But I still want to keep it and all the lovely comments with it for posterity. So I’m posting it on the blog. Questions are always welcome. Feel free to email me anytime. If it’s a really good question I will want to post about it!
If you’d like to get to know me a little better, why not ask me a question?
I’ll be posting Q&As here periodically so if you’re curious about something feel free to ask in the comments.
In past posts youâ€™ve mentioned how in the transition from high school to university you were on the fence about fashion or english (or whatever). What made you choose the fashion route? Were you the type that grew up sewing and designing? Where/how did you learn to sew? – Emily
I learned how to sew as a kid on my mother’s treadle Singer. I started out making stuffed toys, and then cloth dolls and doll clothes. I was always into costume history and fantasy costumes as a kid. I also loved to write science fiction and fantasy stories
When I was a teenager I lost interest in sewing for a while. I wanted to become a writer and even submitted a few short stories (one got accepted by a magazine which promptly folded before my issue was published). I loved my high school English teachers and of course they encouraged me to take that route to study. But academics just didn’t fill me with desire. So I took a year off to work and hang out. Since I had the time, I started to muddle around on the sewing machine again. That’s kind of how I got inspired to take a shot at Ryerson for fashion design (although truthfully my main motive was to escape my small town life), and I got accepted.
I know from previous posts that you grew up far from any urban, fashion-y places but what were/are your fashion inspirations? Was your mom into fashion? Did you read the glossies? I guess what Iâ€™d like to know is how did you become interested in fashion and what propelled you into this area? – Emily
My mom was not into fashion at all. We grew up in second-hand farm clothes. The only glossies in the house were National Geographics. My love of fashion was really precipitated by a love of history. As a small kid I loved the library and I would bring home stacks of books. My favourites were about classic Hollywood and costume history. I was a fashion nerd from the very beginning. I was fascinated with the way fashion changed. I made a whole set of paper dolls with historically accurate wardrobes. So from the very beginning, fashion was an intellectual, creative charge for me rather than a physical experience or material desire.
What type of sewing machine/serger do you use? What is your favorite/most used tool? – Emily
Currently my most used machine is a 1960s or so industrial Singer machine. I’m actually babysitting it for one of my employers, though I’d buy it in a minute. It only does one thing but it does it well. When we got it it was really rusty and the action was really stiff. But we cleaned it up and I’ve been running it and warming it back up. Machines need to be used, it was a shame that this one was left in a garage for so long. It came right back, it’s a real worker.
In the background of that picture you can see two of my other machines…
I also have a White domestic 4-thread serger, a gift from a dear friend.
I also own a Necchi portable – Italian – from the 1950s. It’s one of those classic heavy-metal “portables” with the seafoam green colouring. This machine was originally a wedding gift of my Nana’s, and she’s passed it along to me.
My most recently acquired machine was a Christmas gift from my boyfriend. It’s a Singer treadle leatherworker from the 1920s. It’s beautiful, but finicky. Here’s a picture of the machine (sans treadle base):
My absolute favourite/most used tool though would have to be the Mac G5, honestly.
11 Comments Â»