Association of Sewing and Design Professionals Logo

  • 03/02/2015 12:23 PM | Cisa Kubley

    I thought about sharing what I am doing because anyone can do it, and you can save a lot of money.

    I was trying to order some custom tissue paper with my company logo and some cute price tags that were not going to cost me an arm and a leg. Well, most printing companies require a minimum order, but I want to order as I need it and I was not able to find something that was affordable to me. So I thought about making my own logo tissue paper, and my own price tags.

    How to make your own logo tissue paper, and price tags without breaking your wallet:

    Tissue paper:

    Materials:

    Rubber stamp of your logo - I ordered my rubber stamp on line for $6.00 plus shipping.

    Package of 25 sheets of tissue paper - this can cost as little as $1.99 at a dollar store.

    Ink pad for rubber stamps, whatever color you want - $2.99 and it lasts forever.

    How-to: Open the tissue paper sheet and place the stamp whichever way you like; just make sure you keep a consistent pattern.


    Price Tags:

    Materials: Poster board - in whatever color you like, for as low as $.59 cents a sheet Your logo design Spray glue - $ 4.99 Crochet thread - $2.99

    How-to: Open a Word document and add your logo in repeated patterns and print it. Spray the glue on the poster board, add the printed logo sheet, cut to size and punch a small hole for inserting the crochet thread or pin.

    Written by Sonia Santos, ASDP Member



  • 03/01/2015 12:07 PM | Cisa Kubley

    In October of 2008 at the ripe old age of 22 I started Sew Fitting, LLC. “Never want to get so big that I have to move out of the house,” I said. “Never want to get so big that I need employees,” I said. Yes well, hat sufficiently eaten on both those fronts. After spending two years growing like a fabric-based slime monster, slowly engulfing the entire apartment, my husband kicked me out. Rather, he took the initiative to look downtown in New Albany and found Sew Fitting a happy new home outside of our very cramped and thread-covered living space.


    In early 2011 and pushing 25, I packed up and, with the help of my very first minion (also called Amanda), we trudged down the three flights of stairs in my apartment building carrying my industrial sewing machine, a VERY heavy work table, and “all that fabric” to open our doors in the Metro building. This little hole-in-the wall housed us for a whopping 11 months during which time Amanda moved on. I gained Gabrielle and blasted through a learning curve on the hiring process through several hard-learned lessons. I no longer make the, “It’s hard to find good help these days” joke. I know the difficult truth.


    December 2011 saw Gabrielle and me moving a few blocks down the street into the historic White House Centre, which was the place to be in downtown New Albany. Our wonderful new neighbors included unquestionably the best consignment store in town with whom I immediately struck up a great partnership.


    Three years and several expansions later, Sew Fitting moved to its newest home as the anchor tenant in the newly renovated Underground Station, a historic building complex constructed in 1832. I now have a staff of five who fill a mixture of full-time and part-time positions and who work in several different capacities, both sewing and non-sewing. The additional employee costs such as payroll, employment taxes and worker’s comp insurance can really add up. However, when weighed against the amount of work they are able to produce and the time they free up for me, it makes it all worthwhile.


    The last six years have been a whirlwind and included quite a bit of “fly by the seat of my pants.” I’ve learned some good lessons and I’ve learned some hard lessons. One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is that my business model is a little out of the norm for our industry. When I have workflow issues, I can reach out to our fantastic ASDP membership for advice. Unfortunately, what works for many sole proprietors doesn’t work when you’re juggling 6 people. What happens when you have a very full day scheduled and someone comes down with the flu, or has a family emergency? When I have employee issues, typical HR sources can only help so much. What do you do when you have problems with an employee, but they would be nearly impossible to replace because of the lack of available skilled labor?


