Wanda’s Arts Awards 2019: Clarissa (1st place winner)

Growing up, Clarissa would always watch her mother sew. She would make clothes for her and her dolls, and when they had a wedding to attend, Clarissa would visit the store with her mother and pick out the fabric for her new dress. By six, Clarissa was able to hand stitch things, though it still looked like work of a six-year-old.

As an adult, Clarissa never sewed, or even mended her own things. She took home economics in school, but remembered that they only got to cut patterns and the teacher did all the sewing. When she heard there was a volunteer-run sewing program at Savards starting in March, she thought “I’m going to try this. How bad can I be?”

Clarissa definitely got the sewing gene from her mother, and with the help of the volunteer and online instructional videos, she completed her first piece, a toiletries bag with multiple pockets and sections, which she uses every day. From there, Clarissa started making bags and purses. There was some trial and error, and sometimes she had to go back to the beginning to fix mistakes but now she has purses in multiple sizes and colours.

While Clarissa is a natural at sewing, she only sees it as a hobby. When asked if she would consider sewing as a nomination for an art award, she replied, “Fashion is an art. Creating something, picking out colours, shapes, textures.”

If she wins, Clarissa plans to buy patterns and start making skirts and pants, and in the long-term, buy herself a sewing machine.


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