It all started when...

My mother taught me how to sew when I was 8 years old. Both my grandmothers sewed, and I remember them sewing in their sewing rooms. This is when having a sewing room was very common!  I had a doll (similar size to an American Girl doll), I think it came with sewing patterns, and we made clothes for it.  My mom made a lot of clothes for me and I remember cutting some out with her and learning the basics such as the importance of carefully pinning the cloth together and ironing every seam.

When I went to college I brought my sewing machine with me. Some stuff I made was kind of wacky, like a skirt from curtains (aka The Sound of Music) and a dress from some random fabric an old boyfriend had used for a toga. I remember I made a drop-waist dress for a dance with these big flowers at the waist. A couple of my roommates wore it to other events after.

It wasn't until after college when I was working for a construction management firm that I began sketching clothes and sewing my own designs, not just straight from patterns I had purchased. I began accumulating fabric and supplies ( important for the creative process!) and learning better techniques. This is when I took a class in Baltimore by Sarah Veblen, professional sew-er, nation-wide instructor and author. It all clicked for me and the world of sewing and creating whatever I wanted cracked wide open! Since then I've taking several design classes from Sarah, Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and at ASDP conferences. Now, I sew most of my clothes.

My business started while I was staying at home with my son. The word spread that I sewed, and peoplewould ask if I would do various projects for them. My business was formed! This year I became an LLC, so my business name is Wendy Cettina Original Designs, LLC. Most of my clients are referrals or repeat clients. I’ve been a member of ASDP for five years and have been on the New Jersey chapter’s board serving as 2nd Vice President for about 3 years. I feel that being a member is wonderful credential and gives another layer of professionalism to my business. I enjoy the variety of my business, a mix of tailoring, original clothing, christening gowns and home decorating items.