Sewing | Into it

I had, I had big problems
in school with my teachers. The school that I went
to was very academic and I’m a very creative person and creativity was not encouraged. I was told to leave school
and not to come back. My name is Iona Barker
and I run a company called Say It Ain’t Sew. For the past 10 years, I’ve been working as
a fashion and costume designer across the UK First thing I ever stitched
was an item of clothing, I was 5 years old and
it was for a competition. I had been given a scrap
of fabric, a kind of rectangular scrap of fabric
by my grandmother and it was like really, it was like
lining fabric, it wasn’t the nicest piece of fabric ever. but what I did was I folded in,
I folded in the sides into the middle and then cut
out 2 armholes and then crudely stitched
on 3 buttons down the middle, presented it to
my mother and said “here mum, I made this,
I made this waistcoat to send away”. She must have thought
“oh dear, what is this?”. I set up Say It Ain’t Sew
in 2010 when I moved back from London. I had just been made
redundant from what I thought was my dream
job in fashion. I started, right
“ok, let’s go, let’s go to the pub and I’ll start
teaching, teaching basic sewing skills”. and it was terrifying
to start with, it was really scary. Five years later,
still doing it. One of my pupils was
moving to Edinburgh, so we decided to open up
one in Edinburgh and then Dundee, then Aberdeen
and then Stirling and then we’ve got one up
North. So we’ve currently got
6 classes across Scotland. I was very lucky in the
sense that I was encouraged by my family,
my parents to be creative and just roll with it
and just go with it, but there’s many people
who are not and it’s very important that
we really kind of encourage them and nurture them. When I find young people
and they’re very passionate about being creative and
making things, my automatic response to them is don’t
stop, just don’t. Just keep going. and if anyone ever tells you
that you’re not good at it, don’t, don’t listen to them,
have fun, just have fun. Have fun with it.