A dream come true. A long awaited voyage behind us. We have arrived! Canada! London Ontario in fact.
We have come from around the world and are settling in to make a new life. It is hard to know where to start. So much to do. Some of us have to register children in school. Take classes to develop our English skills. Figure out where to buy groceries and what these unreadable packages and tins contain. All the while fighting the waves of homesickness and loneliness. The longing to see a familiar face or hear our native language, to be able to speak freely and be understood.
We never dreamt that an invitation to join a sewing class in a church basement could open so many doors. Willing volunteers at the Life Resource Centre made us welcome and introduced us to the basics of using a sewing machine. Some of us had used similar machines at home but for others it was all brand new and noisy! We made pillows, bags and simple articles of clothing and sometimes brought in things that needed to be repaired. We started each session with coffee and tea and a homemade treat, introducing each other to foods from back home in Afghanistan, Korea, …and of course muffins and cookies from our new land.
That was six years ago and the group has changed and grown. We are no longer the sewing class. We are World Tailors! We make reversible chefs aprons that are offered in three sizes.We are told our World Cook aprons are beautiful, high quality and make good gifts! It seems the hardest part for our customers is which lovely stripe and solid colour combination to choose. It’s exciting to see people so happy with our product!
World Tailors includes a group of volunteers who bring their enthusiasm and varied skills together. The list includes designer, sewing instructors, pattern maker, cutter, administrator, people with accounting skills and organizational skills …….Together we share an admiration for these brave women who have made the journey to our shores and want to see them succeed in their new venture.
World Tailors are learning many skills. To sew in a production line, choose fabrics and make colour choices, cut the pattern pieces, position and pin the apron pieces and precision ironing. There are budget decisions to make, marketing and sales ideas to develop, banking procedures, and always new English words and phrases to practice. What a language!
World Tailors is piecing together a community. We gather together with the goal of learning new skills, making some extra money and making new friends. Over coffee we set business goals, share family news, and laughter together. There is an atmosphere of caring and optimism. We begin and end each session with hugs all around. I guess you could say World Cook aprons are made with love!