    With payroll, a storefront, taxes, utilities, and all the other liabilities that come along, overhead can become daunting. I live in an area with demographics and pricing very similar to many other ASDP members. However, I have far more overhead than many other businesses in our industry, yet I can’t set my rates far and above everyone else, lest I price myself out of the market. I’ve found alternative revenue streams to help mediate the rising overhead because my employees and I can only sew so much. Last year we added tuxedo rental to our repertoire, and with our recent expansion we’ve added sewing machine repair, which we farm out to our trusty machine mechanic. Each of these ventures generates income while adding only minimal time requirements on the part of my employees and myself. The additional demands are typically in the form of garment measurements or repair requests, filling out order forms and passing them along to the appropriate vendor while we collect a handling fee.


    In my relatively short time in business, one of the most important things I’ve learned has been the distribution of roles and responsibilities. As I’m sure many other entrepreneurs know, delegation can be hard when you’re a control freak. My business has grown to the point that I could work 24 hours a day, seven days a week and still not be able to keep up with all the sewing, marketing, and administration that has to get done. I’ve had to take a good hard look at the things that I do and don’t enjoy or am not good at; those are the things that should be passed to others. The idea of doing my own taxes, especially since I started having employees, is absolutely terrifying to me. I retain a CPA to do taxes for me because it is a better use of my time and talents to sew and grow my business than it is to learn the ever-changing small business tax codes. For every garment that passes through Sew Fitting paperwork is generated, money changes hands, and bookkeeping must be done. Back in the day, at home or in the Metro building, I could sit down for an hour or two every Friday and enter in all the alteration tickets for the week, prepare the deposit and trot off to the bank. Within a year or so in the White House Centre, those same tasks took at least half a day. This was half a day that wasn’t billable. Enter the role of a part-time bookkeeper. Within a year, this position had morphed into a full-time position consisting of bookkeeping, receptionist, part-time seamstress, and office manager. So much work passes through the shop now that I redefined Marcey's role to be my full-time business manager. She no longer sews, but spends her entire 40 hours a week working on payroll, bookkeeping, inventory, supply ordering, and human resources.


    Just before our move to the Underground station, I hired another Amanda, this time a part-time receptionist when I realized that I was often spending the entire day answering phones, logging orders, bagging garments, calling customers for completed orders, and checking people out. All of these other activities often meant that it was 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon before I sat down to a sewing machine with 12 hours of sewing work waiting for me. This was *not* sustainable. My biggest argument against hiring a receptionist or having an office manager was that these were people I had to pay who did not generate additional income. With my overhead, how could I spend money on someone who didn’t generate enough income to cover their salaries and overhead? My handy-dandy business advisers (sometimes called my husband and father) were quick to point out that I was currently spending days at a time on things that did not directly bring money into the shop. If I was to pass these tasks off to someone else then yes, I would be paying them, but I would also be freeing myself to generate income at my hourly rate. The un-billable things that have to get done still get done, but now I am able to use those same hours to get billable work completed that I would otherwise be staying up all night every night to try to do.


    As Sew Fitting has grown, often times faster than I can imagine or keep up with, I’ve had to learn to rely on other people and different skill sets. The local Small Business Development Center has been an invaluable resource. Every year I sit down with my business manager and my SBDC advisor for a strategic planning session that typically lasts all afternoon. This helps me sort out the jumble of everything I want to do, need to do, or need to consider. These sessions have given me the data, advice, and the courage I needed to add employees when necessary, or plan for expansions, such as the move into the Underground Station. As Marcey once described my organizational skills to someone, “Bless her heart, she’s an artist.” Numbers and management are not my thing. My thinking is much more abstract and scattered than is preferable in terms of business and practical planning. Having mentors and coworkers I can rely on to fill in the gaps in my knowledge or focus has made all the difference in the world for me and for Sew Fitting.

