Start your sewing adventure with us.    Join Seamwork

Articles on this site were all published prior to 2017 and this site is no longer updated. Please visit our current Articles, Patterns, and Classes for the most up-to-date content and products.

Meet: Nadinoo

Whimsical British label Nadinoo is the creation of designer Nadia Izruna, who I recently had the pleasure of interviewing. Nadia left her job at a large brand in 2009 to launch her first Nadinoo line with her last paycheck. Nadinoo has an enchantingly retro and very feminine feel that heavily features Liberty of London fabrics.

Nadia at work in the studio wearing one of her designs.

How did you first learn to sew?

My grandma’s neighbour, Aunty Mabel, taught me to sew little dresses for my dolls on her old Singer when I was nine.  I had to wait until my 18th birthday to get my own sewing machine.

What led you to choose sewing as a career path?

I’ve always loved to create things and I started my career as a designer for a big firm but I really wanted to make clothes that were truly individual and lovingly made.  I left my job and Nadinoo was born; now I make beautiful clothes that make people happy.

What is the biggest difference between working at a corporation and doing your own line?

Having my own line allows me to create pieces that are little things of beauty; exactly the way I envision them.  There are too many differences for just one to stand out but I do miss the steady income…

Spring/Summer 2011

I love the story of how you left your job and started Nadinoo using your last paycheck. Can you elaborate this story, how you came to that decision, how you felt at the time, how you feel about it now?

While in industry I already had my studio set up with machines and tools ready to go that I could pick up on evenings and weekends to make my own unique clothing. As the confidence in my sewing and pattern cutting grew my hobby slowly became my full time job.

Along the same lines, what was it like starting out on your own on a smaller budget?

The money I needed to start wasn’t too important back then, as I had no idea if others would like my clothing. Starting very small hand making each piece to order in my own home meant I had very low overheads allowing my business to grow organically with demand. Looking back I know I was very lucky with supportive friends and family; everything came together nicely.

Spring/Summer 2011

In what ways has your company changed since then?

Each season I challenge myself to do something new that makes me feel uncomfortable at first, that could be a new fitted silhouette scalloped embroidery or even a tricky binding. All of which add value to our designs and improve the overall quality each season. I do though sometimes look back at the earlier collections and yearn for the simplicity of construction.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I am inspired by so many things, by old photos, pretty furniture and fabrics, vintage silhouettes… Something as simple as a walk through the English countryside on a sunny day can inspire me to use new colours. My head is filled with ideas and designs that are just bursting to come to life.

Nadia's Inspiration Board

On your blog you talk about designing for three different girls. When did you first start using these girls, and how did you come up with them?

Having three unique characters that evolve each season with our concepts helps our girls identify with our clothes and find the pieces that suit them most. Within our enchanted world we design for three fictional characters Pixie, Fleur and Lula.  Pixie is quirky, playful and spontaneous; Lula is more bold, sexy and a little cheeky, whereas Fleur is a delicate flower and dreamer.

What is your workspace like and what parts are most important to you?

My workspace is always evolving and growing, I started off in a tiny room at home but now have a dreamy light-filled studio with separate cutting and sewing areas and bespoke shelving for my fabrics. I’ve just bought some cute 50’s tables to add a little area for keeping in touch with my lovely customers. I like to experiment on the tailor’s dummy while designing my collections to encourage original ideas to flow. It helps to keep an inspiration wall, which is regularly updated with exciting mood evoking images to allow the ideas to evolve and spill into the Nadinoo work area.

Patterns in the Studio

Do you have any tips for aspiring designers/seamstresses?

My advice to my interns is to get involved with all aspects of garment construction. Try sewing, pattern cutting and designing, even if you only want to be a designer, understanding the entire process is key. I am so grateful I had the chance to try so many things through internships and work experience it all gave me the confidence I needed to set up Nadinoo and make my garments just right.

Who are some other designers that you admire?

I enjoy other vintage inspired designers such as Orla Kiely, Twenty Seven Names, Lauran Moffatt and so many others.

What is your favorite sewing tool and why?

My Brother overlocker – it was recovered from an old factory in Leicester and I like to dream about the life it had before it came to join me at Nadinoo.

Spring/Summer 2011

Can you tell me a little about your Liberty fabrics and how you got started using them?

I have loved Liberty prints since I was a little girl when my mother used them to make frilly dresses for my sisters and me.  As soon as I started my label, I knew I wanted to use Liberty fabrics; the quality and English heritage of make them perfect a perfect fit for Nadinoo’s lovingly handmade pieces.

What were some of the inspirations you focused on for your Spring/Summer 2011 line?

Nadinoo Summer 11 is a breath of fresh air, full of lazy sun washed days. We lie among the flowers watching the clouds go by while our beautiful dresses float and dance in the wind…

S/Su 11 Mood Photo

You can learn more about Nadia and her work on the Nadinoo website.

All photos courtesy of  Nadinoo (Studio Photos by This is Naive and & Mood photo by i heart studios)

Kirsten Harris



May 6, 2011 #

Very interesting. I love the purple/blue? dress from the Spring/Summer 2011 line.


May 6, 2011 #

i love Nadinoo! I have photos of their Summer 10 collection on my inspiration board- yet to own a piece though. Lovely!

MB @YarnUiPhoneappv1.3

May 6, 2011 #

I had to laugh at all those color-coordinated spools of thread on the rack…I don’t know, but my threads are just every hue of the rainbow and then some. But great story anyhow..

gianna caputo

May 6, 2011 #

that inspiration board is gorgeous. and the pieces are super cute and feminine :)


May 6, 2011 #

Thank you for this interview ! I have been an admirer of Nadinoo’s work for ages :)


May 6, 2011 #

Great post, I love Nadinoo!


May 8, 2011 #

Thanks for sharing this interview. I love Nadinoo’s designs so it’s lovely to hear about how things work behind the scenes.