Just A Card

JUST A CARD
If you are not familiar with the #Justacard campaign. Check it out here.

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

It’s the same in the Haberdashery side of Dolly’s. People come in and tell me how wonderful it is to see a shop selling fabric and notions, and then leave.
Although I love the compliment, it isn’t paying the bills.

Its been 11 months since our move to The School House and it has become increasingly clear that Dolly’s is now a destination shop.

We don’t have passing trade on our side of town, any offers of help from the council have never materialised.

Now, I have never been “bored” in the shop and can always find something to do or make. Opening a shop for 8 hours and it being fruitless is soul destroying.

It has become increasingly clear classes pay the bills at Dolly’s. (Not a complaint, I rather love them) So until the bridge street redevelopment is complete. Dolly’s will only open for classes. I will obviously be in earlier to prepare and set up.

I have a new jazzy box for outside the shop for leaflets and class info plus I will keep everyone informed on social media/website of weekly classes and opening hours.

I will have the shop phone with me, so can still take telephone enquiries.

With 99% of classes being booked online it is the best decision for the business.

Thank you all for your continued support. This small business really appreciates it.

TTFN #linsey @Dollys

Well, That Escalated Quickly

No great story ever started with ” I had a salad”
I’ll start at the beginning. I’ve had dogs the whole of my adult life, well since I was 26 when I started to behave like a grown up ( paying bills regularly, driving a legal car and I got married)

You all know my darling Dave died on 22nd December, I have thought about him everyday since, I didn’t sleep for 5 weeks after he died. He truly was the love of my life and I look at him through rose tinted glasses like he never did anything wrong!!
In “the real world” he was a sod!, he liked designer glasses, remote controls and mobile phones all burried in the back garden. He would also take himself on “the dog walk” if the front door was left open, the EXACT route we took him on. I’d have to chase him home on my bike!!!!

There he is. The face only a mother could love.

When Dave was 3 we got a rescue puppy called Tilly….. Soon to be changed to Brenda.
Brenda was 8 months old and the prettiest girl you ever saw. Unfortunately her previous owners had done nothing except throw a ball for her!! No house training, No recall. NOTHING.
It was an “interesting first 3 months with Brenda because she was such hard work, I was actually taking her back 3 times it was that bad.
I never did though. She actually turned out to be a really good dog, she died 4 years ago age 9 (the average for a boxer Dog) You see her back legs had gone after spending 9 whole years legging it for a tennis ball.
As the saying goes….. No great story starts with “I had a salad”

I’d had a wee glass of wine, Billy had gone to bed – he was working at 2am, It was May Day, I hadn’t been out of the house all day and the TV was rubbish. So looking at Boxer Dogs on Preloved seemed my only option!!!!!

1 person responded straight away!! He wanted to come and check us out as his circumstances had changed and wanted a forever home for his dog.
Just before his “home visit” he phoned. should he bring the dogs belongings as he didn’t want to do 2 journeys!
WHAT!!!!! *you’re only coming for a look at us and our house!

Needless to say…… I have another Dog. He name is Margo ( we changed her name) We think she is 3 yo and don’t really know much more apart from she is a dream. Absolutely MASSIVE (i’m sure she isn’t 100% boxer dog) she is at the Vets tomorrow so we may know more then. Margo is absolutely good as gold and we are smitten already.

I have a new hashtag #NOTHINGTODOWITHSEWING and have just wrote a whole blog that has nothing to do with sewing.

Back to business.
We have a Tipi Class 12-3pm on Sunday 8th May. Its £50 everything is included.

The Saturday and Sunday Sewers are growing from strength to strength. Producing wonderful things as well as improving there sewing skills weekly.

We still have places on
Saturday 12.30-2pm
Sunday 10.20-12noon
£40 for 4 weeks

Sewing Camp is on agin for Whit Holidays
31st May – FULLY BOOKED
1st June
8th June
10th June
£24 a day 9-5pm Bring a lunch, Snacks provided.

Don’t forget to have a look at our class list.
We have loads going on, not just dog stories 😉

TTFN Linsey @Dolly’sW

Holiday Wardrobe Challenge

Last week Me and the Hottie had a much needed week away to Malta.

We actually went to celebrate the Hottie’s 50th Birthday and spend some time with his best friend.

