Friday, 21 November 2014

Materials and Techniques - Ted and Toot

There is are so many people doing so many wonderful things in the creative world. Each fortnight, I chat to another designer about how they make their products. Today my guest is the amazing Larnie from Ted and Toot. Larnie makes absolutely beautiful clothing for children. She is based in Perth and is a fellow member of Handmade Cooperative.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Larnie and I am Australian, born and bred. I have three adorable, active and high spirited children who love to challenge and delight me and my husband every day. I began designing and sewing evening dresses when I was 15, this began my journey in the fashion/sewing world until University chewed up all my time, prevented me from creating. My beloved sewing machine was packed away until I had my second child in 2010. As a stay home mum, I saw an opportunity to get out my long lost sewing machine and re-acquaint myself with the hobby I once loved so much. I began sewing for my children and before I knew it, family and friends were asking to buy my clothing. In 2013, I decided to open my online children’s clothing store, called Ted and Toot.

What materials and techniques do you like to use?

Cotton, Cotton, Cotton!! I love sewing with cotton…it breathes, it is sturdy enough to give a nice shape, while maintaining a lovely drape. Best of all, the range of designs and colours available is mind-blowing. I can see why people, like myself, get addicted to buying fabric. It is hard not to be inspired by the huge range available. I have a little weakness for interfacing too. It adds so much more definition and structure to a garment, which really allows the design, colours and details to shine. I can’t say I have a favourite sewing technique. I like to learn every technique I can. That is part of the fun, learning and exploring new tricks of the trade.

What challenges have you faced in the creative process?

For me the biggest challenge was sizing. I began my business using store bought or online PDF patterns and I found the sizes varied so widely. It became very clear to me that most of the patterns did not conform to Australian Standard Sizes. I soon realised how important it was to understand pattern drafting so I could modify and create patterns myself. I took some time away from my business to learn pattern drafting and it was the best thing I could have done. I was able to design and make anything I desired and I knew I could confidently say my garments were made to Australian sizes. I would encourage any talented creative person out there to find that technique or skill they are weakest in and set some time aside to learn a new skill…brush up on something which makes you doubt yourself or your product.

What drives you to create?

Hmmm, this one is hard for me to answer. I am one of those crazy people that goes from the minute I wake to the minute I sleep. If anything, I need my family to say STOP….Take a day off!! I don’t struggle with drive but I do have too many ideas at once and find I want to make everything ha ha. Fabric definitely inspires me. Fabric patterns jump out at me and I know almost instantly what I want to make with it. If I don’t have a pattern to bring my vision to life, I make one, which is time consuming but very rewarding. I love creating something different and I hope my clothing and bag range reflects that. I love that my range can evolve and change continually over time and I enjoy the fact that my clothing range can be as fun, unique and as different as my own creativity will allow.

What is coming up next?

Shhhh don’t tell anyone, but I am planning on launching my new sewing pattern business next year – Patterns in Australian Standard Sizes of course ;) I also have some new special occasion dresses which will be one of our new products at Ted and Toot next year….I promise they will be amazing!!!

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Want to read more lovely creative stories? Catch up on the archive.
Do you want to share your creative story? Do get in contact.

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