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I’ve been sewing since the late 1980s, when I was 26. My mother taught me to sew and how to use the fur machine and the straight machine. She always provided for us that way, with her sewing, and I picked it up from watching her. I've always been interested in sewing. I took a four-year garment program in the late 1990s at the local college and it really improved my sewing techniques. We used to sew all kind of stuff like fur parkas, sheared beaver vests, mitts and hats. I like to sew anything I can.
I really like working with fur, which I usually get from my niece in Inuvik. When I see what materials I have to work with I am inspired and really like trying to figure out the best way to use it. I like to make muskrat hats and mitts from sealskin trimmed with beaver or rabbit fur. The fur trim on the top of my mitts comes up way higher than other mitts, which helps to keep the snow out.
I usually sell my work at the airport, or from my house. If someone is asking around, looking for a handicraft, people will just phone me and let me know so-and-so is coming over. If I have the material, I will make something for someone.
Bertha lives in the community of Tuktoyaktuk and has been sewing for many years. She was taught by her mother enjoys using different colors of materials and natural objects such as drift wood to create her crafts.