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American Sewing Expo Novi, MI
KathySews
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KathySews  Friend of PR
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Date: 6/12/07 9:36 PM

Has anyone seen info about this expo in Sept 28-30 (I believe). The web site says details will be posted in June but nothing is there yet. This is a good one.

EveS
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Date: 6/12/07 9:48 PM

No, not yet, but I'm seriously fired up about it! I've heard it's great. I'm saving my pennies 'cause I'm in!!!

Eve

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People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it - Chinese proverb

Jules/Vancouver BC
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Date: 6/27/07 8:53 PM

I went last year and was seriously disappointed. As with a lot of sewing shows it was more and more crafty-knitty-quilty stuff and less and less garment things. I didn't even last a full day. I did buy some fabrics and lots of rhinestones, but overall, I didn't think it was all that awesome. The few free sessions I went to were awful, too. I walked out of one, it was so bad.

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what if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about?

bsewhappy
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Date: 7/11/07 2:44 PM

The brochure for the American Sewing Expo is now online at www.americansewingexpo.com but registration doesn't begin until July 24. This year you will see many new features including a Project Runway inspired contest where you can watch the progress of the designers and attend the final fashion show where Chloe Dao, the Season 2 Project Runway winner will be a judge. The winner will recieve a prize package including a trip to New York City during Fashion Week. We're still looking for contestants but the deadline for entering is August 15. Rules and application form are on the website. There will also be an opportunity to hear first hand from Chloe about Project Runway and being a designer. There will also be a sewing cafe, about 100 classes a day and 150 vendors to shop from. The Midwest Ya Ya Sisters will present a show Saturday night featuring gift ideas and Sue Hausmann of America Sews with Sue Hausmann will be there on Friday and Saturday. All day classes are available on Thursday and Kathy Ruddy will have a Serger 911 class on Wednesday. In addition, you can view several exhibits, participate in many Make-And-Takes and view free demo's. There's something for everyone and at all levels.

Sherril Miller
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In reply to Jules/Vancouver BC


Date: 7/11/07 3:15 PM

I used to really enjoy the sewing expos that we had locally. Then my skills really improved and the classes offered are mini lessons on skills that I already have perfected. That may be where you are now. They are really great for those who are in the intermediate beginning stages of learning to sew. However, if you already know the stuff they are offering, then it will be a waste of your time and money. Unfortunately, the way the classes are described I'm always swindled into thinking there will be new stuff to learn, but no. The influx of crafty-knitty-quilty stuff really does distract from what I really want, which is quality garment fabric and notions/accessories from the vender rooms.

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Visit my blog at http://sewingsaga.blogspot.com

If it's worth sewing, it's worth sewing well;
and if it's worth sewing well, it's worth FITTING FIRST! - TSL

Marji
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Date: 7/11/07 4:03 PM

I attended the Sewing Expo 2 years ago, and came away with a mixed impression.
That was the year they brought in Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably to do seminars. Kaffe taught his quilting seminars on color throughout the weekend, and as was to be expected, everyone who went raved.
I'm also a knitter, and I attended Brandons all-day pre-expo seminar on color theory in knitting. I was thrilled to be there, loved the class, and loved the fact that it wasn't over full. Because it was sewing venue, this high-in-demand knitters presence in MIchigan was virtually unknown by the knitting community. It would have sold out months early if there had been advertising to the knitting community.
I think his seminar was an also-ran for the expo because he and Kaffe were in North America doing a well publicized tour, and I think they probably couldn't get Kaffe without also offering a class for Brandon.
I took one other class while I was there that I thought was really worthwhile, and that was from the Cochenille designer on using the computer software to draft patterns. Her seminar was aimed more at my level, which truly left many (most) of the sewists attending that seminar in the dark.
My mom, friends and I attended a seminar by Judith Rasband on clothing aesthetics which was interesting.
The rest of the seminars I attended were clearly aimed at advanced beginners and intermediates. I wanted to see how other teachers were presenting their material - and as to be expected, some were better than others. Only one was truly horrific.

But as Sherrill pointed out, if you are past intermediate level, 95% of the sewing classes offered at these seminars are not for you. So take some classes on something other than technique that might interest you - wardrobe planning, embellishment techniques, heck, take a class on kumihimo, it's interesting.

