My grandmother was a seamstress. I didn’t realised how blessed I was for this fact until quite recently. As a teenager I recall spending long hours in front of a sewing machine on the kitchen table with her sitting quietly at my side. I remember so well her ability to calmly support and teach.
Thank you, Nanny. Thank you, May Askey.
Unfortunately my Grandmother was also responsible for the biggest hold up in my sewing career. She bought me a sewing machine when I was 21 years. It didn’t ever work properly but I always assumed it was something I had done. Maybe I’d loaded the bobbin wrongly? Not adjusted the tension? Maybe another service? None of these things worked and eventually it was donated to my son’s school where it was consumed by an army of boys with screwdrivers as a technology project. It was the best decision I could have made.
In it’s place I bought a 1950’s Bernina which had been lovingly cared for. It sewed like a dream but weighed a ton. Even so I lugged it out onto the kitchen table and packed it away each time.
By chance I passed the window of a sewing shop in Cuba Street, Wellington in October 2010. In the window was a book. All I could see was the cover because the shop was closed but something about that book’s cover caught my attention. It was Sewing Clothes Kids Love. The dress on the cover was Feliz. I was hooked from that moment!
I was wild with excitement to discover that my local library was enlightened enough to have already bought and stocked a copy and I had it in my hands within a few days of getting home. I made my version of that dress on the front cover. It took me three weeks! Here it is:
It was after begging the librarian in desperation for a fourth check out that I decided I really had to own this book and it continues to be an absolute inspiration.
So here I am. Farbenmix addict. I now own a Bernina 440QE, a Janome overlocker and a Janome embroidery machine 300E. I lust after a coverstitch machine and a Silhouette cameo. I have a sewing area which is permanently set up and around 50 farbenmix patterns.