Sunday, 28 March 2010

In the beginning...

Thirty something years ago growing up in the UK, I had a mother who made most of her own and our clothes, did embroidery (albeit very slowly!) and tatting; a sister who was an aspiring fashion designer (now a printer / artist) and a father who carved beautiful birds out of wood.  There was no excuse for me - I should have been a creative type, but I swear I just didn't have it in me.

Whilst I could sew, it never really interested me; knitting was more my thing and I ran up a few wacky jumpers.  But that was it.  My most ambitious project was my May Ball dress in 1987 ... where I got the wild idea to make a ball dress with a boned corset is beyond me now; but I did and it didn't look half bad.

May Ball, 1987, Aston Uni

After that though my sewing machine gathered dust for about 20 years, moving with us from house to house (or more accurately basement to basement) and only making brief appearances to run up the odd pair of curtains or to mend some jeans.  Probably not what my Mum had in mind when she bought it for me as an 18th birthday present.

That was the status quo until last year when, bored with my life here in Canada, I decided I had more than enough time to try my hand at making some presents for Christmas.  Credit for the initial inspiration goes to someone I knew at Aston and with whom I got back into touch last year via Facebook.  Ady makes handbags for friends on commission and showcases her work in her Facebook photo album ... from there the idea grew and I started collecting bag patterns!  It stayed a big secret until last Christmas when family members and friends alike received their handmade gifts.

I was just a bit nervous ... no-one really knew that I could sew.

Would they like their presents?


  1. Yes! They DID like their presents! (Hopefully a very belated but rather lovely thank you card from darling daughter has arrived by now, or should arrive shortly) And I always knew you were creative... and envied your skill with knitting needles for years until I up-skilled myself. Looking forward to seeing more of your work here soon! Sara x

  2. I remember that dress and that May Ball! I had no idea you made that dress. You looked awesome that night. Thanks for the credit. Glad I was able to inspire. :-)
    Your bags are fabulous and I can't wait to see the jewellery. xxx