A new business has sprung into life in Naseby, based on
something that happened 150 years ago.
Two women have stitched together an enterprise, focusing on
the Naseby and surrounding goldfields 150th jubilee
celebrations in early January.
Marilyn Swinbourn, of Naseby, and Dot Davidson, of Ranfurly,
have combined their sewing skills to make period costumes for
those wanting to dress in theme for the occasion. Called the
Naseby Sewing Room, the business is based in Derwent St, in
the town centre.
''The business came out of a casual conversation over a
coffee one day ... and six hours later, this was what we
ended up with,'' Mrs Swinbourn said.
''This room was empty and we're both sewers so we wondered if
there was a future in combining our skills and running a
business and doing sewing from here.''
Business is brisk, with bonnets, caps, pinafores and vests
among the biggest sellers. As well as making costumes to
order, they can recycle other clothing items to suit and are
also happy to advise and encourage other sewers.
''Our stashes of material, lace and buttons now have a new
home and people have even come in and donated material to
us,'' Mrs Davidson said. ''The word's spreading about what
we're doing but we need people to get in early if they want
something to wear to the celebrations as we'll run out of
The women are kitting out whole families, from babies through
to grandparents. They are excited about the prospect of
adding to the ''colour'' of the occasion. Because the
celebration will be at the height of summer, they have chosen
light fabrics and short sleeves for all the garments, where
''Our charges are fairly modest - we're doing this more for
the entertainment than for the money,'' Mrs Swinbourn said.
The women at the Victorian Wardrobe in Oamaru had been
helpful, sending suitable patterns and giving advice to them.
The future of the business after the goldfields celebrations
will depend on the demand for general sewing work, Mrs
Davidson and Mrs Swinbourn said.
• The anniversary celebrations in the Maniototo span six
days, starting on New Year's Day with a Naseby family fun
day. Other events include a jubilee parade, a walking trail
following the path of early miners to Waipiata, visits to
Hamiltons' cemetery, guided walks through Naseby and a
vintage machinery display and Victorian tea party in
Ranfurly. A 150th Classic tournament will be held at the
Naseby Bowling Club, played with old-style bowls and costumes
to match and the jubilee will close with a ''cribbies v
locals'' cricket match on Sunday, January 6. firstname.lastname@example.org