In June 2012 suddenly and out of the blue, I suffered a brain injury that landed me in hospital. Afterwards, I found concentrating and reading very difficult, and had problems with my memory – a lot of things changed. But the strangest thing – I suddenly had an urge to sew!
I’ve never sewn. Well, we had to do a compulsory year of dress-making when I started my secondary education at the age of 11, and I made this awful dress from totally unsuitable material and in a horrid 1980’s batwing, shoulder-pads horror style. There was no fitting lesson, just make it up straight from the pattern, the whole class trying to share 5 sewing machines.
It took a whole year to make, with one 30 minute lesson once a week. And at the end it was totally laughable and would not have fit anyone in the real world. It went into the bin and I never ever considered sewing again.
Until over 30 years later when it was all I could think about.
Trouble is, I now live in Grand Cayman – which is fabulous – but the shopping here is very limited. There is a fabric shop, but it caters very much to the local market and the fabrics reflect that. Its full of brightly coloured satins and shiny materials, or African style big prints, and some strange faux fur, kids cottons and garish nylon. And very little in the way of sewing notions – there are only a few colours of thread, you just have to pick the closet one and make do. Only a few zips, again make do – 7 inch or 22 inches. And no patterns.
So I borrowed a sewing machine from a very kind and encouraging colleague, rummaged around in the remnants bin and came away with some materials with which to start. And my sewing obsession was born.
With limited access to materials and patterns, I made use of the free resources available on the internet and was delighted to find so many talented people out there willing to share their work and knowledge. This website records my journey from first sitting at the sewing machine with some pieces of fabric, to making clothes good enough to wear in no time at all.
And you can do it too – it’s sew easy!