Thursday, 24 November 2011

Black and Gold

Every single morning I utter the words I'm sure every other girl says on a regular basis. Bar maybe Chloe Sevigny. Or that Ecclestone girl.

"I literally have NOTHING to wear!"

Normally I get a sharp rebuke from the boyfriend. Something along the lines of, "well what IS all that stuff taking up all the room in the wardrobe then?" Oops.

However, I might mean it this time. This weekend both of us gather girls are off on a hen do where the dress code is black and gold. What ARE we going to wear? Well, in an ideal world, it'd be these lovely togs. In reality, we'll have to rummage something out from the back of our respective wardrobes (I'm sure I must have something sequinny in there somewhere...) Oh well, a girl can dream, can't she?

1. Bottega Veneta cashmere-felt wrap coat
2. Alexander McQueen crepe sleveless dress
3. Zoe & Morgan yellow gold rabbit ring
4. Raoul brill metallic bag
5. Maison Martin Margiela suede & metallic court shoes

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Introducing Charlotte Hardwick

I suppose some people may think it's strange to start up a business creating and selling dressmaking patterns when neither of us are pattern cutters!  However, what we can do is curate - just as someone who is not an artist can start up and run a gallery. Where our strengths do lie is in the design, the look and the feel of our product. We think we might know what people want to buy - because it's what we want to buy. As keen but novice dressmakers ourselves, we're essentially creating the pattern and kit that appeals to our style, taste and to our skill-set; we hope that others may like what we come up with!

Our next step was then to find someone who had the technical expertise, who understood what we were trying to achieve and who could help us make that into a reality.

Enter Charlotte! She's brilliant quite frankly. A graduate of Wimbledon School of Art, she then trained at the London College of Fashion as a Pattern Cutter with Dennic Lo as her tutor. (good credentials? I thought so!) We first met with her a while back to discuss the first design that Gather is going to produce. The brief to Charlotte was a bit of an essay really! We chatted over coffees and she suggested some brilliant alterations to the original design, all the while kindly making us feel like we weren't a pair of amateurs... Having someone with her kind of expertise on board has been a real learning curve for us and we're hoping this will be the start of a long and fruitful working relationship!

I don't want to give too much away regarding the first pattern just yet but I can tell you that it will be a dress. A simple but chic affair! There will be a couple of versions to make and a really nice little detachable accessory.

And so it is under construction. We're hoping to have the first version back by mid-December so we can get testing (the fun bit!) and I absolutely can't wait to see our vision made up in a physical form.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

We are gather

Hello - we are gather!

We are two friends and - pretty much - sisters-in-law who like to think we're a dab hand with a needle. Over cups of tea and family gatherings, we discovered a shared love of fashion and craft and slowly but surely an idea began to form....

Frustrated by the lack of UK-based dressmaking patterns we decided to give it a go ourselves, but with a bit of a twist. "How hard could it be?" (said the girl who had once decided to take up her beautiful silk wedding dress at 8pm the night before the big day, glass of wine in hand - should I really listen to someone so cavalier?)

As well as a stylish pattern, we thought why not supply everything that goes along with it - beautiful fabrics, haberdashery and even the thread? These would be dressmaking kits for beginners and the more advanced alike, allowing those without the time, inclination or confidence to get started on some sewing without having to spend ages agonising over which fabrics will work or which zip is the right length.

We are Sandra (me) and Caroline (the one with the wedding dress) and we'll both be blogging here about starting our small sewing business as well as any crafty adventures we undertake along the way. I'm a graphic designer who spent my art school years messing about with fabric and thread, much to the amusement/bemusement of my tutors. Caroline is a fashionista, known for her ridiculously expensive (but oh-so-cool) taste in shoes and all things fabulous. I spend my days designing websites, she spends her days running after a toddler. We both spend our evenings planning great things for gather and tackling the mammoth to-do list that we seem to have drawn up...

Right now we have designed our first pattern and it's currently being put together (by an amazing pattern drafter - check back here to find out more about her) and we're awaiting our first toile. We're hoping to have our pattern in December so that we can spend our Christmas stitching, sewing and testing. There's a lot of fun stuff to come and we're itching to get going with it all.

We're already having a ball coming up with plans and ideas for gather and we hope you'll love what we do. Any suggestions or questions, please do email us at or tweet us @gatherkits. We really want to hear from you!