Sharing a Sewing Lesson - is just sew sensible!
It’s not everyday you win a sewing machine is it!?
But that’s exactly what happened to one of our lovely customers, Margaret Baker when she rang in to Darren James’ radio show on 3AW and unexpectedly won a brand new wiz bang ultra modern Toyota Oekaki sewing machine – which of course she had no idea how to drive!
As a teenager growing up in England Margaret was a keen seamstress – ‘It’s what you did, if you wanted something new to wear for the dance that night – because you couldn’t afford to buy a new dress each time and there wasn’t the selection in the shops either. So on a Saturday you’d jump on the bus, set off down to the shops, buy your fabric and your pattern and come home and spend all day sewing til you’d run up a dress. Not particularly well necessarily, but well enough to wear that night!’
And that love of sewing stayed with her and she became so proficient she made her own clothes for 20 years, everything from coats, to suits and anything she wanted. Inevitably as time went on life got busy and buying clothes became more popular (and boy did Margaret get THAT bug – she’s a self-confessed clothes shop-a-holic!!) so for the past 25 years the sewing machine has lived happily undisturbed tucked away in the back of a cupboard. And then came the day she won a new machine!
‘It’s as if it was meant to be,’ Margaret beams as she explains ‘because I’d been speaking to Kay about getting my old machine out and she’d even given me the number of someone who could service it, but I’d done nothing about it. And then I hear them chatting on the radio about sewing tales and I thought I’d ring in, never for a moment thinking I’d get through let alone win!’
A couple of weeks later, Margaret’s busy telling Kay about her exciting prize one day in Crumbz Craft, and laughing that she’s no idea how to even thread it, when Kay suggests she take a sewing lesson to learn how to drive it. And since then, Margaret’s had two lessons and now has a newfound mission. With (yet another) holiday to Italy to save for and look forward to, Margaret is now busy sewing tops and dresses and a floaty cardigan and is so excited about the opportunities it has opened up for her.
‘I’ve a wardrobe of things that I don’t wear because they need taking in or up, letting down or out, or re-purposing into something else entirely. And now I’m so excited I can’t wait to get back into it.’ And like most sewing lovers she has all sorts of fabrics and patterns she’s been keeping with every intention of making into something special. And now she can. At such an affordable price too.
Sharing the lesson means twice the value for half the price!
Heather and Margaret haven’t seen one another in years but now see one another every week, sharing a sewing lesson guided by the lovely, gentle, and ever-patient sewing teacher Anneke, from 1-3pm on a Thursday. And sharing a lesson means they get twice the value for half the price! A sewing lesson is $30 per hour and the ladies get two hours for that price. Which is brilliantly reasonable, AND, when you add to that the savings they’re making by not spending a fortune on clothes, but instead creating something tailored to their individual body shapes, in a fabric they’ve chosen because they love it, they really do come out the winner don’t they?
Margaret is half way through her floaty in-one cardigan – she’s cut out the pattern, put the pieces together, and now needs to put some sleeves in and thinks she’ll be done in three lessons. She’s already thinking ahead to a t-shirt material top and shows me the pattern and fabric all ready to go – she’s on a roll.
And Heather – well she’s made so many items since she started her sewing lessons at Crumbz that she now needs a larger wardrobe / house! She’s currently making a lined woolen skirt with pleats and her next project after that (‘we’re always thinking ahead to the next project’) will be a shirt for her daughter ‘I’ve not done anything with button holes so that will be a good challenge.’ And this from Heather who in January last year couldn’t thread a needle! She comes to Crumbz Craft for her lesson every week and loves it and even does her homework - this week she made a dress on top of that!! ‘It’s fun. Lots of fun; I love it.’
When asked if it’s something she’s always wanted to learn how to do, Heather replied ‘Well no, it’s something my mother always did for us, and it wasn’t until my daughter had things that needed mending or taking up that I thought bugger it, I’ll buy myself a machine and learn to do it myself. Because they charge a fortune to do alterations!’
And speaking of alterations – they are learning from the best teacher – for years Anneke was an alterations specialist for Myer customers, so Heather and Margaret know they are in incredibly capable creative hands.