Warrington Comic Con

Warrington Comic Con

I am super excited to tell you all Dolly’s is participating in Warrington Comic Con 2017. Held on Saturday 27th May 10-5pm outside Warrington Market.

Warrington Comic Con has grown from strength to strength. This will be the third year it is hosted by Warrington Retail Market. Its a total FREE event and great fun for the family.

There is more info here. The Event offers all manner of geeky goodness including sci-fi, comic, TV and film merchandise, collectables and memorabilia.

There are also some amazing exhibits from TV and Film, not forgetting lots of super heroes, arch enemies and fantasy characters from the weird to the wonderful.

I am currently working my socks off sewing at every opportunity I get. Staying true to Dolly’s quirky brand with lots of goodies to buy and to show case my brand for the first time.

I have never exhibited at a Fair or Convention before, so have drafted in some help.

I have Hinge and Bracket oops I mean Billy and Jodie helping me out whilst I have classes, now I am kind of relying you my followers to keep an eye on these two!!

You see I know them both very well and they are both the “Naughty Friends” I am pretty sure there will be a tag team situation going over to the cake shop.
Please report back!!

Keep an eye on Social Media, Running up to the event there will be lots of announcements including how to get your hands on freebies and goodie bags.

Thats all for now, off for more sewing.
TTFN Linsey @Dollys

ps, although they are naughty, i would be up the swan without Billy and Jodie, but shhhh don’t tell them xx

Can You Do It ?

Dolly’s Needs You!

Can You Do It?

Dolly’s has an exciting opportunity for the right person/people.
This is an unpaid internship/work experience position for someone who has a keen interest in Textiles, Design, or running a small business.
The position is between 4-16 hours a week, hours can be shared between unto 3 people if necessary.
Age and experience are irrelevant for the right person.
Hours are flexible and we can work around current commitments.

The right person/people will will be enthusiastic, trustworthy, reliable and can keep a confidence.

In return you will receive Sewing Machine tuition, Pattern and Handmade item tuition, experience in all aspects of running a small business, a very generous discount on haberdashery and textiles as well as trips to wholesalers and trade shows.

What To Do Next?

In the first instance please contact Linsey at Dollyssewingschool@yahoo.co.uk with the subject “I Can Do It”
or contact Linsey on 01925 820780 for an informal chat.

I look forward to hearing from you.

TTFN Linsey @ Dolly’s

Fashion Revolution Week

Blog Post

Its Fashion Revolution Week

Fashion Revolution Week is all about asking manufacturers, who made your clothes?

LOTS of clothing manufacturers are very unfair to factory workers, paying them penny’s for long hard gruelling days in awful condition, these places are known as “sweat shops”

On 24th April 2013 in Savar India an 8 story clothing factory collapsed and buried thousands of workers.
The search for the dead ended on 13 May 2013 with a death toll of 1,129. Approximately 2,500 injured people were rescued from the building alive.
Generations of families were wiped out in this disaster.
Hundreds of UK Manufacturers financially compensated the victims familys, some DID NOT.

This sad and horrific story was one of the reason I started Dolly’s. I wanted to go back to making great quality things BY HAND. Now I know you don’t learn the skills over night, but once you have them, you have them for life.

I recently had 1 to many “food medallions” on a plain white t-shirt. I decided to time myself making a new one. 35 minute, thats quicker than locking the shop up and going to find one I actually liked.

You may have seen the quote “Fast Fashion Isn’t Free Someone  Somewhere is paying for it”. The quote is from a cool journalist called Lucy Siegle. She even wrote a book about it, it is rather good.

There is also a great documentary on Netflix, you can see it here

Some real cool cats who have brought manufacturing to the UK are Hebtroco. Over a pint in 2015 Brant & Ed who live in Hebden Bridge decided to bring Trousers back to “Trouser Town”. Hebden Bridge was once a butting industrial town for manufacturing.
The guys business started with crowd funding, is growing from strength to strength. Often at Altrincham Market, I just Had to see if these trousers were worth all the hype. After all my most used saying is “I can make that”. I’ll just say the fly alone is worth the £110 the trousers cost, so much so Billy got 2 pairs.

Have a look in your clothes, get on social media and ask the question “Who Made Your Clothes?”

TTFN Love Linsey @Dolly’s

Don’t Tell Them You Sew

Don’t Tell Them You Sew.

I know what its like, you’ve got this amazing new skill and you want to shout it from the roof tops. It never gets old that feeling when you say “I made It”, after all these years I still get that buzz.

but trust me……….. its a trap!!

You see, none sewers don’t know the ups and downs of sewing. I recently was told a story by a lovely lady who comes into the shop. Lets call her FRANK.
Frank and her neighbour were having tea in the garden, the neighbours son came home with a hole in his blazer. The neighbour asked Frank to repair it……….
What could possibly go wrong?
Well, pressing your beautiful repair with the iron to high, burning the said blazer and having to go and spend £40 on a replacement.
Thats what can go wrong.

