Bega woman Annie Werner has been using clothing to express herself since she was a teen, and didn't want to compromise her style to support her team. With a passion for hand-crafting her wardrobe and a preference for natural materials, she decided to make herself a bespoke piece to wear to the Matildas' opening Women's World Cup game last week. She was somewhere in the sea of green and gold in Sydney as the Matildas won their opener before preparing for a clash against Nigeria in round two. The Matildas have captured the hearts of Australians, with fans from across the country packing into stadiums and watching from their lounge rooms. Their popularity is part of the reason FIFA has already sold 1.5 million tickets, passing their target a few days into the tournament. But while some fans are buying jerseys to jump on the bandwagon, others are creating their own because of a lack of choices and a desire to do their own thing. Werner and her family fell in love with the side during their Tokyo Olympics campaign, and with a soccer-mad son, were keen to throw their support behind the national team. Longevity of her handmade merchandise was important, with the artist saying she wanted to create something that reflected her aesthetic and wouldn't look out of place in her eclectic wardrobe. Hand-dying her yarn, knitting the vest, and embroidering it took her an estimated 30-hours. Then she backed it up with a 'Vine Time' parka, because staying warm at the game was also on her mind. "My personal style is not sporty looking, and I love natural fibres and knitting, I just wanted something really fun," Werner said. "I hand dyed the yarn in the green and gold speckles, because I thought it'd be cuter than stripes, and I embroidered the Matildas on the front. "I arranged the letters like I did because in Australia we'll say something is 'good as', so if someone asks how you are you can say you're 'Matildas as' and I embroidered little hearts around because I love the Matildas." Werner initially made the vest for herself, but when her partner asked for one, with not enough yarn for two, she graciously gave up the vest and decided to make herself the parka. "I really wanted to do something for Cortnee Vine because I think she's just so exciting, I love her vibe," she said. "Warmth was a concern as well, that's why we chose the vest and the puffer, but also it's something that we can wear outside of just wearing at a game. "I wouldn't wear a jersey out around town, but I will wear a Matildas vest or a puffer that says Vine Time, and I like that it's a little bit of a niche reference, too." A labour of time, energy, and love, Werner said that creating the pieces to celebrate the team was about much more than a game. "I'm just obsessed with how the Matildas have blown up and how women's sport is being recognised and appreciated, it's really thrilling to watch," she said. MORE WORLD CUP NEWS "I love seeing the queer representation, it's so important, for my son growing up in the country, he's worried sometimes that people are going to tease him because he's got two mums, but I think seeing the Matildas and other elite sports people being out and proud, it's just normal, it's not a huge deal, it's just really normalised and accepted in a beautiful way." Kiara Moore has followed the Matildas since she was a child, reminiscing on attending games in Gosford where just three bays were opened for spectators to watch the national side play. Now preparing to attend sold out World Cup games, Moore wanted to support the team, but felt the merchandise available wasn't practical for her lifestyle. Prioritising items that would age well in her closet and not look out of place in her every-day attire, Moore pulled out her trusty Cricut and designed her own jumpers. "I'm all about the green and gold but I don't want to walk through the shops on a weekend in a bright yellow shirt, just because that's the only one that was available," Moore said. "I want to wear something that is a bit more toned down but still supporting them." When Nike announced last week that the Matildas have sold more jerseys than the Socceroos did in their latest World Cup campaign, Moore felt it reflected the narrow selection of merchandise available. "They've sold a lot but their range is still really, really small," she said. "I don't want to buy a jersey, I don't particularly like wearing a jersey, I wear one in a game when I play but I don't want to walk around just wearing one. "They're saying their sales are bigger than they've ever been, but I still struggle going through the shops finding something I want to buy and wear." Getting her arts and crafts on, Moore created hoodies for herself and her partner, then shared the images to Facebook. Her post was quickly flooded by people asking where they could purchase the black-based jumper, which features the name of every Matildas player. Moore said she quickly began to receive requests to sell her designs, not anticipating her post would have such an impact. "I just wanted to do something a bit creative and just see what I could come up with," Moore said. "I saw one other person post a jumper that they had made and it was a bit different, they'd done players names down the sleeves, and I thought that doesn't look too hard. "I was blown away with the amount of people asking how to purchase them, I'm flattered that you think I would and that you think they're worthy of that, but no I'm not selling them, it was just a project for myself. "I think there's definitely demand out there for just some nice ladies wear, toned down merchandise, something we can just wear and not be blasting in people's faces." Not wanting to single out any one player, Moore included the whole squad, saying each name represented an athlete who had worked overtime to reach their goals. Just like Moore, and the artist who first inspired her, Melbourne woman Nikki Clare wanted to recognise the full Matildas squad while attending games. A purchasing mishap lead Clare to be in possession of an unmarked home jersey and she quickly decided every player deserved a spot on her back. "The Matildas were tweeted by someone who said 'who gets a number on their jumper these days if they're over the age of 12' so I thought, you know what, I'm going to get all their numbers on it," Clare said. "So I wanted to take that negative comment and turn it into a positive." After plenty of deliberation amongst friends, Clare decided to wait until the final 23 player squad was announced and get both players names and numbers on her jersey. No stranger to making her own merchandise for women's sporting teams and events, Clare said the home World Cup is a momentous occasion that deserved to be marked with something special. "I don't know how much they [the Matildas] realise how much they've changed the face of football in this country," Clare said. "To sell out stadiums for just a friendly is huge, particularly in the current environment where we're still pushing for equality in women's sports just for broadcasting, let alone marketing to get people there. "There's going to be a hero every match and children are going to just jump on board, it won't just all be about Sam [Kerr], so this is my way of honouring them as best I can. "I wear my heart on my sleeve and the best way to represent someone is to recognise them collectively as a team." While enjoying the freedom of choice when making her own merchandise, Clare isn't satisfied with the range available. Following a selection of sporting codes, she said promoters not creating or ordering enough merchandise for their female sides is a reoccurring issue. "The market is endless if they market it right for women's sport," Clare said. "Hayley's [Raso] ribbons sold out and I can't believe they took so long to do it, she's been part of the team for so long now. "I wish someone else was stressing out about getting the printing right, I think with the options they have now being able to print onto items, I am pretty sure it's not costing them as much as they charge, they would do themselves some favours if they just tried more."