i n s p i r e d : Moonrise Kingdom.

Posted on: Sunday, 27 May 2012


Last night we went to see Wes Anderson's new film Moonrise Kingdom. I swear I've been waiting for it to come out for agggess, & it was really so lovely. As always, it looked so beautiful.
I really loved the dress that Suzy wore. She had the same shape in loads of colours. I am definitely going to be making one this week. I wish I was that cool when I was 12 (I think I had short ginger hair cut & wore big baggy jeans)

 (images from Google)

This week I have to make sew about 300 metres of jubilee bunting in 2 days.
Oh dear!

Studio Sunday: Samples.

 (photo from a walk last week)

So, I've been having some big old thinking about fabric & all that jazz. I have run out of certain Monaluna fabrics, & am contemplating what to rebuy & what to leave. What new materials to go with & where they should be sourced from. All very tricky questions to answer & there's the whole thing about sustainability & the environment, golly gosh, I will have a whole other long blog post about that at some point!
For now, I have ordered a bunch of samples from a UK supplier of organic cotton - here's a little snap shot of the mound I received:

Hmmm, also hoping that I can use you guys for some advice? I have put up a vote over on my Facebook page. Please let me know what you think, I really need in put about what fabrics are people's favourate. There's no point in my buying only the ones I like!

I hope everyone's having a nice weekend, we are off to the beach today - it's summer here.
Whooop whoooop.

Studio Sunday: Catching Up With The Rest.

Posted on: Monday, 21 May 2012

Hello there, I hope everyone had a super weekend.
This is my Studio Sunday post for yesterday (I spent the whole day sleeping as I am am such an old lady these days & not used to going out on a Saturday night - it totally takes it out of me!). Also, today is a very sunny day. So it is sort of Sunday right?

So here is some of the things I've been up to over the last week:
I made myself this uniform. I hate having to think of what to wear everyday & I wanted something practical & stylish to work in. So this is perfect. It's made from soft hard-wearing cotton & has huge big pockets so I can stuff things in them throughout the day without putting things down & losing them.
I pretty much live in it now!
 Here are some sunny pictures from my studio today. I have decided to always have a bunch of fresh flowers in my studio so I can not miss out on the loveliness out doors when I'm sewing. I picked these on a stroll this morning. I love wild flowers!
This is a dress I am working on for my summer collection. Now, I know what you must think - surely Spring Summer collections were meant to be out about a million years ago? Well, that is true (refer to my title about catching up with the rest). I just find that I am so behind when it comes to releasing things on time! I am more focused on producing quality dresses for my existing orders & run out of time to plan my next collection. I mean properly plan it. I am constantly planning things in my head & they just need to make it into reality really. So, I will be organising my shop soon & will be revealing 4 new summer designs over the next few weeks. As well as designing my A/W collection to be out on time, I promise! This is an unfinished version of one of the dresses (I'm really enjoying the way it looks so far).
Over the weekend I have been knitting a blanket - here it is so far. This is just for me, I like knitting & always just do it in the winter which is silly. Can't wait to wrap this round me on some chilly summer evenings in front of fires & all that. Although, it is acrylic so maybe I should keep away from open flame...
I am selling this sample top I made a few months back over on Etsy. I love the apple fabric but I've decided not to continue with the shape. I think it is rather cute though.

Ahhhh, it's nice to be all up to date again. & it's nice to share these things with you. I'd love any feedback on what you think about a summer collection? I'm really in love with yellow at the moment, but I know it's not for everyone (I'm so pale that I have to be careful of it).
I would also like to say a big old hello to all my new followers who've come over from Skunkboy, I am so overwhelmed.
Thank you!

Oh La La!

Posted on: Sunday, 13 May 2012

Heads up - This post has nothing to do with sewing.

We are now the proud owners of a 1959 French ex army truck. It arrived in the village on the back of a lorry in the dark of Friday night. It is beautiful & wicked & stuff like.
For more pics look here.

(When I say we I mean Rob bought it. But, I will be 'helping' build & enjoying it!)

