Monday, March 31, 2014

Finished Project: Ottobre 6-2013 Pretty Basic Jersey shirt

I sewed my first Ottobre! It's only taken me two years into my subscription to finally make something from one of the magazines. Granted, I wasn't sewing much for Eva when she was a baby because it didn't make sense to me to invest the time in making her clothes when she was growing into a new size every three months. Plus, I felt that most of the Ottobre designs for babies were pretty basic. But, now that she's into toddler sizes, the fun begins!

Since this was my first shot at an Ottobre, I wanted to keep things pretty simple. I've had my eye on this simple raglan-sleeved top with a ruffle detail since the 6-2013 issue arrived in my mailbox last fall:

Ottobre 6-2013 "Pretty Basic Jersey top"

This top presented me with several "firsts" to check off my sewing list:
  • First time sewing ruffles. (Hard to believe, I know, but I'm not a ruffly person for my own clothing. I've done flounces, but never a full-on ruffle before. They were a pain, but they turned out cute.)
  • First time using the rolled hem stitch on my Babylock Evolve. This step took a while, but I think it was totally worth it and produced a really nice result. I will definitely be using that again.
  • First time doing a lettuce edge on my Evolve. I opted for this finish to make the ruffles rufflier.
  • And of course, first time sewing from an Ottobre magazine.
I traced the size 92cm for Eva, and when overlayed on one of her 2T t-shirts, it's nearly an exact match. The Ottobre appears to be slightly longer and slimmer fitting, which is actually a good thing given that Eva has a long, slim torso, but that was the only difference. I just finished the top this morning, though, so I haven't had a chance to try it on her yet (or get pictures of her wearing it). Based on how close it was to her t-shirt, I imagine that the fit will be fine.

As a technical writer, I was really impressed with the Ottobre instructions. The instructions were extremely precise while being concise enough to fit into half a page in the magazine. I love that they acknowledged that a home sewist might actually own and use a serger and coverstich. I found it to be a breath of fresh air that they suggested finishing the ruffles with a rolled hem finish, rather than giving me convoluted instructions to do a baby hem or suggesting an overlock over a rolled hem.

The fabric for this top/outfit was left over from the Oliver + S Playtime Tunic and leggings that I made last week.

I think that the finished top is really cute:

My ruffles take up less space on the front of the top because I goofed and folded them over, so they're doubled up. I'm not sure why I thought I needed to do this--it wasn't in the instructions, and there was nothing confusing in there, so I think it was just a brain fart. This top would have been much faster to construct had I made it the way that I was supposed to make it. Still, I like it, and I think that the ruffle detail is cute and girly without being obnoxiously so:

Ruffle detail
I made another pair of leggings from the Oliver + S Playtime tunic & leggings pattern to go with the top:

Ottobre top and Oliver + S leggings
Edit (1-April-2014): I did get a picture of Eva wearing her new top last night:

Ottobre ruffle top, modeled by Eva

Speaking of the Oliver + S outfit, I rather unsuccessfully tried to get some better pictures of Eva wearing her new outfit, but I figure you can get a better feel for how it looks on a "real girl" here:

Front view

Yes, she draped that IKEA bag around herself like that. No, I didn't let it stay around her neck for more than a minute when I saw what she'd done. The tunic is long-ish, but it looks longer from this camera angle than it really is.

Back view
Apologies for the messy, toddler-ized and dog-ized living room.

This was the best direct head-on shot that I could get. You get the idea. ;)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

2014 Barganista Fashionista sewalong candidates

If you've known me for a while on PatternReview or followed my posts here, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with PatternReview contests. (As you may know, PatternReview runs 1-2 contests per month, such as "fitted blouse contest", "Little Black Dress contest", etc. The contests run either 2 or 4 weeks, depending on the contest theme.) I think that these contests are great for pushing us out of our comfort zones and getting us to try new things. On the downside, the winners generally (not always) skew towards the younger, slimmer members, and nearly ALWAYS skew towards members who had a spouse or partner with A) good photography skills and B) the patience to do a photo shoot for the review. I have neither a young, slim figure or a patient, photographer husband, so my chances of winning would be slim, even if I produced a garment that I was super proud of.

