Looking and playing with the few vintage machines I own started me thinking about my first sewing experiences.
I’d dabbled with sewing on my mother’s treadle machine and I thought it was fascinating, there were all types of gadgets for buttonholes, etc.
I travelled to the UK when I was 20 and auditioned for a job in the theatre – I landed a season of repertory in Northumberland in the north of England. One of the plays; an English farce needed a dress for one scene where it would blow off the actress when there was an explosion, we were a small troupe and I volunteered to make it. this was done by the dress being open at the back and attached to fine fishing line, when the explosion happened, the line was pulled. I didn’t know about ‘cut on the fold’ and cut the pieces on the selvage so I had to put a seam in the front but it didn’t really matter…I remember the dress was red. It worked well and that gave me the sewing bug, I realised then that I could make clothes for myself.
After the three month season, I returned to London and I stayed at a fellow actor’s flat where he lived with his mother, she was a professional seamstress and I learned a lot from her.
I’ve loved sewing ever since.
Okay, I’ve only been sewing for five years, but I’ve also been bitten by the sewing bug. I think it’s great to think of something and then after hours, days or really badly after months your idea becomes reality. I think that’s wonderful.
In normal life I’m a scientist, but when I sew, I’m an artist. I can express my imagination. An author writes words, a painter creates pictures, but we who love sewing, no matter how good we are, are also artists.
I think without the imagination that you have to have when you sew, what colours to use, how to change a cut to suit you, or think of something completely new, the sewn things would only be half as beautiful.
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