My name is Michelle, and after moving up from Victoria in my late teens to become a jillaroo, I fell in love with the town of Charleville and made it my home. In 2020 I took a chance on a dream, bought the old Frasers Store in our main street, and turned it into The Faraway Tree Charleville. Now it is home to my handmade vintage baby and children’s clothing label Sunday’s Belle, and filled with an ever-growing selection of tried and tested favourite products and brands for sale.
Sunday’s Belle was inspired by my two beautiful daughters – both born on a Sunday – who had cupboards brimming with the clothes I had made, so in 2018 the time came to open a small clothing store. I make new items in-store daily which often feature the lovely vintage fabric and trims I have collected. I create one-of-a-kind outfits so you know your purchase is unique.
Outback Queensland, where we live, offers many beautiful places to discover. I enjoy creating timeless and classic pieces and going on an adventure for a photo shoot with my girls and their friends. I do all of my own photography and editing, and can now print large scale quality photos in my store as well – examples of my mounted works are displayed in store.
I love to give things a second life – I enjoy sourcing vintage fabrics and trims and repurposing items like sheets and blankets. I make sustainable clothing by upcycling handmade items like embroidered doilies.
I have a huge range of styles that are all tested on my own girls for their comfort and fit. I aim to make practical clothing that also looks great and is fun to wear, and am continually adding new designs.
Most of my styles are modified versions of purchased PDF patterns. I test out the sizing and styles on my models – mainly through my daughter’s wardrobe. This also allows me to check fabrics and patterns for comfort, durability, the practicality of wear according to the child’s age, and ease of dressing.
The following are the pattern shops that I use – please contact me if you would like to know any more information on particular styles. Of course, I cannot share patterns or modifications with you, but I can let you know the name of a specific pattern if you are also a keen sewer.
I would love it if my sewing were a source of inspiration for your projects.
The best tips I can share are to pull the camera out whenever you can – especially if your kids are in a great mood and looking adorable! I still use auto mode (shhh!!!) as if I spent the time to adjust settings manually, I would miss all the best shots.
Cropping is my main edit – I often use one hand while shooting with my daughter in the other, so I don’t always have time to find the perfect frame and line up through the lens. With a bit of rotate and crop; generally, you can find a good few shots out of an afternoon’s adventure!
Some excellent presets are available with Lightroom – they save a lot of time on manual adjustments. If you find a great location when you are out and about, take the kids there when it’s not too sunny and just let them play.
Make the most of golden hour – before sunset – whenever you can! And if you are game, let your models take photos with your camera after you have finished. It keeps them involved. Sometimes they get the best shots if they can fluke the focus – kids seem to give the best smiles when their friends take the photos!