However, I set aside my personal issues with unconscious bias to volunteer to manage the Bargainista/Fashionista contest this month. Why? Because I like looking at pictures of pretty, expensive  garments and I love seeing reviews where members try to knock off those expensive garments. This also gives me a way to vicariously enjoy the contest without the added stress of actually entering a garment.

In the spirit of the contest, I want to sew along with the participants. I'm fairly sure that I know what I'll be sewing (and if you peek over at the contest thread on PR, you'll see a picture), but I thought I'd post some of the other projects that I was considering. Who knows, maybe I'll change my mind!

Here they are (in no particular order):

Philip Lim draped crossover blouse

First up is this Philip Lim blouse that's all over Pinterest:

Philip Lam draped crossover blouse

Both HotPatterns and StyleArc have released their takes on this blouse in recent months, and knockoffs are showing up left and right in retail. 

HotPatterns Riviera Acqualina Blouse

StyleArc Dotty blouse
Since I already own the HotPatterns pattern, that's the pattern I'd use. I do want to make this blouse, whether it's to sew along for the contest or not, and I'm looking at making it either in a white rayon for spring/summer or a striped rayon knit. My striped fabric doesn't look anything like the original, though. I'd probably shorten the length a bit of the HP, but I like that it includes a yoke and just generally really like the design.

Bomber Jacket(s)

Next up, I want a bomber jacket. I love the current trend of using non-traditional fabrics in a bomber jacket design. I like both the trend of suiting fabrics and florals (although my husband would likely say that the floral versions make the model look like she's wearing a couch--he hates florals). Also, I like the idea of mixed material sleeves, and I have a lightweight, drapey faux leather that I think would be perfect for bomber jacket sleeves. Here are a few RTW bombers that I've pinned:

Tweed jacket with faux leather sleeves by Sejour

Floral Bomber jacket by Rag & Bone

Navy floral bomber jacket (designer unknown)
For a bomber jacket pattern, I already have New Look 6226 in my stash, although I'd need to do a bit of grading up and/or an FBA:

StyleArc also has a really stylish-looking bomber jacket, but A) I don't already own the pattern B) the pattern is pretty expensive, even for StyleArc, and C) it appears to be more of a traditional bomber style:

StyleArc Emelia jacket
For these bomber jackets, I have several tweeds in my stash and the aforementioned faux leather. If I did a floral version, I have a floral silk/cotton blend that I think would work well. The only problem is that I can't find that particular length of fabric, although I know that it didn't sprout legs and walk out of my sewing room--it's somewhere in that stash!

Lace overlay blouse with piping

Finally, there's this cute lace overlay blouse from Ruche:

Ruche lace overlay blouse with piping
The StyleArc Amber blouse is a pattern that's a dead-ringer for this pattern. Coincidentally, this was a freebie pattern last summer, and I just so happen to have it in my stash. I also have a black ponte, white piping, and just ordered some black floral lace from FabricMart.

StyleArc Amber blouse

Decisions, decisions! Hmmmmm....

Monday, March 24, 2014

Finished project: Oliver + S Playtime tunic and leggings

We think that my daughter, Eva, has recently hit a growth spurt because everything has suddenly very quickly gotten to be too short on her. Her size 18M leggings and pants are all capri length now, and some of her 18M sized t-shirts are dangerously close to showing toddler tummy when she moves around. (She turns 21 months old today.) We have a handful of 2T sized outfits for her, but with the way she goes through clothing, I felt that it was best for me to take a break from sewing for myself for a couple of weeks and beef up her 2T sized wardrobe.

