Do you want to change the world?

I Do!!!!

In 2014 I gave up buying new clothes – I’ve never gone back to it.
Next week our #ChallengeKayleigh completes her 12 month clothing sabbatical too. I know at least 2 other people who have also tried. Its brilliant, its catching on. The fast fashion industry is unsustainable.

2017 my plan was to try and give up plastic. Plastic doesn’t biodegrade and often end up in land fills or the Ocean killing sealife.
I was putting preparations in pace, organised a milk man, been to lush and bought shampoo bars ( it quickly stripped the colour out of my hair)
Although there was some problems – Toilet roll comes in plastic bags, unless you buy a 2 pack!! I drink lots of fizzy water, it ALWAYS comes in a plastic bottle!!!! do I buy a soda stream???

This changing the world business was all becoming too stressful.
Dolly’s is my business – I always think this makes me sound big headed. Its not. It means I take the classes, do the books, do the accounts, arrange the bin collection, the cleaner …………..
the list goes on!

I’m waking up every morning unrested with my head FULL – so much so i couldn’t remember simple words. It can be quite scary.

I’ve started to do bit of research into mental health and how the brain works, and basicaly we are not designed for modern life. We are bombarded with information, Social media, advertising, technology and STUFF/possessions. Rather than relationships, connecting with other people, experiences and travel.
For along time I’ve thought how great it is we are more aware of Mental Health Issues. We are more aware, because more people are suffering. Thats really sad indeed.
The budget for Mental Health care is bigger than the whole of the NHS budget. WOW!!

A couple of books I have read during my short Journey
Ruby Waxx – Sane New World
Johann Hari – Chasing the Scream

Russel Brands – Trews is really good, I think he speaks a lot of sense and is pleasing on the eye 😉

Try and make an hour for yourself and watch MINIMALISM on Netflix. an amazing documentary about streamlining your life, so the trappings of modern living don’t get you down.

So 2017 is going to be about improving the ole grey matter and that of people around me! I probably won’t change the world, but this year I’m committed to improving mine.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and all the very best for 2017. Lets look after ourselves and each other ( ewwww that was very Jerry Springer)
Maybe New year New Skill………

Is it sexist to comment on womens clothes

Is it sexist to comment on Women’s clothes?
I recently read a post on social media, It was a newspaper cutting commenting on Theresa May and Andrea Leadsom outfits.
People (mostly women) were outraged and angry that the paper had done so and obviously their outfits had nothing to do with there work.

This got me thinking, Is it actually sexist to comment on Women’s clothes, It has nothing to do with how they conduct themselves or their work within the work place……. Or has it?

I recently went to a meeting a Warrington Town Hall. It was a Business meeting – as a sole trader I don’t often attend such meetings. I put an awful lot of thought into my outfit. I wanted to still dress like me, but kind of felt the need to “fit it”. I NEVER want to fit in normally, but I felt like such a fish out of water attending this meeting. I figured it was the best thing for it.

As I was sat in my car watching everyone go in my “fit in” outfit clearly didn’t!!!! Everyone was in suits, Black Grey or Navy. With only a handful of women in attendance (also in the same “uniform”)

I had an important question to ask and needed certain information, so I was determined I wasn’t backing out.
As I went in all eyes were on me, firstly I have A LOT of visible tattoos ( I don’t really see them anymore – but its obvious others do) My “fit in” outfit consisted of a hot pink pussy bow blouse, Leopard print coat and matching handbag.

When it came to the Q&A session I was the first to be picked, you see I stood out in the crowd of Black, Blue and Grey. My questions was (partly) answered and I got the information I needed.

The thing is, If i hadn’t of dressed “like me” I wouldn’t have had the confidence to go in and to ask the question. Clothes help make me who I am. After all, being individual and not following the crowd is what my business is all about.

Our clothes tell a story of where we are from and who our “tribe” is.

Years ago Wayne Hemmingway (quite a cool cat IMHO) made a comment that we all had a tribe except Goths because they had no style. My Sister was outraged, you see he was insulting her tribe.

I don’t think its sexist to comment on women clothes at all, Just lets do it to men too after all Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t dress like David Cameron!!!