When I first opened Dolly’s I was approached by someone who offered me the world for altering curtains, free advertising, a stall at market gate, breakfast with the Mayor. The things as a business owner money couldn’t buy.
Guess what, since he picked his curtains up I’ve never seen him since.
Another of Dolly’s regulars is doing alterations for friends and family. Great and a nice little earner you would think?
Think again, when a Donna Karen dress doesn’t fit as anticipated after alteration, your “friend” is taking you to the small claims court, because you’re “doing them a favour” you’re not insured for the mistake.

My Girl has spotted a prom dress she fancies its only £150 from china. I just couldn’t spend that amount of money on something that will be poorly made, not ethical, and a naff fit.
So I’m making her dress! (listen to your own advice Linsey) fabric  and notions alone have cost £210. £60 more that the ready to wear original. I’ve spent about 8 hours on it so far and its nowhere near complete.
This dress is a job made for love not money, but you can see where I’m coming from…….

Lovlies, Use your skills, Be proud of your skills, but be careful who you tell. 😉

TTFN Linsey @ Dolly’s

Use It Or Loose It

This week I heard the sad news that our neighbours Warrington Skate Academy was closing down. Now I am not sure of any of the details of the situation, but was infuriated with some of the Facebook comments.

“Why would you do this”

“This isn’t fair, my son loved it when he came 2 years ago”

“Its just selfish”

How many of these people actually went and spent a little of their had earned cash?

On Academy Street there were 4 now 3 Independent businesses, all struggling because of the redevelopment work, again today the road is closed for another 2 weeks!

It reminds me of the Just A Card campaign, check it out here

Its about a beautiful card shop, that had to close due to financial reasons, after the owners said:-

“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought just a card we’d still be open.”

In Summer 2015 things were in a desperate situation at Dolly’s, The School Summer Holiday had been like a baron wasteland at the shop, in 6 weeks, not 1 customer through the door.

I just simply didn’t have any money for rent. I had no choice but to ask for help. I launched “A Tip For A Tip”

Everyday I am thankful for all those lovely people who donated and kept me in business.

Thankfully Dolly’s is in a much better place now, I still havn’t taken a wage for 2 years, but Dolly’s now has its regulars, its a social place, and the love of sewing is growing within our area. Exactly what I wanted.

Dolly’s will never make me rich, but it will defiantly make my life richer.

I think it is important to shop local especially in Warrington  during the redevelopment.

So instead of taking to Facebook when an independent business has closed down, lets support them whilst they are still open.

Use It Or Loose It.

TTFN Linsey @Dolly’s xx

How do you do?

Nice to meet you!

It is an absolute coincidence that my sister wrote a blog introducing herself today, I had panned to to this all week – I wish i’d have not in there 1st 😉

Hi I’m Linsey – Spelt the way the 1st nurse spelt it way back in 1974, yup I’m 42.
I own Dolly’s Sewing School.
Let me tell you bit about me and mine……..

This is me

My hair isn’t that colour anymore, it rarely stays the same colour for long.
I was a hairdresser before darling Dolly’s – I am completely over hairdressing, but the need for change is still there.
My husband says if I go missing he wouldn’t know what colour my hair was to tell the Police!!!

linsey

 

This is him

I think he is gorgeous, I’ve been in love with him since i was 14
– he didn’t know I was alive…. pfft
We had a secret wedding for 3, and text everyone after the deed was done we partied into the small hours after.

When we finally got together Billy came with a 6yo side kick.
Now nearly 16.

billy and tyler

Tyler Rottweiler

Now, I’m not saying it has been all Mary Poppins with Tyler, but she is my love.
When she was little I was Mumsey (half Mum half Linsey) too cool for that now, she has however “allowed” me to make her prom dress.
It was always very easy to love Tyler, she is so much like her Dad it is scary.
Much to my disgust she doesn’t have a creative bone in her body, Tyler loves football, her aggressive style where the Rottweiler comes from.

tyler and linsey

Margo

Until May 2016, I was the love of Billy’s life. Some Bitch has stolen his heart!!
Margo the shop dog. She came to us in the strangest way, but is good as gold. Kind and friendly, even though she is the size of a shetland pony.

billy and margo

Dolly

Awww there she is, Dolly the 1st.
Dolly was my 1971 VW Beetle sold to fund Dolly the shop.
Today I think it was worth the sacrifice, Ask me on a rainy morning when I’m on my bike and the answer would be different.

dolly

10 things about me

* I have the odd tattoo
* I have 4 siblings
* I didn’t have a shop bought dress until I was 13
* I’ve not had a shop bought dress for 2 years
*I can turn my tongue upside down
*I have been sewing for 20 years
*I’ve been on a diet for the same time!!
* I have travelled the world
*I bought my house when 21 – I don’t think I’ll ever move
* I HATE wearing the same as anyone else. ( I’d go him if I did)

Thats me – probably a hipster, trying to change the world – 1 frock at a time.

TTFN love Linsey @ Dollys

Happy New Year

Better late than never

I can not believe its 18th January already, Where does the time go?

With Garment Making booking up months in advance – I have decided to do a full years timetable.
I thought it would be easier for people to plan.

March an April Class list has been done too

There is also still availability for classes in February.

