Designer of the Week - Pretty Pickings

Hello friends! It’s my absolute pleasure today to welcome our Designer of the Week, Zoe from Pretty Pickings. For review, Zoe has sent us a gorgeous ruby red dress from her new winter 2012 collection. If you’re Mum to a little lady, you may like read this feature with your wishlist in a handy location!

Pretty Pickings Handmade Red Corduroy Girls Dress

The Product Review

If you could see my face as I’m typing this review, it would somewhat resemble the proverbial Cheshire Cat. This delightful ruby red dress by Pretty Pickings encompasses everything that I adore about handmade design. The workmanship is simply superb, the detailing is heavenly, and the silhouette is nothing short of charming.

While I’m on a role with the compliments… the lovely yoke with the embroidered strawberries is made from OOAK doilies (love!); The cap sleeves feature scalloped edging with a touch of green on the side (love!); The piping around the yoke features a little burst of polka dots (love!); And, the silhouette has a narrow a-line that tops off the look with a vintage flair that is perfect for pairing with shiny Mary-Janes and a pair of tights for winter.

Pretty Pickings has released a range of these dresses in 12mths, 18mths, 2, 3, 4 and 5. They are available in blue, red, pale pink, magenta and green and will be released shortly via the Pretty Pickings website. If you’re interested in snapping one up, you can contact Pretty Pickings online (or via Facebook) to reserve your favourite.

The Verdict… Scrumptious, Charming and Exquisitely Well Made

The Indie Label

Zoe launched her label Pretty Pickings in 2007, not long after the birth of her first child, daughter Priya. She whipped up a couple of dresses for Priya, which were soon being requested by family and friends. Not long after, Zoe ventured into her local children’s store, Shorties in Newtown, to see if they might be interested in stocking her dresses. They were, and have been ever since!

Zoe explains the gorgeous story behind her business name… “My talented brother in law and his fiance are in a gorgeous band called Agnes Kain (They are currently touring China and writing their 3rd album – how cool is that!). When Priya was born they wrote a sweet little song and it was named, you guessed it, Pretty Pickings! So really it was a no brainer… gorgeous music, written for our daughter and so suited to a kid’s clothing label. Here is a link to the song if you’d like a listen (song #8).”

The Creative Mind

Zoe is Mum to two beautiful children, daughter Priya who is 5 and has just started school and son Arki who has just turned 3. She is a WAHM and uses the designing and sewing process as her creative outlet. Zoe says, “It gives me such happiness to create lovely things for lovely children and I love that it allows me to be at home with my family full time yet still keeps me busy.”

As you can read from my review above, I am quite enchanted by Zoe’s use of upcycled doilies. She explains, “Doilies are my weakness, even though I have hundreds stashed away I still can’t help looking in op shops or garage sales for more. I think it is the amazing workmanship in them, embroidered by beautiful women sipping tea, chatting and looking after their family. It is such a shame that these works of art are often stuffed in boxes or drawers away from sight. Doilies are the inspiration for this new dress of mine; for a long time I have been wanting the perfect dress to showcase them and this is it!”

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s three fascinating facts about Zoe (in her own words)…

Before my children were born I was a primary teacher. I still am actually, however I haven’t taught for many years due to being home as a mum! If I want to keep my qualifications and not have to do some retraining I have to return for some casual work over the next couple of months… this is a little daunting… eeek!

When I was 19 I upcycled 2nd hand trolleys (you know, the granny ones) with bright fabrics and fur and sold them at Glebe markets and a store in Glebe. This year or so of entrepreneuring helped get me and my then boyfriend/now husband to Europe for almost 2 years of backpacking together. Traveling is a passion of ours and it is something that we hope to do a lot of as a family. Last year we went on a fabulous journey to some amazing places including Spain, Croatia and Turkey. To see the world is a wondrous thing and I want my children to experience loads of cultures learning along the way.

Over the past 5 years I have discovered the most amazing things about my family. New family members have popped up that we never knew existed. My mother found a half brother who was born in England, and grew up in India only to eventually reside one suburb away from my mother in Australia… how crazy is that!

The Handmade Collection

Alongside her lovely corduroy doily dresses, Zoe also creates reversible pinafore styles, cap sleeve lovelies, and beautiful skirts. Here’s a little sneak peek into her current collection, but you can view more online at her website, or join her on Facebook to get a first look at the new releases.

Pretty Pickings Handmade Corduroy Girls Pinafore Dress

Pretty Pickings Handmade Girls Dresses

Pretty Pickings Handmade Girls Dresses

Pretty Pickings Handmade Purple Doily Girls Dress

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