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Creating timeless custom pieces with one hand and handy sewing tutorials with the other - how Hannah does it!
Welcome to The Creative Files, where we speak to some of the biggest crafters, makers and designers, gaining insights into their creative processes, inspiration and their advice for newcomers. It was an absolute pleasure to chat with Hannah this week, who has taken her love of sewing and applied it to her business that creates custom linen clothing for women across Australia.
Who is handmadehannah_ and what is it that you create?
Hey! My name is Hannah, and I love creating high-quality, thoughtful garments that I know will be worn and loved for a long time to come. You'll mostly find me creating clothing for my business (@alden_clothing) or myself. I also create lots of sewing and DIY tutorials on my personal sewing account handmadehannah_.
Tell us about your crafting niche and how you found this.
Although I had been sewing for years on my grandma's sewing machine, I stumbled across the Instagram sewing community a few years ago and I found a new sense of excitement and possibility with sewing. COVID definitely helped with this, as I found I had so much more time on my hands to tackle more sewing projects, including challenging myself in learning new skills (insert wine, coffee, persistence and some tears here). I also love creating and sharing my sewing skills, which is what led me to start my personal Instagram account, handmadehannah_.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
In some very exciting news, I've just recently launched a new women's clothing brand, Alden Clothing. Alden offers custom linen clothing and invites customers into the design process, where they can create a garment in a style and fabric they love. The garment is then hand-crafted in Melbourne! I feel very passionate about this as sewing has given me the ability to have control over my wardrobe, and I wanted to bring that same opportunity to other women who don't sew. Prior to this, my background has been in nursing (totally different I know!). It's been so refreshing to find a new challenge and as my bursting-full wardrobe indicates, I've always loved clothes and fashion.
How did you cultivate your distinct style?
I am very drawn to anything linen (obviously!) and I'd say my style really is multi-faceted. I love creating anything comfy around the house, but also find so much delight in creating a piece that I know will be worn and treasured for years to come. I would describe my style at the moment as chic, relaxed and effortless. Alden's style also reflects this and is very timeless.
I'm happy to say though that my personal style often changes, so it could be different again if you asked in a few years' time!
What is your creative process and where do you get your ideas/inspiration?
I love sitting down with a sketchpad and pencils to draw/brainstorm ideas for new garments. This can be for new designs for Alden Clothing, or just dreaming up new pieces I would like to make for myself. For my own personal sewing, I certainly find so much inspiration from others in the Instagram sewing community. I also just love clothes and fashion in general and I've always loved finding quality pieces (even before I started sewing!) to keep in my wardrobe for years to come.
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I am definitely an early bird, so my day would usually start off with a nice early morning 5:30am wakeup (gross, I know) and a cup of tea. All my days are quite different. For days spent working on Alden Clothing or creating sewing content, I would usually juggle a few jobs at once. I'll often spend a few hours sewing, along with answering emails and other odd admin jobs. One thing I love is creating social media content, both for Alden and handmadehannah_. I find so much delight in creating reels, tutorials and planning content for the coming week.
Tell us what your favourite project to work on so far!
I'd be lying if I didn't say that launching Alden has been my absolute favourite project so far (it's certainly the biggest!). It's so rewarding and our recent photoshoot was in the top five best days of my life! In terms of personal sewing projects, there's a very specific pair of linen pants I self-drafted a while ago, and they were certainly the most challenging sewing project I'd undertaken at that stage. My husband helped me immensely and stepped in when I was ready to give up on the design process! With a glass of wine in tow I ploughed ahead and they're now one of my favourite pieces to date.
Do you have a single piece of advice you'd give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
I would never have dreamed five years ago that I would have launched a bespoke women's clothing business, nor that half my own wardrobe would be made by me! I think there is such immense value in just having a go, being persistent and never limiting yourself by saying "I can't do that'' or, "I could never do that''. You can literally learn anything and you can steer your life in any direction you want to.
Where can our readers find you?
For everything Alden, you can visit aldenclothing.com or @alden_clothing. And for all things sewing including sewing tutorials, you can find me at handmadehannah_ Thanks! Xx
Find Hannah here: