Darlene Sutton

I must have been born with a needle in my mouth, which is where I park it if I am hand sewing.  I was making doll clothes by the time I started to school.  I made clothes for the family and worked in clothing factories beginning at the age of 20.  My work ranged from jeans to managing quality on the Alaskan Pipeline coat (one of the most wonderful garments I have ever seen), and managing quality and production on jackets, suit coats, dress pants and vests.  I also spent over a decade managing a factory making children’s designer clothes, where I helped develop designs, patterns and technical adjustments for rental formal wear.
But even as I was busy with my career in clothing manufacturing, I was always making things for my friends and family – cross stitch, beading, or just sewing.  After my 2nd husband had a stroke, and I was about to go crazy, my daughter said, “Why don’t you make the things you give away and sell them.”  So I set about making my own patterns and designs and creating the items that are now for sale at the Appalachian Arts and Craft Center.  I enjoy making new and different things.  During the COVID pandemic, while the gift shop was closed, I made and sold over 600 masks from my home.