yeaR of birth
I paid for this sewing machine with my first pay packet from a shop around London Victoria in 1979. This sewing machine has been with me through the various stages and transitions of my life, I've kept it ever since then and now I'm retired.
I grew up in Malaysia and my mum was a school teacher but like all ladies at home, they are good home makers. Of course, we didn't have a lot of money and we made curtains and clothes and bed sheets. She didn't have electric and of course she had a Singer machine with a pedal, it's a work of art now, you go to All Saints and you see them.
We would sew together, it’s so much a part of my childhood. Between exams, my mum would send me off to sewing class to keep me out of mischief and maybe that’s a very Chinese sort of way, you mustn’t hang around, you must put your time to good use.
Rather than paying a lot more to buy something readymade, you can make something from nothing, you make it happen. Like a pair of curtains or dresses. It's creative and it's very powerful. For me, it’s a sign of empowerment. We can do what was traditionally a man's role to earn money and then we are also home makers as well. If you’ve got a sewing machine, you can do lots of things, it’s like teaching people to fish rather than being given fish. It becomes special and it empowers you.
我是在馬拉西亞長大的。我媽媽是學校老師，但和所有家庭主婦一樣，她很擅長打理家務。當然，我們並沒有很多錢，所以窗簾，衣服和床單都是自己做的。她沒有電動的縫紉機，但有一臺帶踏板的勝家縫紉機。 現在這種縫紉機都屬於藝術品了。你在All Saint可以看到那種縫紉機。