Journalist, maker, mender – Kerri Harris

When ABC Online journalist Kerri Harris wrote a story about The Slow Clothing Project it made sense to ask if she wanted to be involved. She said yes, and here’s her garment story!

Kerri Harris wears the garment she recreated for The Slow Clothing Project. Photos by Giulio Saggin

Kerri Harris wears the garment she recreated for The Slow Clothing Project. Photos by Giulio Saggin

Kerri loves creating things and gets a kick out of saying ‘actually, I made it’ when positive comments flow from what she’s wearing. She makes many outfits for work at the ABC Southbank studios, including skirts and dresses, tops and jackets.

“I learned to sew in Year 8 at my local high school. My mum was really good at sewing and often had the machine out fixing things. She also had a cupboard full of patterns and spare fabric, which always intrigued me. When I started working, it was economical to make my own clothes. From there, I taught myself new techniques until I could fairly confidently sew tailored suits to wear in the office,” Kerri said.

“I’m also affectionately known as the office mending lady and will gladly sew on a button in return for a cup of coffee. I occasionally make garments for some of my workmates – the appreciation and look on their faces is priceless!

“I like value for money and don’t like wastage, especially when it comes to good quality fabric. It’s such a shame to lose sewing skills when they’re relatively easy to master. We need to know the basics at least, which is why I have taught my teenage sons to sew on a button.

“My slow clothing project is a Cue dress, made from gorgeous silk fabric. I really bought it a size too small (I really did, I swear!) but I didn’t want to throw it out, so I cut it up, added a bit of fabric and restyled it. It looks terrific and feels like I’m wearing something new.”                      (NOTE: Kerri didn’t end up using the sheer shirt in image below during this upcycle)

original dress

“I am guilty of occasionally buying fast fashion but always on the look-out for quality. I just don’t like the feel of many human-made fabrics. Being able to sew my own clothes has made me a bit spoilt in that regard I think. I’m also a bit of a perfectionist by nature, so I’m able to work on garments until they’re a perfect fit.”

Kerri’s advice to newbie makers is be prepared to be patient and if you make a mistake, be prepared to unpick and start again because it will be worth it. “Also, you can get some fabulous tips from Google these days – that’s how I learnt to put in an invisible zip and now there’s no going back!”

Love your work Kerri and thanks for being part of The Slow Clothing Project. 🙂

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