Social Media Takeover!

By the Sewing & Stitchery Expo

We’re excited to introduce our social media takeover hostesses for 2020 Expo: Rhonda Pierce and Annette Millard! Rhonda and Annette are both Expo and social media veterans. During Expo, our social media will be filled with content from Annette and Rhonda, who will give you the 360-degree Expo experience. See what it’s like to be a teacher, follow them on Instagram stories, and look through their Expo highlight photos. There is a lot to do at Expo, and Rhonda and Annette will make sure you see as much of it as possible. If you don’t already, follow us on Instagram, like and follow us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!

Rhonda and Annette have written introductions, so read on to learn more about these two amazing Expo attendees, supporters, and teachers!

Rhonda Pierce

Hi, my name is Rhonda Pierce. Thanks to you, I have a dream job…teaching sewing enthusiasts about the most important 2” of steel in the sewing machine. As spokesperson for SCHMETZ needles North America I love traveling with the SCHMETZ “Super” Needle – it’s 17” tall. I enjoy asking “What’s your favorite SCHMETZ needle?”

Sewing & Stitchery Expo is my favorite North America sewing party! For over 10 years I have enjoyed this show as vendor, speaker, shopper, student and Facebook hostess. Many of my delightful friendships originated at this Expo. If someone is timid to attend this show alone, I urge them to take that initial step. Almost instantly you will find yourself surrounded by friends that share your love of sewing. Get here. Take classes from instructors that you read about and see on TV and online. Shop the vendors with ease in, not just one, but two buildings. Chat in the food court over the famous raspberry scone, or my favorite French crepe in the food court. So many choices.

If curious, get a glimpse from last year’s Expo, take a look at my personal blog with lots of pics:

You will notice that attendees wear layered clothes for uncertain weather and comfy shoes to keep a kick in their steps.

This year I will be giving two SCHMETZ lectures, seats still available, and two already full SCHMETZ Hands-On Exploratory classes. During Expo, join me on the Sewing & Stitchery Expo Facebook showing vendors, attendees and the vibrancy of four sewing days. I hope you will join me.

And remember, needles don’t last forever. Change the needle!  Let’s sew!

Sew SCHMETZ & Grabbit Too!



And now, hear from Annette!

Annette Millard

I learned to sew from my Mom, as she did from her Mother, and I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember. My love of sewing centers around making a handmade wardrobe, but I do love to make bags and smaller projects, too. I guess if it involves sewing, I’m there! My first trip to Expo was about 30 years ago with my Mom and my 2-year-old in a stroller. Since then, I’ve been involved in working in a booth at the Expo, attending every year and teaching classes for the last six years or so. When I’m not sewing or teaching, I do freelance writing and social media for the sewing industry. In between all of that, I maintain my own blog, The Sewful Life, where I share the joy of stress-free, enjoyable and successful sewing. And, yeah, don’t ask me about housecleaning!

Teaching at the Sewing Expo is an honor and a thrill every year and one of the best things I do! This year I will be teaching four classes: Modern Kantha Stitching, Common Sense Fitting, Cork Tote, and Social Media for Sewists, and presenting a Free Stage Class on Contemporary Kimonos. Just a few things! And, I’ve been invited to help with Facebook and Instagram during the show, which will be sew much fun. I’m SUPER excited to attend the Friday night event with Kenneth King this year, too!

Annette’s favorite things at Expo:

[I like] hanging with my people – those who understand the power and bliss of sewing! I love seeing old friends and making new.

The inspiration of the show as a whole. There’s so much creative energy buzzing through the aisles and it keeps me going all year.

Shopping is a close tie with Classes and Events. Even after so many years of sewing, I always see new fabrics, patterns, tools and notions in the booths and learn so much from classes (when I’m not teaching!), stage presentations and the evening events.”

Advice for attendees?

Make a plan before you come. Use the brochure and that wonderful new app and map out where you want to go and what you want to see. Wear your walking shoes, bring a tote bag or two and get ready for the most amazing sewing experience in the USA.

My go-to lunch for many years has been the Gyros Sandwich. It’s yummy, reasonably nutritious and the people in that booth are just awesome.

My favorite events are the American Sewing Guild and 4-H Fashion Shows. I love seeing what real people have sewn and the joy they have in wearing it. And, those 4-H kids are AMAZING!!

