Heart Couture

A wee while ago I received a run of blogger awards (thanks folks!), and being in the midst of RTW Tailoring sewalong-preparation-madness, I never got around to answering the requisite questions.  Since this adds up to about 30 things that I’m supposed to reveal about myself, I may as well bare all and share this article – Heart Couture – that was published in AirNZ’s inflight magazine a few years ago.

It is quite timely, as exactly 10 years ago today, at 10am in the morning, I underwent open heart surgery to correct an obstruction below the aortic valve.  At the time I was self-employed, and after 2 years on a waiting list I distinctly remember getting the call on Friday to turn up on Tuesday.  I said to the appointment clerk that I really couldn’t because I was in the middle of a sample range that needed to be ready for fashion week in three weeks time!  And I can still hear the stony silence on the other end….

But we managed.  By returning to work on Day 6, and with the wonderful help of my Mum who flew from the other end of the country, a slightly smaller than planned collection was put together.  However the whole experience inspired my next collection for Winter 2001 – Medical File – which is what the article is all about.  Here it is in the raw, with just a couple of family names blanked out.  The quotes in italics were part of the clipboard bound ‘medical notes’ issued to the front rows and media.  Click to enlarge:

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Designer, Patternmaker, Blogger Of All Things Sewing. Follow as I share projects, patterns, and my favourite tricks of the trade.

33 thoughts on “Heart Couture

  1. Wow, how scary. Thank goodness everything turned out well and you got inspiration out of the experience. Do you still have your boutique or make collections?


  2. And I thought you were inspirational before knowing this!! I would also love to see more of the collection. That's an amazing story and congratulate you on 10 healthy heart years!


  3. I usually lurk here, but thank you so much for sharing! It's really inspiring to read your story and see how you took something that could have been a career stopper, and instead use it to really launch yourself forward.


  4. It is amazing to see that you turned something that could have held you back into to something powerful. I was a painter before I started sewing so I understand what it means to find inspiration in the strangest of places. Your personal power in your story is very inspiring. Thanks for sharing this with us.


  5. You left me speechless! The strength you have is just stunning and worth the admiration. I'm glad everything turned out right and you feel well now.


  6. Wow, thanks for sharing your story through this article. I am so happy everything has worked out well for you both with your health and with your business. What an inspiration you are!


  7. That's an amazing story – thanks for sharing – you have amazing talents and we are privileged to have you share your wisdom with us. And I would also love to see more of your designs!


  8. That must have been such an emotional time for you and your partner – and it must have been a terrific relief to have the surgery go well. These big events in life make you think clearly about what's important….


  9. Your story gave me chills. So glad you are healthy now.
    I feel like I owe you an apology. I signed up for the sew a long with full intentions of following along. But I started my spring top sew a long thinking I would still have time for the RTW Jacket. It just didn't work out the way I planned. I have read along, but haven't started the jacket yet. I really like to finish things that I commit to, but this time I'm sorry to say I will not be able to participate. Thank you for sharing the information, and I will be using it at a later date.
    Thanks FAYE


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