Monday, March 4, 2013

W. W. M. D.

One of the most wonderful things about going away is coming home, especially when you come back with so many ideas and so much energy that you're worried there might not be enough hours in the day to work your way through them. Of course, the answer to that is to start which is what I intend to do this week - the work. And there's my 2013 intention making itself known again - do the work. I love the way it shows up all the time.

Apparently the event in Puyallup is the biggest Sew Expo in North America. There were crowds and for the most part, that's okay - I enjoy people watching - but it does get a bit much after awhile since I'm not used to being around so many people. It also makes it hard to get non-blurry photographs although I think the lighting was a factor. It's rather harsh.

Patti and I took a lot of breaks. We'd go to a lecture, wander a bit, sit down, and then repeat. We were in bed by 9:00 both nights and then up and eager to go in the morning. Early birds travelling together is a good idea.

We arrived in Puyallup on Thursday afternoon and decided to check our directions and find the location ready for the morning only instead of driving by, we popped in for a couple of hours which turned out to be ideal. Thursday night was far less busy than Friday day. Unless there's an early talk that I want to see, in the future I would plan to be there later in the day.

There were a lot of quilting related booths that didn't interest either of us. It was nice to be on the same page. I heard that the number of fashion related booths has grown considerably over the years. Good. I wouldn't say there were lots but there were definitely enough. Only four booths impacted me significantly enough to photograph them. The felted hats above were beautifully done. They're from the Longbranch Fiber Farm in Lakebay, WA.

Fibers Etc. from Tacoma, WA had a HUGE booth. I'd need a good dozen photographs to show it from every angle. They must have moved the entire store to the exhibit grounds ! ! I couldn't find a website to link but did read some positive on-line reviews. Since this was my first trip to Sew Expo, I don't know if they've had yarn and knitting supplies in the past but how wonderful to be celebrating all aspects of fibre.

This was my favourite skein. The colors just glowed but not enough to come home with me. My focus was on fashion fabric and although I'm making progress, I need to knit my stash down some more before buying at which point I'll also concentrate on higher quality yarn as I plan to do with fabric - both courtesy of Over-Dressed.

This detail image is of a vest made from dying, doilies, and crochet. The artist is Anita Luvera Mayer who is teaching a workshop - One Vest: Twenty Variations - in September at the Pacific Northwest Art School in Coupeville on Whidbey Island, WA. The vest was absolutely gorgeous. I thought about how to apply the idea to a coat, blouse, or cardigan since I don't wear vests.

The highlight for me was hearing Marcy and Katherine's talk. I could have driven down, heard their talk, shopped at their booth, and gone home and that would have been enough of an adrenaline shot. I came away inspired.

Here's half of Marcy's booth on Friday afternoon. As you can see, it was crowded. Don't fear. I came away with goodies. I'll show them in tomorrow's post.

When I walked into the booth on Thursday night, Marcy greeted me by name. That certainly makes you feel special. I introduced her to Patti and the next day Marcy remembered her name from that one introduction made at the end of the long busy day before. Patti was really impressed.

At Marcy and Katherine's talk, I was in line with, and then sat beside, a wonderful woman from Portland. She was friendly with a delightful sense of humor. That's one of the things I like about these events. It doesn't matter if you're traveling with a friend or traveling alone because you start out with something in common with everyone there and go on to find individual points of connection. Nancy, the lady from Portland, offered to take me fabric shopping when I stop in Portland on my way home from the Design Outside the Lines workshop in June. I'm sure you can imagine how much I'm looking forward to the workshop already - and the shopping - only I need to do some sewing between now and then to a) have something to wear and b) have space for fabric in my stash.

Something that Patti and I both noticed at the event was the Marcy and Katherine influence. Two examples stood out. One was a lecture and the other a booth in which we both looked at each other and mouthed Marcy because it was so obvious that they were copying, inspired, influenced by - whatever word we use - her work. Imitation is supposedly the greatest form of flattery. I'm not sure I agree with that completely HOWEVER...

... imitation can also push you to keep growing and to be more innovative in your own work. I feel that way. Instead of thinking W. W. M. D. - what would Marcy do, I've been thinking W. W. M. D. - what will Myrna do? What a fabulous question. I don't want to imitate Marcy and Katherine. They are highly creative, wonderful women. I admire their work, enjoy their patterns, and am thrilled to have met them but I have no desire to be a groupie. Instead, I want to be inspired by what they are sharing and use that inspiration to take my own creativity in a personalized and  individual direction that works for me and my lifestyle.

BUT... right now... Myrna is going to tidy up her studio, wash and put away her new fabric, and pull out the blouse she cut out before leaving to try the sloping shoulder adjustment that Ruth suggested. It's been tickling away at my subconscious all weekend. I'm so excited to have it work. It would make sewing so much easier and I've a mile long (maybe two... possibly three...) pile of patterns waiting to be sewn.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - WWMD - being me


  1. I didn't get to hear Marcy and Katherine talk at the expo, but just before they close down on Saturday (announcement over the speaker already tellung us it is 6) i was able to make one last purchase at their booth from katherine. :) Didnt get to really check out their booth too but veni, vidi, vici on a knit fabric. If only i have more than just a day at the expo... I do hope to catch their talk in the future... But wasn't this their last expo, i thought you or another blogger mentioned this :(

    1. I'm glad you were able to buy something from Marcy and Katherine. The fabrics are wonderful. Their talk is definitely worth attending. Hopefully you can do that next year as I see you live close by. Interesting that you wanted more time. I found one day enough. I've come home with lots of inspiration and I'm ready to play.

