My earliest memory to which I can pinpoint the beginning of my sewing passion would go back to 7 years of age in the early 1970s, not long after we moved to Australia from Amsterdam. I’m not a designer these designs have been around for about 70 years. There are many talented designers out there. I’m not one of them 🤣. My passion is garment construction (dress making). I was sitting in my mum’s dressmaking shop beside her industrial sewing machine in the suburbs of Melbourne Australia making dolls clothes on a little domestic machine. Mum would proudly put them on display in the front window alongside all of her beautiful creations. I loved how her customers came in and encouraged me at such a young age.
When I left school it was a natural progression to work in the garment industry which was alive and well in Australia at that time. When the tariffs were lifted and the market was flooded with mass produced poorly made items from overseas it was time for me to take a break from the industry. I continued to sew occasionally for myself, my children and my friends.
That was until I started to travel. Every year for the last 13 years I have travelled around the world to follow the festivals that take in the fashion, music, cars and culture of the 1950s including, Viva Las Vegas, Let’s Get Wild in Germany, High Rockabilly in Spain, The Lonestar Round Up in Texas and any of the smaller festival I can pick up at home in Australia or when visiting my family in Amsterdam.
This reignited my passion and inspiration to continue designing and sewing, my challenge was to not wear anything store bought to these festivals and definitely not wear the big major pinup brands after seeing dozens of girls with the same dresses.
Every year I’m sewing like a mad woman preparing for the next festival and trying to outdo what I created the year before and every year I’m asked the same questions, when are you going to open a store? Do you have a card? Do you sell on Etsy? Do you take orders?
In April 2019 I spent an amazing week in the Art Deco region of Miami with my husband of 34 years and of course we had to take in Viva Las Vegas and the Lonestar Round up while we were there. On our way home I found myself with a few hours to spare before catching my flight back home to Australia. I convinced my other half to spend the morning in the Fashion & Fabric District of LA. It was at this point I knew I had to start doing something about this sewing addiction, I had already converted a spare room into my wardrobe and it was now bursting at the seams and creeping out into the rest of the house with store mannequins and dressmakers dummies sitting in the entry blocking the front door.
I could not justify to keep sewing but stopping was not an option. After finding an amazing fabric supplier on Wall St in LA and bringing back loads of samples I have finally decided to take the plunge. I have always found it hard to part with what I make but the time has come to spread the love. So my thought was that the best way to overcome this is to stop making them in my size! As a result my loss has become your gain.