Andrea from Fabric Epiphanies recently nominated me for a One Lovely Blogger Award. Thanks Andrea – what a nice surprise! So here, in no particular order, are 7 things you might not know about me.
1. I love to sew and I have been sewing most of my life. (Okay, so maybe you did know that!) One of my earliest inspirations was my paternal grandmother and one of the first things I ever made was for her. It was the crookedest log cabin pincushion you’ve ever seen and it was completely hand-sewn. She used it until her sight failed and she could no longer sew. Then she gave it back to me.
2. Another inspiration was my Form 1 and 2 sewing teacher. She was a nightmare. It has become one of my teaching missions to never, ever , ever be anything like her. In fact, I strive to be the polar opposite. She made me cry on a weekly basis. Thank heavens for my grandmother.
3. To the horror of my careers counselor at high school, I wanted to work in the fashion industry. He was forever waving my science marks at me and pleading with me to do something else. My first holiday job (not counting years of farm work) was as a gopher for the head designer in a clothing factory. I continued to work in every aspect of the industry until I graduated from university, and I won several scholarships to help fund my study.
4. My careers counselor and I found a compromise. I have 2 Bachelor’s degrees, one in History which I did for love and the other in Textile Science. Actually, I did that one for love too. You may not know this but Textile Science is firmly rooted in maths and physics, with a liberal sprinkling of chemistry. Happy careers counselor. It also includes fashion history, garment draping and bespoke tailoring. Happy me.
5. The most important thing I’ve ever made is my wedding dress. In a decade ruled by powder puff meringues, mine was modelled on an 1880s dress in the Otago Museum. My degree also included a spot of fashion conservation. All of the lace on it was given to me by my grandmother and the beautiful collar actually came from my great grandmothers wedding dress.
6. Unlike a lot of other bloggers, I love Project Runway. I think it’s mostly because I’m really bad at making stuff up out of my head. I’m an excellent technical seamstress and can follow complicated patterns but I can’t invent stuff to save myself. Mind you, some of the designers on Project Runway can’t either but I love watching them try.
7. I now spend a good part of my day teaching 11 and 12 year olds to sew. Their lack of inhibition and their creativity inspires me. It is the most fun job I have ever had. This is Sophie and she came back the day AFTER school finished to work on her quilt.
Bonus 8. As for me, in complete contrast to the whole of my gregarious, fun-loving, larger-than-life family, I am really, really shy. Meeting new people in unfamiliar situations is not easy for me. Every day I give thanks for my husband – luckily for me I live with someone who has entirely healthy levels of self belief which he generously spills and splashes, like a fashionably brimming swimming pool, onto the people round him. (Not my words, I read them in a book once but I wrote them down because I thought they described him so perfectly.)
I know there are meant to be 10 recipients of my award but lots of people have already done this so I’m blanket-tagging all my Kathryns, Katies and Kates. You know who you are! Feel free to play along.