Hi. I’m Vicki Hibbins, the creator and designer of Bishy Barnababes. If you see me on Facebook, I am Vicki Ward Hibbins as Ward was my maiden name.
I started sewing when I was very young, with my grandfather teaching me to sew on a Victorian sewing machine when I was around 4 or 5. His theory was that if I sewed through my finger I would stop turning the handle (interestingly I never did, but have done it since with an electric machine; note to self, ‘make sure you don’t sew when you are too tired!’). As a child I designed and made clothes on that old Singer machine, progressing to my mum’s electric machine in high school and finally being given my own machine for my 18th birthday.
My machine went to university with me, Jerusalem for 4 years when I was teaching there and wherever I had a home. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take it to America when I was travelling there for a year with a music team, so I prayed that every home I was staying in for our down time would have a sewing machine that I could use. I loved spending my free time sewing and making quilts.
After my daughter was born I couldn’t wait to start making things for her. I loved finding things that I could adapt and I started designing items from scratch. I felt so proud when she was wearing clothes that I had made her and loved that her clothing was unique – just like her!
Friends started asking me to make things for their children, even clothes for them to wear to their wedding, and they keep suggesting I also sell what I made. Hence, Bishy Barnababes was born.
I live in Norfolk in the UK and here the local word for a ladybird (ladybug) is a bishy barnabee. I wanted to keep the connection to my heritage so used most of this word, changing the bee to babe.
I don’t sell homemade clothes anymore – I get bored too quickly making the same item too often. However, I love creating PDF patterns so that you can make fun, cute things for your unique youngsters!