Last August at the start of the schoolyearl a fair was organized in the assembly hall. The purpose was to give information on what was going on outside the school. I estimate there were about 30 tables. The activities ranged from sailing/surfing lessons, music lessons, art lessons, NZ wine to order on line, cupcakes, chinese lessons,  counselling, yoga, bootcamp...

One of the tables said : "Sewing workshop"
and I tought YESSS! this is it! This is what I want to do this year!
My whole life I have envied people who could sew, who could use a sewing machine, who could make and design their own clothes!
I could hardly put a thread through my needle...

As usual my dreams are big.
I dreamt of making my own fashion line for evening wear, or designing dresses for MsLollipop, I would definitely become the next exclusive haute couture designer!!

I picked up a leaflet. 
A very energetic french lady approached me. There was only 1 place left. I took it on the spot. 

That very energetic lady was Cathy, and her sewing workshop is called 'Couture Nomad'.
I love this energetic lady and I am in sheer admiration of her passion and what she does with it.
She lived in Tokyo for a couple of years and decided to join a 3 year couture course at the university... in Japanese!
She succeeded and when she moved to Singapore she decided to set up her own business. 

Every thursday morning I would have my 'sewing' lessons, and Cathy would be there guiding us, full of energ, full of passion. 
I am not sure what she tought of me that very first lesson. I was so nervous! I had no clue what I was doing. 
As it happens, when I have no clue, I keep quiet... 
The machine in front of me was a big mystery, and the language (straight grain, hem, topstitch...) could have been Japanese as far as I was concerned.
I really started from 0 and I felt at times utterly stupid asking obvious questions.
But Cathy stayed as cool as she always is and with a wit and a smile and a lot of patience she explained it all.

I loved it! This new world of fabrics, materials and jargon opened up to me and I was dazzled.
It was exactly what I needed to get started in this fairly new city I now lived in. 

I am sure at times MrGuzzi and MsLollipop were wondering what on earth I was doing.
I came home with these small pieces of samples and I was completely enthusiastic about my perfect topstitch, or buttonhole.
"Look! Look what I did today!"
They always looked very puzzled, not sure where my excitement came from. 
Strangely around that time some leaflet of counselling somehow always ended up on my bedside table, and MsLollipop gave me extra hugs and kisses. 
I can see now why ...

Slowly my projects made more sense. At least to me.

Just before Christmas I finished my very first real wearable piece of art. 
I made a skirt for MsLollipop. She jumped up and down, threw her arms around me and was utterly surprised.
I could not tell if that was because she just really liked it or because I finally made something she could recognize. 
Today, she is still wearing it with pride and joy.
She will tell anyone: "My mummy made this, it's my favourite!"
The feeling that shivers through your spine when you hear your child saying these words.. 
The pride you hear in her voice. The goosebumps it gave me the first time MsLollipop said it.
It's addictive. 

Of course we did not stop at just skirts and dresses for little ladies.

Cathy took it a step higher up with us and showed us how to adept a pattern to our own body.
First you pick a pattern. Than you adept it, according to your own measurements. 
You make it first in 'calico' ('balenkatoen' in Dutch) so you can adjust anything and everything to your liking. 
And finally you make it in the real fabric.
It allows you to make mistakes first and discover the traps, before you actually start cutting your real fabric!

Look at me! 
I had a lot of fun , doing this workshop.
I met a lot of amazing people.
I had the weirdest mixture of languages as we mingled English, French, Spanish, Japanese...
In the end we all understood each other. 

A couple of weeks ago we had a goodbye drink. 
Bubbles for the ladies, dressed in a home made gown. 

Cathy is moving to Shanghai.
I will miss her.
I will definitely not become the world's next haute couture designer, but Cathy will!

Have a look at  her website
She has some amazing step-by-step patterns for the whole family, easy to print, easy to follow.

Clare Eastwood
19/6/2012 02:27:16 pm

Wow, you did fabulous ! My Mum always would sew for me when I was little and I loved 'everything' she ever made...Miss Lollipop will be just the same :-) Well done you! Your creations are wonderful...hope you continue xx ;-)

21/6/2012 03:18:04 am

Woaw, fantastic. You look gorgeous!!! Well done!


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    Evelyn Mertens

    I am - in no particular order and  changeable at a split second any time of the day - a daughter, a mother, a friend, a wife, a sister. 
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