You can see everyone was having a lot of fun! Or perhaps we were all just getting a bit punchy.
For me, the best part about going to a big show like this is meeting people. I happen to be a member and big fan of the American Sewing Guild. So, I had to stop by their booth. If you are not a member and sew a lot, check them. All members get discounts at many, many fabrics stores including Joann's and Hancock.
But, we were not the only thing going on there last weekend ... ha ha.
I did feel better after reading the sign on the right here.
Because the Sewing Expo invited costumers this year, I met many people wearing all sorts of fun things. This is Kate Allen. She told me she used my Kimono pattern to make the top part of her costume. If you want to see more of her stuff visit her web site.
And look at THIS amazing cute thing! It is a real original period Singer featherweight in PURPLE. The people at this booth told me this is the original color. Although they said they have touched up scratches, etc.
Now, I couldn't spend four days surrounded with beautiful fabrics and fashions and not have an itch to stitch. I purchased yardage to make something for myself, which I will tell you about on Friday!
You can see everyone was having a lot of fun! Or perhaps we were all just getting a bit punchy.
Well, I'm home after 5 very intense, very fun, very informative days at the Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan.
I naively thought I would come back to my room each day and write a blog with photos I'd been taking all day and post every morning. I'm so sorry, they had me so booked I just couldn't. But, I will try to make up for it now.
I am going to have to scrounge for photos, too. Because ... I just didn't take as many as I wanted to and should have.
So, let me tell you about the fashion show. Most often when Simplicity goes to a big sewing convention like this, they will put on a fashion show with many of their latest patterns. And this year, because costuming was made a big part of this show, 10 of the 40 out fits were costumes. YAY!!!!!
BUT, there were a certain four costumes that are coming out in a couple months that Simplicity was worried about being stolen, so they asked me to take these certain four costumes into my room overnight, since I was staying in the hotel attached to the convention center.
So, this is what my room looked like at 11 pm the night before the fashion show.
I was so tired, I didn't notice that a couple skirts had fallen off the rack while I was rolling it to my room and got a bit crushed before I could hang then back up. So I had some serious ironing to do. grrrrrrr
And here I am rolling the costumes down the hall the next morning. I took precautions and used HUGE safety pins to make sure nothing fell off any hangers while bringing the costumes back down for the show.
I'm wearing, by the way, one of my upscaled thrift store sweaters I made as an example for the class I taught the day before.
There was chaos back stage, like any show ... be it theater or fashion or a wedding, come to think of it. Weddings are kind of shows, aren't they?
Some pretty young and VERY tall professional models were hired. One was 6' 1" with Simplicity's size 10 measurement (32 1/2, 25, 35 - unbelievable) Here are 3 of them wearing different versions of this new Mimi G design.
This is a great dress! Thinking of making it myself.
The costumes came last and were much more challenging to dress the models in. I had to do a bit of ad-lib talking when a couple of the models were late coming out because they weren't ready ... Ha Ha.
So, sadly at this point, these are all the photos I can find. If anyone knows where I can find more, please respond.
The show's official photos should be ready in a couple weeks and I will post more then, if I can get my hands on them.
Below is Lynette Halalay, one of the ladies who took my sweater class in Novi. She very kindly sent me the photos she took of almost every one in their almost finished sweaters.
No two sweaters were alike, which made me SO happy! I think everyone surprised themselves with how their sweaters evolved. Above is Colleen, who used bits of of a cut up lace top I brought in to beautiful effect. And Barb, who mixed grey lace and lacey bits of a turquoise sweater to make this unusual combination.
And ALL the backs were pretty. This is the back of Sheree's sweater. She was hesitant to use the stripe for godets. But I think it turned out really fun and very flattering. I especially like the rosette she made with some grey lace.
Hope to have more back photos to show at some point.
Here I am at 7:15 am headed off for what might be the longest work day I've had in a LONG time. Here is my report from Thursday.
