Friday, September 14, 2007

Lunch with a Dear Friend ~ Colleen Jones

Oh the days are rushing by much too fast...I meant to post about this days ago and am just now getting to it. On Wednesday afternoon I had lunch with one of my sewing heros...Colleen Jones! If you are new to Pattern Review or any of the internet sewing boards you probably don't know her or have heard of her but she use to teach many of the online classes at PR.

I haven't seen Colleen for a couple of years because life just gets in the way! She lives in a big rambling farmhouse in New Hampshire and I live in the suburbs of New Jersey and since I took this last job I don't seem to do much but work! So it was so much fun to finally hook up with her again and lunch went way to fast!

Now why is Colleen my sewing hero? Ohmygosh...I would say first and foremost because she is a great teacher. I have learned so much from her but it is her style of teaching that just works for me.
  • It is gentle but pushy - she always encouraged me to learn more and to push myself.
  • It is funny - there is always a great story or joke associated with the technique she is teaching.
  • It is innovative - she was teaching the Full Bust Adjustment (FBA) using a pie chart before anyone else that I'd heard of...
She is as big a fabricaholic as I am...well probably bigger! *LOL* I had my first trip to Malden Mills with her (and I am not a Polar fleece kinda girl!) but I learned to appreciate it! And even have several Polar fleece blankets - thanks to her and my friend Lisa! She also encouraged me to branch outside my comfort zone of fabrics and to try other kinds.

However there are two words that I always think of when I think of Colleen - generous and kind. She is that way with knowledge, books, fabric, just everything. I started to collect older sewing books because of Colleen - who gifted me with my first Adele Margolis book. I would never have heard of Mary Brooks Pickens, The Womens Sewing Library or Edythe Bishop, if not for Colleen. I own Lulu (my dressform) thanks to Colleen. Who not only gifted her to me but she also helped me fit the cover for her!

Yes, she has been a huge influence on my sewing and is a wonderful teacher. I truly miss the daily (yes, it was at one point via a sewing email list) that I had with her. If you've ever taken a class from her, experienced her wonderful personality at a PR weekend, or just gained some insightful information from her, please share!

She's a little too busy now to spend quality time on all the sewing boards but she is still my sewing hero!


  1. That lunch sounds like it was a lot of fun! Always good to spend time with your "Sheroes"!

  2. What a fun lunch!

    Makes me wonder where she lives - I live in NH, too!

  3. good teachers are worth their weight in platinum!

  4. Oh, Carolyn, I miss those times too!! I still talk about my trip to NH to visit my "sewing sisters." We had the best time sewing and laughing in that freezing cold studio. I learned so much that weekend from all of you.

  5. Beth and Carolyn, I miss those times, too! I still have the videotape you all made for me from one of your weekends at her house.

    I bought my Viking #1+ from her. It seems like an eternity ago that my husband and I drove up to that big old farmhouse to retrieve it.

    I've learned a lot about sewing from my Sewing Circle sisters, but I'd have to say that I learned the most about fitting from Colleen, including, "Sewing your seam allowances narrower is not a good fitting technique!" I actually started making real pattern adjustments after that admonition! And, surprise, surprise, my clothes started fitting better. Go figure *laugh*

  6. Carolyn, I'm just catching up on your blog. I miss Colleen so much! She used to have me practically wetting myself from laughing so hard. Gawd, I wonder if we could get enough people to have a Colleen Class? What a hoot (and great learning experience) that would be!

  7. I am humbled. . . .

    and I live in Newton, NH I'm in the book if you ever want to visit. I'm working in the garment industry now so I've little time to teach, but do still enjoy that time once in a while!

    Carolyn girlfriend, I miss you, and the roadtrips and the fun. . . and making you pick up your little ruler and proving to me you are stitching 5/8 inch seams.

    Ahhh the good old days!

    I'm still around. .. .

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    Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!


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