and insane amount of fun is what we call a PR Weekend.
It makes PatternReview.com REAL.
Even though we've been meeting at PR Weekends for more than 6 years now, this was by far the most fun I've had. Well, as they say, the more the merrier. The FIRST West Coast PR Weekend was held in Los Angeles, California on March 14th-16th and 56 Pattern Reviewers attended this event. This two and a half day event began on Friday morning with meet-n-greet in the Sheraton hotel meeting room which we'd reserved for the weekend.
Our guest for the day, Susan Khalje arrive at 11:00 AM and while Susan and I set up for the couture workshop and trunk show, a group went to see the FIDM exhibit just two blocks away from the Hotel. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos so we can't share the exquisite costumes with you here. But take my word for it. It was worth every step of the way. If you are in the Los Angeles area, take the time to visit the exhibit. You'll be glad you did. The costumes are breathtaking!
We began the Couture workshop at 1:00 PM and Susan introduced us to the world of controlled, beautiful hand sewing techniques. Hats off to Susan for her patience in teaching us. We were well behaved but we just couldn't stop talking...The class ran over to 5:00 PM and Susan tirelessly showed us the stitches until we got the hang of every single one of them.
My favorite is the beaded, hand picked zipper, which Sherril just couldn't get enough of. Take a look at her sample. Isn't it lovely?
After the class we broke into two groups and went out for dinner. Thanks to SueV and Cidell for organizing this.
We trickled in to the meeting room for our treat for the night. Trunk show with Susan Khalje! Susan showed her lovely creations, many featured in the Threads magazines and many award winning competition entries. In her pieces, Susan demonstrated the use of couture hand stitches and it all started to make sense. Our lovely models Colleen, Kelly and Cidell walked down the hall and didnt flinch even when we were groping and touching and ... you get the picture. We were oohing and aahhing over the lovely dresses they got to wear. I sure am jealous!
I am pretty sure most of us went to bed that night, dreaming up a corset we could wear somedayAt least I did.
Saturday morning we gathered in the meeting room and left for the Fashion district in small groups. LA fashion district is unlike any other market I've ever seen. It's a 90 block shopping area with over 200 stores jammed with fabric, trims, beads, you name it! Needless to say, there is no way we could've covered all that in one day, but we did our best and after a hearty meal at the food court, wandered around for a bit before heading back to the hotel to get ready for dinner at Adoro grille.
I did manage to find the handbag shop I was lusting after ever since I spotted it on the fashiondistrict.org website. Annika walked away with a candy wrapper purse and I bought a cute hobo. Sherril was so impressed with the fake leather bags that she wanted to buy the whole store. She had ideas for each one of them. But I brought her back to reality by reminding her that she really didn't need 5 shiny vinyl bags in her closet ;-) She did argue that some of them were big enough to keep her cosy in the "COLD" California nights but in the end she agreed.
We all got dressed in our cute outfits and had a ball at dinner. I couldn't control my excitement because the best was yet to come and it was a surprise for everyone. We asked everyone to bring 1 yard of ugly fabric for a game. Kathi and Annika revealed the big surprise when we went back to the hotel after dinner. Here's the scoop on the game.
We divided everyoone into teams of 5 and each team sent a member up to the fabric stash to pick 5 fabrics. Then, we gave each team paper clips, binder clips, staples, duct tape, ribbons, glue gun, scissors and asked them to create a designer outfit in THIRTY MINUTES. Being the rule enforcer that I am, I made sure that each team played fair and finished on time.
It was time for the RUNWAY SHOW!!! I took videos of each team as they walked down the "RUNWAY". I'll let the videos speak for themselves. You'll find the videos a bit shaky because I was laughing so hard!
ENJOY THE SHOW!!!!
Group 1 - Use it ALL!
Group 2 - From the Streets of Paris
Group 3 - Exquisitely Fitted Collection
Group 4 - Santa Cruz Hippie Chic
Group 5 - The Village Belle
Group 6 - Strip Quilted
Group 7 - Crackatoya Geisha
Group 8 - Plantation Chic
1. Runway prizes
2. Fabric show and tell
3. Breakfast and goodbyes
4. More photos
Thank You is a very small phrase to express my gratitude towards these people who made PR Weekend LA possible. I don't even know how and when they pulled it off. Thank you guys!!! You ROCK!
Also to SueV and Sherril for pre-screening the stores.
So, here I am back at home, my heart filled with memories of this PR weekend which I'll cherish forever. When did a small idea started from a curtain and a failed blouse attempt become such a warm, loving, fulfulling group which continues to inspire me every single day. Thanks also for the lovingly made gifts which you guys got for me. I can't stop showing these off to everyone! And THANK you all for coming to PR Weekend and hanging out on PR. For me the most rewarding part of the weekend was meeting you all.
Wow! It seems as if the ladies really had a great time in LA, painting the town or may I say, sewing up the town in stitches?! Thanks for posting the pics and videos! The YouTube videos gave me a sample of the fun! Super job, Deepika! I could not go this year because my dd's birthday was on 3.14 (pi ~ pie) day. PR weekend 2009 sounds good!
------ Sewed ~663.25 yards since 2000, ~ 132 yards in 2009, ~ 80 yds in 2010, ~ 99 yards in 2011, ~56.5 yards in 2012, ~53.25 yards in 2013
"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." Milton Berle
I almost backed out because of family stuff, but I am SOOOO glad I went! I had more fun than should be legal! I am still grinning over memories of good times.
Maryfrana and I bought so much fabric we had to have a relative of a PR-er drive it home for us to Northern CA! Met several regional stitchers who are all just jewels. We have vowed to get together soon.
The shopping was nirvanic, at the very least. On Sunday we made notes of places we want to go FIRST next time because we discovered them after we were shopped out, out of $ (at least I was), and had no more room in our carry-on luggage.
Deepika, you are my new patron saint! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for getting this whole thing going. I promise to post a picture for my bio and review something as soon as the family stuff settles down.
Have you had your dressaday dose yet today? I'm worthless until I've had mine.
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Sewing Events and Conferences >> PR Weekend LA 2008