Sew n Design is a family-owned fashion and design company specialising in high quality, personalised service in all aspects of dressmaking and fashion design. We pride ourselves on our friendly service and quality of work, and we endeavour to bring fashion to people from all walks of life by researching and designing garments to help those with special needs.
Sew n Design was started as a part-time service in the early 90’s, doing work for friends and others who were referred by word of mouth. In 2001 it became a full-time business venture and progressively purchased a large range of industrial sewing machines and supplies. In 2012 it was renamed to Sew n Design and is now based in a large purpose-built studio located in the family home in the inner-city suburb of Camp Hill.
Sew n Design gives back to the community by holding free charity workshops for cutting, pattern-making or construction for a number of charitable organisations.
I started sewing at a young age and have worked in fashion production in both New Zealand and Australia ever since. When I first arrived in Australia in the late 80’s I worked for Vince Hickey Basketball, making the uniforms for the Brisbane Bullets until the business was sold. I then went on to work for Stubbies, who used the “cell” machine format (standing up while sewing), as well as making bridal wear for PS I love U until I resigned from both jobs late into my pregnancy. I have primarily worked in women’s fashion production as well as doing some work for Peter Williams Riding Apparel.
Over the years, I have experienced various different aspects of fashion, design and patternmaking, and have been privileged to attend and participate in fashion events, exhibitions and displays. I have acquired thousands of patterns from multiple design companies, as well as having a large collection of patterns that I have designed myself. From 2007, I have undertaken formal fashion and design training in order to compliment my years of first-hand industry experience and have successfully completed a Certificate 3, Certificate 4 and Diploma of Vocational Education and Training, a Certificate 4, Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion, Design and Technology, and a Certificate 3 in Textile Production. In 2014 I completed a Bachelor of Fashion, Pattern Engineering and Design.
I have been teaching fashion and fashion-related topics in various institutions since 2009. In early 2017, I resigned from my institutional work in order to focus on the rapidly-growing workload and demand for my home studio.
I feel that so many skills in the area of sewing and patternmaking are being lost, with many of the current trends today leaning towards the throw-away-and-replace and low-quality work. In order to be sustainable and help care for our planet and the people on it, we need to ensure that we produce high quality clothing that has longevity and strength.
These are companies we are either affiliated with, or may refer you to in order to purchase certain items.
The studio is a custom-built room located in the family home. It has been designed to house all the machinery and large cutting table used by the business. It also houses storage for patterns, fabrics, threads and many other supplies essential for the successful execution of fashion operations.
It has direct access to the external of the building for easy client access, as well as air conditioning, visual and audio media systems and plentiful lighting.
Students of Sew n Design are able to work in this room under the supervision of Gwenda once they have completed the relevant safety inductions and briefings.
The machinery available in the sewing studio can be viewed below.