Dear ASDP Board

  • 08/01/2013 4:10 PM | Anonymous

    Many of our members are professional clothiers. ASDP was originally PACC (Professional Association of Custom Clothiers). The decision to change the name in 2008 was due to the fact that some of our members don’t exactly fit into this niche of custom clothiers. If you take a look on the ASDP website under “Find a Sewing Pro” and search by specialty, you will find an alphabetical list of 52 sewing and design specialties!

    This month the blog focuses on alternative careers in our industry. While these business owners may do some custom clothing construction, it is not the main focus of their business. Pattern development, selling fabric online, sportswear, and an upholstery business are interesting directions some of our members have taken in their businesses.

    Recently, there has been some talk on our discuss list about first conference experiences. Any new endeavor can be quite intimidating and challenging to take on, but the feeling of accomplishment from going a little beyond a personal comfort zone combined with the inspiration received from like-thinking business owners is well worth the nervous moments. It is very exciting to speak face-to-face with other members and find out about their focus in business.

    Written by Teresa Nieswaag, President

    Teresa Nieswaag by Chuck Islander

  • 06/08/2013 3:54 PM | Anonymous

    I’m a museum junkie, I confess. When I know I’m going to be traveling, the first thing I check is where there are costume collections, and my fondest memory of Chicago conference is of going with other ASDP members to the exquisite couture exhibit at the Chicago History Museum. We spent hours debating what was under those dresses and how they were put together, as we did gymnastics to see as much as we could without setting off alarms.

    I try to include notice of exhibits in all parts of the country, but many of us are too far away or don’t have the time or the money to attend. For this technology issue here are a few online exhibits. These are available to anyone with an internet connection. Some are repeats from last year because they have to be included in any list. Others are new.Enjoy!!

    Manchester Art Galleries 

    results of search for 1934 within costume collection, showing only items with imagesClick on a letter to search the artist collection and choose between all the painters, sculptors, and designers in the museum’s collection. Or check the “costume” box and “list works with images only.” Clicking on Givenchy revealed thumbnails of 6 garments, a pair of glasses, and 2 perfume bottles. Click on an individual thumbnail for date, designer, country of origin, and a description of the garment including some measurements (in centimeters) and functional information (like where the closure is). You can also search by theme or date. Photos are not huge. Descriptions are geared towards members of the public who are interested in fashion history rather than fashion professionals

    Virtual Museum of Valentino (new) 

    Go to this site and download the tour of a virtual museum dedicated to Valentino. This man knew how to self-promote, was aware of his place in fashion history, and hired masters to mount this site. Make a cup of expresso with a hint of grappa and enjoy.

    Kyoto Costume Institute Digital Archives (new) 

    Click on a date on the timeline (I clicked on 1850s to 1860s) and thumbnails will give you choices of garments to explore. Click on one garment and see a high resolution photograph with a description that includes a style’s place in history as well as the materials of the individual garment. Click on the garment and a zoom window opens that shows spectacular detail.

    Victoria and Albert Collections 

    The mother of online costume collections. Pick a century or a designer to search. (There were 45 entries for Givenchy). Many garments have multiple views. Descriptions include who wore the gown, when , where, materials, labels, techniques. Clicking on a photo enlarges it, but not like on the Kyoto site, where you can see individual threads. You can print from the V & A site and can also order high resolution prints.

    The V & A catalogue has 140,000 images, so it’s a great place to look for an overview of a designer or fashion house’s work. The museum is currently using crowdsourcing to choose the best images, to eliminate repetition, and to crop images most effectively.

    Fashion Museum 

    Choose from a period or search by date, material, date, category, and/or name. Some garments have a photo and list material, technique, and date. Others have a more complete description of the garment or its period.

    The Museum at FIT Search the Collection (new) 

    So far FIT has 850 items in their online collection. Search within a decade or a century and click on lightbox, list or single view to choose how many garments you browse at once. Click on your choice to see the garment on a form with a description. There is information as to designer, brand, medium, date, and country. Clicking on the photo brings up an enlargement. Some garments also have a detail photo.

