Saber Tooth cub: definition- Scientific name Smilodon. Extinct baby cat from the family of Saber Toothed cats.
SaibaTooth cub: definition- Handmade children’s clothes made with love.
My name is Saiba Choy and I’m the designer and maker of Saibatooth cubwear- handmade clothes for kids. I believe children should have the luxury and the opportunity to dress in beautiful hand made clothes everyday. They can wear everything that an adult can’t.
I was born in Australia with a Chinese background with an older brother and sister. My grandmother was a seamstress in Fiji, who passed on her knowledge to my mother and for as far as I remember, she made all the kid’s clothes for us whilst growing up. If they weren’t my brother’s baggy track suit hand-me-downs, they were made by mum, and we were the best dressed kids on Saturday’s at Chinese school except when it came winter when she would dress us with layer upon layer. The most memorable fashion disaster were a pair of mauve slacks which had quilting as the lining and were neither trendy, practical or functional. This was on par with acid wash jeans. My sister and I still bare signs of trauma from such a fashion faux pas.
When I was 12 and still recovering, I decided some thing had to be done. I gathered up the courage to make my first dress from scratch, with mum’s help of course. It was a simple light blue cotton shift dress with buttons down the front. And who puts button holes in as their first dress? Me. I still have the dress to prove it. So when my design and tech teacher told the class the first thing we were going to make was a calico ‘bag bag’, you know the ones to hold plastic bags, and give it to our mother’s for mother’s day, I knew it was time to up my game as my mother would say that I could do better. She still has that bag bag hanging behind the kitchen door.
After highschool I pursued further education through TAFE courses: Design Fundamentals, Clothing Production and Bridal and Evening wear. My knowledge grew even more from here, but sewing was still just a hobby.
I tried to stay in ‘normal’ jobs during and after completing TAFE. When working in a nursing home I thought to myself after 4 years of working there that if I didn’t leave now, I never would. Then in retail at a chocolate shop I hated being there. I wanted more. I could never pry myself away from the sewing machine either making clothes for private customers or for my family. But from the hours in between, I became the seamstress at night, turning the sun room into my craft room. It was here where I realised there was something magical about the entire process of making clothes. Of course, all clothes are handmade whether it be mass produced or made in my sun room. But the difference is I put my heart and soul into each individual piece from the design process to making a new garment. It was time to gather my courage and with a dire determination I finally took a chance and followed the dream, carrying on a family tradition.
The beauty about making kids clothes is that it’s fun. From the point of design to making a garment, it’s like a 3D jigsaw puzzle. I want to share with you what I have learnt over the years through handmade childrens clothes. Everyday can be a dress up day. Girls get to wear frills and tutus and boys get to wear pirate outfits on a monday. Let children grow into their own individual style in handmade clothes made with love.