Hello, I’m Julia Claridge the founder of Bobbins and Buttons.
Bobbins and Buttons offer our own range of sewing patterns, a carefully selected range of the best quality dressmaking and crafting fabrics as well as Leicester based sewing classes.
How it all started:
I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle.
I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself.
I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew!
I studied fashion design for four years but found it hard to get a graduate job. I started my first business as a dressmaker while I pursued a career. I became so busy with making wedding dresses, ball gowns and outfits for special occasions that I continued for 5 years.
I eventually found my way to Leicester where I worked for manufacturers in their design departments for many years.
In 2004 quite disillusioned with the fashion industry that I found to be a very fast paced and ruthless environment. I decided to take some time out and took an opportunity to be a volunteer teacher in South Africa. I taught in an Art school that help the local disadvantaged community through the arts. I was the first teacher to teach the women of the community. I loved it, I extended my stay for most of a year and helped the women to achieve some great pieces of applique work. Work that they progressed with other teachers and still do today.
In 2008 I found myself pregnant and unemployed, I was lucky enough to be supported by my partner through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood. I love motherhood and feel very blessed to have a girl and a boy.
In 2012 while wandering around in the early hours of the morning trying to settle my baby boy I had the idea for Bobbins and Buttons. I decided I could teach my sewing skills in the hours when my kids were sleeping and be a mum when I needed to. In 2013 Bobbins and Buttons was born!