Home Sewing Association to Close Their Doors

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The Home Sewing Association (HSA) will cease operation on December 31st!  After 80 years of serving the home sewing industry, they’ve decided to dissolve due to an unfavorable judgment against them.  What a shame!  I cannot tell you how many sewing tutorials I’ve linked from their website.

Many of us in the sewing industry received this sad letter the other day:

We regret to advise you that after 80+ years of service to the sewing industry, the Home Sewing Association will officially close its doors at the end of the year.

As your elected representatives, we have endeavored to keep the Association operating to fulfill its mission to “Get People Sewing!”  Recent marketing programs – including Sew Trendy, Trained Sewing Educator and the Girl Scout kit promotion have shown great promise.  In addition, members and sewers alike have benefited from our informative newsletters and website, together with our range of industry and consumer services.

However, we have not been able to absorb the costs – and potential liabilities – of a wrongful termination lawsuit which was filed against the Home Sewing Association in 1996.  The lawsuit was tried before a jury in the state of New York in October 2006 and an unfavorable verdict was rendered against HSA.

The Board has engaged in a year-long assessment of the options available to deal with this unfavorable judgment and the additional cost of an award for plaintiff’s attorney’s fees in the case.  It is our determination that the Association can no longer provide a viable level of industry service given this enormous financial burden.

Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Home Sewing Association has made the difficult decision to cease operations as of December 31, 2007.  The dissolution of the Association and its remaining assets, such as the National Sewing Show, will be managed under the guidance of a chapter 7 bankruptcy of the Court of New York.  Updates will be provided when information becomes available from the Trustee on the disposition of assets.  We will be filing a bankruptcy petition for HSA in that court shortly.

We wish to thank you for your membership support and wish you continued success in your sewing industry endeavors in the years ahead.

The Board of Directors

According to the Home Sewing Association, as quoted by SVP, there are about 35 million sewing hobbyists in the U.S., up from about 30 million in 2000. The resurgence of sewing is fueled by the ongoing popularity of personalized quilting, crafting, fashion sewing and home decor projects, and to embellish ready-made items.

That means millions of sewers will no longer benefit from the wealth of information and projects!!!  Some of the wonderful things HRA have contributed to the sewing world:

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HRA’s Sew Trendy website which inspired many Teens with their cool, hip sewing projects.

Their Girl Scouts’ Program gave out 1,500 sewing machines, 7,875 pattern books, 15,000 purse kits and 5,000 Raggedy Reverse Appliqué Pillow Kits!!!  That’s a lot of stuff!

I’m pretty sure HSA is credited for making September National Sewing Month in an effort to get everyone sewing.  I sure hope the sewing community continues this.

Make sure you print out HSA’s Sewing Guidelines.  The Guidelines are one- and two-page educational articles in pdf format. They cover all aspects of sewing, from beginner level information to advanced sewing techniques.  Also be sure to check out their Learn to Sew Articles on their website.

I’ve always loved checking out their Sewing Rooms pictures where they feature a different person’s sewing room each month.  This has me so bummed as it was one of my favorite sections of their website.

National Sewing Show!  What shall we do?

To think ONE PERSON (the Plaintiff of the wrongful termination) brought down an 80-year-old association just burns me.  I so hope this person gets their finger jammed under their sewing machine needle and their dog eats their prized quilt.  I could think of other punishments, but then you’d surely think I was quite evil…LOL!

lisasiggie2

Comments

  1. How sad!

  2. I would never have known this without visiting your site. How sad, indeed. I remember a few years ago when I was active in the ASG, how much help the HSA had been to home sewers and the guild.

  3. I would argue that the HSA was its own undoing in wrongfully terminating an employee. That person had every right to file a lawsuit and apparently a jury found that HSA wronged that person. Shame on the 1996 board of directors for causing a shameful end to a fine institution!

  4. Tailypo…you win…I’m having too much fun sewing to argue. But I do like to poke an eye or two out every once in a while to relieve stress…nothing personal.

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  5. I am the attorney who tried and won the case against the HSA. It is truly a shame that this organization, which seemingly has some many devoted people on the outside, allowed this to happen. The end of the HSA has more to do with the current Board, not the 1996 Board. It was the 2006 Board that permitted the case to go to trial. Rather than ever attempting to settle this matter in good faith, HSA did nothing but try to get the case thrown out of court. The trial occurred after the Judge in the case issued a 60+ page decision blasting HSA for the inconsistencies in its own legal papers. After the jury was picked, HSA’s settlement offer was zero. Not a dime. You should also know that the plaintiff was fired when she attempted to return to her job with HSA following stage 4 breast cancer. So please be kind to her, and perhaps take solace in knowing that despite what she went through, the HSA’s bankruptcy will likely mean that she never sees a dime of what the jury awarded. This is all a matter of public record. For more information, write me, or run the name “Pasaturo” and “Home Sewing” through Yahoo or Google (or following the link attached).www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/comdiv/lawreport/vol9_feb07_decs/Gammer%20Pasaturo.pdf –

  6. thanks for enlighting me on this case. I truly appreciate hearing the other side of the coin. All I could find was this: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/comdiv/lawreport/vol9_feb07_decs/Gammer%20Pasaturo.pdf which is not the final.

    I do feel bad for Ms. Pasaturo and wish her success in collecting her judgment. am saddened to know an organization of their size was so mismanagement as to not be able to weather such a judgment (where’s the organization umbrella insurance?).

    When things like this happen (Ms. Pasaturo’s job termination), I wonder if it’s more a thing of whoever the powers to be didn’t “LIKE” her, for whatever reason, and thought they could get away with what they did. I wonder if it was just her former boss, not the organization as a whole.

    Again, thanks for the information. I’ll put away the pointy needle and offer up some warm tea.

    With friendship,
    Lisa

  7. I find it odd that the plaintiff found a job elsewhere that paid her more, andyet still went back to HSA (on her coffee break?) and tried to be rehired by HSA. It was as if the lawyer told her to do this so the case would stick.

    What happened to the plaintiff happens all over creation. No, it is a crappy thing that happens to people, but it happens and it happens legally. The only thing that HSA did was not do the job elimination thing correctly. If the co-defendant/boss knew her stuff properly, she could have eliminated the job and the lawsuit would not have stuck. Getting paid over a hundred thousand and still not knowing her stuff…that’s the crime here. HSA should have outsourced long before and eliminated the boss’s job.

  8. this is a shame! I teach sewing to teens -it is relaxing, enjoyable and rewarding. Be confident that many of us will continue to share this passion with others!

  9. I spent nearly 30 years in the textile industry, starting as a sewing notions rep, then sold fabrics and trims to fabric stores and manufacturers. The Home Sewing Association was just one of the grossly miss-managed cogs in the totally disfunctional industry. They sold their soul to the national retail chains and big name pattern companies that sucked the life blood out of the market.
    The independent retailers that have survived have done so in spite of the association that they paid dues to. They have catered to the minority of clients who can differentiate between Walmart/JoAnn grade products and the high quality products offered at the independents.
    This industry was playing these games when the Wall Street execs that are in trouble now were still in diapers. Remember the law of gravity, the higher they fly, the harder they fall.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the Home Sewing Association (creators of sewing.org) closed their doors on December 31, 2007, we thought all was lost.  […]

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