If you are looking to shop local this festive season I will be focussing on a selection of makers and creatives who are selling their wares both online and at local Christmas markets.
First up is Ruby Henderson who creates beautiful, bright, handmade children’s clothing in her attic studio at home in Broadgate. She set up her small business, Bib and Braces, during lockdown creating comfortable, bright, clothing for little people on the move!
What inspired you to create handmade children’s clothing?
I started because I wanted to make clothing for my own little boy Sidney, who is now two. I felt uninspired by the racks of boring blue and grey offerings for little boys and I wanted to move away from consuming fast fashion completely. Buying secondhand items for children can be difficult when you need specific sizes, and there is such a quick turnover when they’re small. So, I asked for a sewing machine for my birthday in lockdown off I went!
I started to share my makes for Sidney online and soon lots of people began asking if I would sell them and so Bib and Braces was born!
Do you design for a specific age range?
Presently I stock from newborn to ages two to three, though I can and do make larger sizes on commission.
You work with some lovely fabrics, tell me about those.
I source the fabrics I work with carefully. I wish to ensure my products use minimal plastic, so no polyesters and my button fastenings are metal. I use 95 per cent cotton jersey, which is soft and stretchy, ideal for babies and toddlers on the move.
I source a lot of my fabrics online, some from other independent sellers that I’m keen to support on Etsy and also lots from Little Legs Fabrics who are an independent company based up near Scorton.
Tell me about the range of clothing you offer.
I specialise in romper dungarees, both short and long-legged, but also offer leggings and pinafore dresses for babies and toddlers. Other items are available on request.
What prices do items start at?
£10 for small size leggings and all rompers are under £22.
You also offer a bespoke service, what sorts of pieces have you been commissioned to do?
Usually, requests are made for specific prints or styles, so people come to me not just for my ability to make garments but often to hunt down specific fabric motifs and designs too. I have made birthday dresses for little girls and hoodies for older children with specific characters or their names on and so on.
If someone is looking for a special one-off design, what is the best way to get in touch?
Through my Facebook or Instagram pages, just drop me a message. I mostly stock rompers in my Etsy shop but I do have capacity to make other garments. I’m open to having a chat about what’s possible and with enough lead time, I can accommodate most things.
Where do you sell your work and are you doing any markets?
The majority of my sales come through my Etsy store and commission enquiries through Facebook and Instagram. I work in a ‘make to order’ format meaning I don’t really carry much stock in an attempt to avoid waste or being left with unsold garments.
I have been present at The Larder’s Handmade for Christmas markets with some festive-themed items and taking orders where people can see and feel my fabrics for themselves.
Ruby will be at the Handmade for Christmas market at The Larder on Saturday 11 December from 10am – 4pm.
You can browse a selection of Ruby’s handmade children’s clothing in her Bib and Braces Etsy shop.