I was so excited to be nominated for two categories in this years Kent Women In Business Awards #KWIBA2017 and I certainly did not expect to be a finalist! I knew the date for the awards evening was approaching, however, as I was busy working on my customers outfits and dresses I wasn't really thinking about what I would be wearing, anyway I thought I must have a dress suitable of a black tie evening right? Actually I was wrong and so thought I would make something special for this big event!
It started with fabric and colour for me and so I decided to take a trip into town where I know there are a couple of fabric shops, maybe not my favourite Berwick Street shops and as I was short for time and definately no time to order online, it was only two days away... so I had to settle for a trip to my nearest town where there would be at least one fabric shop!
There were many colours to choose from and I did have my eyes on the purple, my business brand colour, however the advice from my stylist friend Siobhan Atkins of Wellstyled, was not to have purple for this event, which was some what a relief as I wanted something different and so I considered metallics, bronzes and rose golds which I love, but the fabric was just not inspiring to me for this occasion.
Finally I decided on something more classic and versatile, black. I felt black on it's own would have been too harsh for me so I decided to go for a little sparkle with a silver sequined mesh to give it the evening gown look.
Next I had to decide on a design for myself, I had so many ideas that I sketched out, but it came down to what shape I thought would be the most dramatic but also flattering for me too.
I was also slightly limited by a little thing called time as I only had about 2 days to make my dress from scratch! In that time I had to buy the fabric, design the style, make the pattern, cut out the fabrics and make, fit and finish the dress for the Friday early evening, bearing in mind I wanted to have my nails and hair done... but I would not a little thing like that stop me!
I decided on something with two skirt layers so that I would reveal a hidden skirt and create a dramatic effect when I walked, but was also covered and elegant. Also I love long fitted sleeves and so I wanted make the most of the lovely sequined fabric and had this nearest my face rather than the harsh black satin.
I spent some time working on the pattern pieces as this makes life much easier when sewing a garment together especially when you are in hurry. Once it is cut there is no room for error, if you make something too small and do not have any spare fabric then this will be a problem! I also had to make it bespoke to my measurements, which was fun trying to fit it to myself in the mirror...
Finally the dress was finished after much hard work and a tight deadline, just enough time to get mself ready!
Photogragh above @janemucklowphoto
Above are pictures of me having a twirl in my new dress!
Below are my friends who were runners up in one of their categories, from the left stylist Siobhan Atkins from Wellstyled , next Jane Mucklow from Jane Mucklow Photography and myself, Caroline Bruce designer and dressmaker!
I had a great time, even though I was not a runner up or winner, being a finalist in two categories was an achievement for me and being among so many talented business women who all deserve to be winners was very inspiring! It was fabulous to be part of such a great event and to be networking with all those like minded business women all in one room. What a great excuse for a new dress!
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