The story of Sew Tilley and my small business - Sew Tilley

The story of Sew Tilley and my small business

Sew Tilley handmade unique handmade memory keepsakes and more.

 I am a stay at home mum. I am a stay at home mum who is self employed. I am a young stay at home mum, who is self employed and running her own business!

Wow yes I am! 

I often shy away from answering that dreaded question, 'so what do you do for a living?' Why do I shy away from it? I don't actually no. Lack of self confidence I suppose. Yep that drama GCSE I got to 'gain and improve confidence' really did me wonders! 

But looking back to when I first started officially nearly 2 ago, I have actually come a long way!

 Who you have thought I would be writing this blog right now! I certainly didn't. Im not a business woman, I'm just a mum trying to make keep peoples memories alive a little longer and develop and share my love of all things crafting.  

Memory keepsake lion handmade by Sew Tilley from loved ones clothing

  I can always remember when I was little, sitting at the dining room table with my mums old sewing machine, sewing 2 small cushions to go on my bed. But as I grew older, I loved the outdoor and I chose woodwork for GCSE over sewing and textiles, that was too 'girly' for the tom boy that I was. 

Fast forward a good 11 years.... here I am with my own business.

Handmade memory keepsakes and more by Sew Tilley

So where did it all begin?

Sitting at home watching a TV program. Yes that's right. I created my business from my sofa! Watching a crafting tv channel, I found and fell in love with sewing.

I had a sewing machine that we brought with a gift voucher from my sister-in-law for our first wedding anniversary. It was intended to just be used for the occational alterations to my husbands clothes. He's 6ft something and trying to find clothes to fit right is a nightmear. We got some clothes that needed altering so out came the machine.. and that's as far as it went! I never did alter that pair of trousers for him! But I did discover the wonders of iron on hemming tape! 

Watching the presenters on the tv demonstrating how to make a simple patchwork blanket got me so inspired. I ordered my very first pieces if fabric from a lovely little fabric store I still use today, Fumbles Fabrics. 

 The fabric arrived quickly and following very simple instructions I made an envelope backed cushion! I was so impressed with myself! Over a few weeks, I began watching more and more of the sewing programs. At this time our son was about 6 months old and I was itching to sew more. I made a few patchwork cushions from old curtains and bedding I could find laying about and it was coming up to my 21st birthday.

Handmade memory keepsake bears, blankets, cushions and more from Sew Tilley

My mum who also watched the same programs, found that a new sewing machine was coming on offer and they couldn't decide what they wanted to get me for my 21st so a few days later a new Singer sewing machine arrived. Within a few day I mastered rethreading it, changing the feet, learning all the different tings it could do and produced my very first small quilt! That was it , I was hooked!

A few years later, lots of practice and discovering Pauline's wonderful patterns at Funky Friends Factory, our son was heading in to school. This gave me more time at home and eager to create more.

I debated for so long how to go about advertising and getting myself out there, then one day while waiting for our sons judo class to finish, I looked in to Esty and opened a shop there and then! And I haven't looked back since.

Where did the name come from? That was simply something I threw out there and over night it just seemed right! SEW - that's what I love doing, TILLEY- that me!

Sew Tilley Logo handmade memory keepsakes and so much more


It's been a long and hard road, learning how to juggle and separate work and family time, understanding how Etsy worked as a selling platform and how to promote myself, then setting up the website to enable us to grow even further, keeping things updated on social media, developing new products and creating new memory keepsakes. Plus not to mention the paperwork side of things! 

So that's it! that's where it all began! 

Running your own business however big or small isn't easy, but I know I couldn't do it without the support of my wonderful family, a few close friends and of course my Hubby (who puts up with a lot!) We have so many dreams and goals for our small business and one day I know that will all happen!

Sew Tilley. Creating handmade items. Home decor, lampshades and more Sew Tilley handmade memory keepsakes and so much more   Personalised handmade memory keepsake Teddy bear made by Sew Tilley. Treasure the memory of a loved one

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