At THE SEWING ROOM, we choose our instructors based on technical ability, teaching experience and people skills. We really want to make your experience the best it can be! See our class instructors below.
Jennifer Serr is Owner and Lead Instructor at The Sewing Room. An Alameda mom with over 20 years in the fashion industry. Jennifer is also Owner and Lead Designer at Bonjour Teaspoon Patterns - A sewing pattern company specializing in "Classic Style for the Modern Girl & Her Doll".
After an apparel industry career with Gap Inc. specializing in pattern making, garment construction & fitting, Jennifer spent the last 15+ years designing and creating Couture Wedding gowns for personal clients as well as teaching fashion, sewing and pattern making to students school age through college level.
"I started teaching students and about fashion and sewing almost two decades ago. I knew what it was like to have a burning passion to create well fitting, beautiful clothing, and wanted to share my skills and expertise with like minded people. Because I started sewing and designing when I was 7 years old, I know that there are very few boundaries for what drives a person to pursue a calling. Sewing and Fashion are my favorite things and I'm excited to share my expertise and passion with you on your sewing adventure!"
Julie Ann Silverman is a native Californian who recently returned to the East Bay to be closer to her family. She will be teaching Fashion Illustration in our Fashion Studies Program on Wednesdays. Since earning her BFA in Fashion Design at Otis, she has spent the last twenty five years creating swimwear collections in Southern California for labels such as Girlstar, bebe,Lucky Brand, Betsey Johnson, ále by Alessandra Ambrosio, Soluna and Isabella Rose. These designs have been featured in many publications including Vogue, GQ, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, and Sports Illustrated.
She has designed her life to be a constant output of creativity so that most of her time is spent making art, taking pictures, dancing, and sharing her knowledge with others. She loves to draw women and has been profoundly influenced by the works of René Gruau, Alphonse Mucha, Alberto Vargas, David Downton and Ruben Toledo.
Her personal style was developed through vintage shopping in Berkeley as a teen. She loves all of the feminine details from the 20s-60s. Her favorite shows are Mad Men, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. A student of life, she is currently working on her fluency in Italian, improving her Lindy Hop and plans to visit Paris with her partner, love and biggest fan, Mr. Brown.
Maria Janeff has been working in the fashion industry for over 20 years. Her career began as a design intern while studying at the Louise Salinger Academy of Fashion. After earning an Associate Degree in Pattern Making, Maria was appointed head Pattern Maker for (local designer), Erica Tanov.
While raising children Maria began and grew into her brand, Calliope by selling her bespoke clothing and accessories at local events. For the last five years Maria exhibited her designs at trade shows in New York, SF and Las Vegas where she ultimately sold her products internationally in over 80 stores. She has since shifted gears and is now focusing on developing a sustainable clothing line - thisiscaliope
In addition to Fashion, Maria is passionate about animal welfare, and the health of Mother Earth!
Maria Chenut has spent many years living in Europe where she worked as a visual artist and making costumes for dancers, actors, hand puppets and large street parade giants. She loves collaborating and helping others get creative. Her mom thinks she can do anything! And she does do a bit of everything, including her own line of street clothes and accessories, custom collage packaging, sculptures and other strange objects that you can see on her website.
Claudia Jayne is a graduate of F.I.T. (The Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City.
She stayed in NYC to become a buyer of Jr. Sportswear, a department manager at Saks Fifth Avenue and lastly a fashion model before moving to California. Here she developed and taught a class with Adult Education called "Sewing For Success". She concurrently conducted a successful custom bedding business for 30 years called "Such Comforts" which catered to wealthy clients in the Santa Barbara area.
She served in the Peace Corps at the age of 60 where she developed and taught 70 workshops- for women, children and men, in sewing techniques and machine maintenance.
Claudia has settled in Alameda to be with her daughter and her new grandson.
Sewing since she was 5 years old; Claudia brings 62 years of experience to us.
She loves working with children as well as adults sharing her love of sewing.
Click here to see Claudia's website for Such Comforts
"I first fell in love with design when I started attending sewing classes in 2nd grade and have been sewing and designing every since. I grew up in Eugene Oregon and moved to New York City to go to Pratt, a Fashion Design school. After spending 16 years in NYC designing for some well known fashion companies and everything from women's ballgowns to active wear to menswear, I made my way back to the west coast. Most recently I designed pet accessories and toys!" - Julia
Click here to see Julia's website Tiny Curiosities, for her organic baby clothes and accessories collection
Maya Young attended Oakland School for the Arts for both middle and high school and graduated from their school of fashion design. Studying with Jennifer Serr from the age of 7, Maya was Jennifer's very first sewing student. From age of 14 to 17, she continued to study and intern with well known San Francisco designer Colleen Quen, advancing her tailoring and couture pattern making skills.
She recently completed her Foundation Course in Fashion and Textiles at Central Saint Martins in London, a one year program, and will be entering CSM's prestigious Bachelor of the Arts program for Womenswear in September 2019.