I learned to sew from my aunties and in school as I was growing up. The first item I ever made was a pair of slippers. Now, I love to make mitts, slippers and little zipper pulls. I prefer working with fur and especially sealskin, but I sometimes work with moosehide as well. I use coloured or natural sealskin to make designs in whatever I am making. My creative process comes naturally and I love to see where it takes me.
Sewing keeps me busy and it quiets my mind. I love to see the outcome of a project I’ve been working on – putting the finishing touches on a piece is my favorite part. To see it complete is so rewarding, especially the last few stitches!
I am the most inspired when there is someone I am sewing for, whether it’s for a member of my family or for someone in the community. I sew for adults most of the time, and sometimes, I will do projects for children. My daughter watches me sew now. It’s not time for her to start sewing yet, but I’m already looking forward to teaching her in a few years.
I love to sew. My nanak – my grandmother – loved it too. She started the Nautchiaq Fur Shop in Tuktoyaktuk and now my auntie runs it. I guess sewing is in my genes. It makes me feel connected to my culture in that way. All the projects that I make, such as the patterns being used, have been handed down from our Ancestors. I’m still using some patterns and designs that my nanak used.