When the weather permits Sally Pell likes nothing more than to sit in the garden of her idyllic family home in Torbay with her sewing machine whilst she designs, cuts and sews her beautiful range of bespoke childrens clothes. The Sally C AUSTRALIA range is the culmination of a lifelong passion for sewing and creating, begun when Sally was just a small child herself. From rural beginnings on a farm in Newdigate Sally grew up amidst nature whilst wearing the beautiful clothes made by her mother Rosemary. She was the one who first inspired Sally’s passion for sewing by teaching Sally how to make clothes for her dolls and then,on her 15th birthday, she was given her very first sewing machine. Little did she realise then that these simple beginnings would grow to become the now well known brand Sally C Australia.
After leaving school Sally completed a six month dress making and fashion design course at TAFE in Bentley before deciding to travel and work in UK for two years. Following her return to Australia she went back to her parents farm in Newdigate where she became reacquainted with her childhood friend Daniel Pell. Not long after they married and moved to the house in Torbay which now doubles as a studio and workshop for Sally’s designs. When Sally became a mother it was a natural progression to focus more on her sewing and in 2011 she showed her designs at the Old Pavillion market stall. This initial display was so well received that Sally then began to attend regular markets, including Denmark, the Boat Sheds and even the Clipper Festival Yacht Race markets in 2013. Sally continues to attend markets and festivals throughout the year to showcase her designs.
With her clothing and accessories becoming more and more popular Sally bought an old caravan and fitted it out herself as a small mobile shop which she then opened to the public. In 2015 she was approached by Dog Rock Chemist to supply them with a regular display of her wares in their shop. What initially started as a small display in the back of the store has now mushroomed to cover a whole wall with a full range of newborn to 8 year old clothing in store. Following the success of this enterprise Sally C Australia is also stocked by Stamms Emporium on Stirling Terrace as well as an outlet in Loft at Bridgetown.
Business is indeed booming for Sally C Australia, with her beautifully made, colourful and fun creations always in high demand. Sally only uses 100% Cotton Quilting fabrics and particularly favours fabrics and patterns in a variety bright colours, although her favourites are reds and navys.
“I love putting the fabric combinations together to create a unique style,” Sally says, “It’s so much more than just the sewing. There’s the visit to the store to choose and buy the fabric, deciding on the design and cutting it out, sewing it all together, attaching the labels and then the paperwork. It takes a lot of time but I just love the whole process, from the initial idea to seeing the finished article in the shops.”
This attention to detail has paid dividends for Sally whose individual design and workmanship show in the quality of her products. Most of her orders are private orders through her social media accounts, email or returning customers.
As well as the clothing designs Sally has also provided sewing lessons and workshops. Her first workshop was held in Torbay 3 years ago and then last year she taught a 4 week sewing course at the Rainbow Coast Family Centre. Sally enjoyed these sessions so much that she has decided to offer regular sewing lessons next year. Aimed at beginners Sally plans on providing a 4 or 5 hour lesson covering the basics of sewing and ending with a trip to Spotlight showing people what cottons and materials they will need.
“I want the sessions to be fun and interactive,” Sally says, “I found that when you just do an hour’s lesson over a few weeks people can end up missing sessions or forgetting things. This way you will learn all the basics to get started in just one day. I’ll be doing the lessons at all different times, evenings, weekends and some weekdays, so hopefully it will available for everyone who wants to take part.”
Sally freely admits that she is obsessed with all things fabric and her originality, enthusiasm and dedication is obvious, not only in the beautiful clothes she designs, but in her passion for her work.
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