    Written by Cisa Kubley, ASDP Member


  • 12/08/2014 4:04 PM | Cisa Kubley


    Sewing for the Apparel Industry, second edition, by Claire Shaeffer (published by Pearson), is a 600 page textbook written for college level fashion design students. There are 27 chapters that start with an introduction to each chapter and the objectives to achieve in the chapter. Key words are highlighted throughout the book with a glossary at the back of the book. At the end of each chapter there is a chapter summary and review questions. The book comes with an envelope of 111 patterns to be used when making samples of the multiple applications. At the end of the book are many usable appendices that include safety rules, forms for photocopying, stitching charts, photos of lock stitch machine for labeling, cost sheet, garment components and operations sheet, and operations sequence form, fiber comparison chart, illustration of hand sewing stitches, ASTM schematics of seams and stitches, troubleshooting stitching and pressing defects, and a burn test sheet. 

    This book’s main focus is on the sewing techniques used in industrial manufacturing for cost control.

    • Part l - Apparel Production introduces you to the manufacturing process from design stage to the production process with three chapters dedicated to using the lockstitch machine and other industrial equipment. 
    • Part ll - Basic Production Operations will take you from the most cost effective approach to the more difficult applications on seams, hems, darts, facings, plackets and interlinings. 
    • Part lll - Additional Production Operations continues with bands, cuffs, sleeves, closures, zippers, collars, pockets, bias and bias applications, linings and backings. 
    • Part lV - Basic Knit Applications covers the basic applications used in assembling knit seams, hems, edge finishes, bands and cuffs, zippers, plackets, and sleeves. 

    This book has over 1000 illustrations depicting the step-by-step directions.

    I purchased this book a couple of years ago. As with any reference book, I recommend that you read the preface and then fan through to see if there are pictures and/or illustrations. I wish I had this book 25 years ago when I started my business. When you have a custom sewing and alterations business, time is money; you are always looking for ways to save time. Over years of doing alterations I learned many of the techniques shown in the book by taking garments apart. This book would have saved me a lot of time. I found it funny that some of the forms in the appendix were of basic stitching lines to practice sewing on. Then I remembered when I first sewed on a lockstitch machine 30 years ago and how I felt when relearning how to control my stitching and the construction process since there was no free arm. Being an accomplished sewer, I found the applications very clear, but if a student new to sewing was not guided on some of the procedures it may not be as clear. This is an expensive book, as most text books are, but it is an excellent reference book for anyone in manufacturing or altering of apparel.

    Buy this through us from Amazon

    Just go to the Foundation page on our website, and click on the Amazon.com link. It will take you right to your Amazon.com account. 

    Written by Linda Homan, ASDP Member

    Linda Homan, family photo


  • 12/07/2014 3:57 PM | Cisa Kubley

    After a summer break, our Chapters are back in full swing with some fun, educational and charitable activities.

    The Appalachian Chapter is looking forward to visiting the Biltmore Estate in March (probably March 13) to see the Downton Abbey costume exhibit. Anyone who had a chance to see this at Winterthur in Delaware knows it is definitely worth seeing. Of course, visiting the Biltmore Estate is a treat in itself.

    At a recent meeting of the Arizona Chapter, Teresa Kipper showed a Craftsy class she bought on Kenneth King’s ‘Jeanius’ class. They used a laptop hooked to a larger monitor and an auxiliary speaker. You can pause the video to discuss things, and they had a person work along with it. There are so many options for online classes now that this would be an easy and informative type of program for any Chapter to do.

    The Baltimore Chapter did something along these lines too. Blondell Howard pulled together a list of online classes, some of which she has subscribed to and some that are free. We got to sample them and see the ins and outs of each one. Some are available 24/7, some at specific times, etc. This is a good reminder to make use of your University of Fashion subscription before it runs out in March!

    The Chicago chapter recently attended the "David Bowie Is" exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago - its only appearance in the US. They saw amazing costumes and memorabilia. The Chapter is planning a December holiday get-together at the home of Rhonda Buss. We know that the Chicago Chapter always has a blast when they meet!

    Karen Bengtson reported about the Colorado Chapter’s October meeting. “This year the Colorado chapter made two quilt tops for Quilts of Valor. The Quilts of Valor Foundation is an organization whose mission is to cover service members and veterans touched by war with comforting and healing Quilts of Valor. We were really excited to whip out two quilt tops in a day!” [See photos] Kudos to the Colorado Chapter for their charitable donation!


