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Ann K. Johnson

Photo by Tony Palmieri of Avon Lake Photography

About Ann K. Johnson

  Drapery & Soft Goods Workroom Owner  
  Author & Inventor  






I am the owner of Sew Easy Windows, a decorative soft goods workroom established in1992. We are well-known for the quality, consistency and accuracy of our work. We specialize in difficult and challenging treatments, yet no job is too small. We draft all of our own patterns and can sew swags, cascades, cornices (soft and hard), panels and draperies, valances (box pleat, arched, gathered, etc), kingstons, empires, bedding (shams, duvets, coverlets, comforters, dust skirts, etc), cushions and pillows, tablecloths and napkins, etc.

Feel free to peruse our extensive portfolio of work. Contact us any time for a quote. We have also shipped to areas of the continental U.S.

I am also an industry speaker, instructor and author. I love to work with other workrooms to increase their knowledge, skills and profitability in the industry.

At the time I opened my workroom in 1992, the internet was not available. There were very limited resources for professional patterns. I had to learn early to draft patterns on my own.

From 2006-2007, I was the manager of a larger custom workroom.  During that time, I did all the cutting for seven full-time sewers.  I developed efficient cutting techniques, managed projects for multiple employees, developed written standards and cutting and fabrication instructions and built a reference library of pictures of work done in the workroom.  It was a dynamic job and I learned to approach the workroom business from a larger point of view.  

Over the years, I have made enough mistakes to qualify me to teach you how to draw patterns and fabricate efficiently. I also want to help you understand that, no matter how small your business is, you can achieve new levels of efficiency and quality by approaching it as a business. It is my wish to save you the time I lost making mistakes and encourage you to approach your business with a professional mindset.

I am the author of The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags, Volume 1 and Volume II.   I am also the publisher of Kitty Stein's Price Your Work With Confidence! Fearless Pricing Made Easy. I have taught classes on fabrication and business practices at the Custom Home Furnishings Industry Educational Conference and for trade show conferences for several years.

Keep an eye on my website. I hope to develop a full Professional Workroom Handbook series of books.

If you have suggestions for articles or books, please feel free to contact me. I love to hear from you.



I offer a very comprehensive list of over 22 workroom fabrication topics for you to choose from. From this list, you can mix topics to put together an event for your location workroom organization or WCAA Chapter for an evening meeting or half day and full day events.

Click here for a complete list of available workroom fabrication topics.

I always welcome suggestions for new topics.

Previous engagements:

  • Northeast Ohio Chapter of WCAA
  • Northeast New England Chapter of WCAA
  • Greater Detroit Workroom Association
  • Custom Home Furnishings & DWC Conferences since 2003
  • Richmond, VA, Chapter of WCAA
  • Custom Sewing Institute, Creative Camp, Houston, TX, since 2010
  • Northern California Chapter of WCAA
  • Greater Rochester Workroom Association
  • WCAA Central NJ Chapter
  • Visions Conferences in Las Vegas, Chicago, Atlanta and New Orleans
  • Western PA Window Treatment Association
  • WCAA of Indiana
  • WCAA of Phoenix, AZ
  • Houston, TX
  • PWA of MS
Author & Publisher:



  • Square it Up! Designed specifically to draft point-to-point swag patterns, the Square it Up! has many uses in the workroom



I currently have seven two-day class options for you. However, I can tailor a class to your needs if you wish. These are full hands-on classes in which you practice the skills that are taught and take home small samples to use as reference.

Each class comes with a comprehensive student handout.

You can schedule a class in your own hometown with a minimum of six students. Or, travel to Avon Lake, Ohio for classes scheduled in my own humble workroom.

Each of these classes is available for one on one private training also.

Please contact me for more information on how to book one of these classes.

  • Essential Workroom Skills & Efficiency, Part 1

    This fast-paced, skill-packed class sends you back to your workroom with a comprehensive workbook and practiced techniques to improve your speed and the quality of your treatments.  It takes years for most small workrooms to acquire the range of skills that I teach you in two days.  I will send you home with a new level of confidence and essential skills that will encourage your business to grow.

