Dear ASDP Board

2023 Presenter Bios

(Alphabetical by Last Name)

Lalon Alexander

Dr. Lalon Alexander is an associate professor of fashion management for the University of the Incarnate Word, and co-owner of Elephant Embellishments, a school for hand embroidery and beading. She holds a BS from Texas Tech University, an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, an MS from Buffalo State College, and a PhD from the University of the Incarnate Word. She has taught classes in introduction to design, flat pattern manipulation, intermediate and advanced construction techniques, computer illustration, and portfolio at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Theresa Alexander

Dr. Theresa Alexander is the other half of Elephant Embellishments as well as an associate professor of fashion management with the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio. Dr. Alexander has a BS from Texas Tech University, an MA from Nottingham Trent University in England, and a PhD from the University of the Incarnate Word. Prior to teaching at UIW she taught fashion design at Texas Tech University and the Paris Fashion Institute. Dr. Alexander has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in advanced design, senior collections, advanced flat pattern manipulation and drafting, fashion illustration, portfolio, knitwear, and couture embroidery.

Brenda Breitenmoser

Brenda has been a professional in her field for 40 years. She has been a member of ASDP since 2006 and a founding member of ASDP of BC and Canada. She has done everything from working on furs to wedding gowns. She loves to work on garments that are a challenge to alter and coming up with creative ways to have the garment remain true to the original style and to give balance to the client’s body shape and height. Brenda is a graduate of the Master of Sewing & Design Professional Certification by the Association of Sewing & Design Professionals. Brenda continues to improve and hone her skills by attending Master Classes at annual ASDP Conferences as well as taking courses online.

Rae Cumbie

Rae Cumbie is Creative Director at Fit for Art Patterns whose four core patterns yield one great wardrobe! Her coaching, blog posts, Threads and Classic Sewing magazine articles and Sew News fitting columns encourage stitchers to sew successfully: adding fun, comfortable, fabulously fitting, artful and creative additions to their wardrobe. Catch her blog, Sew! Let’s Get Dressed at for everything from basic sewing to artful inspiration.

An internationally recognized teacher, she has taught at many ASDP conferences, American Sewing Guild Annual Conferences, ASDP, ASG and HGA (Handweaving Guild of America) local chapters, Quilting and Fabric stores and Expos around the country.

She began her career in Sewing and Design as a custom dressmaker and for over 25 years created clothing for women and children in her home-based studio. Her custom gowns for weddings and special occasions earned her a place as one of Baltimore’s most sought-after dressmakers, and the title of Baltimore’s Best Tailor by Baltimore Magazine in 2005. Her line of artful wearable jackets, scarves and knit tops were sold regionally at craft shows and several of her art jackets were featured in galleries and exhibits.

She is a longstanding member of ASDP serving the Baltimore Chapter in every board position, serving nationally as the VP for Chapter Relations and as President and is a founding member and former president of the ASDP Charitable Foundation. Her entry into the Threads Little Black Dress Challenge garnered the Most Creative LBD award. An exhibit featuring many of her Threads Challenge garments traveled to every Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in 2016.

Dianne Denholm

Dianne is a widely recognized leader and entrepreneur in Colorado, the Rocky Mountain region and the national fashion sewing & fiber arts and community. She owned Denver’s D'Leas Fabric & Button Studio in Cherry Creek North for 20 years, founded TACtile Textile Arts Center for 7 years and has worked in the Denver Art Museum and other highly respected retail centers. She has certifications of Advanced Color/Design Expertise from the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training. Starting out with a degree in Textiles & Merchandising, she pursued an adventurous career and has literally handled and studied 10's of 1,000's of textiles, fashions, and colorful fiber art. She is a longtime member of Fashion Group International, helped found ASDP in Colorado and the international Fine Fabrics store network. Now semi-retired, she is currently serving on the Advisory Council of the CSU Avenir Costume & Textile History Museum, and sharing her expertise as a consultant. Her goal is to inspire others to explore beautiful fabrics and thrilling colors with teaching, advising, and speaking.

Mary Funt

I have been creating custom clothing for private clients since 1986 with studios on Long Island and Palm Beach. I also write about couture construction methods at My work has been featured in Threads Magazine and my submission for the Threads Challenge 2022 was awarded finest garment construction. I have taught many classes both in person and via Zoom.

Kevin Gervais

Kevin Gervais is a congenital right-hand amputee and aspirational home sewist. Kevin learned to sew just five years ago in order to create clothes that fit better and met his needs.

With a particular love of shirtmaking, Kevin has learned to alter patterns to accommodate his prosthetic in the sleeve and cuff sizes.

After falling in love with sewing and with fabrics, Kevin founded Taylor & Hart Fabrics in 2022 and continues to challenge garment making skills.

Krista Gorrell

Krista started sewing at the ripe old age of 15 under the tutelage of a friend's mother. From there, she went on to earn a BFA in fashion design from Columbus College of Art and Design. She has been sewing professionally since 2000 and in 2014 opened Teton Tailoring in Jackson, a brick-and-mortar tailoring shop. Krista also has a small clothing and accessories line that she has shown all over the country including Jackson Hole, Chicago, New York City and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver. She has been an instructor with the Art Association of Jackson Hole since 2011, teaching felt making and sewing classes.

