Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Expo 07 Report: Patterns, Books and Notions

Going to the Expo not only gives access to fabric that I can't find anywhere around, it also has patterns, notions, gadgets, books, videos, DVD's, machines, buttons, laces...if it has to do with sewing (or knitting) you can probably find it somewhere.

I got three books (Or booklets; the binding and printing and artwork is pretty self-published-looking):

Louise Cutting's Cutting Across the Country In Style, which has tips on everything from choosing garments for a travel wardrobe to going through airport security to how to stand in a photo so that you look thinner (she also demonstrated that in class; I'm going to see who starts standing that way for review photos...incidentally, in one of my other classes, the instructor had some slides of RTW garments for inspiration...and one of the size 00 models was actually standing as Louise recommended! I'm sure everyone else in the class wondered why I snickered at that photo...)

I also picked up Cynthia Guffey's Simple Guide to Master Tailoring Volume 1: Jacket and Precision Measuring and Pattern Alterations I have so many notes from her classes w/hurriedly sketched pattern pieces that are, well, almost indecipherable later. This way, I have nice clean drawings and explanations to supplement my notes.

That leads to Notions:
At last year's Expo, Cynthia came into class with a pair of Kai Shears and actually stopped her lesson for a couple of minutes to sing the praises of them. The kicker was that she doesn't sell them...but she told us that Emma Seabrooke does. Of course, by the time I got down to that booth, the only ones left were for lefties. So those shears went on this year's list, and Emma's booth was my first purchase...those printed slinkies and a pair of Kai shears. Cynthia recommended another pair of scissors this year...micro tips from 'The Scissor Guy'. He was sold out by that class, so they're on the list for next year. She passed them around: needle-tipped snipping scissors that I declare could cut a single thread. I've never seen anything like them, but Cynthia said they were much, much better for cutting buttonholes than the chisel-and-block. I guess that's next year's first stop... ;)

I also got some fusible tape; I was looking for Steam-A-Seam, but that was one thing I didn't find. I got some of the soft double-sided fusible (it has paper on both sides) to try instead, and both black and white fusible bias. Since I do a lot of turn-and-stitch necklines, I thought that would be a good investment to use for stabilizing them.

And of course I bought a new package of blades for my ergonomic rotary cutter.

And patterns! I came home with...9.

Four were from Silhouettes: Me Too! One-Piece Skirt and Yoga Pant to see if DD will be interested in some more sewing experience, and Lana's Jean and Sonya's Blouse for me.

From Louise Cutting, I got AnythingBUTOrdinary, even though I had thought it wouldn't suit me. When I saw it in person, I decided I wanted it after all... ;)

I also got Diane Ericson's Skyelines pattern. I *know* her patterns are designed for tall women, but the lines on this one have appealed to me for a long time and, since I did take a class from her, I decided this would be my purchase. I'll just have to account for the difference between my body type and what she's designing for when I prepare the pattern. It does have such nice strong vertical lines... ;)

Finally, Miss A and I did make a trip to JoAnn's (actually, we visited a couple of JoAnn's and a Hancock's, searing for fabric for Easter costumes. We did find what we needed; I'll tell that story later in the week), and I got two Burda patterns, 7932, which strikes me as being very similar to Vogue 7281, only with more 'opportunities for fit'. The other Burda is 8960. And, I decided to be conservative and I only got one pattern off of my Simplicity list...3877.

Ah, so much sewing to do...so little time in which to do it...


  1. I've never been to an expo. Drooling just thinking about it. I love the One-Piece Skirt pattern from Silhouettes. On my shopping list! Thanks for the link!

  2. Yikes! No place to leave a comment on the classes post. The classes sound great, and I wish I'd had time to take some last time I went to the Expo in Novi. It sounds like you really got what you paid for - expert advice, tips and some lightbulb moments!

  3. Hm. That's interesting. I don't have a 'post comments' button, either. The settings all appear ok...wonder what's going on.


    But you're right...the classes were great this year! ;)

  4. Lisa - I have Cynthia's "Precision Measuring and Pattern Alterations" I love this book! After I took her class, remeasured myself using her list of measurements and applied them every time I make a new pattern, I have more wearable garments right out the envelope! You will be really glad that you have this book!