Scenes from This Year’s American Sewing Expo

 

McCall's designer Melissa Watson admires the leather jacket this American Sewing Expo attendee made.
McCall’s designer Melissa Watson admires the leather jacket this American Sewing Expo attendee made.

So we’re back from Novi, Michigan, where the McCall Pattern Company exhibited at the 2014 American Sewing Expo. We had a great time! But before I show you a little more about that, here’s a link to Lladybird/Lauren’s post about choosing fabric for the #V1419Sewalong: Fabric Selection. Reminder: She and I are trading off on posts about this sewalong. Next week I’ll talk about muslins.

But let’s get back to this year’s American Sewing Expo…. Here’s  a glimpse of what was going on in our booth and at the show:

Event planner extraordinaire David Tutera (and new McCall's designer!) signed autographs.
Event planner extraordinaire David Tutera (and new McCall’s designer!) signed autographs.
McCall's designer Khaliah Ali also chatted with fans and shared style tips at the American Sewing Expo.
McCall’s designer Khaliah Ali also chatted with fans and shared style tips.
And more designers in our booth! Clockwise from left: Joi Mahon (McCall's); Katherine Tilton (Butterick); Gertie (Butterick).
And we hosted more designers in our booth! Clockwise from left: Joi Mahon (McCall’s); Katherine Tilton (Butterick); Gertie (Butterick).
We raffled off some of David Tutera's new fabric line with Fabric Traditions for Jo-Ann Fabrics.
We raffled off some of David Tutera’s new fabric line with Fabric Traditions for Jo-Ann Fabrics.
We bought fans ice cream and admired the things they sewed with our patterns.
We bought fans ice cream and admired the things they sewed with our patterns.
We hosted a fashion show of our latest patterns.
We held a fashion show of our latest patterns.
We sponsored the annual Passion for Fashion show and served as one of the judges.
We sponsored the annual Passion for Fashion show and served as one of the judges.
The McCall Pattern Company at the 2014 American Sewing Expo.
And we had a lot of fun!

I’ll post more photos from the American Sewing Expo on our McCall’s Facebook page, and you can see all the looks from our fashion show here. Have you been to this show? What about other sewing shows, like the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup or PatternReview meetups? What’s your preferred way to take classes and congregate with fellow sewists? Leave a comment here!

20 Questions with Vogue Patterns Designer Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa, Vogue Patterns designer

We admit it, we love those features where celebrities answer random questions about themselves. Since you’ve told us you like getting to know the people behind the brands, we thought we’d ask Vogue Patterns designer Carlos Correa to share a little bit about himself:

1. Where did you grow up? Bayamon, Puerto Rico

McCall Pattern Company blog
Carlos at age 10 with his sister Elizabeth. “She was a huge influence on me as I was growing up. One of my most vivid memories from the 70’s was of her going out one night in a silk chiffon peasant dress à la YSL. She looked amazing.”

2. When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion designer? I grew up with four sisters and a mother who all sewed very well, so I was aware of clothing and fashion at a very early age. Somewhere around age 15 I realized what a fashion designer was and that this was something I could actually do for a living.

3. Where did you go to college? Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City.

4. When did you join the McCall Pattern Company? 1992. I was very young.

5. Can you and do you sew for yourself? Yes, I sew. My last project was V8842 parka and I took about three months to make it.

V8842 parka made by Carlos Correa, Vogue Patterns designer.
V8842 parka made by Carlos.

6. What item in your closet do you wear the most? My slim-fit pants from V8940.

7. Who are your favorite designers? Donna Karan and Ralph Rucci always inspire me.

8. What was your favorite vacation? I went to Iceland in 2008 and it was amazing. The country has an unspoiled natural beauty that you can’t find elsewhere. And Icelanders really respect their environment.

9. What is your favorite food? I could live on cookies and cakes. They call me the cookie monster here at work.

marlene dietrich
Marlene Dietrich, favorite style icon.

10. Who is your style icon? Marlene Dietrich, because she was very daring and she knew her body and her style very well.

11. What’s your favorite pattern in the current Vogue Patterns collection? V9041 men’s jacket. It’s a modern take on a classic pea coat design. For women, V1419 coat by Ralph Rucci, because it’s modern and classic at the same time.

12. What’s your favorite store? Century 21 in NYC for the thrill of the hunt. They have everything and you can’t beat the discounts.

