I've always loved sewing and have had numerous sewing jobs over the years, making everything from leisurewear to underwear, baby wear to bridal wear. I even spent some time putting samples together for a few big name fashion designers. However, I was never happy unless I could be part of the creative side of the process, which is why I am in my element when making intricate Irish dancing costumes.
Over the last few years I have been diagnosed with several debilitating illnesses, meaning that I never know how much I'll be able to do each day, or for how long. This has resulted in me being unable to do a "proper" job.
Volunteering to be a seamstress for Cherished Gowns UK has been quite cathartic for me. In 1989 I suffered a blighted ovum. Being told that the embryonic sac was empty was very difficult to take in. It wasn't so much the loss of a baby, rather there never was a baby, just the sac and placenta. I still mourn for my baby who never was,so making these tiny gowns helps enormously.
It helps in many ways, but perhaps the most significant for me is the ability to be a productive member of society, being creative with something precious, and helping grieving families. To me, that is most definitely a 'proper" job.
My family of husband, 22 year old son, 14 year old daughter (the Irish dancer, ranked 8th in Europe for her age group), and 6 year old Parson Russell Terrier, all support me enormously. I am truly blessed to have them, and now my 'Cherished' family in my life.
Shellie's work for Cherished has become a firm favourite of our team. The two gowns she produced below from a donated dress show why. The boys tuxedo gown was made to honour the brides own cherished baby boy.
Here is the beautiful donated gown they came from.
Some more gorgeous gowns from the same dress
Shellie has a Facebook page for her other crafts, you can look it up Ooak Crafts, A tiny sample of her fabulous makes