I sew !! I learnt to sew as a child. My grandmother was an excellent seamstress who made lots and lots of her own clothes as well as things for everyone else. I guess that was more the done thing back then. As a young woman in the 1930’s and 1940’s if you wanted a new frock you were as likely to make it yourself as have someone else make it. The dressmaking skill she passed onto her daughter (my mum). As a child I remember my mum making lots of her own clothes, everything from outfits for weddings or sports (a tennis dress) to upcycling an old pair of jeans (giving them funky 60’s side splits). My mum can also knit so as a child I wore home knitted cardigans & clothes as well as sewn items too. I learnt how to read and plan out a pattern, choose fabrics and work a sewing machine. Once I grew up I stopped sewing for a long time though. I had a busy life both career wise and socially with little time for a sewing machine. I took up cross stitching but left my sewing machine in the attic. Until I became a mum.
Being a mum wasn’t necessarily planned but I must admit has been one of the very best adventures of my life and without doubt my most favourite job. My son is on the Autistic spectrum and when he was born my life became very different. A whole new chapter started that was at times tough but also terrifically rewarding. I couldn’t really go back to my career as easily and was left with a need to fill some of my spare time especially those hours when he was asleep and I was sat with not much to do. I completed my degree with the Open University but really needed something to give me a sense of achievement. I started baking……… hmmmm and gained a lot of weight. I still love baking but really it isn’t great for your waistline to have cakes around all the time.
So I switched to sewing. The sewing machine came out of storage and I raided my mum’s old vintage sewing patterns for things to make. Then my daughter was born. I realised that I wanted her to have the prettiest clothes & dresses I could find. I have never considered myself overly girly but somehow I found myself mother to this gorgeous doll who is incredibly girly and just loves dresses. I wanted her to wear things none of the other little girls would be wearing and quickly found my love of sewing expanded into looking at patterns & fabrics to make clothes. Suddenly I found a passion and quickly a sort of obsession. A thrifty way to make use of fabric bargains and make great things with expensive fabrics at a fraction of the cost of a designer item. So TOTZ Togz was born. A mothers desire to find beautiful well made special clothes for my kids but also for me. I mostly make for personal use but have also ended up making things for other people too. I dream sewing projects. I browse endlessly for patterns, fabrics and inspiration. As far as I am concerned there are simply not enough sewing hours in the week.
I quickly learnt that my daughter loves me making her girly things & she adores pink. She has learnt that she can see something that inspires her and ask mummy for a ‘dress like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz or Aurora or ….. any other pretty thing she sees. I personally am fairly ambivalent when it comes to pink, ruffles, lace or anything overly girly. I don’t hate them but I don’t love it. However my daughter does so we have found ourselves looking for fabrics that she likes and mummy quite likes too. Sometimes she surprises me and picks something really ungirly like the Dinosaur fabric that we ended up making a dress from.
I sew for my son too though must admit he doesn’t ask for as many things as my daughter and boys clothes don’t have as much variety. I did make him a shirt for a party we went to from star wars fabric that i absolutely love. The fabric was super expensive and I took ages making sure the pattern matching was perfect. It turned out wonderfully though I did learn that he has a very long body so need to adjust patterns for shirts for him to make them longer in the body.
I have a huge fabric stash and am always on the lookout for new gorgeous fabrics. We recently went on holiday and found a fabric store and yes I came home with an extra bag stuffed with fabric bargains. If you are going to a special do like a wedding or party then a special outfit is just fab. Let’s face it when you go to a do you often look for a new rather special outfit so why shouldn’t the little ones do the same.
I made 2 gorgeous little strawberry fabric dresses for 2 sisters to go to a wedding. I bet they looked wonderful. I just need to win the lottery so I can go mad & buy all the beautiful fabrics that I see. I recently saw some great Alice in Wonderland fabric that I absolutely NEED in my stash. Am I addicted? Yes most definitely but then I have the most amazing muse 🙂