      I don't believe this is their last expo. That's not something I've heard. June is the last time Marcy will be teaching the Design Outside The Lines workshop with Diane. Perhaps that's what you're thinking of. She announced it in her newsletter recently or on her blog. I'm not sure which. It's also noted on the retreat page at her website.

    2. I do hope i am mistaken and they will come again next year as i can't afford to travel far to attend.. :) i am already planning for 2 days next year!!! At least! :) rather than having my husband and our 2yr old drive a total of 4 hrs to send me early morning and pick me up after closing, next time i will attend maybe friday and Saturday, attend one or 2 more of the 3 or 4 needle classes, stash the boys at.a hotel nearby with enough food.. ;)

    3. YEAH - that sounds like fun. Good for you. I think it's really important to explore what interests you. What about travelling with a friend and getting a total break.

    4. Traveling with a friend and getting a total break will be nice some time in future! :) i totally agree with you that it is important to explore our interests. I am glad to have this opportunity, and the support and understanding to do so too.

  2. Sounds like it was a good time for you to come home all revved up with inspiration. Love that feeling!

    1. It was very fun. I love that feeling of energy too. There are so many ideas swirling that it's a good thing I already had a project under way. Something to focus and start with.

  3. The Sewing Expo will be in Atlanta this week (Wednesday - Saturday) and I can't wait. When I was working fulltime I always took Wednesday through Friday off so I could go. Some years I schedule lots of classes. Some years I just wander around and soak it all in. But I always come away full of inspiration and lots of purchases of goodies I can't usually get here.

    Good luck with the shoulder alteration. Fewer steps to a better result is always a plus.

    Lois K

    1. Have a wonderful time in Atlanta. What fun! Let me know what you learn.

      DEFINITELY fewer steps is a plus. I think that's why I keep exploring fitting solutions, trying to simplify and make sewing easier while achieving better results. Plus it's fascinating.

  4. Hello Myrna you wish-granting-fairy-godmother!!

    Thank you for a nice Sew Expo round-up. i hope one day my physical and financial conditions conspire to allow my attendance, in the meantime reports like yours are wonderful to read and really whet my appetite :)

    But about the wish granting thing.....well, in the beginning of this year i made an 'ascot' for my peacock husband as a christmas present. He wasn't keen on any fabrics around here, but luckily we found a fabric at Marcy's shop - the same fabric which is the main feature in the dress she's wearing in your pictures (she calls it 'Running Numbers'). He was 'eh' about it online but in person he got very excited about it (gorgeous drape and the detail on the digital print is stunning) - he's glad there was a one yard minimum, he'll be getting a shirt out of the rest.

    anyways, i was talking to Shelley at the store a couple of days before the show and she described Marcy's dress out of the same fabric...of course i was dying to see it (as far as i'm concerned she designed 8876 expressly to my specifications ;). Lucky me, Marcy shows it in her latest blog post posted just the next day. my comments on that post i plead with Marcy for pics of the clothes with her in them, as the few candid shots i've seen of her show a whole new dimension to her wardrobe. To me her duds look really terrific on the hanger, on her they're like a whole bowl of AWESOME!!!!

    well, as they say 'ask and ye shall receive' - how fun to scroll down and see not just one but two candids of Marcy in her new dress! Lucky me - and thank you :)

    It's fun to see you getting into the groove of just sewing for yourself. i've been sewing clothing for myself for around 35 years now, lots of times because i couldn't find anything that fit and also to get more for my limited budget. I've found that when i enjoy the process and focus on what's important to *me* (fit, comfort, style) i don't regret it. If people rib you for obsessing over fit, let 'em - but isn't that the point of making your own, that you can do things how YOU like? Have fun with all your new inspiration!! steph

    1. How nice to be a wish-granting-fairy-godmother. I think I like that role. It's almost as good as one of the fairies in Sleeping Beauty - pink - blue - pink - blue - LOL.

      It sounds so gushy and it's hard to explain but quality of fabric makes such an incredible difference. The feel. The drape. The richness of color and weave and structure. All fabulous. And on the body there's a trendous difference in look and in feel and in how it impacts the wearer.

      Marcy's clothes in person are pure eye candy.

      Yes, sewing for myself is starting to flow. It's interesting that sewing fashions brackets my life - when I was younger and now - and yet my perspective is so vastly different this time. It can't help but be as a result of experiences and paradigm shifts and I like this version the best. It's more exploratory and meaningful. I'm not just cranking out clothes. I'm investing in them at a deeper level in that they become extensions of myself. Doesn't that sound corny. You know what I mean I'm sure.

  5. Thank you for allowing me to vicariously experience the Puyallup expo. Living on the east coast, I don't know if I ever will make it out there for this show. The one that's held locally is quite lame, and highly focused on quilting. It would be a blast to attend such a huge expo. And I'd love to see the fashion show. Even though Marcy sent out a newsletter with photos of the garments, it would be fun to see them in person.
    I'm sure many people are eager to get on the bandwagon that Marcy and Katherine have established. They have influenced my work a lot, but I wouldn't want to be a copier. Better to start from their design perspective and evolve from there.
    I'm glad you had a great trip!

    1. You're welcome. I know exactly how you feel. I feel the same way when I read about a New York or San Francisco or Toronto meet-up - all places I want to go.

      I find I do better gathering inspiration from garments I can actually touch so it's lovely to see Marcy & Katherine's pieces in person. I'm the same way with on-line versus in-store snoop shopping. In-store works better for me.

      LOVE their design perspective... and Diane's.


Thanks for commenting. I appreciate the feedback and the creative conversation.