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Interview with Michelle from The Toffee Tree

I first “met” Michelle from The Toffee Tree when she entered our Fat Quarter Competition last year.  It was so great to be able to get her onboard for Issue 7.

She contributed the “Li’l Red Capelet & Furry Friends Hoods” pattern to Issue 7 …. and a little birdie told me she’s got a super dolly skirt to share with us sometime soon!


Michelle Hall - The Toffee Tree - website

Michelle began The Toffee Tree as a personal blog in 2012.

She loves making practical and playful things with a storytale spin that encourage young imaginations.

She also loves anything chocolate, the colour green and works as a Women’s Health Physiotherapist.



Can you tell me a little about how you got into sewing / blogging?

I’ve been into sewing since forever. My Mum made a lot of our clothes and she always encouraged me to sew. I was always making things for my dolls on my Mum’s sewing machine and even made up my own pattern for a backpack for my cousin when she started daycare. She was only 3, so I would have been about 11 or 12. Mum bought me a Husquvarna for my 23rd birthday, because that’s what her Mum bought her (and it still works) and because that’s what Grandma’s machine was (and that still works too!!). I used it sporadically, then my love for sewing was rekindled only a few years ago after a couple of my good friends gave me a kids clothes sewing book for my birthday. That was the deciding moment to begin blogging- I just wanted to share what I make and hopefully inspire some others along the way to have a go at sewing.

What is your favourite haby item that you couldn’t live without?

Apart from the essential scissors and rotary cutter, I’d have to say my super sharp quick unpick! I would be LOST without it! A blunt one is a potential deadly weapon for your beautiful garment.

What inspires you?

I am always completely enarmoured with the beautiful creations that the handmade world fills up Pinterest and Instagram with! That and the amazing photography that goes along with them. These are dangerous places to browse but are filled with so many fabulous things! When I came across Sanae Ishida’s blog I loved the simplicity of her style and fabric combinations. And the fact that she makes so much of her own wardrobe! I have collected a few Japanese pattern books over the past couple of years, that I often look wistfully at. I love fabrics that are natural and sustainable. I am also inspired by storybooks and toys that encourage creative play and encourage children to use their imagination.

What’s something people might not know about you (that you’d like to share)?

I love going camping. I have driven across Australia’s Longest Shortcut, from Laverton in WA to Winton in QLD. It’s not until you drive for 3 days non-stop that you realise just how big Western Australia is, let alone the rest of the country! It was 10 days from Perth to Cairns (with 2 small kids) and our boys still talk about going back to Cape York, even though one of them was a baby at the time! You’d think I would have learnt to knit or crochet for this trip but I didn’t! The crafty impulse didn’t come til a couple of years later!

What is your biggest challenge and do you have any advice for someone else in a similar situation?

My biggest challenge is keeping to the one task and not getting sidetracked with Pinterest or Facebook and the myriad of other things to look at! I’m always finding something else to try, have three projects on the go at once and float between them. I work better when I write a list and have a set timeframe, usually 15 minutes, to check social media, to give myself a bit of a buffer before moving on to what I’m supposed to be doing.


Lil Red Capelet & Furry Friends Hoods PDF Pattern Cover You can purchase Michelle’s pattern as a single PDF HERE or visit her blog to see more of her sewing adventures HERE or purchase Issue 7 which contains this pattern HERE.


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1 Comment to “Interview with Michelle from The Toffee Tree”

  1. Uncle Tim 02/07/2015 at 1:51 pm

    we want to know what Michelle’s husband thinks of her handiwork. Mind, I love her creations, not to mention the look of joy on her kids faces when modelling them for her


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