Sew Fresh Team

Our Professional Staff of designers, tailors, wedding gown specialists and  instructors is dedicated to your satisfaction, for what we offer you.

We are pleased to create a  friendly welcoming and professional environment that you can trust in our services and class offerings.

Vince Phan has been working as a professional fine tailor for many years.   His attention to details and accuracy as well as superior workmanship is a real find in Colorado. He has a wonderful visual memory for details of how a garment is constructed and how to alter it to perfection. He leads our staff as manager.

Laura Cotugno specializes in custom tailoring and alterations, costume and custom dressmaking for our clients and welcomes students to learn how to sew, quilt and to use decorative techniques to embellish sewn items. Laura also is the “go to” person for any question you may have about the Janome sewing, serger and cover stitch machines we sell. She has sewn almost anything you can dream up and continues to be a professional dresser for principle actors in Denver Center theater productions.

Jade Locke is a well known corset and bridal gown designer. You can see her beautiful gowns at the Secret Boutique on She also offers her attention to detail and perfection to our alteration work and fitting our clients for their garments and gowns. When not found at her design table Jade enjoys training her horse and weekend hikes with her husband.

Lulu La Fortune is our newsletter, web assistant and merchandiser for our store. She loves perfecting the visual aspects of our studio.  She graduated from Niwot High School with the class of 2014 and will be attending The Savannah College of Art and Design in the fall. At SCAD she will be studying fashion design and merchandising.

Lauren Jones is currently teaching our fashion portfolio classes to design students. She inherited her interest in sewing from her mother who got her started at an early age.  Since then she has bounced around the various aspects of the industry including graduating from Parsons in NYC with a fashion design degree, doing costume work for Trinity College theater, retail fabric sales at local favorite, Elfriede’s Fine Fabrics,  and wholesale buying experiences, the sample room of Diane von Furstenberg as a business owner of a prototyping firm, and as the lead designer for a women’s apparel line. When she is not elbows deep in her current project of her silk organza, satin and French Chantilly lace wedding gown, she can be found romping with her dogs and marveling at the beauty of Colorado

Kim Shiffano is Sew Fresh Studio’s talented bookkeeper. She she also enjoys cooking wonderful meals for her friends and her baby granddaughter. We enjoy seeing what new item she has knitted in her spare time.

Judy Drake is one of our wedding alteration specialists. She has been with Sew Fresh Studio since our inception. She strives to listen to our brides’ requests and helps them achieve  the most beautiful look for themselves as well as their bridal parties as possible. Judy is an expert at bustling bridal gowns and creates wonderful artistic looks that your audience will remember as beautiful as well as functional.  Judy enjoys working with our clientele to achieve the best look with a gracious personal touch. She and Nora have worked together as a team since 2005. Judy holds a Business Degree from CU, loves gardening,  playing tennis and spending time with her family.

Karen Stalgren has sewn since she was 7,and has loved it since. Most of Karen’s life she worked as an occupational therapist teaching life skills and crafts to her clients. She now shares her soft spoken, very supportive manner with our students to encourage them to “sew outside the box”. She teaches our embellishment, bog coat, quilting and serger how to classes. Since 1993 Karen has been teaching how to make sewing enjoyable, easy and fun. When not creating on a piece of fabric she travels the US for relaxation,with her husband.

LeNore Kerber got her first sewing machine at age 3 and started immediately teaching herself how to create new fashions for her dolls.  For the next 35 years she sewed mostly for her dolls, herself, and then her children.  After having working for 20 years as an engineer, she decided she was done and started sewing again, but this time for other people.  She now is the resident costumer for a local children’s theater, specializes in vintage redesign, does alterations and custom sewing, and teaches pre-teens how to sew and have fun while doing it.  LeNore finds the pre-teen age group challenging and engaging and at the same time incredibly creative and fun.

Dena Cacioppo specializes in home decor and all kinds of quilting artwork. Living in two locations she travels between her Nebraska home and home decor business and Boulder. She teaches our how to use a sewing machine, beginning sewing, crazy quilt classes and bridal party shower events. In August of 2012 she was the lead designer to redesign and space plan our new studio with Nora.