I ordered the PDF download version of the Oliver + S Playtime Tunic & Leggings back when the pattern was released, but of course, didn't get around to making it up until now. Oliver + S have really nailed the PDF format for their patterns; patterns are placed so that there's a minimum of taping sheets together. If a pattern piece can fit on one piece of paper, that's how it's laid out. I think that this format lends itself really well to kids' patterns where you will probably use several different sizes over the years--you don't have to worry about preserving the original pattern tissue for tracing. When you need a new size, simply print the pattern back out again. I'm not affiliated with O+S in any way; I'm just really impressed with how they do their PDF patterns.

In any case, here's the envelope picture for the tunic and leggings:

Leggings and a tunic with pockets! What could be more of a staple outfit for a little toddler girl? There's also a faux peter pan collar option. Here's the line drawing(s):

This is one of those projects where I made a bunch of changes and more or less ignored the instructions. I opted to use a couple of cotton-lycra blend jerseys (purchased at Mill End in Portland on our Portland trip last fall) for both the tunic/dress and leggings.

Oliver + S Playtime Tunic & Leggings - front view

Oliver + S Playtime tunic & leggings - back view
Most of the pattern changes that I made revolved around my choice to make the tunic in a knit rather than a woven:
  • I eliminated the back placket and instead worked a bound keyhole opening to provide extra room for getting the dress over my daughter's head. To do this, I stitched the two back bodice pieces together so that there was a seamline at CB. I stopped stitching about 1.5" below the neckline and then bound the opening. I'm not sure if this is the "right" way to do a keyhole neckline, but it worked:
Keyhole opening adaptation
  • As you can see from my photos, I bound the neckline, since I didn't use the facings. I used the same fabric as I used in the leggings for contrast.
  • I used the peter pan collar pattern piece to applique a contrasting peter pan collar to the tunic. In the future, I think I'd alter this piece to make it a bit larger. (The pattern piece is actually a template for topstitching.)
  • I didn't bother topstitching the pockets to the tunic skirt. 
Sizing for both the tunic and leggings is similar to a 2T in RTW brands like Carter's, OshKosh, and Old Navy. Unlike some toddler patterns, the back rise on the legging pattern piece is a bit longer and nicely accommodates going over a diaper in back. (i.e. No diaper exposed plumber butt with these.)

I'll take more/better photos when I get a chance, but here's a preview of Eva wearing her new outfit. (For size reference, she's on the border of the 18-24 month & 2T height ranges on the O+S size chart, so I opted for the larger size.) Apologies for the somewhat blurry toddler-in-motion pic:

Given the hit-and-miss of kids' pattern sizing, I'd tell you that this pattern is worth the cost just for the leggings piece alone (I've already made up a 2nd pair of the leggings, which will be paired with an Ottobre top), but the leggings are now available as a standalone, "singles" pattern. The fabric chart says that the 2T takes 3/4 yard for the leggings, but mine only needed 1/2 yard, and I sewed them straight off the PDF. They also only take about a half hour to make up, so I know that the leggings pattern will be getting a ton of use from me. Note that for the top, I opted for the tunic length, and it runs a little long and nearly reaches her knees, but this isn't a big deal with kids' clothes--just something to be aware of.

Overall, I think that Oliver+S patterns are generally really cute, but sometimes they're not overly practical for a kid like mine who's always climbing on things, rolling around on the ground, etc. This pattern, however, is both very cute and very practical for an active toddler girl.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

2014 Trenchcoat sewalong: My UFO-iest UFO

Once upon a time, in the fall of 2011, I enrolled in one of the "sew like a pro" classes offered by the San Diego continuing education program. Our goal for this class was to fit and make a lined trenchcoat. We could choose any trenchcoat pattern that we wished, but I, along with probably about half of the class, chose McCall's 5525:

McCall's 5525 has your traditional trenchcoat and a few trendy-at-the-time options among its five views. Over the years, this pattern has been reviewed 60 times on PatternReview and was even a "pattern of the year" back in 2009:
Anyway, fitting and constructing the jacket in class was very slow-going. The class had ~20 students, and the instructor individually checked our fit at each major step of tissue-fitting. For those of us with a decent number of adjustments, tissue-fitting took up around half of our class sessions, with the class meeting for 3 hours once a week. (I took other projects along to work on in class to make use of my time.) Note that our instructor was excellent with fitting and a bit of a perfectionist in that department, so that added to the slow pace. About halfway through the class, I happily discovered that I was finally pregnant, and then got hit full-force with first trimester fatigue and morning sickness.

