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Edye Sanford – Designs from the Edge
Your Heart’s Desire in Fabric
An IT-manager-turned-fashion-designer, Edye Sanford emerged on the Baltimore fashion scene 14 years ago with a collection of children’s hats for the local boutique Oh! Said Rose. The whimsical-yet-practical hats were quickly recognized as Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Kiddie Caps.” Her line steadily expanded to include retro-inspired, hip clothing and accessories for women, children, men, and the home. Five years ago, she was thrilled and honored to begin in-depth study of bridal and formalwear under the expert eye of Baltimore’s Best Tailor – and former ASDP national president – Rae Cumbie, allowing Sanford to fulfill clients’ wishes for all kinds of creative garments in even more inventive ways.
Attention-to-detail and originally best describe her work. Recent projects have included repurposing wedding gowns into Christening gowns, making skirts from upholstery fabric for a client who is an interior designer with lots of home dec remnants, and creating a custom wedding gown for the owner of Maryland’s largest organic farm.
Sanford is the president of the Baltimore chapter of ASDP and a certified Eureka! Licensed Pants Professional. She is an active member of numerous community and professional organizations and enjoys volunteering to teach a variety of sewing skills in Baltimore City Public Schools. She lives in the eclectic Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, MD with her husband, two sons, two very spoiled rescue pugs, and a flock of urban chickens.
PREVIOUSLY FEATURED MEMBERS
Christine has specialized in bridal work for over 35 years and has more than 40 years of sewing experience.
Christine started sewing as a young girl taught by her mother and grandmother, who was a milliner and tailor herself. Finding her passion in the art of sewing, she continued sewing for herself and family for many years. Soon the word was out of her talents and she took on her first paying customer in 1969.
She studied at Mt. Mary University, the first school in the USA to offer a 4 year fashion design program.
From Mt. Mary she earned a degree in Fashion Design and was trained by both American and European designers.
While there were years of raising her family, she kept her skills fine-tuned. She opened her Sun Prairie Design Studio in 2000. She continues to improve her skill level annually by taking classes to learn new techniques from international designers and instructions from around the country.
Christine has been a member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (ASDP) since 2003 and is an active participant of both the local Wisconsin Chapter and National level to help grow the Association.
My mother taught me how to sew when I was 8 years old. Both my Grandmothers sewed, and I remember them sewing in their sewing rooms. This is when having a sewing room was very common! I had a doll (similar size to an American Girl doll), I think it came with sewing patterns, and we made clothes for it. My mom made a lot of clothes for me and I remember cutting some out with her and learning the basics such as the importance of carefully pinning the cloth together and ironing every seam.
When I went to college, I brought my sewing machine with me. Some stuff I made was kind of wacky, like a shirt from curtains (aka The Sound of Music) and a dress from some random fabric an old boyfriend had used for a toga. I remember I made a drop-waist dress for a dance with these big flowers at the waist. A couple of my roommates wore it to other events after.
It wasn’t until after college when I was working for a construction management firm that I began sketching clothes and sewing my own designs, not just straight from patterns I had purchased. I began accumulating fabric and supplies (important for the creative process!) and learning better techniques. This is when I took a class in Baltimore by Sarah Veblen, a professional sewer, national instructor and author. It all clicked for me and the world of sewing and creating whatever I wanted cracked wide open! Since then I’ve taken several design classes from Sarah, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and at ASDP conferences. Now, I sew most of my clothes.
My business started while I was staying at home with my son. The word spread that I sewed, and people would ask if I would do various projects for them. My business was formed! This year I became a LLC, so my business name is Wendy Cettina Original Designs, LLC. Most of my clients are referrals or repeat clients. I’ve been a member of ASDP for five years and have been on the New Jersey Chapter’s Board serving as 2nd president for about 3 years. I feel that being a member is a wonderful credential and gives another layer of professionalism to my business. I enjoy the variety of my business, a mix of tailoring, original clothing, christening gowns and home decorating items.