    Kent State University Museum Online catalogue 

    Do a “random search” for a surprise or click on object name, creator, culture, medium, date, etc. and click a letter in the alphabet. Click “V” under “creator”, then click a dropdown menu. Scroll to Vionnet (or dozens of other designers under V) and a thumbnail comes up.

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge it, then on “full data.” You have to click more times to get to a photo, but you can also print photos from the site. Amount of information varies from one garment to the next, but some have multiple views and nice historical information along with full descriptions.

    Metropolitan Museum of New York 

    Search by who, what, where, or when, or “in the museum.” A search of the Costume Institute yields 27,623 results with an additional 6,234 from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection.

    Within the Costume Institute, choose from the top 100 designers or enter in your own request.

    Some garments have front and back views, some have detail photos. Some garments have more detailed descriptions and some have dimensions listed.

    There is a bar below the entry which will suggest other garments you might be interested in. Set up a MyMet account and you can go back to your favorites at will.

    This is one of my favorite sites.

  • 06/07/2013 12:28 PM | Anonymous

    Our new chapter in British Columbia is up and running! At their meeting on April 28th the board of officers was elected. They sponsored a seminar in May on drafting perfect pants taught by Sabine David of Pacific Design Academy. They made their presence known at the Creative Stitches and Crafting Alive Show in Abbotsford and Victoria BC.

    Ballroom gown by Diana Consell Their demonstration table was well received, Diana showed how to apply crystals to competitive dance gowns, Marion showed how her class can teach you to double yourself as a dress form, Brenda demonstrated some of the hand stitching used in creating a Chanel jacket, and Trish used her expertise speaking with people about home decorating.

    The response let them know that people with the desire for creativity and quality classes is growing and they look forward to welcoming more new members in the coming months.

    The New England chapter hosted a program meeting on April 27th on Fabrics and Fibers, open to the public. It was very well attended. The presentation by member Kate Shaffer was informative and thorough. As a weaver and spinner as well as a sewer, Kate had samples of yarns in both worsted and woolen varieties, along with fabric samples and a collection of swatches for purchase to demonstrate the qualities of fabrics and fibers. It was great to see so many guests at the meeting – they outnumbered the chapter members by about 3 to 1!

    Weather has been a deterrent for members of the Great Plains chapter this winter, who have had to make the decision several times to cancel a planned meeting. They have opportunities coming up to visit an exhibit or two, and will be glad when the snow finally stops flying in the midwest!

    New Jersey chapter members’ April meeting was a seminar with Pamela Leggett on fitting pants and skirts. This was part two on fitting, focusing on what correct fit should look like on the lower half of the body. Part I on bodices, with Sharon Butler, was held in March. The chapter will hold meetings in May and June, and an annual sewing retreat on July 1921st. Details will be on the ASDP website calendar as they are passed along to me.

    Last but not least, the Baltimore chapter sewed garments for Dress for Success at the Original Quilt and Sewing Expo in May. Thanks to all the chapter members participating in this great endeavor – I hope to have a recap of the event to report on for the next issue.

    Written  by Janee Connor, VP of Chapter Relations

    Janee Connor by Chuck Islander

  • 06/05/2013 12:19 PM | Anonymous

    Why would anyone ever want to write a blog? It can be time consuming, frustrating and a very humbling experience. Thankfully, ignorance is bliss, and with no idea of the negatives, I began my own blog experience in the late fall of 2009.

    There are a number of internet hosts for blogs. Blogger and WordPress seem to be the two most popular. I chose Blogger and have been quite happy with my choice. As with anything, there are pros and cons to the various hosts; so I advise you to read all you can about the different hosts and then make your decision. I found Blogger to be extremely user friendly. Within just a few minutes, I had my page set up.

    Now that my blog has been set up for some time, this is the advice that I would offer before you set up your own blog.

    1. Think about what you would like your blog to convey about you.

    2. Are you looking to promote your business or just

    find friendship with like-minded people?