13. What brings you your greatest joy? A job well done.

Carlos on vacation in Iceland.
On vacation in Iceland.

14. What makes you laugh? Celebrities acting foolish.

15. What’s your favorite vintage clothing era? The 1930s-1940s. In the ’30s we saw a lot of pre-war experimentation in fashion that was almost daring for the day. In the ’40s with the big shoulder pads and tailored suits women’s style was assertive and confident, before ’50s style turned them into dainty things.

16. What’s your favorite TV show? Anything with Real Housewives. Doesn’t matter where the location is, I’ll watch it.

17. What’s the one thing you splurge on? Skin care. I love anything by Origins, especially their anti-aging products.

18. What’s your favorite thing about working and living in New York City? The incredible diversity of the city.

19. What are the last three things on your credit card? Wee-wee pads, dog food and a trip to the groomer, all for Bella, my 10-year-old Maltese.

20. What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? “Silence is golden.” Sometimes it’s better to keep your cards close to your vest.

V1419 Sewalong: Random Stuff

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Ralph Rucci Coat.
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Ralph Rucci Coat. This coat magically looks flattering on anyone who puts it on. These are some of my coworkers.

Hello, fellow V1419 sewalongers (and those who are just going along for the ride). This weekend I cut out my muslin (using cotton duck) and will start sewing it tonight as I watch the new season TV shows (yay for TV and sewing!). Fingers crossed that I won’t have to make any major fit adjustments because, bleh, fit is my weak spot. I know many of you are wondering about what kind of fabric to buy. Sewalong co-host Lauren’s post next week will go into more detail about this, but in the meantime think STIFF DRAPE and FIRM HAND. You need a fabric with those qualities if you want a coat that has the unique shape of the designer original. The fabric Ralph Rucci created is a heavy, water-repellent gabardine backed with some kind of wool flannel. The result is a substantial fabric. More photos of this coat, including exterior and interior detail shots, can be found on this Pinterest board we created: V1419 Ralph Rucci Coat Sewalong. Also take a look at the collections on Chado Ralph Rucci for fabric inspiration. You’ll see that the funnel neck and rounded shoulders of this coat are trademark Rucci elements. A couple of social media things:

  • Please use the hashtag #V1419Sewalong if you’re tweeting about it (which we hope you do!).
  • Here’s a sewalong blog badge to use (below) if you’d like
  • Please feel free to post your progress photos and completed coat photos on this Pinterest board.
  • Lauren and I want to set up a way for participants to chat with us and each other as we sew this coat together. You can comment on our respective blogs and we can talk with each other there (and commenters are welcome to talk among themselves on our blogs). But we also want to set up either a Facebook or Flickr group for active discussion, questions, and sharing of photos. Please leave a comment here and let me know which you prefer: Facebook group or Flickr group?
  • UPDATED: I just finished my muslin and holy smokes this pattern is fitted! I made my usual Vogue Patterns size and I’d need to buy industrial-strength Spanx to make it work on me. Make a muslin first, people! I’m altering mine to fit now….

That’s all I can think of for now. Be sure to follow Lauren/Lladybird too each week as we’re sharing posting responsibilities. Leave a comment with the answer to the question above, and let us know what you’re thinking about for fabric. V1419-sewalong-bade-125px Paste this code into your blog sidebar: <div align=”center”><a href=”http://blog.mccall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/V1419-sewalong-bade-125px.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter size-full wp-image-663″ src=”http://blog.mccall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/V1419-sewalong-bade-125px.jpg” alt=”V1419-sewalong-bade-125px” width=”125″ height=”125″ /></a></div> V1419-sewalong-badge-175px Paste this code into your blog sidebar: <div align=”center”><a href=”http://blog.mccall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/V1419-sewalong-badge-175px.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-664″ src=”http://blog.mccall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/V1419-sewalong-badge-175px.jpg” alt=”V1419-sewalong-badge-175px” width=”175″ height=”175″ /></a></div>

V1419-sewalong-badge-250pxPaste this code into your blog sidebar: <div align=”center”><a href=”http://blog.mccall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/V1419-sewalong-badge-250px.jpg”><img class=”aligncenter size-large wp-image-665″ src=”http://blog.mccall.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/V1419-sewalong-badge-250px.jpg” alt=”V1419-sewalong-badge-250px” width=”250″ height=”250″ /></a></div>