About Helen Haughey

Helen Haughey

Since the age of ten I’ve been sewing! My mother took lessons and then taught us. Her mantra was simple : you must fix any mistake, even if it takes five goes to put in a zipper; and the inside of your garment should be of a quality to wear it inside out!! I now hope to ensure that each of my granddaughters acquires this skill; so, imagine my delight when my eldest grandchild sewed, in paper, a pleated skirt, complete with zipper, as part of her sculpture project!

During the years at Pharmacy College in New Zealand, emigrating to the US, caring for four children while my husband began a busy surgical practice, I found little time to sew! When my children began to head for college, I began to teach others to sew and in 2001 I made my eldest daughter’s wedding dress while attending a Couture Sewing School. I fell in love with couture techniques.

In 2006, I started a custom sewing business in St. Louis, Missouri. It flourished for ten years, largely by word of mouth. The work ranged from dressy day garments to formal evening wear - including bridal and debutante gowns.

In 2012, I completed my Master of Sewing and Design Professional Certification. I have hugely benefitted from all I learnt during that rigorous course.

From 2012 until 2014 I was Vice President of Conference for the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals - with the job of planning their annual conferences.

Since moving to Florida in 2016, I have been very busy sewing for family and a handful of clients and friends. I have been able to expand my teaching classes. I’ve held classes in New Orleans, Orlando and Boston (June 2024). At the studio in my home at Vero Beach, I’ve given private lessons and held small workshops.

Since 2022, I’ve been hosting an annual Fashion Tour in Italy, which I’ve loved. Each tour has had its own flavour and focus. In 2024 I will lead one to Rome, Florence, Milan and Como. In each city we will hear and see how art and other influences have impacted fashion both in the past and in the present.

The Little Book of Couture Hand Stitches

By Helen Haughey

This handy lay-flat-while-you-work book is your reference guide for perfecting your hand stitching.

Each stitch has a photo, tools required, how-to, application and illustration.

This instruction will help you take your hand stitches to the next level!

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Patterns and Fabric Tools

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Learn with Helen