Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Our Friend, Fred Bloebaum

Fred Bloebaum lives with us in the lessons she taught, her patterns, and her brilliance.

I’m sad to report the death last week of a friend and colleague, Fred Bloebaum. She is survived by her husband and son and many sewing fans. Even before joining the Threads staff I knew Fred from using her LaFred patterns and reading her Threads articles. She brought a memorable quality to everything she touched. She enthusiastically made exciting, inspiring garments to illustrate her wonderful techniques. Being her sponsoring editor was always a pleasure for me, as her articles were tailor-made for our readers. Whatever her designer’s eye could envision, her sewing skill could master. She had such a wonderful way of putting things together—words, directions, and designs.

Anyone who had the good fortune to attend her classes was blessed with warm and thoughtful instruction and a multitude of inspirational visual images. All of us took away solid information and achievable aspirations. I’ve heard that at her first Santa Fe retreat she even cooked for her students. Is it any wonder why we call this community of sewers a family?

Fred was an active and supportive member of the Association of Sewing and Design Professionals. She wrote her first Threads article in 1994 and, over the years, graduated to contributing editor status. We missed Fred during her illness and feel great loss today. But we celebrate her life and the beauty and knowledge she brought into all of ours.

Share your memories of Fred with the community in the comments below.


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. User avater
    cco | | #1

    I attended several classes taught by Fred and had always found her teaching style informative, well-organized and excellent. Then I went to her booth and talked to her about some of her patterns and found her to be like a trusted friend. Very warm and gracious. We'll miss you, Fred, and the world will be a less friendly place without you.

  2. Sewfie | | #2

    I attended Freds classes, visited her at her booth many times at the Sewing Expo in Novi, MI and still sew and wear many of her designs. She was a great teacher and a wonderful person. You have left us with so much Fred, you will certainly be missed.

  3. Ckbklady | | #3

    I am just stunned. What a terrible loss. Fred Bloebaum was an elegant and gentle woman. I met her twice at sewing shows where she struck me with her kindness, tact and humor.

    Her designs are so pretty and stylish, and her pattern instructions should be an inspiration to designers everywhere. I hope her patterns remain in print to continue her legacy.

    I also hope her husband and son know that she had a big group of friends here who offer them our heartfelt sympathies.

    I will miss Fred Bloebaum but will always count myself richer for having met her.

  4. Skymom | | #4

    I wore a La Fred design (the Athena blouse which I made as a jacket), to a job interview, and not only did the interviewer compliment me on my outfit, but I got the job, and it was the best job of my career. Later, I met Fred at sewing expos, and so enjoyed knowing the "fairy godmother" behind that elegant, classy line of designs. Fred was not just talented, smart, and sophisticated, she was also funny and down-to-earth...we'll all miss her.

  5. Sewing In San Rafael | | #5

    I made a beautiful skirt from one of her patterns and attended a class Fred gave at Stonemountain. She was a wonderful teacher, generous with her vast knowledge of sewing, and enthusiastic and supportive. By chance I just logged on her, and was jolted by this news. Over 30 years ago, I believe Fred made my friend's wedding dress. I will miss you, and my heart goes out to your family friends.

  6. smallvolume | | #6

    I didn't take any class taught by Fred, but I admire her very much.
    [url=http://www.goodorient.com/prom_Dress_C333]Formal Prom Dress[/url]

  7. sewfashion | | #7

    Fred and I roomed together a few times for expos and stayed with another expo educator Linda Jones for the Baltimore expo a decade ago. Even though our fashion styles were very different, we appreciated a strong commitment to educating our customers not just selling them and coming up with original material for them. She lived a very healthful life in body and mind, getting up early to do yoga stretches in the narrow space between our beds some mornings which is how I'll always remember her. She was a great colleague and I know her many students appreciated her genuine concern for them to "get it."

