There is More to Life Than Sewing(But Not Much!)

18 Dec

Obviously, sewing is quite a big part of my life. I’m more invested in it now than I have been for years. Even when I started teaching at The Life Craft in Glasgow I rarely found the time or enthusiasm to start many projects myself. But I feel like I have been given a second lease of life when it comes to sewing and teaching.

I have been artistic as long as I can remember. In primary school I got a lot of attention for being incredibly creative. I think at this point everyone knew I was destined(/doomed?!) to travel on a creative path. I remember using oil pastels to draw a bowl of fruit that ended up hanging proudly in the headteachers office. My mum actually still has one in her kitchen(it’s about 18 years old). I really should get a picture of it but until then here is a picture of ‘Still Life with Apples’ by Cezanne. Haha.

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 My parents always expected me to try my hardest but they let me choose my own path. Whatever it was, as long as I worked hard they would be proud. So I chose to study Fashion at University. 

Looking back at my time at uni I remember there being a sense of arrogance about our future. We would graduate and all land jobs in London designing and buying. Unfortunately that was not realistic especially when you graduate in the depths of a recession, which we did. I did find a job however as assistant designer in a bridal boutique. It was short lived however as the business shortly flooded and consequently went bust! It was after this point that my friend Vonnie opened a craft cafe and wanted me to teach sewing. I didn’t really feel qualified to teach. I wasn’t even a great public speaker to be honest but I liked the idea of teaching other people the skills and expertise that I took for granted. When I want to make myself a dress, any dress and I can do it, and it’ll fit perfectly! It feels great to have that freedom and I wanted to share that with people.

The Life Craft taught me so much. I learned that despite previously hating public facing retail jobs that I actually love people. Well I should be more specific I love crafty people. I like chatting to people, I like meeting interesting people from all walks of life. I’ve even absolutely befriended some past students who I now class as great friends. I learned that i’m a weird mix of incredibly patient and fiercely passionate(ok and maybe a little bit mad too). I loved teaching basically. It was a sad day when The Life Craft Closed it’s doors and I almost gave up on the teaching. I was a self entitled floundering creative by this point. Unemployed for the second time in almost as many years I was starting to wonder if I had picked the right path after all. Self pity is exhausting btw, I don’t advise it. If you ever experience self pity I suggest you man the hell up because it will get you precisely no where. 

I pulled myself together and got myself an evening class at Clydebank college which has been a roaring success. As you know I also have my own classes in the city centre starting in January, so it’s all go. I love creating anything! Be it a pair of shorts or a whole new class.

I feel like this is my second term of being a sewing tutor. I’m a bit older(calm down not that old at 25), a wee bit wiser, and a lot more comfortable in my crafty skin. I’m still your typical floundering creative and that will probably never change. I sew for myself, often. I sew for my friends if they want and I just love creating things. I’ve been quilting which I never used to do as I had no interest in it. I’m proud of where I am now and I’d like to teach everyone in Glasgow to sew so they can experience the sheer feeling of accomplishment when you finish a project.

I guess the moral of my little journey is to never give up. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior. If you are doing what you love stick at it as you’re luckier than most. If you are stuck in a dead end job do something about it.

As The Foals so eloquently put it – ‘Make it happen’ because no one else will do it for you.

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