I always knew that blogging wouldn't come easy to me as the camera and computer are my natural enemies, but I make an apology for not posting since September. I know that folks read my blogs to get an idea of the types of workshops I run. So I'm very sorry for the prolonged absence.
Lots of happenings and events throughout the year at the studio; which has finally closed for the winter. This is giving me time to plan for next year and also reflect on my (almost) first year . It HAS NOT BEEN EASY!(thanks Eon) and I realised that it sheer enthusiasm and niavety for the project which has brought me this far ( X factor contestants would call this "the dream") Although there was lots of things I struggle with. To make it more interesting, here's a list:
Diversion Tactics- Get to work, put the kettle on, tidy up, wash up, pick pins off floor, arrange collection of old Coates cotton reels into colours, select tiny swatches of Liberty fabrics into small pile, put kettle on, peruse old copies of Selvedge looking for old article on "pegging out",pick needles off floor. Mad panic as I realise I have done no work and its almost one. Put kettle on....
Paperwork- I went to Staples and brought a tray which looked like it belonged in an office. I wanted to file it with bills, evaluations and spreadsheets. In reality its got a pocket sample, unfinished cards, old reciepts and some buttons in there. Every now and again I look in and weep, how could this have happened???? Alan Sugar hasn't got one of these on his desk.
Searching for customers- Im trying to be more efficient about keeping the people who've come on workshops better informed, keeping evaluations and writing the new workshop programme on time. We have have folks who have paid in full and never turned up. I even had one lady who rang to say she was on her way and never arrived! "Theres nowt so queer as folk", as my Grandma used to say.
Working on my own- In the old days at the Fishmarket I worked alongside other people who also made things. Here, I plan, design and make on my own. Its ok as I get more done. But the corridoor downstairs looks like the one off the Shining and It's a big old building. If I whistle loudly it's not too bad.
I had a Fashion Student from Derby University who came for a work placement during the summer and stayed until November! Kelly was just so lovely and was wonderfuly organised. I will always consider offering a work placement to a student especially if they have some pattern cutting knowledge and can use an Industrial machine. Kelly worked on new pieces for some boutiques and I have photos of her Ladyship Hermione Thomas modelling them.
I wanted to make a dirndl skirt which was similiar to the Prada ones, really there's nothing new in fashion and these simple box skirts have always been around. The fabric is vintage and Ive got this lovely emerald green Jacquard for the hem and the large pockets on the side, bedecked with a massive green button.
I absolutely love this style and have been using it a lot in summer. I got a phone call from the boutique in Marlow to say that Henly was coming up and they wanted me to send all the dresses Id made . What a stroke of luck! So this particular dress is made from a lovely cotton, not dissimiliar to a Liberty in scale. The hem is a vintage Habitat from a charity shop which I got Kelly to overlay in an aubergine coloured star print. Finally those lovely vintage buttons just finish it off nicely.
Finally, I made a few jackets and skirts. I love to mix up the fabrics and prints. I picked this fabric up from the Scrapstore in MK for about £1 but I take a lot of time doing the machine embroidery and embellishments. I keep saying that Im going to put my pieces on Etsy but by the time they've gone to either boutiques or private sales they've gone. There's nothing worse than having old stock hanging round and haunting you.
I remind myself that sometimes not all designs are succesfull and I know that designers have off days, just look at some of the samples in TK Maxx!