Licensed Educator

Press Release, July 2008, Martha Pullen Company, Brownsboro, AL

Martha Pullen, host of the PBS TV series, Martha’s Sewing Room announces that Missy Mulligan has recently completed training in Huntsville, Alabama to become a Martha Pullen Licensed Teacher. This title has been awarded to a very few, select sewing teachers across the United Stares, England, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Pullen heads a sewing empire, Martha Pullen Company, Inc., based around the concept of heirloom sewing, which includes the publication of an international magazine. Sew Beautiful, founded in 1987, enjoys a readership of over 100,000 people six times a year. Each licensed Martha Pullen teacher is allowed to sell all of Pullen’s twenty-nine books written to promote this art as well as the Martha Pullen brand of imported fabrics and laces.

Pullen has been conducting The Martha Pullen School of Art Fashion in Huntsville, Alabama for eighteen years. The need arose to have very special teachers to teach the Martha Pullen methods when she began receiving hundreds of invitations to teach that she simply could not accept. It became a new objective to carefully choose a few individuals who could travel for Mrs. Pullen sharing the joy and techniques of heirloom sewing. Missy is one of the very small number of people who will be doing just that – traveling and teaching for Mrs. Pullen.

What is heirloom sewing? Heirlooms are hand made and meant to be treasured by families for generations to come. Handmade family pieces, such as the projects Missy is licensed to teach, are always sought after and carry warm memories of the person who made the garment. Heirlooms are stitched knowing that probably they will be around much longer than the person who made the garment or other item. The heirlooms, which Missy has been licensed to teach, are fashioned after elegant Victorian clothing which was extremely popular around 1900. The revival of the heirloom sewing started around 1970 and is more popular today than when it began. At one time heirloom pieces were made completely by hand, but with today’s computer, technologically advanced sewing machines and sergers, almost all of this type of sewing and embroidery is done by machine. Certainly the lack of time for today’s busy individuals who sew has necessitated that the process be faster.

From Pullen’s research, people are sewing for two main reasons today. First, sewing offers stress relief in a very fast moving world. Second, individuals love the creative aspect of making art pieces, the category into which these heirlooms certainly deserve to be placed. The classes Missy will teach offer both of these elements to her heirloom sewing students.

Classes which Missy Mulligan is certified to teach include an elaborate christening dress and bonnet or an heirloom portrait dress for a little girl, several home decorating projects, an eighteen inch doll dress and pinafore and a museum quality quilt. Each Martha Pullen teacher is licensed to conduct classes anywhere in the world. With Missy’s classes, she will certainly facilitate her students to be able to create family heirlooms and memories with modern technology. One of the best kept secrets in the sewing world is how easy it is to stitch a beautiful heirloom.