Dallas came to Ray Stitch a few months ago to ignite a lost passion for sewing. And ignite she did, Dallas took to dressmaking like a duck to water!
Her mother was a skilled seamstress, making all her children’s clothes by hand. Growing up in the countryside in Australia is a far cry from London today…’they were no shops, and you didn’t have the money to buy clothes’. And although handy with a needle when fixing hems, Dallas, in her own words, was ‘hopeless with a machine’.
So, three years ago she ventured to John Lewis and treated herself to a new electronic sewing machine. At home and out of the box, her shiny new toy was a mystery! Unable to thread the thing or follow the instructions, she packed it away in a cupboard and it stayed there for 3 years.
Roll on 2014, and thanks to a mention in the Sunday Times, Dallas was introduced to Ray Stitch for the first time.
She signed up for our 6-week Introduction to Machine Sewing where she started from scratch and built up her skills working towards her final project – this beautiful holdall bag! She chose her materials carefully, lining the bag with a gorgeous contrasting canvas and meticulously edging it with bias covered piping cord. Clearly Dallas is a natural at sewing and also at the equally crucial skill of putting her look together.
Immediately following on by booking herself onto the 6 week Dressmaking Course, Dallas spent the next few weeks mastering many new techniques and has ‘added a new dimension’ to her life.
She successfully completed all three of the course projects – we were mightily impressed with her dedication and her impeccable taste when choosing her fabrics made us all very jealous of her stylish creations. After the course she subsequently set about to make a tailored shirt, she was determined to make a copy of a favourite shirt but says that in it she met her nemesis. No matter, she came along to a couple of Freestyle Sessions and tackled it alongside our Gen who demystified some tricky techniques so that Dallas was then able to go on and produce several versions of it.
I asked Dallas what the best thing about sewing was and I couldn’t put it better myself…..
‘Sewing has a beginning, a middle and an end, and every step along the way has a purpose. So many of us work in stressful jobs or manage life’s multiple challenges and some days you just never reach those targets, goals or deadlines. But with sewing you produce something tangible, something useful and something pretty’.
‘The sound of a sewing machine can be incredible therapeutic, nostalgic even. You have to put aside time for projects, and look forward to it. I haven’t had as much fun in the past twenty years as I have while sewing’.
At 67 and still working as a Health System Analyst, Dallas is a true inspiration to all of us. You are never too young or too old to find your passion in life. So after one of those STRESSFUL days, set aside time to polish off the machine and absorb yourself in the soothing art of creativity!
Post written by Lisa.