When the class ended in late January, I had a changing body and a partially finished jacket that I decided needed to be "put away" for a while. Those jacket pieces lived in the trunk of my car for over two years. Fast forward to March of 2014, I now had a toddler, lived in Seattle, and those jacket pieces were still living in the trunk of my car. I'd revived both my blog reading and writing a few months ago, and saw that Lynelle of You Sew Girl was looking for people to join her in a trenchcoat sewalong, and I decided to join the group doing the Trenchcoat Sewalong 2014.

Here's where I'm at today:
  • I have my pieces of McCall's 5525 retrieved from my car trunk and re-washed. Thankfully, I'd elected to sew one of the more timeless views--View C, so I don't think I'll have any problem with my coat looking dated. I did have to leave off the gun flaps because I ran out of fabric.
  • Speaking of the fabric, it's a sage green cotton twill with a little bit of stretch to it. I purchased it from Vogue fabrics in Evanston when my husband and I took a vacation to Chicago in April of 2011. In my head, when I picked out the fabric for this project, I'd had it in my head that my fabric was close to 60" wide, when in reality, it was closer to 50". Hence, the running out of fabric for the gun flaps.
  • The lining is a printed poly charmeuse purchased from a Hancock in Alabama when my husband and I visited his parents there in October 2011. We didn't have Hancocks in San Diego, so it was a treat for me to visit that store.
  • The shell is mostly completed, minus setting in the sleeves:

    McCalls 5525 shell minus sleeves
  • The lining/facing construction is done, complete with sleeves:
    McCall's 5525 lining/facing

  • The sleeves are completed. The self-fabric tie belt is cut out, but not sewn:

    McCall's 5525 sleeves and belt
    Overall, things aren't in bad shape, considering how long they'd spent sitting in my trunk. There is some fraying, especially along the cut edges of the lining and some edges of the twill. I hope that doesn't cause too many problems with completing the construction.

    I tried the jacket on (I'd thread-basted a CF line on the shell in class, which I'm very thankful for now), and it's a little big, but I weight a little less now than I did when I did the initial fitting. 

If I hadn't already done all of the topstitching on the seams, I'd probably just take the princess seams in a bit, but that's way too much for for me for finishing up a UFO, so I'll just live with it being a little roomy. I'll certainly easily be able to wear it over a bulky sweater or other layers.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Finished Project: StyleArc Olive Spliced Tee

Bolstered by my February StyleArc order, I decided to dig into my StyleArc pattern stash for my most recent project and made up the Olive Spliced Tee.

The Olive was a freebie-of-the-month pattern a few years ago, and I placed this order back when I was purchasing nearly every designed-for-color-blocking pattern that I could get my hands on. Of course, I didn't actually get around to making this one up until the color blocking trend was on its last legs. (Color blocking is finally on its last legs, isn't it? I keep telling myself that, but then I keep seeing it stick around. It seems to be rivaling peplums in the the trend-that-won't-die department.) My goal for this project was to end up with a comfortable-as-a-sweatshirt long-sleeved tee that looked nicer than a sweatshirt.

Olive is a fun variation on a t-shirt with a hi-low hem that doesn't quite reach the mullet proportions that we're currently seeing everywhere. If you see the line drawing, you'll see a small pocket, which I omitted from my version. The pocket (as designed) is actually an in-seam pocket where the top and bottom front seams meet. I left it off of my version because A) it seemed like it had a huge potential for gaping, and B) I didn't feel the need to add the bulk to my already-large bust. Sometimes I'll not omit patch pockets in the bust area, depending on the size/placement of the pocket, but this pocket is too small to even hold a smartphone, and I figured it wasn't worth the trouble.

