I custom design and create high-quality ceremonial wear. This includes religious vestments, wedding gowns, and formal wear. Many of my clients find other uses for my skills as well, leading to interior decoration, special costumes, even tents and sails.
I learned to sew beautiful clothing through many years in 4-H. These years taught me that finely made clothing would fit well, look beautiful, and last nearly forever. The motto in 4-H was “to make the best better,” a lesson that the leaders worked to instill in the participants. I had to work hard, constantly practicing and experimenting, to achieve the quality needed for recognition. I played around with creating my own patterns, eventually attending university to learn more about sophisticated pattern development, precision of fit, importance of proportion. It came as a surprise that others in my university classes did not have the same background in sewing, much less the heavy emphasis on good quality. This isn’t to disparage my classmates, only to observe that these skills are not as prevalent as they once were. Because I could sew, I worked my way through college as a bridal fitter.
I spent two years in London, attending fashion school and working in a made-to-measure bridal salon. This higher-end of the market revealed beauty and quality that had been missing from the gowns I stitched up in college. Getting a peek at the inner workings of near-couture was a wonderful experience for a kid from the frozen prairie.
After graduating, I sewed many, many bridesmaid dresses. Too many. I needed a better challenge. Remembering that I had enjoyed tutoring other students in the pattern drafting studios, I went back to school so that I could eventually teach. I taught clothing design students at the university level to think critically about their portfolio development, to take a broader design view to their particular challenges, and of course to relentlessly pursue quality. Beauty is worth taking time to achieve.
Thinking, teaching and making are a significant part of my current work. I enjoy these aspects of custom design, and work to help clients understand the “why” behind the “what.” I love learning about the stories and traditions behind our decisions in appearance, and hope that I can explore them with you too.
Thinker + Maker = Artist