|This is a super "Conference" that I have attended a number of times, the latest time being this past October. The next Conference will be in April, 2003. Held in a large conference centre on Front Street in the city of Toronto this 4 day event seems to have something for everyone. There is a little less sewing and more crafts over the years but there is still enough sewing events to make the event a worthwhile one for an avid sewer like myself. A very large trade fair is the centre of the event with numerous booths featuring independent pattern companies (both sewing and quilting), specialty fabrics and trims, notions, sewing kits, etc., not to mention booths for knitting (lots of these with delicious yarns), beading (very popular!), embroidery and cross-stitch, rug making, etc., etc. I splurged on stretch leather-look fabric and a Shirley Adams package of coat patterns consisting of one main pattern and dozens of creative ideas - this booth had racks of clothing made up from the patterns that were so distinctive and striking that you could not resist (at least I couldn't!). Lectures and demonstrations of sewing and crafting techniques, some by names well known in the various fields are a backdrop to the fair itself; these are mostly free and are detailed in a schedule published prior to the start of the fair.
I also signed up for two 1/2 day courses (there is a large offering of courses in all areas) and give rave reviews to both: 1. Instruction in making panties using Kwik Sew 2908 and cotton lycra. By the end of the class I had a perfectly fitting well made pair of panties and I have made many pairs since returning home for both myself and my daughter. I will post the name of the instructor when I locate my class notes as I would like to give her credit for being an excellent teacher. 2. Pattern fitting with Sandra Betzina. Sandra had blazers, pants and jeans on hand from her "Today's Fit" series and gave each class member a personal fitting session, with written advice on the necessary alterations. It was such an interesting class as you not only had an expert assessing your own fitting needs, but you also got a real sense of how to decipher and solve common fitting problems on others, such as full stomach, rounded back, etc. It was amazing to see Sandra Betzina in person after watching her TV show and reading her articles over the years. Even more amazing to see someone you consider to be a "star" taking the time to give each class member her personal attention. She made each person feel special.
Overall I had a great relaxing time at this conference in the company of fellow sewers, the nicest people on earth!