I've just wrapped up my last Lingerie workshop of January 2018 and I want to give a big shout out to all the ladies who joined me in Cambridge, Bristol and London to make beautiful lace French knickers. I had such a blast whizzing round the country with my boot full of sewing machines and scissors. Big bucket loads of love to my mum for letting me borrow her car every weekend. I'm really really sorry about the scratch on the passenger door, I swear the bollard came out of nowhere!
Whilst driving home from my last London workshop I started reflecting on why I love teaching women to make their own lingerie. Lacey french knickers may not appear revolutionary. But for me, understanding how to make my own underwear, has transformed the way I feel getting dressed in the morning.
Lets face it, vaginas are incredible, they bring life into this world, they orgasm, they bleed for a week straight every month without dying. But instead of letting them get on with all the incredible things they do, in their own brilliantly messy way, we have been brainwashed into believing they must be neat and uniform. We have been conditioned to believe our bum cracks must be shaved and our vaginas should smell like roses. The underwear we buy is designed to pad, lift, boost and tighten our buts and boobs, because the way they sit naturally just wont do.
I remember very vividly the moment I realised I need to show my vagina a little more love and respect. I was having a shower one Saturday afternoon, when my nephew burst into the bathroom, wanting to play hide and seek. The exact moment he popped his head round the shower curtain to say boo, I was bent over double with a razor between my legs. In that second every feminist bone in my body shattered into a million tiny shards and sunk down the plug hole. How are male expectations of female bodies ever going become a celebration of natural beauty if two year old boys see their 25 year old aunties going to extreme lengths to conform to a fundamentally unnatural ideal? When he saw me in that position he looked shocked because we had taught him that razors were dangerous and he shouldn't touch them. He couldn't understand why I had this sharp thing between my legs and started to cry. I started to cry too for the girls of his generation. The female body has become a battleground. Until we can learn to love our own imperfect textures and shapes, we leave no legacy of self love for our nieces and nephews, sons and daughters.
With this experience fresh in my mind I designed the pattern I teach on my workshops to have a wide gusset, which means you don't have to get a full Brazilian in order to wear them. This simple design adjustment means that they fit your natural bikini line. I've never understood why we don't all design pants to fit women's bodies rather than women's bodies to fit pants.
The organic cotton I use is grown without the use of pesticides, herbicides or other chemical fertilisers. It is therefore kinder to your skin and better for the health of the people who produce the cloth. Underwear is deeply intimate and making your own feels like a true gesture of self love. That's why I'll definitely be teaching this course again once I have moved to London and found a permanent studio in the coming months. If you would like to be the first to know about future workshops, feel free to subscribe to my mailing list on the top right of this page. I'm hoping this is just the beginning of a handmade lingerie revolution...