I was born to a dressmaker/tailor 59 years ago. My mother had made her first garment when she was 8 years old, by hand, and has been sewing ever since. During the early days of my life, after my father had walked out and left my mother with two young children to bring up, my mother’s sole income was made from her sewing. Growing up I spent many hours beside her, making dolls’ clothes from the scraps she discarded. During my teenage years I started making a few things for myself. Sewing has always been a part of my life, and looking back I think I was destined to become a sewaholic. My mother made all my clothes until I left home and went to live in another city many hundreds of miles away.
My sewing journey really began in the early 1980’s after I had left home. The thought of me now starting to buy my own clothes was really exciting, after having had a lifetime of clothes made by my mother. By then I had become accustomed to always having clothes that fitted well and whatever style and colour I wanted, but at the time I didn’t realise it, until I went in search of store bought clothing. After much searching in the shops and coming up with nothing, I decided to go and buy some fabric and my first pattern. It was for a knee length pencil skirt, which was very fashionable during that time. I already had a sewing machine that my boyfriend had bought for me some years earlier; it was an Empisal Pacesetter in a cabinet. I had it for many years. I can’t even remember how I cut my skirt out, as we lived in small flat without much space. I instinctively knew what to do, and created a beautifully fitting skirt. From then on there was no turning back and I spent almost every lunchtime from work in that department store choosing fabric and patterns.