We weren’t rich when I grew up. I learned to sew on our treadle sewing machine and made all my clothes out of curtains, blankets and sheets. It’s in my blood. My great grandfather was a Jewish, Maori tailor. I believe it’s come through from him. Once I made a trench-coat out of a prison blanket. If I went to a party and had too much to drink, I’d curl up in a corner in my coat and go to sleep. No-one would bother me cause I just looked like a blanket. For two years I also sold my stuff at the markets. I would push my pram, loaded up with my son and my sewing goods down there to sell.
Now it’s my job to teach others, running my own business (Sew Simple) at places like community centres. I’ve taught heaps of people to sew. People on probation, deaf people, a lady with no hands and feet and I teach all the kids in my family. I also teach at a couple of schools. My dream for this year is that I want them to be the first schools in New Zealand to make their own uniforms!