Local fashion label RUBY’s sewing classes were an instant sellout — but don’t despair, they’ve just restocked.


A creative epiphany by RUBY general manager Emily Miller-Sharma has led to the release of DIY-sewing patterns for some of the beloved Kiwi brand’s most popular pieces. 

As like most of us, it took Emily Miller-Sharma, general manager of RUBY (and designer of its sister label LIAM) a while to start getting her head around what has unfolded for New Zealand and the world in the last few weeks. 

“I’m slowly starting to be able to grasp the enormity of what we are doing as a country right now, but really I think that this is something I’m going to be processing for many years to come,” she said in a recent RUBY newsletter.

“Once the frenzy of preparing myself and RUBY for lockdown subsided, I had a difficult time being able to use my brain. Every time I sat down to work it just froze up. And because I’m a tactile person, sitting in front of a computer having 1,000 virtual meetings made things worse. But then I remembered why I do what I do in the first place — I love making stuff. So I started playing around with needlework and paper cutouts…

“It’s been so freeing to make things for the joy of the action rather than for a deadline. And making something without any pressure for it to be perfect has let my mind rest, helping to give order to the chaos that was going around and around in my head; it felt like puzzle pieces were clicking together in my head. I recommend, if you have the time, start playing around with making things for fun too.”

So to help those of us with sewing machines on their way (and promising fun things still to come for those that don’t), RUBY have released a series of patterns for some of the brand’s “most-loved styles”, with pieces for all abilities — from beginner to advanced.

Worried about being short on material? “It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a hoard of fabric lying around,” says Emily, “you can get The Sound of Music on it and use your curtains. Or old bedsheets are another good idea as they’re often super wide.”


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