Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Things We Make, Make Us.

What a great Expo day!  After I managed to survive the brutal commute (which involved 2 segments of road construction and a traffic jam from a collision), I arrived at the American Sewing Expo in time for my first class.  I passed by the Chrysler Headquarters, and this enormous banner has been covering the building for a while now.  Speaks volumes to me, probably in a different way than they intended!
"Making Pants that Fit" was... interesting.  Yes, I learned new tricks.  But, nothing so new as to shake the foundations.  Basically, we were given a kit with 2 yds of Pattern Ease (nice!), a basic pants pattern, a ruler, a tape measure, a red pen, and a length of black draw string elastic.  The instructor measured each one of us, and explained which lines to follow on the pattern.  Her method was to construct the pants as a wearable muslin, but stitching up the center front, and slipping them on without a waistband.  She instructed us to use the elastic to hold the pants in place, finding the most comfortable fit, and marking the placement of the waistband along the edge of the elastic.  All adjustments (pant leg width, center back tapering, etc.) could also be marked and done at this point, tranferring all changes and markings to the pattern.  Like I said, it was a little different than what I was expecting.  She talked about zipper insertion, pockets, interfacing, and where to get her favorite fabric, wool (http://www.bblackandsons.com/).  Her methods seemed very simple and logical, almost too simple, like... It can't be that easy, can it???  The strangest moments were when she explained how to use fusible interfacing to make pants out of t-shirt fabric (what?), and when she said, "The only fabric you don't need a serger for is a knit!" (WHAT???)  Because it doesn't unravel. (Huh?!?)  Apparently, her take on the serger to strictly for keeping wovens from fraying, and since knits don't fray, you don't need a serger for them.  Hmmm... I'll let you know how the pants pattern works for me when I get around to it!

I starting planning my shopping of the vendor floor, where I stopped to watch the designers working on their Passion for Fashion projects.  I might "audition" for this next year...
12 designers are given their challenge Friday morning, and must complete their look by Saturday evening for the runway show.  Most supplies must be purchased from the vendors at the show.  Just sounds like fun...
My first stop was the Pattern Review booth to check in for the fashion show. I was greeted very warmly by Melody, Lynn, Leslie, and Deepika.  It was so nice to see smiling, friendly faces!  We laughed and talked, they enabled my fabric purchases, and we searched for buttons.  Feeling a part of the sewing community is what the Expo has always done for me, and this year was the best ever in that department! 
As for the shopping here are my goodies from:
Fine European Fabrics...
Pure silk/wool blends! The blue/black/white on the left is mine (skirt?) and the teal is for a dress for my MIL.  I always make it point to buy something at this booth, as the fabric is the highest quality I've ever seen.  Really luxurious suitings in wool, cashmere, and silk... so lovely.

Nifty Thrifty Things and Habermans...
The green underneath is a lovely poly/rayon suiting.  A perfect match for the buttons (which I found first, oops!) The clapper is something I've been meaning to buy (forever), and I really, really need to make myself some shirts! Nifty Thrifty Dry Goods is actually located in Rhode Island, and has the cutest, most inviting, booth at the show every year!
You can't beat 100% silk for $4 and $5 per yard! The left one is like habotai, and the right is a charmeuse.  Really looking forward to the possibility of visiting the store next May for the PatternReview weekend!?

Gorgeous silks for $10/yd!  The left is actually more of a grey (not purple) for my MIL, and the burgundy was the end of the bolt.  So pretty!

Believe it or not, there were some really cool things that I didn't buy! Yes, shocking... I know!
This fabric at Haberman's came in another colorway, and is called, "Gone Too Soon".  Recognize the faces?
This booth had the most beautiful ribbon flowers! Soutache Ribbons is from Chicago, and next year, I hope to sign up for the class!
The highlight of the day was the Natural Fibers Fashion Show, and it was so awesome to visit and chat with Kristin, Robin (we met backstage last year), meet new PR members, and inspect the other entries up close and personal.  Ooh-ing and Ahh-ing over each other's fabrics, trims, and finishes... the pictures on the website just don't do them justice!
I bee-lined for Bunny's white linen jacket, to see the tiny, intricate stitches up close! Bunny's pictures are so much better than mine, but I wanted to show her how it looked today, as it hit the runway!  None of us won the categories we were competing in, but that's okay.  It was fun to just be a part of it! (Robin and Kristin drove all the way from Chicago just to be in the fashion show, isn't that awesome? Hope you guys had a safe trip home!)  Rachelle gets the "I'm a celebrity?!" award for calling my name, and complimenting my last couple blogging projects.  Finding out we don't live very far apart was a huge bonus!
Phew.  I'm tired.  I'm spent.  My feet are aching, but it was worth it.  I had a fabulous day.  If you were one of the fine folks I spent some time with today, thanks for another great day at the Expo.  Feeling part of a "community" is a wonderful feeling, and I hope you felt so, too.

14 comments:

Gail said...

I've love to come over for the Expo next year. I want to do a trip and build a sewing experience into it.

Big in Japan said...

The things we make, make us crazy? uhh, wait....

Thanks for the report, sounds like you had a good time!

angie.a said...

I'm so jealous. Next year maybe I'll take a couple of personal days and come too! Wouldn't that be fun??

Shellie said...

looks like you had a wonderful Expo!! good for you :)

PS HEY, I'm from RI - and LOVE nifty thrifty dry goods :) have bought LOTS from them over the years!

meredithp said...

Thanks for the play by play. Maybe next year?

meredithp said...

And I'm curious about that pant fit class. What was the name of it, or who was the instructor?

Bunny said...

Wow! what a day! Thanks for the pic. Those fabrics are all fabulous and you have such a great eye for a bargain. You would have fought me for those same fabrics if I were there!(wink)

Kristine said...

The pants class was by Judy Kessinger and her website is www.fitnicesystem.com
I will do a more detailed post on the theory and procedure soon! I might be skeptical about the concept, but she's the professional that's been doing this since 1972!

Rosie said...

Thank you for the pictures and reporting on the expo. Robin is such a gem!

beangirl said...

I'm so jealous! That sounds like so much fun!

I wonder if the pants fit concept was the same as Peggy Sagers' from Silhouette Patterns... I did a fit seminar with her that was very interesting and worked perfectly and yes, it really was highly simple once you figured it out. I did it right during the whole "crazy pants fitting frenzy" at PR (so maybe... 2006?) and I was stunned at how simple it turned out to be and how difficult we'd all been making it. So I'm interested to see your detailed report.

(Saying all that, I learned how to fit pants and then I don't ever make pants for myself! Plus, the fit system doesn't really work with traditional jeans-fit so much and that's what I wear anyway.)

Jane M said...

Thanks so much for the pics and wonderful travelogue. Ive never been to this show but it will now be on my "bucket list."

JoanneM said...

What a blast.
I swear, every picture of you.....you look younger and younger.......

meredithp said...

Thanks for the pants fitting info, Kristine. It will be interesting to hear more about it and about your results. In any event, it sounds like the trip was a blast!

amber said...

I'm glad you had a fun time at the Expo and that you were able to get some pretty stuff, too. :)