    Topics we cover include:  Fabrics (types and challenges), seams, hems, hand stitches, methods to apply trim, planning cuts, and cutting, blocking, handling bulk, tabling techniques and much more.

    This class is for novice or veteran.  A novice will jump start their business with proven efficiency techniques.  Veterans will streamline their processes by shedding old practices.  If time permits, students are encouraged to explore skills and techniques not specifically covered but that provide challenges to them.


  • Essential Workroom Skills & Efficiency, Part 2
  • This fast-paced, skill-packed class sends you back to your workroom with a comprehensive workbook and practiced techniques to improve your speed and the quality of your treatments.  It takes years for most small workrooms to acquire the range of skills that I teach you in two days.  I will send you home with a new level of confidence and essential skills that will encourage your business to grow.

    In this class, emphasis is on unusual tools and supplies used in the workrooms, or multiple uses for tools you already have; advanced techniques such as return options for all types of treatments, banding (set in and on the edge, mitered corners, compound mitered), additional control techniques such as Italian Stringing and Memory Stitch, ensuring a flawless installation, machine maintenance and much more.

    This class is for novice or veteran.  A novice will jump start their business with proven efficiency techniques.  Veterans will streamline their processes by shedding old practices.  If time permits, students are encouraged to explore skills and techniques not specifically covered but that provide challenges to them.


  • Historical Pattern Drafting Techniques for the Modern Workroom

  • Frank Moreland, in his book, The Curtain Maker’s Handbook, describes many of the techniques used in the late 1800’s to pattern and fabricate the elaborate Victorian styles of his day. The drapery upholsterers of that era were masters at cutting and draping fabric to create fullness without bulk and style with deception. We study the fashion plates in historical books and try to figure out what the detailed sketches are telling us. 

    In this class, we decipher many of the sketches, learn some of the pattern drafting techniques used in the past and update several of the techniques with faster and more accurate methods.  Students will leave with a stack of patterns and two unusual treatments pieced (unfinished – face pieces assembled only). 


  • Drapery Panels - Basic to Bump
  • The goal of this class is to increase your efficiency on fabricating drapery panels while increasing the quality. Drapery panels should be a very lucrative part of your workroom output. We will cover analyzing fabric characteristics, calculating and working with pattern repeats - including drop match and half drop, inspecting and marking for cuts in one step, cutting and stacking efficiently, sewing widths and pattern matching techniques, tabling a low-bulk panel, adding control and stability features and finishing and packaging. We will then step through the process of fabricating a luxurious panel interlined with bump. Bump interlined panels are almost completely hand sewn and we will learn those hand stitches. Pricing is always a concern and we will discuss how to set pricing for your workroom.


  • Arch Window Treatments
  • An arch window can be treated with any window treatment design.  The design can follow the curve of the arch, slant with a ceiling line or swoop from one post to the next.  Arch window treatments can be fabricated to form a faux arch shape over a plain window.

    Students learn the difference between arch and lifted treatments, how to draw a template and assemble an arch frame.  They will learn how to draft patterns for flat, pleated and gathered treatments, and how to alter their existing patterns to fit an arch shape.  This class does not cover arch swags, but will demonstrate how to alter an existing Kingston pattern for an arch or lifted style.  

    Students will leave the class with one small arch treatment ready for pleating, a comprehensive manual for reference in their workroom, and full confidence in their ability to tackle any arch design. 


  • Swag Engineering - Pattern to Perfection

    This intense swag class is based on the popular books, The Professional Workroom Handbook of Swags, Volumes 1 & 2. Students will leave with a very solid understanding of the pattern shape and how it drapes into the finished swag shape. We cover design considerations, variations on the pattern and troubleshooting. Once students have mastered the basic swag pattern, we explore the variations of swag designs – cutout, point-to-point, Austrian, boxed, arched and asymmetrical. The emphasis in this class will be on drawing the swag pattern to calculated dimensions.  The students will draw and troubleshoot as many different swag patterns as possible in the time given. We will talk about, but not practice fabrication techniques.


