I was born and grew up in England but have lived in Melbourne for the last 9 years with my husband, Nick. I work part time and spend the remainder of my time looking after my 2 young children, sewing, designing and writing. Parenting small children is an amazing and rewarding job, but it can also be exhausting and difficult and can leave you searching desperately for your own identity. I’ve created this website to be a space that is truly my own. A place to share my thoughts, my challenges, my successes. A place where I can develop my own creativity and indulge my love of sewing. An incentive to develop my photography skills, and a place where I can share my own designs.
My love of sewing is a relatively recent development in my life. Growing up I was always 'good at science'; I now work as a geneticist and I love it. I am without doubt, a science geek. That's why it came as such a surprise to me that when I was pregnant with my first baby I discovered that I also love to create!
I consider myself fortunate to have grown up surrounded by handmade and homegrown things. When I think back to my childhood my mum was always making clothes for us on her sewing machine, mending our favourite toys, or else digging veggies in the back garden, baking or making play dough on the stove. I grew up knowing that clothes were made by hand and that vegetables came from the garden, rather than thinking that they just materialised from the mall or the supermarket and for that I’m incredibly grateful. It’s given me confidence to know that I, too, can do all these things. And if I don’t know how, then I can learn. A belief in your ability to do just that is a very special thing.
I can’t tell you what pleasure it gives me to spend time making something for my now 4 year old, Ella, and hearing her squeals of delight; ‘Mummy made it!!’ and knowing that I am in turn giving her that same belief, not to mention an appreciation for handmade treasures. I would love to be able to also encourage you in that belief.
I began to sew (badly at first), when I was pregnant with Ella. I began making things for this precious little baby that I was carrying. There was quite simply nothing that gave me more pleasure than pouring all my love for this new little life into creating something unique, something beautiful, something made especially for her.
I didn’t really know what I was doing, I’ve never taken sewing lessons, I just started making things. I made mistakes and learned from them, I talked to friends who loved to sew, I read books and looked online – just like you’re doing. Looking back to some of the first things I created – they look decidedly wonky and amateur – but it really doesn’t matter – in fact that’s all part of the charm of them. The love that went into them is evident and the things I learned along the way are priceless.
And I’ve learned a lot over the past 4 years. I’ve learnt a lot about parenting, about sewing, about life, about myself, about how I want to live and what’s important to me. I’ve discovered that directing your thoughts to something creative can not only leave you feeling refreshed but can actually soothe your soul in a way that little else does. I’ve found that taking time out, slowing down a little and allowing your mind to wander while creating these things gives you an opportunity to reflect on your day, and wonder about the future. It gives you a chance to focus on the best parts, the smiles, the achievements, the kind gestures - all those small things that make being a mamma such an amazing and precious job.
I have also come to have a deep interest in sustainability and in trying to return to a simpler lifestyle. I believe that sewing is a beautiful and fun way to begin to reconnect with that lifestyle. We live in a throwaway society and I would love to encourage people to get back into the ‘mend and make do’ attitude that our grandparents held instead and to be proud of the unexpected creativity that this attitude will nurture.
I believe that if we can start to turn our backs on consumerism and instead focus on the really important things in life – family and relationships and nature - then we will begin to see that it truly is the smallest things in life that give the greatest pleasure.