Meet Helen Haughey

Photo Credit: Sara Gunn

Photo Credit: Sara Gunn

Helen Haughey has been sewing since the age of 10 when her Mother taught her to sew. 

There were 2 rules enforced: 1. if you make a mistake you must fix it and 2. if you intend to wear what you have made, it should exhibit sufficient quality that it could be worn inside out! Helen remembers redoing one zipper five times until her mother was satisfied!

During the years of study at Pharmacy college, immigrating to the US from New Zealand and caring for her four children while her husband began a busy surgical practice, there was little time for sewing. When her children began heading to college, Helen began to teach others fairly intensively. In 2001, Helen made her older daughter’s wedding dress while attending a Susan Khalje week long sewing course. Helen fell in love with couture techniques and has been using them ever since. 

In 2006, she opened her custom sewing business in St Louis, Missouri where her business flourished by word of mouth for 10 years. In 2012 Helen completed her MSDP certification and has benefited from all she learned during the rigorous certificate course. During 2012-2014 Helen was VP of planning for the annual ASDP conference. 

In 2016, Helen moved to Florida and closed her business in St Louis, Missouri. Since then she has been busy sewing for family and a handful of clients/friends. Additionally, she has expanded her teaching classes to Orlando, New Orleans, Chicago and in the coming year will offer courses in Tampa, Boston and Milwaukee.

 Dallas Challenge: Best Overall


Dallas Challenge Best Overall - Treads Magazine

Every year Threads Magazine issues a challenge to the members of the Association of Sewing & Design Professionals to create a garment which is initially judged online and then the finalists submit their garment for hands on judging at the annual educational conference.

During the 2018 conference in Dallas the challenge was:

“An enthusiastic embrace of innovation characterized the city of Dallas during the post-World War II years. Architect George Dahl designed the midcentury modern Public Library (1955), Texas Instruments introduced the first integrated circuit (1958), and Frank Lloyd Wright's design for the Dallas Theater Center was completed (1959).

In October 1957, the Neiman Marcus department store presented "France Comes to Texas," a two-week celebration of French style. French culture of all kinds was featured, and Coco Chanel was invited by Stanley Marcus to the city to accept an award for services rendered to fashion.

In celebration of these exciting creations, participants were challenged to design unique ensembles that captured the spirit of Dallas, Texas, in the 1950s.”

I signed my intent to enter (and paid my money to do so) in April.  On August 1 I submitted photos of my garment by email along with a description of my inspiration and the process involved in designing and creating my garment.  I submitted my garment for (physical) judging on October 19 and it was showcased at the Conference Fashion Show along with the 14 other finalist garments the following evening.  At the end of the Fashion Show the Threads Editors announced the winners.  My garment was chosen as Best Overall and the judges comments were:

“Best Overall: “Rhapsody in Black and White” by Helen Haughey.

The top award went to a dress that referenced mid-century architectural style yet had a contemporary silhouette. The challenging fabric was expertly manipulated into a bold garment. The judging panel was impressed by the taste and skill inherent in the striking design.

The 2018 garments which were given awards (4 in total) have been showcased in Threads Issue #203 which was released in April.


 Classes and Events


 Upcoming Events and Classes

October 19 - 21
Introduction to Working with Leather
Best Business Practices -panel discussion

November 20 - 23
Sheath Dress Workshop
Unique and Chic
Register Here

2020 Italy Fashion Tour
History • Fashion • Fabric • Food • Fun • Friends
Details | Register


The Sheath Dress Workshop

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 12.16.03 PM.png

The Sheath Dress Workshop

The sheath dress is a wonderful wardrobe staple and this workshop is a great opportunity in a small group setting to create your one-of-a-kind sheath dress.  We will begin with a professionally fitted muslin and then proceed to our fashion fabric garment with much guidance through the construction process and just in time to be ready for dressing for the holidays!

The Florence Tour




The Florence Tour

You are invited to join me in Florence, Italy for a very special sewing-related 8 days.

Saturday January 18 - January 27, 2020

Together we will explore the essence of Italian fashion and why “Made in Italy” is so revered.

Costanza, a native of Florence and professor of fashion history will be our guide to local culture, history, current fashion, design and FOOD. Together we will visit artisans and see them at work, study local (famous) works of art, participate in a 1/2 day hat-making workshop, shop at a designer outlet mall (Dolce & Gabbana, Furla and many others), enjoy olive oil and wine tasting, and sample the local cuisine. And last but not least have the opportunity to shop for FABRIC at exclusive shops in the heart of the city and in the textile production district. There is an “optional extra” opportunity (for just 4 people) for a cooking class in a private home.

Accommodation will be in a lovely 4-star hotel in the center of the city, convenient to museums, shops and restaurants.

The cost of the tour:

Suite $6750
Classic (single) $6450
Superior (shared) $5500

Our accommodation includes a complimentary breakfast buffet each day. Also included in the cost of the Tour are welcome Prosecco and appetizer, 2 lunches and 2 dinners at wonderful local restaurants, all museum entries, workshop fee and the private motor coach.

Maximum of 14 participants

Your non-refundable deposit of $2000 will secure your place.
Discount for payment by cash or check $100.
Balance due December 1, 2019

Registration is open!

Optional 2-Day Add-On Tour of Rome with details available shortly

Contact Helen


Please complete the form below

Name *