    Yvonne Jennings, Kathy Bradley, Jan McKinley, Sandi Harmon, Barb Bock, Jane Stoeck, Karen Bengtson, Clara Dittli, (Sandi & Barb)

    This from the New Jersey Chapter – “Our NJ chapter is getting things rolling after a rather quiet (chapter-wise) summer. In honor of National Sewing Month, we held our annual "Learn to Sew" event at a local library where we taught kids of all ages how to make several different projects. In October, many of our members were able to attend this year's annual conference in Philadelphia. November's meeting will be held in NYC at the Museum at FIT. We'll be viewing the exhibits "Exposed: The History of Lingerie", and "Dance and Fashion,” followed by a little fabric shopping at everyone's favorite stores. December brings our holiday gala, hosted by one of our members, where everyone can model their seasonal finery and enjoy a wonderful evening with other members and their guests.” It’s great that this chapter is doing its part to encourage a younger generation of sewers!

    As you can see, our Chapters are doing lots of things to network, enhance their creativity and skills, and give back to their communities. Being a part of a Chapter is one of the best benefits of being an ASDP member. If you are not a member of a Chapter and would like to be, please contact me, Debby Spence. I will be happy to help you find a Chapter close to you, or even help you to start your own chapter.

    Written by Debby Spence, VP of Chapter Relations


  • 12/03/2014 3:28 PM | Cisa Kubley

    Free. We all love to hear that word. We so depend on free wireless connections that we expect them to be available whenever we need to “plug in.” Do you ever think about who else might be connected to wifi? Probably not. Should you be concerned though? Absolutely.

    Hackers are all around, just waiting to access your computer’s information. Many small businesses have a laptop that serves all of their business needs. They are easy to transport and convenient, allowing information to be right at your fingertips. Do you keep company data on that laptop as well? If you have a home-based studio with a wireless router, is it secured with a strong password so no one can access it? Have you received pop-ups saying that you are connected to an unsecure network?

    Cybercrime has surpassed illegal drug trafficking as a criminal moneymaker

    Cyber breaches are becoming a regular occurrence and are expected to increase over the next several years. Don’t be misled by news highlights focusing on large businesses involved in cyber-attacks. Even though we seldom hear about small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as victims, they do occur. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security estimates that 40 percent of all cyber-attacks target businesses with fewer than 500 employees. The average cost for those attacks has been approximately $190,000 per instance. A 2012 report from Verizon studied 855 data breaches, of which 71 percent targeted businesses with fewer than 100 employees.

    Point-of-Sale (POS) malware is projected to grow. In 2013, 20 cyber-attack cases were caused by the same type of malicious software targeting retailers’ POS systems. It’s important to understand that malware can lay dormant for months in a computer system. Some are extremely sophisticated and will not alert anti-virus software. Do note there have been instances in which businesses ignored alerts they did receive.

    Obviously there are costs to protecting your information, but imagine the costs associated with leaving it vulnerable. Financial loss isn’t the only problem resulting from a cyber-breach. Loss of customer trust and negative publicity have even greater impacts on a business. Additional costs are also incurred after a breach. Victims have to be notified that their information has been compromised, along with federal agencies. A company may also be exposed to legal fees. Some industries have fines for not complying with securely maintaining client information.

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) has put together a list of best practices:

