I've loved clothes and fashion since I was a child, creating volumes of lookbooks from images torn from magazines. I also had an interest in sewing - my grandmother, 'Nana', was a dressmaker and my mother was pretty talented on the sewing machine. I was able to knit and sew before I even started school!
Back in the '80's, I certainly didn't have the money to buy all (or any!) of the clothes that I really wanted so I figured out pretty quickly that making my own stuff would be a good idea. The real 'penny dropping' inspiration happened in a very random way though!
My father had been away working in Egypt and one of the many items he brought home was a large leather pouffe. My mother didn't have anything to stuff it with, so she put in loads of old clothes of hers that had been in the attic in bags.
Fast forward ten years (it's now the early '90's) and there's a LOT of wear and tear on the pouffe largely due to our two cats who just loved to scratch and claw at the leather. One day it literally burst open and out tumbled all these clothes of my mothers from the '60's and '70's - they had been laying in there as stuffing all this time!
Well, it was a treasure trove. I made all sorts of alterations, modifications and re-imaginings. I rescued her Kelly-green, wool 'going away' suit and wore it to death, straightened a-line skirts, found blouses with those gorgeous '70's lantern sleeves and got my hands on some '60's mini dresses. I even transformed a gorgeous matching nightgown and negligee to a crop-top blouse and sleeveless tunic. Yes, really!
And so began the obsession. Although I spent all my career in financial services, sewing was my therapy. For years, my happiest evenings were spent in the Grafton Academy in Dublin, studying design, pattern making and garment construction with the wonderful Colin Atkinson.
I hope you love She Goes Rogue and that you'll join me on my journey.