Thunder Bay

Fashion designer from northern Ontario starts sewing circle in remote First Nation

A new sewing project is being set up in the remote northwestern Ontario community of Eabametoong First Nation, with the help of a Canadian fashion designer.

Linda Lundstrom says over 1,100 kg of cargo is on its way to Eabametoong

Linda Lundstrom, who is originally from Red Lake, Ont. has help start a sewing circle in Eabametoong First Nation. (Linda Lundstrom / Facebook)

A new sewing project is being set up in the remote northwestern Ontario community of Eabametoong First Nation, with the help of a Canadian fashion designer. 

Over 1,100 kilograms of cargo, including industrial sewing machines and fabric, was recently shipped to the First Nation, said designer Linda Lundstrom. 

Lundstrom, who originally hails from Red Lake, Ont., said she's wanted to start a sewing project in the far north for many years. 

"I'm really excited. This is one of the most exciting days of my life," she said, while on her way to Eabametoong to help unpack the equipment.

Lundstrom said while the sewing circle project will be community-led, she plans to continue visiting to share her knowledge of fashion design and sewing.

Sharing knowledge, expertise

"I realized that I have a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience, and I want to share that," she said. 

"And I want to share it where it's needed the most, and where people have ingenuity and they have ideas but all they need is the right equipment, the right materials, and anything is possible." 

The community funded the project, said Lundstrom, and she was able to help by acquiring the supplies at wholesale prices. 

People who are interested in taking part will be able to make whatever garments they like, she said, adding that there were requests for materials to make everything from regalia to denim jeans. 

While the sewing circle will allow people to make clothes for themselves, Lundstrom said her long term hope is that they will also be able to sell the garments, and turn the sewing circle into a business for the community. 

She said she eventually hopes to help set up sewing circles in more First Nations communities. 

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