For my fabric, I used cuts of black and turquoise Sophia knit that I've had laying around for probably about as long as I've had the pattern.  Remember when Vogue 8805 was all the rage on Pattern Review? Color blocking! Multi-cup sizing! I ordered this fabric online (along with a third cut of Sophia knit in red) with the intention that I'd use them for Vogue 8805, which everyone seemed to love initially. Then, a few curvier sewists made up the pattern, and it was rather unflattering on curvier/busty figures in that the lack of shape to the dress made it look like a sack. So, I abandoned my plans for V8805, but since I only had one-yard lengths of the purchased fabric, I knew that it would have to be used for either color blocking or contrast, being too short for anything else.

For the most part, construction and fitting went fairly smoothly. Because this pattern had been sitting around from a time when I was about 15 lbs heavier than I am now, it's one size larger than I currently purchase from StyleArc. I figured that would be a good match for the Sophia knit, which is considerably less stretchy than your typical t-shirt fabric. When I placed the Olive on top of my TNT tee, the Olive showed about an inch more ease along the side seams and the armscye placement was similar, so I felt pretty secure that I could get the fit that I was looking for without too much trouble.

I did encounter one minor fitting hiccup, in that when I tried on the Olive for the first time, a flap was trying to form above my bust where the top and bottom seams met:

You can only sort-of see it in the bathroom mirror selfie, but trust me, the flap looked weird, and it was present on both sides of the t-shirt. I fixed it by first pinning out (to test) then sewing a horizontal fisheye dart at that horizontal seam line to take up the excess fabric.

The final top is very comfortable and very wearable:

StyleArc Olive spliced tee in Sophia knit
The back view:

This is a fun little pattern that presents a decent amount of room for creativity with piecing and color blocking. When I did a search on PatternReview and in the blogosphere, I saw numerous variations with color blocking and playing with fabric grain. If you have this pattern in your stash and are interested in making it up, I can't think of any major "gotchas" to pass along. Note that it's not a particularly fitted top (as also indicated by the line drawing), so if you do prefer more shaping or more of a fitted top, you'll have some pattern alterations to do or might want to look at a different pattern.

Up next...

Since completing my Olive tee, I've gotten started on the Oliver + S playtime tunic and leggings outfit for my daughter. I've nearly completed two pairs of leggings and have one tunic cut out. I also dug out the pieces of a UFO trenchcoat to participate in the Trenchcoat Sewalong that Lynelle is hosting.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ottobre Woman: Spring/Summer 2014 (2/2014)

I love the "magazine roundup" posts on other sewing blogs. I love both the pointing out of the what-were-they-thinking design or two of Burda and the hidden gems that I maybe missed in flipping through the previews.  Currently, I only subscribe to Ottobre Design (the kids' magazine) and Ottobre Woman and occasionally by single issues of other magazines, so I probably won't have too many magazine roundup posts, but I thought that it would be fun to write one for the current issue of Ottobre Woman.

The most recent issue of Ottobre Woman was published on February 25th and arrived in my mail box last week. This issue has a TON of nice casual basics and very few items in the "I'd never wear that column." Let's take a look, shall we?

The Good

I'm very intrigued by the rise of the woven t-shirt in patternland. I don't recall seeing these very often before a few months ago. (Sleeveless shells, yes, but tees with sleeves? No.) I love the idea of a simple, darted top that doesn't take much fabric and therefore can be used to show off a nice, expensive fabric. This issue of Ottobre contains its own version of a woven tee (with bust darts), and it's the first item on my to-sew list from this issue:

At first glance, this blazer/jacket might not seem all that interesting, but it's designed for sweatshirt fleece. I love a knit jacket, so this one is also one of my top picks:

An easy knit dress with interesting pockets. I need to double-check the pattern pieces in the magazine, but I wouldn't be surprised if this one works for border prints:

There's a similar (woven) version of this dress that does clearly use a border/panel print, too:

When the weather gets warmer, there's a cute maxi-dress with a princess seamed bodice:

The bad

This issue doesn't have many things that I flat-out wouldn't wear.  On that list, though, is this tank with the large ruffle. I can think of few garments that would likely be less flattering on a large-busted plus-sized woman. Even better, the version here is shown in a shiny silver fabric:

The Head-scratcher

From the line-drawing, this variation on the woven tee with a pleated neckline looks really cute, doesn't it?

