As a little girl, I loved all kinds of creative play including dressing up. I created my own world, pretending to be different characters.
It was an exciting and safe space where I was in charge, could be anything I wanted and could let my imagination run wild.
From making magic potions with the rose petals in our garden, enjoying adventures on my hobby horse, to running a teddy bear hospital from the garage and exploring the woods where rabbit holes became entrances to fairy kingdoms, imaginative play was my happy place where I made sense of the world.
My father was an actor so I saw dressing up as part of everyday life too!
When I had children of my own, I loved making them dressing up outfits and watching them create their own imaginary worlds.
They were explorers in a jungle of large rhubarb leaves on our allotment, chefs running a play dough café, fairytale royalty and superheroes with special powers.
It brought back happy memories of my own childhood.
As a child and a mother, imaginative play was to treasure.
The idea for Another World Costumes began when my eldest son’s reception teacher asked for volunteers to make capes for a superhero week. I volunteered and sourced some bright and sparkly fabrics and trimmings.
I spent the weekend in my element, sewing and embellishing capes to transform little ones into superheroes.
What I quickly realised was how much I enjoyed the freedom when creating costumes for children in terms of using bright and bold colours, tactile fabrics and the theatricality.
The teacher invited me to school so I could see how much the children enjoyed wearing them and to chat with them about how the capes had inspired their play.
The feedback was lovely (and honest!) and I learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t work for children.
It was particularly lovely to hear how the capes had helped some of the shyer children gain confidence.
And I’ve continued designing costumes ever since!
I find it a joy to create costumes for children.
It combines my love of pattern cutting and sewing with the magic of theatre and children’s imaginative play which makes me feel like I’ve come full circle.
As Einstein said, ‘imagination will get us everywhere.’
I’m totally with him on that, aren’t you?!