However, my first job after University was as a biochemist in the Pathology Department of Wimmera Base Hospital in Horsham – the explanation for me being there remains to be told another time. The only person I knew in the area was a girl I had met at University. To widen my social circle outside the work environment I joined various groups such as the badminton club. However I also enrolled in a sewing class which was run by a business that sold sewing machines. Much to my surprise I really enjoyed this class and midway through the year after I became engaged and encouraged by the sewing teacher, I decided to make my wedding dress. To accomplish this I bought an Elna sewing machine. This machine is still in use today some fifty plus years later.
With the birth of my two daughters I continued sewing and made them simple dresses.
However, after the birth of two more children, both boys, the machine was used for mending or patching but not much else.
In 1978 we moved to Benalla and lived on 40 acres out of town. The two girls were enrolled at St. Joseph's Primary school. Pleading lack of time I bought their summer school uniform.
The dresses had fitted sleeves which the girls found restricting – they were both tomboyish outdoor types. I also found the dresses frustrating as I was constantly mending the sleeves.
I decided to make the girls dresses using a cape sleeve instead of the fitted ones. I did not seek permission or advice from the school. The first day the girls wore their new dresses I waited with bated breath for the school's reaction. There was the odd comment from the Principal but as the dresses were in the right colour, no action was taken.
The girls loved them as the sleeves gave them more freedom and I was no longer forced to spend time repairing fitted sleeves. Gradually, under pressure from their daughters to have sleeves like the McCrohan girls, the uniforms slowly changed much to the chagrin of the “Naysayers”
This is not really a case of making waves but, rather small ripples which helped to make a few girls more comfortable in their summer school dresses.