Sips N Sews hosts local textile industry leaders  and obsessionist who share their expertise and knowledge with all those interested in learning and growing their skills in sewing, patterning making and construction.

Learn more about the about our instructors.


Marney Margules

Marney taught herself how to sew at 13 and has never stopped! Early influences include picking up haute couture sewing techniques shared by a model from the houses of Dior, Valentino and Yves St. Laurent.  She has created custom made dresses, suits, evening wear, lingerie and historical garments for over 25 years out of her home studio. One of her most memorable projects was an 18th century ensemble of a corset, jacket and bustled skirt that was worn in one of her operatic performances (another passion!).

“My passion for sewing has grown from the always inspiring experience of turning a two-dimensional piece of fabric into a 3 dimensional work of art.” Teaching others about this ‘secret’ is inspiring and rewarding as her students cultivate the skills to create their own works of art!”

Marney is currently a student at Apparel Arts in Oakland, California.


Lynda Maynard  

Lynda Maynard has enjoyed a long career that highlights a wide array of experience in varying contexts of working with fashion. She’s brought a passion for fashion to countless classrooms spanning over 15 years, serving a number of community colleges and leading workshops across the country. Her areas of expertise include couture sewing techniques, fitting, and pattern drafting. Coursework developed and taught includes Moulage (French Pattern Drafting), Pant Draft, Copying Ready-to-Wear, Lingerie, Working With Difficult Fabrics, and numerous other offerings.  Academic professionals call on Lynda for continual development of college level courses in Fashion Design. Her talent and expertise expands beyond the local community with multiple published works including two of her own book titles, De-Mystifying Fit  followed by The Dressmaker’s Handbook of Couture Sewing Techniques. Additional publishing credits include her regular contributions to both Stitch magazine and Threads magazine and a collection of interactive online video courses commissioned by Craftsy. Through all of these mediums combined, her followers know that her technical innovations, product quality, and attention to detail are the core components of her signature style.


Michael Portuesi

Michael Portuesi has taken self taught to a levels of mastery, starting from watching sewing programs on public television, internet research, and trial and error he has become an accomplished sewist. When a Brother sewing machine “magically appeared” for Christmas 2011, he took up sewing as a hobby and has been teaching himself ever since. His interests include cases, folios, home decorating, and men’s garment construction.

Michael is ready to help new students, by teaching the lessons he has learned from his own exploration in the world of sewing.



Christine Hopkins


Christine has been sewing since she was 10 years old, learning by watching her mother. She’s taken her knowledge and experience and teaches throughout the Bay Area.

She enjoys working with children and helping them learn skills and techniques to launch their sewing adventure. It is important to her that the learning environment is fun, creative and stress free. In addition to teaching children, she also teaches adults. It’s never too late to start sewing (or start again). She works with each student 1:1 and helps each with their specific questions and concerns. She shares her sewing talents with community sewing events throughout the bay area, donating thousands of items to charities.

Paul Gallo  

After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Paul took his Fashion Design major and made it work for him on Fashion Avenue, technically known as 7th Avenue.

At age 21, he started his first clothing line, self named Gallofornia, since then his designs have appeared on TV, movies, the internet and  of magazines.

Paul brought his talents to San Francisco in  1991, he perfected his skills at draping and patternmaking earning the title of Master patternmaker.  Paul has been commissioned by companies worldwide, and locally, for theaters, performers, celebrities and for good measure a few riff – raff outfits..



Mike “Mac” McNamara 

“Mac” grew up in New England as part of a professional & creative family. Influences were never far away from Liriodendron Tulipifera (Tulip Tree) to grandparents who were performers and artists.

Humor is a natural part of Mac’s personality. He developed blue-collar humor while working at my dad’s tire company.  His slogan was, “Invite Us to Your Next Blowout!”.

Mac’s quilting journey began in 1976. He worked on the NAMES Project – an ongoing memorial of sewn panels for people who have died of AIDS.  Other quilt-making influences come from friends and other textile artists, Rhoda Cohen, Sylvia Einstein, Nancy Crow, Paula Nadelstern, and Joe Cunningham.
Mac likes to re-invent traditional blocks, such as Double Wedding Ring, Pickle Dish, Drunkard’s Path, Broken Dishes, and give them a new feel.  “I don’t care as much about color as I do value – I like the idea of the eye flickering as it goes across the plain of the quilt. A successful quilt is if someone says, “Hey, that looks like some kids made that.”   Mac is a long-standing member of the Quilters’ Connection in Watertown, MA and Pajaro Valley Quilters’ Association of Santa Cruz, CA.


Joe the Quilter  

Joe Cunningham began making quilts professionally in 1979, after a ten-year career as a musician in  Michigan. His early mentors were steeped in the history and traditions of quilts, leading Cunningham to a  life of study in quilt history and a love of traditional technique.

Over the years his quilts have evolved into a  unique, personal style. His quilts are in  the permanent collections of museums, as well as in numerous  private collections. Cunningham’s 11 books on quilts include the 2010 book “Men and the Art of  Quiltmaking,” (the first book on the subject), a museum catalogue for the  Shelburne Museum’s exhibition,  “Man-Made Quilts: Civil War to the Present,” and his essay for the de Young Museum  show Amish  Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown.” His column for the national  magazine The Quilt Life is called “Biased and Edgy.”

He has been seen on the Peabody Award winning PBS  series “Craft in America,” the HGTV series “Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson”, the PBS series “Sewing with  Nancy” and on “The Quilt Show” with Alex Anderson and Ricky Tims.”  He gives talks about quilts and  teaches workshops nationwide.


Kim Pinto

Kim Pinto has been sewing since she was 8, starting with Barbie clothes and making dresses for her grandma. She loves to sew, taking a simple piece of fabric and making it into something wearable. Nothing makes her happier than seeing people wear the items she creates. Now these days mostly Star Wars related costumes and accessories. She has turned her passion into a career with her 20 years of sewing experience, and Bachelor’s in Fashion Design.



Sasha Cardinale-Weinberg 

Sasha has always been up to creative messes, painting and drawing as a child, and exploring graphic and textile design throughout high school. She attended San Francisco’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, for a degree in Fashion Design, and specializes in Technical Design.
Sasha is a Retro-futuristic enthusiast, with a love for shiny, metallic, neon, and holographic things- which often translates into unusual fabrics to sew.
Sasha is local to San Francisco, and currently booting up her company Rocket Ready Apparel, a collection of knit, leather, and vinyl garments and accessories to teleport you into the future.



Ashley Bridges  

As almost a life long sewist, Ashley brings modern style and techniques to the any class she leads. Ashley’s passion in textile arts peak when discussing Costume Design and Cosplay. She is active in the Sci-Fi costuming for National and International conventions. Her designs incorporate retro elegance with modern style.

“Textures and color palettes amaze me, sewing with specific techniques allows you to mix and match with limitless options. Working with other sewists and helping to enhance others skills.”

Ashley lives in San Francisco and enjoys comedians that are showcased at local venues. Ashley is a student at the Academy of Arts, declaring a major in Costume Design.



We are always interested in hosting new curriculum. If you would like to find out more about our classroom and how to use it, please contact us at

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