About Me

I am a self-taught toymaker and repairer based in Hertfordshire. I created Sew Shaw when I left my job as an Occupational Therapist to have my first child ('Little Sew'). I wanted to stay at home and look after him, so creating my own business and working from home seemed the ideal solution.
I believe I must have started sewing some time around the age of five. I certainly remember being so desperate to sew that I pinched one of my mum's needles, and pulled some thread from a fraying carpet (!) in order to repair my doll's dress. Why I didn't just pinch some thread from the same place I got the needle, I do not remember.
I began reading any sewing books I could find, and was inspired by my grandmother, who used to make stage props for her local theatre group. She would often be making props when I went to stay with her, and I would watch as she made a giant pork pie, Adrian Mole's pet dog, or (my personal favourite) a rat that could be chopped in half on stage (she stuffed it with spaghetti hoops, I kid ye not).
As a child, I remember repairing my own toys, and sometimes those belonging to my friends. As a teenager, my first job was working for a children's entertainer. I used to earn a little money repairing his props, and sometimes making them from scratch. There is nothing like being asked to 'make some clothes for an exploding puppet'. (Hey, this work helped pay my way through uni, getting my Occupational Therapy degree. Ironic, huh?)
This set me thinking, what do other people do when their toys need fixing? After a bit of searching around on the internet, I realised that not many places offer this service. Some places only accept antiques, or only dolls or teddy bears. Many toy repairers will not tackle modern soft toys at all.  You tell me the problem, and I'll tell you what could be done to fix it. If ever I think the cost of repairs would be prohibitive, I will be honest about it, but you make the final decision.

Come to Sew Shaw for:
  • cleaning, and general sprucing up
  • rips and tears
  • worn/bald patches of fabric
  • restuffing
  • replacement eyes/ears/noses/joints
  • damage limitation for toys in danger of falling to pieces
  • repairs/replacement clothing
  • picking up the pieces following attacks by the family dog (oh yes, dogs do like to chew soft toys)
  • damage that seems so bad, you don't know if it even can be repaired
If you have a toy that needs repair or restoration, Sew Shaw is a good place to start.

Please note, sadly I am unable to accept every toy for repair, for the simple reason there is not enough time in the world to repair every toy I am asked about. Sew Shaw is (at the moment) a part-time job, and much of my time is spent looking after my three young Sewlet(te)s (aged 7, 5 and 2) I will always help if I can, but please do not be offended if I am unable to take on new work at any time.
I am based in Hertfordshire, but am pleased to work with customers anywhere in the UK. I do not accept work from outside the UK. Please email sewshaw@gmail.com
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