When Robyn reached out to me a couple of years ago about the possibility of using my patterns for her handmade garments, I was absolutely thrilled. This kind of collaboration is exactly the kind of thing I love about the sewing industry – a sharing of creativity and skills.

Robyn started her business, Woven by Society, eight years ago in Melbourne, a city I lived in briefly and still love. She left the corporate world to start a small workshop business, teaching sewing to help empower women by learning new skills, sharing creativity and building a community. That business morphed into what it is now. She no longer teaches workshops, but creates and sells clothing made from a range of fabrics, including deadstock, focusing on sustainability, comfort, longevity and uniqueness.

Robyn emailed me after discovering Sew Different designs, asking if it was possible to use my patterns in her business. I could see that our range would work perfectly for the small fabric quantities that Robyn sources. Dresses like the Essential Denim Dress and the Artista Dress work so well with remnant fabrics due to the small pattern pieces.

It’s been incredibly fun seeing Sew Different’s patterns come to life in Woven by Society’s creations. It’s always exciting to see what other people will do with your own designs and Robyn’s great sense of colour and design are exactly what I would have wanted from any maker.

Robyn says, “Although we may make the same item, in the same fabric, guaranteed, there will be differences in each one. Being handmade ensures no two pieces will ever be the same. Whether the difference is fabric placement, thread colour or slightly different seams. My clothing has a strong focus on the fabric. It is the story. I love fabrics that tell a story and relate to the person wearing it.

As Robyn’s business continues to thrive, she says, “Being a sole trader is hard. But being smart and knowing your strengths helps. I am not a trained designer. I love sewing, love mixing fabrics, and have a pretty good eye for colour. Using designed patterns with my skills not only enhances my collections, it helps share businesses, creativity and continues to build a community of like minded women, which was one of my original WBS goals.

You can find Robyns creations on her website – wovenbysociety.com.au

I also love running my own business. The flexibility and the creativity are the best parts. I think most people who work for themselves work longer hours and not many turn out to be millionaires!

If you’ve thought about starting a creative business but don’t know where to begin, here’s a list useful articles.

Don’t forget that most commercial patterns are copyrighted and you would need to seek the permission of the designer in order to use them.