Tell us about your creative work and what we can expect to see at Handmade Hamilton.
I take vintage and thrifted fabrics and notions (buttons, trim etc) and turn them into timeless children’s goods. This year I will be bringing children’s coats made from classic wool blankets, holiday and cozy winter outfits made from reclaimed fabrics, and vintage inspired jumpers, pants and vests made from 100% wool suiting materials sourced from antique vendors and tailors.
What does your creative process look like?
I spend a lot of time searching vintage/thrift stores and Etsy for vintage children’s patterns to get inspiration . Then I let my fabric finds and the seasons dictate where I go from there. In the summer I had light floral dresses, bloomers and reversible rompers. For the fall I transformed vintage flannel and wool blankets into cozy bonnets, pants, and coats. Currently I’m creating holiday dresses with accents of vintage lace, and wool separates from a cache of suiting materials that were reclaimed from a tailor. I do all my sewing on industrial machines in my home studio while my 3 kids (aged 4.5, 2 and 2) are sleeping.
What inspires you to create the work that you do?
As a lover of all things vintage I’ve always been inspired by the well made, tailored pieces that stand the test of time. I want to create heirloom clothing that will be passed on to friends and family members for ages. By using reclaimed fabrics we can divert textile waste from landfills as well as reduce the heavy burden that creating new textiles have on the environment.
What are some of your favourite podcasts or music to listen to when you create?
I find podcasts and most music too distracting to listen to while working, so I will often have Netflix playing in the background. Usually something that I’ve watched a million times, like The Office or Star Trek.
What are your favourite books?
I’m a big fan of classic science fiction and fantasy novels like Dune, but since I have 3 small children at home I’m currently reading a lot of Dr. Seuss.
What are your favourite films?
I love campy classic movies and musicals. White Christmas and Meet Me in St. Louis are in heavy rotation right now!
Do you have a quote that keeps you going when you get discouraged?
My favourite quote is a lyric from Astrud Gilberto’s classic Samba hit Stay: “For time is running, take everything life can give you. You know it's there so take it, even fake it 'til it comes true.”
If you have any advice for any emerging artisans what would it be?
Soak up every piece of advice you can, don’t let your ego get in your own way, plan for your successes, and take your failures in stride.