I am buzzing with new ideas!
Last weekend was the annual Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, Washington. Every year for the past nine years, my mother and I have ventured south to learn new techniques and to see what new fabrics and tools we can’t live without.
With a $12 a day entry fee, the show is pretty affordable, and I highly recommend making it if you can. Tickets for the 45-minute classes are only $6 when purchased in advance, and they’ve got options for longer, more in-depth sessions, as well as project classes working with machines, for a higher price point. Then there’s the huge expo hall, with everything from notions, yarns and fabrics to sewing machine manufacturers and dealers that allow you to test drive and purchase new machines.
Here are my course highlights:
- Kathy Ruddy’s “Serger 911” class – This was my favorite class this year. I messed up the tension on my serger while trying to fix my daughter’s sundress this past summer, and wasn’t able to get it set right. Shamefully, I’ve been avoiding it for months and have been looking at it guiltily over in its corner. I’m now confident that I can fix that issue and even use it more efficiently now.
- Annette Allison Millard’s Embrace Double Gauze class – Just edged out as the favorite by the serger course, Annette’s class helped me finally pick a pattern to do something with the beautiful teal Embrace fabric I bought nearly a year ago. If you’re not familiar with it, Shannon Fabric's Embrace is very similar to the cotton used in cloth diapers – but it comes in beautiful prints and makes comfortable (and beautiful) clothing. Stay tuned for an update on the forthcoming tunic.
- Connie Crawford’s Jacket Lining class – Connie’s spent years in the garment industry, and she’s known for helping home sewers adopt industry techniques to make design and construction go more easily and quickly. I’ve got a blazer pattern on my sewing table that has been intimidating me for a while, and I’m now looking forward to actually making it this year.
- Pamela Leggett’s Shapewear class – I’ll be honest, I’m carrying a little extra weight. I’d call it baby weight, but my youngest is heading into elementary school, so I don’t think that term really flies anymore. As I work my way back to my ideal fitness, it’s sometimes nice to have something that nips you in and smooths you out for dresses. Plus I can make it whatever color I want!
- Martha Pullen’s business class – I’m not starting an embroidery or sewing business, but the plan was to sit in on this with my mother, who is. This was one of the $20 classes, and since it helped me organize some of my plans for this blog, it was worth every penny. If you haven’t seen her speak, you’ll be entertained!
If you've never gone to the Sewing & Stitchery Expo, I highly recommend it. Go sign up for the mailing list to get updates on future show plans.