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She’ll Have You in Stitches

A16-SEWINGTHUMBGrowing up in England, Kim Mulcahy loved making and creating. When she was a teenager, her parents put her on a clothes allowance. “It didn’t go that far, which motivated me to start making my own wardrobe,” she said. “I came from a long line of sewers, so it came naturally.”

 

By Robin Jovanovich

 

Growing up in England, Kim Mulcahy loved making and creating. When she was a teenager, her parents put her on a clothes allowance. “It didn’t go that far, which motivated me to start making my own wardrobe,” she said. “I came from a long line of sewers, so it came naturally.”

 

A16-SEWINGWhen she and her family moved to Rye two years ago, Ms. Mulcahy didn’t know anyone, but she made friends quickly after joining the Ex-Pats. “It’s good to be part of a group.”

 

She started a group of her own, teaching basic hand sewing and hemming to other ex-pats. “The classes are limited to four because that’s all the room I have at my kitchen table,” said Ms. Mulcahy. “My first students were quite an international group — South African, Dutch, Belgian and Swedish.”

 

The women sew for two hours at a clip, a patchwork of conversation and creativity. One of her students is a senior citizen who suffers from arthritis, and takes advantage of the special sewing machine at her teacher’s home.

 

Over the summer, Ms. Mulcahy taught summer campers (ages 10-14) how to make wrap beach towels, pencil cases, and peace pillows. “I want to help people make their own heirloom blankets, layered with fond memories — baby clothes, bits of old stuffed animals, sports badges.”

 

She thinks that the revived interest in sewing has been spurred by the recycling movement. “It’s a wonderful skill to pass on to your children, and if you can darn a sock, sew a button on, or change a hemline, you’re more likely to save that piece of clothing and not throw it away.” Her daughter, Katie, who’s going into first grade, is already an adroit seamstress — making bookmarks out of felt and possessing a fine embroidery stitch.

 

Hoping to attract boys as well as girls to after-school clubs at Rye’s elementary schools, one of her planned projects is monster dolls, made from old T-shirts; another is backpacks, using Dad’s old dress shirts.

 

Kim Mulcahy is offering new classes starting September 12. Visit sewhappysewing.com for details. She offers tea, and sympathy, when needed, at her kitchen table classes.


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