I made 8 dresses for the trip………………. want to see some pics?

(I am adding a disclaimer at this point, the woman in these pictures is not the woman I see in the mirror. I’ve mentioned before since opening Dolly’s I have neglected myself to the tune of 2 stone. This is not a permanent feature. TRUST ME!)

holiday pic 8

And they’re off…………..

Dress

Fabric from Dolly’s £5 per mtr. Simplicity Pattern £6

Total £17

holiday pic 2

A night out for Birthday Celebrations

Dress

Fabric A gift from the lovely House of Heaton. Pattern as before.

Total Free!

holiday pic 3

A walk out to the Beach

Dress

Fabric e-bay £5 per mtr. Pattern made up out of my head!

Total £15

holiday pic 4

A day over at Barzebbuga

Dress

Fabric £13 ( Hemingway designs, e-bay bargain) Pattern – McCalls £6

Total £19

holiday pic 1

A Meal Out

Dress

Fabric, another gift from The House of Heaton, Pattern as before

Total Free

holiday pic 5

Gozo for the day

Dress

Fabric £2.50 per mtr. Pattern as before

Total £10

holiday pic 7

A day of drunkenness!!!!

Dress

2 different fabrics both Hemingway Designs again £23. Pattern as before.

Total £23 plus a hangover!!!

holiday pic 6

Beautiful beach day out.

Fabric £2.50 per mtr Pattern as before

Total £10

All in all 7 ONE OFF, made to measure dresses. I cheated a little as I was running out of time and made 2 at a time, but i probably spent 5 hours making them.

Ok I had a couple of pairs of leggings and cardigans thrown in and I traveled in my Jeans, but the whole wardrobe came to £94.

The dresses will now be recycled into work dresses so i will get lots of wear out of them, so I can make a 7 more for my next holiday 😉

Fancy Making your own holiday wardrobe? Challenge yourself or learn how to on one of Dolly’s classes.

TTFN Linsey xx

Make your own Holiday Wardrobe

Make Your Holiday Wardrobe Challenge!
I have recently challenged myself to make my holiday wardrobe. Ok so, I’m an experienced sewer so not the most difficult task but £45 for 9 made to measure dresses can’t be sniffed at. (I’ll blog about this if you are chomping at the bit to hear more)

My Challenge is….. Would you like to make your own holiday wardrobe, you can. We have places on our Garment Making Class come available. Previously booked up, but due to unforeseen circumstances we now have places.

Classes starts
Thursday 17th-21st April 6-9pm (1 place)
Friday 18th – 22nd April 11-2pm (3 places)
Sunday 20th – 24 April 3-6pm ( 1 place)

Come along and make what you want, dresses, trousers, coats, swimming costumes. You name it, You can make it.

18 hours of tuition for only £80 in classes of 6. That works out less that £11 per session. Less than a posh coffee and cake…. Did I mention we have tea and cake too.

Don’t for get Dolly’s is closed next week and these classes will book up so strike whilst the iron is hot.

Linsey @ Dolly’s

Could you go a year without buying clothes?

Early January I went into a charity shop where they were holding a half price sale on clothes. The shop had been gifted so many items they didn’t have anywhere to store them.

I have been aware for a long time that the “fast fashion” industry is spiraling out of control, the charity shop sale just proves that.

It got me thinking about one of our lovely customers is Kayleigh, she was one of the 1st people through the door on opening day and has been on several classes. Kayleigh is a shopaholic, if shopping were an Olympic sport she would win every time!

With this in mind I have challenged Kayleigh. For a whole year she isn’t allowed to buy any new clothes in return she can come and sew at Dolly’s anytime, attend any classes for free and get a discount on fabric & notions from the shop.

We needed spies on the streets, so the Warrington Guardian got involved. If the whole of Warrington knew about the challenge Kayleigh could be seen cheating.

#challengekayleigh

Already Kayleigh is off to a flying start and has made a beautiful fully lined dress. It fits like a dream too.

Our 15 minuets of fame continued when a student from Warrington Collegiate came in to interview us for his radio show. Its on this evening 10-11pm. You can listen to us here

In other news, things are really busy at Dolly’s, all our garment making classes are full, We now have 4 children’s sewing classes and sewing camp is booking up for February half term.

Remember Christmas ( yeah it does seem like a distant memory) Well I built a website. Why don’t you have a quick peep here.

