Just last week I traveled to Los Angeles for the 6th Annual Mimi G Fashion, Sewing and Style Conference. This year my sister tagged along with me for the trip (not the conference because she doesn’t sew). I have no proof of this because she refuses to be photographed, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. As usual, I had an amazing time and I want to tell you all about it! (re: this is a long, pic-heavy post)
Being my third conference I’ve learned a few things, the most important arrive a day early and stay a day late. So we (my sis and I) left ATL Thursday afternoon and landed in LAX Thursday afternoon, thanks to the time change. We were picked up by our roomies (Yomi, Mert and Soraya) and headed to our rental. Don’t ask how 5 women and their luggage for 5 days fit into one SUV, because you don’t want to know. LOL. Anyway getting in a day early allowed us to get settled and relaxed so we’d be ready for the next three days. Well sorta we stayed up so late laughing, eating and talking that we still slept in a little.
The plan for Friday was to hit Mood and Santa Monica and that we did. Mood was so overwhelming, there is sooo much fabric. Ultimately I ended leaving with nothing (except a Mood tote) even though I did love a printed linen that was $18/yd. We ran into Alejandra and Carol who were squeezing in some early fabric shopping as well.
After everyone checked out we headed to Santa Monica so we could say we saw the beach and do some shopping. First stop the beach…well almost we made it to Ocean Dr, where we grabbed some grub from the food trucks and took a ton of selfies. Next we rushed over to Third Street Promenade to hit up H&M where I picked up some great accessories and scored an amazing deal on a trench coat.
Unfortunately we were short on time because registration ended at 5pm, so we only made H&M. Man, I thought Atlanta traffic was bad but LA traffic is insane. Thankfully we made it back in time for me to grab my runway looks and rush over to the JW Marriott.
Registration might be one of my favorite parts of the conference. LOL It’s because that’s when I first see some of my fellow sew sisters and the screaming and hugging begins. I was stopped by a few new sew sisters and even though I don’t remember all of your names (I’m terrible with names), I just want to say thank you for your kind words. One young lady in particular even said she started sewing after seeing my version of Vogue 1329 a few years. That really made my heart smile! If you are reading please send me the photo we took together. Sometimes I’m not sure why I blog, I feel like no one really reads my post but each year my sew sisters encourage me to keep going!
This is the Third Annual Fashion Show and my third time participating. I actually started not to submit anything this year but decided I had to since it was the last conference. Let me tell you I was working up to the last minute on the Katie dress (look for a pattern review later this week). Thankfully, I completed my other look earlier in the year, Simplicity 8093.
I’m always so amazed by the creations these talented women come up with using Mimi’s patterns as a base. I urge you to watch the live feed on Mimi G Style’s Facebook page to see the entire show. There were so many fabulous creations from denim bombers to jumpsuits to flow-y dress to swimsuits. Constance never fails to show out creating not one but TWO amazing jumpsuit looks, one complete with one of her signature snap off pieces. Danesha didn’t disappoint and rocked here RiRi swimsuit. A fashion show just isn’t a fashion show without Lawana who strutted down the runway in a regal dress. One of my favorite looks was the winner, this amazing denim (faux) overall/jumpsuit by Nola. She self drafted the bodice using a RTW photo of Jean Paul Gaultier x Levi overalls as inspiration. Isn’t is amazing!
The fashion show was a blast as always. An extra bonus this year is that my sister was there to cheer me on. All of the ladies did an outstanding job, congratulations to all the winners!
