Sunday, 24 February 2013

Reason for starting your business

Just a short post this week about the various reasons people have for starting their own business.

I 1st thought about starting my own business when I was about 18yrs old. I has always enjoyed sewing and thought it would be easy to just start earning money (I wish it was)
I was already working part time in a shop whilst going to college. Once I left college I found that I needed to start working longer hours so the business idea was put on the back burner. I was always saying I'm going to start my own business but never actually put it into motion. Then my nan passed away and gave me the push to finally start the business. My main motivation this time was that I wanted to make my nan proud of me even if she wasn't actually here to see it or tell me.
Over the last couple of years I have slowly started getting more customers and growing the business. Last year my dad lost his job and struggled to get another one so my money was paying the bills and it was a horrid feeling not knowing if we would have enough money. At the same time the place I work also started to let people go. This has made me even more determined to have a successful business so that I don't have that worry of where will the money be coming from, is there a chance I'm going to lose my job,etc.

So I suppose this post is really to ask what was the main reason/factor behind people starting their business?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Review of Simplicity 2017

Back in June of 2012 I decided to make myself a new dress ready for a christening I was attending  - view the post here.

In this post I am going to review the pattern - this is my opinion only.

The fabric I used was one that I picked up at one of the sewing shows held at Shepton Mallet. I saw the fabric and knew I had to purchase some even though at the time I didn't know what I would use it for. As soon as I purchased Simplicity 2017 I knew I had a use for my fabric.

I made a mock up first as I have such an unusual body measurements but it was nearly perfect as was. The one thing I did make sure that I had correct was the height adjustment. The last dress that I made I forgot this stage so at the end I had to just hem it to the correct length which meant that the body of the dress didn't fit correctly.

I'm not sure what the exact fabric I used was but it was some type of polyester satin. As it was quite a thick material I actually skipped the stage in the instructions where it called for interfacing to be added as I thought it would just make the dress too thick.

Being a patterned fabric I made two patterns for each piece and then cut the fabric as one layer with the pattern side up so that I could see where I was placing the motifs. I wasn't overly concerned about the pattern matching at the seams just wanted to ensure there were no big motifs in certain areas (like the bust point)

I had to alter the pattern pieces slightly around the waist area, this was done before making copies.
Once I had cut the fabric the dress went together like a dream, the instructions are easy and straight forward to understand. The only slight letdown in the instructions was the section on gathering - if you haven't done this before then you may need further guidance from a book or video, etc.
I left off the ties as I didn't want the dress to be pulled in at the back but this is down to preference.

Rather than using my nice patterned fabric as a facing - the dress is faced with the same fabric as the outer  - I used one of my normal lining fabrics. Again my fabric was pretty thick so this was more to finish the edges of the dress. In hindsight when I make the dress again I will ensure the lining is the same colour as the outer as you can sometimes catch glimpses of it, especially under the arms.

I decided to add a lace trim rather than rickrac as I thought it would suit the type of fabric better. I purchased a coffee coloured lace with one scalloped edge. I then used the straight edge of the lace to follow the lines of the dress and hand stitched it into place using a coffee coloured thread. This part took me longer to do than the whole of the rest of the dress but it was worth it.
I didn't add any lace to the hem of the dress as I wanted the pattern to be the main focus at the hem.
I wasn't sure on the length but ended up going for just below the knee but am still unsure and may raise this to just above the knee.
I also had to add an underskirt when wearing the dress as the fabric I chose is clingy.

I am planning on making a few more of these dresses in cotton for the summer and would recommend it to anyone both experienced and new dressmakers alike.

Back view of dress

Close up detail of the lace trim.