Monday, January 23, 2012

Connie Crawford

I AM LOVING THIS...Because this month many of you are working on your sewing projects for the IPCA challenge, Midnight Magic -- I have been profiling the designers who are IPCA members. Janet Pray (Islander Sewing) started the ball rolling...then Marsha McClintock (Saf-t-Pockets) and now Connie Crawford. WHAT FUN!!

To view complete details about the IPCA's Midnight Magic challenge -- be sure to visit the website: Pattern

I met Connie Crawford many years ago -- I was a sewing show newbie and Connie was so gracious. I have fond memories of the time I visited her home and sewing studio in Sedona, Arizona....hey -- it's a tough job but somebody's gotta do it!

For this blog -- I asked Connie to tell the Sew Expo audience something they might not know....beyond the official "bio & headshot".....AND HERE'S WHAT SHE SENT...

From Connie Crawford....

I was born in downtown Los Angeles. I stayed in Southern California until 15 years ago when we moved to Sedona, Arizona. Eight years later, we moved to Hansville, Washington to be closer to our grandchildren.

Here's a photo of our present house. WE have 5 beautiful acres and it looks like we live in a well manicured park. We actually have a gardener (who is out of work during the winter) and he comes here in the winter and trims back everything. Anyone who lives up this way knows that everything grows wild as weeds if not cut back regularly. We have no visible neighbors and the small city cemetery is our next door neighbor.

Like many of my customers, I started sewing around 8 years old. The most memorable thing that I made was my prom dress when I was a senior in high school. It was a Vogue pattern with boning and everything to support a bustier styled dress with one shoulder strap. I modeled this dress in the "Girls Week" fashion show. When I came out on stage, the audience made a sound of "whoo". I will never forget that day.

The best thing I did was to put myself through college (working as a medical secretary) in a fashion design program. I loved the work from the get go.

During my many years in the fashion industry, I made some very good friends. Karen Kane (famous designer in Los Angles) is a very good friend of mine. I hired her for her first design job and introduced her to her future husband. Through her I met George Burns.

I was very good friends with William Pearson who was a couture designer in Los Angeles. He always did gowns for the presidential inaugural ball. I miss him very much since his death in the late 1980's.

During the 23 years I taught at The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, I taught many students who have gone on to fame and fortune. One of them is Marlene Stewart who did all of the costumes for Arnold Schwartzneger's movies.

Another is Kevan Hall who is a famous couture designer in Los Angeles.

Sometimes, we are able to travel with our friends Gene and Shirley Biehl. We met Gene and Shirley while they were vendors at many of the sewing expos that we were also vendors. They needed a ride to dinner and we were willing to accommodate them. The photo here is of Shirley and myself in Glacier Park, Montana. We love to travel with them. They are funny and love to play chicken foot dominos. Sometimes we will stay up until midnight to finish all 15 segments.

What I am most happy about is when I travel the country I meet up with ex students who have made a success of their lives with the sewing industry. Last year at Puyallup, I was crossing the street to come to the fairgrounds, and a lady said to me, "Are you Connie Amaden" (the name I used before I married Mr. Crawford). I of course, replied "yes". She then told me that she also had a booth at the show. I went over to see what she was doing. Her art talents had created a special computer program to paint by using fabric swatch any photograph you would input into the computer. I was so impressed and delighted to see such talent.

Also, last year when I was giving a special program in Chicago, another ex-student of mine came to the reception that evening. He told me that he was the lead designer for XOXO for years. He had moved to Chicago and was teaching fashion design at Columbia College.

Due to back surgery, this last fall I had the privilege of visiting my couch for 2 months. I have never had that chance to just lay down and watch tv. My favorite programs were on HGTV. I have learned how to redesign a house, select colors, see how the gourmet cooks work.

I love to bowl. I am now trying to go bowling every Sunday. The closest bowling alley is down in Silverdale. This is helping me strengthen my back muscles and get some of the fluff under my arms tighter. It is working!

My husband, Wayne, has a 1966 Squareback Volkswagon. This past two years we have had it restored. Now we can travel to car shows and show off his wonderful car. As he tells people, this car is its original owner and older than his son.

I enjoy my grandchildren very much. Attached is a photo of my son's oldest boys. They are licking the beaters after making chocolate chip cookies.

Note from Rita: Read on...because Connie is so modest, she didn't write about HOW POPULAR HER CLASSES ARE...

So I'm putting up another blog post about Connie's 2012 Sew Expo seminars. YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS THE OPPORTUNITY to take a class from Connie Crawford....


  1. Can you guess which IPCA designer, I submitted an entry to......thinking positive thoughts :-)
    Laura in Puyallup

  2. Hello,
    I write the daily blog The Thrifters and today found a gorgeous blue linen WIlliam Pearson dress. I'm not having great luck finding out basic info for him and was wondering if you can help out. I want to write a blog post about this Pearson dress and any information you can share I would appreciate. Thanks so much
    Daniel Troppy