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Welcome to the Sewing Department

Formerly know as the Gingham studio

We're a cozy little online shop based in sunny southeast Queensland, dreamed up by two sisters who grew up cherishing the simple things in life – family, nature, creativity, good food, and great friends.

We're all about slow and sustainable fashion – taking our time and being kind to the planet. We offer one-of-a-kind fabrics that are eco-friendly and unique. We've got beautiful designer patterns from all over the globe, along with high quality sewing notions and handmade gift items.

We want to inspire you. Whether you're a total beginner or a seasoned pro, our fabrics and patterns are here to get those creative juices flowing. We're excited to have you here, and we can't wait to see what you'll create. Welcome to The Sewing Department, where you can create your joy.


We embrace slow fashion, one stylish outfit at a time. Bid adieu to flimsy fabrics and welcome durable pieces that endure the test of time.


We source our unique range of textiles from across the world so you can turn heads and spark conversations wherever you go.


Get creative and create truly individual pieces with our collections of designer sewing patterns and unique fabrics.

Meet Carolyn & Pauline


Hello I’m Carolyn, and together with my younger sister Pauline, founded The Gingham Studio – now called The Sewing Department – in 2022.

I’m instantly drawn to good design, whether it’s fashion, interior, graphic, landscape or architectural. For me, simplicity and functionality are key.

My creative journey began with mum's influence, learning embroidery, sewing clothes and cooking from an early age. Farm life was simple and without modern day distractions. A trip to town in the school holidays included visits to small local haberdashery stores seeking out new sewing patterns from the pages of the McCalls, Simplicity and Vogue books and selecting fabrics and notions to compliment. Like every sewist, my love of fabric lead to collecting a sizeable stash and there's always more than one project on the go. Garments, quilts and bags are my favourite creative projects.

I live in the beautiful garden city of Toowoomba with my husband and love spending time with our adult sons, planning our next travel destination, entertaining and gardening.


Hi there, my name is Pauline, and along with my gorgeous sister Carolyn, am a Co-Founder of The Sewing Department, formerly known as The Gingham Studio.

I am at my absolute happiest when being creative - whether it be baking, sewing or pottering about in my garden with my beautiful chickens, I just love that sense of satisfaction that only comes from using your mind and hands to fashion something to either taste, wear or simply enjoy.

I am passionate about travel and find genuine artisan markets make my heart sing! Few things can rival the thrill of discovery and inspiration provided by the talent of like minded people.

I have only the fondest memories of being raised on my parents small dairy farm in the heart of the Darling Downs. Along with my two older sisters - we enjoyed a slower pace of life where the focus was on simple pleasures and the bond of family. In those days, out of necessity most things were handmade by our mother, and through her example, instilled in each of us the value and pride of achievement. If we weren’t outside riding our bikes and feeding animals, we were baking slices and biscuits. We learnt to sew on Mum’s treadle sewing machine and I vividly remember being awestruck when her ‘modern’ Husqvarna, with all those fancy new sewing stitches, arrived.

After 10 years of living on a tiny block in very busy Sydney, I made my own ‘tree change’ in 2017, moving back to my home state, where I’m blessed to live on leafy acreage to the West of Brisbane with my devoted husband and treasured teenage son.

In addition to The Sewing Department, I also manage Lewington Studio - which is a fabulous dedicated facility on our property in which I have hosted many workshops including courses in lamp shade making, slow stitching, embroidery, bag making, ceramics and sourdough bread making.

Standby for more exciting news about future developments planned at Lewington Studio for 2025.

We're here to help

Get in touch with us

Whether you're seeking guidance on picking the perfect fabric for your next sewing project, or eager to share your latest creation, we're all ears and ready to lend a hand. Don't hesitate - drop us a line. We're excited to connect with you.