  • Ripplefold & Sliding Panels
    This class covers two different styles of drapery panels that are becoming more popular for their clean contemporary lines and simple fabrication.

    Ripplefold was originally designed for commercial applications because of the ease of fabrication.  The clean, fluid lines and functionality, though, have made it very popular for contemporary designs. Many decorative ripplefold rods are being developed by hardware vendors to enhance this beautiful treatment.  Ripplefold is an ideal choice for circumstances requiring less fabric and/or a tighter stack back. The first day will be spent learning about ripplefold hardware components – including specifying, ordering and assembling rods.  Students learn the basics of fabricating a ripplefold panel, then several different header options to enhance the draperies for domestice applications.

    Sliding panels (aka panel tracks) are a clean contemporary look that solves the problem of privacy with minimal fabric. The second day of class covers panel track hardware, how to calculate panel widths and simple steps for fabricating the panels. The class will also cover how to handle pattern repeats, calculate fabric requirements and determine pricing for this beautiful treatment style.




On the Old World Pattern Drafting Class:

I recently returned from CHF and Ann's class on Old World Patterning Techniques. Loved my class-- it was as Ann promised, patterning techniques and so much more Terific info on patterning , cutting, and bits of knowledge to help with efficiency in the workroom. (Makes me want to take her class in Oct on efficiency.) Most of all it made me think and rethink many things and in some cases return to basics, as with the old masters and some not so old masters. I think a teacher who can help you think is a great gift.. Ann changed the way I look at many aspects of our business and changed my thinking. Now I need to implement and "walk the walk". I can't imagine anyone not learning from her in any of her classes . Ann rocks!!

Cathy Schulz
Silk Mountain Creations

I recently took Ann Johnson's Old World Pattern Techniques class at the CHF school. I can't say enough great things about the way Ann's engineering mind works--and mine doesn't! She's the Carl Sagan of patternmaking.

Ann has the ability to take a complex subject and make it much more simple and easily understood. I learn best by reading and watching. One of the really Great things she does is write very clear, concise instructions and step by step photographs for the class manual you receive. She puts a lot of preparation into her classes and is always concerned that you leave her classes getting exactly what you need. And, I did!

Ann is a warm, friendly person and a first rate teacher. Now, I know that her books are a Must Have for me! This class was so much more than I expected. Now I'm convinced that I can do what I've wanted to do in historical reproductions and restorations. The class, though, applies to all sorts of ideas in drapery land.

Thanks, Ann!
Sandra McPherson


On the Perfecting Your Workroom Skills - Part 1 Class:

"Ann Johnson’s classes held at the CHF Academy were fabulous!  In Perfecting Workroom Skills, the class was jam packed with tips and techniques on how to produce soft furnishings of the highest quality while doing it efficiently.  The first thing I did when I got back in the workroom, was teach many of the things I learned to my employees.  They were as excited as I was about these better, more efficient techniques."     Karen Barnes

"Last week I attended the Perfecting Your Workroom Skills class at the CHF Academy taught by Ann Johnson.  I cannot begin to explain how much this class has helped me already.  Ann was a wonderful teacher.  The manual she provided was packed with color photos and step by step instructions that are very easy to understand.  I felt that I could ask as many questions as I needed and she took the time to patiently answer every one.  The tips and techniques that she shared with us were soo very helpful and I have already implemented many of them into my workroom and it has made me much more efficient.  I had such a wonderful experience at the school and cannot wait to go back again! "      Denise Canney

On the Strengthening Your Swag Skills Class:

"The Strengthening Swag Skills class reaffirmed to me that Ann is THE expert in our industry on swags.  She has studied the engineering and mathematics of swags extensively and teaches the concepts in a way that is easy to understand.  Once we understood the basics, we were able to make a swag pattern, cut the swag out of fabric and drape it to the correct size in a matter of minutes, including asymmetrical and arched swags. I am thrilled to have taken this class and know I can now confidently make a swag of any size or style. "     ---- Karen Barnes

As a seminar speaker

"Excellent class, great information. Best class I have taken this conference."    --- Barbara


"We are so happy to have you here in New Jersey! Your seminar created so much buzz! We have attendees here from NJ, NY, DE & PA. As a result of today's program, we have added six new members to our chapter. Fantastic!!        -- Kelli Chitty

"WAY beyond expectations. "    --- Cheryl  
"The BEST class I've Taken !!    --- Nancy  

"Great crowd control !"   –– Jill


"Very organized, easy to understand, wonderful presentation style."

