Where It All Began…

two pretty poppets

Hi! I’m Lisa – the designer behind two pretty poppets – detailed sewing patterns for professional results!

Born and raised in New Zealand, Mr. tpp and I, along with our two beautiful pretty poppets and mini fox terrier puppy, currently reside in the tropics of far north Queensland, Australia.

Me in my happy place (aka sewing room)!

I’ve always had an interest in sewing ever since my mum taught me how to sew at the tender age of very young (maybe 8…? I really can’t remember!). Throughout the years I’ve dabbled here and there with different sewing projects as one does. A couple of years ago I was right into making handmade clothes for my two pretty poppets – in particular creating appliqué tops to go with gorgeous little skirts for Chloe, and creating cute little rompers and ruffle bums for Leah…

Then I threw myself into making Chloe’s teddy bear quilt for her bed using the Daisy Bear Pattern from Kids Quilts. Here are a couple of my favourite blocks and the end result (finished as a duvet cover rather than a quilt).

… and I modified the pattern I was going to use for Leah’s quilt and made a start… I’ll get it finished one day! I chose to use the ‘My

‘Sunshine’ fabric story by Riley Blake Designs – Love!!! Pattern is adapted from the Secret Garden Trapunto Quilt Pattern (free pattern by craftpassion.com).

My 'Frozen' GirlsMy two pretty poppets are currently 4 years old – going on 6! – and 2 years old – going on 6 to keep up with her older sister!

They certainly keep me busy, so when I can find time to myself, you’ll often find me in my sewing room working on my latest project or pattern (or an Elsa costume or two!).

As much as I love sewing clothes for the girls and other bits and bobs, I think I’ve found my true calling now…

Bags… Ahh bags… I LOVE bags…!!!

This brings me to drafting my very first PDF sewing pattern for the Insulated Lunch Bag! After some extensive searching all over the internet, I simply could NOT find a lunch bag that would accommodate the lunch boxes my two pretty poppets used and have them laying flat so their food didn’t get all tipped up etc. (they use Tupperware Sandwich Keeper Plus lunch boxes).

So, over coffee one day (as you do!), a girlfriend and fellow sewist suggested I have a go at making my own lunch bag and then publish my design into a PDF pattern for others to use as well. After a bit of pondering, I decided to have a go. Why not? You never know until you try…!

After a few prototypes of different sizes and closures…

… I finally settled on the style and shape you know so well!

With drafting a PDF pattern also comes the adventure of opening an Etsy shop… and then setting up a Facebook page… opening a Craftsy store… setting up a Facebook group… and becoming an Instagrammer… phew! And in between all of that, writing more patterns for you to enjoy (the best bit!).

IMG_2387-001Along with my passion for sewing, I previously worked as a primary school teacher and am a self proclaimed perfectionist… I wonder if it was inevitable I would end up writing PDF patterns…?

I love the challenge of taking an idea in my head and transforming it in to a reality on paper, then into life using fabric and notions, and then back on to paper so others like yourself can create it as well!

I have so many wonderful ideas bouncing around my head and I can’t wait to share them all with you!

IMG_5009-001I would LOVE for you to share your creations made from my patterns over in my patterns Facebook group – and I know the others members would also love to see them! You can find the group here.

Happy sewing! Lisa 🙂

tpp_birds copy 2

115 thoughts on “Where It All Began…

  1. Louise Ambrosi says:

    Your website is lovely and your little poppets are very pretty! I’ve been following your work on Facebook and Instagram too 🙂 Look forward to trying out your beautiful bag patterns!

  2. Nilza says:

    Hi Lisa, thank you for sharing your story, I enjoyed it very much because like you I too was taught by my Mom at a very young age. I remember standing next to her while she worked on her industrial sewing machine.
    I love your ideas and designs and, although I don’t have much time for sewing because of my full time job, my goal is to try every single one of your patterns. Thank you for your creativity and especially for sharing it.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much Nilza! It’s always so lovely to hear of other sewists having been taught by their mum when they were little. I really hope when my two pretty poppets get a little bit older that at least one of them expresses an interest in it so I can pass my skills and passion down to them! If you get time to try even just one of my patterns, I would love to see it once finished. xo

  3. cyschutz says:

    It was very nice to “meet” you and your children. I currently have three of your patterns and now wish to get started making them. Your designs are very nice and looking forward to the “cooler”.

