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Who I Am

When I started sewing at about age 8, of course I had no idea where it would take me. My mother showed me how to thread her old black Singer machine and I was hooked. I still remember the little pillow I made for my cat (next to my head in the picture). I took Home Economics in 7th grade and made an apron (that I still have) and a blouse. I also made most of my clothes in high school. Thank goodness I didn't have many fitting issues that seem to trouble nearly everyone that sews today or I probably wouldn't have continued sewing.

As a custom dressmaker for over 40 years now, I have learned a lot about different body types, patterns, and fabrics of all kinds. How to "marry" the right fabric with the right pattern takes a lot of practice (and patience) to get the results you were expecting. From kids clothes, home dec, professional daywear and beautiful wedding dresses, I've done it all. Vogue designer patterns can be the most challenging with their complicated construction requirements for the unusual designs. 

Most of all, I am a Technical Seamstress, not a crafting sewer that usually likes to get things done in a hurry to get onto the next project. That means I like things precise. Cut your pattern precisely, mark it precisely, and most it precisely. I don't like to throw my threads on the floor. Or, leave thread ends all over my garment. You should press your work as you sew it--don't wait until everything is put together to do this. Take care of these things while you are sewing and you will have a more beautiful end result. Your edge-stitching or top-stitching needs to be straight and consistent for a professional look. And, the inside of the garment needs to have finished seam edges even though they might not ravel. That's making it beautiful.  

I've had some very unusual projects to sew like an authentic Civil War uniform made in the scratchiest wool I've ever touched. The gentleman bought the kit with a pattern and wool fabric, buttons included. He wanted only to wear it one time in a re-enactment of a battle and then, hang it on his wall with all of the grass stains still on it. I never heard if he actually did it.

My biggest achievement was from 2000-2010 when I made all the debutante dresses for the Central City Opera Opening Night here in Colorado called the Yellow Rose Ball. The high school girls came in all sizes from 5 feet tall and maybe weighing 100 pounds, to over 6 feet tall, some swimmers, some not so active. They all wore the same dress only fitted to their body. One year I had 23 girls, but most years it averaged around 17-18 girls. One can get a little overwhelmed at the sight of 100 yards of fabric sitting in the sewing room just waiting to be cut. I had to leave the yearly project to help take care of family members who were ill, but I will never forget the experience.

For about 15 years, I have also sewn for someone who's become my dear friend, a retired Russian Orthodox priest. His clerical robes didn't come with a pattern, I just had to use the ones he wore to make new ones. And, Father Justin liked them to "flow" at the hem when he walked. We tweaked the pattern numerous times to get it just right for him. Below is his picture wearing one of the 11 Tolstoy-style shirts he requested when he retired from his second career as a high school history teacher. He wanted the shirts in all different colors as well as the white--even though he's color blind. My little dog, Scout joins him in the room.

I have taught classes for many years and for all ages. I want to share my knowledge with you and hope that you will be able to take your sewing to the next level with my help. Sewing can be so rewarding when you aren't struggling with the techniques to get the job done. Let's have fun together. I'd love to see what your ideas are and how we can bring them all to life! 

Check out my blog: to learn more sewing techniques and helpful information.