    3. If you are looking to promote your business, creating a brand is important.

    4. Also, if you are looking to promote your business, read this book, The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin. Only one chapter is devoted to blogging, but I found it quite useful and informative. The book can be found on Amazon.

    5. Research other blogs and take note of their layout and what they write about.

    6. Start following blogs that you find interesting and take note of why you find them interesting. Most bloggers make it quite easy for you to follow them. Usually a button says ‘followers’ or ‘follow me’. Simply click on that button and you will be instructed about how to follow that blog.

    Initially, a friend encouraged me to share my work. She didn’t offer how, but just gave me the encouragement to do it. I knew about blogs and decided that this just might be for me. At first, my blog was about my personal journey. With no idea of what I wanted to say, or where I wanted my blog to go, I wrote my first post about a rescue flight that I had just completed. I had flown to Kentucky and rescued a boat load of puppies. Maybe I should say, a plane load of puppies!!

    That post was written in October of 2009 and I did not write another post until the end of March, 2010. I got off to a very slow start. During my first full year of blogging, I only wrote twenty-six posts.

    It really wasn’t until August of 2011 that I finally realized my blog could be a vehicle to a dream that I have had for many years. That is when one of my weekly features was born: Fabulous Free Pattern Friday. Almost every Friday I post a simple garment made from rectangles, circles, squares, and or triangles. Since that first post in August of 2011, I have posted sixty-nine different garments made with simple shapes. My goal had been to post fifty-two pieces, one for each week of the year, but once I reached my goal, many followers wanted me to continue. Since I still had so many more ideas, Fabulous Free Pattern Friday continues. The most popular FFPF posts have been the posts I did on drafting the circular skirt and the 8-gored skirt.

    Pattern drafting is a passion; and, since Fabulous Free Pattern Friday had garnered a following, I decided to start Sleeves On Saturdays. With these posts, I show the readers how to take a basic sleeve pattern and draft what seem to be complicated sleeves. I believe that drafting is not at all complicated; it’s just a matter of knowing what to do. It has been exciting to see people who have never drafted anything draft a sleeve, and share their excitement with me through their pictures. Another weekly feature that I write is called The Wednesday Showcase.

    The old saying, “you must be a friend to have friends” holds true in the blog world. As I said in the beginning, my blogging experience has been extremely frustrating at times. In fact, so frustrating that I have contemplated closing the blog. However, on the positive side, one day a fellow blogger who has a very popular blog included my blog in her post. That day, the hits on my blog rose to an all-time high and the number of my followers grew by leaps and bounds. I am so grateful and to pass along my gratitude, I choose two bloggers every Wednesday who are following my blog, and

    I write about their blog. I especially love finding the blogs that are fairly new or who have very few followers. I know first-hand how exciting it is to have your blog recognized.

    Another of my regular posts is Monday Morning Inspiration. I love to start my week with something inspiring and I thought that others may as well. Some of the most popular past posts have been about the vintage Modes Royale pattern catalogues that I shared. At the moment, I am doing a series on haute couture.

    I began this article with the negatives of writing a blog, but there are also many positives. The best things about writing a blog are the friendships that you will make. I have had the opportunity to meet a few of the people who follow my blog and whose blogs I follow in return. Upon meeting, it’s as if we’ve known each other for years; and in a way, we have. They write about their lives and I about mine. Over time, you grow to know them through their words. When we meet with friends in our everyday lives, we so often talk over each other’s words; but with a blog, each person has a chance to talk and be listened to.

    More positives are the opportunities that have come to me. Most recently, I won a contest to be a guest on the television show “Sew It All.” In October, I will be flown to Denver where the show will be taped and then sometime after the first of the year the program will air. Starting the first of May, I will have a weekly feature on the Sew News blog. I am very excited about this. These posts will be about manipulating darts and drafting collars. Beginning in January of 2014, I will be writing for Sew News magazine.

    A blog can be time consuming and frustrating, but it can also be a most rewarding experience. By sticking with it, I have found, it can also be the vehicle that will take you to places you never thought possible.