    • Do not surf the web on a wireless connection from your business computer. If you have access to an alternative laptop or computer, use that instead. 
    • Do not download software from unknown pages. 
    • Do not download files from unknown sources. 
    • Do not respond to pop-up windows requesting you to download drivers. Many of those links allow malware or phishing software to be loaded on your computer. 
    • Do not allow any websites to install software on your computer. If you are downloading information, make sure you initiated the request. For example, Adobe products, Java, etc. are normally fine. Be sure that you are downloading directly from the source. Don’t use a third party. 
    • Protect passwords, credit card numbers, and private information in web browsers. You will have to work with your website provider on this. Conduct online business and banking on secure connections by making sure everything is https (“s” means secure). Don’t click on links via emails as many fraudulent attacks are initiated via link someone clicked on in an email. 
    • Be careful when opening up email attachments. This is tough one to identify. Personally, if something has been forwarded a few times from others, I typically delete it. A general rule of thumb can be if you requested the information then open it, if you didn’t use caution. 
    • Don’t reply to unsolicited emails 
    • Don’t click on links in an email 
    • Use separate computer accounts for each user 
    • Use passwords and don’t share them
    • Use screen locking when you step away. If using Windows, it’s located by the Shut Down command. Click on “Lock” and your system will be halted until you log back on. This ensures no one can access your computer without your knowledge. At the end of the day, log off your computer and power down your system. A lot of “phising” takes place at night time when everyone is sleeping. 
    • Consider encrypting sensitive data on your system. This is generally achieved through software programs. An information technology specialist can help. 
    • Use software firewalls to build a wall that malware cannot penetrate. It’s almost like building a wall around a castle. Many anti-virus software programs feature firewalls. 
    • Secure your internet connection and change passwords. A lot of breaches take place because people use easy passwords that are only updated with a simple change. If you have a wireless router, protect or secure the connection through your internet provider. 
    • Secure wireless access by making sure a password is required before visitors can sign on. If needed, setup a guest account for visitors and limit their access to your network. Wireless routers usually have a set-up page to take care of this. 
    • Patch operating systems and applications. Most software applications and internet browsers have updates. Many individuals don’t think to download the latest version but it’s important to do so as they have patches for vulnerabilities (weak areas) on their system. The updates “patch” the operating system (such as Windows) to help protect your system. 
    There are 5.6 billion credit and debit cards in the United States. Consumers are concerned about online privacy and credit card information. If you don’t have a privacy statement, this is a great time to consider creating one to put your customers’ mind at ease. Convey how you value their business, take privacy seriously, and don’t share customer information with other companies. If you sell via the internet, look into having your website verified from a reliable source, e.g., Trust Verified, Verified by Visa/Mastercard, Norton SafeWeb, etc., so they can see that you take the necessary precautions to keep their transactions safe.

    Written by Luanne Mayorga, Northern Illinois University’s Springboard

  • 12/01/2014 2:58 PM | Cisa Kubley

    The Facts

    This year, the 21st Annual Educational Conference was held in Philidelphia, Pennsylvania October 15-19.

    There were 92 attendees:

    • 52 core conference 
    • 19 pre-conference master classes 
    • Several members who attended for the first time have been members for some years 
    • 9 new members 
    • 40 pre-conference tour 
    • 12 members from Threads magazine who attended the Lifetime Achievement award for Judith Neukam 
    • 12 Board members (100% attendance) 
    • 4 past Presidents 
    • 4 non-members 
    • 18 non-Board volunteers 
    • 15 teachers

    Breakdown by State:

    • 13 New Jersey 
    • 12 Pennsylvania 
    • 8 Maryland 
    • 5 Indiana, Michigan, New York, Virginia 
    • 4 Oregon, Wisconsin 
    • 3 British Columbia, Texas, Washington 
    • 2 California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, Vermont 
    • 1 Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee

    The Fun & Learning

    There was an air of excitement as old friends and new friends gathered in their classes each day. Those in the Sassy Straws class were able to model their projects for all of us.


    Most who went on the tour to Drexel wished they could return to school and experience the 3-D printing and 3-D knitting, among other things.


    I was able to join the Thursday tour for just the Philadelphia Museum of Art segment and I’m still enjoying, and being inspired by, my photos of the Issey Miyaki “Flying Saucer” dress, and the great color and whimsy of the Patrick Kelly exhibit.



    Pamela Ptak’s keynote speech and her models wearing Ralph Rucci and her own garments were amazing. We needed more time than was allotted!

    Looking back over the years this seems to be the norm and is an indicator of the quality of the Keynote speakers we have been privileged to have speak to us.




    Our Fashion Show was again a highlight and who will forget Debbie Bone-Harris’ Jane Fonda impersonation?







