News You Can Use

LivingSoft Subscriber Newsletter | Volume 9

Sew Expo 2005

By Alice McGlothin

Each spring the swallows return to Capistrano..........and the stitchers come back to Puyallup, WA.  For the past 21 years the Washington State University Extension has hosted the Sewing & Stitchery Expo at the Washington State Fairgrounds in Puyallup (pew-AL-up) Washington.  It is the largest sewing expo on the west coast, and the biggest consumer sewing show in the United States. The show runs for four full days and includes seminars and hands-on classes.  Last year there were 386 booths with 205 vendors represented.  Of course LivingSoft was there. 

For the second year in a row, the Livingsoft booth was managed and hosted by the Washington State User Group.  The team, led by Kay Cook, designed, constructed and staffed the booth.

We had several laptop computers set up with the latest build of the full program on each.  As attendees approached the booth we had just one important question to ask:  "Would you like to be able to make clothes that REALLY fit, EVERY time you sew?"  That started off a conversation about Dress Shop.

Most people today are using computers for all types of sewing and craft design.  They are fascinated by a program that can take as few as five or as many as 57 measurements, and draft a clothing pattern.  We emphasized that these patterns are custom designed for anyone, even those with hard-to-fit body issues.  And the program drafts for men, women, children and dolls!

Many grandmothers were delighted to see a program that could draft an adorable dress for their little granddaughters AND print the same dress for her doll.  And, because the designs can be saved, folks who needed costumes or a bridesmaid dress liked the ability to create, save and then print for as many different measurements sets as needed. Of course, the Measurement Wizard could speed up this process.

One woman was attending with her teenage daughter who wanted to be a fashion designer and was planning to major in fashion at college.  Her mother had researched 'professional' pattern design programs and was astounded at the price.  $10,000. was the range for these programs.  When this mother and daughter saw the demonstration of Dress Shop and then heard the price, they couldn't wait to call home to get the “finance minister's” permission to buy the full program with all the pattern sets and tools.  Within two days they had come back and purchased the program.

There was a great amount of interest in Doll Shop.  We displayed three different dolls in the booth, each with a totally different shape, all wearing the same design.  The doll fanciers were thrilled to find a program that would take any doll's measurements and draft an outfit, including boy dolls.  People were interested the program’s ability to print patterns for soft body dolls as well. 

By the end of each day we were exhausted and tired of talking, but very satisfied to know we had shared the wonders of the LivingSoft programs with so many people.  We invited everyone we spoke with to visit the web site, download the program and play.  These days, I see many newbie names on the DressShopDiscussion list.  I hope we saw some of you at the show and will see many more next year.  The 2006 dates are March 2,3,4 and 5.  You can visit the Expo web site at