I don’t know if I’ve ever told you this, but I’ve always dreamed of owning a shop. A sewing shop. I would call it ‘happily’ and turn it into a local meeting place for women and their daughters (and men, and sons, should they be so keen!), because I believe that there is something so enriching about sitting and stitching, sewing memories into beautiful fabrics and holding objects reified with your own production stories.
For as long as I can remember, sewing has been a part of everyday life. My mum has been a sewer and a maker of things since she was a young girl. She recalls being given scraps of fabric to play with as a child, and adjusting the hem of her school dress each day on the bus. When we were growing up, she made signature bears and sold them at the markets. The money raised, she said, was enough to put us through school in our leaner times.
As a 12 year old, my friend Johanna and I became members of the young textile and fiber group (a group for junior members of the nsw embroiderers guild). I have fond memories of saturday mornings spent learning about different embroidery stitches from older women, volunteers, who taught us, gave us fabrics and threads to work with, and provided us with a special morning tea.
I like to imagine doing the same thing in my shop. I would have a garden out the back with little cafe chairs and tables.
and serve home-made lemonade
and scones with jam and cream
and play the music gently
while clouds converge in the distance.
While I’m being honest, I may as well tell you. There is a shop for sale in Bowral which includes both the retail space and apartment above, with a small backyard pocket behind. I have already been dreaming up how I would dress it:
and every so often I check to see if it has been sold, hoping against hope that it will stay on the market for as long as it takes before I can buy it (which, in all honesty, may take a lifetime).
Yet, there are small goals I am working towards; on sunday I found two of these chairs