I have been a member of ASDP for about 15 years and I am thrilled to be a part of this group of professionals. Belonging to ASDP gives me credentials as a patternmaker and writer. There are other organizations for seamstresses and crafters, but this group is for the masters of their trades.
My love affair with patternmaking started accidentally, when a saleslady in a home storage store told me about a wonderful patternmaking class she just took, right here where I live, in Columbus, Ohio. Mrs. Hannah was teaching an American pattern-drafting method at Columbus College of Art and Design (CCAD). She used an old textbook written by Harriet Pepin. We learned how to draft slopers and then how to make sewing patterns. Although I was a little intimidated by the young and talented kids in the class, I studied diligently and with great enthusiasm. It was clear that most of the young students were "artistic" and I was "technical." They would be designers and I would be a patternmaker. I loved this class. What I did not like about this method was that the armhole in the Bodice Front was too large.
When the class was over, my sister, who is a fabulous dressmaker, and who still lives in my native Poland, sent me Polish translations of the famous German Muller method. My sister warned me that the instructions were poorly written and full of errors. Those books intrigued me, because the drafting method was so different than the American method, and so I studied them even more diligently. I loved the sleeves in the German method, but I wanted a customized version for various shapes of armholes.
Then, I took a private seminar with the drafting teacher for John Klamar in New York City. I learned about his school in an article written in Sew News. The school was closing and I was one of the last students. The pattern drafting method was French and again it was different than the German and American methods. I loved the pants in the French method, but I wanted to adapt the drafting method to individual measurements for a custom fit.
Well, then I just had to learn the English drafting method. All that learning took me several years and I was ready to combine the elements I liked in each European method into my own drafting method. I was not happy with the Bodice Front armhole in any of these methods, but I was able to figure out myself how to draft it better.
I started to make notes and translated them from English to Polish, so that my sister could review them. I asked her to be brutally honest about my notes. She was. "Make it simpler, make it simpler," she demanded. And so my instructions slowly became clear and easy to follow.
I basically wrote those instructions for myself, until my designer-friend urged me to self-publish my notes in a book. Her idea was that there might be other women, perhaps professional dressmakers, interested in drafting slopers using the best elements of the European methods combined in one book. My book would save those women almost 10 years of research and learning. I decided to follow her advice. It took me awhile because I was working during the day and had only evenings to work on my book. Weekends were for my husband and household chores. I also had to learn about the business of self-publishing and accounting. But I persevered and in 2002 my book was ready. European Cut features 5 basic slopers: Bodice, Skirt, Sleeve, Torso and Pants.
I think that the best benefit of self-publishing is the fact that I "met" very interesting women online. Some of my customers became my cherished friends. I learned from them as they learned from me and that is a beautiful bonus! Now I have to finish the other books I plan to write.
http://www.vestisbooks.com | E-mail: email@example.com
Linda Harber is a “fairy godmother” that takes her calling seriously. In addition to sewing couture quality wedding gowns, ballroom and dance costumes, her most rewarding projects are the occasional brides who are deserving of a special gift.
The first bride to experience the benevolent magic had a beautiful heart and needed a gown to match. Linda met her the day she was engaged to a close friend. As she got to know her, it was clear the young bride-to-be maintained her virtue and a servant’s heart through a tremendously difficult childhood. One month later, the friend’s father tragically died and in the midst of their grief, Linda wanted to bring a blessing to the family. It was 6 months later when the bride walked down the aisle in her original Linda Marie, one-of-a-kind, hand draped silk and lace gown.
For over 15 years, Linda has maintained a part-time business making everything from custom wedding gowns to danceable feather wings and a snake’s head for a ballet company, where she worked as Costume Mistress. Occasionally, there are interesting projects that challenge her creativity such as a commissioned anniversary quilt for a Bible study organization, ballet tutus, skating costumes and ballroom gowns. One memorable undertaking was a party game challenge where the client desired a winning concept for use of one yard of fabric; a cummerbund, bow tie, handbag, boutonnière and corsage were created and stole the show!
