- In our class devoted to zippers, James asked me to get out a needle so he could demonstrate hand-basting in a zip. My couture skills were lacking, to say the least, and all I'd brought with me was a huge, dull embroidery needle. When I went to hand it to him, he howled with laughter: "I said get out a needle, not a NAIL!" James could say this in a way that had everyone cracking up. Anytime I'm tempted to cut corners on hand-basting now, I think of that moment.
- I made a perfectly-fitted sheath dress under James's instruction. I spent $25 a yard on this amazing ruby-red double wool crepe. When I said in class I couldn't believe I'd spent that much on fabric, he looked at me, incredulous: "Do you think you could buy a fabulous dress like that for $50? I don't think so!" He definitely knew the value of good materials.
- After I'd inserted my zipper, I had the faintest of bumps at the base. I tried on the dress and showed it to James. After taking a look at my backside, he said, "If anyone is looking at that tiny bump while you're wearing THAT dress, there's something wrong with them!"
- He was generous with his knowledge. He gave us lists of books to check out, and introduced me to the work of Adele Margolis.
- He was a life-long sewist. He told us that his mother wouldn't buy him the trendy clothes he wanted as a kid, and told him to sew them himself! And so he did, and the rest is history. He had a sense of style all his own.
My thoughts go out to his partner and the rest of his family. You will be missed, James!
Did any of you take a class with James? I'd love it if you shared any memories here!