Well that’s all for now, I am currently working on some class dates for March and April.

I’ll let you have them when they’re done.

TTFN Linsey

New Year New Skill

For the past 11 years I have done everything I could to avoid Christmas, I have travelled to many non Christian countries to escape anything remotely “Christmassy” (a strawberry tart in a busy Marrakech cafe and fish curry on an Indian beach. Both on 25th Dec were highlights)

More recently I have had to stay closer to home, you see my hottie comes with a plus 1, and let’s face it every parent wants to see their child on Christmas Day. So a box set of Luther and a take away were on the agenda.

New year is another matter, I love it, party frocks, Champagne, everyone in the party mood and New Years resolutions (OK, I have never got around to the getting fit and healthy resolution), but i love them. Fresh start. New plans.

In 2014 I challenged myself not to buy any new clothes for 12 months. Easy, I could make my own you see, and it continues. I buy the odd pair of leggings, and bits and bobs from the charity shop, but nothing like the full blown shopping addiction I used to have.

Why not challenge yourself in the new year, make a resolution to learn a new skill, or just to keep stuff out of the landfill.

Make More Spend Less.
Whatever your plans this new year. Have a happy and safe one

TTFN Love linsey @dollys

Crazy Or A Risk Taker?

Picture this… ( said in the voice of the old lady from the golden girls)

6th December 2014, 10 days before my 40th birthday. Driving in Dolly (the original) to one of my favorite hairdressing clients ( her daughter actually painted our sign). I decided that at Easter 2015 I was opening a haberdashery and sewing school.

I had had a particularly rubbish week, all the usual stuff that came with being a hairdresser really, but this week it had really bothered me. Maybe in was the imminent “big birthday”, my hairdressing had ran its course, or I was just ready for my next challenge.

Fast forward 2 months and 1 day. 7th February Dolly’s Haberdashery and Sewing School opened its doors. Named after that beautiful beetle that funded the project.

Regrets, a few, no wages for 10 months had been a struggle, a greedy landlord who nearly made me jack it all in, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

From the cool individuals that come into the shop, the talented Saturday sewers who make me want to write a book about the stuff they say. The dinners my Mum sends around so she knows we are at least eating healthy, and my darling Billy who works so hard to pay our bills and looks after the house and teenager whilst I’m at the shop looooonnng hours. It is worth it.

IMG_5674

That’s him. What a hotty

So here’s to the crazy’s, the risk takers, the people who want to make a difference and not sit on the sofa moaning about stuff they can change.

TTFN love Linsey @Dolly’s

 

Please Don’t Hate Me

So, we all have that organised friend who has all there gifts bought and rapped by 1st December?? Yeah, thats me.

Now in my defence, I blame it on being an ex hairdresser. December didn’t mean the festive season for me. It meant work, work, and more work. Even my 40th Birthday trip to Paris last December was 4 years in the planning.

With that in mind, I am organised and have just done the dates for January and February classes.

We are also going to be running the recycled bibs and tug toy classes for Mums and Babies again. These have been a great success and it feels great repurposing something.

Well thats all for now

TTFN Linsey @Dolly’s

New year, new skill.

For the past 11 years I have done everything I could to avoid Christmas, I have travelled to many non Christian countries to escape anything remotely “Christmassy” (a strawberry tart in a busy Marrakech cafe and fish curry on an Indian beach. Both on 25th Dec were highlights)

More recently I have had to stay closer to home, you see my hottie comes with a plus 1, and let’s face it every parent wants to see their child on Christmas Day. So a box set of Luther and a take away were on the agenda.

New year is another matter, I love it, party frocks, Champagne, everyone in the party mood and New Years resolutions (OK, I have never got around to the getting fit and healthy resolution), but i love them. Fresh start. New plans.

In 2014 I challenged myself not to buy any new clothes for 12 months. Easy, I could make my own you see, and it continues. I buy the odd pair of leggings, and bits and bobs from the  charity shop, but nothing like the full blown shopping addiction I used to have.

Why not challenge yourself in the new year, make a resolution to learn a new skill, or just to keep stuff out of the landfill.

Make More Spend Less.


Whatever your plans this new year. Have a happy and safe one.

Here’s to 2016 and our new look shop.

TTFN Love linsey @dollys