Recently, Linda has delved into alternations more than original gowns. Several brides have fallen in love with sample gowns no longer in production, but in the wrong size, and purchased them anyway, hoping she could work a miracle. Out comes the wand and a size 12 becomes a size 2. Linda would like to make a rule that no bride is allowed to shop for her gown without being accompanied by her alterations guru and a good fitting bra!
Sewing education has been a learning journey. Linda’s mother shared her love and skill in the craft at a young age, making most of her garments. At age 6 a toy sewing machine was Linda’s first expedition into her life long love for sewing. Her first and only home economics class was in 7th grade. Unfortunately by then, her skills were well beyond the curriculum being taught. So she turned to her mom again for coaching and instruction. Linda never took another sewing class until majoring in Home Economics in college. She made it through a plethora of classes at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Cal State Long Beach but dropped out to get married and pursue her first love of being a wife and mother. After her children graduated college, Linda returned to take tailoring, draping, couture techniques and fashion illustration at Orange Coast College.
Self taught for most of Linda’s career, a defining moment in her early development was when her mother helped her make a halter-top they saw in 17 Magazine. Linda’s “hero-mom” encouraged her to create her own special version and continue even beyond her skill level. Mom always knew what was in style by reading Vogue Pattern Magazine, which Linda still reads today. Linda’s sister recalls many times at school when friends would comment: “Why is your sister wearing such weird clothes?” and the reply was: “You won’t think it is weird 3 months from now…when it is in fashion here!” Linda credits her love of design to these on trend experiences from her high school years where she always led the way in modern fashion.
After a brief experiment as a Dance and Activewear storeowner, she decided to focus on her love of sewing. Linda began competing at conferences in 2002 and was a finalist in the Threads Magazine challenge in both 2002 and 2003. She joined as a member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals in 2007. Linda taught vocational education at the local high school level for a year until the program was cut due to budget issues.
Linda has an extensive stash consisting of wedding silks, laces, ribbons, rhinestones, faux fur fabric, and many unfinished projects. Storage and room to work are a constant struggle, which she overcomes with her talent for organization. A place for everything and everything in its place is a way of life. Linda’s well-organized studio is currently located in the second bedroom of her Irvine, CA condo. It is decorated with large photos of Linda’s most proud accomplishments, i.e. her children’s wedding garments. In addition, a favorite sign hangs prominently: “Everyone is entitled to my opinion” an attitude based on years of successful fashion sense and inherited confidence.
Linda married her high school sweetheart, Andy 35 years ago. They have two children and three grandchildren.
Mirjana Freilich has been a member of ASDP since 2006 and was the National Chairperson when we were called the “Professional Association of Custom Clothiers.” Mirjana is also a member of the New England Chapter. She lives in Natick, Ma with her husband and chocolate lab. Mirjana says that being a member of ASDP has given her a venue for further education locally and at National conferences, as well as a sense of belonging to a larger business community where she can learn from and share with colleagues.
She has earned a reputation as a resource for the finest in custom-made clothing for women. Whether you are looking for quality career clothing, an exquisite bridal gown, "mother of" or "guest of" fashions for weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, or any other special occasion, Mirjana will work with you to translate your vision into the perfect garment.
The experience of having clothing custom made in the Artwear studio is quite unlike that of purchasing ready-to-wear. It is a no-pressure, enjoyable experience in an aesthetic environment. Many options are available to ensure that your custom made garment is exactly what you want.
If you've experienced the frustration of unsuccessfully trying to find just what you're looking for at retail or if you have special fitting requirements, then you are the ideal couture candidate. Few women have the "perfect " figure but in couture that is not a problem. Everyone can look beautiful no matter what their age or size.
As a custom clothier she has worked with many clients. Her extensive education and experience in design, patternmaking, fitting and couture sewing techniques enables her to advise you on suitable color, style and fabric choices. The result is a beautiful garment that enhances your best features.
