Who We Are
The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals (formerly Professional Association of Custom Clothiers) has approximately 400 members across the United States and Canada. Currently there are thirteen local chapters which meet on a regular basis. Any group of five or more Association members may form a Chapter. A calendar of seminars, meetings, classes and other events offered by the association, our chapters, members and other sewing teachers is available for reference.
Referrals, networking and education for sewing professionals
Our mission is to support individuals engaged in sewing and design related businesses, in both commercial and home-based settings. Our members are involved in professional sewing in a variety of garment sewing specialties beyond what is usually thought of as seamstress, dressmaker, or tailoring work: including custom clothing, formal and bridal wear, design, pattern making, tailoring and alterations, accessories, costumes, wearable art, image consulting, production sewing, teaching and other industry-related avenues. Among our ranks are many published authors and instructors who are well-recognized and respected in the industry.
We encourage and support students in fashion design by offering scholarships to attend our annual National Educational Conference. The conference features master class caliber instruction in sewing techniques, fitting, creative design, business practices, and other aspects of professional sewing and design.
Our Master Certification Program is open to non-members as well as members of the Association. The MSDP (Master Sewing and Design Professional) certificate is a program made up of seven modules: Design, Fabrics, Fit, Fashion Illustration, Garment Construction, Pattern Development, and Professional Practices. MAS (Master Alterations Professional) certification consisting of five modules is also available.
Our mission also includes educating the general public about the unique and valuable services offered by sewing and design professionals.
History of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals
The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals was originally formed as The Professional Association of Custom Clothiers, an outgrowth of the Custom Clothing Guild of Oregon (CCGO), a metropolitan Portland organization founded in 1984. The Guild was originally organized by a group of ten members as the Oregon Chapter of the Custom Clothing Guild of America founded in Seattle, Washington, in 1982. In 1985 the CCGO became an independent organization and continued to successfully develop and serve its membership.
In 1990 The Custom Clothing Guild of Oregon was approached by the American Home Sewing and Craft Association (AHSCA) to use it as a model organization from which to start a national trade organization for sewing professionals. After final negotiations, The Professional Association of Custom Clothiers (PACC) was launched in March of 1991.
In 1994 a seven member Standards and Practices committee was formed to develop Standards of Quality for Custom Clothing. In 1998 the Standards for Sewing Techniques and Fit were presented and accepted as PACC Standards. In 1999 the Standards for Textile Usage and Visual Design were presented and accepted as PACC Standards. Each member of the Association receives a copy of the Standards when he/she is formally accepted as a member.
Members voted to change the organization's name to Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, Inc., effective January 1, 2008, in recognition and acknowledgement of the wide variety of skills and specialties of ASDP members.
In 2008, the Association launched a Master Certification Program. Over 20 years in the making, this voluntary program was developed to ensure a well-rounded and balanced set of skills in those who participate. The program is also open to non-members. As of mid 2014, MSDP has awarded four participants, all Formal members of ASDP, with their certification as Master Sewing and Design Professional, and one has also been awarded the first Master Alterations Specialist certificate as well.
The Association is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in the state of New York. Development and management of the organization are handled by a volunteer Board of Directors elected by the general membership. Elections are held at the Annual Membership Meeting which takes place each year during the national education conference. The Governance Board meets monthly via conference calls and meets in person annually for a planning session.