Owner and designer Sarah Bond was born in Falmouth Cornwall and set up Lizzie Shirt Childrenswear from here in 1992.
After some valuable years working with a local garment manufacturer, followed by the joyous studying of Fashion Design and Textiles at the Falmouth School of Art, her initial business was set up with a small grant, the kitchen table and two noisy sewing machines in the attic. With the aid of her young daughter as the ‘design test dummy ‘, the little business outgrew the house and moved nearby, to ‘Upton Slip’, a little alleyway by the waterfront. Here, in another little studio beside the sail makers, Sarah continues to design, cut and create the clothing today.
So, who is Lizzie Shirt?
Sarah was inspired to name her business after some of her early childhood memories.
“My granny from Penryn would use an expression when we were looking dishevelled “tuck your vest in, you look like Lizzie Shirt!”
We have since discovered that ‘Lizzie Shirtie’ was an eccentric wizened old pedlar from the 19th century who would meet the Falmouth packet ships as they came into port and barter for their unusual wares from exotic countries along their trading routes. As she plied her trade along the Falmouth, Penryn and Flushing waterfronts, the local children would flock around her as she sold sweets, toys and bric a brac from her big basket. She would often be seen at the country fairs and ‘Teatreats’.
“Lizzie shirt was a genuine Cornish character from our waterfront and I love keeping her name alive…I think she’d have approved of our individual little designs all stitched down along the River Fal.”
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