Monday, April 27, 2015

Pattern Review Weekend LA 2015 wrapup

action drama....
Like an early 80's action drama set in downtown LA....with fabric....

I just returned from PR Weekend in downtown LA, near the Fashion District.

(Tip:  Take the day after PR weekend off from work so you can write your recap and recover from the weekend.)

Antoinette (ATP) and I flew in a day early for some pre-conference fun.

FIDM Scholarship Store was our first stop.   There is some great fabric here at $1 and $2 a yard and  fun necklaces for $4 and $6.  I love this place! They have sample garments too that we tried on.  We ran into fellow PR members Jeanette and Jo while we were there.
ATP on the hunt
We then went to the FIDM Museum for the 2014 movie costume exhibit

And we took a detour from fabric shopping and fashion to attend the Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum


Tons of HK merchandise was on display, including this Janome HK sewing machine
and this HK sewing kit
Follow the bows!
How tall are you?
Hello Kitty themed artwork

The HK bow crowns were given to each person visiting the exhibit; not everyone wore theirs.

Thursday night at the hotel lobby ATP spotted Rod Stewart and made eye contact; I only saw the back of his head as he meandered out onto the street...

The conference got into full swing with the shopping day as ~70 of us were unleashed in the Fashion District.  We broke off into many groups so we had flexibility as far as which stores to go to.

Tip:  Wear comfy shoes or sneakers; you're on your feet all day!

ATP and Anne
Shopping at Michael Levine Loft ($3 a pound fabric--really really good fabric too--yes, by the pound not by the yard).  
More of the scene at Michael Levine Loft.  Paw through boxes of fabric.  You don't have to take the whole piece; you can cut it down yourself if you wish, or ask the cashier to cut it for you.    There are also rolls of fabric on the sides of the store that are sorted by color.  All of it is $3 a pound usually but because we were there for PR weekend we got 20% off of that!  Thanks Michael Levine Loft!
Love the random thread stuck to my pants.
Also love the cashier; he was there in 2013 and is super super nice.

I bought exactly 7 pounds of fabric.
More of the scene at Michael Levine Loft

Next we headed across the street to the main Michael Levine store
Michael Levine welcomes PR weekend sign
Me, Anne, and the Wall of Locked Up Liberty  (I understand why it is locked up ($$$$), but it's ironic that fabric named Liberty is under lock and key.)

Me and Jacqui--we first met at PR weekend in 2010 in Philly and have shopped together ever since.  Love her contrast trim on her red shirt--her binding was absolutely perfect!!
atp and
ATP was next to Michael from Project Runway in the checkout line

On the street.  This gives you a sense of what the Fashion District shopping looks like-- fabric stores on street level with some of their fabrics on display outside (multiply this picture by, say, 100).  Having been to NYC Garment District many times and LA Fashion District twice, I'd say that it feels like there are more fabric and trim stores in LA, though I don't know if that is true.

I have my Jalie shrug on upside down it the above picture, ha ha ha ha ha

Lunch at Pattern Bar (a bar with sewing machines!)

You like big polka dots?  Now THAT'S a big polka dot.
Zippers at Zip Up Zipper

There were buses to take us to Mood and a fabric store appropriately called The Fabric Store about 8 miles away from the Fashion District, but streets were blocked off for a commemoration event all day so we wound up having only 30 minutes to shop at Mood LA, not enough time for me to buy fabric.
Unlike the NYC branch of Mood, the Mood LA store is all on one level.  Above is one half of the Mood LA store.

Bernina sponsored a party Friday night that included the pattern swap (so.many.patterns.) and the handbag contest.   I entered the handbag contest with my V6072 backpack.  I wish I took a picture of the winning backpack; it was the Vogue frog backpack and her prize was a Bernina serger.
Kossiwa and her amazing striped designer knockoff dress

Deepika, me and dots
PR Founder Deepika and I wore our dots for Saturday morning.

Saturday was the learning day with Lynda Maynard.  Roseana and Theresa were totally brave to stand in their foundation garments for about an hour each while Lynda and her volunteers sliced and diced their respective sheath dress and jacket muslins to get a perfect fit.  I found it quite interesting because it's a totally different way to fit a garment compared to Joi Mahon's method, but it appears to achieve the same results.

The room felt like a movie set.
Here's the view from the back of the room while Lynda shows how to make the changes to the flat pattern, post fitting the muslin.  Some of the leftover patterns are shown...there were a LOT of leftover patterns!

