A LITTLE ABOUT ME
I learned to sew from my Grandmother at age 7 and have been sewing continually for the last 40 years.
In my 20’s I started a women’s sportswear line; selling to the local market. All the drafting, cutting, sewing, and sales were done by me. Although I had achieved relative success, being self-taught, I didn’t feel fully confident in my skills and felt as though there were missing pieces that needed to be filled in.
I closed my business, relocated to Montreal, and enrolled in the fashion design program at Collège LaSalle with a diploma in Women’s Wear Fashion Design in 1999.
I took my first teaching position in Beijing China at Raffles BICT and fell in love with teaching. I often jokingly say that teaching ruined my career as no other job gave me the same level of fulfillment. In Beijing, I taught sewing, and pattern drafting at all levels.
In 2004 I was offered a position at Raffles Design Institute in Shanghai. At RDI I quickly became a senior lecturer and eventually the first-year program coordinator. As a coordinator, I took on additional responsibilities such as developing standardized teaching materials for the fashion design department as well as training and evaluating new teachers.
RDI Shanghai was a 2-year intensive full-time diploma with a 3rd-year top-up degree through an affiliation with University Northumbria in Newcastle UK. While teaching at RDI Shanghai I was offered entrance into the online Master’s Degree Program and completed my Masters of Art Design in 2010.
In 2011 I was offered a position at LaSalle College Vancouver where I taught Pattern Draping, History of Fashion Trends, Textiles as well as Sewing 1, 2 and 3.
After 5 years at LaSalle Vancouver, I landed a job as the Program Manager of the Industrial Sewing Training Program for employment training. In this position, I had complete freedom to develop the program from the ground up. I acquired the machinery, set up the classroom, wrote the program, taught the classes and developed a comprehensive textbook.
The Industrial Sewing Training Program was a government-funded program for people with employment barriers. The student population was drastically different than at the college level. The student body was a mix of newcomers to Canada and people facing employment barriers. Many of these students had mental health issues, learning disabilities, and many had experienced trauma. Working with this diverse population allowed me to develop new strategies in teaching.
Today I am focused on online teaching. My classes are designed to be useful for self-taught entrepreneurs, craftspeople, artisans, student designers, new designers, or anyone wanting to learn small-scale manufacturing techniques.