What would you say to someone who is debating coming to the Expo?

Just. Do. It. I know it may be far away and you may think you have enough fabric, but one thing I know you don’t have enough of is inspiration and connection with other sewists! It’s tough to describe, but gathering with your “tribe” is powerful in ways that will surprise you. Making things by hand is so good for us in this hurry-up, digitally obsessed world. You just can’t lose!

Any last thoughts you want to share?

I guess I said a lot already, but I’ve seen how sewing and quilting can transform lives. There’s a spark of joy in the eyes of someone just learning that is magical. We have to keep that spark going. We have to keep making and we have to connect together. Bring someone younger with you and pass on the passion. And, if you’re the someone younger, congratulations, you’ve made a life-changing choice that you’ll never regret and we’re all proud of you!


We hope you have an amazing Expo experience, and that our community grows stronger through engaging on social media. Remember to follow our pages and tag your pictures and posts with #sewexpo and #sewexpo2020. See you there!

Pendleton Expo Deals!

By The Pendleton Woolen Mill Store

We are looking forward to seeing you during the Sewing & Stitchery Expo. This is one of our favorite events of the year, and we can’t wait to unpack our trailer, set up our booth, and show you our array of gorgeous Pendleton fabrics and notions for your projects. In fact, we would like to see you each and every day of the Expo! So we are planning some amazing daily promotions.

Thursday – We are all in on select stripes! 60% off your favorite pattern for summer.

Friday– It’s a denim day…yes, we have select Pendleton WoolDenim® and on Friday, it’s 50% off.

Saturday– Our favorite day is Plaidurday! Select wool plaids will be 60% off to celebrate.

Sunday– A heavyweight sale on select heavyweight wool fabrics, 50% off on Sunday only.

You’ll find wonderful ideas, fabrics, suggestions and inspirations every single day of the Expo at booth #404-410. And if you visit on Saturday wearing the 1949 Jacket you made—or a Pendleton 49’er jacket—you will receive a special gift. And yes, the 1949 jacket pattern will be there, for those of you who are still waiting to make your own.

We will see you there! And you can find us all the time at:

Friday, Feb. 28th is “Wear Your Retro to Expo Day!”

By Laura Nash

The Sewing and Stitchery Expo has long been the place to show off your creative garment finesse, and this year will be no different! Having attended the Expo as a vendor since 2012, year after year it’s been a pleasure to watch people go from simply reminiscing to boldly embracing the mainstream return to vintage. Have you made the move to retro? If you like to feel beautiful, confident, and love getting compliments, then why hesitate?

Hello, my name is Laura Nash and I am the owner, designer, pattern maker, and instructor at Sew Chic Pattern Company where I design “Modern Patterns with Vintage Style”  at Today I’m going to help you visualize how easy it is to make the move to retro, and hopefully debunk any arguments you may have against adopting this trend for yourself.  So get ready to plan your Expo retro wardrobe!

Retro Style, also known as “vintage-inspired,” is about a return to the clothing styles of the early first half of the 20th century and ranges from totally authentic looks to second-hand vintage or new vintage inspired separates that are paired with totally modern elements and accessories.

What is truly vintage can get confusing, but typically garments have lots of unique details, use classic fabrics, and feminine silhouettes. Pair your outfits with a simple Mary Jane or ballerina flat shoe. Classics like these can go with anything.

To give your outfit a more authentic air, add accessories such as belts, gloves, a small hat, or a fastener.

If you’ve never worn a petticoat before, you can ease into it with a petticoat with less fullness. One word of caution.  Not enough fullness or fullness in the wrong body areas can add visual weight. What you are looking for is structure to enhance the shape and silhouette of your dress or skirt, filling in the area around your legs. The fuller your skirt circumference or the heavier the fabric is, the more fullness your petticoat needs to help the garment hold its shape. Lighter fabrics and less fullness look great with a lighter petticoat.

My standard go-to top for skirts and pants is a plain (often white) t-shirt worn with a button down sweater that matches my separate. I admit that I have a whole drawer full of these sets!

Retro need not be form-fitting. At first glance, this is the pattern everyone calls my “Lucille Ball” outfit! Envision yourself wearing this stylish silhouette!

Have you ever said to yourself  “I’d like to wear retro” but think you’re just too old? Let me introduce you to Judy! Isn’t she adorable in this cotton house dress? She is the focal point of the room! Age is no reason to avoid wearing what you love.

