The Fashion Show (The Colorblocked Jacket, Part 3)

Sorry to keep you waiting on my fashion show debut!  Between class projects and getting my teaching venture off the ground, I’ve let the blog fall by the wayside.  It occurs to me I owe all of you a recap on how the fashion show went.

Here’s the completed outfit walking the runway at the City College of San Francisco Fashion Show, “Odyssey.”  The model is Damon Mahoney; besides his work as a fashion model, he is a fashion entrepreneur who makes an exquisite line of hand-painted scarves and accessories.  You can see his creations at his website.  He was fantastic to work with and he really sold the outfit on the runway.  I was so fortunate to have him model my outfit.

Runway photo credits: James Mace

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The Colorblocked Jacket, Part 1

My course in Apparel Construction at City College of San Francisco this spring encompasses three major projects:

  • A sleeveless sheath dress
  • A pant or pencil skirt
  • A machine-tailored jacket, made with fusible interfacings

So here I’m beginning a new blog series on the first project for the class, the sleeveless sheath dress.   Careful readers will note that project isn’t the same as the title of this article, so some explanation is in order. Continue reading

Fall Sewing Whirlwind Recap

Oh, my. There’s a layer of dust everywhere. Pardon me for a second.



Now that I’ve blown the dust away, time to resume the blog.

Fall Recap

On my last blog update, I had signed up for four fashion classes at City College of San Francisco. I figured it was ambitious, but doable. The four classes were: Fashion Illustration 2, Garment Fitting, Apparel Construction 1, and Custom Tailoring.

Plans changed very quickly. Shortly after classes started, an opportunity for some freelance work (not sewing-related) came my way, and so I started working two days a week. That meant I had to drop at least one class. I wasn’t giving up Fitting or Tailoring, and dropping Apparel 1 wouldn’t have made much difference, so I let go of Fashion Illustration 2.

Even so, I’m OK with the decision in hindsight. The Illustration class was a lot of homework, and as it turned out the Tailoring class needed every moment I could spare and then some.

So here’s a very quick summary of my fall semester classes and their outcomes: Continue reading

RIP, Nancy Zieman

Nancy Zieman, sewing instructor and host of the public television series “Sewing with Nancy” for over 30 years, has passed away.

When I began sewing six years ago, I stumbled across an episode of “Sewing with Nancy” on TV. She was sewing from “A” to “Z”, one basic sewing technique after another.  Anchor Cloth, Basting, Cutting, Double Needles, all the way to Zippers.

It was like the heavens opened. Nancy not only showed me basic skills I needed to learn, but also things I didn’t know I needed to learn.  I bought the book and DVD and several more since.  I still use techniques such as her method for inserting an invisible zipper, and her “absolute easiest” way to sew darts – which I just used for a class project.

And then I read her amazing story.  Nancy Zieman wasn’t just a successful entrepreneur, instructor, and television personality.  She was all of those things against a backdrop of health issues, some very visible, her entire life.

From her autobiography, Seams Unlikely:

On Sunday afternoon, December 12, 1982, I was feeding Teddy when the phone rang. It was David Larson, the one producing Sewing With Nancy.

“This arrangement isn’t working for me,” he said by way of announcing an end to our television production. He was pulling out. “Go ahead and do it yourself,” he said.

We had recorded only eleven programs. Dave did it all, both production and editing. The production and editing crews worked under contract to him. The contract with the Satellite Program Network held his signature, not mine. Without him I felt there could be no Sewing With Nancy, and if it wasn’t profitable for Dave, how could it be for me. That was it. My television career was over.

A couple of nights later I awakened in the middle of the night in a sweat, something that had never happened before. As I bolted upright in bed, the thought came to me and wouldn’t leave: ‘If you don’t do this now, you will never have another opportunity.’

In the morning I began making phone calls to see if I could produce Sewing With Nancy on my own.

Goodbye, Nancy. You are an inspiration and you will be missed.


Quote source: Zieman, Nancy. Seams Unlikely: The Inspiring True Life Story of Nancy Zieman. Glass Road Media. Kindle Edition.