by Jamie on April 12, 2015


Ok, there is no denying it – it’s been a while since my last post.

Unfortunately health issues have knocked me about over the last few weeks and I’ve not been able to contribute to the blog.

I feel like this has set me back in terms of loosing my momentum, but at the same time it has given me space to reflect and think about how I want to go forward with Paper Scissors Pins and how I can do it in a way that is sustainable long term.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I have to accept that setbacks will be part of this whole journey and not to stress too much when it happens.

Just as it took time to hone my sewing skills, it will take some time to develop PSP. Celebrating small successes and accepting inevitable setbacks is the only way forward – step by little step.

A couple of things have recently reminded me of just how valuable little steps in a journey can be.

When I visited the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition in Melbourne a few months ago, Gaultier’s teddy bear from his childhood was proudly on display. A fairly unremarkable teddy bear – except for some additions crafted naively from Gaultier’s young hand. Gaultier was not allowed to play with girl’s dolls, so he had fashioned a bra out of newspaper for his bear.

Gaultier's Teddy Bear

At the time this may have seemed a trivial bit of child’s play and of no real consequence – but it was a small yet significant step in his creative formation. He later drew inspiration from his early attempts at bra-making in his ‘Conical-bra bustier’ – the most recognizable of Gauliter’s trade-mark creations.

So, quite coincidentally, I recently rediscovered my old teddy bear after not having laid eyes on it since my early teens. My mum clearing out her cupboards found the bear wearing a little dress I had made from an old skirt all those years ago.


It was really interesting to me to see how I had made use of the existing elements of the skirt – a refashioning of sorts.  I use the back zip opening details from the skirt to create a collar and center front zip opening for the dress. Barely any sewing in the making of the garment, the bear’s arms poked out of a couple of crudely cut holes and a loose slip-stitch down the back of the dress joined the center back seam. I was about eight when I made that little dress for my bear and I was clearly proud of my achievement, as my bear still wears the dress to this day.

I now see what seemed like a little project for my bear at the time was in fact a small yet significant move towards my growing confidence as a young dressmaker.  I’m sure creating this little dress made creative connections that later helped more sophisticated attempts at sewing. Not quite Gaultier’s ‘conical-bra’ moment – but the beginnings of a journey on the road to an eventual career in clothing design.

These days I find that I am taking lots of small steps and sometimes tentative backward steps as I venture toward my new creative goals. I can at times feel a little frustrated and impatient – not often giving myself credit for the ground I have already covered.

My recent convalescing has helped me reflect on the small achievements I have made to this point. Every little step counts and those steps are slowly building my knowledge, vision and direction.

So until I am confident enough to take some long strides, I will happily take small steps forward down this new road. Small steps can be significant.


Sew, Wear, Love










{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Janene Trickey April 13, 2015 at 1:04 am

Lovely story. I think we have twin bears, except mine has blue eyes. I may have made some clothes too, but none have lasted so well as your gorgeous denim dress. On closer examination, perhaps they’re siblings instead.


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