Donna Smalley after working as a client/student relationship scheduler and all around secretary for 4 years with us, Donna has semi-retired and now volunteers in trade for workshop classes to write thank you letters to our clients. She also has a collection of hand made getting cards she markets locally.

Jackie Scott in the past has taught our design, draping and kids sewing classes in the summer. Jackie is a professional costume draper at the Denver Center Theater during the school year. She enjoys creating cute clothing for her grandchildren.

Sylvia Rognstad who has taught our Intro to Fashion Design, History of Fashion and Flat Pattern making classes, got her M.F.A. in  costume design from California Institute of the Arts and has been a theatrical costume designer  since the  late 1970s, working primarily in Colorado and California. From 1990 to 1997 she taught costuming at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Sylvia enjoys playing guitar in her spare time.

Carol Engle Enright has taught many of our fashion sketching and draping classes in the past. We are pleased to see her talents being used now as Dr. Engle Enright at the CSU school of Fashion and Merchandising. She leads the students in creating the fabulous spring fashion show for the graduating seniors in this program. She is very dedicated to her students’ successes in the fashion industry. She is a guiding light for many.

Rachel Lefort taught many of our portfolio classes, fabrics 101, careers in the fashion world and fashion sketching. She now offer her talents to personal image and style consultations in her own business.

Bhagvati Khalsa used to teach our fashion portfolio, design concepts and figure sketching classes. Her students enjoyed her enthusiastic approach and her experience from the New York Garment industry experiences. She graduated from the Art Institute in San Francisco and taught at Kent State. She is now working as a designer in California.

Marie Abbamonte worked her as a designer for over 2 years and now resides and creates beautiful gowns in Florida.

Katherine McCray built our first web site and starting the company bookkeeping system for her mom Nora, she continued to support us in many ways including projections for budgeting and tax recording and advice as a CPA and even helping us tidy up when she dropped by. She now resides in Miami working as a CPA there for several large and small businesses.

Nora McCray founder of Sew Fresh Studio, has been a professional dressmaker/designer/teacher/inventor in the Boulder, Colorado area since 1976. Like many women who love sewing and raise children having a home sewing business while her children were at home, seemed the right thing to do. She specialized in fine garment sewing and created lovely gowns for Miss America contestants as well as many wedding gowns and custom wardrobes. She wanted to share her love of sewing and in the mid 80’s began teaching her skills to others. In the 1970’s Nora’s idea of the Tilt’able TM , the first in the world, ergonomic sewing table platform, was born and in 1996 she invited a friend, to join her, she was granted two patents for these  ideas and together they developed an additional product line of products that now many people are using to alleviate back and neck pain and see better while they sew. They developed The Perfect Sewing Chair, The Sure Foot, and the Tilt’able II for Sergers. After leaving her company, Sew Ergo, she managed a Boulder Viking sewing machine dealership store for two years and continued teaching garment and home decor sewing. She then managed a trendy women’s clothing store but returned to her first love of sewing. She created Sew Fresh Studio that opened in November of 2005. She specializes in making elegant formal wear, consulting for new clothing entrepreneurs, designing for commercial clothing companies, and teaching all levels of garment sewing.  You can reach her in her Longmont Studio at NoraMcCrayDesign at or 720-275-1091.

Here are some photos of some of the fantastic people who have worked, taught or interned here since 2005. What fun we have had creating together!


Melissa sharing candy for kids at HalloweenKatherine cleaning up after a big project

Dena C

Nora next good photo for web

Darcy Dana volunteer for community sewing eventspictures to sort for april may 2009 023Tomas our handyman extrodinaire

carol at fashionshow

rachellefort11.2.10 to sort 021

lunching with the SFS bunch


DeAnna  altering Channel jacketElusiveMelissa2Jackie Scott and NoraMarie AbbamonteLinda Morrell Interior Design teacherMolly and prototype of Lamb backpackChristineEmployee6.11.11 025Ann Poindezxter teacherpictures to sort for may june 2009 001Chrissie and a prototypeemployeesDraping a dressform bodicefor webKarenandKids

Jenny in vintage sweater ready to ironLeNore Kerber Sewing Instructor (5)Copy (2) of sew fresh Professional group shot9-5-08 pictures to sort 0215 28 11 to sort 193LuLuLafortunepolka dot dressP1000191 for webJudy shot for web who we areLauren Jones