When I was young, before colonization, that’s when I started to sew. I’ve done it since I was a very small girl, so that means I have been sewing for over seventy-five years. I watched my mom sew and did what she did.
Back then, we didn’t have the kind of clothes available that everyone has now. No stores. We had to make everything ourselves. The clothes were made from caribou or seal, sometimes from polar bear and wolf pelts, and they were for all seasons, so we had light clothes and heavier ones from the same. My favourite things to make are boots - short ones or long ones, but made the traditional way. We had never seen rubber boots or socks until white people came to the community.
The parkas and mitts we made lasted longer than the things you can buy in a store. The only thing that might start to degrade was the fur, and if the fur starts to detach, it was easy to fix it.
Many people ask me to make things for them. I don’t always do it. Only when I want to – I’m my own person. But when I see people in the community wearing my parkas, or my boots, I still get excited. I make what I want to make, and I make what I like to make. I remember how we used to make things, and I make them that way.
Edith was born on Victoria Island and resides in Sachs Harbour, NT. Edith is a master seamstress, and traditional artist and her work is recognized by her distinct style and craftsmanship. She began sewing as a young girl learning to make clothing for her family. Edith is an accomplished traditional seamstress and makes caribou mukluks, parkas and muffs. She enjoys making nice clothing and crafts and is inspired by “Animals, Life and Happy people!”.