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Sewing Expo Recommendations

gowngirl | Posted in General Discussion on

Can anyone recommend a few (or one!) good sewing expos in the west coast area (besides the Sewing and Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA) that aren’t totally about quilting? I haven’t been able to bring myself to attend the Puyallup expo because it’s just gotten too big, too overwhelming. Threads gave me the excuse to attend the American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI a couple of years ago, and it was just the right size. Recommendations anyone?  


  1. Ckbklady | | #1

    Hi there,

    It's much lower-key, so maybe you'd like the sewing show coming up at the end of the month in Victoria, British Columbia (Canada - on Vancouver Island). It's called the Sewing and Crafts Show (http://www.sewingandcraftsshow.com) and is held at the Victoria Conference Centre. Many of the Puyallup sewing celebs will be there, but there will be fewer classes and vendors.

    Everything about Victoria is laid-back - even the airport is small, laid-back and quiet. It's a great little getaway.

    :) Mary

    1. gowngirl | | #2

      Thanks Mary,

      I have been to Vancouver BC only once before and it is a very charming and beautiful place. I like low key- and I like being able to get out of a room if I want to! Thanks for the recommendation. I wonder if I need a passport....

      1. Ckbklady | | #3

        Hi there,

        Actually, the show is not in Vancouver on the mainland, it's in Victoria, which is on Vancouver Island (to the left of the mainland on the map). It's a lovely little city.

        The rules to cross the border are slowly changing, and they differ depending on your mode of travel. The US govt has tightened the documentation required for Americans who are re-entering from Canada, but they are slightly different depending on whether you drive or fly (for now. They are supposed to change again so that all travel will require a passport). If you're interested you might want to look at the following links for both countries' border rules:

        USA: http://travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html

        (or more detail here: http://www.dhs.gov/xtrvlsec/crossingborders/index.shtm)

        CANADA: http://explore.canada.travel/ctc/ke/things_to_know_2.jsp?cat=4004&localeId=16 

        The show looks nice. I'm debating going - it's a short trip for me from Seattle and it's a lovely, walkable city full of good restaurants, bookshops and museums. There's so much to do after you've taken all the sewing classes!

        :) Mary

        1. gowngirl | | #4

          Thanks for the correction- I'm not quite up on my geography as you can tell. I guess driving across the border is doable (for now) but the only kink now is that the date happens to be during our spring break (I have a child still in school) and my husband had made family travel plans to the east (we are between Portland and Eugene OR). He likes Canada a lot, so I've been turning on my charm (what little I have ;-)! to see if I can't get him to redirect a little. He did say next year would be fine at least! You have been to this expo before I assume?

          1. Ckbklady | | #5

            You could almost say I've been to this one. I cruised the booths and did a little shopping at it a couple of years ago, but I haven't taken the classes.

            The 20+page brochure for this year's show is available online. I noticed on it a couple of weeks ago that it has many of the same sewing celebs and classes as the Sew Expo, which I just luxuriated in recently. I was experiencing Sew Expo withdrawal a couple of weeks ago when it ended, so I started noodling around on the Internet to see where else I could go. I'd actually forgotten about the Victoria show!

            I'm debating going up too. Hubby is all for it, and is trying to get some time away from work to go up with me. We have family up there, so it's a nice all-in-one getaway.

            That would be a long-ish drive for you if you drove from somewhere around Salem or Albany - that's about 6 1/2 hours to the border, yes? You could instead go from Salem area to Seattle and then park your car at the docks and take the Victoria Clipper to the Inner Harbour of Victoria. The sewing show is a ten minute walk from the Harbour, and every imaginable hotel is right there too. It might add up to the same travel time, but you'd have some pleasant variety!

            Maybe you could visit Victoria and then fly East from there? The Victoria airport is great - small and laid-back.

            Whatever you decide, I wish you happy sewing!

            :) Mary

          2. gowngirl | | #6

            Thanks you so much! You have been so very very helpful. I will try really hard to work it into the schedule. It would be fun to meet ;-)laura

          3. Ckbklady | | #7

            That would be lovely!

            Even if you don't make the trip, at least take a day and plan a Little Sewing Getaway for yourself. I'd suggest an afternoon browsing very slowly through Fabric Depot (dear, beloved Fabric Depot), which Seattleites dream of, and maybe taking one of the Palmer/Pletch classes that they offer there.

            It's 3 1/2 hours each way to FD for me, and hubby refuses to move any closer to it because I'd spend all our grocery money there! You're lucky to live nearby.

            Happy sewing!

            :) Mary

            Edited to add: Thanks for the link to your site. You do beautiful work! When you're next in Seattle you must go to Nancy's Sewing Basket, a shop in the Queen Anne neighborhood - I'm sure you'd love the silk selection. :) M

            Edited 3/13/2008 7:50 pm by Ckbklady

          4. gowngirl | | #8

            I see you drooling over Fabric Depot! LOL! I always thought everyone else in the world had better resources than I did. You MUST have some good fabric shopping in big huge Seattle. I am constantly disappointed when I go to Fabric Depot for something specific anyway.  They are supposed to have everything! I am at this very moment looking for silk chiffon and charmeuse in Navy.  Fabric Depot didn't have anything in stock, or even anything remotely close at the wholesale desk.  Navy isn't normally a spring color, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

            Thanks for your encouragement, I need it about now ;-)



          5. Ckbklady | | #11

            Oh, my, yes - we have a couple of nice stores here. I suggest you call Nancy's Sewing Basket for the navy silks - maybe they can ship? My other favorite is the Bellevue Pacific Fabrics, but they don't stock much by way of silk. Seattle's smaller than you think - the few independent fabric stores have small but nice choices, and the big ones focus more on polar fleece than anything. It's really not a dress-up town, so the practical waterproof fabrics win.

            Maybe you could start making evening dresses in fleece? It'd be a giggle, no?

            Let me know when you hit this neck of the woods - I'll give you a tour of our fabric shops!:) Mary


          6. gowngirl | | #12

            LOL! Hey, an evening gown in fleece isn't too bad an idea- In a weird way I'd bet people would go for it- if there was some flattering way to do it- no seam finishes, a bit of stretch, fairly warm, and prints with superman too! Thanks for the idea ;-)If by chance my husband ever has a business meeting there, I will take you up on your offer. I'll also check on the stores you recommend for mail order options. It's worth a try. Laura

          7. Ckbklady | | #13

            Yeah, do give it a shot. And happy sewing!!!

            :) Mary, your neighbor to the north

    2. starzoe | | #9

      If you do decide to come to Victoria for the sewing show, send me an email through my profile, maybe we can arrange to meet for coffee. I won't be going to the show though.

      1. Ckbklady | | #10

        Hiya Starzoe!

        That would be lovely, thanks! I learned yesterday that I won't be going up to the show. We have a dinner group that meets monthly, and I had forgotten that it's our turn to host that weekend. I will make a note, though, to look you up when I'm up in Victoria again.

        :) Mary

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