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Expo Reviews > Sewing & Stitchery Expo, Puyallup

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Posted by: Sophiecat

About Sophiecat
Member since: 1/27/06
Reviews: 10 (expos: 1)
Skill level:Intermediate
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Posted on: 3/6/06 3:08 PM
Rating: starstarstar
Review Rating: Very Helpful by 5 people   
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I am exhausted, my body aches all over, both feet have blisters, but my mind is swarming with color, texture and design ideas. In other words, I just got back from the Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA. I had no idea how vast the area was, and how far it would be between seminars, style shows and the over 400 vendors. (Have you guessed I’m not used to walking a lot?) Forgetting that I am no longer 30 years old.... or 40, or even, well, we’ll leave it there, I scheduled too many seminars and style shows, leaving little time for just absorbing everything or checking out the vendors. In fact, I was so tired by Friday afternoon that I skipped my last seminar, and decided to forgo the Saturday classes I had signed up for. I did attend seven seminars and six style shows, plus the Bernina Fashion Show Friday evening.

My intention in going to this Expo, which I had not attended before, was to see what information and inspiration I could gather. Talk about sensory overload! The seminars, mostly given by vendors with something to sell, were nonetheless informative. Several of the presenters were not modest about their products, but then that is the way they earn a living. All offered valuable information on techniques and design, plus fabrics, fitting and patterns.

The style shows were also valuable to me, particularly the “Sewing With Handwovens” by Linda Kubik. She was a bit disorganized in her presentation, but charming, and her fabrics are gorgeous! She said she was a color and texture freak, which I am myself.

The highest energy presenter I thought was Linda MacPhee, of MacPhee Workshop. She has a show on PBS, which I had not seen, but she is a great sales person - humorous, personal, and very opinionated.

The best individual style show I thought was Park Bench Patterns by Mary Lou Rankin. She showed several outfits made with the same pattern, but which were very different in fabric, color and impact.

The IPCA (Independent Pattern Company Alliance) style show was the most diverse, with fashions by 13 different designers. Again, color and texture were featured prominently, with lots of devoré or burnout fabric, and multiple layers with lots of floaty chiffon type materials.

Bernina’s “Fashion Imagination” show was well presented, although I thought the music was too loud. The full color booklet handed out was very useful, since I was too far back to see details clearly. The 45 designers, some of whom put in hundreds of hours creating their spectacular apparel, were from all over the country. Again, color, texture, devoré and multiple layers were prominently featured. I especially appreciated the detail photos in the catalog, plus about 30 pages of technique information in the back.

So, was this experience worth it - despite the physical hardships? YES!!! Would I do it again next year? In a heartbeat! But with less seminars and style shows scheduled, and more time to visit the vendors and just soak in all the wonderful ambiance.

By the way, you may not have realized that one of the largest bead suppliers in the country is in Lacey, WA, just about 20 miles southwest of Tacoma. Shipwreak Beads, which I stopped at on my way up on Wednesday, is phenomenal. Imagine a large grocery store like Safeway or Albertson’s, and replace all the food with beads. This image might give you some idea of the scope of the retail store. What a treat!

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4thequillter said... (2/12/09 5:50 AM) Reply
Hello Sophiecat, Sew glad :9) you enjoyed the Puyallup Sew Expo so much. This is what happens to most first time commers.... they are so brain dead with all the new stuff not to say how there feet feel... just like you said it is a most awsome sewing show... if you are a crater you will like it, or a knitter, or garments or a quilter... there is somethig there for everyone... I have been a CTA member for it for ? well since 88 or 89 I would have to check... II haven't missed a year in however long that has been. Hope you will be ther in a couple of weeks for this year... and yes Shipreck beads is also awsome place... I was ther for about 2 hours the first time and had no idea how big it was... they was closing so I had to just rush the last 3rd of the palce... and at that managed to spend over $70. I will have to go back.. 4TheQuilter
Neana said... (3/6/06 8:54 PM) Reply
Glad you enjoyed it. I go every year & this past couple yrs have gone for 3 days. Hints - good walking shoes, light wt warm layers (at least one of the seminar lines is outside in the cold wind. Outside breaks lessens the sensory overload), don't do more than two seminars back to back - you need time to pee & things are quieter when the seminars are is session, shop the notions etc in the early am or late afternoons (the Pavillion clears out about 4pm), definately pack your own snacks (water is $1.75!!), take a list of the IPCA patterns you have or you may go home with repeats. You get to meet the designers/owners, so have your questions ready. Keep a list of the speakers you like & don't like. Be aware that some do the same talk year after year (Islander Sewing hasn't changed a thing since before Ms. Islander retired), but some are so fun that I go back again and again (Judy Bishop, Linda McPhee, etc.)
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