"After 18 years of sewing, I was still able to learn many new & timesaving techniques. Very good."   ---Sherri

"When our local WCAA chapter was looking for a speaker Ann’s name came up.  She was a candidate not only for her industry experience but for her success as an author and as an entrepreneur.  Before her scheduled engagement, I was fortunate to take a class “Taking the mystery out of Kingstons” that Ann gave at the DWC conference in Springfield, MA in September 2008.  Kingstons are a complicated window treatment and Ann was well prepared – had excellent visuals and samples – spoke to the point and was able to address all the questions presented to her in a clear, concise and down to earth manner.  Ann was not only professional but also intertwined her own story of success which made it more personal.
I was so pleased & excited knowing that she would be speaking to our group shortly after this conference.
Ann’s presentation to our WCAA chapter in October 2008 covered arched swags and her many tips and techniques for sewing and running a workroom business.  Her presentation, again, was easy to follow and her handouts were excellent.  There was plenty of time for in depth questions and she had great examples of her techniques to share."   
 Jeanne McDermott       October, 2008

"Ann Johnson is the Queen of swags! She's also among the best of speakers. Ann presents a professional image, is well organized, light hearted, and full of knowledge based on experience. Her enthusiasm will keep you focused and leave you jazzed! "          - Mary-Ann Quinn, MAQ Design.         October, 2008

"A lot of great tips: Very informational and knowledgeable. Enjoyed class."        --- Ruth


"Ann had complete control of the class - demanded and kept our attention. My best class yet! Thanks!"     --- Debbie

"WOW! Fantastic advanced Class."          -- Chris Watt


"Ann knows her stuff! Not only knows it (and the math stuff) but is able to explain it to non-math people."    -- Laura

"Very good illustrations -both samples and printed. Ann was well prepared. I gained a much better understanding."          --- Sally


"This by far was the BEST class - most informative, clear, concise."      Roberta

"Ann is tremendous and clearly articulates objectives of her class, solicits feedback, checks for understanding and effectively closes her workshop. My guess is that she is a former educator and if not, she has the natural talent for teaching."      --- Sarah

"Excellent teacher - great visuals - moved right along. Cudos!"      Vivian

"Ann was a very organized and successfully covered a lot of information in a short time."      --- Leslie

"Ann did a fabulous job of giving us a lot of very useful info in clear, concise manner. Very informative. Thanks!"      --- Judy

"Very impressed with Ann's teaching/professionalism and knowledge. Reinforced a lot of things I already know - but structured this into 'working' knowledge and reasoning and troubleshooting."       --- Dawn


"Ann rocks. Awesome teacher! Lots of tips that are fabulous"       -- Charlotte

"Ann is very knowledgeable and approachable. She fielded questions clearly and repeated for the whole room."      -- Lisa


"This class was very good. The instructor was very clear and concise. This is one of the best, most informative classes that I have taken!      -- Debbie


"Lots of knowledge presented well. She took an intricate subject and made it easy to follow. Lots of info - loved it!       -- Minda

"The best class ! Ever."   ---Almerinda  
"First time I've been in one of her classes and Ann is fantastic"   --- Pam

"More great info to use every day. Very knowledgeable and dynamic speaker"    ---Janice

"Excellent class for workrooms. Very practical advice."   --- Bonnie


Member of:

WCAA - Window Coverings Association of America

Drapery Pro

Professional Windows

Workroom Association of America

Custom Home Furnishings Academy - Instructor

Greater Cleveland Drapery Professionals

WCAA logo         WCAA award










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