In the afternoon, ATP, Anne and I skipped couture techniques to return to the Fashion District to buy elastic at Button and Trim Expo, only to find out that it is closed on Saturdays, massive heaving sigh!
(Tip:  Always always always check store days and hours!!!)

I don't know for sure but I felt that this store, which I visited in Nov 2013 with Rachel and Jeanette, would have wide elastic in many colors that I could use for my exposed waistband on the Mimi G pants.

So we went to three other trim stores instead and the last one, Target Trim, had the BEST selection of elastic I was looking for, but I like the layout of Button and Trim Expo better.

It started raining on the way back, so we took shelter in the FIDM Scholarship Store, where we ran into Jacqui.
Tip:  Bring your shopping bag so you can consolidate your purchases; Jacqui's has hers from an earlier PR weekend.

Dinner was at a nearby Mexican restaurant but I didn't take pictures.

Some folks stayed on Sunday for brunch and more fabric shopping, but I left to return back to NJ.

Outfit roundup:
My me-made clothing closet at the Hotel Figueroa. 

Thursday:  Teal PR Linda shirt and gray Simplicity 1283 Mimi G pants.  

Friday: Black PR Linda shirt and black Simplicity 1283 Mimi G pants.
Friday night: Vogue 8571 red dress

Saturday:  McCalls 6559 polka dot dress.
Saturday night:  Teal Vogue 1351

Backpack:  Butterick 6072 view D backpack
Gray Jalie 3426 shrug (not blogged yet)

Wrapping up
Thank you to Kathi R who organized the entire weekend and all the PR volunteers, and of course to Deepika who founded PR.    PR is such an amazing resource for sewists.  I've made many friends because of PR.

Next year PR weekend will be in....Chicago!

Be well!


  1. Sounds like such a fun time.

  2. Looks like a good time was had by all. Glad you enjoyed it Kyle.

  3. It was so nice to see you Kyle. I'm sorry I didn't spend more time with you. It was a busy weekend and your garments were fantastic!

    1. It was great to see you too! Hope it all goes well with your school certification!

  4. Thanks for the great wrap up . It made me feel like I had attended & I WISH I had 😄😄 can't wait to see all your new fabric made into wonderful garments ! How often does PR host this weekend ?

    1. Thanks MaryEllen! PR weekend is once a year in late April or early May.

  5. Great wrap up post Kyle. Looks like you and ATP had another great weekend with fabric!

    1. Thanks Maria! It was fun! You should go sometime!

  6. Looks like a wonderful time! Fun, fun, fun!

  7. Wow..Looks like alot of fun. I live in LA. I usually go to fabric district every Sun morn. (free parking) So many shops and right around the corner is Santee Alley. Did you get to see that? Hope you get to come back soon.

    1. No, I didn't get to Santee Alley. I have a better game plan for next time though!

  8. Fun places! I walked away with SO much knit lining fabric from Michael Levine Loft for hardly anything when I was there last year, and the FIDM scholarship store has fun jewelry! I wish that they had had some shoes that I liked because they were all my size. Some day I'll make it to a weekend...maybe if someone organizes something in Denver...but then, I suppose we'd have to magically get some more fabric stores...

    1. Michael Levine Loft and the FIDM scholarship store are the BEST! Love love love them both.

  9. thanks for sharing the tour. sounds like so much fun. maybe one of these days I can make one of these.

  10. So - how many apples high is Hello Kitty's airplane?
    Sounds like you had an amazing time. With some amazing sewing people.
    I did add The Pattern Bar to my bucket list.

  11. Great write up Kyle! It was great to see you again! It was truly fun to be a part of such an amazing group of ladies! As far as fabric shopping it looks like you were more productive than me! Now I want to go back!

    1. It was fun to see you again too! I want to go back too! I should have stayed another day!!

  12. My two favorite sewing bloggers in one post!

  13. I enjoyed reading your wrap up! I look forward to seeing what you make out of that 7 lbs of fabric.

    1. Heh heh! It's a whole other way to think about fabric....pounds vs yards!

  14. So! Much! Fun! Good point about Liberty fabric being kept under lock and key. Haha! Can't wait for Chicago.

  15. As always great write-up of the weekend. Hope to see you next year!

    1. Ooooh! Does this mean you are going next year Lisette? Hope so!!

  16. Looks like you had a great time! Thanks for the write-up and review!

  17. I really, really, reeeeeeally wanted to go this year! I'm happy you had a good time! Oh man, the fabric!!

    1. What do you think??? Next year??? Anne says it's a 5 hour drive....


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