Dear ASDP Board

Chapter Update

06/03/2015 9:33 AM | Anonymous

This year at the Strategic Planning meeting, the National Board accomplished quite a bit. One of the ideas that came out of it was to bring back the Chapter of the Year award. Parameters for this will be discussed with the Chapters at a later date, but in plenty of time before the start date of October 1. I hope that all Chapters will participate, but it is not mandatory.

Unfortunately, due to the nasty winter weather this year, many of our chapters had to cancel meetings. However, they made up for it with some exciting programs and activities once the weather got better.

Great Plains

The Great Plains Chapter had to cancel their December, January, and February meetings due to weather.

For their March meeting, they saw the Katherine Hepburn exhibit “Dressed for Stage and Screen” at the Durham Museum in Omaha. This featured 35 costumes from 21 films she had starred in. At the Durham, they also saw an exhibit from the Omaha Community Playhouse featuring costumes from some of their productions. Following dinner, they attended that evening’s runway show for Omaha’s Fashion Week that is considered to be the fifth largest fashion event in the United States. It was a full and wonderful day especially since they had had to cancel the three previous meetings.

In April, Ruth Ciemnoczolowski presented a wonderful program for them in which she shared her experience in the Passion for Fashion contest at Novi. They were able to see her beautiful winning bridal ensemble. She also talked about her participation in the half scale competition at Novi and showed them her gorgeous Charles James inspired gown. Ruth also did a presentation on body types for them.

For their May meeting, they are planning to go to the Hillestad Gallery on the University of Nebraska campus and see a costume exhibit of Bill Blass, Geoffery Beene and Oscar De La Renta creations. This exhibit establishes the mood of American fashion in the latter half of the 20th century.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Chapter was happy to bid adieu to winter weather and welcome spring with open arms!

Several professional workshops were held to update patternmaking and fitting skills. Chapter member Sharon Zydiak helped members and guests draft and fit a personal moulage and then create a sloper. Another weekend found them traveling to former member Susan Kolar’s Pennsylvania studio to learn how to draft different types of sleeves for their slopers.

They also spent a busy Saturday (and many hours afterwards) altering prom gowns and tuxes for area teenagers at a local Cinderella’s Closet boutique. Being a fairy godmother (or godfather) is a very rewarding experience!! It’s great hearing about how our Chapters give back to their local communities.

They are also in the process of developing a chapter website, and appreciate the fine jobs done by the Colorado and New England Chapters!


The Wisconsin Chapter has had a busy late winter and spring! In February, they met at Sue Tenney’s for muslin fittings of the Tabula Rasa jacket by Fit for Art Patterns, which they hope to wear to Conference (can’t wait to see them!) In addition, Linda McCoy shared a technique she used to support a backless gown.

In March, members met at Denise Severson’s and viewed a fascinating video on Neapolitan tailoring.

In April, because Katherine Merkel was recovering from surgery, they met at her studio for muslin fittings of their sheath dresses for the Threads Challenge, and had a discussion on general business practices. Of course, at each meeting they also had great food and camaraderie, meaning they always left later than the planned meeting time, but time always flies when with great friends!

This from Katherine – “Our chapter members are like a family, and when we don’t meet, we get withdrawal symptoms! Some members drive from a couple of hours away, so it is no light thing for us to get together each month. But it is worth it to each of us as the support, education, and camaraderie is invaluable!”


In March, the Baltimore Chapter meeting was held at A Fabric Place fabric store. They usually hold one meeting a year there. The store is very supportive of the Chapter and ASDP and usually gives them a discount when they meet there. The program for the evening was a Project Runway-type challenge. Attendees were asked to design a cocktail dress for the Preakness. Everyone sketched a design and then looked around the store for suitable fabrics for their design. When all were finished, they showed what they had come up with. It was interesting to see the diversity of designs! And of course, most of us purchased some wonderful fabric while we were there!

At the May meeting, several members will be demonstrating some alterations techniques – shortening, tapering and adding a vent to pants; raising the armhole on a jacket; altering lace seams, etc.


The Heartland Chapter has been very busy so far in 2015. With the exception of January, they have met each month to discuss chapter business and to do some fun activities together. Earlier in the year, the chapter voted on purchasing a college level DVD class on color. They will be watching lessons throughout the year.

Their biggest activity this year was a trip that five of them took to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville NC in April to see the grounds and the Downton Abbey costumes. They said it was so much fun! On the front end of the trip, they took time to visit with member Judy Gross. Not only did Judy graciously open her home to their group, but she gave them the most interesting and in-depth tour of her factory. She also introduced them to an amazing restaurant in Asheville called Salsa’s, where they all had their most delicious meal! After visiting the Biltmore, they made their way to Gastonia, NC to visit Mary Jo’s Cloth Shop. It was well worth the 1.5-hour detour. Finally, they finished up their trip by swinging by member Cisa Barry’s wonderful new digs. They were all thoroughly impressed and envious of her amazing and wellorganized space.

In May, the chapter plans on visiting a docent-led exhibit at the Indianapolis Museum of Art called, “Cutting-Edge Fashion: Recent Acquisitions.” They also have plans to continue their color lessons and will make a visit to Chicago in July.

British Columbia

The British Columbia Chapter, besides being hard at work planning our 2016 conference, had a variety of programs this past year. They sponsored a jacketdrafting course taught by Sabine Davis that was well attended. They hosted a draping workshop and also enjoyed a presentation by the Society for the Museum of Original Costume and hope to attend more events of this type. At the Sewing and Craft show in Abbotsford, the Chapter set up an exhibit and felt that the demos they did there were useful, as they drew people into discussion.

The Chapter recently held elections with the following results:

President – Sandy Dunn Treasurer – Marion Goosen Secretary – Carol Lees Members-at-Large – Brenda Breitenmoser and Diana Consell

Every year at their annual meeting, the New England Chapter honors their longtime members by giving certificates to those who have been a member for 5, 10, 15, or more years. This is a lovely practice that other Chapters may want to incorporate into their annual festivities. It is greatly appreciated by the recipients and is an inspiration to the newer members.

Sadly, the Appalachian Chapter will be disbanding this year. Sometimes, when Chapter members live at a distance, it is hard to maintain the energy needed to keep a chapter going. Hopefully, they will all stay in touch with each other and do things on an informal basis. The good news is we are looking forward to the birth of a new chapter in Michigan! They held their first planning meeting on April 30; we hope things will soon be rolling along for them soon. I’ll keep you posted.

Written by Debby Spence, VP of Chapter Relations

2885 Sanford Ave SW #19588, Grandville, MI 49418 ~ Toll-Free (877) 755-0303 

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