As far back as I can remember my fingers have itched to make things. So, I do! I’ve dabbled in all sorts of arts and crafts, acquiring skills and mastering techniques along the way, but my first, longest and most enduring love is sewing/designing. My grandmother put the first threaded needle in my hands when I was about seven years old and taught me some simple embroidery stitches. Since then I have wanted to gobble up anything and everything to do with fabric and fashion.
When it came to mastering a sewing machine and reading a pattern I was on my own with lots of trial and error, but I wore that first maroon bonded knit jumper with mock pocket flaps with immense pride and sense of accomplishment. (and I still have the pattern)
You know how one thing leads to another? Those embroidery stitches lead me to knitting, crocheting, crewel and latch hooking as well as constantly expanding my sewing skills. That lead to wanting to take apart patterns and adapt them to what was in my head which lead to wanting to embellish fabrics with painting and beading. Wanting to shorten this learning curve, I enrolled in the Apparel Technology Program at Baltimore City Community College for a degree in Fashion Design. From there it was an easy step to weaving, dyeing and now, spinning. Yes, I have just gotten my first drop spindle and am trying to create my first skein of yarn.
A parallel love has been theater and the performing arts so I’ve done my share of walking the boards. This seems to have been passed on to my daughter whose involvement with theater lead to my involvement with costuming. For me, it was the perfect way to meld my two favorite passions and after years of learning about the ins and outs of costuming as a volunteer, I turned it into a business and now do it professionally.
In 1998 I officially began “my sewing business” working from a home studio. By 2002 I had outgrown the space available at home and began seriously looking into moving to a commercial location. I have many people to thank for steering me in the right direction, giving me heads up on available locations and sharing their wisdom with me. Feeling guided through all of this, when I looked at the grease covered auto repair shop that still had hoists and trucks in it, I knew I had found a new home for my business, a place where it and I could continue to grow.
Even I didn’t have enough elbow grease to clean the place so my family pitched in and helped to turn it into a light, airy, clean white space. For this, they have earned a place in heaven.
With all the additional space in the new studio, I was able to expand my business in several directions by adding the “sewing school” so many had asked for as well as really developing a full service costume closet of custom and rental for theater and re-enactors with a mascot or two thrown in.
Alterations, custom clothing and home décor commissions are an important part of my business but now I am spending more time in developing my own design work and offering it here on my website and in local boutiques.
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