Sew Fresh Team
Our Staff of designers, tailors, wedding gown specialists and professional instructors is dedicated to your satisfaction, for what we offer you. We aim to create a friendly welcoming and professional environment that you can trust in our services and class offerings.
Nora McCray 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 January 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. She loves to hike the Rockies, and volunteer in her community.
Judy Drake is our wedding alteration specialist. 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.
Jade Locke is a well known corset and bridal gown designer, teaches our corset making courses and is the principle designer for our new corseted wedding gown line. She also offers her attention to detail and perfection to our alteration work and fitting our clients on their garments and gowns. When not found at her design table Jade enjoys training her horse and weekend hikes with her husband.
Donna Smalley works with our office, class registration and customer service needs at Sew Fresh Studio. She has been an Niwot art gallery owner, home decor designer and helps things run smoothly at our studio. She will most likely be the person to call students to remind them of their class coming up.
Lulu La Fortune is our newsletter, web assistant and merchandiser for our designer showcase monthly. Lulu aspires to go to fashion school and major in fashion design and merchandising. She works now on her blog where she can express her fashion opinions and her ideas on new trends, you can view her blog here. She is a high school student at Niwot High School.
Kim Shiffano is Sew Fresh Studio’s talented bookkeeper. She she also enjoys our knitting classes and her baby granddaughter. We enjoy seeing what new item she has knitted in her spare time.
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.
Bhagvati Khalsa teaches our fashion portfolio, design concepts and figure sketching classes. Her students enjoy her enthusiastic approach and her experience from the New York Garment industry experiences. She graduated from the Art Institute in San Fransisco and taught at Kent State. She enjoys rock climbing in her spare time.
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.
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.
Rachel Lefort‘s experience includes studying in Paris at Christian Dior and Parsons School of Design as well as managing a couture design house in New York for several years. Rachel is now living in Colorado where she has offered in the past several years, her enthusiasm for fashion with our students who are bound for Fashion Schools or the fashion industry in many fields. She has offered in the past these classes at our studio:Fashion Portfolio creation, Fabric for Design, Careers in the Fashion World. She now is working full time in her own personal style consulting business.
Sylvia Rognstad, who has taught our Intro to Fashion Design 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.