What’s it like to start your own sewing brand? Alice Caroline spill the beans

Alice Caroline

She founded the place to shop for Liberty prints, has a Tana Lawn collection to die for, and before she turned her passion for fabric into a business, she completed a PhD in genetics. Phew! Alice Caroline founder Alice Garrett is one busy lady. We got to meet her (and delve into her fabric stash!) as she prepares for the Alice Caroline, TV debut over on Sewing Quarter this Sunday.

Where did it all begin?

I have been obsessed with sewing for my whole life.  I’ve always loved playing with fabrics, finding particular joy in combining colours.

Finding a snippet of Liberty amongst my grandmother’s quilting stash of worn out dresses and vintage fabrics was always a highlight and from there my passion for Liberty fabrics grew.


We can’t wait to Alice Caroline on the telly this Sunday at 8am and 10am.  Tune in online at www.sewingquarter.com or watch on Freeview channel 78. If you can’t wait, the dive straight into their Liberty collection at www.alicecaroline.co.uk


I trained in scientific research, but kept my passion for sewing alive throughout my studies, selling handmade bags at student fairs.  It was from here that I started my business Alice Caroline.

Libety collection BLOG

Alice Caroline’s Exclusive Collection features 16 classic Liberty prints in brand new colour ways. WE WANT THEM ALL!

I enjoy running my business and designing sewing patterns and kits, which are stocked in the iconic Liberty of London store.  Alice Caroline specialises in Liberty fabrics, sending Liberty fabrics, patterns and kits all over the world. I have designed patterns for many different sewing magazines too – recently for Today’s Quilter which was really exciting.

How did you start sewing? Who taught you to sew?

My mum taught me to sew from the age of around 6 and sewing was woven through my whole extended family too.  I used to love sitting down with my mum on a weekend and learning the next steps in sewing.

What was the first thing you ever made?

I remember making a sleeping bag for my animal teddies.  They all needed somewhere to cosy down at night-time so they all had their own little bag.

My mum taught me to sew from the age of around 6 and sewing was woven through my whole extended family too.  I used to love sitting down with my mum on a weekend and learning the next steps in sewing.

What was the first thing you ever made? Can you remember how old you were?

I also remember making a patchwork bag with an appliqued rabbit on it – really cute.

Alice Caroline Betsy Tote

She’s come along way since she made her first patchwork bag! Alice designed the fabulous Betsy bag for issue 30 of Simply Sewing magazine

What’s your sewing style?

I have been drawn to Liberty fabrics since I was a young child and so my inspiration mainly comes from the patterns, designs and colours in these fabrics.  It’s such an amazing palette from which to work. I really love to make Liberty dresses, bags and quilts.

What’s the first thing you ever made?

I also remember making a patchwork bag with an appliqued rabbit on it – really cute.

What sewing tools could you not live without?

My tiny scissors for snipping – they need to be really sharp. And a rotary cutter – using this for all types of sewing.  It makes cutting really accurate for quilting and patchwork.

What finished project are you most proud of?

Definitely the quilt I just finished for Today’s Quilter. It will be in the next edition of the magazine and is made from my exclusive Liberty collection designed in conjunction with the Liberty design team.

The finished quilt took so long to make I’ve lost count of how many hours but the finished quilt is really beautiful. Let’s hope that the readers of Today’s Quilter like it as much as I do.

Alice Caroline Liberty

Alice works with the Quilt SOS project to donate quilts to children who have lost their families. Here she is arriving at Liberty of London last year to exhibit quilts for Romania.

What’s the best sewing advice you’ve ever been given?

To press seams at each stage when quilting – this makes it really neat and accurate.

What’s on your sewing table at the moment?

What’s not? Many unfinished Liberty dresses, dressing gowns for my children from Christmas 2 years ago and a bag kit for the next Sewing Quarter show.

What do you love most about sewing?

I love the fact that I can wear a dress that I have made.  It feels good to have completed a project each time.

Can you tell us a surprising fact about yourself?

I have a PHD in genetics and I can fly a plane!