I am deeply fortunate to have started a friendship with Wanda Isaac on my first trip here in 2008. She was teaching bobbin lace (an island craft tradition in serious danger of dying out) as I was following my husband around as he did documentary photo work for the island's museum.
Wanda is a maker to the core and she and her highly creative, problem solving husband Alton make the perfect pair. By trade she is a seamstress and upholsterer, tackling everything from wedding dresses to mending sails.
Her workshop consists of 3 rooms in the historic building of Forrester's Hall that are connected by a cobblestone courtyard. Last time I was here I jumped into the middle of a flax weaving class and this time she is allowing me to condense one of her 12 week sewing classes, creating several complete pieces and learning the basics along the way. She is calm and patient and somehow she manages to give each student lots of individualized attention.
She and her husband Alton pick me up in the morning and drop me off in the afternoon so I get to spend a full day bathed in a learning environment...and I love it
|Wanda's tried and true Singer. Despite having 6 or 7 machines, she does most of her work on this one.|
I made a tunic from Lotta Jonsdotter's Everyday Style sewing book on my first day, we reworked the arms the second day and I made a cross body bag from the scraps. Now I'm onto a second tunic with a v-slit neckline and pockets. Maybe I'll have time for another piece before I go. Maybe.