    You can find my blog at

  • 06/04/2013 12:16 PM | Anonymous

    If you’re anything like me you love to read blogs but how to keep from getting overwhelmed by email notifications each time someone has created a new post? A couple of years ago Google Reader came to my rescue. Recently though, Google announced that as of July 1st Google Reader will cease to exist. Now what?! Enter Bloglovin’…

    Bloglovin’ is a free service that allows you to assemble all of your blogs in one place. It’s easy to sign up also. Go to, answer a few questions and you’re in. Once you’re in, there will be an option to import all of your blogs from Google Reader. The import function even keeps them sorted into the categories that you’ve already set up in Google Reader.

    You will be given several options for receiving email alerts about posts: one per day, one per blog or none. I chose one per day, receive a list of all the new posts, and can click on the ones that I wish to read to see the whole post.

    I was a bit dismayed when I found out that Google Reader was being discontinued but now that I have Bloglovin’ – I’m good!

    Written by Barbara Grace

  • 06/04/2013 12:03 PM | Anonymous

    What is CRAFTSY? Craftsy offers professionally created classes on all your favorite crafty topics such as sewing, quilting, photography, cake making, embroidery and so much more. The classes are online, so they are available at anytime to the student. You can watch an entire class or portions of a class, interact with the instructor and other students, as well as make notes on the video related to your questions and post pictures. Each class is taught by an acclaimed instructor and consists of several hours of HD quality video content. Launched in May 2011, Craftsy has over 500,000 users of all skill levels and is a quickly growing and changing company with a fun and flexible attitude. One of our favorite ASDP instructors Kenneth King has taped classes. You will also recognize Susan Khalje, Barbara Deckert, Janet Pray, Angie Wolf and I among many popular creative personalities.

    Craftsy is powered by the Sympoz online learning platform, a dynamic, interactive environment that allows students worldwide to participate in a meaningful educational experience. Crafters and artisans everywhere come to us for inspiration and hands- on instruction. Our mission is to serve students who want to get better . . . and offer professional educators a chance to spread lifelong passions and expertise beyond their usual realm,” quoted from Craftsy. Just a few weeks ago, I had the amazing opportunity to tape my class at Craftsy studios in Denver. I thought it would be easy to write about my experience. It was so amazing and our crew really meshed, so is it difficult to write how truly meaningful my experience was.

    For over a year I had been contemplating taping videos for my website, but everyone takes short videos and posts them on their blogs and websites and I just did not want to be like everyone else. Quality and content are my passion, and I would rather have a few good videos than many with topics you see all over the internet. Fast forward a few months ago when CRAFTSY called me and I was hooked. I have been so impressed with the entire platform and organization from the beginning. I knew right away what my subject would be. They loved it, and we set a taping date immediately. From there I was connected with my pre-producer whom I feel like we have been sewing buddies forever.

    We started outlining my class and had weekly conference calls and SKYPE meetings. Right away I created a very detailed outline of my subject matter and that made all the difference. I was able to provide lots of class content and she advised me on the order and setting up my individual lessons. Every class is broken down into smaller lessons like book chapters. They have found that 20-30 minutes of content is a good relatable time for students. I value all her expert advice and once I showed up for taping we had a well defined outline of what I was teaching so it went smoothly. She also helped me develop my ideas and concepts for visuals on camera and I even challenged the graphic artist on some new ideas. I spent two weeks developing all of my pattern samples that would be viewed on camera, making before and after step outs, as well as prepping what I would utilize during taping. From a film crew perspective they kept commenting on how prepared I was and how nice my step outs were. I would definitely guide anyone to be over prepared. Think of everything.

    Taping my class was so much fun. I was so impressed with the detail my film crew put into the taping including things like: my jewelry, ruler placement, step out placement, color coordinating, model poses, photo shoots, sound (oh yes, we meshed in the thunderstorm sound to the background), room tones, and even eating chocolate behind the scenes. There is so much that goes on behind the scenes. They were really professional and we all decided when I go back for my second taping I am requesting all the same people.