Mirjana delights in working with her clients - discriminating women who choose to wear unique clothing with the style, fit and quality construction which comes from clothing that is custom made. Custom clothing is the most personalized form of dressing possible! Clients work with her on the design and fabric choices that will result in quality garments of exceptional fit and impeccable workmanship.
To get inspired by Mirjana quality of workmanship please check out her website, http://www.artwearcouture.com
ASDP Member since 1998. I live in Bellingham, Washington a town of 100,000 midway between Seattle and Vancouver British Columbia. The focus of my business is bridal and formal wear alterations. I rent studio space from a large bridal shop and work as a contractor for them. I share the space with two other alterations specialists. I do a limited amount of custom work for individual clients.
I began sewing as a child under the tutelage of my paternal grandmother. By the ninth grade I was making all my own clothes and clothes for family members. I majored in clothing and textiles at Washington State University, graduated in 1970; so, so very long ago. I came to Bellingham intending to do graduate work in theatrical costuming but impulsively bought a weaving loom and a sheep farm (really, what was I thinking?) and joined the back to the land movement. I spent 15 years spinning, dyeing and weaving the wool from my sheep. I sold items at street fairs and eventually found representation in galleries in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I continued to sew clothing for myself and my children. In the eighties I went to work for the Magic Fit Pattern company and traveled around the US teaching pattern making seminars and selling the Magic Fit patterns. (I still use them). During this time I got back into sewing and started to pick up some production work, some home dec work, some custom work, some dance costumes and custom western horseback riding clothes. A little bit of everything.
I was hooked. The second conference was in St. Louis and I entered the first Threads Challenge, the mohair challenge. I did it because I wanted to participate in the fashion show at the conference and because I wanted to be in Threads Magazine. My outfit didn’t make it into the magazine but I learned a lot about mohair (it’s really itchy). I got to see some wonderful garments up close and enjoyed the backstage ambiance and excitement of the fashion show.
And get all the proper documentation together except when I found out (too late) what bullet points were. Through participation in the challenges I’ve been able to write a few Threads magazine articles. I’ve been lucky and honored to win some challenges and stand on the stage with people who do incredible work. It been a great privilege to be a member of ASDP and I am happy that as my career winds down new, young member are choosing to join us.
I have always been interested in art and fashion. I learned to sew from my mother when I was a kid and I never chose the easy garments to do. I loved to challenge myself by sewing garments such as an eight gore plaid skirt. When I was 12 years old I entered a shoe design contest with the Broadway Department Store and won first place. The next year, I was so excited when I saw those shoes for sale in their store. I took every sewing and art class I could while going through school.
While in my twenties, and raising my small children, I learned my crafts. I ran a dressmaking business out of my home, making wedding & bridesmaids' gowns, drill team costumes of 50 each for 2 different high schools, a small line of clothes for a boutique owner in La Jolla, CA and many private clients with different needs and body shapes. I also continued as an artist by drawing with pen & ink and selling them at local home-base Christmas boutiques.
In 1980, I developed a line of children's clothing under the name of "judith irene creations". With my children in school, and my 5 year old daughter and her friends as my models, I designed and manufactured a line of overalls with animal faces embroidered on the bibs. I was represented in the Cal Mart downtown Los Angeles and the line was sold there and at the Kids Market Fashion Week in New York City. The line was carried by 150 stores and one mail order catalog. The proudest moment was when I received an order from Neiman Marcus for their new Las Vegas store's opening. After a few years, I needed to close my children's line of clothing because my husband and I decided to separate. I moved with my children to Los Angeles from San Diego to pursue a career in the fashion business.
