Saturday, January 11, 2014

Behind the scenes look at made in USA, introducing Alma

Following in Maddie's footsteps in her Portrait of a Seamstress series, I would like to introduce to you one of my sewing gurus, someone who is forever behind the scenes, a lady that I work with on a daily basis and is responsible for overseeing the cutting and sewing of all things "Shabby Chic", this is Alma!

Basically the way I would describe Alma as a seamstress is just that she can sew anything.
I am always blown away by the constructions and detail that she can figure out,
without a pattern she can just make it. Everything she sews is neatly and beautifully
finished and care and thought put into every stitch. You can tell that she loves
what she does, and is one of the hardest working people that I have ever met. 
I have so much to learn so much from her, if only I could sew with here skill and talent!

Alma was originally born in Mexico City. She first learned to sew on her mothers
old machine when she was very young, and basically learned from watching her.
When she first started to sew professionally, she had never used an industrial machine
before.  "It was scary, but I told myself I have to do it, so that's the way that I started
doing it for a living." Upon asking her what her favorite thing to sew was, she joyfully
replied, "I enjoy making everything, but most of all I like to keep learning new things,
whatever helps me to learn I love." Besides Shabby Chic she has worked
for Tocca and Catfish. When I asked her how
she jumped from being a sewer to managing a sewing room and cutting she said, 
"I was faster than the other sewers, so they asked me to do QC 
and help out the cutter so that's how I learn to cut."

Her goal for the future is  to learn clothing pattern making to create more of her
own designs for herself. Alma is most proud of the slip covered chairs that she
made for her church. She beamed, "They were just beautiful." I asked her how she
learned how to make such complicated things without instruction or training and
 she said, "I think a lot about how things are made, sometimes taking them
apart to learn." Her nickname is "betty homemaker" because she can cook,
knit and sew. A woman after my own heart.

Can you believe that she cuts many layers of fabric with this deadly looking machine?
 Most cutters in the industry are men but this mighty lady can do it all.

The once feared industrial machine..

I thought I would introduce the rest of the Shabby team.. 
This is Beatrice at the button hole machine.

Don't you wish you had one of these babies at home? 

This is Alicia. All of these ladies are so talented!

Sweet Myra..

Norma does all of the meticulous folding and QC. 

Some perfect pink ruffles.. 

Christmas party 2013.  You can see all of the things that these women make here.


  1. This is such a cool post! I'm really fascinated by industry methods-- it takes such talent to turn out beautiful, professional products. I don't know how these ladies do it! I love hearing about these awesome women! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you so much Ginger, I know these ladies deserve a lot of credit for their skill! I once made 2 dresses in the same size at the same time, and I tried to mimic industry methods, it really helped!

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  3. It's great to have a behind-the-scenes look at these talented seamstresses. How lucky you are to have Alma! The buttonhole machine is very cool.
    [Finally signed up for another Google account so I can comment on Blogger!]

    1. Thank you Chuleenan, you are right, we are so lucky to have Alma! I can't wait to see what kind of sewing machine you get!

  4. i read this last night and fell asleep happy :). loved meeting these ladies!

  5. I'm so glad I inspired this post. I loved meeting Alma and her team :)

    1. Thanks Maddie, your portrait series makes me think of who inspires me to sew,
      these ladies certainly do! They are such amazing seamstresses!

  6. this is so cool! so well done, angela!

  7. Great post... Love love loved every single word. xo!

  8. Love this post with Alma and the girls!! xoxo, Jesenia :)

  9. So awesome! It is cool to get an inside look at the amazing women and their talents! xoxo