    It was also delightful to have 12 of the Threads staff join us to celebrate Judith Neukam as our Lifetime Achievement honoree.

    Evamarie Gomez, Jeannine Clegg, Anne Marie O’Connor, Victoria North, Judith Neukam, Sarah McFarland, April Moore, Dana Fink, Stephani Miller, Norma Bucko,Roseann Berry




    “Betsy Ross” discusses business with her linen importer




    The Betsy Ross Bed Clothes National Volunteer Project: Carol Lees, Brenda Breitenmoser, Debra Proctor, Leslie Littell, Donna Fortier, Alesia Booth




    Pamela Leggett presents Judith Neukam with our Lifetime Achievement Award





    Learning Period Dances at our Banquet: Karen Gay, reenactor, Erin Retelle, Denise Liss, reenactor




    Barbie McCormick wearing a draped “dress” of yardage bought that afternoon







    Reliable Iron Door Prizes: Sue Tenney, Christine Kazmerzak, Linda McCoy




    Challenge Winners: Lena Stepanenko, Patricia Robison,

    Juliette Kimes, Barbie McCormick



    Thank you everyone for coming to Philadelphia.

    If you were not able to join us this year, please plan on coming to Minneapolis next year!

  • 07/07/2014 5:10 PM | Cisa Kubley

    Our Chapters have been busy with some fun, inspiring, and educational activities recently. Perhaps unwittingly, there seems to be a vintage theme running through a number of them, in line with the historical theme for conference this year! All Chapters take note – there are lots of good ideas here for future programs.

    On May 18, the New Jersey Chapter held a luncheon at a local bakeshop to install new Debby Spence VP Chapter Relations officers. Jil Konopacki is their new President, with current Chapter Rep Lois Anderson adding to her responsibilities as the new First Vice President. As of June 22, however, Gail McLaughlin will be the new Chapter Rep. Following lunch, member Carol O’Brien presented a program featuring her collection of vintage undergarments dating from the Victorian Era to the 1930’s. Carol offered a wealth of knowledge of the customs, mores and technology of that time period, mostly focusing on the Victorian and the Edwardian Eras. Her collection is vast and eclectic and demonstrated to the members a “behind-the-seams” view of what life was like in those times. They got to touch and feel the fabrics and delicate laces that make up the layers-upon-layers that woman wore. Attendees were daunted by the time needed to create and maintain these garments. Some commented that many of these “undies,” or Naughty Nickers, as Carol calls them, would be suitable for outerwear today! At this luncheon, they also made plans for their Annual Sewing Retreat.

    It sounds like sewing retreats are a popular activity for our Chapters. Anyone who has ever been on one will know why! The Chicago Chapter is planning their annual summer retreat at Gini Lloyd’s cabin in the woods of Michigan at the end of June. Last month they attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s annual fashion show and reported that it was fabulous as usual. Fashion shows are always a great source of inspiration!

    The Heartland Chapter is pleased to report that they are active again after a break in regular meetings. They met in March to elect officers and plan future meetings. Joyce Hittesdorf was officially elected President and Chapter Rep and Diane Frewer was renewed as the Treasurer. It was so great to be with local ASDP members again and also to meet and welcome some new members.

    Our first outing in April was a great way to get reacquainted. Six of us left very early for a full day of fashion excitement in Chicago. Our first stop was at the Chicago History Museum to see the exhibit, 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. We enjoyed more than 60 garments from icons of the fashion industry such as Yves St. Laurent, Oscar de la Renta, Pierre Cardin, Christian Lacroix, and others. This exhibit is now closed in Chicago but is touring the nation. We would highly recommend it.

