Altering Perceptions…

At 28, I’m commonly told that I am a lot younger than my clients were expecting me to be. Dressmaking seems to have become a profession that is more synonymous with “little old ladies” than it is with people my age. Even with this in mind though, at what is seen as a “young age” I still manage to hold over 10 years of sewing experience, a degree in fashion design and over 5 years under my belt running my own business as a designer and dressmaker.

It’s odd though, because if you mention the term “Fashion Designer” age doesn’t seem to be a query, the expectation is just that I must surly work in London for a major label or brand. It’s funny, because that is something I actually ruled out as a career from quite early on. I love the freedom that working for myself gives, not having to answer to anyone other than the client when it comes to creative decisions. I experienced early on in my career that working for fashion brands is creatively constraining because there are always people above you to overide and change designs/decisions. Plus, as much as I love to visit the city, the countryside will always be my home.

So that is how I reached this point, as a young designer/dressmaker living in the countryside and working for myself. Breaking a lot of misconceptions, but being no-less qualified, skilled or successful.

I’m lucky though, the only reason I got to where I am is because I was taught a set of skills as a child that set me up in life (a fact my mother regularly reminds me that she is responsible for). When I fell in love with sewing and fashion I was actively encouraged to pursue it as a career, a fact I know is not true of a lot of people who want to pursue a life in the arts. No-one could have imagined that the little girl sat at the sewing machine would grow up to become a designer (let alone me), but I came from a family where it was never ruled out. As Napoleon Hill so aptly put it “You are the master of your destiny”, and I have definately been allowed to be mine.

So hopefully I’ve intrigued you and you’re interested to read more. My plan for this blog is to provide some insights into my world. Have you ever wondered what goes on in the day to day life of a professional dressmaker? What exciting things I’ve been getting up to? What we do on our days off? What problems I encounter and how I solve them?

I also plan to do a few sewing tutorials, that include tips and tricks about specific sewing tasks and hopefully keep you a little entertained on the way.

Please feel free to let me know if there is a specific subject you’d like me to blog about and I’ll do my best to try and cover it.

Happy reading.

Clare x

3 replies
  1. Jo Ferry
    Jo Ferry says:

    Will love keeping up with you and your ‘blog’ Clare and making the most of learning from your sewing tips and techniques. Have already gained confidence from the two workshops I’ve already attended. Busy being a ‘bee’ too myself and loving it!!! Xxx

  2. Sue Wakefield
    Sue Wakefield says:

    Hi Clare, I want to get my Daughter to read your blog, as she is a Sports Wear designer and she wants to start her own business. She will be a bit more inspired to think about it and actually starting up, although a bit daunting I expect.
    Well done Clare I look forward to reading your blog. Xx

    • Clare
      Clare says:

      It’s really daunting but the best thing I ever did. If she wants someone to talk about it with I’d be happy to meet her for a cuppa, just get her to drop me a message.


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