Originally from Pond Inlet, NU, Iqaluit-based seamstress Stephanie Pitseolak has been creating parkas since she first learned to sew from her teacher in high school. Since the, she has been able to create beautiful, fitted parkas for herself and her children, noting that some of her favourite parts of her creative process are the opportunities to customize, tailor and embellish her garments.
“I love the part when I'm doing the trimming and bias tape when I'm designing [a parka],” she says of her process, “When you begin a project, you sew the inside part first and when you finish that one you start the outside part in Commander material which is when you can get it how you want it and shape it to fit your body .”
In January 2020, Pitseolak was a featured designer for Canada Goose’s Project Atigi line, a collaborative initiative between the commercial parka producers and Inuit seamstresses. Looking to the future, she wants to ensure future generations continue to learn to sew their own clothes and keep the practice alive.
“I want young generations to start sewing early, I want them to know the first few parkas are never perfect and the first few I made were very basic,” she explains, “They weren't like the Project Atigi parkas I made, because it took a lot of work to get to that level. We all make mistakes and can ask any elder or a friend who sews to get advice. Once you start sewing, you’ll start being inspired by other people's parkas and amautis and you will learn a little bit everyday .”
This Profile was made possible through support from the RBC Foundation’s Emerging Artists Project.
. All quotes taken from an Interview with Emily Henderson on January 20, 2020