    My producer asked me if I was nervous. I told him I felt very comfortable in front of the camera, but my biggest concern was forgetting something as I wanted to give as much information as possible. I love their fun atmosphere. I am not a stuffy person, so hoity toity is not for me. I am bubbly and working in that kind of atmosphere is very important to me. We had a balance of having fun, being serious, and still being myself. My most awkward moment was sitting down and having to reach up and show how to measure the lower body, I had had a funny moment where my glue stick literally jumped up off the table and flipped over like a magnet (that will be in my video), and some other taping funnies that you had to be there. You learn about all your subconscious hand gestures, as you have to position your hands in the same position if you stop or film and intro or outro. My class is titled FAST TRACK FITTING and will be available in June. I am so excited to share real techniques that I actually use successfully in my studio every day. Students will learn key body measurements and how to apply them to their pattern before cutting a muslin. Your pattern is in body proportion and you eliminate all the extra work of having to cut open a muslin to fit and having to create additional fit samples.

    ASDP member Janet Pray also provided some insight to her Craftsy Experience.

    Janet Pray,

    “A few months ago I was approached by to teach a class on industrial sewing techniques, Islander Sewing Systems. After a brief discussion we decided that the class would involve making a project that included many opportunities to demonstrate those techniques. My newest pattern, Jacket Express, a jean style jacket designed to compliment most any figure, was the choice. In this pattern the student not only learns industrial sewing techniques (no pins, no basting) they also learn a faster production order for constructing any garment. The title of this class is: Sew Better, Sew Faster, Garment Industry Secrets. “Teaching a class in the Craftsy studio was a real pleasure. Having filmed classes and TV shows multiple times I can honestly say this was by far, the easiest and most pleasurable experience of them all. The staff was more than attentive, seeing to my every need including steaming my wardrobe.

    “When I arrived, the on set producer was well versed in all of our plans and that made the filming run smoothly. She worked with a crew who filmed and edited while she directed. The nicest aspect of all; they trusted me, the teacher, to know what was best and gave me all the time I needed to execute a quality class. The relaxed atmosphere was complimented by all members of the team conveying a genuine interest and never trying to rush! Craftsy really understands how to work as a team and how to bring the teachers in as members of that team. I can’t begin to express how positive I feel about this experience. Craftsy is my kind of place!!”

    Angela Wolf,

    “When I was first asked to teach on Craftsy I was a little leery, simply because of the term “Craftsy”. But knowing Tricia Waddell (whom I highly respect, as we worked together on the set of It’s Sew Easy TV) I thought I would give it a shot and I am so glad I did. My first class, Tailoring Ready-to-wear, was shot in my studio and the second class, Creative Serging, was shot in Denver at the Craftsy studios. Both had excellent film crews and if work could be fun, this would definitely fall in line!

    Amy Marohn and Angie Wolf, photo courtesy of Craftsy

    Working with Craftsy was a little different from shooting It’s Sew Easy TV, as I was not constrained to 4 or 10 minute segments. The classes on Craftsy are detailed and informative. The class board allows students to ask questions, post photos, and create chats. The HD videos are open forever, so there is not a rush to watch all the videos at once.

    As I am writing this newsletter, I am just shy of 10,000 students between both classes. With a click of a mouse I am intermingling with sewers from all over the world. I am so in awe. In fact, one student wanted to know how to source fabric in the Amazon! My goal is to inspire others to sew and sew with professional looking results, but not to be afraid of jumping in and getting started."

    NOTE: if you plan to take one of our CRAFTSY classes click through our own personal websites and the link will direct you to CRAFTSY.

    Written by Joi Mahon,

    Joi Mahon Bobier Portrait Studio

  • 06/03/2013 11:53 AM | Anonymous

    In this article I want to introduce you to an online sewing community. This website has over 300,000 members and the main focus is garment sewing. In fact, I was able to meet quite a few of the members at the 10 year anniversary party in Chicago and let me tell you these people can sew. The website offers a plethora of information with reviews, blogs, contests, and online classes.

