In 2008, I was working part-time and needed to fill my days off so I took up the hobby of sewing. My mother had taught me the basics of a sewing machine when I was a teenager: how to load the bobbin, thread the machine, and sew straight and backstitch. When I say basics, those are as basic a set of skills as you can have to operate a beginner sewing machine.
Upon graduation from high school, my mother gifted me with a simple $100 sewing machine. It was a nice gesture, but I didn’t really have much use for sewing at that time (no space in the dorm room). So, when I wanted to start making some baby shower gifts for friends who were expecting, I pulled out my sewing machine for the first time and got to work watching some tutorials.
I began sewing nursing covers for my expecting friends as well as burp cloths, bibs, and cozy flannel receiving blankets. Soon, I branched into the world of aprons and pot holders for cooks in the family. I designed a tote bag thereafter. I continued my hobby business selling mostly to acquaintances, friends and family through Etsy. When I took a full-time job in 2009, I had less time and could only sew for baby showers and special occasion gifts. The hobby came to an abrupt halt when I welcomed my first child in 2011.
I found it difficult to find time for my hobby with an active infant and sleepless nights, so I closed my Etsy shop and didn’t have a chance to revive Darby Lane Designs until I purchased a second hand sewing machine in March 2020.
Now, I have been busy setting up my sewing studio and familiarizing myself with local materials. I’m in love with the traditional german print 100% cotton shweshwe which is customary to wear to formal functions in Botswana. I’ve been sewing cloth pocket style pleated face masks for healthcare workers, friends, and immunocompromised pediatric patients my husband treats. Thank you for stopping by and I hope to be creative and designing new handmade gifts for your perusal soon.