But take a look at the garment photographed on the model:

What the heck is going on with that neckline, I thought? Then I looked closer at the neckline, and the tucks or pleats don't appear to be stitched down in the upper few inches. So of course, they'd open up, wouldn't they? In any case, I can't imagine wearing this top without feeling self-conscious about that neckline.

In other news, I finished my StyleArc Olive Top. I don't have pictures yet, but I'm happy with how it turned out. It's very wearable, comfortable, and I think I made good choices with the color blocking. I hope to photograph it in the next few days, and then I'll blog it.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Pop will eat itself or a Plantain-ized version of a Tonic tee

If a sewing blogger knocks off a free download pattern with another free download pattern, does that mean that we've reached the end of the Internet?

What if the blogger includes a meme-ish picture of her cat in her post?

I used my (free) SBCC Tonic tee pattern to create my own version of the popular (free) Deer & Doe Plantain t-shirt, and I'm quite happy with it:

Plantain-ized SBCC Tonic Tee

I used one of my recent merino wool jersey purchases from FabricMart for the body of the tee. The patches are also merino wool jersey (leftover from one of my husband's Mr. HP tees.) I'm wearing my Plantain-ized Tonic tee paired with a StyleArc Gorgeous Gore skirt that I made ages ago and never got around to reviewing or blogging about.

The modifications that I made to my Tonic tee were to add an A-line flare from the waist (I added 1.5" to the bottom side seams, and blended this up to nothing at the waist) and added the actual elbow patches from the Plantain pattern, which I had previously printed out.

I interfaced the patches themselves with a lightweight fusible knit interfacing for stabilization, and used a wide zig-zag stitch to applique them onto the sleeves. I used the same patch placement as was shown on the actual Plantain sleeves.

A few more quick notes:

  • I still haven't brought myself to finish my ill-fated Lekala tunic. Every time that I pull it out to play with the button placement/ruching distribution, it feels like an overwhelming task, and I end up putting it back on my desk.
  • I've had a few goodies arrive in the mail, recently:

    • My most recent FabricMart order, two ITY jerseys (one in solid red, the other in a very work-friendly black/white/gray/red print). The solid red will become a top, the print will become a skirt and a top (there's more of it than the solid):
    ITY knits from FabricMart

    • My StyleArc order from last month arrived! I ended up going with the Sandra jeans and Patsy top. I will say that I'm a little hesitant now about the Issy top that I was so excited about. Early comments from the blogosphere is that it's not particularly flattering on a large bust. I'll keep that in mind and will muslin it for the style out of a cheap knit, first. Of course, I had already placed my order before I ran into my Lekala ruching issues.

    StyleArc now includes a label with your order. I love little extras like this:

Receiving my new StyleArc patterns revived my interest in a few of my "old" StyleArc patterns. I've since cut out the Olive Spliced Tee. I compared it to my Tonic tee, and the Olive has more ease (as is the style), but the armscye placement is nearly identical. Hmmm...maybe that's partially why I've had mostly good luck with StyleArc?

I also really like the StyleArc freebie Nancy shirt (and some of the other new patterns) for this month.  I am trying to exercise willpower and not place an order, since I just placed one last month. (However, I did go ~6 months before that...)

My Ottobre Woman magazine arrived yesterday, as well, and contains a lot of promising patterns for basics. I'm thinking that I might do a round-up post that highlights my favorites sometime next week.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Puyallup Sewing Expo 2014

I can now say that I've spent a couple of brief hours at the Puyallup Sewing Expo.

