Summer's End

Posted on: Wednesday, 19 September 2012

I feel rather odd about the end of this summer. I feel all excited about starting new things - I can't shake that 'back to school' feeling in September. However, we really haven't had the best of summers here - weather wise. I keep reading people's posts about how the weather is changing & things are cooling down, but it is more sunny here this week than it has been during the summer!
 Having said this, I just got some photos developed from a few months ago & I am already missing the fact that summer is officially over, & now we have to get into long johns mode.

Anyway, my last post was very word heavy, so let's just get on with some pictures.
Sunny days in the garden, making lists & drinking milkshakes.
(I'm actually wearing a dress I made for once - see post here)
A brief trip to Italy with Rob, Lil & Josh.
 Lots of days traveling. (Bristol station)
 Even more days spent sat outside this lovely truck.

Well I never, what a lovely busy summer. Now it's time to knuckle down... & hope that there will be snow this Christmas. I do love a good season change.

What is everyone's favourate part of the year?

Blog vs. Website.

Posted on: Friday, 14 September 2012

This week I've been trying to develop a website. I've tried it lots of times before, but I can never make up my mind. For the last 6 months or so I've been using my domain (www.isabelknowles.com) to take people straight to this blog. I've invested most time & effort into this blog & I like the fact that I can change it & update it easily & regularly. However, I sometimes worry that to someone who isn't 'bloggy' it may be confusing to be directed straight to a blog. I once emailed someone about buying fabric & they emailed me back saying "lovely cookery website" as the last post I had done happened to contain a picture of a cake I'd baked - to be fair, I probably shouldn't upload things like that on here as it is a strictly business blog... hmmm, perhaps not :)

Anyway, it got me thinking, what is better blog or website? As with most things in life, I expect the answer is a little bit of both. It's just how to go about it which is proving more difficult than I first anticipated.

When it comes to online shops/fashion websites & all that sort of thing, I really do like the way they first appear. Professional, changeable, interactive but with the emphasis on buying the clothing.
(above ASOS website - below TOPSHOP website)
I've noticed that they are all pretty similar too. Not in a bad way but they all incorporate a large image in the center followed by some smaller articles about fashion. With clearly stated categories of items down one side or above. Now, don't get me wrong, there is no way I am comparing myself to these massive brands, but, there must be something in their web design that is key when people are looking at buying clothing.

I found this lovely website, which I feel is simple & easy to navigate, without feeling confusing & being bombarded with information.
Kate Miss Jewlery is run by Kate of For Me, For You. Her blog is so so beautiful, & she's carried on her talent for design to her shop. Also, this website is a Big Cartel one, which is what I am trying to create at the moment. Big Cartel gives you great freedom when it comes to design & layout & I'm very excited to go further with it to create something I am happy with.

But I don't want to lose the personal vibe of the blog! This is where I really get confused. I know my mind when it comes to graphics & aesthetic style, & I love being a geek & learning CSS & that sort of thing. But, I'm confused that if I create a website my blog will become obsolete. In a way, I don't want to look toooo businessy (I'm sure that will be difficult for me anyway), I like the personal side of the blog, & the fact it allows you to interact with people. I'm not a big business & I want people visiting my website to see that it is a little home run thing by me, as well as being professional.

Here are the beginnings of my website (using Big Cartel). I'm liking the simplicity at the moment. But I want it to lose the template vibe it's got a the mo, it needs a lot more customising.

I've created a check list of things I want my website to include:
  • Large clear images of my garments.
  • A clear link back to my blog.
  • Professional 'About' page - not too personal, strictly business.
  • Large 'lifestyle' shots. & look book gallery - the problem with the blog is that my photo shoot images get lost after a few posts.
  • Easily to update home page, so I can write personal messages, say if there is a sale on & all that jazz.
Phew, I think just writing this post has made me feel more confident about where I'm going with it.

How do you feel about the blog/website thing? Do you feel more confident buying from a faceless brand or do you enjoy a more personal side to things? I'd love to hear some thoughts, I'm obviously a bit of a muddle about it...

Cath Kidston Lampshade Making.

Posted on: Tuesday, 11 September 2012

As I mentioned before last Tuesday I went up to London for a Cath Kidston blogger event. It was hosted in the beautiful Marylebone store, & I felt extremely honoured to have been invited.

It was run by Lisa of Sew Over It: we got to pick a fabric we liked from the Cath Kidston range & then she talked us through how to make our lampshade. She made it look very easy. Easier than it was. Although now I'm totally hooked & I'm going to make a million lampshades at home!

