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. 


  • Congratulations on your move back and landing somewhere with such a dreamy backyard and view. Postpartum depression is a shocker and I wish I’d realised how much I needed my family and friends around when I experienced it. Thanks so much for sharing the changes you’ve been going through. I’m here for all of your “slow and intentional staples” and any more of those dreamy Dunedin backyard pics you might share :)

  • You’ve absolutely done the right thing in moving back to NZ!
    The uk is not a nice place right now and is going to get worse before it gets better.
    My two daughters are married to Europeans and although one lives in the Netherlands and I miss her, I’m so pleased she has a better quality of life over there. The other lives in london and loves it there but I know if things get really bad she can move to Italy with her partner.
    Your move will give you and your family a better life. Life is short and we must make brave decisions to get the best from it. You’ve been brave and I w
    Ish you all the love and happiness in your new chapter.
    Ps. I love your patterns
    Pps. My home in the uk is in Dunedin drive! Ha ha x

    Jan Brewerton
  • Wow, congratulations on the brave move, it really looks like you’re in the right place for you. I’m in the UK (also ex London) and agree that the political and social situation feels unrecognisable from 10 years ago.

    I can see why combined with those personal circumstances the move made such sense. I wish my parents lived in Dunedin, I’d do the same! I went there in 2008 and found the area breathtaking and the town really welcoming.

    I truly wish you all the very best for the next chapter.

  • I was born in London and moved to Australia in 1970 when I was 21 years old with my late husband and two year old daughter so know how difficult it can be to move halfway around the world. We knew not one soul but o love this part of the world and I wish you all the best in your new phase. 🌺🤓

    Janet Hall-Frith
  • What an amazing journey and an amazing view!! It’s takes a lot of guts & bravery to make such a big move, well done for taking that leap. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in 2023! :-)


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