welcome To The One Thimble Blog
When Kt and I were in Brisbane for the school holidays I was lucky enough to meet the dynamic sister duo behind TigerLily Patterns. It was such a lovely morning and if there hadn’t been a plane to catch I would’ve liked to just stay there chatting!
Abbie is the “Mrs Lily” half of Tigerlily Patterns being Mum to a Lily and Jenna is the “Mrs Tiger” half of Tigerlily Patterns, being a mum of two little Tigers. Together they are Tigerlily Patterns, two sisters who love to sew and create. They are a team that have been sewing and making for almost as long as they have known each other. They combined together to become TigerLily to share their fun with you.
Can you tell me a little about how you got into sewing/designing patterns?
Abbie – Mum used to make a lot of our clothes growing up and taught us to make dolls clothes from primary school, then in high school I did Home Economics and really got into sewing clothes for me. I didn’t have a lot of time for sewing again until I stopped working to have Miss Lily. She has always been so tall for her age that store bought was always a funny fit so I made her clothes. As she got older I got more interested in designing things specifically for her and ended up doing a pattern making course which eventually led to Tigerlily Patterns
Jenna – Sewing has always been in my life- watching Mum sew as her hobby and she always let us (her 3 girls) use her machine to make and create. I loved taking Home Economics in high school and I was the one who made a patchwork quilt while everyone else was making a pillowcase. I began designing more of my own patterns after having my boys and finding a lack of choice, inspiring and fun things to make for them.
What is your best sewing tip or do you have a favourite haby item that you couldn’t live without.
Abbie – Best tip would be always keep scraps of all types of fabric to test different stitches, tensions, etc so it’s right before you start on your outfit. Haby item I can’t live without – sigh – My Seam ripper! Jen’s hubby loves woodwork and has made me a beautiful double ended wooden seam ripper that I use way to often.
Jenna – My tip is to ‘Measure twice, cut once’. Check, check, check before you cut, it is very hard to uncut fabric (some would even say impossible)! My favourite item is my random button collection- there is always the right button somewhere in the pile.
What inspires you?
Abbie – Miss Lily is my main inspiration – she will come and say “Mummy will you make me…..” From there a new pattern will be started
Jenna – Inspiration is everywhere, it doesn’t take much for an idea to pop into my head but mostly I am inspired by watching my boys (ages 4 and 8). I get so many ideas from their play, interests and needs. They also are constantly giving me detailed descriptions of costume requests- some of which turn into designs to share through TigerLily.
What’s your favourite (of your) patterns and why?
Abbie I think so far, that would have to be the Princess Hoodie. Miss Lily has a fun Pink one, a Frozen Fleece one , and this week has been a bit of a Disney inspired week and she now has a Snow White and Tinkerbell inspired one. I love how easy it has been to create so many different looks and she loves being able to dress up in the cold weather.
Jenna – That’s like asking who is your favourite child! I love them all but if I need to pick one I will choose the Crocodile Pants/Shark Shorts. It was the first pattern we released as TigerLily Patterns which in itself makes it special to me but also because it exemplifies so much of our philosophy of making more choices for boys that are fun and exciting. I have made many of these shorts for a range of ages and they are always popular.
Whats something that people might not know about you?
Abbie – I work in a fabric shop, and yes that is as dangerous as it sounds! even more so as it’s only 5 minutes away, so if I’m sewing and I “need” something it is only around the corner. I dropped off my resume just on the off chance they may need staff and a week later I was working there. It’s my local fabric store and I’ve been shopping there for 4 years so all the girls knew me already. I love working with other people who share my passion for sewing and chatting to people all day long about fabric and sewing.
Jenna – I am an early childhood teacher and have taught Prep and PrePrep students for many years. Children are my passion and I have had the privilege to teach and observe so many little personalities over the years. I have had some time away from teaching while my own little ones are still little which has given me the opportunity to, not only be involved in their school/kindy, but to develop TigerLily Patterns.
What is it like working together? do you think its easier because you are sisters? any tips for anyone else for working with family members?
Abbie – I think it’s easier as sisters who are friends than just friends as we have known each other forever (literally 🙂 ) and we know each others strengths and weakness like our own. We have a lot of fun working together and there is a lot of laughing all day long. Each of us have different skills and backgrounds with computers and design and complement each other really well. I think if you are working with anyone you always need to be upfront and honest about what you expect for your business, from each other and make sure you are always going in the same direction. It’s about constant communication with each other.
Jenna – We get asked this a lot! We are a team in every sense of the word. I think it is easy for us because we are friends as well as sisters. Like many siblings, we have different personalities and strengths and we combine our best attributes to make a dynamic partnership. I respect Abbie for who she is and how she works and don’t expect her to be anything else and she does the same for me (we are supposed to be our own person!). We are also equally involved and invested in our business. We don’t compete and compare. Her successes are my successes and vice versa. My tip comes down to three words; Trust, Communication and Respect.