Having your own fabric shop means that there is temptation everywhere! We always have new fabrics and new patterns coming in and with lots of lovely customers visiting the shop for inspiration there are always new ideas for projects.
Pairing fabric with patterns is one of my favourite things about my job but with so much choice it’s easy to get carried away and not actually think that much about whether its right for me in terms of style, design and colour.
If you received our newsletter at the weekend you will have spotted the exciting new Sew Your Own Style Events we have coming up with Image Consultant Nicky Hawkes from Look Chic. (If you missed it, find out about all our upcoming events in this link)
The events are aimed to help you make better choices about the colours and styles that you wear, making them more suitable to your personality, body shape and proportions as well as colouring. See the full event listing for session one and session two by clicking the highlighted text.
The first session isn’t until the 5th October, but this week I had the chance to have a mini consultation with Nicky.
I’ve never had anything like this done before so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Nicky sent me a little questionnaire before hand to get to know more about my wardrobe choices and preferences and I had to look out things from my wardrobe that I loved and things that just didn’t work for some reason or that I felt uncomfortable in.
It was so much fun! First of all we had a bit of a chat and went over things like my eye colour, hair colour and whether I tanned or not. Nicky then worked out what my colour direction was by covering me with a white drape and a hair band. She then put the different coloured drapes below my face and we looked at how it changed the tones and colour in my face. It was amazing to see the difference! I came out as mostly warm and some light colours.
After taking several key measurements to determine my proportions (including hip width to shoulder width and leg length to body length) we went over things like neckline and lapel shapes and length of skirts/dresses and trousers.
One of the most interesting parts was the wardrobe personality. Nicky gave me the 5 descriptions of the different types to read though along with picture boards. I picked out the two I thought I was closest too (classic and romantic) but after then chatting it over with Nicky I realised I was something completely different. She put me in the Gamine category, which broadly means that I like well fitting clothes, not long or full styles that could swamp me. Light to medium weight fabrics with small prints are better suited for my frame and warm based lighter outfits are better –those which are very dark might be too sombre for me.
At the end of the 3 hour session Nicky put together a little folder for me with all the things we had gone over including a mini colour direction card and all the information on my body shape and proportions and how best to compliment these.
It has really made me think about some of the things that I’ve made and love – but only to look at. When I wear them I just feel like something isn’t right.
This mortmain dress makes me feel a bit frumpy but now I realise the colour is a dark cool tone plus the waistband is not hitting my waist at the narrowest point. That along with fabric that doesn’t drape so easily into the skirt pleats, it ends up making me feel bigger than I am.
This Sewaholic Harwood dress in this gorgeous viscose fabric is not the ideal colour for me. It’s too cool and bright for my skin tone and I think the neckline is a bit high for me as well. I really love this dress, I just don't love it as much when it's on me.
We also had a lovely chat about Nickys role and how she first got into being an Image Consultant. Just like me she used to be a physiotherapist too! What a coincidence! I can assure you – they don’t teach us anything about style in uni!
She was always known amongst her friends as someone who was really good to go shopping with and in 2007 she started to look more seriously into how she could formally train for this. After training with the highly-respected company, First Impressions, Nicky decided to work part time as a Physiotherapist and start her own company as an Image Consultant – Look Chic.
Since then she has retired from her physio role and after re-launching her business earlier this year she is now focusing full time on helping women (and men!) to feel great about themselves and increase their confidence. She loves to give talks and run workshops and enjoys the surprise that her clients get when they see everything come together. Finding out what make up tones are best suited to them, along with the right colour of clothing can make a huge difference to how her clients feel in day to day life! Another aspect of Nickys work is to help people clear out their wardrobe and along with getting rid of a lot of clothes they no longer wear or in which they feel good, she can also help them work out how to combine different pieces to make new outfits. I can imagine how great it would be to see a new lease of life in something that you thought was all-wrong!
If you fancy coming along to the Sew Your Own Style Sessions we still have places left!
They are on Monday 5th October and Thursday 12th November. Each session focuses on a different theme so they go together perfectly but will also be very useful on their own. Each session costs £15 or if you book both together we’ll give you 10% off. Find about Session One – The Sewing Patterns Perfect for Your Body Shape and Session Two – Find the Fabrics perfect for your colouring and personality by clicking the highlighted text.