PatternReview.com is a 16 year old online sewing resource website created by Deepika Parkash. There are currently over 430,000 users across the world. I recently attended my 4th Pattern Review Weekend. Deepika is the featured speaker at the July 2018 national ASG (American Sewing Guild) convention.
And before I talk about the event, I want to share with you a note about Deepika from the website.
Deepika Prakash is the founder of PatternReview.com – A site she started in November 2001 when she couldn’t find any sewing resources online. A lover of fabric and patterns she has a simple goal. “Everyone should sew!” and with this goal in mind she decided to teach her first video class right here on PatternReview.com. “Anybody CAN sew“, she says.. “You are only limited by your own desire to learn”.
Deepika has been a contributor to many sewing publications over the last few years like Threads and Stitch. She is currently designing easy to sew patterns for all body types. She has also been featured on It’s Sew Easy TV series.
PR Weekend is a 2-3 day event that is in a different location every year. This year for the first time the event was held in and around Stratford, Ontario, Canada.
The event is limited to 100 participants, and is totally organized by volunteers.
The class was on how to take better pictures to show off your sewing. She has a section on her blog if you want to check it out.
PRweekend always includes a pattern exchange. Attendees can bring patterns to swap, and even if you don’t bring any, you are welcome to take home as many as you can carry.
The day also included sewing demos from the Jalie Pattern team of Emilie, Jean and Mel. Jean is the creative designer behind the patterns and she is so much fun, as well as being Emilie’s mom) They also introduced their latest pattern collection with a discount. (https://jalie.com/) I added Clara and Julia to my collection.
The evening included a camp shirt contest that honored recently deceased member Kathi Rank. A pajama contest was also on tap. We were even entertained by organizer Connie Bontje’s ukulele band.
Saturday was non stop shopping bus tour to Hamilton’s Ontario street (home of Beverly Johnson’s Bra Lady store), Ann’s fabrics and Lens Mill in Woodstock. We ended the evening with the Fabricland store in Stratford staying open late for our group. Before the late night shopping our bus had purchased 700 meters and bus two 680 meters of fabric. A meter is 39”. Many stayed after for shopping and sightseeing in Toronto.
Next year – Portland Oregon. I will be there!
I met and/or reconnected with so many amazing talented folk. Here are a few with great blogs:
Visiting New York again – this time with my sewing sisters. If you have just started following my blog, let me just say that I sew. It is a passion, a creative outlet and a boutique business for me. And there are makers out there that share my passion. You will find them in the online community located at www.patternreview.com. Launched 16 years ago by the fabulous Deepika, the site has an international community of over 450,000 members. You can find reviews of sewing patterns, books, classes, stores, and machines. And once per year, some of these enthusiasts get together for a weekend of sewing fun and shopping.
First up was a tour of the New York office of the McCall Pattern company (McCall/Butterick/Vogue/KWIK SEW patterns). We were not allowed to take photos past the entrance, due to all the secret designs coming soon. It was amazing to see how much creativity is generated by so few employees. It requires planning and coordination among departments and teams.
We visited the fabric library where swatches are cataloged by color and type. Learning how Pantone and garment color trends influence the fabrics that are chosen for the pattern sample garments.
One of the most surprising things to me was the reverse engineering that is done to create the Vogue designer patterns. A team of experienced and talented makers receive the garments from the fashion houses. Then they create both patterns and instructions with out taking apart the original garments.
We also visited the photo studio, where next season’s shoes were lined up awaiting the models for the next catalog.
The first official day we had a great panel of sewing experts to answer our questions and give us their ideas on the state of the home sewing industry. The panel featured actress Marcy Harriell known for her blog oonaballona; Meg McDonald, social media manager of McCall pattern company Deborah Kreiling, design development director, Simplicity creative group; and Karen Groner, professor of fashion design, FIT.
Day two was fabric shopping!!! As you can see from my suitcase packed to the 50 lb limit, I had a very successful trip. Swatch, the famous dog from Mood fabrics (taken on thehttps://bymarkita.com/diy-cord-organizer-travel/ previous New York trip). Marcy gave us the tip about AKN as a source of wax prints. I also made purchases at Elliot Berman Textiles and Purl Soho (both opened just for our group); Pacific Trimming. Going shopping in New York? Drop me a note and I can share some stores and addresses for fabric fun.
This year the PRweekend “contest” was to create a travel accessory. Yes, I won the contest with my black and white hair on leather handbag and travel organizer for chargers and cords. How to make your own
I love the sewing community created by Pattern Review – where I hang out until the next PRWeekend!