Denise Wild, Founder
Denise Wild, a sewing star since the age of 13, started teaching sewing classes in her one-bedroom Toronto apartment in September of 2004 while she was working at FLARE magazine. Those classes evolved into The Sewing Studio, now North America?s leading sewing school with locations in Toronto and New York. Denise merged her love of sewing with her passion for magazines and editorial by creating LoveSewing magazine in January of 2010.
Denise has worked as an editor for top national publications including FLARE magazine, Canadian House & Home, Faze magazine, and ANOKHI, and has written for Hello!, Elle Canada, Glow, Elevate, Chatelaine, HGTV, and Slice.
Karen Kwan has dabbled in sewing in the past, having made a few throw pillows and a duvet cover with some coaching from her sister, but it was only recently that she sewed a piece of clothing from a pattern when she completed The Sewing Studio’s Introductory Sewing course. “And the skirt’s actually wearable!” says the beginner seamstress who was born and raised in Montreal. The former Health and Lifestyle Editor of FLARE magazine now calls Toronto home and works as a freelance writer in addition to running her lifestyle blog, Health & Swellness.
Tammy Palmer has been working in fashion for as long as she can remember. She grew up working in chic retail boutiques developing a keen eye and the know-how on dressing women. After graduating from Ryerson University with a degree in Fashion Merchandising, she traveled the world, living in the U.S. and Japan. Upon returning to Canada, Tammy honed her skills at FLARE magazine in the fashion department organizing the fashion closet and producing fashion shoots, eventually covering the Canadian and International markets in New York and Milan as the magazine?s Senior Fashion Market Editor. She hosted various in-store events for top retailers, edited the popular Flare Finds section on personal style, and wrote various Q&As on fashion topics. Tammy was also a regular contributor to Flare.com, hosting monthly shopping videos, and has been on The Shopping Channel as a guest style expert. She is currently a freelance fashion stylist catering to corporate clients.
Afiya Francisco has been reporting as a style and shopping expert for Canadian publications including LOULOU magazine and Canadian House & Home since 2004, and, more recently, as an on-air guest expert on shows such as Steven & Chris, Breakfast Television, CityLine, and Entertainment Tonight Canada. She is also the Creative Director of the fashion and beauty blog The Style House.
As the middle child of seven, Liz spent her childhood in snowy Northern Ontario making sure that a) her siblings didn’t kill each other, and b) their clothes were hole-free and hemmed along the way. She’s always been a crafty girl at heart, and is thrilled to be part of LoveSewing, where she writes about upcoming designers, how to care for and clean your sewing machine, and almost anything needle- and bobbin-related. In her spare time, Liz juggles being mom to her adorable two children and an oversized Newfoundland dog, and writes for magazines including Chatelaine, Canadian Family, Today’s Parent, Best Health, Good Times, Elevate, Wedding Bells, and House & Home.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Rebecca Tay began her writing career after graduating with a B.A.(Hons) from Queen?s University. She began at FASHION Magazine, Canada’s most-read fashion and beauty publication with over 2 million readers, as an intern in 2005 and is now the Western Editor of the magazine, a post she has held since April 2008. In addition to reporting on all matters sartorial for FASHION, Rebecca?s work has appeared in Wallpaper, the Globe & Mail, enRoute, the Vancouver Sun, The Block, the Georgia Straight, the WestEnder, and Montecristo. She was also the first Vancouver editor for Sweetspot.ca and wrote the Shops section of the Time Out Vancouver: 2nd edition travel guide, published in 2008. Though she owns a fancy sewing machine and an amazing vintage Singer sewing table, Rebecca’s sewing experience has been limited to hemming jeans and altering Halloween costumes?a situation she vows to change this year.
At eight years old, Stephanie Daga thought she would be a fashion designer?after all, she made great clothes for both Barbie and Jem. When she finally worked up the courage to try sewing something for herself, she realized that whole designer dream might not work out. Fast forward 25 years and she?s still trying to sew. In the meantime, Stephanie is the Managing Director of The Sewing Studio and owns BlushPretty, a makeup and hair company in Toronto. All her free time is spent writing for LoveSewing.com, BlushPretty.com, or ripping crooked seams out of her current projects.