Here we are concentrating very hard (that's me looking silly at the back)...

I chose this lovely seaside fabric, I love it so much.

When we left we also got this amazing little goody bag of things. I felt like a kid at a party.
It included some really lovely sewing accessories from Cath Kidston & also Lisa's brand new book that has been released today!

The book is filled with lovely things & ideas of how to customise clothing & tips & sewing projects. Lisa was a great teacher & also the book is full of pretty pictures (which is my main reason for liking a book). I find it so inspiring seeing someone running such a successful & yet still lovely & personal business.

Anyway, I'm sorry to sound so gushy & over the top about this all, I just was very excited to have been invited & I of course love little presents too :) It's the first thing like it I've been to & I wish I lived in London so I could attend more meet ups & those sort of events. I think I need to organise a Devon/South West bloggers one!

F L A S H S A L E

Posted on: Monday, 10 September 2012

I got over 350 likes on Facebook & to celebrate I am holding a flash sale :) 


ONE DAY ONLY - 10% off everything in my Etsy store with discount code ILIKEIKNOW.
Sale ends midnight Tuesday 11th September.

A Little Update

Posted on: Sunday, 9 September 2012

Hello lovelies! I hope everyone is having a nice weekend?
Just a little update from my shop & other things that I have been up to over the last week.

I am totally out of Posie fabric & won't be getting any more. I do however have 2 ready made Battenberg dresses - brand new & ready to send.
Sizes are: Small - Waist - 27.5, Bust - 34, Hips - Free, Length - 21.
& Large - Waist - 34.5, Bust - 41.5, Hips - Free, Length - 22.5.
(Length of skirt can be altered at no extra cost)

I've been thinking how I can adapt this cute vintage kids patterns I bought in a charity shop in Cornwall last week. I just want children's clothes in big sizes, the shapes are lovely!
 
My 'Oh Grandma' cape was featured on the Etsy fashion page - very honoured :)
 
& Stef who bought a dress a few weeks ago did a lovely post looking super in her Brandy Snap dress, over on her blog.

I am also having a push on Facebook likes. I am sooo close to getting 350 likes. & if I get to that goal by the end of today I will be holding a flash sale over my whole Etsy shop!
So, if you've had your eye on anything in particular now is the time to get your hands on it.

This week I will be releasing a few more of my AW12 pieces, working on props & accessories for my location shoot. As well as your usual sewing & all that jazz.

Phew, what a busy week. I almost forgot I was up & down to London visiting new born babies & doing a Cath Kidston blogger event thingy - which I will say more on next week...

Twitter

Posted on: Thursday, 6 September 2012

I joined it. I felt left out. Sorry.
I don't totally get it, but I'm sure I'll be addicted in no time.

It's good if you wana keep more up to date with what I'm up to as I add a lot of Instagram photos & all that. All this social media. Tonight I will go out, in the real world, to see some real people. It's just so cold & dark out there!

Indroducing... The 'Foxglove'

Posted on: Monday, 3 September 2012

Finally I have a dress in this magnificent Foxie print in my shop :) I am rather happy about it indeed!
This simple party dress has an elegant high neckline & a scooping low back.
It is lined with vibrant red & has ridiculously deep pockets.
(I love dresses with pockets, they are the best)

Available on Etsy here.

I made this dress with the idea of Christmas parties & New Years eve in mind. Something special, & understatedly dramatic, if that's not a complete oxymoron? However, I can totally see it being a staple as well. It could be worn with a warm jacket & a bobble hat, or even a long sleeved tee underneath. Is it too big headed to say I'm smitten with my own dress? Yes, I think it is. But, well I am.

Also, any of my bespoke classics dresses are available in this Foxie fabric too! Just so you know.

Introducing... The 'Poppy'

Posted on: Saturday, 1 September 2012

 The first of my AW2012 collection is this red organic denim shift dress. Named 'The Poppy' it's simple shape & vibrant colour are topped off with an embroidered collar & elbow length sleeves.
 It is partially lined with complimenting fox print cotton & has a concealed zip up the back.

Available on Etsy here.

Over the next few weeks I will be releasing my Autumn Winter collection. It's now September - which is sort of surreal! We seem to have not had any summer in England. So, lets just move onto Autumn. 

My collection is themed around the English countryside, & every piece is named after a wild flower. I want to piece together wearable shapes with durable long lasting fabrics & of course prettiness.

Check out my colour pallet here. I cannot wait to show you the rest :)
What is everyone's key go-to item for AW months?

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