    In an age of instant access, online classes are a perfect way to learn, interact with others, and get an opportunity to learn new skills on your own time schedule. There are a few different variations of classes on PatternReview: some offer live chats with the instructor, some include detailed PDF files, and most of them include video. Video classes are my personal favorite; I just find it easier to learn while watching. The classes remain open forever, so once you sign up you can watch at your own pace. There’s nothing like learning while sitting on the couch in your pj’s! All of the classes have a class board where you can ask questions, post photos, and interact with other students.

    The classes offered on PatternReview are all based on garment sewing and fitting. Instructors include Jennifer Stern, Sarah Veblen, Kenneth King, Susan Khalje, Deepika Prakash, and me. The prices are very reasonable; if you compare the cost to a live class with an instructor it’s a great bargain.

    Deepika Prakash is the founder of PatternReview and a great friend. This is what she has to say about her website: “I started 10 years ago because as I started sewing I realized that I really enjoyed sharing and learning from others who sew. As my love for sewing grew, I decided that I wanted to do more to promote sewing education and (I) partnered with experts in the sewing industry. helped these experts bring their offline skills online while helping them maintain that personal interaction with our members.

    “At not only will you learn new skills from a variety of online classes, but you will also make lots of new friends. In our classes, the teachers have a one-toone relationship with their students. You can watch videos, ask questions or take in-depth workshops in which our teachers will give you personalized fitting advice patiently while you perfect that garment or pair of pants. We take things slowly because we want to ensure that the students are actually learning.

    Because PatternReview is a sewer-run website, my teachers and I take pride in what we do. I hope you will check us out."

    Written by Angela Wolf

    Angela Wolf by Winn Wolf

  • 06/02/2013 11:44 AM | Anonymous

    Do you have lots of inspiring images floating around in email folders, or sitting on your desk or coffee table? Do you find drawings wadded up in your purse or pocket that you forgot were there? Pinterest will help you keep all of these things at your fingertips and enable you to share them with others.

    Pinterest is an electronic bulletin board designed to keep all your inspirations in one place and sort them into various categories called boards. These boards are yours and yours alone, so you can use them for whatever topics you wish and name them what you’d like. The names you choose describe what you pin on that particular board. Pin is the term used to describe transferring an item of interest from another source to your board. For instance, I have one board that contains corsets. When I see a corset that I find interesting or might like to make, or I just think is interesting, I pin it to this board and I am able to view it any time I look on my Pinterest boards.

    Most anything can be uploaded onto Pinterest and shared. I took an item from the blog of one of our ASDP members, Rhonda Buss, and pinned it on my Pinterest board. By doing this, the items went onto my Facebook page and are now pins on Pinterest for others to find. I did the same with a photo from Angela Wolf, another member. Anything that can be uploaded can be put on Pinterest.

    One of the options available when pinning to the board is to post these items on your Facebook page. This will let your friends know what you found and you can share ideas. I have seen many people sharing recipes, crafts, gardening tips, and other great ideas through pins. There is a small comment box below each picture for you to add a comment when you pin. One of the great things about Pinterest is finding someone who has the same or similar interests as you. You can become their follower, and their pins will show up on your Facebook page – provided you allow photos from that friend and vice versa... When people determine that they like your style, they will become followers of you.

    This is a great way to expand you business’s visibility. People are very visual and occasionally like to look at images without ads or words. Pin up your pictures with a lead to your website or email. It’s a great way to get noticed and it’s free!

    Written by Denise Liss

     Denise Liss by R. Brosnan

  • 06/01/2013 11:41 AM | Anonymous

    How many of you have a smartphone? When I got my smartphone two years ago, the sales person said, “You won’t believe how many things you will use this for.” My thought at that time was that it was just a phone; what more could I possibly use it for? I have since become very dependent on my phone for, of course, making calls and texting—never while driving. It is invaluable for weather forecasts either locally or, when planning a trip to another location, it helps me know what to pack!

    I have read books on my phone, looked up information about any possible topic, used the GPS to help me find locations I am unfamiliar with, and my entire calendar is on my phone. Of course, I will happily show you photos of my kids and grandkids stored on it! Email is readily accessible, although I must admit that I would rather use a regular computer keyboard to answer correspondence, I will give short replies via my phone. If a client would like to use a charge/debit card to take care of a payment, I can do that on my phone and send them an email or text receipt that can include a photo of the garment!