In addition to her sewing knowledge, Krista is also a trained Health Coach, a 300hr Jivamukti Yoga teacher, a Zumba instructor and MELT level 3 instructor.

Helen Haughey

Helen Haughey has been sewing since the age of 10 when her mother taught her to sew. There were 2 rules enforced: 1. if you make a mistake, you must fix it and 2. if you intend to wear what you have made, it should exhibit sufficient quality that it could be worn inside out! Helen remembers redoing one zipper five times until her mother was satisfied! During the years of study at Pharmacy college, immigrating to the US from New Zealand and caring for her four children while her husband began a busy surgical practice, there was little time for sewing. When her children began heading to college, Helen began to teach others fairly intensively. In 2001, Helen made her older daughter’s wedding dress while attending a Susan Khalje weeklong sewing course. Helen fell in love with couture techniques and has been using them ever since. In 2006, she opened her custom sewing business in St Louis, Missouri where her business flourished by word of mouth for 10 years. In 2012 Helen completed her MSDP certification and has benefited from all she learned during the rigorous certificate course. During 2012-2014 Helen was VP of planning for the annual ASDP conference. In 2016, Helen moved to Florida and closed her business in St Louis, Missouri. Since then, she has been busy sewing for family and a handful of clients/friends. As well she has expanded her teaching classes, both group and privately, to Orlando, New Orleans and Palm Beach.

Kelly Hogaboom

Kelly Hogaboom is a nonbinary designer living and working in Aberdeen, Washington. They are the owner and designer of Bespoke Hogaboom LLC, a vegan, (near-)zero waste custom design service specializing in custom workwear, streetwear, and contemporary couture. They also provide mentorship to sewing businesses and twice-yearly teach the Whole Enchilada, an eleven-week course taking artpreneurs into the stratosphere! Kelly doubled their income *during* each year of the pandemic, without spending money on ads or taking on corporate sponsorship. Through their course and mentorship they seek to empower sewing businesses to find the marketing activities (as well as branding and messaging) that actually *feel good* - and deliver results!

Clara Kazemian-Dittli

I'm Clara Dittli, born and raised in Switzerland. I am a European trained Couturier and teacher. I have devoted a lifetime to the pursuit of couture, fashion's highest art. In Switzerland, at the age of 16, I began an intensive four year technical and apprenticeship program in the fashion industry. This program combined formal studies at the Business School of Luzern and the School of Arts at the University of Zurich with the majority of my time spent at a private atelier (where a licensed couturier trains future professionals through the apprenticeship model) doing hands-on training. I then worked at three different Couture Houses in Zurich - Grieder, Wigert and Oscar Rom. Grieder was authorized to construct original designs by Yves Saint Laurent, Givenchy and Balenciaga.

In 1985 I moved to the United States, got married and opened a home-based couture sewing and teaching studio in the Denver metro area. Several of my former students are currently attending, or have acceptances at world renown fashion schools: Ecole de la Chambre de la Couture in Paris, Central Saint Martin college of fashion in London, Parsons School of Design in New York and the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.

Anne Kuehn

Anne is the founder of both Design To Fashion LLC and MTM Pattern CAD LLC, an independent designer, freelance pattern maker, and industry leader.

She has a BA in clothing technology and design technology. Anne’s initial goal when choosing an online course overseas was quite simply reduced cost. She has since discovered the immense advantage of learning fashion technology from an institute that runs an adjacent factory was huge. Her entire BA was geared towards practical application in all product development and garment production fields.

For Anne, growth in the fashion industry is not just about every small business and designer but about building bridges between custom tailors, small-batch manufacturers, and the larger industry.

Anne is president of the Colorado Chapter of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals.

The patent-pending technology behind MTM Pattern CAD's Made-To-Measure AI algorithm is built to ensure that everyone has access to a computer-generated pattern from the designers who will be using this system. This means that disabled people and communities of small people should also be able to shop in the same stores as everyone else. Clothes that don't fit everyone should be a thing of the past.

Anne also offers private lessons and internship opportunities to introduce others to the world of sewing and fashion design.

Barbie McCormick

Barbie has had her professional sewing business, Sew Good, in Nampa, Idaho, since 1994. She has been doing professional alterations since 1991, and specializes in formal and couture sewing for both men and women. Barbie has been a member of ASDP since 1996 and earned her Master Sewing and Design Professional (MSDP) Certification, and her Master Alterations Specialist (MAS) Certification. Barbie has been teaching intermediate and advanced sewing classes since 2000, and teaches Couture Workshops in Palm Springs, CA.

