The Short Story ~
10 years of 4-H Sewing
Bachelor of Science: Home Economics ~ Colorado State University 1988
30 years of professional sewing and design experience including sewing for TV show "Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman and Los Angeles based "Old Frontier Clothing Co."
The Long Story ~
My mom began threading needles for me and teaching me basic hand-embroidery stitches when I was 5 or 6 years old. (Probably to keep me out of her hair for a few minutes). I would embroider tea towels and attempt to make doll clothes from fabric out of her scrap box.
As soon as I was 8 years old my parents signed me up for 4-H. And while a good deal of my time was spent in the barn with the show cattle, I still managed to get my clothing projects done - sometimes in a last minute panic. Beginning with a little elastic waist skirt and ending with a tailored suit, I spent 10 years learning home sewing techniques from my mom, my grandmother and my 4-H leaders. My biggest influence during this time and the person who really nurtured my love for sewing was my Aunt Marla.
She was a Home Economics teacher and an excellent seamstress who allowed me to spend a couple weeks at her home every summer to work on my sewing projects. She would often rip out my crooked stitches when she knew I was getting frustrated and had unending patience with me! Every time I begin a project I remember her words, "Once you get it cut out, you're almost halfway done!"
I earned a Bachelor of Science in General Home Economics in 1988 from Colorado State University. My courses of study included Textiles and Apparel and I worked as a teaching assistant in the Clothing Construction Labs at CSU. I also helped teach and develop curriculum
for sewing classes for underprivileged women in Fort Collins.
After graduating college, my first job was as Assistant Manager of a "Cloth World" fabric store. It was here that I met other women who sewed professionally and began to take clients of my own. I started my first company "The Wild, Wild West" in 1989 focusing on western apparel for rodeo, horse shows and country swing dance competitions. Along with a prolific amount of custom work, I also fulfilled a three year contract with the Miller Stockman catalog supplying western dance apparel. In 1991, I began a 19 year adventure of contract sewing for "The Old Frontier Clothing Company" based in Los Angeles, CA. "Old Frontier" is known for their authenticity in reproducing period clothing from the 1800's. Through this affiliation, I had the opportunity to sew men's and children's clothing for the "Dr Quinn: Medicine Woman" television series.
Sewing allowed me to be a work-at-home mom while raising my three children. And my daughter's love for dance led to many hours of costume work for dance productions including "The Nutcracker" and "Alice in Wonderland" with the Longmont Dance Theatre. Costume work is one of the most enjoyable and creative parts of my business and I've been privileged to design several award winning costumes over the years.
My company is now called "Cinde James Sewing and Alterations" to better reflect the diversity and scope of services that I offer. I often borrow Tim Gunn's motto from Project Runway, "Make It Work!" Thinking outside of the box to create, design, fit and fix is what I do best!
From simple alterations to custom gowns to complex bustles...I love sewing for weddings! Weddings can be stressful times but I pride myself in helping brides (and moms of brides) at least be able to relax about how the dresses are going to look and fit. I offer creative solutions to complex fitting problems and custom design for special needs or pregnant
brides or bridesmaids. Smiling brides are my specialty!