Paris & Amsterdam

Hello A-Team:

The following group of pictures are a bit mixed up.  I could not get the pictures to move where I wanted them to go.  After a while, on a tour, you begin to forget where you are, what time it is, and events seem to merge.  Enjoy.

Men’a Jacket circa: 1780. Worn with it’s waistcoat, shown in next picture. Clothworkers Center, London.
Notice that the back is way shorter than the front. This is something that is popular today.
Roberto Cavalli. March 2017. Paris. So it is my opinion, that in men’s clothes, history is is repeating itself. I love this. I would wear it.
This is an offering from the House of Chanel. Paris. Notice how the bleach design is matched directly over the seams. I did not catch the price. I wonder, how it was done? Intriguing. N’est pas?
I saw this piece. It is only about 4 inches long. Unbelievable. Paris. Next door to the Louve.
This is a doll carrying case from the Tassen Museum of Bags & Purses in Amsterdam. 19th century.
Women’s Fine Sewing Purse. Tassen Museum.
Ivory Purse. 1920’s. Tassen.
Sewing Basket. 19th Century. Tassen. I have no idea what the stars were for. All I can think of, is that they wound thread around them.
I had a definite problem in Chanel. I just could not stop crying. These are the steps where Chanel showed her collections. They took pictures of me and my daughter. No idea if we have the same or different kinds or cancer.
Kate would not get this, from Agent Provocateur, Paris. It is from Vivienne Westwood’s son’s collection.
Paris Chocolatier. There is one on every corner. This was strict window shopping. All three pictures are from the same shop.
Yes, the giant chess pieces are chocolate, too. Fabulous!!!
Professional egg boiler. Time your own, just the way you like your eggs. Paris.
16th – 18th century purse handles. The fabric purses just didn’t survive. Tassen.
Paris Chocolatier. There is one on every corner. This was strict window shopping. All three pictures are from the same shop.
Tassen Museum. Amsterdam. Drawers. The words on the chest of drawers indicated what was stored in the drawers.
Tassen Museum. Amsterdam. Drawers. The words on the chest of drawers indicated what was stored in the drawers. I could find no date on this. I suspect it was made during WW1. There is NOTHING plastic about this. Just great inginuity.
Fish Delicatessen. Amsterdam. The husband & wife are the owners. Everything was so fresh here.
Lingerie Fabric Shop in Amsterdam. Great prices.
Part of button wall in Amsterdam’s Fabric Shop.
Fabric Shop Sign. Amsterdam.
I took this picture for Diana, our hatmaker instructor. I think it is 19th century top hat mold-stretcher.
Paris sign for fresh fish.
This is a picture of the display by the sign. Again: Everything was very fresh.
Kosher Butcher Shop in Paris.
Paris. Grocery store shelf signage. To my surprise, it was all digital. I have not seen this in the states…..yet…..
At a Paris dinner we saw this framed lace. Very intricate. No idea if it is lingerie or part of a dress.
One of the buildings from the Louve, Paris.
The pyramid. Where you buy your tickets and get into the Louve. Paris. I never made it inside. I was in awe of the Musee de Arts Decortifs, which houses the Musee de Mode & Textiles. The museum I was at, was next door. Separate entrance. Separate entrance fee.
Inside the Musee de Arts Decortifs, which houses the Musee de Mode & Textiles, you were not allowed to take pictures of the exhibits. Behind these doors, was an exhibit of cross dressers, LGBTQ, thoughout the ages. The exhibition was cataloged. I bought the book which was written in French. It was an amazing exhibit. Joan of Arc, was condemned because she liked wearing men’s breeches. And she would not give it up.
8 hour latex class in Amsterdam. You need plenty of ventilation to do this. Best learning experience of the tour !!!
In the latex class, lots of the ladies made panties. These are for a wonder woman costume.
Amsterdam bistro presentation of plate of raviolis.
Amsterdam bistro presentation of Cesear Salad.
This little shelf sign, is in our Amsterdam Mercure Hotel. It says alot with very little words.

