Thursday, September 29, 2011

More ASE Adventures

After all the excitement of the Passion for Fashion show Saturday night, I had a whole day just to enjoy the expo. Readers, I feel like I could have spent a whole week there and not have gotten enough! It was amazing. I started out by wandering the booths. I met Nicole from Simplicity--yes, the very same Nicole who answered my Slenderette questions in this post! She hooked me up with a copy of the new Simplicity Simply the Best Sewing Book and I read it in the bathtub later that night. It's really good! I especially appreciate that they include a lot of serger options, because not many books do.

I also meandered over to the Kai Scissors booth, where they had tester scissors and fabric samples you could cut--everything from slippery lining fabric to faux leather. It was so fun! I went a little crazy with the scissor testing.
Here's the super-nice Jim from Kai. It's possible I came home with a couple new pairs of scissors as well. I've been using them a bit, and I can see why people are so crazy about Kai. They're super sharp and dreamy to cut with.
 I also took a couple classes. The first one was Copycat Sewing with the fabulous Kathy Ruddy.
Kathy is a wonderful teacher, and I had many lightbulb moments in her class. She showed us how to make a copy of a RTW garment using wax paper and your fingernail. It was awesome. She's got amazing energy and spunk, and I highly recommend you take a class with her if you can.

As I was leaving the class, I had to take a picture of this sign:
Afternoon brought a little more wandering time. I ended up at the Islander Sewing Systems booth, where Mickey (below) was nice enough to give me a personal demo of the techniques. Islander is a system using industry methods for faster, more efficient sewing--no pins! She taught me how to ease, sew curves, and install a lapped zipper using the skills and it was highly impressive.
I treated myself to one piece of fabric, a plum-colored sweater knit from Haberman. I've never sewn with sweater knits, and I'm eager to give it a try. I somehow managed to resist this Carolina Herrara sequin fabric (but let's face it, I could still mail order it, right?):

I finished up the day by taking a bra fitting class with Anne St. Clair of Needlenook Fabrics. I learned a ton (did you know that if you make your own bras, you can make odd band sizes, like a 35C? Amazing!). It made me extremely excited about trying my hand a bra making one of these days.

I didn't get a picture of Anne because she taught most of the class with her shirt off, so she could demonstrate fitting areas on her own bra. That takes guts! But she was super comfortable, and before the end of the class, everyone was lifting up their blouses to talk about their fitting issues. It was fabulous.

I will totally be going back to ASE; it was heaven on earth for sewists. Hope to see you in Novi next year!


  1. Love those signs! Reminds of one I saw at the bottom of the stairs at the Norfolk County Courthouse:


  2. Jim at Kai is really nice. I've spoken with him on the phone. And I just LURVE their shears! I have several pairs. They are expensive but worth every single penny.

    I'd love to go to ASE some time. Maybe next year...

  3. So excited to hear the bra making class you took. I've been to Bramakers Supply in Canada for a couple classes with Bev Johnson, and the neatest thing I learned there is that you can make a bra with the cup size that corresponds to say a 34B but then use any size wire-- so a a 36 or a 38 wire if that is more comfortable (it is for me!), and you can get shorter wires or plastic ones if your body needs that. Bodies are all so different, and boobs especially, why should we suffer with standard-sized bras?

    I am also eagerly awaiting the day you find yourself at an Expo with Cynthia Guffey, because from reading your blog, I think you would LOVE her.

  4. those signs are awesome.)) cannot wait what you'll do with the kniw fabric. and the new sewing machine.. I'm now looking for a sewing machine for myself, and I'm kinda confused about how much it should cost. hm..

  5. I *love* Anne St Clair! And her bra and other classes. I am lucky enough to live about 5 minutes from her shop (when she's not off teaching you others!), and she became my fitting and sewing guru, after many years of non-fit clothes. Her shop where we students often (with an eye out!) flash each other our latest bra creations . I've been lurking on your blog for quite a while, since I don't have a blog. I was born in the early 40s, and grew up in the 50s and 60s so the retro styles you love are more things that represented repression and restriction to me, but I still very much enjoy reading your adventures and tutes; and you make those styles lovely! They also look so comfortable being "bespoke-made." Thanks for all you do and share.

  6. That Sewing Expo sign should have read "Scissors & Needles show", because the world of sewing can do badass too...

    Out of curiosity, are Kai scissors heavy? My beloved husband got me a pair of stainless steel tailor's shears for my b'day and they weigh a ton. They're amazing but is there a technique to avoid developing RSI from the sheer weight of them?

  7. Wow, you must have had so much fun!

    I really NEED to take a bra fitting class. I'm somewhere between an A and a B cup and bra shopping is an utterly frustrating experience. Especially since you can hardly find A's anymore.

    Happy sewing!

  8. This is so awesome. All of it. From the Knife & Gun show to bra fitting. Love it!

  9. What a great post! So much good stuff. I'd love to attend one of these some time.

    I'm just starting to do garment sewing really. I've done a few things over the years, but very, very little. Your blog is giving me the courage and drive to dig in. Thanks.

  10. Switching from Fiskars to Gingher was a HUGE epiphany for me. For those in the know, would Kai similarly blow my mind compared to Gingher?

    And is there such a thing as a luxurious-feeling-when-you-use-it rotary cutter/mat combo?

  11. OMG! Topless sewing! I thought I was the only one that did that!

    You must have been exhausted after all those classes, but what an opportunity for learning and networking! Fantastic!

  12. I've always talked about how to stop divorce. Put a craft/sewing store beside the hardware store. No one is waiting the vehicle impatiently and way less guilt at the checkout counter. Well, I would still have guilt, but at least B wouldn't have to suffer the "indignity" of being asked where the 1.5" bulk ribbons are. And trust me, he's the furthest thing from looking like he works in a fabric store.

  13. as always I live vicariously. Thanks for sharing---- makes me want to go to the show in KC but my fear is that it will not be anywhere as fabulous............

  14. I think that expo organisers deliberately try to match "something for the ladies" with "something for the men". The Love Vintage show in Melbourne this year was run next door to the "Australian Shooting Club expo". Wonder what that says about vintage/sewing enthusiasts. Are we attracted to gun/knife toting fellas? Are gun/knife fanciers attracted to seamstresses and vintage fashionistas? Curious minds want to know :)

  15. Looks like you had a lot of fun. Is anyone going to the sewing summit in Salt Lake City! I am going- it's my first time! So excited!

  16. Does Kathy blog, or will you write, about the wax paper idea? That sounds amazing. I've been trying to get all my ladyfolk into sewing RTW stuff and I think this could really be the idea I've been looking for.


  17. Lucky you! I would love to take a class from Anne St. Clair some day.

    Sounds like you had a great time.

  18. I've been mulling over the idea of making a bra for some years now. I just have to get my gumption up.

  19. Great to meet you at TCCE! The ASE show looked great. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Hey there Gertie I am hoping you can answer this question for me, I am in LOVE with that sequined purple fabric you posted a picture of. Is there any way for my to order it? I am hoping to can help me. Thanks SO much.

  21. I have wonderbra bras but i want to bra fitting. some bras are big.


Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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