Sewing has been a passion of mine since childhood. I grew up in rural New Zealand, a long way from any shops or fashion runways, magazines were a rare treat and the internet wasn't heard of. My mother sewed out of necessity, but it was my grandmother who shared my indulgence for fabric, creativity and clothes. I would encourage her to draw around me so I could make a pattern, and donating her old bed sheets as fabric, she ensured my wild creativity was balanced with the discipline of good old-fashioned dress making skills. I have the fondest memories of my teenage years submerged in a magical world of creativity, exploration and self expression.
Then I went to university to study business.
In practical, conservative, rural New Zealand, fashion was not a serious career choice.
During a career break in my late 20's I escaped to complete a pattern making and design course at AIT, designed and sewed my wedding dress and those of friends whilst always juggling to arrange any spare moment behind the sewing machine. As my children grew older it became clearer to me that sewing skills were not being passed on. Friends were asking me to teach their young daughters to sew and I realised skills have been lost, particularly to our younger generation, largely due to the availability of cheap clothes. The growing negative impact of "fast fashion" on the physical environment and social communities of those third world countries is incredibly destructive. And how do we measure the loss of creativity and self expression?
The Sewing Revival is my attempt to help revive some of those forgotten skills, to share the intrinsic rewards of creating your own clothes and to help you embrace and celebrate your own style.