Sorry for the lack of updates, but I do have a great excuse as to why: I was invited to attend the 2013 Husqvarna Viking Convention in Orlando, Florida!
(warning: super long post – I hope you like to read!)
Ann from SVP Worldwide contacted me in early August and invited me to the 2013 Husqvarna Viking Convention to speak on a panel about being a next generation sewer. I was extremely flattered and of course accepted the invitation. I was to wear something I’ve made on the panel and answer questions about my sewing history, what types of items I make, where I shop, etc. It was to inform Husqvarna Viking dealers of what the next generation sewer is looking for.
Since I was in the middle of helping a friend with a cosplay outfit I got a late start on my convention outfit. I know I could have worn something I’ve already made but where is the fun it that?! I wanted something fresh and fun. I was limited on time and knew I also wanted to enter Erin & Ping’s Copy Cat Challenge (You may remember my Gwen Stefani ‘Settle Down’ pants from the first challenge). I decided to kill two birds with one stone and make my copy cat dress and also wear it to the convention.
I’ll make a full post dedicated to the challenge, which pattern I used and a full review on the Craftsy: Sew Retro Perfect Fit Bombshell Dress in my next post.
When Ann invited me to the convention I realized this meant I had to fly – which I had never done and was honestly TERRIFIED … I mean nightmares at least once a month for years about flying! I’m also not the most social person ever and an introvert (aren’t all Computer Programmers?!) but I knew this would be a great opportunity. I accepted and secretly (or pretty vocally) kept freaking out that I’d be getting on an airplane. For about a month straight I would go to work, come home and sew then go to sleep, repeat cycle. I didn’t see to many friends or family because I wanted this dress to be perfect. I ended up finishing it at 10:30pm the night before we left!
The day of the flight I was so nervous and beyond scared. I give Andres credit for having to deal with me in my chaotic state. I ended up getting a speeding ticket on the way to the airport, I thought maybe the officer would understand but of course I still got the ticket. At least he was nice and told me not to worry that flying is the safest form of travel. Either way there goes that money right out the window – that could have been more fabric! LOL. Anyways, my doctor prescribed me something to calm me before the flight, so I took that once we parked. Then we checked my luggage, went through TSA and then headed for a shot of vodka! By the time we got on the plane I was pretty mellow… crying, but mellow. When the plane started going fast on the runway I got super excited and loved it, when the plane took off it was even more fun … then I realized “OMG I LOVE FLYING!”. The whole time I was staring out the window and looking down. I did get nauseous but that was probably from the medicine. Landing was just as fun. After all these years of being afraid I can’t believe I loved it. Now I want to fly everywhere!
The convention was held at Renaissance At Sea World in Orlando. The hotel was amazing and literally right next door to Sea World! We could hear the sea lions from our hotel and even hear the screams from the roller coasters:
After settling in we met up with Ann and she took me around for a quick tour of the convention. I gotta say, I was like a kid in a candy store with all of those amazing machines everywhere! I looked in on some of the sewing and software classes and was truly amazed at what these machines could do. Currently I have a very basic Brother sewing machine but now that I know what is out there I can’t stop fantasizing about these machines.
The next day I participated in my panel: “Young Sewers Panel” at 8am and 1:30pm. Alongside me were Katrina Walker and Emily from EmilyHallman.com. Both of these women are extremely talented and an inspiration to me. I love that Ann picked 3 of us with different ranges of experience and different tastes but all with a passion for sewing.
We were asked a range of questions about sewing. I’ll post a few here and my short version answers.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BEGIN SEWING?
I started sewing when I was about 6 years old because I wanted to make Barbie doll and baby doll clothes. Later on I liked to make outfits that copied or looked just like Gwen Stefani.
WHAT KEEPS YOU SEWING?
I love being able to be creative and make garments that are my own style. I find it very relaxing and love the sense of accomplishment I get when I finish a project. The most amazing feeling is when someone stops you to ask where you got an item you are wearing and you say “I made it”!
WHAT PREVENTS YOU FROM SEWING MORE?
Time! Since I have a full time job I don’t get to sew all day long. When I come home from work I sew and all day on the weekends. Social obligations also get in the way, sorry friends and family! I’m a homebody so sewing is perfect for me.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST MACHINE?
The very first one I had was a handheld one… let me recommend to never get one of those! I think you need a third arm to actually be able to hold your fabric and sew. After that my Mom bought me a Brother at Walmart, once that died I bought another Brother from Walmart.
DO YOUR FRIENDS SEW?
They don’t, but I’ve had a lot of friends get inspired by my sewing. I find that crazy, that I even inspire anyone to do anything LOL. I’m really happy they want to learn though, I love having sewing sessions and helping them out.
WHERE DO YOU BUY SEWING SUPPLIES AND WHY?
Jo-Ann. They are super convenient and always have coupons.
DO YOU TAKE ANY SEWING CLASSES?
I haven’t been able to take any in my area since it seems there isn’t much offered. Most places focus on quilting. I know Jo-Ann does offer some sewing but most of the classes are too basic or beginner. I’d like something more advanced. I found one other place that offers garment related sewing but it’s always during work hours and I can’t go. I have taken 2 online courses from Craftsy.com and I’ve really enjoyed those.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM A SEWING MACHINE AND COMPANY?
I want the sewing machine to be smarter than I am. Since I’m new to sewing I still need some help with knowing the tensions and which needles to use with which fabrics, etc. I also want one that does automatic button holes… as in, let me tell you the size of the button an you do everything for me. I hate button holes on my current machine, I try to avoid them as much as possible. I expect the company to keep up with latest trends and technology.
Those are just a few of the questions asked. I think the dealers were a bit more surprised by our lack of interest in quilting. While I do appreciate quilting, it’s just not for me. One day I’d like to give it a go but something very modern. I loved that the dealers asked us questions and tried to get insight on what we do. I really hope we helped them out. I tried to be as blunt and honest as I possibly could and not sugar coat anything. Hopefully I didn’t come across as rude!
After the panels I went through and took some pictures from the convention. I’m not going to describe everything, since this is already a novel – and about to be picture HEAVY – but here is some eye candy:
If you are still reading along, you seriously deserve a cookie because this post is going on forever Haha, I can’t help it though – I’m excited and want to share everything! I had a great time at the convention and I want to thank Ann and everyone I met for everything. Even though Andres doesn’t sew he had a blast too and really appreciated what Husqvarna Viking had to offer. I can’t believe my little blog and my hard work got recognized and appreciated like this – THANK YOU!!
Lastly, I have to mention this, SEA WORLD ROCKS!!!