Sunday, October 7, 2012

Sewing Expo report

I spent Thurs and Friday at the "Sewing and Quilt Expo" in Chantilly,VA.  Though it was fun to do with my mother, who is visiting, we both had mixed reviews of the experience.  Though I expected there would be lots of quilting classes and vendors, I was disappointed that there was so little for dedicated sewers. Vogue Fabrics was there but not many other general fabric sellers.

There also seemed to be very little self-sewn clothing worn by the attending crowd (I've noticed that most quilters don't sew clothing).  I got some very strange looks at my Vogue 1234 dress:

Oddly though, I got MANY comments on my handmade necklace, not the ones shown in the picture above but this "seasonal" one made from things I picked up in the floral section of the craft store
I enjoyed taking the classes from Sandra Betzina, especially since she mentioned she really doesn't  "do" these shows much any more.  She had all her Vogue patterns made up in fabulous fabrics and showed some of her new patterns which will be coming out in Nov.----an unusual skirt that I can't wait to see!                

It was really fun doing this with my Mom, who is visiting from Missouri---she is still sewing at 91, when she's not busy with her other artistic interests.  I read that "ultra-suede" and other leather-like fabrics are big this year so told her wear her ultra-suede dress that she made over 30 years ago. When ultra-suede first came out Vogue had several patterns just for it and this is one of the classics:

It has been worn and washed  100's of times and still looks great. I guess ultra-suede is one of those things that will still be around after we're all gone, along with cockroaches and Red Heart yarn!

I would go again to the Sewing Expo just for the free stage shows that occur every hour. There was a great one with professional models which included clothing by all the independent designers.  I especially loved the "coat in a bag" by Judy Kessinger of     She had free instructions on her website on how to make this jacket that folds into a bag.
    I'm planning to make this as the final item for a mini-wardrobe I'll be reporting on soon.                                                                                             


  1. Thanks for that report, Peggy! I haven't heard from Sandra Betzina in awhile, and she's in my back yard, so it's nice to hear. And I can't wait to see that skirt pattern in November!

  2. What fun you had. And God bless your mother who is still sewing at 91! I love Sandra Betzina. I attended a week long workshop of hers in 2006. Loved every minute!

  3. I think the other attendees had no idea how SPECTACULAR you looked! Thanks for the great review.

  4. I love your V1234! And your mother!
    I guess if you love to sew but hate to fit, quilting is the way to go.

  5. Peg I just don't understand why women who sew and create wouldn't appreciate your stylish ensemble. And dressing? I would have expected more from the VA/DC suburbs. There was a time when all the fashion sewing and pattern designers were there. Perhaps it's the timing and scheduling? I loved the first Expo held back in 1996 or 97 at the Hyatt in Reston - a FABULOUS place for an expo. Everybody was there. So unlike that warehouse venue where they moved it to.

  6. I would say that your mother is really cool. At her age, she still has this passion in sewing! That's very impressive! I could have encourage my mother to knit/sew too.. :)

  7. I love that Vogue 1234 dress!! Looks so cool! Just found your blog and have liked a few things already and am going to steal an idea or two. I apologize in advance.