The Sew-cial Media Darling
Meet Mimi Goodwin – I think the most famous Fashion, Sewing & Style forward blogger. You may argue that there are other sewing bloggers that are famous too. However, are they also promoting fashion (I mean today’s fashion, not fuddy-duddy looks) and style? On her blog, MimiGStyle shows us how to “Buy it, Make it, Mix it, & Rock it!” Her sewing tutorials are geared towards beginners and she uses lots of knits. She believes if you start with easy knit fabric people will be encouraged to sew again, learn new techniques and venture out to all type of fabrics. Her strategy obviously works because she has over a million hits to her blog, and other social media accounts. She also have big corporate sponsors such as Michael Levine Fabrics. She collaborates with Simplicity Patterns in which her design line is the bestselling patterns of the past year for Simplicity.
I’ve been a fan of Mimi for almost two years. Sabrina introduced her blog to me. Sabrina, an avid student of Mimi, learned to sew from scratch, no patterns – gaining skills that I never learned since I always depended on printed patterns. I’ve never sewn any garments from Mimi’s tutorials before. I just love her blog. We’ve have been contemplating going to Mimi’s conference for over a year but was not too keen on the seminars geared only to beginner sewing. Still, we thought just going for the overall experience would be worth it. This year when Mimi announced seminars for intermediate/advanced sewers, we hit that ‘purchase’ button for the conference like game show contestants. The conference sold out within days.
The word conference alone sounds boring, long days of seminars. However, Mimi’s Fashion, Style & Sewing onference was all excitement. Oh yeah, no sewing machines required as this is not a sewing retreat at all. There’s no time to waste – you get your sewing done at home (buy it, make it, mix it) before the conference because honestly, the whole three days is a fashion show where you rock it! Imagine sewing a whole wardrobe inspired by Mimi G’s online tutorials and Simplicity patterns and everyone recognizing your outfit, the pattern used, how you made it your own, and all those fingers fondling the fabric of your outfit. Everyone was admiring each other’s outfits between seminars. It was beautiful. I was so inspired by all my fellow sewing sister’s creations – they were amazing.
The Fashion Show
This year Mimi G. added a Fashion Show to the conference line up. I assumed it was going to be a small, quiet affair with a few ladies standing in from of a small group of conference attendees. Well, I underestimated the fashion show. It was a full production, A-list style. Cocktail bar, live DJ, photographers and video crew. The hall was big and packed with hundreds of pretty people waiting for a show. Yes, there were judges, a simplicity pattern designer, a fashion stylist, and an image/brand consultant. Participants, including Sabrina and I strutted down the runway, modeling 48 outfits to the sound of ‘Uptown Funk’. The styles ran from street fashion to fantasy fashion. Cameras flashing, ooh & ah’s from the audience, and compliments from the master of ceremony, Mimi G. herself. It was a surreal night. We were all super models for our own designs.
The Mimi G Style Outfits
Sabrina and I sewed all our outfits worn over the weekend. For the fashion Show Sabrina modeled the Sequin Maxi Skirt. I modeled the Simplicity 1159 Halter Top and the Front Slit Maxi dress. Also, we wore a few knit Pencil Skirts we whipped up days before the conference and a few of Mimi’s Regal (dirndl) Skirts which I like to call the “sew-cial media skirt” because ‘everybody and their mama’ has sewn and posted thousands of these full skirts on Instagram and Pinterest.
The Sewing & Style Seminars
Mimi G had her entourage to make her conference a success. Her guest speaker/instructors are well versed in the pattern and sewing industry. Deborah Kreiling – Design Development Director, Simplicity Pattern Company directed the Pattern Fitting seminar. James “Gentleman Jim” McFarland, Master Tailor instructed the Tailored Jacket seminar. Tieko Nejon, Image and Branding Strategist of Style Lab presented the seminar on Styling, Fit & Undergarments Seminar. Mimi presented a swatch book class with actual fabric to feel. She had us all write in the fabric information down ourselves. More fabric will be purchased on the internet than ever before so it is crucial you know the feel of the fabric you are buying online. I really appreciated the swatch book.
The most Generous Gift Bag
Mimi’s sponsors loves her very much. The love was passed down to us with an awesome gift bag. No samples, actual full size items needed for fashion sewing including: Two yards of black neoprene/scuba fabric from Michael Levine Fabrics, a full size Style Arc pattern, a pair of Fiskars scissors. We also were treated to the early release of Mimi’s new Simplicity fall pattern. Like I said, the best gift bag ever.
The Fabric Shopping Spree
The best way to explain the fabric shopping is like a kid in a candy store. Mimi’s sponsor, Michael Levine Fabrics treated us to special shopping opportunity. They opened their main store early for us and we had the store to ourselves for a while. We were treated to a special discount and free shipping of $75 or more purchase. They even open their outlet store for us that is usually closed on Sundays. Every fabric in the outlet was $3 a pound! Sabrina cleaned up with three over-stuffed bags. We both broke from the pack in Michael Levine Fabric store early and ventured into the other smaller mom & pop stores in the district. I must admit, the selection of fabric is small, imagine forty-plus small stores selling the same thing. Most of the fabric are for special occasions, like weddings, quinceaneras, and drag queen pageants – lots of satin, and shiny spandex. But, if you have the patience and agility to climb over fabric bolts, you can find some gorgeous quality, fabric worthy of being sold in Mood fabric. I brought $200 cash and an Ikea market bag to shop with. My shopping limit was when the money ran out or the bag filled up. The bag filled up first, 29 pounds. I had $46 left over. Next time I’ll bring a bigger bag. I paid $1 to $5 a yard for beautiful, quality fabrics. It was a fabric shopper’s paradise! We headed back the outlet for lunch on the house from Mr. Levine.
This was a great weekend for both of us. Before I arrived I thought there would be no interest in going back to the conference for the next five years. After this experience, I am more likely going to be there for 2016. Mimi knows how to host a great conference. It is obvious she is one of the best business women with great entrepreneurialism. I think she is the new Nancy Zieman of home (fashion) sewing. She knows how to sell her business. She knows her followers and what they want from her. In return, she is on the cutting edge of the home sewing industry by way of social media. There is no one else out there like her doing what she does and succeeding at it. She is in a class by herself and that is why I admire Mimi G.
Instagram Hashtags: #mimigstyle, #mgfss2015, #sewingissexy