Dear ASDP Board
Catherine is a native of Portland, Oregon and spent her high school and college years in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her B.A in Textiles and Clothing in 1971 from the University of Wisconsin (Madison). Although educated in a system that expected their graduates to go into the ready-to-wear industry, she chose instead to create a custom dressmaking business and follow her entrepreneurial calling.
Back living in Portland, she opened her business, Catherine Stephenson Couture, in 1979, and in 1984 became a founding member of The Custom Clothing Guild of Oregon. Her motivation to get involved was to network with other dressmakers, increase her skills through targeted sewing classes, create business opportunities and promote standards of quality through a (peer) Portland-based juried referral service and elevate the level of custom clothing to the public. On a local level, Catherine served on the guild’s Board, and during her presidency in 1987-89 she oversaw the compilation of the chapter’s How to Start a Custom Clothing Guild, which they began selling to a few groups around the country.
This caught the attention of the Home Sewing Association (HSA) who offered to back a national trade association. Catherine participated in 2 years of a CCG committee working to create the new organization and the Professional Association of Custom Clothiers (PACC) was launched in 1991.
Catherine continued to serve on the national board during the 90's including National Chair 1998-2000.
She also chaired the committee that wrote the Quality Standards in the Custom Clothing Field, adopted by ASDP in 1997. A few years later, Catherine served on the Master Sewing and Design Program (MSDP) committee to write the curriculum for the certification modules, and has chaired the MSDP National Board since 2009.
Catherine owned and operated Catherine Stephenson Couture in Portland, Oregon for 35 years. She specialized in couture-quality garments in natural fibers. She created both tailored and dressmaker-styled clothing. Her clientele were professional women, brides and mothers, and clients wanting unique clothing. Everything she created was different and that was what she loved — the variety and opportunity to always create something new. She developed long-term relationships with many of her customers, along with special event clientele.
For five years, from 1994-1998, Catherine taught couture sewing with Susan Khalje during the beginning years of The Bridal Sewing School at biannual, week-long seminars. In 1997 she was hired by the Art Institute of Portland to teach a special workshop on Couture Sewing Techniques. This quickly led to an adjunct professor position in the Apparel Design department where she developed and taught a series of couture sewing techniques classes, along with draping, textile and advanced sewing classes. She taught 2-3 classes a quarter and was with the school for 17 years until her retirement in 2014. To support her teaching, Catherine received her Master of Arts degree in Education in 2008 from Argosy University in Seattle, Washington.
Catherine closed her business in 2014, and is now living in Ajijic, Mexico with her husband. Both artists, they included studios in the home that they built. She cannot stop being creative and continues to produce a line of clothing called Ajijic Chic, which she sells through annual fashion shows and her studio.
She also continues to share her expertise, participate in the ASDP sewing community, and supports the industry as a business owner, entrepreneur, educator, mentor, and friend.
Connie Crawford is a licensed designer for the McCall Pattern Company under the Butterick label, a member of the Sewing Hall of Fame, and was named VIP Woman of the Year 2014-2015 by the National Association of Professional Women. She is President and CEO of Fashion Patterns by Coni. A nationally and internationally recognized lecturer, fashion specialist, and educator, she has authored numerous sewing DVD’s, sewing and pattern textbooks, including. A Guide to Fashion Sewing, The Art of Fashion Draping, and Patternmaking Made Easy. She is a former instructor at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles.
Her professional experience also includes positions as a designer, design consultant, patternmaker, and grader in the Los Angeles garment industry, as well as designing a gown for the Academy Awards for the wife of screenwriter Jeff Macquire, nominated for the movie "In the Line of Fire". A well-recognized speaker for various colleges and fashion groups, Connie has been featured in magazines such as Threads, Sew News, and Notions as well as Stitches magazine in Australia, and has appeared on Sewing with Susan Khalje, Creative Living with Cheryl Borden, and the ABC TV series Home. For many years, Connie was the Keynote Speaker for the International Textile Show in Las Vegas, presenting the twice-yearly Color, Fabric and Fashion Forecast.
Connie is a member of The National Association of Professional Women, the American Sewing Guild, International Textile and Apparel Association, Australian Sewing Guild, Association of Design and Apparel Professionals, Independent Pattern Company Alliance, Sewing Dealers Trade Association, Round Bobbin Association, and Sewing/Quilting Educators.
Connie earned her degree in Fashion Design from Los Angeles Trade Technical College and received her teaching credentials from the University of California Los Angeles.
Sandra Betzina is the power behind POWER SEWING. She is the topselling designer for Vogue Patterns with her line, Today’s Fit and is currently the host of Power Sewing WebTV sewing lessons with more than 180 shows. Sandra has written 9 books including: FAST FIT, MORE FABRIC SAVVY, FEAR OF SEWING, POWER SEWING STEP BY STEP, SANDRA BETZINA SEWS FOR THE HOME, FABRIC SAVVY, MORE POWER SEWING and her 2 most recent ones POWER SEWING TOOLBOX VOL. 1 AND 2. She has produced a sewing skill series of 11 DVDs plus 2 Multi-DVD sets.
Sandra is the host of weeklong, hands-on sewing intensive retreats limited to 10 participants in San Francisco and lectures nationally. Sandra was a host on HGTV for 265 shows on "Sew Perfect" for 6 years, wrote a syndicated sewing column appearing in 50 major papers and has been inducted into the Sewing Hall of Fame by American Sewing Guild. Sandra is a popular sewing instructor on Craftsy.com with over 12,000 students in a class. She also owned and operated a sewing school in San Francisco for 7 years.
For more information about Sandra Betzina, Power Sewing and to preview her new WebTV shows, DVDs and Books go to www.powersewing.com.
Judith Neukam has been sewing for more than 50 years professionally and as a pastime. She has created custom clothes, designed women's ready-to-wear garments, mastered fittings and alterations, and worked with garment manufacturers and retail textiles.
Fifteen years ago, she joined the staff of Threads magazine and today serves as its executive editor. She not only maintains the magazine's technical accuracy, but also is a driving force behind Threads' growing video series offerings. Her years as an art teacher helped her conceive, write, produce, and appear in front of the camera for more than two dozen DVDs. Those include her original tutorials, the popular Teach Yourself to Sew series. Judy also is a longtime coordinator and judge of the annual Threads/ASDP design challenge, a showcase of innovative and inspiring sewing techniques.
Kenneth D. King is a New York-based, haute couturier, who specializes in evening wear. Along with his private clientele, he has sold to boutiques across the country such as Maxfield in Los Angeles, Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco, and Ultimo in Chicago, San Francisco, and Dallas. His work has appeared in music videos, television commercials, and on the red carpet for the Oscars. Kenneth’s work was exhibited in 2005 at the San Francisco Legion of Honor Museum; his work is also in the permanent collections of the De Young Museum in San Francisco, the L.A. County Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
You can view his work on his web site www.kennethdking.com
King has released a DVD series with Threads Magazine, called "Smart Fitting with Kenneth D. King. Currently he teaches classes as an adjunct professor in the Haute Couture program at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and was a Guest Professor for Haute Couture at Drexel University in Philadelphia in the spring of 2008.
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