On Making

I’m addicted to making things.

Sewing is my absolute favourite thing to do in the whole world. But I also happen to just love making.  I’m creative, I can map out how clothes and sewn objects and handmade pieces are put together in my head by looking at them, and I thoroughly enjoy taking a piece of cloth from a two dimensional object into, perhaps, a wedding gown.

So that’s what I have done for the last 7 years.  Made beautiful pieces of fabric into bespoke gowns for brides, bridesmaids and flower girls.

It’s been lovely. But it’s no longer fulfilling in the way that I hoped it would be.

I just want to make beautiful things. Which is exactly what I have done for as long as I can remember.

Most of my friends got hitched in the 90s, including myself. So I went through a stage of wedding-themed making, including wedding cakes and invitations. I also designed my own wedding and bridesmaids’ dresses, and helped to make them.

In the noughties I became a Mum, and my life was hijacked by my babies and friends’ babies and baby paraphernalia.  So I made my girls’ Christening gowns using my grandmother’s baby layette pattern books.

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I also made baby things and sold them in specialist boutiques in my hometown of Melbourne, Australia.

In the early teenies (is that a thing yet?), I moved to London, reinvented myself, and focused on wedding gowns.  Combining years of sewing for pleasure, for friends, I began to make wedding gowns and bridesmaids’ gowns.

In the past few years, I have been broadening my horizons. I started teaching sewing classes.

In this particular class we made the iconic vintage Walkaway Dress in linen – Butterick 4790. We had our hair and makeup done and posed in our own photoshoot, wearing our hot-off-the-sewing-machine creations of course! Except me. I was too busy teaching and threw on a #MeMade dress from years before!

I have also started making more bespoke clothing and evening wear. I have made bespoke suits for a VIP Terminal at London Stansted Airport.

And I decided to make semi-bespoke and luxurious women’s wear. I still do, and host seasonal range viewings through Open Studio days.

So far, this has been my absolute favourite endeavour, and I’m planning on doing a lot more of it.

I also like to make my house nicer.  It’s a long, slow project. To be honest I mostly paint and try to hide my leftover fabrics and sewing patterns and stashes by moving furniture all around the place. I reupholster my old furniture occasionally. After the dog has finished chewing it.

I also make cupboards. Well, now I do. I started one last week. I still am making that cupboard. Around the stuff that’s going in the cupboard.

And I’m always trying to decide what I’ll make next.

But for now, I definitely know what’s next.  A bespoke bridesmaids’ dress for a lovely new client. She has a fitting tomorrow morning, so I’d best get to it!

Then I’ll finish that cupboard.

Lisa

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