A light has left our world

It is with infinite sadness to announce that Shirley Adams has passed away. Her gifts brought us great joy, and the industry a vehicle for the art of dressing well.

Shirley battled lymphoma since October of 2019. Ultimately the disease won, but not without a fight. Shirley was able to enjoy her “fourth” retirement which included gardening, her grandchildren, and Gallery on the Square.

If you have stories and memories, please share them. Shirley touched so many lives. I know she has gone to her Lord in peace, but we mourn her passing away from us.

Please visit https://www.lls.org/ for more information on this insidious killer. I must publicly thank Johnson and Johnson pharmaceuticals for their potent weapon that provided family and friends more quality time with Shirley. She doted on her kids, her grandkids, and was to be a great grandmother this October.

Shirley follows her husband, whom we lost in 2016. Shirl and Tut were glamorous and loving, devoted to each other, and generous to a fault. They built The Sewing Connection together, ran it together, “retired” it together! Three times! She is at peace and no longer in pain, safe in the loving arms of our Lord.

I will begin posting information again shortly. I, your humble admin, had the honor of being with Shirley these last several months, allowing her freedoms the stupid disease kept trying to take away, but I sadly neglected the “business” end of The Sewing Connection.

It was for all of you she started this crazy thing thirty years ago. There weren’t any programs promoting couture sewing, the “art of dressing well” kind of sewing. Her kids thought her mad, but her husband said “What the hell, let’s give it a try.” I’d say they did one heck of a good job.


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20 thoughts on “A light has left our world

  1. Shirley came to the Pacific Northwest many times. I always took a class from her when I could. The South Puget Sound chapter of the American Sewing Guild had a delightful day with her also.

    1. Thank you, Joanne, Shirley loved speaking with ASG members. You all continue to share the love of sewing.

  2. Truly a wonderful teacher who did put dressing well into home sewing. I did have a class with her, but would have enjoyed more. I saw her several times at shows and always took in as much as I could of what she offered.
    She is missed by me and I send my sympathy to her family… a wonderful lady!

  3. My sympathies to the entire family. I was blessed to take a few classes from Shirley. She was a lovely person, a wonderful teacher and a great resource for those of us trying to improve our sewing skills.

    1. Thank you, Rita. Shirley truly enjoyed teaching. I am working on putting more of her videos on youtube and other platforms.

  4. Shirley will surely me missed. She was an amazingly talented lady. I attended her workshop several years ago in Jacksonville, FL that the Jax America Sewing Guild which I am a member of, presented.

    I still have some of her patterns and material here that I was looking at a few weeks ago. She will always be remembered.

    May she rest in peace.
    Rochelle Gross

  5. Shirley was Beautiful as well as SO Talented! I am so Blessed to have watched her on PBS. God Bless you Dear Family!

    1. Thank you, Dara, for your kind words. We are putting more of her videos from The Sewing Connection on youtube right now

  6. Shirley Adams was my favorite Home Economics professor at Ball State University in the early 1970’s. She was a wonderful teacher, so gracious and talented. Several years after graduating, I came upon her t.v. show on P.B.S. What a delightful surprise. She deserved her success and I am glad so many others got to share in her expertise.

    1. Thank you, Marcia, for your kind words. Shirley loved her years at Ball State, which you were a part of! I am working to put all of her programs on youtube so they can still be enjoyed.

  7. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear it! She leaves a legacy in all of us whom she taught to sew. I remember watching her TV series and I continue to use her books and patterns to this day. She had a way of explaining things that made even the most complicated techniques understandable, a natural born teacher. I hope her family finds comfort in the memories of this vibrant, talented woman.

    1. Thank you, Peggy. Thank you for your kind words. It’s fun, sad yes, but fun to watch a Sewing Connection episode and remember what we were all doing at that specific time. I am working on getting all of her programs on youtube. It makes it worthwhile to know that you and other sewers have such fond memories.

  8. When my daughters were young, I made all of their clothes and every day at 4pm they knew to be quiet because Mom was watching her “sewing programs”. Fast forward 20 years. Girls are grown and I had moved to Indianapolis to start anew. Shirley was the speaker at the first American Sewing Guild annual meeting I ever attended. Imagine my star-struck self sitting next to Shirley Adams at lunch. I mean, on my left! You can’t imagine how excited I was. I don’t remember much. It was like a dream. I just hope I didn’t embarrass myself. When driving home, I couldn’t think of anyone to tell. All my sewing friends had been at the conference. So I called my daughters and they understood and were almost as excited for me as I was for myself.

    1. What a lovely story! Thank you for sharing with us. Shirley was always delighted to meet new friends who shared her love of the art of sewing. And you’ve shared your passion with your daughters! Again, thank you.

  9. I’ve been away from sewing all summer and just now read of Shirley’s passing.
    I was fortunate to have been one of many who admired and learned from her. She came to the Michigan Bishop Sewing Group often and shared so much of her love for sewing and would even call to answer a question.
    At the sewing expo in Novi, Mi she asked me to be a model for her fashion show, I was thrilled….what fun to actually wear the clothes she made. There is no sewing program on TV now that can compare with what she has given us all.
    I’m sad to learn she is gone and at the same time happy to have had the opportunity to meet and talk and learn from her.

    1. Cheryl, thank you so much for your wonderful memories and kind words. We all miss her very much. She loved doing the live programs best, when she could meet and talk and share with all of you who shared her passion. What fun to be a model for the Sewing Expo! Am moving all of her programs to youtube, albeit slowly, and making workbooks available, also slowly! I cannot abide the thought of her work being lost. Again, thank you for sharing.

  10. So sorry to read that Shirley passed away 3 months ago! My deepest condolences to her children, grandchildren, and all her loved ones. I watched The Sewing Connection daily when it first began, taping it on my VCR to watch after work, as I taught myself to sew for my wife, who also passed away 18 months ago after a long illness. I think the greatest compliment you can pay a teacher is to let them know how much you learned from them, and I regret that I never told Shirley the invaluable information I learned, with her techniques that I still use to this day. You could tell that she was formerly a college professor by the excellent way she taught, and her passion for her subject. She will be missed…but lives on now on YouTube — thank you for making her shows available once again!

    1. Thank you for your kind words. We miss Shirley every day. She was such a large and positive influence in our lives. More videos are scheduled for preparation and release. You are a good man to go to such lengths for your wife, and I am sorry for your loss. Thank you for reaching out.

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