About The Artist
Claire is from Oklahoma City. She is a life-long
resident of Oklahoma having been raised in a small town in NE
Oklahoma, Pawhuska. She is fortunate enough to have traveled and has
had a love of fashion since her first Barbie doll, where most designers start.
She has clients mostly in the Southern Plains as well as others
parts of the country.
Claire started sewing for her Barbie, and after
introductory sewing classes, mostly concentrating on bibs, towels and other
projects, became bored with the field and left it for almost 20 years.
She met Erma Johnson Roberts in the late 1970's who shared her love and
expertise and they began a life-long
love of designing and execution of those designs.
The most rewarding and challenging
part of what Claire learned was fitting. She
felt this was the key to looking good in just about any
style in just about any body. "All I have to do is
'listen to the fabric.' It tells me where to take in
and where to let out. There are an infinite number of
body types, and each body became a new challenge....a puzzle
to figure out. I could care less whether the body was
politically correct thin or thick. This was all a
matter of putting together 2-dimensional pieces so that they
fit a 3-dimensional shape! It's a puzzle!"
Claire's fitting techniques naturally had another benefit, other than
working through the puzzle of fitting. "All my clients began to
realize that they could fit into pants, ball gowns, short/long dresses, thin
skirts, full skirts - just about anything they wanted. Frequently I
heard how comfortable they were.
I was always astonished at this, because this is what I was all about --
fitting to the body. But I found I was fitting to the mind as well.
When several of my clients had certain phobias or sensitive areas of their
body, I would fit around those sensitive areas, as well as the
physical fitting of the body. " Claire's reputation was
cemented as not only delivering a garment that was pretty, appropriate and
creative, but also that felt as good as it looked. Her clients are not
only pleased, but amazed at the comfort and enjoyment of the designs that
Claire regularly delivered to her clients.
Claire starts with a muslin. Muslin is a
cotton, unbleached fabric. The muslin is fitted then pulled apart and
a final pattern is made from the muslin. There is a fitting in the
fashion fabric as it is often a different body and needs fine tuning.
Usually a hem and some small detail work will finish the gown. This
process normally takes about 6 weeks, but has done dresses in shorter
"My greatest challenge is not the design, or what I can do, it is the fabric.
This is even more evident by the recent announcements from Hancock's and
Wal-Mart to close some of their stores and Wal-Mart to close its fabric
departments. Custom dressmaking is a fine art that
has for the past decades been on the decline.
The two traditional best sources are Los Angeles and New York, supported by the
entertainment industry - Los Angeles by the movies, and New York by theater,
but also as it is the national center of fashion. But sewing is making a comeback and
is making a resurgence in popularity. Here's a
link from a recent
article in Time Magazine about the rise in interest in sewing. I'm
looking forward to stores opening up outside the NY/LA area!
"I see so many
gorgeous fabrics on my travels that it is hard to communicate their beauty to
my clients. I suppose I do this with my enthusiasm. Some fabrics leave me speechless, and I treasure my trips to
find fine fabrics. It is truly 'eye-candy' for me.
I've been lucky enough to have traveled to Europe, Canada, Japan and Hong
Kong to establish contacts throughout the world. "
Claire enjoys a reputation of excellence and
a talent for fitting. She has fitted every shape of clients from short
tall and shapes in between. All her designs are created and designed
specifically for each of her clients no matter what shape, and to fit their lifestyle. Claire prides herself in fitting all her clients with
professionalism and gentleness.
Since design and execution one of her great loves in
life, it with as
much fun and joy that Claire creates for her clients as a vocation.
"I'm very fortunate to have such excellent clients, as we have as much fun
getting to know each other, as we do in designing the dress. What a joy to
love your job this much!"
Claire has started teaching at the
local Bernina store. Click here
for more information. In classes, she will not only
focus on techniques, but on fitting as well. Claire believes
that every body can be fit, even though there is an artistry to her
fitting, she will have an emphasis on fitting in these classes.
In addition to teaching, Claire's blog
will feature short tutorials from these classes.
Contact - for more info