  8. SusanKhalje | | #8

    I've known Fred a long time - we met at the first ever ASDP (then PACC) meeting in Las Vegas in 1993. Even then, her style was impressive - and beneath that style was a person of warmth, enthusiasm, and talent. We roomed together last year at the ASG Conference in Albuquerque - one night, after a long day of teaching, we were too tired to go out, so we ordered room service and watched the ABBA movie on TV. We laughed and laughed - and I love thinking about that evening. I was lucky enough to see her on Mother's Day - and we spent much of our visit waiting for our respective children to call (which they did!). I knew it was probably the last time I would see her, but we took a little walk together after dinner, and did, indeed, stop to smell the roses in the gardens in her pretty neighborhood. It's a bittersweet memory of a dear friend.

  9. WhiteBow | | #9

    I met Fred many years ago through the AFP (which became PACC, which became ASDP). She was always gracious. That is the best word I can think of to describe her--so warm, beautifully dressed, friendly, and kind. I also took some classes from Fred over the years and noted how patient she was with all the questions and problems that students presented. When I took her Knits class at Stonemountain, she was kind enough to drive me back to the BART station because it was rather late at night and I was alone. I am so glad that I knew her and I will miss seeing her in the sewing community here in the Bay Area. Fred was always so generous with her knowledge and her talent. This is a real loss to so many of us.

  10. Joanweave | | #10

    Many years ago I bought the Athena blouse pattern and made it for my daughter and for me. I bought another pattern never imagining I would meet Fred. she filled in for an I'll teacher at one of our weaving conferences and became sought after. I signed up for a class from her on sewing with handwovens at our international conference in Albuquerqu this summer. She sent a sub. She spoke before our guild and I attended a workshop a year ago that she taught. she was an inspirational, knowledgeable teacher. She put up a valiant fight and will be missed by all who crossed her path. She will live on in her wonderful patterns.

  11. LouiseCnote | | #11

    I am saddened to read that dear Fred has departed earthly life. She will indeed live on in the beautiful patterns & garment she shared with us. When she started coming to Puyallup's Sew Expo, I rarely passed up a chance to hear her lectures and pick up another stitch of design or technique. Growing up in the 40s/50s era of classical clothing & design,
    Fred's inspiration, design; techniques was a breath of fresh air--I will treasure them, always.

  12. User avater
    Phillippa | | #12

    I've known Fred since she first started out on her sewing career. When I stopped sewing professionally, I referred all my clients to her. She was a wonderful, kind, creative woman who will be sadly missed.

  13. GorgeousThings | | #13

    I only met Fred once, at the Sewing Expo in Boston several years ago. But she left a lasting impression. She was gracious, kind, and so generous with her knowledge and skills. The sewing community lost a shining light last week.

  14. MachineQueen | | #14

    I'm sorry to hear of Fred's passing. But I'm glad she spent so much of her life doing what she loved. I used many of Fred's patterns and loved the results. And I always enjoyed visiting with her at the Sew Expo in Puyallup. Thank you for your inspiration, Fred.

  15. Gertrude_C | | #15

    I have been an ardent admire of Fred for many years which resulted in using many of her patterns for the garments I made. Over the years I attended many of her lectures at various venues. As President of the Roseville Sun City Needle Arts Club in Roseville, CA, I contracted with her to do a lecture and trunk show which was a highlight event. My best sewing event ever was attending a week- long sewing retreat with Fred at her home in Santa Fe in 2007. Of course the sewing instruction and projects accomplished were top notch. But it was Fred, the warm, congenial and so talented a hostess that will live with me forever. My heart is heavy to know that she is gone.

  16. denise | | #16

    o dear, why do we loose the best people and the kindest and talented.

    i have a few of Freds patterns my favourite is the straight skirt, i dont think i have used another pattern for some years now, its so classic.

    to her family and the sewing community what a sad loss.

    may Fred and Shannan Gifford ( whom we also lost this year) guide and teach from the sacred universe.
    we have been so fortunate to have them both in our lives.

  17. sewkay22 | | #17

    I was attending an American Sewing Guild convention and they had a drawing to win one of Fred's patterns. I got not only a great blouse pattern but a hug from Fred. I know any one that ever met her will greatly miss her and her awesome talent. My deepest sympathies to her family and close friends.

  18. bzsewing | | #18

    I was shocked to hear of Fred's passing. I first meet her at one of our ASG meetings. As a fashion design student I saw her several times at the La Canada Campus where she taught. She had an air of loveliness about her. I love her patterns and sense of style. My favorite being the Athena blouse. Her and her gracious and love of her craft will be sorely missed. My heart goes out to her family and friends.