    No trip to Chicago would be complete without a stop to shop for fabric. We explored the three floors of Textile Discount Fabric for some time before having a late lunch. Our last event was a special treat as we viewed the inspiring film, Men of the Cloth, by Vicki Vasilopoulos. This was a onetime showing at the Chicago Cultural Center Theater. The documentary film was a portrait of three master tailors. For our May meeting we met in Carmel, IN with Courtney Bray at Klassical Keys for a relaxing hour of hand/wrist massage. She provides this class for her piano students, other musicians and anyone who uses their hands a lot in their profession. We were all surprised about the many hand issues we were experiencing with our work when we took the time to focus on them, also, how wonderful her exercises made our hands feel! We all were amazed at the results and vowed to remember to continue using these soothing exercises.

    In June our group was invited to participate in the Graduates Portfolio Show at the Art Institute of Indianapolis. It is similar to a job fair where the fashion design students display their portfolios and share their accomplishments. We were privileged to meet them, view their work, ask questions about their ideas/designs and hear about their future plans. We were also asked to vote for our favorite and comment on their presentations. It was a great opportunity for those of us who love fashion and sewing to see what influences may be in the future.

    The Heartland Chapter is looking forward to a full year of exciting, fun and educational gatherings. One of our sewing social highlights is the pitch-in picnic that we have each August.” [Ellen Blacketer]

    The Colorado Chapter also had elections in March. In April, Karen Bengtson took over the Presidency again. Other officers elected; were Secretary – Sandi Harmon, Programs – Jan McKinley, Treasurer – Barb Elliott, and Membership – Barb Bock. At the April meeting, Karen challenged the members to finish a garment or make a new one from fabric in their stash. Their June meeting was a challenge to take an “old garment” and redesign it. Yvonne, Jan and Karen took on the challenge. At the July meeting, they will be refining their hand-worked bound buttonholes, and in August, they will be having a field trip to two of their fabric stores. They will be meeting at a new location for a year, starting in September, at Colorado Fabrics, when the new owner will be showing them behindthe-scenes operations of a fabric store.

    The last three programs of the Great Plains Chapter have focused on vintage fashions. In April, they attended a fashion show/luncheon. The fashion show featured vintage and new fashions showing the similarities between the two. In May, they attended a program on ‘The Century of Fashion 1870-1970’ presented by Yesterday’s Lady, a vintage shop and museum. This past month, they took a road trip to visit Yesterday’s Lady Museum and had a wonderful time!

    At a recent meeting of the Baltimore Chapter, Carey Pumo shared her experience of taking a workshop on patternmaking CAD software program from PWStudio, with what it can do, particularly as it relates to her bra-making business. In April, Sherry Stauffer showed the members how to copy ready-towear with the rubbing-off technique.

    Written by Debby Spence


  • 07/06/2014 5:07 PM | Cisa Kubley

    Six members of the San Francisco chapter enjoyed the chapter’s first-ever sewing retreat in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains in early May. The site was Presentation Center in Los Gatos, located amid a redwood forest. Barbara Kelly, Dale Webdale, Loy Tingley, Sylvie Privat, Louise Dunlop, and Christina Cary attended. They relaxed and sewed from Friday afternoon until Sunday in a large meeting room flooded with sunlight that streamed through floor-to-ceiling windows. Members helped each other fit and troubleshoot their various projects while deer and heron walked by. Meals were just a step away because the sewing room was next to the cafeteria. When the group finished sewing for the day, we retired to a private hillside cabin.


    Group members shared their expertise as they worked on a variety of projects. Dale chose a classic trench coat design from Marfy patterns and helped Barbara fit a muslin that she created from a princess seamed ready-to-wear jacket. Loy hoped to complete a moulage for both a bodice and pants; she completed the bodice moulage with help fitting the muslin and went home with a better idea of how long creating a moulage takes. Sylvie reshaped and fit the sleeve of a jacket that she had entered in the Threads-ASDP “Inspired Sleeves” challenge and, with some help, hemmed a little black dress to the correct length. In addition to working on several tops to expand her wardrobe, Louise worked on a bias cut summer dress—made in a French lingerie fabric—that had languished in her project pile for some time. Barbara and Dale helped Christina fit a ruched knit top that was ultimately unsuccessful, but a great learning experience.

