Sew Pro–A Conference for the Maker Biz

teri • May 13, 2016 • 6 Comments

sewpro_810x810By Sara Lawson

Hello GenQ readers! My name is Sara Lawson from Sew Sweetness and today I’m excited to share with you about Sew Pro, an brand-new event I am co-organizing for Sept.15-18, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.

What exactly is Sew Pro? It is the first event of its kind. We are not a sewing retreat; This is a lecture-style event in a classroom setting where experts will teach up-and-coming and beginning entrepreneurs how to enter or succeed in the sewing industry.

Have you been sewing at home as a hobby, but want to take the next step OR do you already have an established sewing business (already authored a book or written your first pattern) but need help to navigate and succeed? Then Sew Pro is for you!

Sew Pro was born because my co-organizers and I have lived this truth: Figuring out how to do all of the things needed for success has a HUGE learning curve and takes a lot of time and sleuthing. What software do you use? How do you get patterns printed? How do you present your artwork to a fabric company to get your designs picked up and manufactured as fabric? How do you promote your work online with social media? There are a million questions! All of these questions took a lot of time for us to figure out, but how brilliant would it be if there was a place where you could spend time with like-minded people, and get some of these questions answered? How I would have loved to attend an event like Sew Pro when I was getting started selling my patterns!

Here are some of the teachers who are on the inaugural Sew Pro faculty:

Tula Pink
Pat Sloan
Alison Glass
Sarah Watts
Mickey Krueger, president of Windham Fabrics
Kristin Link, Sew Mama Sew
Jenny Fox-Proverbs, editor of Love Patchwork & Quilting
Roseann Kermes, quilt shop owner and social media expert
Lora Douglas, CPA and also owner of a creative business
Brie Crawford, intellectual property and patent law attorney
Deb Hanahan, buyer at Checker Distributing
Jane Melville, Tri-State Printing
Karen Lepage, garment designer and pattern writer/illustrator

That is just a taste of the talent. We’ll be announcing more soon!

Check here for the full class list , which includes different tracks for fabric designers, pattern designers, authors and bloggers. Attendees will choose five 45-minute classes each day for a total of 10 classes. Of course, you may deviate from your chosen track, but we found that having the tracks makes it easier to take a lot of the classes you’ll need to get you on your way.

If you sign up for Sew Pro, here’s a peek at what your weekend will hold:

  • Thursday night opening mixer, where you can meet your fellow students and all of the teachers.
  • Five classes per day on both Friday and Saturday, plus a plated lunch each day.
  • Fun after-hours events on Friday and Saturday.

All this expert advice and goodness is only $550 per person. You can find the registration page here.

Sara Lawson hi res

Sara Lawson, co-organizer of Sew Pro

Because the event is in Chicago (where I live), I helped to choose the coolest, most convenient place to hold the event. It’s only two miles away from O’Hare International Airport, so the hotel will provide free shuttle service to and from the hotel. (No need to rent a car or book a shuttle!) We encourage you to share a room if you’d like, so feel free to join our Facebook group to make friends and find roommates. You can also follow us on Instagram for up-to-the-minute information.

If you want to go downtown for some sight-seeing, the hotel is within walking distance of the elevated train, which can get you downtown for just a couple of bucks. All classes and lunches are held within the hotel, and the after-hours events will take place about a block away–again, within walking distance.

Hopefully I’ve covered the basics, but you can also find complete information on the Sew Pro website!! Let me know if you have any questions. We’d love to see you there!

Of course there’s always a question or two, with an opportunity to win a little something. Simply answer: Who are the pro’s you’d most like to take a class with? What would you like to learn? We’ll leave this one open until after Quilt Market, so…we’ll draw a winner on Tuesday May 24th.

Quilt. Sew. Live. Breathe.

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Categories Needle Gypsies


  • churcae • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #1

    Hmmm.,…so many ideas thre! I love Alison Glass and her fabric designs so I think I would like to see her design process up close!

  • Jen Beatty • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #2

    Melody Miller and Allison Glass, are at the top of my list that I have yet to take a class with. I want to pick their brains on how they decide which of the ideas to move forard with.

  • Jen Beatty • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #3

    Alison Glass and the ladies of Cotton & Steel. I’d love to discover how they narrow down their design ideas.

    • Jen Beatty • 5 years ago
      COMMENT #

      Opps, sorry thought my comment didn’t go through.

  • Judi D • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #4

    Well, I would love a class with each and everyone of you, but my top fave would be Pat Sloan. And I would like to learn more about mixing patterns. Have fun and stay safe!

  • Cyndi Farfsing • 5 years ago
    COMMENT #5

    Such a hard choice!! I’d really love to take the classes that Kristin Link teaches, as well as Alison Glass. I’d really like to learn more about developing relationships through social media and networking.

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