  4. Carol says:

    As the Mum of the “big” poppet and Grandma of the “two” Pretty Poppets you can imagine how proud I am that my daughter has improved on the skill she was taught at a young age. With the variety of products available in the retail market today, sewing is not as popular as is use to be when it was necessary to cloth your family and create items for home at a reasonable price.
    Well done sweetheart, your website is wonderful 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Naw thanks so much Mum! This means so much coming from you, but I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for you teaching me to sew all those years ago, and being there to bounce ideas off even to this day. <3

  5. Celine says:

    Your kiddos are gorgeous! I have a 4 year old girl and a 2 year old boy and my little girl would love to play with yours! I’m a beginner sewer who’s yet to try her first bag so am waiting to take the plunge!

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Celine! When you’re ready to take the plunge, feel free to ask for help if you get stuck in my patterns group on Facebook (www.facebook.com/groups/twoprettypoppets).

  6. Carla G says:

    Nice to meet the person behind the patterns! 🙂 Glad to know that there are other moms out there that can get sewing done with littles. Look forward to trying your bags after I get some other sewing (kids clothes) done for winter. 🙂

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you Betty. Yes very busy but I thoroughly enjoy it and it makes it all worthwhile knowing that my customers enjoy and appreciate my hard work. 🙂

  7. Fran Bott says:

    Life’s calling found in a need! We are lucky you found your calling.
    What beautiful little poppets you have. I had 2 girls and they kept me going 24/7 (well almost). I cannot imagine adding a third to the mix.

  8. Corina says:

    What a lovely idea. I’m still waiting (im)patiently to make the uptown tote. It’s my fave of all I’ve seen! I ? bags! My girls are older now but I always loved sewing clothes for them. Then doll clothes. Now I can sew for me!

  9. Rose Sabey says:

    Hi, Lisa, your 2 little poppets are so cute and adorable! I started sewing at a very young age too, and it became an obsession. Love your Goin Up Town Tote patter, can’t wait to try the others!

  10. Brittney Brock says:

    Necessity is the mother of all inventions! I love how you took something you needed and add it with your passion to create fabulous patterns! Keep up the great work!

  11. Jillian says:

    What a lovely evolution from sewing to designing patterns. Love to hear how it all came to be. And if you are still teaching when do you find the time to create such lovely patterns.

  12. Lori Peoples says:

    New to your group and patterns but I am liking the styles. I have heard.good things about your patterns on a bag group so I can’t wait to try one

  13. Helen Cook says:

    Hi Lisa…I originally found you when I saw the Heavy Hauler pattern on another group. I enjoyed reading about you. Btw, the rings have been shipped so I am a little closer to finishing the Heavy Hauler…:)

  14. Laura Corning says:

    Lisa your website looks great. I’ve been admitting and filtering you on both instagram and Facebook and I’m proud to say I even own a couple of your patterns 🙂 if you ever need a tester, I’d love to do that too!

    • Laura Corning says:

      Lisa your website looks great. I’ve been admiring and following you on both instagram and Facebook and I’m proud to say I even own a couple of your patterns 🙂 if you ever need a tester, I’d love to do that too!

  15. Katherine Beckwith says:

    Lisa I love your patterns and it’s been a pleasure being a part of your group from early on. I’ve enjoyed watching your patterns released and business grow. I can’t believe how quickly you come up with new ideas! By the way, I’m also a perfectionist (but you probably already picked up on that). Here’s wishing you continued success!

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much Katherine – it’s been an absolute pleasure having you in my group and ‘following me’ from the beginning. I feel truly blessed to have lovely people such as yourself in my patterns group and joining me in this journey xo

  16. lynne kent says:

    Thank you. Love your story. I have not had the pleasure of making your bags yet. Am looking forward to the release of your Stand Up & Tote.

  17. Cindy McGreevey says:

    You have two beautiful little girls, So happy for you success. You do have some beautiful design. I do have a couple of your design, I have not made them yet, I look forward to your new one as well. I will find time one day to make them.
    I have a small business making bags and know just how you feel in making bags. Thanks for sharing. You ate so talented.

