Contributed by Carrie Diamont
In 2009 I attended the MN Sewing Expo and watched my friends, the Material Girls, participate in the Peggy Sager’s customer fashion show for a chance to win a trip to NY to shop for fabric in the Garment District. In 2010 I attended the Expo again, but this time I was determined to have a fighting chance at winning the NY fabric buying trip. Luck was on my side – I was one of two customers to participate in the afternoon fashion show. And I had come prepared – I brought two garments with me so I had two chances to win the trip. Surprise, surprise, with a 67% chance of winning the trip – my name was picked out of the hat and I won!
I asked Peggy if I could join the next December trip as the December 2010 trip was already full.
Can you believe I waited just over a year to go on the NY Fabric buying trip? Although there is a spring option – I prefer fall fabrics of wools, heavy knits, darker colors, etc. Although it was a long time off -believe me I didn’t let Peggy forget that I would be on the December trip in 2011!
The trip begins officially on a Thursday afternoon and wraps up on Friday evening. You would not believe the amount of shopping you can do in just a day and a half! Peggy brought us into places that don’t sell to the public, and specialize in designer lines. As part of the trip we had a once in a life time opportunity to tour the design studio of Nanette Lepore, an American designer who still manufactures the majority of her line within the 5 blocks of the NY Garment District. While the shopping and the tour were awesome, the only thing that could top that was sharing this experience with 40 other sewists. Dinner on Thursday night was a room full of ladies chatting about sewing and sharing experiences. Who knew that a room full of sewing enthusiasts could get so loud! Of course the night ended with a round of show and tell of our best fabric finds from the day. The fun of the companionship was certainly as much fun as the shopping!
Luckily for me, my roommate had been on several of these buying trips. She gave me the inside scoop on the places we would be visiting – where to splurge because you won’t have the opportunity to go back, what types of fabric to expect to find in the different locations, and where to browse. A high number of the ladies are repeat attenders, some have been coming since the first one! It’s easy to see that this trip is a great value for the price and a wonderful experience. For those who have been able to attend the Material Girls’ hosted SR Harris shopping trips – The Peggy Sager NY trip is like that experience on steroids. Unforgettable is the best way to describe it ; )
Pictures include: Peggy and friends shopping in NY, me with two bolts of amazing Helmut Lang wool