When my daughter told her little college friends her mom was going to Chicago for a "sewing conference", they all laughed in that condescending, parents are so lame kind of way. But I bet every one of the over 100 PR Weekend attendees had more fun than those little college kids have ever had in their short little lives. And we didn't have to binge on alcohol to do it!!! (Although I did enjoy a very tasty sangria in the room next door!)
PR Weekend was great! The Chicago team did and excellent job of organizing events and allowed for just enough down time to socialize and prepare for the next fun event. The organizers added up the total yardage bought by the entire group. I don't remember the exact number, but it was a lot. And people bought even more fabric after the total was posted! I did my part to contribute to the grand total by buying eight pieces.
I just loved the way the colors undulated across this fabric from Vogue Fabrics. I'm not sure if it's rayon or cotton, but it will make a perfect hot weather dress. I plan to e-mail a picture to Vogue and ask about the fiber content. I bet I'll get an immediate response. Vogue has such great customer service.
This piece, also from Vogue, will become a dress. It was a recent offering in Vogue's swatch mailings and I didn't order it at the time. But, I have it now! I'm not sure about this content either, but it's a good weight for all seasons.
I love sewing linen and these two pieces, purchased from New Rainbow Fabrics, will also be dresses. I stalked Karen Teel, one of the organizers, and dragged her back to New Rainbow so she could show me exactly where she found the blue Italian linen.
I couldn't resist this cotton knit. It's a knit that will stay put for layout for cutting. I bought this at The Needle Shop, which had the best atmosphere and Feng Shui of any of the stores we visited. Every piece of fabric was cleverly displayed and visible. The store appeals to the new generation of sewing enthusiasts as well as more experienced sewers.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't get some matchy-matchy coordinating pieces. First, I bought the sheer cotton print (along with several other shoppers!) at Fishman's Fabrics. Later, at Vogue Fabrics, I found the bottom weight poplin and silk for a tank to be worn under the sheer cotton.
Needless to say, I am very happy with my Chicago fabrics. My goal for the weekend was to buy fabric for dresses and I definitely did that. One of my Online Sewing Buddies (and she knows who she is!!!) who didn't attend this PR Weekend teased me about not using bright colors or prints. These purchases should make her take back what she said! (wink)
On Saturday, we got up close and personal with several of Angela Wolf's couture pieces from her own personal wardrobe. I've always wondered about the quilted lining on Chanel-style jackets. Angela brought two examples and I was able to examine the nearly invisible quilting. Angela does a lot a beading on her pieces and I already have some ideas about adding beads to a dress I'm planning.
PR Weekends are special for many reasons. Of course, the shopping was fantastic. We got discounts at every store. I shouldn't have to buy any more fabric until September! And, I love that we gave a boost to independent stores. I'll never forget the big smile on the face of the owner of New Rainbow Fabrics. I'm sure we made a difference in his quarterly bottom line. Attendees spent over $1500 at Soutache Embellishments. And I met so many amazing people!! Cynthia and Karen were a hoot! Cennetta gave me parenting advice. Iris and Renee understood the awe I felt when I walked into Mood for the first time and made me salivate for Britex in San Fransisco. Sherrill and Ody hugged me every time I saw them made me feel like I had two lifelong friends I just hadn't met yet. I wish we could all get together more often. Anyone who has reservations about PR Weekends should definitely attend one. It's an incredible experience.