Washington State University is hosting the 37th annual Sewing and Stitchery Expo virtually from Feb. 24–28.

Coordinated by WSU Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI) Professional Education (ProfEd), the expo is the nation’s largest consumer sewing show.

The event is designed for sewing and stitching enthusiasts interested in creating their own clothing, costumes, quilts, fiber arts such as knitting and tatting, or other textile-related projects. According to Cook, this is a show for makers to learn how to make what they love.

“WSU has been curating and managing this show since 1984. Before COVID, we would welcome over 20,000 visitors over 5 days at the Washington State Fairgrounds. With this kind of audience, it is an heavily anticipated event every year for our participants,” said Jennifer Cook, AOI’s ProfEd director. “This year is especially unique, pivoting the entire event to a virtual platform and delivery. This opened the virtual doors for many who haven’t attended in the past to try it out from the comfort of their home.”

For the first time since it began in 1984, the expo will be held entirely virtually, and will be delivered through a virtual platform that ProfEd has customized to become an industry leader for virtual events.

“The people who attend this event are a very diverse group, with interests in garment making and costumes, home textiles, wool crafting, accessories, bag making, quilting, and anything that can be made with textiles, beds, yarns, and more,” said Cook. “They look forward to this event all year, even having their own fan Facebook page to engage with others of similar interest and pick up tips for creating their best Expo experience.”

Sixty-eight teachers will deliver 221 virtual classes, with individual class tickets available for purchase. The expo will also include 45 free stage presentations and 53 vendors delivering 108 live demos available to all participants.

“The Expo is the best ticket for high-quality instructions from the best instructors in the industry,” said Cook.

Thousands of people attend the event each year. As of February 23, over 3,200 individual participants have registered for over 13,000 virtual class seats.

“This year has shown that enthusiasm can cross delivery platforms,” said Cook. “We will be recording the sessions so that participants can access their purchased class recordings for 30 days after the event. This has allowed enthusiasts to double-book themselves in multiple classes at the same time, knowing they will be able to see recordings later.”

“We’ve received very positive feedback so far, and are confident it will prove a successful event as it has been in the past.”

Registration for Expo runs through the last day, February 28th. To register for the expo, view the event catalogue, or to purchase class tickets, visit the expo’s website.