We were lucky enough to have all three of Bill’s nieces come and help us at the Workshop over the summer. Mina has been with us this last week, learning to use the machines and modelling a few of her favourite garments. We asked her a few questions about her future plans and what her time at the Workshop has been like.
What is your current occupation?
I am living in Brighton and work at a sweet shop but about to start a BA in Music at SOAS, the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
That sounds like great fun! Have you always had an interest in music?
I always had an interest, which came mainly from my mum, who initially had to force me to my violin lessons! But by age 13/14 I was enjoying it and finding my own interest.
I was definitely the same, it takes a while to get the violin to make a pleasant sound! Do you have an interest in clothing and fashion design?
Yes, I do! About 6 months ago I bought myself a sewing machine and started making my own clothes. It’s more sustainable making your own things, you can also make things perfectly suited to your own style. I shop for things I can’t buy like winter trousers and underwear but make a lot of my own tops and dresses.
I’m sure there are plenty of lovely fabric shops back home in Brighton. Where do you like to shop if you are looking clothes?
Boutiques, shops where I know things are handmade and unique or second hand. I like Armstrong’s in Edinburgh, Flax Emporium in Brighton is great, they make all their own clothes. I often end up browsing for ideas at Beyond Retro, they do a lot of reworking garments into new things, turning large men’s jackets into dresses and things like that.
What are your favourite Bill Baber Knitwear garments?
I am wearing a Crew Neck Pullover that I love. I like the S Dress, I would get it in a bright colour and wear it as a dress over bare legs or tights, also the Pico I like but maybe in more neutral colours like Oat, Beige and Ecru.
What have you been up to while you have been working here and what is your favourite machine to use?
The overlocker! I am interested in getting one for myself. I first learned to use the linking machine sewing seams on the Jura Hat and making the bobble. I then started using scrap fabric to start designing a new hat. I am cutting out a pattern and overlocking the pieces together.
The first draft of the hat is looking good! What has it been like working at Bill Baber Knitwear?
I like working with Bill, making things all day and chatting to interesting customers. It’s good to have time to work with the garments between serving customers. It’s calmer than the sweet shop!
Thank-you for all your help Mina and good luck with your studies in the big smoke!
Here are Mina’s Bill Baber Knitwear picks!