To further my education I took a pattern making course at LA Trade Tech at night, while I worked at International Costumes in Torrance, CA. My instructor Yuki was impressed with my skills and interviewed me for a job with a dress manufacturer "Street Scene ". That was my first job as a designer, patternmaker and doing cost analysis and quality control. I have worked at several different companies as a designer, but I realized that my strengths were in the craft of making the patterns for production. It was what made me happy. I was hired as a head production patternmaker for "Nancy Johnson". The designs were elegant, detailed and pieces of art. The company was known for beautiful southern bell dresses made out of Battenberg lace table clothes. My job was to make the intricate patterns, supervise the sewing and fit the garment on a size 8 model, send the pattern out for grading sizes 4 -14 and then make sure that each size garment's pattern would fit properly onto only one table cloth. I would also draw out embroidery designs for garments that the company would hire total villages in China to hand embroider and sew. It was my dream job, until; it had to close for financial reasons in the early 90s.
For the next ten years, I worked for a few different companies as a head production patternmaker or on a free-lance basis. In the fashion business it isn't how long you have worked at one company but how long you've been doing your job. I was making good money, increasing my wages with each new job. In 1991 my daughter went off to college and there was a new man in my life. I started learning to paint in watercolor and to dye fabric. I started showing on the art circuit, which could be up to 25 weekend shows a year and in 1993 I also joined two co-ops. I did this in addition to working full time as a patternmaker. At the Palos Verdes Art Center I joined "The Artists' Studio", a co-op, in which I showed my watercolor paintings and a small line of wearable art at their two galleries. At Art-A-Fair, co-op, in Laguna Beach, I exhibit my watercolor paintings during the summer show and in 2000 I started showing my wearable art. This gave me the ability to keep working downtown to pay for my daughter's education and to be creative in the arts.
Graphic designs and couture workmanship are the hallmark of my work. Pieced graphic jackets, vests and coats using couture sewing and wonderful artistic details are what I’m known for. I also do a line of hand dyed silk chiffon garments (view example photo) that are painted in a “Jackson Pollock” style. My work is shown at art shows, sold in 24 boutiques across the country and in Dubai, UAE at Saks Fifth Avenue.
I have been creating exhibition pieces that have won many awards. My jacket “Misty Swirl” won first place at the 2005 “Pacific International Quilt Festival” and Best of Show Use of Color at the 2006 “Glendora Quilt Show”. I had the honor of exhibiting my coat “Etruscan Erté” in the 2005-2006 Palos Verdes Art Center International “Wearable Expressions”. In June 2006 “Etruscan Erté” won second place from juror Melissa Leventon, well known author, professor and costumes/textile consultant, at “Convergence 2006 Grand Rapid”. In 2007 I was chosen as one of the designers to exhibit in the “Bernina Fashion Show, Diamond Odyssey”, and I was thrilled to have my gown “Infanta in Diamonds” win the Viewer’s Choice Award.
In 2008, I joined the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, ASDP. I went to the conference in Chicago that year. I enjoyed the networking and the classes I took. I took a tambour beading class from Robert Haven, which is a style of Lesage Couture Embroidery that Chanel, Dior, and most of the French couturiers use in their garments. It is a wonderful skill to add to my repertoire. At this time, I was also excited to be one of the first to sign up for the MSDP, Master Certification Program for the ASDP.
I am very proud to say that I have completed the MSDP this past year. I decide to enroll in the certificate program for my own satisfaction. I did go to a community college but I’ve always regretted not completing my college education. I wanted to prove to myself and the fashion gods, what I’ve learned over the past 50 years. The certificate program is very comprehensive, thorough and very time consuming. When I signed up I had a 5 year contract and I needed to get a year extension. For the past year I mainly concentrated on the certificate and cut back on my business. Now that I’ve finished, I have a renewed excitement to work on a new group of jackets.
The phone rang on Sunday evening, Thanksgiving weekend in 2011. It was my friend BJ, who has been working in the film industry for 15 years: “I know it is a holiday but what are you doing tomorrow?” she said.
Linda has had a lifelong interest in sewing and creative activities. Excited about starting something from nothing, and turning her creative abilities into a job, she's launched three businesses at different times over the past 30 years; including a retail store, gift basket company, and most recently Snips, a custom sewing and alterations business. In conjunction with Snips she's designed projects and written instructions for sewing publications, and done product demonstration at trade events.
