Sass’s story

Sass’s story

Hello, my name is Sass and I’ve been sewing since I was four.
I didn’t make anything, just joined scraps of fabric together in
any random fashion; waste from garments my mother and
grandmother had made for them by fantastically exotic
creatures with workrooms and magical tools. At least that’s
how they seemed to my four year old self. I was convinced
I was doing the same thing but quickly realised I had to figure
a few things out. This prompted my penchant for taking garments
apart, regardless of whether the owner had discarded them or not.
I became the bane of my extended family and their friends.
Local jumble sales were a treasure trove of ball gowns and party frocks, tea dresses and tweeds. This was the late 60’s so clothes that had their day in the 40’s and 50’s were being ditched by the load only to be scooped up and adoringly deconstructed by me. You could say that was my apprenticeship. As time rolled on I continued to learn and after taking my first commission at the age of 14 I never stopped. First it was friends, and then their friends and on to a plethora of celebrities and stage performers: musicians, magicians, comedians, singers, dancers.Fast forward to two children, formal qualifications and a career in bridal couture and I am still excited by what I do. The next logical step was to pass the knowledge on. Neither of my daughters was interested in my skills away from what I could produce for them so other hapless victims had to be found.
No shortage out there of willing students. So far so good but when it came to taking things to a level of understanding for my pupils that required thinking in 3 dimensions on a human form I saw a niche waiting to be filled. In a classroom situation we struggled with full sized mannequins but they took up so much room and so much fabric. Plus it was difficult to have one for everybody in the class. I recall I had learned the principles of pattern cutting and draping using a ½ size mannequin and knew it would be the perfect tool for my students who were like baby chicks waiting with open mouths for the knowledge. An online search produced scant results so Maggie and I decided to make our own and “Half Size Mannequins” were born. We’d like you to think the gestation was easy and problem free and we just popped them out right from the start. Carry on with that image if you like but anybody who has ever lovingly hand crafted an item from scratch using previously unknown skills will understand the pitfalls and blunders along the way, the rejects and resurrections, backtracking and dogged climb of the learning curve. In addition to my thrilled students Maggie and I now use these mannequins ourselves in our businesses, cutting down the time involved in design development and presentation and find them to be the perfect addition to any workroom, be it amateur or professional.