That Embroidery Blog- I’m not the Boring one, you are!
Welcome to That Embroidery Blog with me Georgina Bellamy talking all things Embroidery, Embellishment and things that annoy the crap out of me.
I decided to start this first blog off with some details about myself.
I decided to start my first ‘That Embroidery Blog’ off with some details about myself- not my whole life story but a lot of it!
I knew from the age of 21 what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. For years before I have felt a sense of dread imagining myself doing the same thing every day and wondered how I’d ever stick to it.
That was before I discovered fashion embroidery.
Life kinda sucked at the time in many ways. I was working in a Dry Cleaners and often wondered if this was it. Every day for years I would work there and help with the alterations, unstitching trousers, dresses and jackets for the tailor. Bored one day at work I took out some scrap materials and decided to make a Jacket for my son once I got home.
That one decision became the beginning of a journey that has lasted over ten years!
My sons Embroidered jacket got many compliments and I decided to go for a short course in fashion with a view to start children’s clothing label. Every piece of clothing I made I covered in embroidery. Not sure why. I had always played with stitching as a kid. Nothing amazing, just as a time passer.
Then fate stepped into the story. A very important lady named Anthea Godfrey was an examiner for my short City and Guilds course. My lovely tutor at the time singled my work out for her to view and both agreed they would convince me to apply for ‘The London College of Fashion‘ where Anthea was a former tutor.
I remember coming into class on the Monday and my tutor telling me how much this important lady loved my work. I couldn’t quite believe it. No one had ever really told me I was good at anything before, and there were these really important ladies holding me up as an example! At that point I was so flattered I’d have agreed to pretty much anything! (bar some freaky sex act or running around naked, I have some standards you know).
Initially, I didn’t have the UCAS points to get into University. My tutors wanted me to get a BTEC in fashion but I wanted to focus on all things embroidery so refused. Instead, I decided to take a full year worth of City and Guild qualifications.
It was a risky decision as C&G qualifications are not recognized by UCAS but looking back it was one of the best choices I made in my life. I learnt every technical skill I have with City and Guilds. Quilting, machine embroidery, hand embroidery, stumpwork, goldwork, innovative embroidery and fashion embroidery.
I named dropped Anthea in my personal statement and got several interviews with LCF. I knew I didn’t have the right qualifications to get in but I felt sure that if they just saw my work they would say yes.
I got knocked back twice but on the last interview, I swung it. It was for Surface Textiles.
The next phase of my life was hard. My son was 4, Uni was halfway across London I was always broke, but somehow I did it.
Well, I more than did it, I excelled. In a room of students using machines for their embroidery or GLUEING down beads (oh the horror!) I was the only student working solely by hand. I would not touch the machine no matter how much the tutors pressed. People often asked where I learnt the skill I had and each and every time they did I was reminded how glad I was I listened to myself and took the chance on City and Guilds.
Another example of my pig-headed nature in action really!
I came out with a 2:1 in Surface Textile Design from LCF in 2014.
Sometimes it can be hard to be yourself. I have had this experience many times. Embroidery is something many consider ‘boring’ or ‘old fashioned’. Some people often said I worked ‘Like a little old Indian Lady’ as an insult, which often made me laugh inside as my great granddad and grandmother were both little Indian people so it was truer than they knew! Or that I was straight up boring because of what I found fun. I guess fun is different for us all! News flash, I’m not the boring one- you are!
News flash, I’m not the boring one- you are!
The story will continue in my next blog post to take you up to where I am now but I need to get on with some stitching now.
Moral of my story and of life is to trust yourself, take chances and work bloody hard.
Tag That Embroidery Blog with your ideas of what would make a great post! And don’t forget to read my latest Blog post for Mr X Stitch out on Friday!!!