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Expo Reviews > Sewing & Stitchery Expo 2008-Puyallup

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Posted by: jhansby
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About jhansby star
Member since: 1/9/05
Reviews: 18 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Advanced
Favored by: 5 people
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Posted on: 3/8/08 6:10 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Helpful by 2 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
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I had a great time at the first trip. On the Creative Machine list we were comparing reports and here's mine ('s long)

After reading Diana's report on her experience thought you all might enjoy another one, from an "Expo Virgin" no less! I lived in Seattle briefly 14 years ago and wanted to go to this how so badly but had a newborn baby. I was thrilled this year when I got the flyer and living in California made it very feasible!! Had lots of miles from moving around so much, and hubby had hotel points, so that made it cheaper, too!! Good thing....I spent way too much money!!

Originally I had requested a couple hands-on classes in addition to some seminars and the Friday and Saturday nite events. The only thing I got (my fault for sitting on my brochure for a month!!) were the seminars I requested, a couple of which they added more time slots due to demand. I personally was focusing on classes to help improve my skill level and get new ideas in general. I'm not a quilter so garment sewing applications were my focus. Here is a list of what I took, mixed in with other comments, too...

8:30am - #178/Jeans with Peggy Sagers
Really enjoyed this class, although I wish she would have gotten into more details about the jeans themselves. Her fitting tips were great, though...I now know how to eliminate my butt wrinkles!! Dawn....the comment about the height of the crotch is related to "height" but not your personal total "height"....but your personal "crotch height"...does that make sense? Peggy was offering a show special of denim and her jeans pattern and I got it. I also won a door prize at this first expo class...beginner's luck!, and it was for a free pattern....left her booth with 4 more!! I also wish she included info on where to buy rivets, etc. I just got my new Threads magazine and they don't have that info either in Sandra B's article!! I need silver ones....any one have suggestions?

9:30am - #125/Sewing Shortcuts w/Connie Crawford
Connie had offered a hands on workshop that I didn't get so I was happy to see her doing this class and it was one of my favs!! She has worked in the industry and taught at Fashion Design schools...I loved her stories about design students not having a clue they needed to learn how to actually make clothes!! Her tips were great, hand-outs informative and I will end up buying her books at some point. She also has DVD's out and sells a line of patterns of her own as well as her new line out with (which big 4 is it??)

12:30pm - #169 Sew me the Money w/ Janet Prey, Islander systems
Enjoyed this seminar. She gave some very good advice about what you need to have, what you need to do, what you should do, and really stressed making sure you charge enough to pay yourself a "skilled wage" not minimum wage.

2:30pm - #200 Nancy Zieman
Nancy was fun to meet "in person"...much more animated and funnier than she appears on TV. She did a presentation of her "25 fav techniques" to high-light her TV anniversary. It was fun and very informative. No handouts and too fast to take many notes....I just may buy this book (they sold out at the show)

3:30pm - #180 Silk Ribbon by Machine w/ Susan Schrempf
This was one of my favorite classes. I've done silk embroidery by hand (with a purchased kit) and love the look of it. The idea of doing this by machine sounded fascinating and it was. Susan had a camera set up by her machine so the demo was great to see!! No handouts that I remember but she has a new book out (I ordered it via Amazon). I'm anxious to try this technique on garments and really is beautiful and her samples were amazing. She teamed up with Superior Threads for this Expo and they were selling her book and have introduced silk ribbons to their thread line (I love their threads!!...just found out they buy Japanese threads that I fell in love with while living there and so glad I can get them here...same brands, they just have their labels on them)

9:30am - #135/Body Measurements w/ Lorraine Henry
Very informative information and techniques for measuring and obtaining accurate fit, and altering patterns as needed. She was of course highlighting her own products but also some industry text books I had never heard of regarding fit that details all types of "figure challenges" and how to adapt patterns to them. They had a great price on the bundle, and I did like her "zero center measuring tape", so this was my big splurge.

11:30am - #155/Knit techniques w/ Lyla Messinger
Sadly, this class was disappointing. First the speaker was late (thought she was supposed to be somewhere else), then her Power Point presentation wouldn't work and her hand out was just an outline. She tried to demo the techniques using drawings and passing her samples but not as effective, although I did love the off-set binding she did on a Tshirt that I managed to get directions written down for. I was a bit insulted because at the end she said that to make up for the bad presentation she would give us 50% off the thread clippers she was selling at her booth...the same offer all the other attendees of her other classes were getting??!! We're not stupid!! How about offering a discount on something else, too? However, the day before I had discovered her booth and she sells the same fusible straight grain and bias stay tapes I used to buy in Japan and I bought a bunch....only later to find another vendor that imports Japanese notions and I think they were cheaper (but I got their flyer so I can mail order more later!!)

