Shopping Surprises at Sewing Expo

What you May Find Shopping a Sewing Expo

Superb shopping for fabric, patterns, notions, trims…

Nothing makes me happier than being in a crowd of sewists.  Shopping a Sewing Expo qualifies.  Here I gather superb sewing finds and divine inspiration for Fiber, Fashion, Fun!

This is what I found at a recent expo with links to websites.  Hope you’ll find these sources useful and that you’ll stop by their booths when next you visit an expo.


shopping sewing expo

Shopping Loot

Had a productive shopping experience exploring all the vendors–some prior acquaintances, some new.

Yes, can shop all these vendors online but at sewing expos, you have a chance to touch & feel. The best part is turning garments inside out to explore the sewing techniques, interfacings, notions.


I only had a couple hours and my specific search was for a zipper–a WUNDERFUL zipper.  This year the bag and zipper vendors weren’t there but found kits, yarn and ribbons, a few notions, etc., to fill gaps in my supply.

The best part of shopping at expos is that vendors often bring products not on their website–like small fabric yardage or discounted/discontinued items–to clear out their inventory.  It’s a bonus for both shopper and vendor.


Sewing Expo

Original Sewing Expo

I’ve been attending this Sewing Expo since it’s inception in 1995.  The birth of American Sewing Guild (ASG) opened an entrepreneurial opportunity and Original Sewing and  Quilting Expo (aka Sewing Expo) was the first to fill the niche.  Until then, there wasn’t such a thing as a ‘Woman’s’ expo/convention.  And, oh, how we all embraced it.

Sewing Expo now has events in several US locations.  Click here for cities and dates.  It’s a destination for both locals and travelers.

This is where I met and learned from people who are now nationally recognized sewing experts.  Was happy to see several from those early days, successfully presenting and selling patterns, fabric, products.

Hello to these Sewing Experts

Have many of her distinctive patterns, and her fabric selection is superb.  She is now carrying Made in USA organic cotton knits by Alabama Chanin.  Have followed Alabama Chanin but been reluctant to purchase.  Linda had a couple of kits–bought both–that will permit me to try it out without a huge investment.  And, Alexa was wearing an Alabama Chanin skirt; there’s nothing like seeing ‘in the flesh’.





shop sewing expo

Cynthia Guffey Skirt


Cynthia is another sewist whose fashion sense and sewing expertise is impeccable.

Many of her patterns reside in my pattern drawer(s).

This skirt is in her signature silk noil fabric.











  • Kathy Ruddy celebrated 50 years in the sewing industry in 2011.

Kathy wasn’t in her booth when I stopped by.  Below is a photo of a t-shirt developed from one of her videos.

shop sewing expo

Kathy Ruddy T-shirt


  • Laura Murray is a surface designer.  I always pick up small pieces of her fabric to use for embellishment.
    sewing expo

    Laura Murray hand-dyed Burma silk batik and hand-made buttons.

    Photo above is deliberately over-exposed to show the delicate detail.  This piece may be used in conjunction with the yellow suiting–or, maybe not.

shop sewing expo

Buttons and Batik from LM; yellow suiting from Vogue Fabrics.


Laura makes the buttons which will definitely go with the yellow suiting.   The Best Part:  they are washable.  Most handcrafted buttons are not washable.


The ribbon is a 3-yard piece by Renaissance Ribbons sold by a vendor who I don’t recall, ☹️

Link is to RR clearance site.  Lots of Christmas theme ribbons here.


  • Vogue Fabrics loads up a trailer and makes the trip from Evanston, IL

Magnificent fabrics and customer service plus a mail order swatch club.  Have happily ordered from the swatch catalog.

The blue selvedge attracted me to the yellow cotton suiting.


Stopped for a chat with Roberta and met Michele and Jennifer.  Glad to have the time for a visit about what they are sewing.  A new friend I had bumped into (literally) at another booth, was making a purchase so we all had a most serious discussion about the fabric, possible patterns, interfacings….Sewers are the friendliest people!

shopping sewing expo

Jennifer from Treadle


Jennifer, of Treadle, models her grey velour pants.  Notice how straight the legs hang.  No knee bagging and sagging.

Velour is a knit velvet.  Didn’t check the fiber content on the bolts of several colors in the booth, but guessing spandex is included.  Spandex contributes to recovery, hence no baggy knees or seat.  I love it!










sop sewing expo

5/10 yard yarn cards



Always look for these yarn/thread cards.  These are from Mary Lue’s yarn store.  Never know when a small amount of decorative yarn/thread will be the perfect garment embellishment.










Am eager to hear of your expo experiences.  Please leave your comment even if it is just a ‘Hi”.


Disclaimer:  There are no affiliate links in this post.




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