Who Made Your Pants?

Gorgeous Pants. By women, for women.

First sewing lesson – tip top tastic success

Just a quick note today – the first sewing lesson has happened and finished early as the women picked up everything that was on the lesson plan in double quick time. It was fantastic. They all seem really excited and keen, and while one woman has dropped out, another has replaced her so our numbers are still good.

I’m shattered. I was racing round on my bike finding people who couldn’t find our premises, and I’ve been smiling my best smiles and being my most persuasive to get the women to agree to a group photo which we can send to the Big Issue. Not to mention, I’ve spent masses of energy panicking and worrying – but it’s gone really, really well.

This day has been a long time coming, and I have to say I’m not sure what to do with myself now. I’m utterly shell shocked and exhausted. I realised today that I really, properly started thinking about this in May 2006 – just over three years ago.

I want to thank everyone who has helped me bring this mad idea for ethical pants this far – apologies if I miss anyone out. 25 women are now on the way to getting NVQs, the ten who attended today will get there first – and this is all down to the help this project has garnered from all kinds of places. Really honestly, this would not be happening without the help people have given.

We’ve had grants from The Co-operative Fund, Southern Co-ops, Skillfast, The European Social Fund via Community Action Hampshire, Southampton City Council and West Itchen Community Trust. The Mark Thomas mailing list, Gadjie, Clare W, Michelle, my dear Mum, and CAG have donated money. Wessex Partnerships, notably Rob and Tara, have been more helpful in keeping me on track than I can express. Leigh and Jen, who made more sense of my numbers than I could ever hope to have. The guys at Fairways House who have built us a new room and keep on finding me useful things that other people have dumped. Furniture has been donated by too many people to mention but I’m so grateful for it all. Thanks to the training team; everyone at CLEAR and at Yzer Designs, both have helped with not just training but helping me understand what we need to teach and what we might expect. To SACDA. To Nigel and co at electropuppy and New Model Army, Subgiant, Joolz, Miserylab, Fisher, Katy Ellen, Sara Spade, Electromagnetic Impulses, scarletblonde, New York Anxiety Attack, Howard Jones, Kajagoogoo and the blissfully supportive and kind Vittoria Conn for whomadeyourmusic? To Jan who has today, wonderfully, offered to do our PR for us. To everyone building the website and designing our paperwork. To the friends and family who listen and buy me beers. To everyone I stress at when things are tricky or bounce at when they are good, thank you. And last but by no means least, I want to thank the women who are involved and learning. I feel so proud to be working with them and I can;t wait until we are busy working away and making smashing pants.

And now, adrenaline crashing, I might reward myself with an afternoon off. What a very, very good day.

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5 Responses

  1. This is brilliant, very well done for all the hard work you’ve put in. I think it’s a wonderful project. I make pants too! If there’s anything I can help with I’d be delighted to.

    • beckypants says:

      Hi Kerrie,

      Thanks for that. I’d love to talk more with you! Things are hectic at the moment but should calm down soon I hope (I hope!) and when they do, let’s talk. Thank you! Love your website by the way 🙂 Fair pricing – what a great concept!

  2. Clair says:

    Congratulations on how things are progressing!

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