|Hi and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I appreciate the review already on this expo by clozmkr but wanted to add my two cent's worth, I guess, as I am so appreciative of the effort Peggy Sagers put into this wonderful fledgling expo. Indeed, there were wonderful teachers: (Cynthia Guffey, Peggy Sagers, Linda MacPhee, Bobbi Bullard, Shirley Adams, Carol Lane-Saber, Linda Kubik, Claudia Buchanan, Barb Callahan, and Cecelia Podolak), and opportunity to chat at length with each of them. I wanted to review this for those of you who used to attend the Fall Faire at OCC in Costa Mesa. The old Fall Faire was an incredible value--I think $35.00 per day, all the top notch teacher/speakers in the country, tons of classes, large array of exhibits. . .we didn't know what a treasure we had until the college quit subsidizing it. If you recall, though, it was getting crowded, and the classes often ran out of seating--herds of people everywhere. The attempt to re-create this at the OC Fairgrounds was just not great--building was damp, cold, acoustics were awful, poor attendance. Peggy had the vision and energy and grace to start over--even for the risk of a small turn out. This venue was held at Long Beach City College. The campus was clean, safe, easy parking availability, the classrooms comfortable, good seating, easy to see and hear. Well arranged schedule. Classes quite good, useful info and fun. Exhibit hall well arranged and easy to manuever around. Peggy was everywhere, making all of us feel at home and welcomed. There were special extras--door prizes, free seminars; a classroom set aside filled with Vikings that we could go into, sit and sew blankets for a local children's home--how fun to sit and just sew with others on a worthwhile project--fabric was donated, I think from the big 4 pattern companies. I liked the pricing and flexibility of the classes, the organization of the whole event was excellent.
I attended the fashion show. I agree, I originally thought the price a bit high, but as this is the one time a year I do something for myself I thought, 'why not?" It was simply grand--I don't know if I can describe how special it was. Held in a lovely old buiding on campus with glossy white paneled walls, dark wood floor, baby grand piano, arched spanish windows and soft chandelier lighting. We started with very nice hors' de oeuvres in the adjacent patio (and I am picky about this!), everyone had room to sit under the large trees and by the arched walls and chat as the sun was setting. Then we moved into the warm softly lit room, had a pianist playing background music, a talk from Joel Karpoff, fresh from New York; and then as the pianist played Peggy simply introduced each designer as lovely young professional models came out wearing the speaker's designs (Silhouette Patterns, The Sewing Connection, Barb Callahan, Cynthia Guffey, Linda Kubik, MacPhee Workshop). The girls were lovely, poised, smiling--there were probably 60 to 80 of us in the audience, but it felt intimate. I loved watching the teacher/designer's faces as their creations were modeled. I sat in front of Cynthia Guffey (yes! My sewing Goddess!) and Barb Callahan. I turned and whispered to Cynthia as one of her denim jackets was being shown on a particularly lovely blonde model "it looks like you made this just for her" and she said, "It does fit her well, doesn't it?" Can't you just hear her? What struck me was that all of this creativity, shown in such an elegant light--belonged to us--we can, and do, create this ourselves. Sorry to go on so long but wanted to share with all of you how special this was. At the end, the girls all came out holding boquets of bright red gift bags, and gave one to each of us-they held tiny jeweled tape measures in retractable cases! How fun.
In short, if you live in CA, or have any excuse to come here, do plan on attending this next year, Nov. 3 & 4, 2007. (Long Beach is an easy location to get to from LAX, Long Beach Airport, Orange County/John Wayne Airport). It was top notch. As always I came away enthused, ready to sew up a storm. Although I do hope it grows and becomes very successful, I hope it does not lose the personal quality we enjoyed this year. And a special thanks to Karen, a fellow sewist, who tirelessly manned the front desk all weekend!