January can always be a tough month, I have tried to steer clear from getting sucked into laziness. It’s very easy to after enjoying a month of slow paced Christmas festivities. Everyone needs that break, giving the mind and body time to adjust and appreciate the year passed and to prepare for the year to come.
For me, I feel rejuvenated and ready for 2017. This week I have set aside time to come up with ideas for my new collection. As well as having coats, I am looking at involving smaller items. A week has passed of sketching, researching, experimenting and sample making. I have tested hat styles, small purses, pins and brooches. My head is spinning with ideas and I’m finally seeing the concept of having a range of different items, rather than focusing solely on coats and jackets.
Designing is interesting, I can have an idea in my head for months without it fully evolving, so I mull over it for a time before I have it clear in my head if it’s workable. I sketch it out and make a sample, then I check if the idea has successfully come to life - I love this part of designing. Sometimes the final result can be so different, but turn out better than I expected. Or sometimes the opposite! I guess that’s all part of the design process. This week I had made myself a waistcoat, and loved it so much that I’m considering making this a lovely addition to the collection.
I had some old Harris tweed of my grandfathers, which has been hidden away in my cupboard to only use for myself or for the family. I decided to make a small hat for myself using the tweed and it was so strange to work with. I had no idea how old the fabric was – 1950s to 1970s. I never did meet my grandfather but cutting this fabric suddenly made me feel close to him and see a side of him. The colour he chose was a funky orange check pattern, not the typical highlander going for sensible, dull, muted tones. He had left pins all through the tweed, sticking old jacket pattern pieces all over it with large parts of the fabric cut out, suggesting he tried to make himself a jacket, got impatient and gave up exasperated. Well that’s what I imagine, as I’ve been there before! I told my husband several years ago I’d make him a corduroy jacket, got pattern and fabric, then cut it all out and didn't go back to it!
I’m sure I’ll go back to it at some point…
Anyway I marvel at how long things can last. I do love that quality about clothing, you can touch something so old and imagine who could have worn it, where and when.
On another note, I'm currently planning my year, month by month. I was selected onto the Dream Plan Do programme, and really looking forward to it. This involves creative businesses getting together every month online for a series of workshops, giving each business more direction for 2017. I’m already thinking the year is running away from me, how is that possible as it's only January! I feel I should have been already organised last month!
Breathe, one step at a time I keep telling myself – Just give all your effort, take your time and things will work out.