Roughly ... left my room at 7:15, got to class room at 7:30, set everything up, taught from 9 - 5:30 with a break to check with the tech people that the projector I would be using for the rest of my classes was compatible with my computer. From 6 to 7:30 fit models for the Simplicity Fashion show for the following day. THEN when back to Simplicity's booth to fix a few things, headed off to Joann's for supplies for a couple costume and garment repairs. Dinner from 9 - 10:30 (WAY later than I like to eat). In my room from 10:30 to midnight ironing and repairing clothes for the fashion show ... phew. But, I had fun!
But back to my class ... people liked it and had fun and want to do it again! WOW.
I set up some examples of upscaled/repurposed sweaters I've made to get imaginations going.
Each participant was asked to bring 2 or 3 sweaters, but most brought 5 or 6, which was great.
I provided trims, ribbons, buttons, odds and ends of lace and sweater scraps for people to use.
Everyone brought their own sewing machine. Janome provided us with 2 sergers to use and a couple people brought their own sergers as well.
The Jamome people were so great getting the machines set up and stopping by a few times during the class to make sure everything was working well.
People worked in pairs helping each other with design details and fit, since we couldn't have a dress form for each participant.
I was so pleased to see everyone being so creative and original. And there were so many different color schemes.
At 5 pm Janet Prey, who runs this show, came in to see what we were all up to and was so pleased with the results that she had every single participant photographed by the official photographer in their creation.
I'm going to see if I can get my hands on those photos and post some. I wasn't able to get good photos of the completed sweaters myself ... sigh.
So, it was a pretty successful class and I'm told more people want to take it next year.
And so I say again ...
Hi everyone ... I arrived in Novi, Michigan Wednesday afternoon to HUGE empty spaces being set up. I've never been at a show before all the booths were set up.
Actually, I am sending this blog last, because today ( was so hectic I totally forgot to post this blog. So, I will be posting blogs about what I'm doing each day, but not quite as quickly as I thought. I'm kind of a day behind, but I will catch up!!
I got my badge and schedule and checked out the room I will be teaching in. (I am writing this last night) There were a few things missing so that is being taken care of. My class starts at 9 and I plan to be in my room before 8 to make sure everything is ready.
Today, Thursday, is probably the day when most booths will be set up. Really very few people were in the space yesterday. The show properly starts on Friday and runs through Sunday.
But, it is starting to look very festive.
I plan to write a report every evening and post it the next morning. So, you can experience this terrific show though my eyes, at least.
Thank you to everyone who voted and really thank you to those who wrote comments here and on Facebook.
So, Schewe, Sew won, Needling came in a respectable second and Andrea Sews didn't do terribly. But, because of what many people said, I'm not going to change my name. I really didn't want to anyway. Let me tell you how this all got came about.
A year and a half ago when I said I was going to start a blog several people suggested cute/funny blog names having to do with sewing and I said, "But, people know my name! I think it is just better to use my name with Design after it, the same as I have done for years."
Now, I've been approached by a company interested in advertising on my website and was advised to make my site look more professional, by naming my blog. Many popular news media blogs have short but catchy names. So, I thought I would explore the possibilities ... with your help.
My motivation for blogging is still evolving. I started it because work was slow and I wanted to stir things up. Things are definitely stirred!! But, time management has become difficult.
The best part of blogging is all the people I'm meeting on line and now in person, because of the shows I've been invited to this year. Now the question is, do I want to "monetize" my blog. Which, I think, will take more time ... hmmm ... grrr ... sigh.
Anyway, I got some good response to "Needling." I searched and I couldn't find any other sewing blog using it. So, I might us it someway, maybe a subtitle, just for fun.
I'm not going to post a blog on Wednesday, but plan to blog everyday from the Sewing Expo in Novi, Michigan. It runs from Thursday through Sunday.
... stay tuned.
Several people have told me I need a "NAME" for my blog. OK, I can do that.
Years ago when I started freelancing I was told to just add "Design" to my name to keep banking simple, among other things ... ah well, times change!
