2023 Paper Theory Update

Hi there!
I wanted to give you a little update as to what's happening behind the scenes at Paper Theory. 
Myself, my family and my dear little cat Riot bid farewell to the UK and moved to the deep South in October last year. We have moved to a small-ish city in the South Island of New Zealand called Dunedin which is where I grew up and where my parents and the majority of my large extended family live. It's been almost 20 years since I first left Dunedin and actually, I have now lived in London for almost as many years as I have Dunedin.

Fresh faced Tara in Trafalgar Square London (2007)

I loved living in London, there’s something freeing about the anonymity that being a foreigner in a big city affords you. I really found my own way and I created a version of myself with a life and career that I would never have been able to create without the magic of London and all the people I connected with there. But many big changes have happened in the world and in my life over the last three years. The Pandemic obviously shook us all upside down and the Tories have shredded The UK into a Country that I barely recognise as the same place I originally fell in love with. But for me the biggest personal change was becoming a mother. It changed my focus, my needs and my priorities. It was important for me that my daughter would understand her Polynesian culture and know what it was like to grow up as part of a large multi generational family - and it dawned on me that I also desperately needed the support of my family around too. Truth be told I was burnt out and had never managed to "bounce back" from postpartum depression mentally or physically. I was long over due for a change and a new lifestyle.

It's no small thing to pick up your household and move to the other side of the world, it’s taken all my time and attention for the last year which is why I have been very absent on social media and Paper Theory has really taken a back seat. My focus has been my home life and the in-person relationships I have around me. But, here I am now feeling rested, re-grounded and wildly optimistic about a new chapter in the deep South, living 2 streets away from my parents in a cute little 1940s house with a view of the harbour. Dunedin is a small but wonderful city surrounded by wildlife and beaches (it has 30 different beaches within a 30 min drive of the city centre!) so we are settling in slowly and I am intentionally trying to change my pace to match the rhythm here. After a short (long for me) 4 month wait our belongings have just arrived at our new home and I am going to be unpacking my sewing room this week and moving my focus towards creating new patterns for Paper Theory in 2023. 

The home sewing community changed a lot during the pandemic - there are so many new companies and so much growth for the established brands it feels like a fully charged industry now. But my goals for Paper Theory in 2023 are not wavering from my original stance when I created the company back in 2017. I’m still very much about slow and intentional wardrobe staples that are easy to wear and feel relaxed but have interesting shapes and cuts. I hope to get some help on the admin side of the business this year so that I can focus more on the creative side as I aim to add a few new patterns to my collection this year. There are no plans for subscriptions or clubs or anything like that - but I do have plans for some online pattern cutting classes coming later in 2023. All in all - it's exciting stuff.

Thanks for sticking around and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

Happy 2023. 


  • Today I ready your article in the Otago Daily Times which I had cut out and put in my pile to read.
    I am a 75 year old woman who hasn’t sewed since I was a young mother. I love the sound of your paper patterns and would love to know more. With a busy working life the creativity has dropped away and I don’t have the fun of making clothes. I look forward to hearing more about you and your patterns.
    Kind Regards
    Alma Barrie

    Alma Barrie
  • It feels like I was with you while you had this journey, that’s how beautiful you wrote this post ❤️
    Not only is your patterns inspiring, but also you and your lifestyle.

    Döndü Kazankiran
  • Thanks for the update – and good for you!! It is a lot of working moving a family! I moved my little family from Toronto to a small town in BC Canada close to where I grew up and work remotely from our farm….so much work but so much reward….) I love your patterns (my go-to gifts for my mom is your LB pullover in lovely linen – I then make myself matching versions) and look forward to seeing what you are working on in 2023. All the best!

    Maya medeiros
  • Hi. Have only just found you! Love your realistic patterns and your helpful tutorials. Good luck back home. I look forward to seeing more great patterns.
    You can’t beat family! Enjoy

    Hilary Chambers
  • Hi Tara!
    Congrats on your move! I have never been to New Zealand but understand it is a beautiful country. How great that you will now get to share NZ and your extended family with your daughter. I look forward to more amazing patterns in the future. An more stories of Kairengi and Riot.
    Deb Moyers (USA)

    Deb Moyers

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