My O-Baachan was a seamstress, and my Mother is a costume designer, textile artist, and a painter. So, I grew up hearing the whorl of the sewing machine often late into the night.
In the early days of COVID, I was not surprised to find myself comforted by acts of sewing. Matching thread to fabric, threading the needle, adjusting the tension, coordinating eyes, hands, and pedal foot, and lingering in the satisfaction of a consistent, clean stitch. I became obsessed with sewing face masks. Many went to the Right to Remain and the Carnegie Community Action Project in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver who then distributed them to residents. Many went to old and new friends of mine in exchange for donations to the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center. I made at least 1000 masks.
Since then, I’ve continued to sew in exchange for donations specifically to sex worker rights organizations. I’ve moved on from facemasks (although I think they’ll be around for a while!). Working mainly with repurposed materials, often from vintage yukatas, kimonos, obis, and remnants of Japanese fabrics, I’ve been sewing boxy tops, tunics, and dresses. Many of the fabrics I use are quite old, and most are likely silk, cotton, or light wool. Many have traces of their histories in small blemishes. I think they are beautiful in terms of the quality of the fabrics and their individual stories. I try to let the fabrics speak for themselves and keep my designs simple and loose. If you’re interested in seeing what I have in stock or in progress, please message me (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
If you proceed with ordering a piece, I can send it to you. Once you receive it, I ask that you make a donation to one of the following organizations (suggested sliding scale, between $50-$150 for tops and dress and between $10-$25 for patchwork bags and misc.):
Butterfly: Asian and Migrant Sex Workers Support Network: (https://www.butterflysw.org/donate)
PACE Society: By, With, and For Sex Workers: (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/pace-society/)
Stella Montreal: Sex Worker Advocacy and Support: (https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/stella-lamie-de-maimie/<)
Swan Vancouver: Culturally-Specialized Supports & Advocacy for Im/Migrant Women Engaged in Indoor Sex Work: (https://www.swanvancouver.ca/donation-form)
Thank you so much. Let’s spread the love!
Last updated: September 01, 2021
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