Bath & London

Hello A-Team:

I could not get the images to turn or align.  At least you get to see some incredible things.  I miss you all !!!!  Joanie

I’ve fixed the photos. — John   THANK YOU, JOHN!!   JMcK

Tomorrow, the group travels to Paris.  Hopefully by the next post, I will be able to turn the pictures upright.

Welcome to Spring 2017 – Where Education Leads to Vocation

Hello A-Team:

Sadly, the Fall 2016 semester is coming to an end, in 2 weeks.  Everyone is busy working on their final project for their grade.

Under the pictures in the right hand column, are the Spring 2017 Syllabi.  All the timing is correct.  Download & Print your Class Syllabus, the Classroom Etiquette, and your needs from the Downloads page.


The following websites are a guide to Vogue’s upcoming fashion shows:

Paris, France:

New York, New York:

London, United Kingdom:

Milan, Italy:

Be Safe !!!!!

See you all in class !!!!


Being Creative is NOT a Hobby. It is a Way of Life. As told to me by M. Buckley

Hello A-Team !!!!

Don’t let this sleeping kitty fool you !!!!  You are looking at her through a piece of glass.  And I can tell you, that her dreams are all creative.  You dream it, you can make it !!!!

This is deadline month.  This is the last A-Team email, before the new semester.  Come to class to see what is happening.  I will be grading everyone the last day of class.   I have been told what I am teaching.  The correct schedule is not in stone, yet.

Check out the following, given to you, with permission from Beverly Johnson, the Fairy Bra Mother.  Get on her email list. She is the best !!!!!!

Keep being creative !!!!!  It is a skill that can earn you a living wage.  




May your home be blessed with the courage of compassionate hearts, seeing the greatness in every soul.

Hello A-Team:

I just could not wait till the end of Winter Break to email you all.  I cannot thank you all enough for all the gifts and cards!!!!  I do what I do out of love of the subject.  I want everyone to know they can earn a living sewing.  It is important to know, that you don’t have to stop wearing something, just because it ripped, lost a button, or got a hole in the pocket.  These repairs are easy to fix.  And once you learn patternmaking…..  You can create your own designs to sell.   Thank you again, for all your kindness.

Some of you have homework to do for your first class in January, 2017.  I am busy working on the Spring 2017 syllabi along with several other projects.  I started to update the right hand column of the blog.  I think I will have all the syllabi out by Mid-January.  There is a field trip to Yardage Town on February 4.  And the trip to LA with Sew Pro’s is on April 29, in the new Spring semester.

The Classes:

Draping:  The final class before Winter Break went by so quickly.  This class, has only 2 classes left before the end of the semester.  We went over draping circle skirts, and our final projects.  Our next class is January 9th.  Your full size muslin toiles and patterns are due.

Upcycling:  The morning class would NOT let me do the daily demo which was the fly zipper for jeans.  In the evening class, we practiced the insertion of the invisible zipper.

Flat Patternmaking:  We finished up our Style number 903 pattern.  There are now 4 classes left to complete our final half-size project.  Hope you are working on your half size patterns during the Winter Break.  Aren’t the quarter size patterns making more sense???  They should be giving you a sense of direction and confidence.

Sew Fun 1:  This class got reversed with the hemming class.  We learned how to put hem tape and flexi-lace hem binding on our samples, We learned about the three hand hemming stitches:  The blind hem, the slip stitch, and the cross stitch.  Learning to do a blind hem, by machine, we put off till the next class in January.   Then the students saw a sequin demo.  So next class. we will start there, practicing our sequin application.  We will also learn how to sew on buttons, snaps, and hooks.  Please remember to bring in a small patch so I can show you how to sew it on.

Links and News:

Tasha called me with a great message to all of you !!!! The Humane Society is waving it’s fees for the holiday season.  So if you want to adopt a dog or a cat….now is the time !!!!!

