Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Winter Shop Hours

Phew, the throng of activity that takes over our lives for the summer months is slowly starting to subside. As the weather turns wet and cold and the evenings grow darker everyone’s focus turns from weddings to cosy evenings in front of the fire and putting your feet up with a hot brew.

It’s the time of year we at Silver Lining, turn our attention to creating new types of accessories and lines for the shop and prepare for our trip to Whitby where we trade under Bride and Gloom at the gothic festival held there every Halloween.

We are changing our opening hours to reflect our activities. From now until Spring we will be open for appointments at the following times:

Wednesday 11:00 – 5:00
Thursday 11:00 – 7:00
Friday 11:00 – 5:00
Saturday 10:00 – 4:00 Closed the first Saturday of the month

Don’t worry if you have already made appointments outside these times as we will still be there to see you.

Also, we will be closed from Wednesday 27th October opening again on Thursday 4th October.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Chiffon Shirker

Yes, I admit it; I’m a chiffon shirker!

I only have to see a roll of chiffon in the corner and I break out in hives. Any other fabric (and I mean ANY other fabric) and I can turn one of Rachel’s fantastic annotated designs into a fully fledged garment, but give me chiffon and my brain turns to mush.

It’s ridiculous really, how something so delicate and floaty can mess with my head. In fact, I think that’s it! Chiffon is a mind altering substance, willing me to do what IT decides rather than conform to design. I must just be particularly susceptible because try as I might I always manage to create something different to what was designed.

No-one else seems to have the same problem. Rachel almost effortlessly cuts into the fabric without any hesitation. The other girls in the shop also seem to have no problems, and so, from this moment on (after a particularly spectacular failure), I vow never to try to tame the beast that is chiffon!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Hello Again!

So, it’s been a while and for that I apologise. There have been many occasions over the last few months that I have smiled to myself as I think how a particular story would make a good blog post, but it seems I just didn’t find my way here.

I used to have a routine; a small amount of time each day where I would clear my head with a brew and read up on life outside Silver lining Sewing Rooms, maybe write a blog or two… and then the wedding season hit; stronger this year than the last, and all routines got squeezed out by encroaching mountains of tulle and glittering landscapes of Swarovski’s.

And so, now there are far too many new things to talk about to sit here in one go and empty my head on the screen… in fact I would inevitably miss the rest of this afternoons (maybe weeks) appointments if I were to even try. There are many new things for me to talk about; changes in the people who work here, expansions, new ranges and new services, not to mention the incidental anecdotes of life in the sewing rooms.

Today I’ll keep this one short and sweet, with the promise that I will be back again before you know it, smearing scoop after scoop of silver lining glitter all over your computer screen.

Charlotte x

Thursday, 25 February 2010

The Couture Design Service

Sometimes it’s just impossible to find what you want. Perhaps you’ve searched high and low and just not found exactly what you want. Sometimes the only step forward is to have it made but and we understand that it can also be daunting commissioning a dress to your exact wishes. How does it work? How long does it take? How much does it cost? Will it look like I imagine it?

Here is a guide to how we work at Silver Lining sewing rooms and what you can expect.

If you have an idea of the perfect dress, but can’t find exactly what you want, then we will help you design you own dress. Whether it be simply bringing a picture of a celebrity on the red carpet or combining lots of your favourite elements to make a completely unique design to your specification. Likewise, if you don’t know what you would like or are uncertain what you want, we can discuss your likes and dislikes so that we can understand your tastes and develop ideas for you to think about.

From here Rachel will make a variety of sketches for you to work through and modify to your hearts’ content, mixing and matching various elements until you have the design you want. You will be shown fabric samples and colour combinations and we can show you examples of embroidery and beading, unusual trimmings and a wide range of handmade flowers and accents that you may wish to incorporate into your design. We can also discuss accessories and jewellery as we are able to collaborate with local artists to create the exact adornments and embellishments that you desire; whether that is handmade silver clasps for your wedding coat or unusual headwear and tiaras.

Together we will work towards a final design and costing, modifying your design and fabric choices to suit your budget. There is no obligation at this stage. This consultation period is for you to decide whether the couture design service is for you or not.

The next stage requires a deposit for us to buy the materials and then we will set about making the pattern and in certain cases a toile. A toile is a first attempt at the dress in cotton that allows us to see how the dress will come together and modify the fit and pattern to your wishes before cutting into your chosen material. This is also a good way for you to see the design take shape – the beauty of opting for this process.

Your dress will be made up over 2 to 5 fittings depending on complexity of design. During that time fittings with your desired shoes and jewellery is advised so that we can make sure skirt length is most practical and necklines most suitable.

A custom wedding gown can be completed in 6 months, but ideally 9 months is required to turn those initial sketches into reality. Bridesmaid, prom dresses and waistcoats are not so time consuming, however if you have a lot of bridesmaids the sooner we can get started the better. It goes without saying that this is not something we want to rush.

Remember, the initial consultation and design process does not mean that you are tied to us.

Simply make an appointment either by phone 01254 345 789 or email (Rachel@SilverLiningSewingRooms.com ), dig out some inspirational pictures, come and chat with Rachel and she’ll work with you to create the dress of your dreams.

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Has anyone seen the invisible thread?

Sounds stupid doesn’t it, but we’ve lost it twice this week! I can hear the moans from here… ‘Well duh! It’s invisible thread!’