12:30pm - #111/Unlined Jackets-Sandra Betzina
I agree with Diane's comments on this class, (basically good but a little "befuddled") and will add that I think Sandra might have found the show's "must have" item and that was a little LED light that fixes to your sewing machine with sticky tape...very nice little light and they sold all they had and were taking orders. It's electric, not battery, and several vendors were showing them on their own featherweights. $49.99....nice little light...not in my budget now but they are on my "wanted" list. Same company that sells the clear plastic extension tables.

1:30pm - #176/Easy Zippers/Waistbands w/ Rosebud from Islander systems
Good class...nice handout. They were pushing their zipper DVD, but lots of good info. Best tip was to get rid of your machines zipper foot and use the old-style adjustable single toe foot. Kenneth King makes the same suggestions in a class I took with him on welt pockets and will agree....much better...more control...better outcome.

3:30pm - #149/Sewing with Slinky w/ Linda MacPhee
I looked forward to this class because I'm not very familiar with this fabric but loved what I heard about it being so easy to wear, etc. Linda's class was a blast. She's a great presenter and shared tons of info. I loved some of her other specialty fabrics and got a chance to chat with her later at her booth. She was very helpful and I would love to take any other classes she might offer.

My general impression of the show was a good one. Lots for everyone, but I really agree with Diane about having more for younger kids/people!! They did have a local 4H group doing a fashion show, but no classes geared to kids. Hey Diane....maybe you and I should do one next year??? Although I'm surprised to hear that these presenters aren't getting paid anything???!! Is that really true?? I was surprised to find so many vendors for quilters....and wish there would have been more garment fabric vendors and more unique fabric one specializing in lycras and sport knits, evening type fabrics, bridal fabrics, etc, and more of the specialty notions and supplies that go with them. I was glad in the end that I didn't get the hands-on classes this first time. Gave me time to browse and figure it all out. You only need 1 full day to get through all the vendors, in my opinion, so depending on how many days you have that would be a guide for me next year (and I hope to take at least one hands-on class...maybe 2...these usually go for 1/2 a day).

I did have a couple peeves. First, anyone that was selling books, and in particular one vendor that was selling tons, didn't seem to be selling at any discounts. I wrote down titles and will order from Amazon later (already did this on a couple). Sandra B. actually suggested doing this for her books and DVD's (smart!!) I also found some of the other "deals" vendors were offering not that great. My biggest peeves were a couple of vendors who told me they did not have websites and did not do mail order....this show and others like it were "it" and the only place their products were available. Huh??? I guess they do enough business that way then?

I stayed at a hotel near the airport and found it very convenient. Traffic to the Expo each way was against rush-hour traffic...only 25 minutes each way and a gorgeous view of Mt. Ranier on Friday morning. I had a ticket for the show on Sunday, but was pretty done by Saturday night so instead I met an old friend for lunch and we visited the Pacific Fabrics store in Bellevue (very nice store!!!) I'm already marking my calendar for next year...if hubby's job moves us again in the meantime I've made him promise I can still go!! My mom is joining me, too.


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ElizaVA said... (7/26/08 8:37 AM) Reply
Extremely informative and detail about classes and instructors is very helpful. Atlanta Threads carries grommets- ck their website at
ElizaVA said... (7/26/08 8:34 AM) Reply
Extremely informative and detail about classes and instructors is very helpful.
Hawkeye fan said... (6/27/08 2:42 PM) Reply
Julie ~ It has been 5 years since I last attended the Puyallup show and am planning the trip for next year. I understand it's true that the teachers aren't paid for their seminars, however it gives them excellent exposure to sell their patterns, notions, etc. It also gets them bookings to groups like the American Sewing Guild chapters who hire them to give seminars in states all over the U.S. Diane in Iowa
Sharon E. said... (4/6/08 10:40 AM) Reply
Very informative, I feel I know exactly what to expect at the expo
jhansby said... (3/10/08 3:11 PM) Reply
thanks busybee!...never thought to look at Joann's. I really wanted some "antique" silver similar to the tack button I found at Pacific fabrics....I have found a source for other rivets on eBay, too (wrong color for what I want, but will work for other colors). I'm going to order some and will report back
busy bee said... (3/9/08 4:42 PM) Reply
Julie, great review! Thanks! I took a Peggy Sager's jeans class at a 2006 Expo and she said that she buys her notions at JoAnn Fabrics. She was surprised to find so many adequate jeans notions there and suggested we just buy ours there, too. Maybe they have the silver rivets you want?
Athene said... (3/9/08 3:06 PM) Reply
Great review. I have never attended but it sounds like there is lots to see and a lot of fun.
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