  19. Tammy_OPeacock | | #19

    Fred left us all with a little piece of herself, her style and grace radiated from every pattern. She was a wonderful role model and she spread her enthusiasm among us. I remember sitting with her on the bus as she was our host on our fabric discovery tour of San Francisco. She knew all the cool places to go for sure. She has been a nice friend throughout the years and I will miss her deeply. What a wonderful way she has touched the world of sewing that we all will remember her for. We miss you Fred.
    Tammy O'Connell
    Peacock Patterns

  20. User avater
    Nicksews | | #20

    My memory of Fred is that of mentor and friend. Once when in Oakland, my partner and I stopped by her studio, and we walked to a little tapas place a couple of blocks away. Good food, wine and that warm autumn air made for the perfect day.
    The sewing community has lost a quiet, graceful icon, while I, and many others have lost a lovely friend.
    I will miss you Fred.

  21. User avater
    gandmfausel | | #21

    I met Fred many years ago through the AFP (which became PACC) we met in Berkley. I was blessed to be a participating artist/designer at several of her in home Holiday Gift Shops. Fred was always so together, a very peaceful person with many friends. She was a leader by example. I left CA in 1993. I could see from her articles, etc. Fred was still busy. I am so blessed to have known her.

  22. User avater
    BarbaraSki | | #22

    After initially taking a class from Fred at an ASG conference in 1999, we had many opportunities to cross paths, including having her at our chapter for two days. She helped me choose fabric for a blouse (not even her pattern) in Minneapolis. She had dinner with a group of us in Fennimore, WI after a sewing expo and was just "one of the girls." My friend and I gave her a ride from St. Charles, IL to Milwaukee - the back seat of my car heaped with half her luggage. It was a fun ride with Fred regaling us with stories of her travels. I always admired her graciousness, her style, and her generosity of spirit. I was heartsick to hear she had the same disease that took the life of our chapter president. I can see the two of them sewing away on the celestial robes......I'll never forget Fred and her lessons on sewing - and life.

  23. User avater
    Sparkelle | | #23

    I will always remember La(Lady)Fred....I met her through ASG and she had the biggest heart. The classroom was full because she was so popular, but she had a "sprite" that spoke to directly to me. I will never forget that. She will be missed. Much Love to you Ms. Fred. Peace!

  24. User avater
    ustabahippie | | #24

    I met Fred at a party. A friend told me, "You have to meet this woman!" Fred and I went into the ladies room and forgot to come out for over an hour, we talked and talked. She introduced me to PACC and I took her "Fitting the Bust" class, which gave me great information to use in my own fitting and to pass on in my own sewing classes. Luckily we lived in the same community and saw each other frequently at sewing related functions. I will miss Fred so much.

  25. sewingyogini | | #25

    I will be sending in my winning Thread's Garment piece for the Thread's 10 Year Anniversary Challenge soon. In 2002, my reversible coat won in the best construction category. Fred had taken the time, out of her incredibly busy schedule in Chicago to make sure it got from the hotel package hub to the display and judging area at the ASG conference. I think she modeled it for the runway too! I will never forget her phone call to me the night the awards were handed out, to let me know I'd won. I will never forget her-her grace, intelligence, warmth, poise, generosity, and creativity. Fred, you touched so many lives while physically here, and will continue to touch lives in spirit.

  26. User avater
    amq5588 | | #26

    I just learned today (9/26/10) that Fred had passed away. I sit here in tears. I have had several classes with her and fell in love with her as a teacher and as a friend. When I first had learned of her illness I was stunned and had hoped the news was some horrible error. Not so. The cancer progressed and now she is gone, but not forgotten. She will live on forever in my life. As I teach sewing to others my prayer is that I will instruct as well as she did and with as much enthusiasm and love. Fred---I miss you.

  27. Rabia | | #27

    I am VERY SAD to hear that a member of the "Threads family" has died...though I never met Fred, I certainly knew about her through my reading of Threads. It is a GREAT LOSS to us and to sewing in general, that Fred is no longer with us in body, but she will continue, no doubt, to be with us in spirit! Hail and farewell, Fred!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All