Twice we’ve ransacked the sewing room. It starts out as a calm look, peeping in all the usual hiding places; on the windowsill, in the ‘stuff’ tray, on the thread boards, in our drawers, but as the search progresses and the list of likely hiding places gets shorter and shorter the searching becomes more hurried and less careful. The diary is slammed on the table; drawers are pulled off their runners and contents spilled onto the floor. Handbags and bins are emptied in case it’s fallen off the worktops and all the while there are 4 of us running into each other, bouncing off one another and all screaming ‘Don’t panic! Don’t panic!’

It sounds melodramatic, but when you have a bride arriving in 15 minutes and you need to sew on the handmade silver ivy leaf clasps, tranquil is not in our dictionary.

We did find it… with minutes to spare, hiding inside the roll of brown tape… on both occasions. And that is now where the invisible thread lives! Woe betide anyone how doesn’t put it back there.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Another blog about Whitby...

Another blog about Whitby, but it’s been my primary stimulus for the last few weeks. I’ve been somewhat cut off from the general goings on of Silver Lining as I put every spare minute into getting the Bride and Gloom stall together… with the help of everyone else of course.

Rachel has been immersing herself in Silver Lining and ensuring the work carries on there. Bless her, I know she wants to get all dark and dramatic but she has you guys to think of. At least she has Amy, Denny and Tracy to help her, and it doesn’t stop her wielding her creative genius and delegating tasks to her specification.

We’ve all been devoting some of our time to Bride and Gloom. The last couple of weeks have seen us all with split personalities; by day serene (ahem) seamstresses devoted to Silver Lining Sewing rooms, by night demons (literally) in the work room feverishly preparing for our stall at Whitby Halloween festival.

Tracy creating a brand new range called ‘Kafuffles’. They are absolutely awesome collar/truffle/shrug inventions; each one totally original and drool inducing.

This picture really doesn't do them justice!

Paul, now known as ‘Designer of Doom’ has been busy showing his artistic skills in creating awesome designs for shirts and corsets among other things. Just check out this zombie hand… I need one of those in my life!

And I have been ritualistically burning my fingers on a daily basis to create the most gothic rainbow of hair accessories you have ever seen.

This is just a glimpse of what we have been working towards. It’s close now, just 9 days until we make the journey to Whitby and our stall in the leisure centre.

If you are planning to be in Whitby over Halloween, please come and say hello.
Follow the picture link below to download the program of events for the weekend; there are bands galore, in the main Spa event but also in other venues around town. There are burlesque and comedy performances, masked balls and fancy dress, classic bike and car shows, club nights and of course the massive gothic markets that we are taking part in.

For Silver Lining Sewing Rooms it means a week off the radar. The shop will close its doors on Saturday 24th October and open them again Tuesday the 3rd of November.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Artisan screen printed ties

We search high and low.

We scour the Earth and leave no stone unturned.

We travel far and wide and rummage around in the four corners of the globe.

… all to bring you the best, most interesting, hand made accessories that would compliment our creations and add that extra little something to your affair.

Of course when I say this I mean that we spend our breaks sat on our arses, cup of coffee in one hand and mouse in the other, jumping the world in a series of clicks.

On such an excursion I found myself in Detroit hanging out with Bethany Shorb in her beautiful tie lab. I was instantly sold and knew that her exquisite, original art, hand screen printed ties would be perfect for you guys.

Her designs range from classic and elegant to dark and dramatic. She has a massive catalogue of artwork and the range of ties and scarves is immense. It was stressful whittling down the choice to present to you. You have no idea how hard it was to first select artwork, then tie fabrics, fabric colours and ink colours but whittle away we did and I’m bowled over by our choices.

Aren’t they beautiful? I can’t wait to see your reactions when we offer them up for sale at the Whitby Gothic Weekend.

When I found this artist online I knew instantly that I wanted to get my hands on some of her work, and I know you will too. All we need now is for you guys to come see us at the Leisure Centre (30th and 31st October and 1st November) and fall in love with her designs as well... then I can go through the whole agonizing process of ordering some more! Trauma!

Friday, 2 October 2009

How did you get in my life?

Our sewing room is never dull. Get a group of girls together and the giggles follow and with it our own vocabulary and the evolution of ‘Phrase of the Week’.

This week Amy was fighting a losing battle with a particularly persistent piece of thread. It followed her everywhere and no matter how many times she thought she’d got rid of it she found it stuck to her in some new ingenious way... to which she was compelled to ask it:

How did you get in my life?’

Well that was it; from then on any slightly irksome incident was greeted with our new phrase of the week - ‘How did you get in my life?’, which is fine when you’re asking the spider that’s crawling over the table or the piece of double sided sticky tape that you’ve found stuck to your elbow... not so well received when you get carried away and ask your husband... oops! Thankfully he laughed - he knows what we’re like.

It’s not all laughs at Silver Lining though. It’s been a sad week. Kim has gone back to uni and we already miss her. We’ve started a countdown until she returns at Christmas...

These rambling make is sound like we don’t do much but sit around laughing and lamenting the absence of our friend. I assure you we’re hard at work ALL the time... see, even after a long day at work we sit around the table to sew patches onto leather jackets, which is actually quite hard! (This is where the spider and sticky tape came in...yikes! That sounds like the spider met a sticky end, but I assure you he is still alive and well).

I bent my big sturdy needle and Rachel wore a hole in her nail pushing the needle into the leather and Tracy got cramp in her thumb trying to grip the pull the needles through the tough leather. I can totally understand why leather and not satin is the choice for bikers... now there’s an image!