Hello! My name is Sharica Rodgers, owner, teacher and pattern designer here at Nokedli Design. I teach kids (ages 8 and up) to sew through a project-based curriculum. I run workshops and weekly sewing circle/class from my home studio here in Ingersoll. Together we have FUN learning the basics of machine sewing, garment construction, elements of good design and embellishments, to name just a few. Sewing can be so empowering for a child (or adult) and it is always so rewarding for me to hear those inevitable proud words “look what I made”!
I also make educational sewing patterns for girls (sizes 7-14) and their soft-bodied 18 inch dolls. The sewing process is broken down into simple steps, with easy to read instructions and photo illustrations. The instructions are simple enough that children can follow the steps even if they do not have access to an adult who knows how to sew themselves. It is my personal vision to see these patterns being used by parent and child together, both learning and experiencing the joy of making something by hand together!
Where Am I
My home studio is located in Canada, in a delightful small Southwestern Ontario town called Ingersoll. For those of you who are history buffs, the town founder was a Thomas Ingersoll. Thomas Ingersoll had very famous daughter, Laura Ingersoll Secord, a heroin of the War of 1812. Ingersoll was also one of the last stops of the Underground Railroad.
Nokedli is a Hungarian name that means “tiny dumplings”. These soft egg noodles are a staple comfort food in most Hungarian kitchens. I have many memories of my mother, who is from Budapest, scraping off these tiny bits of dough off of a cutting board into a boiling pot of water. With the image and taste of Nokedli comes the sense of home, comfort, family and using your hands to make something for those you love. In the past, these senses of home were also associated with the look and sound of the sewing machine or of patterns spread all over the kitchen table. We have lost some of that in our highly commercialized world. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring some of that back?
How it all got started
The beginnings of Nokedli Design commenced a long time ago when a little three year old girl closed her eyes, folded her hand and prayed, “God, I love pretty dresses”. Since then this little girl grew up and while life soon imposed more serious concerns, that little phrase always continued to be a thread in the tapestry of her journey.
It wasn’t long before I learned (you likely guessed, I was that little girl) that it was much more fun to make something for myself than it was to just buy it! When I was a teenager, my mom helped me to make a skirt, and then it didn’t stop after than. Soon their were skirts, shirts, doll clothes, stuffed bunnies and some hats. They didn’t all turn out great, but it sure was fun dreaming up the design and making them!
When our children were born, I had a new avenue for my creative itch, making children’s clothes! What fun that was! I leaned about great pattern companies like Ottobre Design from Finland and was soon cranking out unique outfits for them all. I knew it was pretty bad when my four year old boy asked mommy to make him a “green monkey shirt” the morning that he wanted to wear it!
Last Christmas (2014) my daughter received a Maplelea 18 inch doll. I was thrilled to find a Canadian company that celebrated our diverse culture and heritage with these lovely dolls. Well, I don’t know who had more fun, she or I, designing new outfits and sewing them up (she is a budding designer too)!
The final conception for Nokedli Design came when we invited a few of her little friends over with their dolls for a sewing mini sew-along workshop. It was a lot of fun and really fantastic for me to see their eyes light up when the girls discovered the joy of making something with their own hands. Because I’m always sewing, my daughter has learned to sew quite early, with her Hello Kitty Janome machine parked next to mine. However, I know that is not the norm today. So many moms I know have expressed regret for not knowing how to sew and not passing the skills down to their children. Thankfully there is a bit of a revival but we are a couple of generations behind.
Here, at Nokedli Design, the vision is to share the joy of sewing with the next generation of sewists. There is so much wrong about the messages that the fashion world is sending our children. I wanted to help others create for themselves, something that makes young girls feel special, unique, and dignified, something we all are because we are Gods’ creation.
I hope you enjoy your visit here! This is a new venture for me, so I’m very grateful for any questions, suggestions, opinions you may have. Please feel free to leave a post, I’d love to hear from you! Have a great day!