Thursday, 24 September 2009


We've been working furiously all week. Not only on the essentials of running a business, but also on the nice parts of working in a creative industry. At the end of October we will be wending our way across the country to play with the Gothic community at Halloween.

Once again we will be promoting the darker side of Silver Lining Sewing Rooms... Bride and Gloom, and showing off our dramatic and extravagant gothic wedding dresses. One of the new items on our stall this time will be our sashes, and boy have we had our tongues tied over this one!

I can only guess that we were thinking about dinner when we named these stunning adornments, but since the first cut of the fabric of the very first incarnations of these creations we have all been tripping over the letters in this seemingly simple word… sash and spurting out all manner of adaptations with Sashages being the only version able to leave our lips with any frequency!

I’m not quite sure that Sashages is the best description of these beautiful embellishments but it definitely makes us all smile and so it’s likely to stick. Try not to think meaty product prepared by a butcher and think more of sumptuous silk, taffeta or satin sash crafted by bewitching seamstresses in a plethora of dazzling colours.

I just love the way these Sashages hang and can transform any outfit into the most amazing and elegant affair.

There are several sizes to choose from; delicate and dainty to all out brazen bustle.

Originally designed to decorate some bridesmaid dresses and adapted to be worn over corsets these additions to your wardrobe can be worn with anything. Wear them around your waist or hips, or just under your bust to create an empire line… and if you absolutely must around your head in a Rambo styli as Rachel insisted on modelling for us (and I actually have to admit that it didn’t look half bad :))

Don’t tell Rachel, but I already have my eye on several fabrics to make a whole rainbow of Sashages for myself.

Friday, 18 September 2009

We love you gals but...

We're shutting the shop for a week. We are all of us spent.

After tomorrow we are not open again until the 29th of September... do not worry, the answer phone will be on to pick up any messages and you are always able to contact Rachel by email.

But don't you fret. We are not (all) on holiday. We're just taking the time to catch our breath.
We are going to take this opportunity to get ahead a little bit. We will be filling our time chasing up slow deliveries, sorting out the botched/incomplete haberdashery orders and taking a real stock check. These are the things that take our time away from actually sewing yet are catasrophies in their own right if left unchecked.

We would also like to use this week to break the back on some of the larger jobs we have coming up. Importantly we want to get back to the position of having our work completed 2/3 weeks before it's required... a luxury that has slowly been vanishing as we squeeze more and more clients in and one that we're unlikely to claw back in a week.

I am beginning to learn that Rachel isn't physically able to say no to anyone; no matter how late in the day a request or how big the task!
Even if she knows the only way to get the fabric in time is to send one of her ladies on a 2 hour round trip to a shop in another town, even if it means buying 6 belts to get the right buckles because there was an error with the delivery, even if it means staying up till 4am beading, Rachel will move heaven and earth to do it.

We're not complaining. I think it's fantastic that Silver Lining Sewing Rooms are so busy, but we're all looking forward to a week where we can just get our heads down and crack on.

Friday, 11 September 2009

What about the 7 deadly sins?

That’s the first thing people have asked me after reading the previous blog – and I am kicking myself over how I could have missed that.

You hear stories about bridezillas that want the moon on a stick and wreak havoc if they don’t get what they want and it’s easy to see how the 7 deadly sins apply in those cases, but we haven’t had experience of that.

It’s only natural that a bride-to-be will be filled with ideas and enthusiastic about what their wedding will become, and true, we have seen tears… but these have been from a mother gazing at her beautiful grown up daughter or a bride-to-be smiling on her adorable flower girl. And that’s the way it should be.

More often than not the studio is filled with laughter as the wedding party try on their garments, and none more so than Lesli and Jane:

(Sorry for the poor picture quality!)

Now if I ever were to venture out from the sewing room into the studio it would have been for them. The laughter that filtered through into the workroom was infectious and more often than not I felt like I was missing out on something. Every step of designing and making their bridesmaids dresses was a delight.

Thanks ladies

Sunday, 6 September 2009

And then there were 7

Seven is an important number:
- There are 7 spots on a ladybird
- There are 7 days in the week
- There are 7 wonders in the ancient world
- There are Seven Heavenly Sisters in Greek Mythology
- And there are the 7 days of creation

And now there are 7 ladies looking after you at Silver Lining Sewing Rooms:

Rachel – Owner, designer and top dog seamstress. Degree qualified with 7 years (there it is again) time served specialising in weddings. Just loves to zone out with some heavy beading and I’ve not yet found something Rachel can’t do!

Tracy – Time served seamstress and silversmith. Highly organised and super efficient – unless someone’s ’borrowed’ her scissors or tape measure; then she’s like a lost child.

Marcail – Degree qualified with a keen eye for detail and an unhealthy obsession for beautiful fabrics. Marcail will most likely be the one helping you into your dress on a Saturday.

Denny – Time served seamstress. She’s a little beaver in the workroom.

Kim – Currently studying for her degree. Kim’s another little trooper and is keeping us in fits of giggles with her university twang, like ‘it’s too orangey for you’… what?

Amy – The latest Silver Lining recruit; Amy is doing fashion and textiles at college and is very quickly shaping up to be a talented addition to the team.

Charlotte – that’s me. I’m here in front of the computer, or there in front of the sewing machine, but it’s extremely rare that you’ll meet me because I’m a bit pin happy… which doesn’t go down well when you’re getting people into dresses.

We might look like a motley crew but we’re a well oiled machine. What we lack in conformity we make up for in creativity and that is what you need to make your occasion special.

So, 7 sounds like a good number to me! Hopefully, with such numerical associations, we can’t help but succeed in making you all look and feel spectacular.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Nearly a year since Silver Lining Sewing Rooms began!

The last blog post was quite an epic, and quite some time ago now. Thinking back over the intervening months I can make a list a mile long of all the changes that have been made, all the people we have met and events we have helped them get ready for.

One of the changes has been that Rachel has delegated the upkeep of the Silver Lining Sewing Rooms blog to me, Charlotte. It’s now my job to keep you all informed of what’s going on for us at Silver Lining; share with you the joys of helping brides prepare for their fairytale weddings, letting you know of any exciting new lines or collaborations with artists to make the perfect accessories or ensembles; helping you get to know a little bit about us and how we work and what to expect when you come here and to let you know of a few practicalities like changes to opening times etc.

Where to start? So much has happened.

The one man band that started at the end of September last year has blossomed into a 6 woman team; Rachel being the first to marvel at quite how that’s happened and how, even with all these extra hands we’re all still putting in extra long days to get everything done. At times we can be right up to the bone with the deadlines but none of us are shy of staying till midnight on Friday if that is what is needed to make everything perfect.

This last week has been manic as August bank holiday is the most popular weekend of the year to get married. Our diary has been chocka, the phone has been off the hook and I’m sure there was smoke rising from the sewing machines with all the activity.

Looking at the diary this week the picture is much the same, but don’t let that put you off, the shop opening times can be found on the right along with our contact details. If you have a general enquiry your best option is probably to email Rachel or you can leave a message here and I’ll make sure to get back to you A.S.A.P. If you want to discuss the possibilities or any ideas you might have I advise you to book yourself a free consultation with Rachel.
I'll keep it short and sweet for now, but be sure... I will be back in the next few days!