I’ve been sewing. In fact I’ve been sewing on and off for as long as I can remember. My mum taught me to use an electric sewing machine before I left primary school, much to the horror of my grammar school needlework teacher who wouldn’t let us use those dangerous machines until the 3rd year!
I did A level Textiles, which involved a lot of designing, pattern making, sewing and embroidery. I found this picture of my A Level exhibition.
I don’t know what happened to the suit but I still have the silk jacket (made from silk bought from a silk specialist in Bond Street) and looking rather dated now - but it was 30 years ago! I also still have the boots that accessorized the suit, hand made by a cobbler in Norwich, and beautifully lined with kid leather - genuinely vintage now :-)
This week I finally finished a tailored jacket for work. It’s taken aaaaagggggeeeeesssss, mainly because I haven’t done any tailoring for years but partly because of all the curves in the pattern and the odd sizing (the pattern’s not mine!).
It goes with a skirt I made last year and means that I can now have a ‘sort of suit’ for when I next have to stand up and speak to lots of people at a conference.
I even managed to remember how to do proper bound button holes and spent ages embroidering and beading buttons - why? Because it seemed like a good idea at the time! It didn’t seem such a good idea at 10.30pm when I discovered the beads made it too big to go through the buttonhole and I had to unpick and start again.
I very nearly did textiles/theatre and costume design as a career, I had places at art school but decided to go down the performance route instead. Do I regret that? No. Would I do the same again with hindsight? Probably not. I think I’d do horticulture instead.