She has studied commercial art and graphic design, patternmaking and sewing techniques with many well-known instructors. She serves as membership chair for the ASDP Wisconsin Chapter, and as a Board Member/Fundraising/Events Chair for a local non-profit in her area. Linda lives with her family near Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
This month we would like to introduce you to Michelle Moenssen who is the newly-elected VP of Education, taking office on January 1, 2015.
Michelle has been sewing professionally for 25 years, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in fashion design and merchandising from Wayne State University.
Early on, she was an Elizabethan costume designer for three years for the Detroit Institute of Arts, and after making Renaissance costumes for The Madame Cadillac Dance Theater of Detroit, traveled to France with them on their European tour.
She opened her first tailoring and custom dressmaking business in 1996, and was chosen "Best Tailor in metro Detroit" by the readers of 2 different lifestyle magazines in 2002.
She served as secretary on the board of the Detroit chapter of Fashion Group International before becoming Regional Director in 2005. While director, she won an award for most successful national event of 2006, bringing Daniel Vosovic, a Project Runway finalist to speak to the members.
An accomplished fiber artist, her dyed and felted garments have been accepted into national juried competitions and exhibitions including the Ann Arbor Art Fair, Surface Design Association, Handweaver's Guild of America, the One of a Kind Show in Chicago and The American Craft Council's flagship Baltimore show.
She has taught fashion design at the International Academy of Design and Technology, workshops for the Handweaver's Guild of America, the American Sewing Guild and the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild, as well as classes in her own studio. She served as secretary on the board of the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild for 4 years.
She currently owns Nonpareil Studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she designs and creates original custom clothing and alterations.
This month we would like to introduce you to Lillian Kincey from Winterville, Georgia. She has been a member since 2001. After years of training in tailoring, pattern making, formal and bridal wear techniques and general sewing she turned her skills to heirloom sewing making christening gowns or layette that are one of a kind treasures. She was quoted in Athens magazine “The second her last embroidery stitch is finished generations of memories begin.”
Lilian started to sew at the young age of 8 and was taught by her Mother who always made sure that whatever Lillian made it was done to the best of her ability. And always told her “If you’re not going to do it right, don’t tell anyone I taught you to sew.”
She brings to her clients the art of fine sewing and a one of a kind garment for the special ceremony or an infant’s baptism.
Her gowns are reminiscent of the gentleness and traditions of the Victorian Era; they are mostly made using white or ivory Swiss cotton batiste, cotton lawn and silk dupionni. Each gown is adorned with fine lace, silk ribbon, hand embroider or pearls she has no problem making each a unique treasure.
The layettes she makes are made from fine fabrics, laces and ribbons as the christening gowns, but some designs are repeated. Some of the items she makes are short gowns, diaper cover, and bonnet, bibs, booties and blankets or coverlets.
Some of her clients will bring her a wedding dress to make into a Christening gown or a photo of a gown worn by a great grandmother to be copied she rises to the challenge and enjoys making memories for her clients.
Check out her website at www.lilliansheirlooms.com and her Facebook page.
This month we would like to introduce you to Cisa Barry from New Albany, Indiana, who has been a member since 2011. She acquired her skills apprenticing for 2 years at 2 different businesses in Bloomington, IN and Louisville, KY. She continues her education through her hard work at her shop.
Like many of us, starting out in 2008, she used a spare bedroom as her work space. From there the business has been on the rise, growing from home to having 2 full time and 2 part time employees in a commercial space in the historic White House Center in downtown New Albany. Her main business is alterations and tailoring, wedding dresses and over the last year has seen a boom in custom work, where her true passion lies.
