Randon’s seamstress inspirations

Randon Jack with his much-loved sewing machine.
Randon Jack with his much-loved sewing machine.

EVE BURNS

Not everyone can be stylish and get their hands in the dirt like Randon Jack.

Randon studied tropical horticulture at the University of Hawaii at Hilo. He’s now working at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Commerce as the assistant chief of Agriculture.
Everywhere you see Randon, he looks fabulous. Admit you’ve looked more than three times, mesmerized by his outfits. We’ve all done it.

As a child, tailors and seamstresses sewing clothes always fascinated him.

“I remember watching my maternal grandmother Lydia Riklon sew her own clothes with her old hand sewing machine,” said Randon. “My mother used to tell me stories of how my grandmother sewed clothes for everyone when they lived on Lae. Not only did she make clothes but she also did a lot of embroidery on jakis and was a professional handicrafter,” he added. “Her story stories inspired me to one day make my own clothes.”

Randon got his first sewing machine as gift from two of his high school teachers just before he his senior year at Majuro Cooperative School.

“I started making simple things, such as pillows, pillow cases and vests,” he said. “When I attended university, I taught myself how to sew my own shirts by disassembling one of my old shirts and using it as a pattern for me to follow. I have been doing my best to improve my skills and styles ever since.”

He occasionally gets orders to make clothes for friends and family to which he said: “It’s not a bad way to make some money on the side.”

Randon has only participated in two competitions to showcase his talent and passion. “The first one was the Jambo Arts Wearable Arts show during my senior year in high school, where I showcased bags and vests being made from scrap fabric and old jeans,” he said. “I didn’t win, but I did have a lot of fun. The second was the fashion show hosted by the Office of Commerce Investment and Tourism (OCIT) in 2020. Honestly, I was surprised I won first place because I went against some of the best designers in the country and some have more experience than me. I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to compete.”

He told the Journal that since the beginning of 2022, he has been changing up his styles and making his own version of the wau or the old-style muumuus that our great grandmothers and grandmothers wore in the past.

“I have always loved seeing my grandmothers wearing these old, beautiful long dresses, but sadly not many are wearing this particular style anymore,” he said. “However, I do hope that my adaptation of the wau style will encourage the public to wear it again. Nowadays, more people, especially jeptas are buying already-made dresses and shirts from stores, such as mon Julie or New Hope Store, which in my opinion, are not very flattering than if we had our clothes tailored by local seamstresses,” Randon said.

“I consider my skills in sewing a blessing, because I can design and make my own clothes the way I want them to be. I am a large person and whenever I see a style I like at a clothing store, it’s usually tight on me or doesn’t fit at all. Hence, I make my own clothes for dressing up and for casual wear. I hope that I inspire people to learn how to sew and make their own clothes the way they want to as well as promoting local seamstresses and tailors. I still have a lot to learn about designing and sewing. Once I am ready, I would like to open a sewing shop so that the people can have their clothes made locally.”

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