The One With the Origin Story

Willkommen bei Mini Mädel Creates!

Don’t worry, this blog is going to be written in English, but seeing as the name comes from the German language I thought I’d sneak a little in there to get things going.

For my first post I wanted to get the usual “hi, ‘this is me’ stuff out of the way.” I’m sure a bunch of you reading this will know most of this already (Hi Julie, Hi Linzi, Hi Auntie Denise!) so, sorry about that, but stick with me, it’ll get better I promise.

For those of you who don’t, here goes:

Hi, I’m Sam and I am a donut/cider/sewing/bulldog addict.

I was born in the UK and decided at a young age it wasn’t the place for me – waaaay too grey! So basically the majority of my life has been made up of spending as little time there as possible. Considering I’ve spent brief periods living in Germany, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and have been in the USA for the last 3 years, you could say I’ve done pretty well at it. The time spent in Germany (studying abroad as part of my BA) is responsible for the blog name – Mädel means ‘little girl’ and as I’m only 5ft 2″ and love all things German, it seemed like a good fit. I actually make my living nowadays teaching Beginners German online and spend a lot of time day dreaming of Berlin.

Anyway, enough of the gypsy life stuff, on to the sewing. I’ve been listening to the Love to Sew Podcast a lot lately (if you haven’t, then errr where have u been?).  Anyway, I feel like pretty much everyone they’ve interviewed learnt to sew from their mum or their grandma. No such luck in my family! My mum was more about cooking delicious food that meant we were all pretty chubby as kids.  Apparently my Nan did sew but she died before I was born so unfortunately I never benefitted from her skills. It’s sad but my dad sure does love that I took it up on my own regardless. From a young age I didn’t like to wear what everyone else did and I’ve always been creative so I started customizing T-shirts and even hand sewing in extra panels to my wide leg jeans to make them even wider. (My original dabble into ‘clothes making’ was making toilet paper togas for my Sylvanian Families, but ya know, don’t think that really counts – sure did annoy my mum though (sorry mum!) – toilet paper bits EVERYWHERE!)

It wasn’t until I met a now ex-boyfriend, Luke, that I actually learned to sew and read a pattern. His lovely mum Linda had sewn a bunch and said she’d help me. I always loved (and still do) vintage style, especially that of the 50’s and 60’s so I chose a 60’s mini-dress to be my first project. It was made from this stretchy red denim, with Linda’s help we put it together and did a pretty good job on the construction but unfortunately I just didn’t like it so never really wore it and my interest kinda petered out.

Bring on the next one! It’s 2009 and I’m dating a new guy – theme much? – turns out his aunt is a great sewist, she even made his sister’s wedding dress! Yahoo! Finally!

With Anne’s help I created a pin-stripe business dress for my fancy new job at Deutsche Bank, a dress for my best friends wedding and at least 3 or 4 more dresses. I was hooked and improving a lot. Pretty much all the stuff I made was from vintage patterns I ended up giving away when I moved continents so, sorry but I can’t help with pattern numbers!

After hating my job at DB with all of my heart and soul—I don’t belong in the corporate world at all— I even ventured into trying to make money from sewing. I care a lot about the environment so I got into upcycling. My main line being that I would take your favourite dress or shirt and turn it into something for your baby, usually shoes or a quilt.  I don’t have kids but man, baby clothes are so much fun to make! I had an Etsy shop and went to craft fairs and it was fun for a while but making sewing my work kinda soured the experience.

Fast forward to 2014, that guy and I have split after 6 years, I’m living in the UK (GREY), working in a crappy admin job and I’m miserable so what is my first thought? ESCAPE. With that in mind I applied for an MA programme and scholarship at the University of Florida (SUNSHINE!). On my 30th birthday, newly single and while on holiday in Croatia with my wonderful friends Annie and Illy , I got accepted (SAY WHAT?!) so from then it was a whirlwind of getting a visa and selling all my stuff to pay for mine and my dog Randle’s flight (yes, I brought my dog with me). Don’t worry, he’ll get a lot of mentions as he’s long been my sewing ‘assistant’ and like Rochelle over at Luckylucille I truly believe this guy is my soul mate and has way too much personality to be just a dog. He even has his own Instagram @mopey_time_with_randle. 

Fast forward again, I’m living in the USA, I don’t really have any friends, still kinda miserable—the culture shock has been intense—so I seek solace in sewing again. I’d gone to the effort of carry my sewing machine as hand luggage all the way here, I may as well use it!  I make a couple of things but then the craziness of the last year of an MA programme takes over so there’s no time for hobbies.

Now its 2016, I’ve graduated and I’ve met a boy, the lovely lovely Joe (He’ll get mentions too, although not as many as Randle – sorry bab!). Once I graduate with my MA in German Studies we decide to pack up our lives into an Airstream (caravan to the Brits, trailer to the Americans) and travel the USA, coast to coast. We blogged our trip at and we still post to our Instagram @campeatcompete.

Again, the sewing machine (and Randle) come with me. Now of course, living in 200 square feet is obviously the best time to begin sewing again – ha! This was around October 2016 and I don’t know what happened but it’s like I fell down the sewing rabbit hole and have no intention of climbing back out.

For Christmas I was bought some Tilly and the Buttons patterns and I took advantage of the January sales to sign up to a couple of workshops. This was my first taste of the Indie Pattern world, a world with cool, modern clothes I actually want to wear and doesn’t have enough ease to the patterns that I could easily fit another person in my dresses with me!

Not long after that I started to find the sewing community on Instagram and there really was no turning back. I’ve been sewing non-stop every since. My main aim – testing my skill set with more than just shift dresses from quilting cotton (standard sewing starting point right?)

I really do love to write so it seemed like a sewing blog was the next logical step. The plan is to keep a journal of the things I make, highlight both the victories and the defeats and who knows, even inspire someone else along the way. As well as being a fun, creative hobby, sewing has been a place to retreat to in the worst of times and has given me something I’d like to share with others. This is the point where I give a big shout out to my forever enduring friend, Nellie, for creating my simply perfect logo and meaning I no longer had an excuse to get this blog started.

I promise my next post will be a lot more sewing related but thanks for stopping in and getting to know me a little, hope to see you again soon.







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