I was born and raised in San Jose, California and grew up playing in the fruit and nut orchards, when it was still called the ‘Valley of Hearts Delight’, before it became ‘Silicon Valley’ as it is known today. Beginning from a very young age I have always shared my mother’s interests and abilities, as everything in our household was homegrown and homemade. My passion for fashion design began as a young girl. I would make custom outfits for my paper doll and struggle with a children’s singer sewing machine that glued fabric together. I quickly outgrew the gluing machine and so, my mother, recognizing my interest, taught me how to use her sewing machine. By the 4th grade, I was setting zippers and beginning to make my own clothes, gifts and household items.
There was no place to teach someone my age at that time and so my mother introduced me to the clothing resale shops, where for a few dollars I could buy a larger-woman’s garment, deconstruct it and refashion it into something new. It was through the careful deconstruction of the garments that I learned how they were sewn and constructed. Refashioning still remains one of my favorite ways to sew today. For me, sewing comes naturally. Reading and interpreting instructions has always been easy for me and I am not afraid to try new techniques. Production sampling is a part of every project I do, where new techniques are tried and perfected on swatches before implementing them on the final garment.
Throughout my school and professional years, I continued to make most of my garments. These garments ranged from the very casual to the very elegant and included business suits and attire. I continue to make most of my own clothes today.
I am now focused on providing custom tailoring and couture sewing services for private clientele using the French jacket and fine tailoring methods made famous by Chanel and taught by well-known artists such as Susan Khalje and others. I am publishing articles in fashion magazines so that others can learn my skills and share my experiences and I hope to author a book or two along the way.
Some of my accomplishments include:
- Over 40 years of experience
- Graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, San Francisco, CA http://fidm.edu/en/visit+fidm/the+campuses/san+francisco/
- Student, ongoing, Canada College https://canadacollege.edu/fashion/
- Trained Sewing Instructor http://www.trainedsewinginstructor.com
- Published artist, ongoing, in Altered Couture magazine https://stampington.com/altered-couture
- Pattern tester for Vogue patterns
- Instructor for a young, talented fashion designer and author, Angela Lan lovespunk.com