At the end of this year, she is planning another move which will double her current space and allow for future growth. With the larger staff, she is able to take on more work, including referrals from area boutiques and bridal salons. She also works with a local designer making Western Quarter Horse jackets for competitive participants. Cisa and her staff find this work challenging but also very rewarding, as they never sees the clients in person, (a sample of their work is posted).
In addition to starting her MAS certification this year, Cisa’s new goal is to start a traveling sewing school. She feels there is a real need to teach the younger generations the basic sewing skills that are so lacking in today’s school curriculums. Cisa said “We’ve got this whole generation that doesn’t even know how to thread a needle.” Likely, many in this association would agree with that statement.
She is determined to do her part to not let our art form die out. Cisa’s future plans include adding a fabric store to her core business and offering in-house classes.
We are proud to say that she was selected as a “20 Under 40” recipient last year. This recognition is given to individuals in Clark and Floyd counties under the age of 40 who have made a difference in their work and extracurricular activities. She was also nominated for the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence. While she was not selected last year, she will apply again this fall.
She attended her first conference in 2013 and had a remarkable time! This year she is looking forward to taking Carol Kimball’s master class and reuniting with fellow members in Philadelphia.
Check out her website at http://www.sewfitting.com. You can also follow her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sewfitting.
Carol Kimball has been a member of the Association for 23 years. She is a person who quietly helps out our Association and we would like to recognize her this month for the amazing work she does formatting our Perspectives Newsletter. She is gifted in putting the information into an interesting format we can all enjoy. Thank you from all the membership.
Carol shares her talents in classes that are often offered at our annual conferences. This year she’s teaching two: the new Video Clips for Your Business and her 2-day Master Class in Fashion Illustration.
If you haven’t taken her sketching class or feel you could use a refresher course, sign up early so you don’t miss this opportunity. You will leave with your drawing skills improved 10-fold. Last year in Nashville Carol took pictures of me and did my individual croquis, which I use all the time.
When she pitched teaching Video Clips for us, she was frank that she knew nothing about how to do it. She found doing research and teaching herself new software programming fascinating. She’ll cover options from low-rent to Indie-movie level with her usual relaxed humor and copious documentation. Her first freebie is up on her website, www.CarolKimball.net.
We are very lucky to have such a gifted lady as a member that is so willing to share her knowledge and talents so freely.
By Brenda Breitenmoser
Debbie LaFara knew from a very early age that she was meant to sew. Her mother, who has made all of her own clothes for nearly 80 years, taught her the basics and armed her with a Singer sewing machine at age 10. All throughout her school years, she dreamt of being in the fashion industry but her career path took a detour after graduating with honors from Maryville University in St. Louis, MO. With a BFA in Interior Design in hand, she joined her family’s commercial interiors business to oversee the creative department until the business was sold in the early ‘90s. During this 20 year stint, still fueled by the urge to sew, Debbie attained an Associates Degree in fashion from Washington University.
The sale of the family business gave Debbie the opportunity to take yet another detour by starting a custom jewelry business where she created one of a kind pieces in 22k granulated gold. During this time, Debbie was a co-founder and served on the board as treasurer of the Midwest Metalsmiths organization for 8 years. Although she loved creating works of art in precious metals and stones, the rising cost of gold told her that she needed to return to her true passion of sewing.
In 2007, Debbie finally took the plunge to begin her career in fashion. For the last seven years, she has been creating custom dresses, suits and gowns through couture techniques. Being an entrepreneur at heart, she has also expanded her works to include creating custom patterns. Her long term goals are to offer these patterns on line and through specially retail stores.
Debbie is honored to be a part of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals' board and is the current ASDP Treasurer.
Lois Anderson started Magnolia Hill Re-Creations in 2010 as a way to marry her love of sewing and concern for the environment. In her “previous life” she was an environmental consultant for 12 years until a failed back surgery ended her career. After a number of years on disability, she searched for a way to feel productive and help people. The answer was to use a skill she already had — sewing and needlework. Taught by her mother, Lois has been sewing and doing embroidery since grade school. She joined ASDP almost immediately at the encouragement of a current member just so she could participate in the Threads Challenge to make a “no waste” garment.
