Just when you thought I forgot about my 2nd installment on my sewing Expo experience … it arrives.
I’m still on a sewing high from the experience. Knocked out a tunic and a jacket muslin (I’ll have posts for those projects soon). Expo’s definitely give you incentive to sew.
For this chat wanted to talk about my main reason for attending this Expo … the classes. One of the things I learned in my ASG meeting is that a sewing expo is an excellent learning environment. Not only do you learn new techniques, tools, and methods … you learn from some of the best and the brightest in sewing. When I received the list of courses and instructors, I was at a loss. I knew I would only be able to attend for two days, but I wanted to pack in as many classes possible. But with names like Kathy Ruddy, Lorraine Henry, Linda Lee and Cynthia Guffey (these are just a few) I wanted to take as many classes as possible. And how does a girl choose? Seriously? Some of these women have Craftsy courses while other teach one week intensive classes on fitting. With such powerhouse women teaching at the Expo, I wanted to enroll in as many classes as I could.
That wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve done lately. (LOL!) I ended up enrolling in 9 classes which was way too many for a 48-hour time span. Ridiculous I know. What in the heck was I thinking? I’ll just blame it on that sometimes irrational … Type-A personality of mine. On top of that, when I got there I added two classes. No, the ridicilousness ( I know this is not a word … but is there a better word to describe my actions, I think not!) did not stop! And that leads to my only regret from the expo … I should have taken fewer classes. Not from the aspect of time. Most of the classes were one hour in length, with the exception of 2 three-hour classes. I should have taken fewer classes in that, my brian can only collect and process so much information and taking a one hour fitting course is like completing a college level course in the span of one week. My class schedule was … in a word was … aggressive.
The expo offered courses in a variety of subjects. From Sewing Fashion Knits to drafting a Biased Skirt pattern. There were classes for quilters as well. Of my 11 classes I’ll highlight just a few.
I took a total of four fitting classes with Lorraine Henry. It was a challenge to get my head wrapped around pattern fitting … that whole converting a flat pattern to my non-perfect 3-D body. Do I need to say anything else? However, Lorraine has a wonderful teaching style. My favorite class with her was when we used the half-scale patterns to make flat pattern alterations. There wasn’t time to “do” the real alterations during class; however, we did have the opportunity to use those half-scale patterns to take us through the process of adjusting a flat pattern to match our measurements.
I’ve already applied some of the skills I learned in this class. Though I still struggle with identifying exactly what I need to alter when something is ill-fitting. For example. If my back is broad, how do I adjust that in the back bodice, side seams and armscye? Lucky for me I wrote down every resource that was given to us. And I have a few books on fitting I’ll be purchasing in the very near future.
Remember that binder method I discussed in my Craftsy Review of Beginning Serging? I did the exact same thing in this class. With Lorraine’s guidance we created a binder showing step by step how to alter the pattern. Cool stuff! I only wish I could take that one week course Lorraine offers. I think I could be a fitting BEAST at the end of it!
Since I’ve had a pretty successful run with Craftsy courses with the Serging Class and the Sewing Studio with Diana Rupp, I’d been thinking about Linda Lee’s Craftsy course Sewing Fashion Knits, so I jumped at the opportunity to take a class from her in person. First of all … Linda is just cool. Laid back just like her clothing and patterns. I took an Introduction to Sewing Fashion Knits which was a review of knit basics. What needle to use? Can you sew knits without a serger? Hints and shortcuts. For that hour I got 4 solid pages of notes. And by the way I will be taking her knits course, just FYI.
I mentioned I took a few classes on the fly. One of them was with Lorene the owner of Sew It Up in Hurst, TX. I was casually strolling through the expo minding my own business when I found my favorite shop. It was my fav because the fabrics were just different. I’ll delve into what I purchased in the next post. Back to Lorene. I think I could be great friends with her. Seriously, she is passionate about quality fabrics that are unique. And here’s the deal … it was in Lorene’s booth I truly began to appreciate the hand of a fabric. I thought cotton was cotton. But oh no … cotton at Sew It Up is at a whole new level baby! Her wool – is something you want to cuddle up with at night … even if you have a man. So, of course when I learned Lorene was teaching a class. I had to sign up.
****Sidebar – I agree at some point I should have stopped the insanity. My rational mind should have taken over. But at this point, I was so caught up in the excitement … I was like a kid in a bounce house after they’re all jacked up on Mountian Dew. There was no stopping it. Let’s hope I act better at the next expo. Ha!
Loved! Loved! Loved Lorene’s class. It was Sewing Vintage Clothing with a Modern Twist. And my friends until you have looked at the finishing on a vintage garment … you don’t know what finishing is. It is outstanding. Lorene shared a whole rack of vintage inspired pieces that were relevant to … now. How to finish with lace. How piping can make a wool skirt edgy. How to be über creative with stripes. How to finish a waistband in silk! Yes … I said silk. And that’s on the inside of the skirt where only you can see it. Heck, I’m all for pampering myself with a little silk. The possibilities are endless … when you open yourself to the inspiration.
Here’s the deal with the 11 classes. I was BRAIN DEAD. Totally and completely. I didn’t even want to drive back to Dallas and seriously considered staying at the hotel one more night just to let my brain stop working. But you live and learn right? Next year, I’ll go lighter on the classes and socialize a little more. And here’s the other important point. There are more expos to come next year … so I don’t have to cram it all in at one! Now, someone tells me.
That’s it for now. Stay tuned for what’s next on Blue Sunday!