Saturday was the first full day of Conference, time for learning! Each attendee was to choose four workshops out of six that were offered. I chose to attend the following:
- The Perfect Pants w/Deb Kreiling
- Wardrobe Planning: Making the most of your sewing skills w/Joy Macdonell
- Working with Leather and Fur w/Kenneth King
- A Guide To Lingerie Fabrics w/Madalynne Flanigan
All were informative. Deb’s class was a no-brainer because 1) I just love her and 2) I’m still working to perfect my pant fit. She is a wealth of knowledge and I have great notes on how to tweak my pants fit. I chose Wardrobe Planning because though I have plenty of clothes (RTW and DIY), I often feel like I have nothing to wear. Joy did a excellent job of showing us how to approach your wardrobe for each season so that you create a wardrobe for your lifestyle that reflects personal style. Kenneth’s workshop covered several tips on how to work with leather, faux leather, authentic fur and synthetic fur. The greatest take away was the many different types of darts darts and seam finishes he shared. I’ve been debating whether I want to attempt lingerie. On one hand it seems like a great idea as it can be an expensive portion of a women’s wardrobe and it takes very little fabric so there can be a tremendous savings. On the other hand it seems incredibly detailed with boning, channeling, sliders, rings and hooks. I decided to take Madalynne’s class to learn a little more and see if it was something I want to try. After the workshop I’ve decided I’ll start with underwear and bralettes and go from there.
Thanks to the vision of Yomi over 20 sew sisters together to create a group, she named Sew Angels. Yomi’s vision, for some of the repeat attendees to donate funds to provide the opportunity for a Darlings to attend the conference, was conceived at last year and was birthed this year. We were able to raise enough to provide the registration costs for two ladies to attend this final year of conference. A contest was held in Mimi’s Facebook groups and the winners were, Melinda and Enjolie.
New this year was a Saturday Night Mixer! The amazing staff at The Fabric Store hosted an amazing evening of cupcakes, champagne and fabric for the attendees to enjoy. Everyone was friendly and helpful! Thankfully we were in the second group which had the later time slot as the earlier crowd had died down by the time we arrived. There were a few other attendees there when we arrive, but soon it felt like we had to store all to ourselves. Even though I swore I wasn’t going to buy any fabric, I did (who’s surprised? not me!). I did limit it to just one piece of a gorgeous deep red nylon ponte. It had such an amazing hand I just could not leave it. I think we all left with something. We should really apologize because we shut the store down! #sorrynotsorry
Whew! After the very full day Saturday, a leisurely Sunday spent fabric shopping was welcomed. Again I swore I was going to be good but quickly found a remnant I *needed* at Michael Levine, it was only $5 so that hardly counts. I quickly headed across the street to the newly (well since last year) air-conditioned loft where I felt if I fell off the wagon at least it would be great deals. Lets just say I have almost nine pounds of fabric to show you soon. Back across the street at the main store trying to meet up with the rest of my group my sister and I came across one more piece of fabric I ultimately couldn’t resist. So yeah #FAIL I definitely bought too much fabric.
Oh yeah did I forget to mention I ordered 8 yards of fabric from Finch Fabrics before I even left for LA? oops! They have just the best customer service and Josie (who at the Conference with Candice of Sewing Portfolios) offered to bring it to me and even threw in a few extras! Speaking of Sewing Portfolios, definitely check them out if you haven’t already. It’s basically a website where you can create a portfolio of your sewing creations to share with anyone or just keep for yourself. You can also connect with pattern designers and fabric sellers across the country.
After way too many fabric purchases we headed back over to the condo to enjoy our last night in LA. We enjoyed the pool and rooftop patio of our condo while listening to some neosoul for almost the entire night, it was straight out of a scene of any 90’s black women’s ensemble movie, LOL. Finally we all got to bed sad about leaving the next day.
The next morning Yomi and I made one last trip to the fashion district and Target before loading up the car and the rest of the crew to head to the airport. On the way I noticed this Georgia street sign, we had to have passed it before, but this was my first time seeing it. A clear sign that it was time to go home.
For the third time I had an wonderful, stress-free weekend meeting, greeting and hanging out with ladies who all have a common interest in sewing and creating. I was even lucky enough to share it with my sister, though she still doesn’ t want to sew. LOL. Even though we come from different areas, represent different ages and are at various levels in our sewing journey there is a bound that connects us all. That is what I love about this conference and that is what I will miss the most! XOXO