I did find the market to be more than adequate for my needs. There were I'd say approx 5 vendors of really great fabrics that I managed to spend more than I needed to at, and there were lots of specialty vendors.
If you have an interest in antique or handmade buttons, or are looking for a source for lingerie elastic and supplies, or a source for all those quirky notions you've read about but haven't seen, the expo floor is the place to see them.
My mom's friend went with the specific goal of comparing several different brands of sewing machines, and she made her decision that day on what she wanted. She was able to sit and stitch at a variety of machines, and talk to a number of people who actually use the machines (she talked to everyone in every line and every booth to garner info; "what do you sew on, do you like it? why?")

I was incredibly disappointed in the fashion show. I expected more, certainly from the independent pattern companies who have an opportunity to present a show, then there was the Threads show, and it just seemed as if it weren't very professionally staged.

I think if you go to take classes, expect to come away with maybe two or three good tips, but don't expect an in-depth sewing class - that isn't the venue.
If you go to shop the expo market, take a look at the vendors list before you go, and spend some time on their websites and figure out which you are really interested in and which you can skip, and it'll give you an idea of how much will be on the market floor that you'll be interested in.
If you go to shop for fabric, keep in mind that the more open you are to "whatever" might catch your eye, the happier you might be with the selection. If you go looking for any specific type of fabric, you might be better off contacting the vendors first and asking them if they have what you're interested in and if they're bringing any. (I did this with the one knitting yarn vendor and they Did bring some cashmere and held it under the table, just so I coud look at it when I got there.)

My biggest beef with the Expo in Novi is the physical venue. The situation with the "classrooms" set up in tents in an overwhelmingly large space is horrible. The sound and electric hookups were dismal. I hope they've changed all that.
And the parking. It is in a conference center out in the middle of nowhere - so there isn't any competition for their parking, but they Charge $10 or $15 for parking. There are no alternatives. It's not pretty.

-- Edited on 7/11/07 4:07 PM --

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Marji
http://fiberartsafloat.blogspot.com

KathySews
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Date: 7/13/07 7:45 PM

The expo is now at the new Rock Financial building on Grand River Road - so no more tents

Jules/Vancouver BC
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Date: 7/13/07 9:46 PM

Sherril, that is the case sometimes, but the one I walked out of was just badly presented. But, it was free, after all...*lol*

I'm just more and more turned off by all the crafty/kitschy/quilty stuff...but if that's where the market is, I don't blame them for going that route at all

Marji, your comment about Kaffe Fasset made me LOL - only because I cannot look at his quilts anymore. I went to an exhibition of his quilts in Toronto, and I have never seen such BADLY made quilts in my life. The only ones that were acceptable were made by other sewists, but his quilts were TERRIBLE.

At least, that was my left-brained reaction...I'm utterly devoid of creativity, so I'm far more horrified by bad execution than elevated by great use of colour *lol*

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what if the hokey-pokey really IS what it's all about?

PixieCat
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Date: 7/13/07 10:36 PM

I'm thinking about going to this one. I usually go to the Sewing and Quilt Expo in Cleveland but Novi has a lot of instructors coming that don't go to the Cleveland show, like Louise Cutting, Connie Crawford, and reps from Islander. And I noticed that there are only 7 quilting classes but tons of sewing classes.

I'm torn between 2 all day classes on Thursday: Louise Cutting's or the Islander Sewing Systems class. Any recommendations?

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Lori

Steffie
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Date: 7/20/07 6:30 PM

I am going to the Expo again this year and am planning to take the Louise Cutting full day class on Thursday - I hope it doesn't book up before I get registered.

The expo has changed over the years - more of the vendors are craft or quilt related (as are the attendees). That part is disappointing. However, there is always a lot to see in the way of contest entries, etc. Several of the independent pattern companies are usually represented. You will have an opportunity to see samples of the patterns sewn up. Sometimes they are available with a discount. And you have the opportunity of seeing all of the new sewing machines and trying them all out. Several of the sewing machine stores will have make and takes so you get the opportunity to sew something on the machine.

Last year I took a one hour draping session with Connie Crawford that was very good. I also paid for an embroidery session that was sponsored by Designs in Machine Embroidery that was downright terrible. All in all, though, I get something out of it every year.

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