The name of her business was inspired by the Victorian language of flowers where each flower has a unique meaning. Magnolia means “love of nature” and reflects the focus of her business. She reuses fabrics and alters clothing, and/or adds embellishments, to “re-create” dull or out-of-style articles into modern, useful clothing and accessories. Some of her favorite projects are converting turtlenecks into open-neck, fashionable tops; incorporating vintage handkerchiefs into anything from blouses to pillows to table runners; and remaking lacey, vintage table runners or tablecloths into blouses and jackets. She also made a quilt from a large t-shirt collection and has been asked to create more. Her fabric scraps often end up as doll clothes, fabric flowers, or in quilts.
Since Lois can’t throw anything out that she perceives as having life still in it, doing mending and repairs are also part of her business. At the encouragement of, and with some tips from, her mother, Lois taught herself to do reweaving to repair tears and holes in quality garments. She learned the technique by using two Cornell Extension Bulletins written by Gladys L. Butt that belonged to her mother. One of the bulletins, entitled “Keeping Clothes Wearable” is dated October 1942.
Lois also teaches beginning to intermediate sewing and uses her skills to complete several projects for charities each year. Lois currently serves ASDP as the NJ Chapter Representative.
I have been sewing most of my life. From the time I was 5 or 6 until I received my own sewing machine for my 16th birthday, I ran to my mother’s sewing machine whenever she left it for any reason. She was not afraid for me to use her sewing machine, so I have never been afraid to attempt sewing anything that struck my fancy. I have made most of my own clothing since I was 12. I am tall and have always had fitting issues, so I began learning fitting in the process of sewing for myself. I occasionally sewed for other people beginning soon after receiving my own machine at 16.
In the mid 80's I decided I wanted to make a business of my sewing and was fortunate to be chosen to attend a Sewing As a Business Workshop sponsored by Clemson University, Coats & Clark, Dritz, ASG, and others. In that workshop I learned about ASDP which was then Professional Association of Custom Clothiers (PACC) and joined under the sponsorship of the organizers of the Sewing As a Business Workshop. Then I took a pattern making class at a local tech school. Shortly followed by participation in a program that culminated in a professional sewing certificate from another local tech school. As the apprenticeship for the professional sewing certificate I began doing alterations for a laundry and quickly learned that there was a large untapped market for an embroiderer, so I began to research machines and talk to people who were in the embroidery business.
In April of 1993 I bought my first commercial embroidery machine and began a fantastic educational journey that has been beyond my wildest imaginings. In 2007 I bought my second commercial embroidery machine and digitizing software that would allow me create my own custom embroidery designs. I do embroidery and digitizing for a local sporting goods store, as well as digitizing of logos and designs for individuals and corporate customers.
Carey Pumo from Hummelstown, PA has been a member of ASDP since January 2009 and participates actively in the monthly meetings of the Baltimore Chapter. Carey started her professional career as a pharmacist but more recently felt a strong calling to fill a need that many women desperately wanted and needed, including her. Starting with a vision to create a unique business where women could go and have custom-made bras created, Carey launched Curvatood LLC in January of 2011. Clients can help create their special garment at Curvatood, whether looking for an improved silhouette, straps that stay up on the shoulder, wires that are painless, supportive sports bra or fashion corsets just to name a few.
After 2+ years in business, Carey’s goals are to continue to grow a strong client base, and with several recent purchases of industrial manufacturing equipment she hopes to develop a line of brassieres. With a strong interest in lifelong learning, she recently studied CAD (computer-aided drafting) pattern making software to enhance her pattern making speed and efficiency. She has already put that tool to great use with custom client work. Her passion for foundation garments is demonstrated in her History of the Bra lecture which she presents to local community groups upon request.
Carey is supported by a loving husband and two children as well as the extended family of ASDP members. She is very much looking forward to the Philadelphia conference in 2014!