Sewing has been a passion ever since childhood, having grown up with Mum's sewing machine permanently set up on the kitchen table. For the last few years I've been making children's accessories (formerly known as 'Love Giggles') and selling at a number of fairs. This year I'm taking it up a level!
The idea of making traditional children's nighties was inspired, once again, by mum, who every year has sent my daughter a beautiful homemade nightie made using 'actual vintage' patterns, passed down through the family. My daughter just loves wearing these long, floaty nighties - resembling Wendy from the Peter Pan stories. Which leads me onto how the name "T H I M B L E' came about:
"As Peter and Wendy meet for the first time, Peter is attempting to reattach himself to his shadow. Wendy offers to sew the shadow onto Peter with a needle and thread. Peter crows at his reunion with his shadow and Wendy sulks as Peter acts as if she had nothing to do with it. But when Peter tells her that "one girl is more use than twenty boys," Wendy is so excited by his compliment that she offers to give him a kiss.
Peter, the embodiment of youthful innocence and naivete, doesn't know what a kiss is, so he holds out his hand for Wendy to give him one. Wendy gives him the thimble so as to not hurt his feelings.
So the thimble is the whimsy of youth, the obliviousness of innocence, the careful gift of a polite girl to a young boy with no experience of the fairer sex. It's a symbol of the comedy of naivete and the capacity for compassion in a child."
I adore looking out for beautiful fabrics, lace and buttons and I couldn't be happier sitting at my sewing machine, in our loft room, making each nightie individually and feeling very proud of the results.
All this would not have been possible without this long list of very important people that have supported and pushed me along...
Sister Suzy - My quality control! Incredibly high standards and eye for detail. She has pushed me to reach the top of my game and not undersell my talent. She has put so much time into helping with my design development, brand and website. Thank you. (www.suzannasymonsthomas.com)
Bro-in-law Ollie - My professional photographer. He's given up so much of his time to help me out and take these beautiful photographs. The children just love him! (www.oliversymonsthomas.com)
My daughter - My cover girl! She seemed happy to receive payment in Kinder eggs.
Sister Genevieve - Who has put up with 'Thimble' chat for 99% of our time together, and a reliable back up and brilliant seamstress if I get overloaded with orders.
Mum - My inspiration! Brilliant sewer and maker of everything! (www.canbags.co.uk)
Dad - Who has always championed 'working from home', and been very encouraging.
Husband - Who puts up with me disappearing up into my loft sewing room, way too often!
Polly - The brain behind the name Thimble. Genius.
All my beautiful models.