My website sells all the things I love to make for my kids (at least it will). Fun dresses, smart dresses, dresses that do both, skirts with trim (too much trim my husband says), bright trousers, cosy hoodies, beach shorts, versatile tops.
I inherited a sewing machine ages ago and it stood mostly unused for a long time. Then came the kids and I thought it would be great to make things for them. It started with just a few things and I couldn't stop. I love sewing, deciding on the pattern, fabric shopping, matching the trim, constructing and then knowing that my kids are going to wear it again and again. Now I only buy socks and underwear, although I do borrow ideas!
My absolute favourite fabric is corduroy. It reminds me of being a kid and it's so tactile. I like fresh and bright prints, simple shapes, nothing too girly, but still pretty or fun. All items are one of a kind, no two things exactly the same. My clothes are simple and give children plenty of room to move about. They can wear the clothes for best or for play.
I don't worry about my kids getting their clothes messy, I want them to have fun and explore - think playing out all day and long summer evenings in a kind of Famous Five, ginger beer kind of way. Naturally, to do all of that time after time, clothes also need to be good quality so they are all made with fabrics, threads, trim etc. that are going to last and they are finished to a high standard.
My shop opened in July 2016 which means I'm just getting started. There are a few clothes for stock but also listed are some that can be made to order so that you can see what I can do. Of course, these things will take a bit longer to arrive but on the plus side it also gives you the chance to get the item you want in the fabric you want with the extras you want.
In the summer of 2017 I realised that I needed to make a change with the clothes I sell. My ideas about bringing up my kids with time to play and explore were at odds with the way lots of the fabrics and haberdashery I was using were probably being made. So, I decided to go organic/ethical. There are a number of standards for organic fabric that include both environmental and ethical criteria e.g. no child labour. So, I use these to decide what to buy and where from. Now, I only use organic fabrics, thread, elastic, labels etc. and I adapt patterns, where necessary, so that I don’t have to use supplies with an unknown origin and/or unknown/unethical production. For example, I no longer use dungaree clips, as I don’t know how they are produced. Instead I make longer straps and make a button hole in the bib, then the straps can simply be passed through and tied in a knot. The other aspect of buying ethical supplies is knowing that a fair price is being paid. This means a higher price but if I want my customers to value my work I must value the work of those making the fabrics etc. that I buy.
I still have stock from previous collections available, and I thought hard about this, but I decided it would be wasteful, and not environmentally friendly, to discard them. So, they will continue to be for sale but all the new clothes are organic/ethical. The A/W ’17 collection was my first ethical collection and I’m really excited to have made the change. I hope you like it.