Linda Jane Altemose Nevins - Owner/Seamstress
In the beginning…as a 3-year-old, I watched as mom pinned tissue paper to a piece of fabric. After cutting around the tissue, mom gave me the scraps. While she skillfully created a new dress for me, I designed a dress for my doll.
For my 4th birthday, I had my heart set on a bride doll. Little did I know that would be the day I’d be given my grandma’s German doll from her childhood. Mom fulfilled my wishes by making her a satin wedding gown, shoes, a veil and lingerie. As special as this gift was, I was only allowed to play with her while sitting in the center of my parents’ double bed. The rest of her days she either stood on a shelf in my room or was tucked safely away in a drawer.
Thinking if my mom, mammy, and Aunt Lizzie could make clothing from tissue and material…why couldn't I? My Sweet Sue doll soon acquired an extensive wardrobe of mix-and-match pieces. The stitching was far from perfect, but I didn’t care.
I went to 4-H for a year – practicing hand-stitching, machine skills and constructed a gathered skirt. That summer, I recycled the skirt into a crop top with rows of ruffles, much cuter and more practical. I always wanted to do garment sewing vs. quilts, drapes, or repairs. My classmates from the 6th grade on can tell you about my wardrobe creations.
I would gladly help with household chores and finish my homework if it meant a trip to the fabric store in Allentown. My first “business” was in high school. Barbie dolls were a must have for all the girls. I custom made copies of the retail wardrobe shown in the catalog. Those fabric scraps and recycled garments provided a steady supply of inventory.
I got my first break at age 19 when I was hired by Hess’s of Allentown to do alterations on bridal gowns, formals and expensive “French Room” dresses. After moving to Allentown to room with one of the models, I was hired to be the dresser – traveling to all the fashion shows in the area. It was fabulous, fun and educational!
I often wonder just how many garments I have constructed or altered!
From my father and grandfather, both woodworkers, and the women in my family, I was taught the value of a “hands on skill.’ Learn it, do it well, and it will be with you forever. I match seams, plaids, and strive for perfection. Dad taught me the meaning of “design element."
As the owner and seamstress of Fit ‘N Image, I take pride in the fit and outcome of every garment. On alterations, my goal is to change the fit and return the garment to its original appearance. As a teacher, I focus on skill-building, learning how to use the sewing machine and simple sewing projects. Each step builds on the previous one, learning the terms, how to and pattern instruction.
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