The West City Center Career Center Office will be open on Thursdays, from 10 – 3 pm in January.   If you are a SDCE student or recent training program graduate, our Career Counselors are available for individual walk-in career planning assistance, job search guidance, and resume critiques. No appointment needed!
 Need your resume critiqued? Please bring a hard copy or flash drive file of it with you to your walk-in counseling ses-sion and we’ll review it and give you suggestions!
 Check out the many career planning and job search resources are on the Career Services webpage:
 Career Counselors: Barbara Elliott for Mesa CE Campus, North City Campus, West City Campus
Marcia Grant for ECC Campus, Mid-City Campus, Cesar Chavez Campus

Our very own Mermaid sent this wonderful link to me concerning bone soups.  This gives scientific meaning to my Mom’s chicken soup.

Dear Campus Community,

We are thrilled to present Jump Start to your success on Saturday, February 25, 2017, from 8:30am-1:00pm.  This is a time in which we invite hundreds of prospective students to our campus and showcase what we have to offer and how great we do it!  The program will include support services, academics, department resources, clubs, and the lively community feel we create at Mesa.  We hope you will join the fun!

Columbus, Ohio is becoming MAJOR fashion center.  Check out this article !!!!  Thank you for sending this link to me, Donna.

Learn how to sew Minky fabric here.

Enjoy the rest of your break !!!!

Catch up on your homework.

I will see you all the first week in January !!!!

Happy New Year !!!!!


Trust Your Own Instinct. Billy Wilder


Hello A-Team:

The coming week is the final week before the Winter Break.  Check out the picture of the week.  Thank you for sending this to me, Laura!!!!  It will be a fun packed week with lots of learning.  See you all in class !!!!

Check out this link.  Ellen told me about it.  If you want to add to your costume collection, this is the place to go!!!  The antique clothing and accessories are all for real.  And so are the prices.  Check this out !!!!!

Ho, Ho, Ho !!!!  Be Safe !!!!



You Don’t Get Harmony When Everyone Sings the Same Note. Doug Floyd.


Hello A-Team:

Check out the picture of the week !!!!!  The Flat Patternmaking Class, all made the same swirl skirt pattern.  This was very popular in the 1970’s.  Each pattern was a bit different according to the pattenmaker’s “designer eye.”   They all came out Phenomenal.   So I repeat:  You Don’t Get Harmony When Everyone Sings the Same Note.    Doug Floyd.

The next 2 weeks are packed with holiday cheer and shopping.  After the break, I will resume regular A-Team posts.  In the meantime:  Come to class.  I can guarantee  you will miss out on some important learning.

Ho!  Ho! Ho!



To a Great Mind, Nothing is Little. Sherlock Holmes



Hello A-Team:

Between going to class, enjoy your time shopping !!!!  This will be a spectacular holiday season.  Whether you spend on line or spend in the brick and mortar stores, the climate is right to:  SHOP TILL YOU DROP !!!!  And remember all those interior decorating details.  Those visual mood enhancers are terrific to keep the spirit of the season going strong through January 1.  I still can’t believe that 2017 is just around the corner.

Yes there is class this week !!!!!


Before the break, we draped the princess torso block.  We played with draped cowls.   And we picked our favorite croqui drawing to do our final draping project.  This week, we continue to learn details:  collars and necklines on dartless bodice shapes.


We learned how to sew a continuous shirt placket in a sleeve.  This week, we will continue with the 2 piece shirt placket and the one piece shirt placket.  I know these operations are tough.   BUT, they have so many applications when you sew.  You can use them in necklines and in pants.

Flat Pattern Manipulation:

Last class, we started, but left off on style #903.  This week we will continue flat patterning the style.  Last week, we also picked our final croqui sketch for our final patterned garment due the last day of class in January.   This garment will fit our half scale dress forms.  I hope you gave your final design some patterning thought during the break.  I would like to see how you used the quarter size patterns.