No flies on me Eh??

There has been a very sad cloud over Dolly’s this past week, Friend of Dolly’s Julie Shaw lost her battle with cancer last week, and boy did she battle.
Anyone who has been on a class here with Julie knows what a character she was, with her time keeping as unique as her.
Julie will certainly be missed here.
Our love and thoughts are with her girls Niamh & Gabby and the rest of her Family.

me-julie

RIP Julie You’re certainly going to be missed

It’s all going on at Dolly’s

Its been busy busy since our last blog, some of us are still recovering from Lisa’s Wedding. *ok that’ll just be me then!!

We have a new class list, and new classes called Mini Makes.

Mini Makes are shorter classes, less expensive, but still lots of new skills to be learnt and friends to be made.
Mini Makes have a short Sewing Machine run through, Ideal if you want to build confidence, if its been a while since you last used a machine, Or you just want to dip in to see if sewing i for you ( I recon it is)

Have a look at the list.

We also have some great Christmas Classes.
Why not arrange your Christmas night out at Dolly’s instead of fighting through crowded pubs, we can even provided a glass or two of fizz.

Garment Making still proves to be our most popular class – which makes me very happy. The next classes are currently full.
The Next Block will start in January. If you have missed out this time a small deposit secures your place until nearer the time.

After #unicorngate, We have decided to make up some trophy heads that can be given as Christmas Gifts.
Unicorns can be personalised by adding different colours to match your decor or personality. £40 each.
Giraffes, Elephants and Rudolph are a little more conventional, but  we love a challenge, drop us a line with your ideas. £37 each.


Dolly’s is closed for a week from 24th October for a little battery recharge before Christmas.

Keep Warm
TTFN Linsey @Dollys

Here Comes The Bride

Here Comes the Bride.
I first met Lisa in January this year, she was booking on a Garment Making Class whilst on Maternity Leave.
Instantly likeable and absolutely gorgeous, we hit it off straight away.
Lisa had been on a short sewing course elsewhere before, and is a natural sewist.
She told me about her wedding plans, I’m not sure how we got onto her making her own dress or who’s idea it was, but we were both up for the challenge.
Lisa had tried a couple of dresses on, but either didn’t feel comfortable or wasn’t really her. Making a dress wasn’t about saving money ( although I’m sure she did) It was all about making something that fit great and would be comfortable on the most special day whilst looking after 2 little boys as well.

An so were off Pattern cut and altered, Fabric bought and cut. Its really happening.

lisa-1
Perfecting the fit and going off plan with the design, just how to attach the 2!

lisa 3.jpg
We even managed a mini Garment Making Hen night.

lisa 5.jpg

Week number 6, only a few finishing touches to do so time to relax ( and make my outfit)
With 1 week to go Lisa calls, she still needs to add the finishing touches and get her dress cleaned #HorizontalBride

lisa 6.jpg
I am panicing, how can my outfit be done before the brides???
In true Lisa style, laid back and casual a quick 3 hour session had the finishing touches completed and her dress looking second to none. Phew!

lisa 7.jpg

lisa-11
Even us Girls got an invite.
I think you’ll agree, that Lisa Looked amazing on her Wedding Day and did a wonderful job of her dress.
Many Congratulations Lisa, Steven, Ollie and Henry. xx
TTFN LInsey @Dolly’s

Festival Of Thrift

Cheap Skate or Thrifty
I often question my thrifty ways, is it necessity I don’t buy anything new or is it really because I want to recycle and reuse?

If I can’t make it, I will generally buy 2nd hand (I do draw the line at undies of course)
The Saturday sewing children take great amusement in asking every week, “Did you make that?” The answer is usually yes!

Just recently I really fancied a handbag, I’d been lusting after it for years. Without the funds I had to raise them. I sold 3 handbags (from my former life) and made enough to buy it new.
It arrived and I felt abit flat, It was such a lot of money and as soon as I took it out of the house it would have been 2nd hand. As luck would have it the same day I saw the EXACT same handbag and matching purse on a selling site for half the price.
New bag pack up and returned. Instead of the flat feeling I had with the new handbag, I was elated with my bargain find.

A coincident that #baggate was just 2 weeks before the Festival Of Thrift.

The Festival is a free event promoting, sustainable living, recycling, reusing and keeping things out of the landfill.
It was held in a stunning little village called Kirkleathem, as we wandered around the village we stumbled across lots of things to do.

Giant Knitting
Toilet DJ

Wine from a caravan

Plus Lots of recycled things to buy.

Tiny quilting and goodies made from old inner tubes

Spoon Wind chimes
There was lots of lovely food outlets, but we chose to have a 3 course Vegetarian meal with 100 other people. Oh and Wayne Hemingway.

The highlight of the whole visit

Oh yesssssss, I won the 1st award of the weekend for my dress sense.
It was explained a thrifty dresser was all about someone who looked differently and had there own style.
I wasn’t at all gracious and actually punched the air when I received it.

All in all it was a brilliant day. The festival is getting bigger every year. I hope there is camping next year. Because I’ll be there with a car full of outfits 😉

TTFN Linsey @Dollys