Guest Post: Naomi of Thula Thula

Thula Thula

Hi, I’m Naomi, creator and designer of thula thula.
The name is a Zulu word meaning hush….why thula, well, I’m married to a South African and I fell in love with a little song with the same title. It’s quite lovely and embraces the design focus I have when I create for the label.
Jacqui asked me to write about what I do and I’m quite honoured.
Being handmade and just little old me, I love that I can do it from home, even though it’s very hard to juggle the house and kids. So most of my sewing is done at night when the little ones venture off to bed.
And my main weapon of choice for everything I do…coffee! Strong!
I’ve tossed and turned about what to write today and thought I’d share with you the tools I use to make my designs and why I do it. Many of you are possibly un-aware of the work that does go into creating fashion. Mine is condensed since I don’t have a team of people and I have a collection of vintage and new tools to help me in my process.
Both my nan’s were crafty/arty. So I guess that’s where I became hands on. One of my nan’s knitted, which I really can’t do, the other a very talented embroider and I get a lot of inspiration from her work, which I now treasure. I also inherited her tools of trade along with a collection of buttons and trimmings, I don’t use these, but they are scattered as decorations around my work area.
So my tools.
Sketch books, they date back to Fashion Design school in 1993. I don’t throw them away, they have everything from a design I dreamt of in the night to something I saw while people watching. From a costume in a movie/tv to scenes of a city, anything that gives me inspiration….even clippings from magazines.
My rulers and scissors…essential. When making a pattern or grading each one comes into there own. Pattern making I find relaxing and enjoy. When I have drafted a pattern I make a sample of the garment and alter it in the pattern if needed. The final pattern is graded in to other sizes.

Blocks. These are basic pattern forms, like a bodice or pant made of thick cardboard. I made my own for children and are used for a creative new design. No designer can do without them.
And finally my Sewing machine - my love. I have two and an overlocker. No commercial, just basic domestic, but they are well looked after and oiled every second day and given a service twice a year.
Best of all, is teaching my little girl…the next generation sewer in my family. She is now 3 and very interested, so I love to nurture while she is interested and has her own vintage sewing machine to practice on.

Thank you so much Naomi for sharing a little insight into being a fashion designer, working from home and your tools of the trade. I have added my own favourite picture of Naomi's little girl. She has two Mee a Bee bags and with her gorgeous curly hair and vintage charm she may just become the muse for a new collection of bags.  

Jacqui (Blooming in Japan).
Thula Thula is available online here


  1. I enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks Jacqui, I wish I had more hours in a day to write more. But it was fun and I love that maddy is so keen to sew.
    oh! Madeline and Aiden love their bags. They made me take more pics today, whcih are tragic fighting ones for who is in frame more. kids!


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