Designer of the Week - Grom E

Good morning folks, are you ready for another hearty helping of handmade goodness? It’s my absolute pleasure today to introduce you to Kate from Australian children’’s label Grom E. Kate has absolutely spoiled us this week with a OOAK creation that truly embodies the magic of childhood.

Grom E Handmade Long Pants, Children's Clothes

The Product Review

In front of the review panel today (that’s me, a rambunctious two-year-old, and his Mum Louisa) is a pair of one-of-a-kind two tone straight leg pants made from 100% cotton. This is an ultra comfy pair of play pants with an elastic waistband and a mighty fine fabric design featuring retro 50s styled illustrations of kids in various costumes. Simply Adorable with a big pointy capital A!

Kate’s label Grom E is a testament to the creativity and spirit of handmade mums across Australia who are adding character and originality to contemporary children’s wear. A reasonable investment of $23.50 buys you a well-made OOAK garment that is crafted with love and imagination, a hint of nostalgia, and a mum at a sewing machine with two little ones at her feet.

The verdict… Super fun, super cool, and super playful!

The Indie Label

Kate launched her label in September 2011 after losing inspiration in commercially available clothing for boys. She explains, “”The colours seemed so drab to me, and the styles didn’’t seem to reflect the adventurous nature of childhood. Being a child is a license to have fun, explore and play, and I wanted my son’s clothes to express the carefree spirit of children. So I started sewing cool pants, and things progressed from there””.

The name Grom E is a nod to Kate’’s 22-month-old son Elliot who is a major source of inspiration for her designs. Kate began calling her little man “Grommet” soon after he was born, which was soon shortened to Grom. When it came time to choose a business name, Kate decided to add on the capital E to represent her son’s name, Elliot.

Grom E Handmade Long Pants, Children's Clothes

The Creative Mind

Kate learnt to sew when she was at school, and was given her first sewing machine for her 21st birthday. She spent many hours in her  youth sewing skirts and pants for her sisters (without using any patterns), and still sews on the same machine today.

When Kate started sewing as an adult, she taught herself lots of new sewing skills, including the use of patterns. She now has the confidence to alter patterns, sometimes quite dramatically, and hopes to do a pattern making course sometime in the near future…… maybe even a design degree! I asked Kate to walk us through her design process, here’s what she said:

“I’’m slightly addicted to fabric, and rarely leave the local fabric shop without at least 1 new fabric under my arm. I have tubs full to the brim of all manner of fabrics, and I often have to sit and reorganise them just to remind myself what I have.

My design process could be considered a little bit backwards, as I deliberately put fabrics and colours together that really shouldn’’t be paired. I usually start with a few base fabrics, and mix and match from there. Sometimes things I think will work well actually look terrible, and the things I think would be a disaster together work out to be really effective.

When I was a teenager I never used to match my clothes, you know the old saying “”blue and green should never be seen””, well I didn’’t feel it applied to me, and it drove my mother mad. But now she sees my creations and loves them all. She often says she would never have put certain things together, but I somehow just have a knack for mismatch happiness.”

Grom E Handmade Long Pants, Children's Clothes

The Whimsical Spirit

Here’s a few fun facts about Kate, in her own words…

  1. I’m afraid of chickens after a run in with a family pet when I was little. I’m also a bit scared of cows.

  2. I can’’t run forwards in my dreams, only backwards.

  3. My clothes drawers are sorted into colours as opposed to items. I find it easier to find things that way.

  4. I don’’t like getting water in my eyes and never open them underwater or in the shower. I have to dry my face after washing it before I open my eyes.

The Handmade Collection

Shop online for these goodies at Grom E, or visit Kate on Facebook for all the latest releases.

I’d like to leave you today with a couple of closing thoughts from Kate, which I thought were a lovely reflection of the passion that goes into her clothing…

“”My kids are my design inspiration. They fill my world with happiness and love, and in return I want to fill theirs with fun and adventure. It’s because of them that I have followed my dream of having a creative career. I want to encourage my kids to follow their dreams, so I must lead by example.””

Grom E Handmade Long Pants, Children's Clothes

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