Thanks for reading my ramblings. FYI I have a week off with my Family between 15th July to 22nd July I’ll again be having a technology free week and well reply to any enquiries on my return.

TTFN LInsey @ Dollys xx

ps if you are interested…… this is my fit in outfit lol

Me, Myself & I

Me, Myself & I
Now I know the “professional way” of referring to your business is “we”. I’m not sure if this is the Royal we or to give the impression of a great big corporation, but, Dolly’s is neither.

It just Me behind the scenes doing all the “stuff”, this is by no means a complaint. I like being in charge – OK some might say I’m a control freak, I’ll reluctantly take that!!

Dolly’s is my Business, I sold the coolest car in the world to finance it, our VW camper van was next to go, because I know Dolly’s really is something special.
Cycling to work on a rainy day I question my own Mental Health when making this decision, but it was worth it 😉

I appreciate every single penny spent at Dolly’s, All the parents who trust me to introduce their children to the wonderful world of sewing, The regulars who book on EVERY class and use it as a social life. The Hen party’s, Girls nights out, and the people who come from all over the country just to take a class at Dolly’s.
I truly appreciate it.

I keep classes to a maximum of 6/7 so every person gets the time and support they need. After all they have spent their hard earned cash, I want everyone to get the best experience possible.

The last thing I want to do is make a mistake with other peoples money, therefore classes are only secure once a payment is received.
Just making an enquiry does not reserve your place. Unfortunately I have worked on good will in the past. Things happen, life gets in the way, and people don’t turn up. Leaving me sat for the 3 hours assigned for a class after preparing for an hour the day before. It doesn’t work for me and Dolly’s.

I have done a quick tally, this last week I have given payment details to 26 people, only 8 have paid. I simply don’t have the time or resources to chase the outstanding ( quick maths) 18 people, and thats fine, they may have changed there mind.

Classes need a minimum of 2 participents to run, if a class is under subscribed it may be cancelled.
If a class is cancelled, you will receive an alternative – maybe a shorter 1:1 session, an alternative class or a full refund.
You will however be given enough notice so you are not inconvenienced too much.
If there is a class you really fancy, book it. It may not be on for another 3/4 months.

We have a new class added after the amazing success of Friday evenings Free Motion Embroidery class.
On Friday 12th August 6-9pm you can can come along to learn sewing – but not as you know it.
Look – Its amazing.

Have a look at our class list. You might fancy trying something new.

TTFN Linsey @ Dolly’s xx

My Week In Frocks

 

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

Dolly’s 1st Birthday

1st birthday

On 7th February Dolly’s celebrated being open a whole year.

Time flies when you’re having fun and it kind of crept up on me. It was business as usual on the day, but lovely people came in and out all day with gift cards and flowers, it was truly lovely. We even ran a little competition.

So much has happened during the year, not all the fun I thought it would be. Remember the crowd Funding? ( I will be forever grateful) Having to move buildings at the drop of a hat. Things that made me want to take to my bed and not get up.

When I think of the weird and wonderful people that have been through Dolly’s doors it makes all the hard work worth while. The new friends I have made, the great laughs we have had. The talented children who come with enthusiasm every week. There is never a dull moment.

Right now I am tired though, it has been none stop for over a year, my poor Family have been rather neglected. My Husband even started sewing so he could spend time with me ( he did rather enjoy it and was very good – but don’t tell him I said that) My house looks like an episode of “How clean is your house” and its a good job I can make my own clothes because I have put that much weight on I don’t think shops would cater for me!

I have a weeks annual leave booked from 6th March, So Dolly’s will be closed and all communication will be on hold. I have a reading pile next to my bed that if it falls over it may kill me in my sleep. Those books are my only plan for a whole week……… BLISS.

A heart felt THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the shop, nipped in, brought cake, shared on social media, booked on classes, bought from our shop and helped with the crowed funding.

Whilst you’re here have a look at out class list

TTFN LInsey @ Dolly’s xx

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Could you go a year with out buying any new 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

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

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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

Originally posted 31/12/2015

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.

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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

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Originally Posted 6/12/1215

Decisions decisions
06/12/2015Edit
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.

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Dolly – The original. I miss that car.

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.

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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

Originally posted 1/12/2015
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’sPlease dont hate me.