I’ve heard about the Sew Expo for a few years. It is always described as the expo for those that sew garments. It has plenty of quilting stuff but has more for garment sewers than anywhere else. This year it started on February 28 and went through Sunday March 4.
A group of us from Denver Sewing Collective went as a group, staying at a AirBnB in Fife, which is close to Puyallup, Washington where the expo resides.
ASG Denver also had a group there and did a similar set up with living arrangements. If you have a group of sewing friends I would highly encourage to make a girl’s weekend out of it. Hanging out with sewing friends here was a lot of fun.
The show is big, located in 3 buildings. I had a plan, like I always do and the minute I entered into the larger expo all it all fell to hell.
The expo is held in three separate buildings. There is the main expo hall, a classroom hall and then another smaller hall with lots of vendors, including sewing machines, notions, more fabric and a button vendor too.
I hit all the main fabric places including L ‘Etoff, Vogue, Pacific Fabrics
and Style Maker.
I bought something from each except for L ‘Etoff. In the main hall there were mannequin dealers, tons of notions and do-dad vendors, long arms dealers and on and on.
I only took two classes, a Perfecting Pocket class taught by and Sewing With Silks by Katrina Walker. These classes were three hours long and well worth it. You have time to spend on actually learning a technique. However, my welt pocket didn’t quite turn out well at all. I hadn’t eaten for several hours and needed to cut the class short due to a hunger headache.
Paula a friend of Lynn’s has been to the Sew Expo several times and didn’t recommend the 1 Needle classes which last 30 minutes. They’re more of a commercial for you to buy whatever it is they’re selling. So, I stuck to the 3/4 Needle Classes. Something to think about if you go. Also, as you can imagine the food prices at the expo are atrociously high. 2.50 for a can of Coke. There is a Jack in the Box and Taco Bell close by outside the expo area. Plus, you could always pack a few snacks and bring a water bottle.
Parking was not a problem. Easy in and out for the two days I went. The crowds inside all the buildings were tight. There are a lot of people in wheelchairs and scooters and plenty of oxygen tanks being carted around. Be sure to pack your patience.
Highlights include meeting Anne Walley, of the Pattern Whisperer
Ryliss Bod of Sewing & Design School
Michelle Paganini of Paganoonoo.
I follow these ladies on social media and really wanted to meet them in person. Anne is amazing and her passion for fashion, women’s clothing is contagious.
I also had time to chat with Katrina and catch up with what’s going on in her neck of the woods ( a lot!)
Also ran into the lovely Lisa Shaw of Sew Bubbles who was documenting the Sew Expo scene on social media.
The weather was great although I didn’t quite pack appropriately. Suede coat and short sleeves? It is winter in the Pacific Northwest after all. When the wind blows it chills through the bone. Layer!
Four of us stayed at an AirBnB ranch style house with three bedrooms. Plenty of room, the kitchen was huge where we mainly made quick snacks.
Some of the ladies in American Sewing Guild Denver chapter got a house apparently right by the railroad tracks. The train goes by about every hour. Ouch!
I had all day Saturday to do whatever – whenever. I choose to head out to visit a few can’t-miss vintage stores. I went to Vanity Vintage in Tacoma, the area Goodwill and Victoria’s Antiques in Puyallup and lastly Tacoma Antiques.
Next, I hit the beach and sucked in as much ocean air as I could. Tacos for lunch and Thai for dinner then back to the pad to get ready for leaving.
Sunday was a return-to-home day. All said and done, I was ready to go home.
This was a fun trip and perfect girls weekend out. Highly encouraged!