Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m currently a video editor, living and working in Cape Town. During my studies at film school, I was initially drawn to costume, but I decided not to pursue it as a career path and preferred to make garments as a hobby. I fell in love with historical costuming, as well as learning historical techniques of sewing. This has also sparked an obsession with collecting vintage and antique sewing machines to construct my garments, and I sew almost exclusively on my 1930’s treadle and 1950’s electric Singer machines!
As a garment maker, protecting the environment and being ethical about sourcing fabrics and producing garments are important to me. I strive to have and make a sustainable minimalist wardrobe as best I can.
Why do you sew?
Some of the major reasons;
Clothes in typical retail outlets are not usually to my taste (with very few exceptions), and I don’t actually enjoy shopping for clothes. Sewing my own garments allows me to make what works for me and the styles I enjoy. Sewing also helps me overcome my impatience, slows me down and truly makes me focus on one task. It’s very rewarding to spend that time, and have something that I love to wear in the end.
What do you like to listen to when you’re working (and why)?
I actually quite enjoy listening to my sewing machine (vintage/antique machines have the most calming sound). However, when I am in the mood to listen to something, I often turn to true crime podcasts or some music to fill the silence.
As a child, what was your first encounter and memory of beauty?
I have always found beauty in nature, I remember as a child spending hours in the garden, lying on the grass admiring the large tree canopies above.
Where is home and how does it affect what you do?
My home is currently Cape Town, South Africa. As a third world country, it has its limits. Some things are hard to come by, wool being one of them, and a good variety of linen fabric being another. Other things like corset busks for example, just are simply not available here. It does teach me to work with limitations, which is not always a bad thing. It is sad however that Cape Town used to have one of South Africa’s largest textile manufacturing districts in the country, which, due to globalisation and cheap importation of fabrics, has been decimated over the past 20 years.
Name a book that you’ve recently read which inspired you and why?
I’m ashamed to say I don’t read a lot. However, when I do read, I enjoy books on traditional nutrition and health. This often inspires me to experiment with the foods I’m eating to optimise my nutrition and lifestyle.
What was the first thing you ever remember making on your own? Tell us about this memory.
That’s difficult to pinpoint, though I admit that my first attempts at sewing garments were rubbish (I only started sewing in my 2nd year of university, and knew nothing of sewing or sewing machines). I look back on these now and it humbles me how far I have come since then.
Who are your muses and inspiration?
My sisters have always been my inspiration for many things. They are pragmatic and love to make and tinker with things, and it rubbed off on me (since I am the baby in the family I always learned from them).
“The Closet Historian” is currently my muse for pattern making. Her videos have taught me so much about pattern making.
Do you have a community of crafters/ makers around you or do you find you are on your own?
Not that I am aware of. I have had no luck in finding any communities in my area, but I don’t mind too much.
How important is it to make something with your hands?
Very! In a world where so many things have become digital, refining a craft with my hands is essential. It is far more fulfilling to create something tangible and useful for me.
What does success mean to you?
Success is a reward of hard work and one pinpoint on a journey of growth. It is a combination of executing my craft to a high standard and finding enjoyment in the end result
What have you chosen to make out of FS linen and why?
I will admit- this was not an easy choice! I was looking for the perfect sewing pattern for FS DUSTY LOTUS Linen I ordered, but couldn’t find anything that stuck. So after a sleepless night, I finally decided to draft my own pattern. It is an all-in-one sleeve wrap dress , and I am so happy with the result!