ASG Industry Partner Anita McAdam (Studio Faro) shares her sewing journey. Take advantage of the special discount for ASG members on upcoming workshops in May and July 2020.
A little about me:
I've always had an urge to create, a need to make something, and use my hands. My grandmother had the greatest influence on my final choice to become a designer/patternmaker. She lost her husband when her boys were teenagers but managed to put them through university by working as an office manager by day, and dressmaking on weekends and evenings.
When I was growing up my Dad was frugal with his money, but if you made something useful with your hands he'd support you. The moment I finished with a piece of fabric there was a little bit of money for my next project.
Originally from Brisbane, I spent several years working before deciding to go to college to train as a fashion designer. I then made the obligatory overseas adventure through Africa and Europe. It was the most wonderful opportunity to live and learn.
In short, I spent 5 years as a freelance designer in London, and then ten years as a senior lecturer at the Manchester Metropolitan University of Manchester. Those fifteen years were an amazing learning experience for me on so many levels.
In 2000 I returned to Australia and put all those skills and experience to work. I decided to combine my freelancing experience and teaching skills to set up a design studio in Sydney’s, Inner West. Over seventeen years I cut a lot of industry patterns and taught many, many design and pattern making students. I know how fortunate I am to have spent much of my life doing something I love. And I hope to continue doing so for the rest of my life.
Almost three years ago, my partner and I decided to move our home from the city to the country. And that has turned out to be the best move ever. Coolamon is a wonderful small town, 30 minutes out of Wagga Wagga.
We’ve both fallen in love with this beautiful town. It’s so well kept and clean and peaceful, and the locals are so welcoming. What’s not to love!
Anyway, back to the present…
When learning to live in a country town, in rural NSW, it’s important to look around yourself and shift perspective. The question being: How do my skills and abilities fit into this new environment?
So, three years down the line and finally I’m finding my feet. Country people already do a lot of their own sewing. Out of necessity, they always have. And the younger generation are now learning that the skills their mothers and grandmothers have are valuable, and will open the door to creativity and the ability to make their own style.
The most popular of my classes are pattern fittings and sewing classes. For those that can already sew they come to the classes for help with fitting their sewing patterns. For the younger ones, they come to learn how to use their sewing machines and begin their first sewing project.
But fear not, I’m still addicted to teaching everyone pattern making. So I’ve set up a few three-day intensive training sessions here in Coolamon. They combine fitting sewing patterns with creative pattern making skills. Everyone gets the opportunity to learn to fit their own garment blocks, then move onto learn pattern making skills to make their own designs into sewing patterns.
So if any members of the ASG fancy learning to how to fit their own dress or trouser blocks, before making their own sewing patterns, I have two upcoming dates for these intensive workshops. And added to that I’ve put together a special discount code for the use of ASG members only, so you can get a further discount on these fabulous workshops.