a little bit famous, a little bit shy
25 October 2010
Before the advent of cheap ready-to-wear clothing mass-produced in offshore factories, dressmaking was an essential and versatile skill in women’s lives, something they could deploy to feel like a million dollars, or use to earn a dollar or two. This feature probes the role of dressmaking in the lives of Australian women across the generations, as a domestic economic strategy, a female accomplishment, an aspect of technical education, a livelihood.
Some weeks ago Catherine Freyne, a researcher for ABC Radio National’s marvellous social history program Hindsight, emailed me saying she had found this blog and wanted to interview me for a program she was researching on dressmaking in Australia. We had a long chat on the phone, and a few days later I went down to the ABC’s studios in Dickson to record an interview.
Recording was a very strange experience – I was in a tiny soundproof room, with Catherine’s voice coming through the headphones as clearly as if she was in the room with me. I tried my best to be as animated and articulate as I could, though I’m afraid I was a little flat – it was early in the morning (no coffee!), and there was a strange sense of having told Catherine all of this before, and finding it odd to be asked the same questions over again. We recorded about half an hour of me answering questions about sewing, blogging, how they fit together and how they play a role in my life. Catherine assured me she’d use at least 3 minutes of it!
The program, A stitch in time, is going to be broadcast this Sunday on ABC Radio National at 2pm, repeated next Thursday at 1pm. Frequencies for ABC Radio National are here, and if you’re overseas, the podcast and audio are usually on the website a few days afterwards (you can also find the podcast in iTunes by looking for Hindsight ABC).
(I do feel a bit shy about being listed on the program website as a ‘sewing blogger’ – partly because my blog’s so infrequently updated, and partly because I feel there are other people, like six and a half stitches or NikkiShell, who have a much greater claim to the title than do I)