Being self employed can be stressful and hectic as well as fun and rewarding. No two days are the same for me so I thought I’d give you all a little insight into a not so typical day at Recovamp HQ as a wedding seamstress!
I like to get up between 8 and 9am but this is sometimes earlier if I have an early fitting to get to, or later if I’ve worked late the night before. I have a huge appetite so I like to eat a big bowl of porridge and some fruit every morning – it really does set me up for the day and stops me snacking! Teamed with a big mug of peppermint tea that’s my perfect breakfast before work!
I switch my work phone on around 9am so start replying to messages and things around then. I try and do admin work at this time as well – ordering materials; scheduling Facebook updates; chasing payments and bookkeeping, for example. As well as Recovamp and The Liverpool Wedding Blog I help look after another business too so this can go on a lot longer than planned sometimes!
Lately my main jobs have been wedding dresses, as it is the height of the season now! If I’ve not got a fitting booked – at Bridal Reloved or a client’s house – then I check my list of what needs doing next, unless I’m continuing something from the day before. If I’ve got a fitting then I’m usually on the bus or train doing admin, or my assistant can drive me on a Saturday so I can get several fittings done and collect lots of dresses!
When I’m sewing I like to ‘get in the zone’ with BBC 6 music on the radio and lots more peppermint tea!
Last Friday, for example, I was altering three bridesmaid dresses. They all needed shortening by 1, 1.5, or 2 inches and consisted of two layers – chiffon on the top with a jersey lining (similar to t-shirt fabric) underneath. After precisely cutting each layer, I can simply use my overlocker machine to finish off the lining but the chiffon is a little more complex! I have a special presser foot that rolls the fabric into a tiny 3mm wide hem as it sews but I have to guide the fabric through because if there is too much the hem will bunch up and if there’s too little it won’t roll!
Two of the dresses were exactly the same and both needed some hand sewing on the bodice as the pleated chiffon was bunching around the bust of each bridesmaid. The third dress needed letting out and there wasn’t enough fabric in the seams to do so, but I managed to find some chiffon of nearly the same colour!
I made two panels each larger than half of what the dress needed letting out by and carefully pleated them to match the bodice. I stitched these between the two open side seams – the dress has to be equal on either side – then stitched a new side seam down the middle of these. Clothes are designed with a front and a back – have a look down the side of your dress, jeans, blouse – they all probably have side seams! T-shirts can be knitted in tubes and stretched over the body, or are worn loose, so don’t need side seams… but I digress!
I try and take a proper lunch break every day, with something healthy and maybe a sweet snack to pick me up in the afternoon!
I had a fitting with two of the bridesmaids the next day so finished fairly late AND got up early! Oops…
One dress fitted perfectly but the other needed one more stitch on the bodice. I took that one back with me and finished them both that afternoon.
Throughout each day I like to post at least one social media post, I usually take a photo of what I’m doing or post as part of an instagram challenge!
When I start winding down from work I check my diary for the next day, (hopefully) tick something off my list and make a plan for the next day, whether I have fittings, a crochet class or just a sewing day. My partner manages a restaurant so is out working late most nights. If I’m working late too we sometimes get a very late dinner together, oops, but if I’m alone I again TRY and eat healthy! I like to wind down in the evenings with some trash TV and my work phone off! I always crochet when I watch TV but I’m usually working on a commission so I’m still technically working when I’m chilling out! It did begin as my hobby though, I love it!
Finally it is time for bed! I’ll need a good sleep ready for the next day of more recovamping, whatever that may involve!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about what I do on a not so typical working day as a wedding seamstress, how much does it differ from a day at work for you?