On Sunday, we piled my visiting mother and 20-month-old daughter into my Prius and drove through pouring rain and limited visibility to our destination at the Washington State Fairgrounds. We got a later start than I had been hoping for and were further delayed by hour-long side trip to IKEA in Renton to pick up a few pieces of play furniture for my daughter, so we didn't actually make it to the Expo until 1pm.

Puyallup Sewing Expo gate
How gray was it outside? The weather was so dark and misty that I had thought that I had accidentally turned on the black-and-white exposure setting on my phone when I initially previewed that picture; I couldn't see any color until I imported the photo to my laptop.

By 1pm, enough people had already left for the day that we were able to snag a parking spot in the front row of the lot directly in front of the main gate. I think that much of the well-publicized crowds had either decided to stay home or were gone from the inside of the Expo, as well, because it really wasn't horrendously crowded inside. Now, that's not to say that there weren't a lot of people, but outside of the Vogue Fabrics booth, you didn't have to elbow your way past people to get your hands on a bolt of fabric. So what did I think of the Expo?

Stuff I liked

  • I had a fun time wandering up and down the vendor stalls. As I had been forewarned, a lot of the vendors leaned heavily towards quilting. I admire quilts and can see myself wanting to give quilting a try at some point, but I do not currently quilt, so it was easy to walk right by ~50% of the booths (at least).
  • The Vogue Fabrics booth was impressive, both in size and the amount of fabric that they squeezed into the area. This was also our first stop, which was the only thing that kept me from blowing my whole vendor budget there. Vogue was also the only booth that had a fairly sizable crowd. 
  • Local Seattle-area stores had a decent presence. I had never been into Nancy's Sewing Basket before, and after fondling some of their fabrics, I will definitely need to pay them a visit. Pacific Fabrics, which I already knew was awesome, had a Vogue-sized booth, as well.
  • Parking was free. (Not something to be underestimated at a venue like this.)
  • This sign:

My disappointments

  • With mom and toddler in tow, I didn't get a chance to check out any of the runway shows or any of the classes. That will change next year.
  • I was a little bummed that the demographic of the non-quilting vendors clearly skewed a bit older than me. We had the usual suspects of indie pattern companies (Sewing Studio, Coni Crawford, Silhouette Patterns), but I would have loved to have seen some sewn-up samples from the "newer" kids on the block that skew a bit younger, like Colette, Sewaholic, or Victory patterns. Granted, I think the targeted vendor demographic could pretty easily be explained by looking around at the crowd in attendance.
  • On a related note, I was a bit surprised at the lack of vendors targeting people who sew for children. There are a TON of indie pattern companies for kids and several online vendors who specialize in kids' fabric. And even the older demographic sews for grandkids, right? I did run across one vendor--Sew It Up, out of Texas, who had the most adorable samples of ruffle fabric projects and pre-cut fabric lengths, and I bought several lengths of fabric from them.

My purchases

I managed to walk away with only 2.25 new yards of fabric, all of which were picked out by my daughter (they're all for her, anyway). Note that she LOVED the ruffle fabric!

From the top, going clockwise:
  • 7/8 of a yard of blue and white floral-printed corduroy remnant, purchased from Vogue Fabrics. This was a lightweight corduroy with a nice drape. I'm thinking that it will become an A-line jumper or dress for Eva.
  • 1/2 yard Bright green ruffle fabric. I may have steered her towards this--if I pair a skirt made with this with a navy blue t-shirt/leggings, she'll have a fun outfit for Sounders FC matches.
  • 1/2 yard gray/coral ruffle fabric. Another skirt or dress for Eva.
  • 1/2 yard coral ruffle fabric (sense a theme here?). Another skirt/dress for Eva.


I'm glad that I went, even if I was a little disappointed with the lack of shopping variety available. I would definitely like to go again, but next year, I will just take that Friday off from work and go by myself. I definitely want to check out some of the classes and runway shows next year.