OHSWEKEN – Judy Taylor remembers learning how to sew by making doll clothes out of newspaper cuttings from her grandmother and has since turned her passion into a thriving business.
“I love the sense of accomplishment,” said Judy. “I taught myself how to read a pattern, create my own designs and use a sewing machine when I was 11 years old.”
Judy grew up in Six Nations, right around the corner from where her business Sew Fashionable is located on Chiefswood Rd. in Ohsweken. Some of the services she offers are; alterations — including bridal; fabrics; native fabrics; custom designs — including ribbon shirts and ribbon dresses; repairs; notions and supplies; and tuxedo rentals. The tuxedo rentals are supplied by Collins Formal Wear based in London, Ont.
“I love what I do and I’m good at it,” she said. “I’ve been sewing all my life yet it’s still fun to be challenged by fitting people properly. You have to have a visual image of what your client looks like as you’re working, you can’t always go by measurements alone — everybody is different.”
Judy has been in the sewing business since 1994, although Sew Fashionable was originally in the Six Nations Tourism building, she really appreciates her new location closer to the village.
“I’ve been here for about one year and it’s been a really nice change,” said Judy. “I’m a lot more central now and my desk looks right out into the main street — I get to see everything that goes on while I’m working, it’s great.
“Since moving I’ve been getting a lot more customers who are looking for alterations, small fixes and things like that,” she said as she ripped out a busted zipper from an old jacket. “It keeps me busy.”
Even when she’s not working Judy still loves to sew. She belongs to a quilters group — the Brant Heritage Quilters Guild — and really enjoys the time she spends with her friends from the guild, but mostly loves to spend time with her family.
“My family comes first,” she said. “I used to stay at the store until nine or ten at night and I finally saw that that was just crazy. I love spending time with my family and grandkids. The holidays and just being with my family are some of my favourite things.”
Judy said she is very grateful to her customers — the loyal regulars and all her new clients as well — who continue to come back to her for her good work.
“I really take pride in my work,” she said. “If something isn’t good enough for me, I wouldn’t give it to my customers.”
Judy plans on sewing for as long as she can.
“As long as my health permits, I’ll be sewing.”