Back from the Expo

I’m back from the Expo with a trunk full of goodies!

Let’s start with the fabrics:


On the top we have two coating fabrics, one red, one black. They are the same fabric just in two different colors. I purchased these beauties to make this cape which recently joined my stash thanks to a lot purchase for the shop. I had grand plans to make it reversible and use those black frogs that you see up there.


However after I lugged them around the expo, I draped them over me to feel their combined weight. Either I need to lift weights more often or I need a new sewing plan because ugh! They are too heavy. Plan B will be to use the red for the cape with a black lining and try to make this coat that’s been waiting for me for a long time.


I’m not sure I have quite enough fabric. It calls for 2-5/8 and I have 2-3/8 but I think I can squeeze it out because I’m oh-so-clever with cutting layouts on all my projects and I always have lots to spare.

Back to the new stash additions. Below the coating fabrics we have a purple knit. I think it’s a cotton/rayon/spandex blend. It’s incredibly heavy but so soft and drapey. That piece you see already got made into something on Sunday afternoon! It’s just folded up so you can’t see it yet. I’m such a tease! I’ll share I with you later this week.

Next to the purple is a solid blue knit. The right side is like a jersey and the wrong side is fuzzy. It has the appearance of the inside of a sweatshirt material but its so much softer and its light as a feather. This also got made into something on Saturday night as soon as I got home! I just couldn’t wait. But you’ll have to wait to see it tomorrow.

Beside the solid blue is a white and blue floral stretch lace. It’s destined to be a blouse. I think I’m going to underline it with a solid white jersey. I haven’t set my heart on which pattern to use but I’m leaning toward a t-shirt pattern for a really casual top.

On the end of the middle row we have a woven blue striped cotton shirting fabric with some raised stripes. This has some stretch to it but I don’t recall seeing that it had any spandex or Lycra content. In any case, it’s going to be this classic button down shirt. I’m gong with the view in the top right – the red one.



In the bottom row of fabrics, is a black and white floral rayon challis. I adore rayon challis. I could wax poetic all day about it but I’ll save your time and stop here. It’s going to be a skirt of some variety.

In the middle of the bottom row is a stack of items that will become a purse.


The brown geometric will be the exterior. The white with brown and blue print is a Japanese linen that will be the lining. The leather handles and zippers are stacked on top. I got all of it except the exterior fabric from a lovely Japanese lady’s booth. I drooled and debated for a long time which of her fine fabrics would go home with me.

Take a closer look at those zipper pulls now. They’re just awesome. One is a little sunbonnet sue girl and the other is an antique sewing machine! I couldn’t resist!

I also noticed once I got home that the linen print says “La Beell Paris.”  I seem to recall from 4 years of French in high school that it should be “La Belle Paris.” I suppose the Japanese maker didn’t spell check themselves! That will secretly irk me but I still love the print.

On the bottom right in that first stash photo is a black tropical weight merino wool with a little story behind it. At the Expo every year there a vendor known as The Wool House. The first time I entered his booth I noticed that none of the bolts are labeled with prices. There are a few signs that say “$35 & up” hanging on the shelves but nothing specific. I pawed through all these luscious wools, alpacas, and cashmeres until I came upon the perfect piece. I held it up to the vendor and asked him the price. I just about shit my pants when he told me that it was $350 per yard but if I buy a lot he will give me a “good price.” I gingerly replaced it on the shelf as nonchalantly as possible and tried not to appear as if I were actually running out of his booth. I pretended to look at one or two more things before leaving.

This year I moseyed through his booth because sometimes it’s enough just to be allowed to touch a fantastic fabric. I tried not to drool on the fabrics before moving on.

At the end of each day at the Expo they hold a raffle drawing that you must be present to win. They give away oodles of things donated by the vendors including sewing machines, irons, and bags stuffed with smaller things. My sewing student won one of the bags full of goodies. Included in her bag was a $30 certificate to spend at The Wool House. Being a new sewer, she hasn’t much interest in very fine fabrics so she offered it to me right away. I hesitated to take it from her but she insisted she didn’t want anything there, even after going back to the booth to look. I happily took it and found that tropical weight merino wool for $35. I only bought a yard of it and paid the difference between the certificate and the cost. I plan to make a pencil skirt with it someday. It will require a few wearable test garments first, though because its the most expensive piece of fabric (per yard, anyway) I’ve every owned even though I only paid $5 for it.

Edit: I nearly forgot the trims at the bottom. One of the classes I took was “Devine Details” so I was all jazzed up about trims. I have no idea what I’m going to do with these things but I have 4 yards of that cute blue and white trim, a white frog, and 5 yards of fold over elastic. We’ll see what becomes of them.

Oh, and I suppose you’re wondering about my sewing student and the competition. Well they called the night before and told each of the two girls registered to bring a few more projects to talk about to make it a decent show. The other girl was 17 so she was in the older age category while J was in the younger. They didn’t award the regular prizes but each of them left with a significant cash prize and their participant packs. Here’s a look at J’s dress.


Didn’t she do a beautiful job? I’m so proud of her and impressed by her progress in 14 months. I can’t wait to see what she does next year.



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