I've been blogging for a year and a half just using my name, I feel as if whatever blog name I come up with needs to have, at least, some of my name in it to make transition to a new name less confusing. In any case almost every cute sewing, stitching or designing name is already being used.
EXCEPT! my husband (aka the pun-meister) just suggested "Needling", which I kind of like.
So here are my three choices. I've set up a poll and I hope everyone who reads this blog will vote for their favorite. It would be great to have my new name before I go to the American Sewing Expo this coming Thursday.
So, Schewe, Sew!
THANK YOU EVERYONE ... and please leave comments, if you have other ideas or opinions.
There are perks to blogging that I never thought about. I am meeting all sorts of interesting people from all over.
Last week a Swedish woman named Annika wrote me with information about Swedish national dress. So, I am going to share this with all of you. Her words will be in blue.
First of all, being a Swede myself, I just thought I'd help you out with how to find some pictures of Swedish regional dresses "in action", so to speak.
She told me the two occasions that people in Sweden still dress in their tradition costume are the Midsummer Festival and to perform traditional folkdances.
My mother is really into folkdance, so I've seen her regional dress up close. The reason the "real" regional or national dresses are expensive is because they're entirely made by hand! The cloth for my mother's dress was woven by hand by a friend of my grandmother, and the rest of the dress was embroidered and sewn together by hand by my mother and grandmother. It took months to make a finished dress! That is why all the old and proper (=hand sewn) dresses are made to be easily taken in or let out - they are supposed to last a lifetime, and then handed down to relatives.
I would love to see an up close photo of that dress!
The reason we have a blue and yellow national dress (created somewhere around the 1900's) was because the cities and some other areas of Sweden did not have their own regional dress. So for every Swede to be able to dress up in a folkdräkt, the national dress was created. The regional dresses are for the area where you are born, which can be more or less specific - for the whole province or just a small village - but the national dress is for everyone and anyone.
Here you can see the designed "National Dress" next to one of the traditional regional dresses.
Oh, and if you're interested in making your own Swedish national dress, they sell kits from Ekelunds weavers:
Follow this link
(The page is in Swedish, unfortunately, but I know that the instructions are in Swedish/German/English).
On my visit to Sweden and my cousin showed me where our ancestors lived. I now know my family is from the Varmland region of Sweden and this is the national dress from that area.
I wonder if my great-grandfather or more likely my great-great-grandfather wore clothes like this?
And, if I were going to make my own traditional dress to wear, I guess I could make this one. It is so pretty!
So, I asked Annika about how the Norwegians and Swedes differ in how and when they dress in their national costume. And this is what she said.
I suppose the Norweigans use their national dresses more than we do, but to be honest, I'm not really sure. It used to be more common in Sweden to wear a national or regional dress a few decades ago, in previous generations. Then you could see people wearing them to official functions, weddings, or fancy parties, but now it has gone out of fashion. It is still the dress that will work for any social gathering which requires a dress code - if you worry about what length of dress to wear, which bag that's OK, which colour that would be all right - a national dress is always an option that wouldn't raise any eyebrows more than it's quite unusual a sight these days. So, no, you don't see national or regional dresses that much in Sweden these days, except at folkdance performances and on Midsummer's Eve (which is also a big day for folkdance, so I guess it's really the dancing that ties it all together). You sometimes see the Swedish royal family wearing the national dress, but except for the dancing events, that's about it. In Norway and Finland I guess they use them more often, but I've heard that, at least in Finland, the use of the national dress is declining, just like in Sweden. But I've also heard that folkdance in Sweden has managed to attract more young people the last few years, and there also seem to be a new surge of making clothes that last and buying second hand recently, so who knows? Maybe it will be more common to see regional and national dresses in Sweden again.
My cousin thinks it is because Swedish people are not very nationalistic. Well, I just think those traditional costumes are so lovely and I'm glad some people are still making and wearing them.
So, thank you, Annika.