    Our chapter has seen little activity in recent years, so Chapter President Dale Webdale, owner of The Sewing Parlour in San Francisco, intends to revitalize it. This retreat was a first step. At mealtimes, the group brainstormed ideas for interesting sewing-related places the chapter could visit or things they could do, and members volunteered to investigate and make plans.

    Dale organized this retreat, publicized it, answered questions, and made the arrangements and reservations. The group enjoyed this peaceful retreat so much that we agreed on a repeat retreat next year. Many thanks to Dale for making a good idea a reality.

    Written by Christina Cary

  • 07/05/2014 5:03 PM | Cisa Kubley


    Sewing Pros pay attention! This book by Linda Przybyszewski is a wonderful history of women and how they dressed themselves and sewed for themselves for the last 125 years. It is getting a lot of national attention with recent reviews in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, The Huffington Post, and Linda’s appearances on national radio shows like the “Dianne Rehm Show” and “Here and Now.” The book cover even features a review by our own Claire Shaeffer.

    If you attended the 2011 ASDP National Educational conference in Portland, you heard Linda present excerpts of this book during her Keynote speech. Her enthusiasm for dressing well, and for the creative energy that sewing brings to the art of getting dressed, was evident as she spoke.

    In her book, you can read about the history of the Home Economics movement, attitudes about dressing well, dressing for your size and appropriately for each occasion. She sings the praises of the hat in every woman’s wardrobe and laments its death while also making note of how different body types are fashionable in different eras including a discussion of the current obsession with thinness in today’s culture. There is not a topic that she misses, but too many to list in this review.

    The author’s lighthearted approach shows a genuine love for the fashionable dress and how it is effected by society in this well researched book. (She is an associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame). The more you read, the better you will become at discerning where the “history” ends and her “editorial” begins as she walks the reader through the 20th century and its dramatic swings in the economy, style, and culture and how they shaped the dressing habits of American women.

    On a personal note, I serve with Linda on the MSDP board and she mentions “Catherine Stephenson of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals” in her acknowledgements. Plus, my sewing bookshelf holds some of the books and authors she mentions, which I have picked up through the years at antique stores. It now holds this fine book as well.

    Written by Rae Cumbie

     Rae Cumbie by James Keller


  • 07/03/2014 4:33 PM | Cisa Kubley

    Congratulations, Barbie McCormick!


    Barbie started sewing her freshman year in high school, and found she had inherited a knack for dressmaking from her mother and grandmother. After sewing for herself, her family, and her friends for several years, she started a job doing alterations on an army post, then moved to doing alterations for Macy’s in California.

    Barbie moved to Idaho and officially opened her business, aptly named “Sew Good” in January of 1994, and in 1996 she became a member of the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers (now called The Association of Sewing and Design Professionals).

    She has attended the yearly ASDP conferences to learn different and the latest techniques in her field and takes classes whenever she can to further her sewing abilities. She studied with Kenneth King of San Francisco/New York to learn European pattern drafting and fitting, with Sandra Ericson to learn Madeleine Vionnet methods, as well as designing techniques, with Claire Shaeffer for couture techniques, Susan Khalje of Baltimore to further enhance her couture clothing construction knowledge.

    She even attended Susan’s “Couture Tour” of Paris, where she spent 11 days in Paris learning pattern draping and couture embroidery techniques.

    While Barbie does all sorts of sewing, she specializes in formal, bridal, and couture clothing for both men and women. She loves all aspects of the process- from design, to pattern work, to fitting, construction, and the final details. She is truly a Jack-Of-All-Trades in sewing, and is now officially a Master of All!

    Barbie also is at the beck and call of Sew Boise to teach any advanced sewing classes that they wish to offer, including French designer jackets, tailored jackets, pattern drafting, pants fitting/construction, and corsets!

    Barbie lives in Nampa, Idaho with her two daughters, Jessica and Alyssa, and their two dogs, Sam and Jack.

    Written  by Linda Macke, VP of Certification Programs

    Linda Macke, Photo by Chuck Islander


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