Do you ever see someone handy work and then wonder if you can get them to come and live in your cupboard to make clothes just for you?? This is how I feel about Sharmeen, the only problem is that she lives all the way over in Singapore…and I don’t have a small person to dress up…although I could just start stockpiling dresses for Phoebe…or have my own baby (Dean if you’re reading this, don’t worry I’m joking…kinda…) Some of the items from Miss Marie Dresses are mini versions of dresses I’d love to wear now – any chance you can make me an Ayda or Juliette about 10 sizes bigger?? 😉
Let’s get to know the crafter!
I‘m Sharmeen, I live in Singapore now but we moved here from Australia for my husband’s work. I worked in an office for many years – never thinking I’d ever run a business of my own!
I still work now part-time for a recruitment firm and sew the rest of the week. I enjoy cooking and reading whenever I get the chance. But sewing my dresses is when I am at my happiest! I love to see the little details come together. I never make the same dress twice. To me, each dress is like a little art piece. But I don’t want my girls to be precious with my dresses. They’re made to last and to be handed down (hopefully with lots of stories).
The business part has also been fun. There is SO much to do and learn but the crafting community is very supportive. Every time I’ve needed something done for my business, I’ve turned to the community and people have stepped up willingly to help me out. It’s not easy starting from scratch, but the positive vibes you get from everyone around you is so worth the effort.
So why Miss Marie Dresses? As you would have gathered, my name is not Marie 🙂 As newly weds, we lived above a train station and right across the road was a little cafe called Miss Marie Cafe. The owner named it after his wife. My husband and I would have coffee there every morning before heading out to work. When I set up my business, I wanted to name it after this cafe. It is a place that holds a very sweet place in our hearts.
How did you get into crafting?
When I was a child my grandmother took a lot of time and effort in planning and sewing my outfits. I had the most beautiful clothes. I learnt to draft patterns and sew for myself. About 3 years ago we had to move to Singapore from Australia (Melbourne) for my husband’s work. I used to be in the legal field, but gave up my job to join him on this new venture. So I had a bit more time to pick up sewing more seriously. One day a lovely lady was asking around the expat community for someone to help her make a Halloween costume. So I contacted her and helped her out. From there, she went on to commission me to make her daughter some dresses. My business took off from there. Now I get most of my orders through word of mouth. I learnt from my grandmother, so I use a lot of old-fashioned techniques in my sewing (no short cuts) and I think people appreciate those details and come back for my dresses.
Where do you get inspiration?
Everywhere! I love colours and observing how they can compliment or contrast. I also like to find out about the little girl I’m sewing for. Often their personalities will help me decide the style and fabrics to choose for each dress. When I sew, I imagine a little girl wearing one of my creations and feeling very special and loved.
What is your favourite item to make?
Definitely Dresses! I can sew matching shorts/ties/etc. But the dresses are my main focus! I’m now working on a range of ready to ship items for my Etsy store.
Quick Fire Questions
Bright or Pastel? Brights
Tea or Coffee? Tea
Sparkle or Shimmer? Shimmer
Early Bird or Night Owl? Night Owl
Hand stitch or Machine stitch? Machine stitch
Facebook or Twitter? Facebook
Summer or Winter? Winter
Do you sell handmade items online and would you be interested in being part of the I ♥ Handmade series? Drop me an email to ILHM@mushaville.co.uk and we can chat!
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