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Hey fellow Thread Heads! So if you are like us and having a bit of withdrawal from our beloved Great British Sewing Bee, we have something so special to share with you on our blog. We’d like you to meet lovely Sewing Bee contestant Ghislaine Gazon!
Earlier this year, beautiful Ghislaine stole our hearts on the show when she smiled her way through a gusset malfunction with the baby grow challenge and came back to champion the refashioning challenge with the coolest little orange boxer outfit! She is a true sewing star – can you even imagine getting selected to participate in the Sewing Bee?? – and we are thrilled she took the time to share a bit about her journey from becoming a contestant on the GBSB, to tales of her sewing influences growing up in Martinique, the French Caribbean, and finally to where that amazing opportunity is taking her and her sewing!
How did the Sewing Bee change your life?
‘This month marks a year since I applied to be on the show. With my beginners’ sewing skills I had no expectations when I sent in my applications and would have never imagined what was next! Even as I progressed through the selection process I didn’t believe I could be chosen to be on the show and I was so surprised when I was selected I didn’t quite register the experience unfortunately.
Getting a yes and actually doing it gave me confidence in who I am and what I have to say, in my sewing, and showed me areas where I need to improve my skills.
It also keeps me busy now! Before this I was sewing for myself quite a lot and apart from my friends no one knew of my skills. Now I have to document what I do and new projects seem to find me. I am a late bloomer in the blogger and social media world and I am developing skills in that area, too. I have also developed language skills. I used to sew in my native language, French. I am now picking up English vocabulary. Despite the stress of the cameras and things going badly wrong for all to see, it has been a very positive experience.’
Can you share your sewing influences with us?
‘My family, my Brownies troop in Martinique. I grew up seeing Mum, Dad, aunties and uncles with a hobby: sewing, millinery, painting, crocheting, cartoon drawing, playing an instrument, and gardening. As kids we were always encouraged to take an interest in anything manual or crafty. I started with embroidery and cross-stitching and was always hoovering around mum’s sewing space. I picked up a lot of basics from there.
With the Brownies it was a case of always inventing activities for them. We did a lot of hand sewing to make Christmas decorations to sell to fund our summer camps. I also remember putting my mum’s sewing machine through the mill to make elaborate dresses out of wrapping paper for a fun fashion show I did with the girls. I even made a Cinderella dress with my Mum’s supervision for a little musical I put together. Very memorable times.’
Today I take an interest in the talented bloggers around the world and in the UK. I am in awe of them all.
What’s been happening with your sewing since the Sewing Bee?
‘I have redirected my interest in the noble raw material: the textile. In particular textile selection with a meaning whether social, ethical or personal and creatively for choices of colours and prints. I advise and encourage bolder choices in the right type of fabric to those who may want to recreate a fashionable garment seen on the catwalk or create something entirely imagined. Prints and colours channel personality, mood and messages.’
‘I recently presented a one-off fashion collection on this concept with Purple as a message for success and achievement, and with a direct historic link to the meaning of purple. I did all the sewing for it which was an achievement in itself. I still sew, yes, but only for myself and a few selected friends and should there be another opportunity, for another fashion show. For now my one-off collection is off to Martinique this Christmas. Look out for the dresses having fun on the beach!’
Christmas in Martinique! Nope, not jealous at all … !!
Aren’t her garments stunning!? Ghislaine truly approaches her fabric selection like an artist. And how exciting to see that she is continuing with sewing and creating? Inspiring!! She left the Sewing Bee way too soon, so we’ve enjoyed getting to learn a bit more about her. Merci Ghislaine!
Follow Ghislaine’s continuing creative journey at her website.
Read about her awesome fashion show here.
Read about her oh-so-perfect fabric choices for the fashion show garments here.
Personally, we love her blog post announcing she had been selected to take part in the Sewing Bee! You can just feel her emotions through her words! Maybe it will encourage you to apply?
Contact Ghislaine if you would like to book her for a fabric shopping tour in London!! Maybe I’ll join you?
Happy sewing! … (wish I knew how to say it in French!)