Designer and maker for @Schudio
Words by Cassie Doherty
I love making things. I always have.
I always have. Anything from putting together IKEA furniture (sick, I know) to knitting scarves, I even enjoy covering my daughter’s school books with contact (another illness, I know). I remember in high school, sewing the standard boxer shorts and pillow case wasn’t enough for me. I also painted my pillowcase with fabric paint to match my Ken Done bedspread. In drama we had to write a short play, so I made a corrugated cardboard journal cover for mine. I just couldn’t help myself. In art I even made a corrugated cardboard fan, not the hand held kind, one you would plug into the wall!
I guess then it is no surprise that I am the maker in team Schudio. It must be in the blood. Like Kim’s mum, my mum was always sewing our clothes. She even had a business with her sister for a time, sewing children’s clothing. I guess growing up with all that creativity around me rubbed off a little. I just seemed to KNOW how to do stuff. I never studied sewing, never actually aspired to be a seamstress. I never studied fashion design or textile design. I just have a can do attitude. I see something I like, or get an idea of how something could work, I then consult my good mate Google videos and we are off… making all the pretty things.
There is a lot of testing of ideas, making things for home just for fun. Playing with new materials and lots of fighting with the sewing machine (I just can’t understand why she doesn’t understand what I am trying to achieve). Oh, and patterns… don’t even get me started on dress making patterns. Why do they always seem to be written in another language? I have taken to just looking at the pictures and working out my own methods to achieve the desired outcome. I do A LOT of testing of ideas, it never ends. We are always tweaking this and that, it is all so we can create the perfect item that showcases Kim’s beautiful artwork.
Cass cutting out test patterns
Fabric freshly cut and ready to become clutches
If you have been following our journey for a while, you will know that we started this venture making cushions, tote bags, small pouches etc. Generally anything that was square or rectangular in shape. It showed Kim’s work as it was when it was painted. Then we got a little brave and started making round cushions. Oh my, they were super cute and have become part of our standard range. They also gave us the confidence to just go for it and try and make something that is an irregular shape. Like a t-shirt. Ha… can sew something that is not square! Who knew?
A selection of our cushions in our NamaRama print
Kim in our Rebel Tee in Paradiso print
So now I spend my days testing and perfecting our range. Some old faithfuls have been tweaked to reflect the quality of Kim’s artwork and to ensure the longevity of the product and some new products (yet to be released) are now nearing (hopefully) the final stages of design before they are put into production and released to the world! We will always be creating and releasing new products, it is part of who we are. Always trying new things, always being inspired by other creative people (and there are so many creatives out there). We tried sticking to just a few things but it just wasn’t us. We have too many ideas!
Cass cutting out cushions, ready to sew.
So when you see one of our products out there in circulation, you now know that a lot of love and creative passion has gone into creating that one piece. From Kim’s endless hours drawing, painting and editing to create the perfect textile, to my never ending task of colour matching fabric, selecting contrasting embellishments, tweaking patterns and fighting with the sewing machine. There are so many decisions we make together for the good of our products and the direction we have in mind for Schudio, but we both have our strengths and our own roles to play. I respect Kim’s artwork and her ideas for certain pieces, she trusts my ability to bring her artwork to life on our products. We don’t always get it right, like we said, we are largely self-taught and driven by a passion for what we do. When we do get it right we often do a little happy dance or cry (happy tears). Sometimes we do both.