While growing up, Yetunde Sarumi watched her mother embark on a sewing journey. She even learned how to hand sew at age 8. Her first clothing product was creating skirt that was literally sewn by hand, without a sewing machine. Unfortunately, her sewing passion slowly dissolved over the years. Well, until a fashion mishap in 2011.
“It actually started when I gave a tailor some fabric and my design idea to sew, but I ended up receiving a dress that looks nothing like I designed,” Yetunde Sarumi said. Being disappointed, I decide that I needed to learn how to sew so that I can bring my ideas to live exactly the way I pictured it.”
Sarumi sewing comeback involved searching for the perfect sewing school.Her research lead her to a website called YouCanMakeIt.com. After submitting an email, the website sent her information about Baltimore’s own sewing school, The Sassy Sewer.
“After reviewing The Sassy Sewer’s website and Facebook page, I was inspired by the pictures they have posted about their students’ finished projects,” Sarumi said. Seeing those finished projects inspired me and gave me a reassurance that The Sassy Sewer will be able to teach how to sew. My experience at The Sassy Sewer was incredible. I learned more than I thought I would and made lifelong friends. The greatest thing about being a student there is that you can learn at your own pace. The Sassy Sewer is a very fun and relaxed environment, it’s a place where you can express yourself and are encouraged to be as creative as you can be.”
Since graduating from The Sassy Sewer, Sarumi continues to evolve her fashion design business, Yetunde Sarumi and teamed up with 4 other sewers to establish Pretty Girls Sew (PGS), a place where women can share and inspire each other with their creativity.
“My favorite piece of clothing I’ve made would be a belted wrap coat,” Sarumi said. It was actually a trial project that turned out perfect. I’m always trying to challenge myself and do things I’ve never done before. That’s how I ended making a wrap coat, which I’m in love with and can’t wait to wear.”
Combing her love for Ankara and corporate wear, Sarumi continues to challenge herself with each new design she makes.
“My designs have evolved beyond what I expected it to be, and it is still evolving,” Sarumi said. I would be ashamed to even compare it to my first piece. My designs now neater, cleaner, and the fit is better. Plan, Design, Cut, and Sew… After deciding what to make next and how I want it to look like, I usually try to find the perfect fabric for it. Because I can be a bit particular, choosing the fabric sometimes takes longer than it should. Then I usually cut, lay out, and sometimes alter the patterns, as needed.”
The Nigerian born designer still has the ambition to continue to grow, learn, and become a better designer. Once she has mastered women’s clothes, she would like to learn how to make men’s suits and couture wedding dresses.
I would like to encourage everyone to pursue their dreams, no matter how big or small it might be. Start off small and you’ll never know where that dream will take you. – Yetunde Sarumi