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Women Behind The Scenes

In celebration of Women’s day and month, we introduce you to ‘Women behind the scenes” at Sitting Pretty.  We can’t imagine what it would be like with out them. Their amazing skills, hard work and dedication are remarkable and we love them.


Violet has been working as a Machinist at Sitting Pretty for two years. She started working as a teenager and has since mastered the art of sewing. She is a mother and grandmother too, her grandchildren live with her.

How long have you been working as a machinist?
Since the age of 17 (Violet is 59 now which means she’s been doing it for 42 years).

Where did you learn to do what you do today?
On the factory floor. I started as a runner – which means I just helped out wherever needed. I was interested in learning how to sew so I asked the ladies to teach me how to work the machine. They took out the cotton and I had to thread the machine by myself.

What are you most grateful for today?
That I can make a whole garment from start to finish. People in big factories often can’t put a garment together because different people do different parts of a single garment. It is rewarding to see what I make.

What do you do for fun?
Me? (laughs), I like to go to the soccer field. I never played soccer so I just watch. I played rugby when I was younger.


Maria has been with us since 2011. She is orginally from Congo and came with her family as refugees to South Africa. She is a mother of 4.  Her talent is phenomenal and she makes us laugh all the time.

How long have you been working as a machinist?
I started at school, so all my life. I was young, maybe 12 years old.

Where did you learn to do what you do today?
After school I studied couture – I can make wedding dresses. Before that from 14-17 I made clothing for children.

What are you most grateful for?
God , he gave me peace, I have had troubles, but he has given me a peaceful husband and family. God helps me so much.

What has been the most difficult thing you’ve ever made?
All things menswear – I would rather make a wedding dress than a mens jacket. Dresses and skirts are my favourite things to make.


We have been working with Fatima since the start of the company. She used to have a large factory in Woodstock but has found it more lucrative and less stressful to work with us and from a small home factory. She has helped us so much over the years, she has a beautiful heart.

How long have you been working as a machinist?
For 50 years, there wasn’t a lot of money so I went to work in a factory when I was young. I started with mens pants – doing bands and fusing. I worked my way up and then I was a supervisor for Shaz clothing 30 years ago for 15 years. I learnt a lot there.
15 years ago my son had an accident and now has epilepsy, so I had to start my own business.

How did you learn everything you can do today?
I started working at 13 years old, I was very willing to learn. I never say no to anything.

What are you most grateful for?
For God, he gave me all the courage and I am able to sacrifice a lot. He made my heart soft so that I can tolerate a lot.

Have you passed on your knowledge?
Yes, to my eldest daughter. She started in my factory and she now has her own.

What do you do for fun?
I watch TV and go out to watch movies or have dinner with my daughter.