Master The Art of Sewing

Meet the Team:


Jane Headley

Master Seamstress

Jane’s sewing expertise has childhood roots. She first learned to sew at 9 years of age under the tutelage of her mother. From that early age, she made her own clothes. Lucky for Jane, her neighbor worked as a seamstress for a fine dress shop on the East Side of Providence, and this expert Seamstress would oversee Jane’s work, critiquing and teaching her the finer points of the art.  

During her college years at the University of Rhode Island, Jane took course work in tailoring and construction while on her way to a degree in Physical Education; although it was too late to change her major, her passion for sewing and skill development persisted. While teaching Physical Education at Cumberland High School for 32 years, Jane coached Gymnastics and Track and Field for most of those years.  

During those years, Jane also taught various quilting classes, created paper piecing patterns, and taught fashion sewing classes. After retiring in 2002, Jane took the URI Master Seamstress I program and shortly thereafter, she began teaching classes in the Master Seamstress II program. Among those courses are: Couture Details, Little Black Dress, Chanel-like jacket and the tailoring portion of the MSI program. 

Jane plans to teach a number classes in the Master the Art of Sewing curriculum.

Nancy Laverty Hoell

Master Seamstress

Nancy grew up in a sewing family, therefore began sewing as a young teenager. Her mother, a trained couture seamstress, first inspired Nancy to create her own wardrobe. Nancy realizes her mother has wonderful skills and a knowledge of fit and fabric that she relies on to this day. In addition to garment construction, Nancy enjoys home decor projects, including table linens, curtains and slipcovers.

For over 30 years, Nancy worked as a sales professional and educator in the sewing machine industry, where she developed an extensive knowledge of sewing machines, sergers and software through educational opportunities provided by leading companies, such as Babylock, Bernina, Brother, Elna Husqvarna /Viking, Janome, Juki and Necci. Classes taught by sewing legends including Nancy Ziemen, Kenneth King, Sandra Betzina, and many more have inspired Nancy’s work as a seamstress. She is a licensed Martha Pullen educator.

Nancy continued to develop her love of garment sewing by completing Master Seamstress Certifications I and II, through URI. She served as the program’s instructor for the “Sergers, the Basics and More” for 11 years. She currently has a business in bridal alterations. Nancy has been an active member of The Rhode Island Sewing Network for many years. While enjoying the fellowship of creative people, she has built upon her knowledge base in fashion sewing with inspirational people who share her passion.

Nancy is looking forward to teaching classes in the Master the Art of Sewing Program in the 2020/ 2021 year.

Barbara Hendricks

Master Seamstress / Director

Inspired by the Master Seamstress I and II Certificate programs, Barbara understands the benefits of such group gatherings, including instruction of advanced sewing techniques and rich exchange of sewing knowledge among participants. Barbara aspires to coordinate a program which will afford the same inspiration to experienced and emerging sewists. 

As a young sewist at her Memere’s machine, she first experimented with items for her dolls. By 7th grade, she was making some of her school clothes. Sewing became a very part time hobby as she achieved her Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Speech / Language Pathology, embarked on a busy clinical and administrative career in healthcare organizations. Most recently, she consulted to and served as the S/LP in a high school, addressing communication issues related to specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury and social cognition with students on the autism spectrum.

Fast forward to “the kids go to college.” Barbara decided it was time to take a deeper dive than ever into her former hobby. She found a fun class at RISD followed by an introduction to the West Side Sewing Studio in Providence. Six years later, having completed the Master Seamstress I and II certificate programs, about to retire from the Speech Pathology career, she has dedicated her energy to developing this high level instructional sewing program, “Master the Art of Sewing.”

Please join us all for the skill building fun and camaraderie that comes from enriching shared experiences!

Jennifer Stern Hasseman

Master Seamstress

Jennifer Stern Hasemann is the owner and designer at J Stern Designs. She has a solid background in pattern design and drafting, fit and construction. Her original line of fashion patterns features classic jeans, a cup-sized fitted shirt and a unique tee. Since then she’s added an Easy Fit and Sew Collection of knit garments, Stretch Jeans, Knit Jeans and Happy Pants (non-stretch pants pattern and fit workbook). Her focus is drafting flattering patterns with easy to follow instructions and fitting techniques. She loves to share a wide variety of sewing, serging, fitting and construction techniques via her J Stern Designs YouTube Channel where she currently has over 100 video tutorials. Additionally, she teaches online at and and in person around the country.

Faten Ramadan

Master Seamstress

Faten learned to sew (as a necessity) upon graduating from college (some 35+ years ago) with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Architecture. As a young girl, her mother made her clothes and she loved to have unique outfits and to dress up in the latest fashion. As an adult, she found it very hard to get well made and high quality fashionable ready to wear clothes that fit her very petite silhouette. She made all of her professional clothes, often modifying patterns to create original designs. Faten has a passion for high quality silk, wool, cotton and linen. After a long and successful career in high tech and prior to acquiring Sawyer Brook Distinctive Fabrics in Marlboro, MA, she managed a small on-line retail store where she marketed and sold her own designs of unique skirts. All products were manufactured at her workshop in Massachusetts using high quality fabrics.

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