My name is Mel (Melanie) and I am the Mum behind the brand MBL Designs, a small handmade business located in the South West of Western Australia.
I’ve always been around a sewing machine my whole life. In my early childhood Mum would be sewing away items like clothes for my dolls or curtains for the house. She’s always had a sewing machine and used it often. Her Mum (my Gran) also had a sewing machine and when I stayed with her in the school holidays we would live in her sewing room, sewing up a storm. I would arrive at her house with fabrics I had chosen from the local fabric shop and ideas of what I wanted them to be made into. Gran would design the patterns and together we would spend endless hours making new clothing for myself. I have such beautiful memories of these special times together.
Later on during high school when we got to choose some of our own subjects, I was excited to be able to do sewing and design. I had always had an interest there but had never done anything formal. I thoroughly enjoyed it, learning how to do many of those skills that I am still using now. It was the highlight of my week. I was awarded top student for the class and found it a lovely creative break from my TEE subjects.
Ocean Rays Spring Elegance worn by Aria
From there, I had a break from the sewing machine as I embarked on adulthood, work and study. I then moved out of home and didn’t own a machine of my own at the time so sewing went on the back burner. I wasn’t sure at the time if it would be something that I would come back to or not.
Blueberry Bunny Dresslette worn by Haylee
When I fell pregnant with my first child in 2012, now married and living in a house that we built, the passion ignited once again. I rang Gran and asked to borrow her sewing machine so that I could make items for the baby and I haven’t stopped sewing since that day. Gran’s machine never got returned and she could see how passionate I was about my sewing once again that she bought me my own machine, which is still the machine I use to this day. I think she was very happy that I returned to sewing.
Luxe Nautical Set worn by Ella
My first child was a massive dribbler and would need 10 outfit changes a day as he would saturate his clothes. This was when I started making him dribble bibs. I still remember making 4 different designs and trying them out on him to see which one I preferred. I made him up a heap and then since I had all these materials I decided to open up my own little business and I called it Mel’s Baby Love. I really enjoyed having my own little side hustle to compliment motherhood. I sold over 1000 Dribble Bibs in the opening months and was blown away with the demand for my items.
2017 Spring Elegance worn by Gabriella
Since then my little biz has continued to grow, I started making my son clothing and then offered some to my existing dribble bib customers as well. My son was always the inspiration behind Mel’s Baby Love. From there I fell pregnant with our second child and was incredibly unwell and unable to sew for majority of the pregnancy. I reunited with the sewing machine in my third trimester however this time all I wanted to make was little girls clothing, I wanted to try out new patterns and designs and something had ignited within me. I had another baby boy haha but that didn’t change my passion at all, it was still there and saw the rebranding of Mel’s Baby Love to MBL Designs in 2016. I had my first MBL release on my website when my second son was 3 months old and it’s just continued on from there. Looking back I still don’t know how I did it, a newborn, a 3 year old, a FIFO hubby and a business but I did and I loved it. My sewing room is my little haven and gives me my own interest outside of motherhood whilst being there for my children. When you find your passion, you find the time. Stay true to yourself, be authentic and follow the path that makes you happy.
Thanks for reading,