For this series, I will be featuring different sewing projects. You probably have seen the Belcarra Blouse. There’s more to come!
How it all started?..
I guess it can all be rooted back to childhood. I am the youngest of 7 children, 5 sisters and a brother. You can imagine that our home is dominated by feminine style. I am 7 years younger than the one before me and all them were about 2 to 3 years in gap from one to the next. My eldest sister, Joanna was gifted a boutique of her own to manage (she named it Head to Toe) after she graduated from University and I remember hanging out there (a lot!) looking at beautiful pieces of clothing and accessories wishing no one would buy them so I can have them all (not good for business.. I know). Later on, she ventured to designing leather products from shoes and sandals to wallets, purses and belts. My other sisters Beth, Cileny and Michelle were fashion icons in their own rights. Oh, I love watching them dress up. They wear the most trendy shoes, tops and jeans, bags and accessories at that time. I remember when I was about 12 (Yay! Finally time to wear their clothes), we would sometimes get into fights about who wore this and that, and it was me! Haha! They would always dress me up for parties and events at school and I would always win the best dressed award. We almost made it a goal to win every time.
Oh.. and my mom of course.. she’s got the best fabric for clothes, those that were bought or to be made by a seamstress. I would remember her dressing up in a pencil cut skirt, silky long sleeves, putting her jewelry and stockings on and there she goes with her Bally purse and stilettos. She is a “mompreneur” in style, ready to conquer the world. Her style is always classy and elegant. Even until now, at the age of 69, she surprises me with her choice of tops and blouses whenever I see a picture of her on Facebook captured by my nieces on family occasions I couldn’t attend. Her sense of fashion still lingers with her. Some things just never change.
On my first year of high school, with one of my best friends Cezan, I would sketch a design of a gown for the prom even though it’s not until 2 to 3 yrs later.
Then I was in University where things got busier. Then I started working where it became even busier.
Not until my work contract ended while I was in Canada that I was able to relive this passion for fashion. Thanks to being jobless! I get to explore! Motivated by not wanting to spend money on clothes, I thought of “why not make it myself”?. So I did! I enrolled in a sewing class with Carley of Sewgood in New Westminster. Carley was my first sewing teacher. As a first time sewer (never touched a sewing machine before at all!) it is exciting and at the same time scary. But Carley made it very inviting in a friendly way. With her skill and talent, I was in love! I made my first project, A 6 panelled skirt. After that, I am unstoppable! I attended more classes at Spool of Thread where I’ve sewn my first top by Colette patterns, at Fabricana where I made my first collared top, and I also studied pattern making at Vancouver Community College (VCC) where I’ve sewn my first dress and was able to wear it for our honeymoon. I also volunteered at some sewing and craft shows so I can get into classes for free. I was on fire. And best of all, after I’ve acquired these skills, I was accepted as a fashion design intern for a local Vancouver designer, Shelley Klassen, where I worked in her studio at the back of her boutique, Blushing Boutique, in downtown. I learned so much! I was there for almost a year. I started before Ricky and I got married until before Rianne was born. It was a wonderful learning experience working with a talented designer. I was able to help out in the design and construction process, from grading patterns, to cutting and sewing samples.
So.. that has been my journey.. I plan to sew more whenever I got the time and be able to share them with you. And it is my dream set up a workshop where I can teach what I’ve learned and somehow inspire you and ignite your creativity with sewing anything and everything under the sun.