Mellow Yellow

Posted on: Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Quite rightly!
I've been wanting to experiment with natural dying for a while now. So, I suddenly I felt very inspired after seeing this & this.

I tried first with some turmeric that I found in the cupboard. I just did it very simply, by boiling water & adding the turmeric & then adding a few tablespoons of salt to fix it. I tried some different dye effects too.

I was absolutely amazed at how bright the colour came out!

I love it! I am so excited to start more experimenting with more natural dyes. We are growing some up at the organic veg field where I work once a week (Chagfood). In the future I am hoping to be able to make lots more of my own fabrics, print, dye & even maybe weave some? Perhaps with the intention of running courses up at the field about the importance of organic cotton & natural dyes (it seems to be growing more important to me by the day).

If anybody has had any experiences in home dying I'd love to hear. I'm all for learning from other people's mistakes :)

Smell What You Sell.

Posted on: Saturday, 5 May 2012


Yes, the title is a quote from Alan Sugar from this weeks Apprentice. Yes, I like trashy TV quite a bit.
But, to be honest, I think he might be right.

I have been debating with myself as to where to go with my dresses & shop. Part of me wants to move on from my old shapes & create a new collection with new styles & new fabrics. But then again if I was part of the 'real' fashion industry what would I be planning now? Autumn Winter 2013? Well, that's just to far ahead for me! I like to live partly in the here & now (maybe a few months ahead). & design for real people in real life.
I feel like I am getting tired of making the same old dress that sells, but I also feel like it is amazing that people want to wear something that I have designed & made. I cannot say, oh no, I am over that, when everyone else likes it. If I was to pause for a minute  & see it through fresh eyes I realise I love it too.
I've got through 2 bolts of the Soar fabric already, & am in the process of ordering more, & these things really are about trial & error. Especially as I am teaching myself as I go along.

I never know if people just forget that I will make up the dress in whatever fabric they desire! I can understand that they see the picture & want that exact one. I'd love to have the same dress in all different variations though.

Let's stop this waffling. What I mean is this, I bought this fabric Flowerbed back in November & it's not selling as well as the others. I thought it was a slow goer in the winter as it is super summery. However, summer is almost upon us & I still have a fair bit left. So, this means a sale. I love this fabric, the colours are interesting & the shapes are fun. But, smell what is selling, & I want to get people out there wearing the fabric! Rather than it sitting in my studio.

So, any dress made from the Flowerbed fabric will be discounted by 20%. It's hard for me to do, but otherwise I will have to make myself a whole wardrobe out of it!
Any shape. Any size. This fabric. 20% off. Please get in touch if you have any ideas.
& check out my Etsy shop for inspiration.

I'm sure this post doesn't make any sense, thank you if you read this far. If not - I don't blame you.

I'm in Brighton over the bank holiday staying with the sis. Looking forward to antique shopping & walks along the sea front.
Hope everyone has a super weekend! :)

Oh, PS. This is some feedback I received this week. It has totally made my year. These things mean the world to me & make me so happy that I made the decisions I did & often question (no uni, no big cities etc).
"I can't say enough good things about Isabel - super helpful, mega talented and patient to boot. She helped me choose the right dress for my summer in New York and it is BEAUTIFUL, plus it looks great with a pair of cowboy boots.. The production and shipping time was quick smart, with a natty wee hand mirror thrown in. 5 stars all round."

Totally blown away. Thanks for letting me chat rubbish on this rather bloggy blog post. I promise the next ones will be pictures only.

i n s p i r e d : Posies of Pink!

Posted on: Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Today was gloriously sunny. It seems pink is all over the place & I love it.
When I was younger I had to do May Day in the village (dancing around a pole with ribbons) which was highly embarrassing for me as such a shy child, but today I remembered the bit I did like about it which was picking flowers from the garden & making head garlands & posies to carry.

Here are some pinky hues from my day:
 
I've had the theme tune to Pinky & The Brain in my head all daaaayy, gaaaah!

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