It all began when i was a small child…my mother would make me the most beautiful Easter dresses and dress up clothes! When I was old enough to use a sewing machine, she taught me how to make pajama pants and pillow cases. Mother taught me how to read a pattern and what the funny terms meant. The more she showed me, the more I wanted to know.
Then…one day…my interest in sewing and creating outgrew my mother’s knowledge and experience. We began looking for someone in the area who had more professional training. Margaret’s School of Custom Dressmaking caught my attention. Margaret was in her late 70′s. She had a small studio under her garage where she would allow young women (and men) to come work on their sewing projects. Margaret received her training from a very prestigious fashion college in New York and she was able to introduce me to pattern making and leather work. With Margaret I made my first sloper which served as my pattern for my leather jacket, jeans, and several other outfits I wanted to make.
Once I reached 5th grade my mother removed me from the public school institution in order to teach me at home. She had several other friends who also home-schooled their children. Among these woman was a costume designer extraordinaire. Her name was Aneladee. This Aneladee lady began a drama club for her children and other home-schooled kids. My mother and I decided it would be fun for me to join (so I could socialize with others). Aneladee recognized, very quickly, that I had an interest in costumes and sewing. I loved certain movies for their cool costumes and was always trying to duplicate what I saw on TV. Aneladee took me on as her apprentice and she coached me in designing and constructing the costumes for the Shakespeare plays that we, homeschoolers, performed. I was in love!
I worked with Aneladee until I was 17 years old, designing and building costumes for plays. When it was time to go to college I wanted to study…costume design! Surprise! I received a full ride scholarship to Utah Valley State College (now Utah Valley University). I volunteered in the costume shop for at least 5 hours a day, usually 8+ when a show was in the works. During my three years at UVSC, I had the opportunity to design, build, and manage the costumes for 6 productions including: “The Miser”, “JOB”, and the original “Farewell to Eden” which won awards at some event in California. I graduated with an Associate of Science in Theater Arts.
When I returned home, I enrolled at Brigham Young University and began studying….costume design. I learned a great deal of technical terms and procedures and began a real portfolio of my work. BYU is a much bigger institution and they had resources that UVSC did not have, but due to the large number of students I did not get much hands on experience.I graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Arts.
Somewhere during all of this study stuff, my interest in costumes turned to an interest in wedding gowns. I don’t know how it happened. It just snuck up on me. I took a job with Nancy Barrus Couture (now Avenia Bridal) and worked as a seamstress creating and building custom couture wedding gowns. Let me tell you…it was fun and exciting work!
My love for costumes has not disappeared. I still love making re-creations of gowns that I see on TV or in movies, but I also get the satisfaction of creating one-of-a-kind gowns for that (hopefully) once-in-a-life-time occasion which is marriage.