Business Plans, Bags and College.

Well variety certainly is the spice of life at the moment.¬† But I think that’s the joy of running your own business and not something I’m ever going to complain about ūüôā

I spent most of my birthday talking to people about my future and where I see myself going.¬† From the nice lady at the job centre (my work coach), to my sister (my life coach), to the fabulous lady at Penna Outplacement (my business coach).¬† I feel like I’m bubbling with ideas and enthusiasm¬†but it needs moulding into something more solid.¬† And that’s why it’s good to talk!

From Monday I’m attending Oldham College Sewing Academy (OCSA)¬†where I’m hoping to hone my skills and learn the “professional” tricks.¬† I will also¬†gain a certificate in Textiles and Fashion, which for someone almost completely self taught is something I’d really like.¬† A course courtesy of OCSA and the DWP, ta guys much appreciated.

And then in August I’m planning to attend a Self Employment Awareness seminar which¬†I’m quite excited about because I’ll be able to mix¬†with other people looking to start businesses too.¬†¬†¬†But¬†also because I get to pick the brains of some successful and knowledgeable people.¬† I’m also going to be meeting the lady Penna have¬†introduced me to¬†who is going to help me with marketing, not my strong suit ūüė¶

And then on to September when I’m going to be on a Training and Education course.¬† I have been designing and delivering training for years but my workshops will be different as the focus will be much more about having¬†fun.¬† As much as I loved this aspect of my previous job I have not met a single person on a SAP course who was there expecting to have fun (although I tried).

But in all the exciting things there’s the spectre¬†of chaos, of time wasted, of failure.¬† Which is why, although it’s taking some time that I’d rather spend¬†designing or sewing,¬†I am working on a business plan.¬† I won’t lie working through HMRC expense claim regulations and doing product costing is NOT fun.¬† But at least I can see it could be successful, all it takes is hard work, a little luck and the continued support of my nearest and dearest.¬† Let’s do this!

Oh were you wondering about the bags?¬† I snuck in some sewing because how else can you cost if you don’t do a prototype?¬† So here are a couple from the “girly” range, they’re reversible shoppers for those who like a change every now and then.¬† And if you look really carefully (or scroll to the last picture) you can see my brilliant new labels from easy2name.

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Busy busy busy

Unusually for me this is a post without pictures.  Please don’t think I haven’t been busy, or that there isn’t some thing to show for it there is.  Here are my excuses….

  • I’ve been doing some alterations and I won’t post someone else’s work on here even if I’ve tweaked it slightly.
  • We had a great Appliqu√© workshop on Sunday but nobody finished anything!  There was a lot of progress and I can’t wait to show you what’s been created but you’ll have to be patient, just like me ūüôā
  • I made some gifts and I can’t show you till they’ve been opened because that would spoil the surprise. Because we all wait till our birthdays to open our presents, don’t we…….
  • I’ve been setting up my company (accounting records, yaaawn) and sorting out some training (yay).  And I’ve now got an online shop, no stock yet but one step at a time.

OK I fibbed about the pictures here’s my shop, if you click on the picture you can see it for real.  Why not put it in your favourites it won’t be empty for long……. 


A Tale of Two Dresses

My absolutely gorgeous niece (I have a few) was 18 on the 26th of May and what’s on a girls mind at this time. A dress, a fabulous dress. 20150521_114510So a few months ago we hunted down a Donna Karan dress pattern that was to die for, perfect.¬† We bought shiny green stretch satin, I wrestled with the pattern (plus difficile according to the packet). And then we had a fitting, one not very happy niece.¬† It just¬†wasn’t right ūüė¶ The fabulous dress didn’t make her feel like she wanted to feel.¬† So we started again, my family do like to make me fret about delivering on time!

Screenshot_2015-04-28-17-01-02This dress was more retro but still fabulous, and this time she would be the star not the dress ūüôā

So we chose some more fabric, had some fun with pattern and texture.¬† And although this was an ‘easier’ dress it has more ingredients.¬† So in a few days we had, contrast fabric, boning, zips, grosgrain ribbon, thread, lining but no main fabric.¬† uh-oh.¬† Thanks Royal Mail for making me fret and wait and fret some more! 20150511_214218¬†While I waited I cut the lining which always helps you get to grips with the cutting layout. And I made up the “bra”. 20150511_211751 20150514_124029 And finally the fabric arrived,¬†the last pieces were cut (and labelled of course, there were 7 skirt pieces and three layers!) 20150514_161040 I always find the most satisfying part of dressmaking to be the point where what was pile of fabric and notions suddenly starts to look like something you’d like to wear.¬† On this dress it was when the underskirt, skirt and bodice were pinned together for a first fitting. 20150519_105742 Which much to my relief went really well, whew! And cue much work to add the bones and the over skirt in time for the second fitting 3 days later. And here is the finished article worn by gorgeous niece IMG-20150607-WA0003IMG-20150607-WA0008IMG-20150607-WA0005 PS hopefully the fabulous Donna Karan will make an appearance soon….