
Shirt: McCall's 6078. Jeans: J Stern Designs jeans.

We also met Rhonda from Schmetz needles--I don't know how I didn't get a picture with her!  Rhonda's class was the first ASE class I ever went to at the first ASE I attended.  I think she's great!

Anna Christina and I met Gertie too.  I got to tell her how she inspired me to make Simplicity 1609 (which she was wearing!)
Saturday: Gertie and me
Later on I met up with Lynnelle in the Haberman Fabrics booth. That feathered fabric is $198 a yard!
Lynn and the $198 a yard feather fabric
Lynn made her entire outfit, including the jacket!  Looks very RTW.

Also on Saturday, I was selected to be part of the McCall's Focus Group.  I think I'm going to write a separate post about that.  Anyone interested in what that was like?    Their questions were super interesting.
I  also enjoyed chatting with the McCall's reps in their booth.

Later on Saturday it was time for my third wardrobe change  of the day.  Here I am in Vogue with Gertie's dress in the McCall's booth.  Those sample sizes are teeny tiny.
Saturday:  me in Vogue at the McCall's booth with Gertie's dress
Dress:  Vogue 1351

Saturday night was the Passion For Fashion show.
I had asked Lynn to bring her coat to PFF so I could see it in person--it looked amazing on her blog and is just as amazing in person.  :
Saturday:  Lynnelle at PFF
And we took pix on the runway together.  This was my third year meeting up with Lynn at the ASE and I was really happy to see her again.
Saturday: me and Lynnelle
We got to chat with Kristine and her model about her PFF entry. Kristine was in the top 6 and this was her first PFF--way to go Kristine! I got to chat with her at dinner the night before and she is so sweet and kind.
Kristine and her Saturday Night Fever dress

Here was her entry that earned her a place to compete in the PFF.  I really loved this dress when I first saw it on her blog--and it's even better in person.
Kristine's entry --LOVE this dress
I showed Angela Wolf my Thurlows on Friday when I wasn't wearing them. I also brought my muslin with me for her review and she pointed out some changes I could make after laying out the muslin on the floor of her booth! (She helped me fit them via the online PR class Altering Pants).

I finally got to show her the Thurlows on me on Sunday. She told me the remaining changes I have to make to them to get them to fit better--it's not too many changes and I think I can make them on the pants as they are now.  It's mainly scooping the back more and tapering the side seams to slenderize a bit. Personally, I also want to add another belt loop which means undoing one belt loop, sewing it back on in a different spot and adding another belt loop so that they are all balanced.
Shrug:  Target.  Shirt:  New Look  6807.  Pants: Sewaholic Thurlows

I also did some last minute shopping at the Haberman booth on Sunday (later that night I drove my purchases over to FedEx and the woman, upon seeing all my fabric, said "You went to the sewing expo!" and then told me her sewing story, about how she usually goes to the sewing expo but couldn't this year, the outfit she wants to make when she loses weight, and about how great my fabric purchases were--that was a fun FedEx trip!)

Oh, and the classes.  I have to say, as in previous years, the classes are hit and miss, and they are a riot.  Why are the classes a riot?  because you learn about a technique in one class, and then hear a different instructor in another class tell you that the other technique is wrong or doesn't work and that you should use their technique instead.  What I've learned from that is to try all the techniques I know about and then find the one that works best for me.   Anyway, here is what I learned in the classes that were hits:

  • how to sew seams and around curves without pins
  • how to sew a centered and lapped zipper without pins or basting
  • how to stay tape and hem knits of all kinds without waviness or puckering.
  • finally learned what a sloper is and how it is used
  • learned about sewing with leather (a totally new topic for me)
  • learned more about bias binding
Liz and I took a super scary class (the stay tape/hemming knits) class that was on a Bernina.  That was one of the best classes even though it was scary.
Sunday: me in the scary class
Sunday:  Liz in the scary class
That Bernina is like a tank
Sunday: The scary class with Berninas

The expo wrapped up late on Sunday afternoon--but not before I did a little more fabric shopping, buying the fabric that was left over after thinking about it all weekend.  Some pieces were gone which made that decision a lot easier!

Last but not least, I want to say a huge thank you to Connie, Bonnie and Liz.  We shared breakfast, dinner and several classes among us, and it was a joy to spend time with them (and Kristine, Anna Christina and Lynn along the way).  You ladies rock!
Saturday: The fab four
Got Fabric? I do!
Got fabric?
Be well!!


  1. What a great re-cap! I enjoyed reading about your experiences and seeing the pictures. It looks like you were able to use/rent sewing machines in the classes--that sounds great so that you can try out a different model from your home machine. Thank you for sharing!

    Rose in SV

  2. What a great visit and a wonderful recap. I hope you get to go again. Sewing without pins sounds very skilled Kyle.

  3. Oh, that sounds like such fun. Yes, I want to hear about the McCall's focus group. Also, might have to put this on my to-do list next year, it sounds like such fun.

  4. Sounds like you had a fantastic time, I'm insanely jealous!

  5. Wow! You fit a lot into the weekend. Sounds like fun

  6. I had a different expo experience because of PFF, but equally amazing and fun! Thank for the kind words, it was an absolute pleasure meeting you and I thoroughly enjoyed our chat over dinner!!!

  7. Thank for the review and "tour." I'd love to attend that show sometime. Oh, and I love Elvis too. Ringer on my cell is him singing to me--love it.

  8. Whew that was quite an event. Thanks for letting me tag along, virtually!

  9. The highlight of my weekend was definitely meeting my favorite leaping blogger and dinner with passionate sewists. Thank you so much for inviting me. You are inspiring in your travels and enthusiasm for all things involved in sewing excursions.

  10. You are full of beautiful smiles in the pics. The sewing expo looks like tons of fun. It's amazing that the designers were able to fit you and you served on a panel. I cannot wait to see your garments from the fabric. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Glad you had such a wonderful time and I would like to hear about the McCalls focus group and the questions they asked!

  12. It was great to see you at the ASE as well! As always, I had a great time and enjoyed dining with you and the group Saturday evening. I love the blue dress you wore to the fashion show. I can't stop thinking about that fabric!

  13. You always provide the best recaps!!! I'm going to simply put a link on my blog that says, "Ditto what Kyle said." LOL

    It's always great to see you, Kyle and I had a great time hanging out all weekend!


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