Gifford's sewing legacy continues with website's book
by Marie Nesmith
Sep 24, 2010 | 1426 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mike Gifford holds open the chapter his late wife, Shannon, wrote for “1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips.” SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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In honor of the late Shannon Gifford's sewing contributions, PatternReview.com dedicated its latest book to the former Cartersville resident. Titled "1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips: Top-Rated Favorites from Sewing Fans and Master Teachers," the 168-page offering also features a chapter by Gifford on how to create a rolled hem with a serger.

"I didn't know it until I got the actual copy last week," said Shannon's husband, Mike Gifford, about the dedication. "Obviously it was very complimentary and it just showed the impact that Shannon had on people's lives. That book's going to go all over the world. Some of the names in that book are very well-known in the sewing world and the fact that she's included in that, again, it just shows me how much of an impact she made."

In the dedication, Deepika Prakash, founder of PatternReview.com, highlights Gifford's love for sewing and sharing her craft with others. Gifford, who taught classes for the sewing website, passed away in April following complications from sarcoma cancer at the age of 52.

In the book, Prakash wrote, "To Shannon Gifford, beloved teacher, mentor, and above all, a Friend. From FBA to Stitch and Flip Jacket construction to her Beginner 101 sewing classes, Shannon de-mystified the sewing process for everyone. While teaching, she went above and beyond to help students achieve the perfect fit. Whether it was a small dart or a princess seam, she never gave up. She always had a solution for every sewing dilemma.

"On Monday, April 19, 2010, we said goodbye to Shannon for the last time. However, her legacy still remains on PatternReview.com, in her teachings, her students, and her kindness, which spread far and beyond. Even in her last days, she was giving sewing tips."

In addition to her association with PatternReview.com, Gifford was a contributor for Threads magazine and www.emmaonesock.com. She also wrote a quarterly newsletter that was sent to subscribers around the globe and a book, "Sensible Techniques: Zippers," both of which still can be downloaded at www.sensiblesewing.com.

"She liked to see things come to life," Mike Gifford said. "You know how you hear about how a sculptor can look at a rock and he can see a sculpture in that rock, where you and I just see a rock. She could look at a piece of fabric and she could see something out of that. She just had that ability. She'd look at it and say, 'You know what, I could do this with that or make this out of that.'

"So she had that artist's ability to see something in a piece of fabric. ... I'm just happy that her work carries on. Her influence carries on in a lot of ways. She was a great wife and mother. She was a Bible class teacher and she was so many things but she touched a lot of people around the world through her teachings. I'm just glad it continues on through this book, through her classes and other things that we're able to keep on the market."

In their more than 30 years of marriage, Mike Gifford said his wife enjoyed making items for others, ranging from bridesmaids' dresses to curtains, and was recently starting to be in demand to teach public classes.

"At the end of March or first part of April when we were in the hospital, the doctor came in and told us there wasn't anything more that he could do for her. So we came home and had hospice care here," he said. "She lived here for two weeks before she died.

"I'll never forget, it was probably just a few days before she died and one of the ladies from church came in and was talking to her and telling her about one of the projects she was working on. And here's Shannon lying in a hospital bed saying, 'Well, you know if you do this, you might want to try this, have you thought about this.' She just kept giving tips. She did love it but she always wanted to be a teacher and this allowed her to do that and it allowed her to share her knowledge."

"1,000 Clever Sewing Shortcuts & Tips" is available online at www.Amazon.com. Released by Creative Publishing International Inc. on Sept. 1, the book lists for $19.99. For more information, visit www.sewing.patternreview.com. A portion of the book's proceeds will go toward breast cancer research.