  18. Judy Alexander says:

    Can’t wait to see your new patterns. Love your website! I really enjoyed making the Goin’ Uptown Tote. Your pattern was excellent and very detailed. Thanks!

  19. Glenys Curtis says:

    Thank you for the great patterns. I to started sewing at a young age being taught by my Mum. I am not talented enough to make patterns but I love following and using patterns. I have found a love of bag making of late. I usually sew for my 5 great nephews. Thanks again for sharing your talent. 🙂

  20. Bec says:

    It is so nice to see the face behind ‘two pretty poppets’ And the girls who inspire you! Your patterns are so well written and the support you provide is unlike any other! I see many more amazing patterns coming in the future and I can not wait! X

  21. Elizabeth R says:

    I love to read the story behind the maker / designer. It inspires me. I hope that one day I will be able to follow my dreams & create my own handmade business. Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for your designs.

  22. Amy Caldwell (@See_Amy_Sew) says:

    Love your site!! “Sew” much inspiration. I am always looking for different style bags to gain more experience and to eventually try a self design. Keep up the great work!!

  23. Fiona says:

    I am a new fan of your business page and I am in love with your bags especially the up town tote! I am dying to make one of my own when i have the time!

  24. Alison Dent says:

    Wow! how similar are we! I started sewing at an early age, I love sewing for my children(now teens!) and grandchildren, and I just have a go at anything. I also work in a school.

  25. Rosemarie Shord says:

    Lisa it is so nice to put a face to such a wonderful business, I really love all your beautiful bags and have gained so much knowledge from you. You are such a generous and caring person with very cute little girls (by the way my granddaughters name is Chloe oxxo ), keep up the fantastic work as I am sure you will have more beautiful bags on the horizon for us no Doubt.

    • Lisa says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words Rosemarie <3 I love seeing your beautiful creations and enjoy knowing that many sewers out there are having fun creating from my patterns 🙂

  26. Kathleen Stevens says:

    so lovely to read all about you and how you came to create your business. Love your patterns, they are really well written and turn out well every time x

  27. Kate D'Arcy says:

    I’m so glad to read I am not the only one with a half finished quilt for one of my children! In our case it is a Dr Seuss quilt for my sons 4th birthday – He’ll be 7 in October!

    • Lisa says:

      Oh gosh you are most certainly NOT the only one! I have moments where I think, “I really should get on with her quilt…” but so far it hasn’t happened… :/ One day…

  28. Cheryl says:

    Lisa, been admiring your bags for awhile now. Your life sounds very full and happy. Since retiring, I’ve been able to indulge myself and get back to my love of sewing. Thanks for the inspiration.

  29. tina higdon says:

    With all that you do being a primary teacher, you still find time to sew and produce wonderful patterns that are easy to follow. You darlings are certainly beautiful young ladies.

    • Lisa says:

      Thanks Celine! My little ones LOVE it when I make them bags and love taking them out when we visit friends and go shopping – so cute! 🙂

  30. Donna brown says:

    I just found this website. I love your bags and look forward to using them. There is nothing like a good friend to push you toward you passion. That talk over coffee really paid off. Great website.

  31. lindaswanner851 says:

    Hi, Lisa! I really enjoyed reading about your story and seeing the pictures of your beautiful girls. You have the most beautiful patterns but I find myself in somewhat of a dilemma — I can’t remember which of your patterns I’ve actually purchased! I have looked at them all more than once and wanted them all, so I don’t remember when I purchased what. Is there a place under “My Account” that will tell me about my orders? I am excited to be ordering your pattern for the travel kit. I have a lovely daughter and wonderful son-in-law and two darling grandchildren, a boy and a girl, and I can’t wait to make them each their own bag! They travel a lot and it will be fun to see what each child considers “essential” for the different trips.

    • Lisa says:

      Hi Linda, thank you so much! All the patterns you’ve purchased directly from my website will appear in a list under My Account following successful login. 🙂 I can’t wait to see your family of Hang About Toiletry Bags! Happy sewing! 🙂

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