    My shopping and to do lists are very handy on my phone; I no longer forget my list on the kitchen table at home. There is even a Jo-Ann’s app, so I can pull up coupons to use at the store, just in case I forgot to bring them! Searching for a local restaurant and good gas prices, listening to music, sketching a design, using the calculator, scheduling a television recording of a favorite show, setting an alarm clock, checking Facebook, checking out e-books from the library, are all uses of this phone.

    If it were not for my machine embroidery, I do not think I could be quite as comfortable with technology. When I purchased my first embroidery machine, ten plus years ago, I was forced to figure out how to use a computer. I remember the days working on an embroidery design on the computer and a text box would ask me “Do you want to save?” I promptly entered yes, wondering where it went. There was a lot of trial and error learning, but I must also thank those other more tech-savvy seamstresses and embroiderers who helped me along the way. I am proud of all that I have learned about technology; it is the way of the world today.

    This month the blog is dedicated to technology, in its many forms. Enjoy the information and always keep an eye open for new technology. You may be surprised how much you can use it!

    Written by Teresa Nieswaag, President

  • 04/09/2013 10:48 PM | Anonymous

    Most of the news in this issue had been borrowed from the chapters’ Facebook pages. Find them by typing Association of Sewing and Design Professionals in your Facebook search box – keep up with these chapters’ news by Liking their pages!

    Members of the Oregon chapter recently had an archivist from Jantzen as guest speaker. The talk “Jantzen through the decades” covered the history of Jantzen, bathing vs. swimming suit, and how progressive and cutting edge Jantzen has been. The chapter’s April draping workshop with Catherine Stephenson filled so quickly that additional dates in May have been added. This seminar is open to both ASDP members and non-members. Details are posted on the ASDP Events calendar.

    For the Baltimore Chapter, photography was the topic for the recent chapter meeting, held at a Baltimore photographer’s studio. Members were shown how to best photograph their work. A shopping stop nearby, A Fabric Place, was the natural followup, with members focused on knits for the knit dresses they’re making for their chapter challenge this year.

    Several New England chapter members offered alteration services at the Princess Boutique in early March, making on-the-spot adjustments to prom dresses donated to local teens. Members all over the country have talked about similar events they’ve attended, either with other chapter members or on their own. I’d love to be able to share more news of ASDP members giving back to their communities!

    In the Heartland chapter, a January meeting was devoted to a program on Personal Branding for Sewing and Design Professionals, entitled “Authentic Professionalism.” The presenter is an image coach and consultant, who gave members a personality profile and tips on developing and packaging a personal brand image for their businesses through clothing. The presentation included a strategic plan for building and maintaining that personal brand through consistent image practices.

    This isn’t really chapter news, but speaking of the Heartland chapter –Donna Christian (at the urging of Joyce Hittesdorf) asked my help to post a project to the discussion list. The garment had members wowed! A custom gown made for a contest, designed by the client and executed by Donna, that’s simply out of this world!

    Here is what she told me about this gown: “I have been working with a designer for the past month on a dress that she had designed and submitted to a competition run by a local fashion group.” It was an interesting design that had many challenges and pushed my comfort zone and skill set. This past Saturday, the designer entered a competition at the Palladium, the Performing Arts Center in Carmel, Indiana. It is not the usual type of dress I make for weddings. It is far from a modest dress that we would want our daughters to wear, but it was fun to have a good challenge. It took about 54 hours to construct. Since I had not worked with crocodile leather before, we had a master leather man construct the crocodile belts, but I sewed them onto the gown. The gown was presented, along with 6 other entries, before a concert by the Cameron Carpenter Concert and Carmel Symphony Philharmonic Concert this past Saturday evening. The 7 designs were voted on by the audience. Our dress won first place!

    The dress in total cost over $3,000 for labor, materials, and leatherwork.

    Written by Janee Connor, VP of Chapter Relations

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