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Self-professed dreamer and pyjama-lover Mel, has turned a lifelong love of sewing, textiles, and pattern-making into a small business making organic cotton sleepwear for adults and children

22 April 2022

Designer Spotlight: Oli and Lu

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Dreamer, Pyjama-lover, stitcher & pattern-maker, Mel: ‘This process brings me a lot of joy, being able to completely create something that never existed before’

Hi, I’m Mel; pyjama lover, dreamer and creative behind Oli and Lu. Derived from my daughters’ names Olivia and Lucy, Oli and Lu came to be as my ‘let’s give this a go!’ project.

Mel modelling a pair of her own creations – the ‘Bloom’ long cotton pyjama pants and matching organic short sleeve top

I love giving PJs as gifts, and I love knowing what the wearer’s interests are and creating something especially for them. I like to think that each time those PJs are put on at night, that person feels special having something that was made just for them.

Self-professed dreamer and pyjama-lover Mel, has turned a lifelong love of sewing, textiles, and pattern-making into a small business making organic cotton sleepwear for adults and children

I began Oli and Lu in late 2018 after some prompting from my husband and girls; an exciting opportunity to share my love of beautiful, comfortable cotton pyjamas with everyone.

A stack of Oli and Lu handmade pyjamas each wrapped in a matching fabric drawstring bag; ‘I choose cotton and natural fibres over synthetics’

Selling my pyjamas on Madeit is a great way for me to offer my Australian made products. I have found so many other creatives using the platform and knowing everything is handmade AND Australian made makes me very, very happy.

Coordinating accessories: An Australian handmade Oli and Lu wheat-bag

It’s such a privilege to be able to support other local businesses who also value Australian made product whilst running my business. All our Oli and Lu tees are made from organic cotton that is milled right here in Melbourne.

A polkadot wheat bag on a blanket with an issue of Breathe magazine and a cup of tea; ‘My pyjamas designs usually begin with the printed fabric that I use for all the boxers and PJ pants

I choose cotton and natural fibres over synthetics, as they breathe, are comfortable to wear and at the end of their lifespan will bio-degrade and return to the earth.

A pair of Oli and Lu blue men’s boxer shorts with bright red lobster print

My pyjamas designs usually begin with the printed fabric that I use for all the boxers and PJ pants. As all our tees are made in solid colours, the printed base is what determines how it is paired back with the top. Whether it be a screen print that goes on the tee or an appliquéd design, sometimes I can picture immediately what I think will work and other times it takes some experimenting. I’ll often ask my followers on Facebook and Instagram for their input too.

Mel wearing one of her organic cotton tees in ‘Ecalyptus’ print, and holding a stack of her other printed tees; ‘If you meet me, don’t be surprised if I ask to feel the fabric your clothes are made of!’

I adore fabric and textiles. If you meet me, don’t be surprised if I ask to feel the fabric your clothes are made of! I am always mentally cataloging things I see and like and my iPad is full of screenshots of potential ideas too.

Mel selecting the perfect shade of cotton thread for her next creation, from her colourful wall-mounted thread display

With an abundance of talented textile designers, I am constantly looking at fabric designs that would suit my pyjamas. I have created some fabric designs myself as well. This process brings me a lot of joy, being able to completely create something that never existed before. The ideas for my own designs can come from anywhere and I can become quite consumed by the excitement of getting those ideas out of my head.

Mel at work at her sewing machine; ‘I started sewing as soon as I could hold a needle’

I started sewing as soon as I could hold a needle; sewing clothes for my dolls and then for myself. My love of sewing has never waned. I studied clothing manufacture after finishing high school and this was where I fell in love with pattern-making. It opened up a whole new world for me, learning the skill of taking a design and then creating the cardboard pattern for it to be cut from.

Neatly folded pyjama sets on their coordinating fabric drawstring bags laid out on a table ready for packaging and shipping

Whilst studying I worked at a clothing alteration shop, which gave me a much greater understanding of how garments were made, and also how to get the fit just right.

Mel cutting cardboard pattern pieces; ‘I studied clothing manufacture after finishing high school and this was where I fell in love with pattern-making

I worked as the head pattern maker for a small Melbourne-based clothing company after completing my studies and that is where I learnt much about the clothing industry. It inspired my passion for locally manufactured clothing and gave me a good grasp of how the industry works.

A gift wrapped package of handmade pyjamas tied up with string, flowers, and a clay heart-shaped tag with the embossed phrase ‘with love’; ‘I am able to tweak or even customise every pair of pyjamas made

Being able to individually create all our pyjamas gives them the advantage over mass produced items, as I am able to tweak or even customise every pair of pyjamas made. Handmade makes you feel special because it’s always made with love.

Mel is offering Madeit’s community newsletter subscribers free domestic shipping at Oli and Lu for a limited time. Subscribe below to get the coupon, plus weekly handmade shopping guides, designer spotlight stories and discounts:



Visit Oli and Lu to find handmade sleepwear and accessories for the whole family: Oliandlu

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