Carrigaline woman Betty Brosnan’s sewing business, Thread and Time Crafts, stems from a passion for making and creating. Here she tells us her story.
I began sewing in primary school, making dolls' dresses, I even got paid for making curtains at age twelve. Since retiring from teaching seven years ago I have returned to sewing after an absence of many years.
Primarily, I sew for my own pleasure and it is a bonus when I get paid for it. Catherine Bohane from Interior Solutions is responsible for getting me into my current line of bags. I went into the shop one day for some small pieces of material and she gave me curtain sample books from discontinued lines. These beautiful fabrics inspired me to make tote bags – otherwise known as 'BettyBags'. I just added thread and my time to the gorgeous material, hence the name 'Thread and Time'.
As time went on I got more and more materials from various places so I gradually expanded the product range to include cushions, aprons and bunting. I brought back some really colourful cotton from Gambia in 2017 and made cushions which sold like hot cakes. I joined Kilavullen Farmers' Market and went on to attend several other markets, particularly the Christmas Markets.
I have been making my own dried flower cards for many, many years and was reluctant to sell them for a long time but eventually was persuaded. The cards are now my best seller and I have added laminated bookmarks and framed pictures to the range.
I have been a member of Carrigaline Musical Society since it started. I can't sing but I contribute by making costumes. I have been outfitting the casts for all shows including 'Oliver' and 'Cinderella'. I got a great boost when a large hire company bought some of my Cinderella creations including the iconic Blue Dress. I look forward to the return of live shows when I can get back to making costumes. I expect I'll be busy (even busier).
The current pandemic has actually been good to me, business wise. At the start of lockdown I did a little bit of voluntary work on PPE, then started making masks which kept me busy right through last summer. The surge in home baking gave me the idea to make aprons and I took it a step further by offering personalised aprons. That kept me occupied right up to Christmas.
Recently, I have been making cushions and was delighted to see cushions identical to mine used by a designer in Showhouse Showdown on RTE. I am building up my stock for the markets but happy to sell away in the meantime. I currently have a stock of aprons, Betty Bags, cushions and cards.
I love sewing and I am always creating something new but I am also ready to help out with any sewing jobs or alterations, even at short notice. I recently replaced a zip in a wedding dress on the eve of the wedding.
I am currently busy with 'Memory Cushions', these are a lovely way of remembering a loved one who is no longer with us. I turn a favourite shirt into a cushion, a lovely reminder and such a comfort. Just bring me the shirt and I supply the rest.
I have a stand at Kilavullen Farmers' Market which is held every second Saturday since opening up again on 17th April. I am based in Carrigaline and can be contacted through Facebook, Betty Brosnan, by email email@example.com or on 0872783308.