Part I - Starting From Scratch
I had never set out to be a clothing designer, or even someone who could sew! I always WANTED to learn how to sew, but other than making a tri-pillowcase in intermediate school, I didn’t know a damn thing! My Mum brought me a sewing machine, and after it collected dust for a few months I decided to try it out. I still remember the rainy day, when I was pregnant with Hendrix that I decided to set the machine up and see what I could do. I quickly figured out I couldn’t even thread the needle or bobbin without referring to the manual!
A few weeks, and hundreds of YouTube tutorials later, I made my first garment which was a (reeeeeally crappy) dress for Manaia. It was ALL kinds of wrong! I actually still keep it to this day and quite often have a good laugh at it haha! I also attended a night course for one term which was at our local high school, that was a really helpful addition to my learning as I was able to actually ask a tutor questions rather than searching for the answer online.
LUC was born when I made my girls a couple of hoodies and posted the pics on facebook. I had friends asking to buy one or make one for them, and the idea grew that this could be the start of something. I practiced my craft, which had now become sewing, by making clothes for the girls and getting tips from my Mother In Law who is a retired seamstress. I had never used a pattern so I either freelanced by taking measurements or cutting around clothing that we already had. I cannot even begin to tell you the frustration of making mistake after mistake when I was learning to sew! Forever unpicking! The common ones were realizing that I should’ve really chosen a fabric with stretch, not being able to sew in a straight line, or the one I got REAL good at was forgetting to add a seam allowance so everything ended up too small or too short! So annoying!
Self doubt and the pressure I put on myself has always been a massive hurdle for me, even if I make something ‘perfectly’, I still see faults! I liken that to my Aunty who is an artist – she is never happy with her artwork but to someone elses eye – it is AMAZING! Not saying that my work is amazing, but I certainly see faults that others don’t. I guess a lot of ‘creatives’ have this same issue.
I'm still quite surprised and dare I say (without sounding like an egg) proud of how far I have come in terms of learning a new skill from scratch. I’ve always heard people saying things like “if you really want to do something, you will find a way” and that is exactly what has happened. What I love most about this process is that our 10yo Daughter now wants to learn to sew – now THAT makes me one proud mama!