• The TechShop is kind of a club and kind of a vendor. It's really a member-supported shared workspace. They have the tools you need for almost any costume work you want to do, whether it's textiles, plastic or even metal-working.
  • Viking Sewing Center in Willow Glen is "my" sewing machine shop. Gordon has trained up a new maintenance technician, but still keeps a hand in and teaches the sewing classes there.
  • Thai Silks in Los Altos is one of the best known silk importers and retailers on the west coast. Exotic Silks in Mountain View is their wholesale operation.
  • Pickering International is a mail-order only importer and wholesaler of hemp and hemp-blend fabrics. If you're willing to order wholesale quantities, they're the place to go for hemp.
  • Dharma Trading is the Bay Area's clearinghouse for everything dye and fabric-paint. If it can be dyed, they can help you do it.
  • Lacis is a little weird, but it is the source for lace-making tools and other obscure vintage textile arts equipment.
  • isn't local (it's in West Hollywood) but it's a great source for real flax linen.


  • Sandra Betzina is the woman behind Power Sewing, formerly of HGTV and now available on the web.
  • Sandra Erickson runs the St. Helena Center for Pattern Design. Her patternmaking classes are amazing.
  • Wayne Wichern is an excellent milliner, and an excellent millinery teacher.

Events (not associated with clubs)

  • January opens with Further Confusion, the SF Bay Area furry convention. It's one of the biggest in the world.
  • February is Gallifrey One, the west coast's Doctor Who convention, down in LA.
  • Every spring Costume-Con is 4 days of costume. Kevin chaired the 26th Costume-Con in San Jose, April 2008.
  • May is the annual Bay Area Maker Faire. Still the original, still the best.
  • May is also BayCon, the SF Bay Area's longest-running science fiction convention, and happens every Memorial Day weekend. Kevin and I ran the costume contest for BayCon 2007.
  • In case you were having an easy time planning May, Fanime is the big SF Bay Area anime convention. In 2012 they added the Clockwork Alchemy steampunk convention to their schedule.
  • July 4th is the traditional weekend for Westercon, the North American west's oldest convention. Kevin and I are bringing the 66th Westercon to Sacramento in July 2013.
  • Worldcon is the oldest science fiction convention still running, and it's almost always in August or early September. Kevin and I ran the costume contest at Renovation, the 69th Worldcon, in Reno August 2011. Kevin produced the entertainment for the costume judging interval at the 2005 Worldcon in Glasgow.
  • October brings Mancuso Show Management's Pacific International Quilt Festival at the Santa Clara Convention Center.
  • November brings us Convolution, the Bay Area's newest SF convention.

Other Resources