let's meet: Jessi from Mad Stitches!

When I started designing fabric to sell, I thought maybe some people would buy it, but I hadn't really got as far as thinking of what they'd make with it.

Jessi of Mad Stitches was lovely enough to send me some photos of dresses she made just as soon as she received my fabric, one of which is now mine, and will be a gift for my little niece! Jessi's clothes are beautiful & practical - she designed these little denim dresses so that they can grow with the child - you can gradually loosen the tie so that it becomes a top! Great idea.

Jessi kindly answered some questions for me - I hope you all enjoy her answers! You can find lots of lovely clothes for children in the Mad Stitches Madeit Store, and if you want your own lovely dress, please contact Jessi!
How did you start making children's clothes & sewing?

As a small child I use to sew with my Grandmother. We use to sew tiny scraps of fabric together and I would make "incy" clothes for all my little dolls. I was not very good at sewing, but loved every aspect of it, especially getting to play with Grandma's button jars!

It wasn't until years later that I revisited sewing again, in high school. It was unfortunate that I had the worst possible textiles teacher, who put me right off sewing for many, many years (envisage a teacher known to throw hammers across the room at students in fits of rage; dirty, dirty fingernails in home economics, touching the food you are about to eat; and smelly breath, breathing on you, while having your bust measured. Gives me shivers just thinking of her! Do you get the picture?).

At the age of 25, I became a Mum to little Zac. During my pregnancy I had been experimenting with different forms of art, when the idea of sewing came to mind. I didn't own a sewing machine, however, I thought to myself that if my next child was a girl, I would love to learn to sew pretty clothes for her to wear. My next child, born two years later, was another boy, Tom! After a few months of realising that I would not be sewing for a daughter, I lashed out and bought a new sewing machine. My first projects were children's skirts, that I gifted.

A few months later, one of my best friends Jules, of Julieanne Perara Photography fame, had started a small business called Ashton & Ivy, selling gorgeous children's clothing, and was invited at the last minute to be a stall holder at a local market, which was to be held in two days time. Jules asked me if I would be interested in selling with her, along with another friend Jade (mamamadethat). We all quickly got sewing, and made enough stock to fill one stall. The market night was a success!

Since then I have branched out on my own, had my little labels and swing tags made up, become a registered business, sold at many markets, opened my madeit store ( madeit.com.au/madstitches ) and have had so much fun ! I love it all, apart from the fact that our dining room table is now the "sewing table". Ask Zac!
Another of Jessi's gorgeous creations!
What's the best part about running your business?

As a primary school teacher, on family leave, I missed the interaction with different children. Selling my wares at markets gives me so much pleasure as I see children's faces light up when my items are purchased for them. I love making children smile. I particularly feel chuffed when I see gorgeous little girls prancing around in my headbands. They look so beautiful. I may not have my own daughter to dress, but I can now dress the little girls of Melbourne... if they allow me to?

Oh ...and ...I should add that making money from a hobby is so very special. Every time someone thinks that my items are worthy of their money, it makes me want to do a little happy dance!
This beautiful red onesie is available on Madeit!
What's the last thing you made yourself?

The last thing that I made for myself was one of my favorite skirts. It is a holly hobby printed skirt, made from vintage fabric, bought off etsy. I finished it off with vintage white lace trim. I have had so many compliments. It is such a simple skirt, but so very sweet and feminine too! To tell the truth, I think that it is the only thing that I have made for myself! 2010, is the year of "Me", so I have many projects listed for myself, all from the meetmeatmikes book. I will keep you posted!

Detail on the dress - I love the pocket!

Thank you so much for answering these questions Jessi, and I would love to see many little girls of Melbourne wearing your clothes!

Visit Jessi here:
Mad Stitches Blog
Mad Stitches Madeit Store.


michvanetta said...

Such a lovely interview and lovely little creations.

I just know my little girls "of Melbourne" would adore one of those denim dresses :)

Your fabrics are so cute Penny, they're just adorable and perfect for little misses xx

Deb - Two Cheeky Monkeys said...

Oh wow, what a sweet way to use your birdie fabric Penny!

How amazing it is to see the work of two talented artists combined. :)

BonTons said...

Your fabrics are a delight to the eyes, love it!

june at noon said...

Wow, what gorgeous pieces, made very special by the awesome bird fabric!

Buttons by Lou Lou said...

Very nice. A great combination of skills between you two!

Made at Greenview said...

Your fabric designs are really lovely. I particularly like the colour combinations and it works well with the denim.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

helena / little mo said...

awwwww jessi did such a lovely job!! And I had so much fun reading her interview!

I want to wear a denim dress too, with birdy pockets!