Elegant LadyWelcome

Helen Haughey Designs creates custom couture clothing for clients of discerning taste, using exquisite fabrics sourced from Europe.

Based in St. Louis, Missouri, Helen continues a family tradition of expert seamstress work.  Her skills have been further refined by couture training.


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Class Offerings

Available on Craftsy

Fine Dressmaking – Professional Construction and Finishing
A new, unique Craftsy class  will shortly be released, to enhance your skills in construction and finishing fine garments. Craftsy offers learning with convenient access to the best instructors, in classes trusted by millions. Here is your opportunity, with the expert guidance of Helen, to take your dressmaking to the next level , without leaving the comfort of your home!

Start today!


Available at ASDP’s Annual Conference

Register today!
To Register after 9/15 email here.

Design 101

Where do you start when a (new) client asks you to recommend a style for a custom garment that will best suit her body?

How do you analyze her body type and make the recommendation that will keep her coming back for more?

Do you have the tools to do this for yourself?

In this class we will:

  • look at the Golden Rule for body types and what features are most important for consideration of style and proportion
  • begin with the theory and then put the theory into practice with guided exercises

Pre-Requisite Skills:
No particular sewing skill is required but this a class for:

  • those who have custom garment clients
  • those who would like to have guidance for themselves or are working or their MSDP certification (Master of Sewing & Design)

Supplies needed:

  • Notebook and pencil Colored pencils

Friday October 16 8:30am – 4:30pm  (Lunch 11:30am -1:30pm)
Kit fee of $10.00 includes Handout, Body template, Vellum paper, Fabric samples.

Secrets to Sewing a Classic Sheath Dress

In this class we will;

  • focus on the key elements required to achieve a classic sheath dress:

choice of pattern for different figure types, fabrications, construction methods, fit & finishing

  • discuss the most common problems encountered in fit
  • make samples of the techniques Helen has found to be invaluable for a beautifully finished garment

Supplies needed:

  • Rotary cutter + cutting mat, or scissors
  • tracing wheel

Saturday October 17 1:30 – 4:30pm
Kit fee of $10.00 includes fabric for making samples, dressmaker carbon, hand stitching needle.

Sew a Detachable Fur Collar

Let’s get a head start and be ready for the holidays. These collars have been stylishly popular over the last few years, as well as adding luxurious warmth to any garment. Make yours attachable to a neckline or truly detachable. Helen will demonstrate using a fur pelt, however, you may choose to make yours from faux fur while still learning all the techniques for the real thing!

Pre-Requisite Skills needed to take the course:

  • Intermediate Sewing Skills

Supplies Needed:

  • muslin to make collar pattern
  • drafting paper
  • ruler and pencil
  • front and back bodice pattern of garment to which collar is to be attached
  • fur pelt or sufficient faux fur
  • heavy charmeuse/satin for collar lining – must not be synthetic
  • thread to match fur
  • 6-8 buttons (5/8”) to match fur/lining

Sunday October 18 9:30am – 12:30pm
Kit Fee of $10.00 includes instructions for drafting pattern for collarless necklines, blade for cutting fur, tape for binding fur, silamide thread, needle for hand stitching fur.

Standards of Quality–Who Cares?

So often what we observe in the media and especially in viewing programs like Project Runway is a rough and ready garment.

Is careful garment construction and attention to detail a thing of the past?

Will our customers pay for careful (and sometimes lengthy) construction?

Several years ago all members of ASDP received a copy of the Standards of Quality for Custom Clothiers and in at least one module of the MSDP certificate program these are used for critiquing garments.

In the class we will:

  • discuss the Standards of Quality and how we can adhere to them without jeopardizing our profitability
  • look at commercial patterns and see how these adhere to or deviate from the Standards
  • look at a variety of garments to assess critically their quality
  • discuss how a client’s unique body must be considered while still adhering to the Standards

Pre-Requisite Skills:

  • be interested in the fine art of sewing and design

Supplies needed:

  • note taking materials

When: Sunday October 18 1:30 – 4:30pm
Kit Fee of $7.50 includes handouts and DVD.


About Helen

Helen resides in St. Louis, Missouri but her clientèle is spread throughout the Globe. She began her sewing career at a very young age in New Zealand and initially sewed for herself and her family. As Helen recognized the opportunity to assist women within the community to find a truer, better fit, she expanded her business to clients at large.

Helen has a broad repertoire including:

Bridal including bridesmaid & mother
Gala including débutante
Tailored Day Wear
Couture Techniques

Helen is a proud member of:

Association of Sewing & Design Professionals
Haute Couture Society Of Chicago

Helen has been featured in these articles:

How to Sew a Classic Sheath Dress
House of Haughey in St Louis Magazine

Helen Haughey in her studio

Contact Helen

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