Speaking of the quarter size patterns, I received an email concerning the quarter sizes I gave out to you.  Some of them are not to perfect scale. Multiples would NOT all fit on a single page, if they they were all to scale.  No where on the packet, did it state that the patterns were perfect to scale.  If you want to be perfect, just photocopy the ones in the back of your text…….   The quarter sizes were handed out to help you understand how to cut up your half size patterns into your final garment styles.  It is like thinking out loud.  Also:  Check out page 1 of your syllabus.  It states that this course is taught in half-scale….right in the title.

A few of you, want to draft your own master sloper patterns.  My spring 2016 drafting syllabus, has all the information needed to do this.  Just send me an email and let me know.

Sew Fun 1:

Before the break, we worked on our sleeves and made the half-scale skirt for our bodice-jacket.  Next week we will continue with learning how to set in sleeves in our bodices, how to understitch a v-neckline and make a collar.

Terrific Men’s Wear Tailoring Links:  Highly Educational and this proves Sherlock is correct:  To a Great Mind, Nothing is Little.  Apply this to Tailoring and all its details !!!!

The Guide to Cloth

Scabal and the Permanent Style collaborate to build an in-depth, practical cloth guide with information at every level of detail.


What is it for? How cloth is made? What are its properties? What do I do with it?

Read more


What makes a cloth suitable for a jacket, but not for a suit.

Read more


How to choose your fabric according to composition and construction.

Read more 


A glossary of cloth-related terms, covering everything from different animal fibres and their properties, to the various stages of spinning and finishing.

Read more

See you all in Class !!!!!


It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years. Abe Lincoln

president_bush_thanksgiving_day_dinner_in_baghdad_2003Hello A-Team:

Today’s picture says a lot about what presidents do on Veteran’s Day.  Because of the election, Veterans Day did not get as much recognition as it should have.  These men and women are ready to give the supreme sacrifice so that we can keep our country free.  At this moment in time, it is necessary that we all come together and believe in the democracy we live in.  Believe that the original gangsters, and troublemakers, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution KNEW what they were doing when they wrote up the 3 branches of government:  Judicial, Executive and legislative.   Enough said about politics that really has not changed in over 200 years……………

The Classes:

Draping:  Your 5 piece sloper set is due this week.  So are your 3 croqui final pcitures.  This week, you will be draping the princess bodice while the instructor goes around and individually checks your homework for your final project.  The great directions are in your text book.  Toward the end of the class, we will delve into dartless shapes, necklines, collars and cowls.

Upcycling:  Last week, we learned how to sew up a one-piece facing.  This week, we will start working on sleeve plackets.  There are 3 of them, that I want to teach you.  The continuous, the 2 piece, and the 1 piece.  You will use them many times in your sewing career.

Flat Patternmaking:  Your Curved Dart Dress is due.  We will take pictures of your achievement!!!!  Also, your 3 croqui final pictures are due.  I will go around and individually discuss them with you.   I do not want your final project to be overwhelming.  While I am discussing with your peers, you will be flat patterning the bateau neckline with facings.  Style 0601.

This is a side note to this class:  Azizeh gets a gold star for what she did at the end of class!!!!!  I will let her tell you all about it.

Sew Fun 1:  This class is way behind.  So I cut out one class.  This coming week, we will be making a skirt with an elastic waist band, And we will be working on our bodice sleeves.

Links and Things:

tailor__s_poster   There is a great Movie Night coming up at Mesa College.  It is on Tuesday, November 15th.  The name of the movie is:  Men of the Cloth.  If you have the time….go see this.  It is about 3 master tailors.  The link will bring you to the movie poster.

Stretch Knit Ruler instructions.  The following PDF is for the ruler itself.  knit-ruler-free  Thank you very much, Jen !!!!  13 free craft projects.

See you all in Class !!!!!!