Maybe you think you can’t wear retro because you have a full figure?  Not so! Wear styles that smooth over the tummy, flare at the skirt and broaden the shoulders to give the illusion of an hourglass figure.  Notice how my friend Jocelyn has accessorized with a bright bag and wears a flower in her hair to draw the eye to her face. These bright colors make us happy to just look at her!

Think creatively when considering your favorite retro looks. Southern Belle displays formally but is easily made to look casual and visa versa as above.

As with any project, I encourage my students to add a unique detail that will lean it toward their personality and give it that “pizzazz” that makes it uniquely their own. If you’d like more info on how to dress retro, check out my One Neeedle Expo class #1039 “Harmony in design, dress, and body type” or my trunk show #1040 “Style Me Vintage.”

Join me and my booth crew at the Pavilion  #925/923 at 5 p.m. Friday for a little soiree and celebrate your style of Retro with us!

Design Inspiration: Where to get Ideas for Mixed Media Clothing

By Susan Lazear, Cochenille Design Studio

Lately fashion has been highlighting what I call mixed-media designs. Parallel to mixed media art, mixed-media fashions involve more than one textile/sewing technique. It has been my experience that most creative fiber people practice more than one form of textile art. So, if you sew, knit, stitch, crochet or dabble in a plethora of related textile arts, you are the perfect candidate for creating unique and one-of-a-kind clothing. Just do it!

Where does one begin?

I like to be inspired by the world around me. My resources are varied and when time permits, I like to clip, sketch, and pin the ideas that present themselves.


Pinterest is a great friend for this. It is easy to set up interest boards so you can curate your inspirations. I have numerous, and yes, I have several related to mixed-media fashions. Go check them out? Start your own interest board, and pin, pin, pin.

Combining Fabrications

Pieced Garments



Lagen Look Styles

Upcycled Sweatshirts and T’s

And here are a few boards from other people related to Mixed Media:

Key words to use when searching Pinterest would be:

Altered Couture, Mixed Media Fashion, Refashioning, Mixed Media Dress Clothing, Fiber Art Clothing, etc.

Did you know that you can print the images from a Pinterest board? I have done that with a few of my boards for quick reference.


Flickr is a hosting site for photographic images and videos. Here you can search by theme amongst the thousands and thousands of images. Try “mixed media fashion”. You might also want to read up on the Creative Commons license page if you want to use images on your blog, or otherwise.

Follow Fashion Lines

There are several companies and fashion designers that share an interest in mixed media or embellished clothing. Here are a few suggestions:


This is Robert Redford’s collection of fashion, interior and home items. Although it varies from time to time, you can find a lot of clothing that features a hand-crafted feel, and often these involve more than one textile art.


This well-known store has always carried garments that have that hand-crafted look. You will find a lot of embellishment, mixed techniques and related both in the store and online.


Santa Fe Dry Goods

This is a store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Although I can’t afford practically all of their clothing, I never miss going into the store when I visit, as it is so inspirational. They carry many designers/lines from around the world, many of whom you may not know. I love the silhouette and garment ideas in general, but often, you will find designers who use mixed media in their work, or who focus on a specific textile art. Their website is great, and I would recommend getting on their mail list. Check out Sacai, Uma Wang, Péro, or Gilda Midani.  I also like how you can view their clothing. They provide multiple views, zooming, and they not only list the details of the garment, but the tell you how tall the model is, so you can have an idea of proportion. Be careful of the Sales page; you may indeed find something you want!

Google Search

 – Mixed Media Clothing or Mixed Media Fashion

A simple Google search will bear lots of interesting results. Below are a few links that came up.

Are you inspired yet? It’s time to brush up on your various textile arts, and plan a garment yourself that uses multiple mixed skills. Not only is it a lot of fun, but it is a guarantee that you will not see yourself walking down the street. A further bonus is that often you can use up small bits of fabric, here and there, or leftover yarns.

I use Garment Designer software to aid in my projects. I can quickly make a pattern to use in various ways; combining knits with sewn, splicing pieces, etc.

So, onwards, and enjoy!

Susan Lazear is a Professor at San Diego Community College and the owner of Cochenille Design Studio, a company that develops software for sewers, knitters, and other fiber crafts. She will be teaching a variety of classes at Sewing and Stitchery Expo.