Ellen Miller

Ellen W. Miller loves to sew elegant clothing, from the simple to the ornate. She is an accomplished professional couture seamstress, having designed and made custom couture clothing. Ellen loves teaching sewing. She is fascinated by how students learn: some need to read a hand out, some need to see a demonstration, some need to do the project themselves. The moment when an idea or concept suddenly makes sense to a student - the aha! moment - is joyous. It might be a small moment: a button needs a shank so it stands above thicknesses of the cloth around the buttonhole, or it might big a moment: clothing alterations are like draping but on a real person. When a student understands the lesson- that’s the reward for a teacher. Ellen’s book, Creating Couture Embellishments is a 400-page, abundantly illustrated, how-to book with 3 sections: basic tools and techniques, fabric manipulation, and embellishments and trimmings. Within the 3 sections are 23 chapters covering 174 techniques including quilting, ruffles and flounces, passementerie, beads and sequins. Before writing Creating Couture Embellishments, Ellen taught at the School of Fashion Design for 10 years and worked in professional theatre in Boston.

Deepika Prakash

Keynote Presenter

Fabrics or Patterns, she can't decide which one she likes more so Deepika keeps a stash of both handy. She founded 20 years ago when she was trying to figure out why that Burda blouse pattern didn't look like the pattern cover and she didn't have any friends to talk sewing with. Today, the site is home to more than half a million mem-bers worldwide. When she is not working on PatternReview, she likes to hike, walk and connect with nature. Over the years Deepika has published several articles in sewing magazines like Threads, Stitch and Sew News. You may have also seen her talk about her favorite knit garments on Its Sew Easy TV Show. She loves to travel and seek out fabric stores. But the thing she looks forward to the most, is connecting with other sewists and hearing about their sewing journey. In 2018 Deepika was the keynote speaker at American Sewing Guild's 40th anniversary conference in Las Vegas which was attended by 700 people.

Erin Retelle

Erin has been sewing more or less all her life. She began designing and sewing clothing for her dolls as a child, and then moved on to full-sized fashions after learning to use a sewing machine.

Erin relocated to Boise in 2004, where she picked up some more advanced design and construction techniques from local instructors and fell into helping design and build costumes for the ballroom dance community she is a part of. She and partner Frank, who is also an avid sewer, launched Oversway Originals, a custom ballroom dance costume company.

In 2010, Erin joined the Association of Design and Sewing Professionals (ASDP) and began participating in the organization's annual educational conference where she continues to expand her sewing and design skill set, improve her teaching techniques, and share her work. Her garment was chosen as a finalist, and was awarded the prize for "Best Color and Shape Shift" in the 2019 Threads Challenge, put on each year for members of ASDP by Threads Magazine.

After her original field was hit hard by a recession, Erin made sewing her next career, first as the director of a sewing school within a local fine fabric store, then by launching sewBoise in 2011. Now as sewBoise's owner and director, Erin and her team of 6 offer sewing classes and lessons at all levels, do custom sewing from dog toys and curtains to bridal gowns and 3-piece suits, and are a full-service alterations shop.

Erin comes from a family of educators, and is no exception, many have described her as an exceptional teacher. She thoroughly enjoys teaching, learning, and sharing sewing tricks with others.

Being an engaged business owner and asset to her community is central to Erin's plans. She graduated from the Executive MBA program at BSU in May of 2018, and was one of the Idaho Business Review's honorees for the Accomplished Under 40 Award in 2016.

Catherine Stephenson

Catherine Stephenson was the owner and operator of Catherine Stephenson Couture Dressmaking for 34 years in Portland, Oregon. She specialized in finely sewn dresses, bridal gowns, special event dresses and tailored suits. She also was an adjunct faculty teacher at the Art Institute of Portland for 17 years. She taught regular courses in Draping, both beginner and advanced, along with Couture Sewing Techniques and Advanced Construction and Textile classes.

She is a founding member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals, served on the National Board and National Chairperson from 1998-2000. She chaired the committee that wrote the Quality Standards for Custom Clothing. She participated in the curriculum writing for the Master Sewing and Design Professional Certification program and is the current Chair of the MSDP Board. She also is a current member of the ASDP Apprenticeship committee.

She has taught classes at past ASDP National Conferences including classes on Textiles and Master Classes on Beginner and Advanced Draping. Catherine has a BS. Degree in Textiles and Clothing from The University of Wisconsin, and a Masters Degree in Education from Argosy University. She is the recipient of ASDP´s Lifetime Achievement Award from 2021. She is now retired and living in Mexico but still being creative producing a small line of women's clothing called Ajijic Chic! that she sells out of her home studio and at an annual fashion show as a fundraiser for local charities.

Sarah Ward

Sarah from Sarah Classic Sewing is an inspiring teacher and video editor who has been creating content on YouTube and Instagram for the past several years. Across two YouTube channels, she’s collected about 15 million views and about 80k subscribers.

Her mission is to share her knowledge and passion for sewing with others, and she does so with an incredible humility and grace. Sarah has a unique teaching style that focuses on making sewing accessible for everyone. She is passionate about helping her viewers to not only become better sewers, but also to build their confidence in the craft. She does this by providing clear and concise instructions, as well as visual aids to help her students understand her tutorials. Additionally, Sarah is an experienced video editor, which allows her to create polished and professional-looking videos that are easy to understand.

Sarah's commitment to providing quality content is evident in every video she creates. Her passion for sewing is contagious and her dedication to her craft is inspiring. She is a true asset to the sewing community and an example of what it means to be a humble teacher.

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