Kristina Zommers, Editor at Large
Kristina has been working in a multitude of creative fields since she graduated from Sheridan College’s interior design program in 2004. She has done everything from television to teaching, as well as jewellery design and custom sewing. Kristina has been a seam-star since she was four years old and sewing on her mother’s old Singer machine, and loves everything that has to do with textiles. Having years of experience teaching as well as creating custom sewn items for the home, she has spread her craft across many Toronto households. Now working as Studio Director of The Sewing Studio as well Editor at Large of LoveSewing magazine, Kristina gets to draw on all of her talents and share them with her students and readers.
Ivana Musura has been surrounded by fashion ever since she can remember. She has been sewing since she was 10 years old and continued boosting her creativity by making custom outfits and accessories to compliment her style. Ivana perfected her skills by completing the Fashion Design program at The International Academy of Design and Technology and is currently working as a fashion designer, stylist, and image consultant for her own company. Ivana is The Sewing Studio’s Studio Manager as well as an instructor, and also writes for LoveSewing magazine. Ivana is also the producer and host of LoveSewing’s Style Lab videos, an online stream of DIY tutorials.
Jane-of-a-bunch-of-trades Karalee Harbridge is still not sure what she wants to be when she grows up. She dipped her feet into the LoveSewing pool as a Photo Editor for the original flipbook magazine and thrashed about designing some pages. She?s still learning to swim. The Toronto-based fashion fan adores magazines, music, her cats Tuna and Poppy, and all things crafty?especially when it comes to finding gently-loved vintage pieces to make her own. Her size-be-darned approach has led to a few failures, but also a few fave finds.
Kaitlin first learned the art of sewing and creating from her mother, picking up sewing skills when her mom refused to play her personal fashion designer?apparently Kaitlin was far too picky. The Saskatchewan native received her certificate in design at the Academy of Fashion Design in Saskatoon, which prepared her for her education at Ryerson University where she just finished her Bachelor of Design, majoring in Fashion Communications. Today, in addition to the freelance graphic design work she does for The Sewing Studio and LoveSewing, Kaitlin works as a footwear designer and stays involved in many areas of design, including maintaining her fashion blog, My Vintage Secret.
Cristina De Miranda
Having completed her Professional Writing and Anthropology degree at York University, Cristina De Miranda has written about fashion for the past few years. It was her endless (and unsuccessful) search for ideal garments in retail stores that sparked her interest in learning how to sew. At The Sewing Studio, she’s learned the intricacies of the craft and the architecture of clothing, and she’s excited to be writing for its website. Now with a better grasp on sewing, she seeks the time to do it amidst student responsibilities, work, and her pursuit of poetry.
Christine cannot remember a time that sewing was not part of her life. Her mother would sew her numerous dance costumes when she was a young girl, her favourite being a red tutu…. ahhhh heaven! At about five years old, Christine began hand-sewing rough outfits for her dolls. Then in high school, while others learned to type, Christine opted to take sewing. While she reluctantly admits that she still types with two fingers, knowing how to sew is a skill she is proud of. These days she loves shopping for fabric and working on projects that that inspire her.
Claudia Grieco has been writing since she was just a little girl with bruised knees and grass stains. After studying Professional Writing & Communications and English at the University of Toronto, Claudia later completed Centennial College’s Book & Magazine Publishing program. She has written for FAZE magazine, The Medium newspaper and Sweetspot.ca, is a regular contributor to the hair section of The Kit, and won the Sonny Ladoo Book Prize for Creative Writing. She currently freelances and works as assistant to author Chantel Simmons.
Fashion-wise, through high school Claudia spent her time and money going to concerts and shopping at Value Village, trying to express herself through her unique sense of style. When the clothes didn’t fit, she’d get them taken in, shortened, and hemmed. Most recently she took part in the undertaking of altering her mother’s wedding dress to wear for her own wedding. Still a vintage shopper, Claudia now has a fantastic mother-in-law that helps her turn her vintage finds into the masterpieces she can see in her mind. She’s learning to sew, one stitch at a time.