The First Open Studio Day at March Hare Studios!

 Harebell, Ready To Wear, Support British Makers, Wednesday March  Comments Off on The First Open Studio Day at March Hare Studios!
Jan 122016
 

Come and visit the new studio to see what we do and where.  The kettle will be on!

 

March HareStudios (4) Flyer

 

The studio can be found just off the A388 between Saltash (Carkeel) and St Mellion.  Drive down through the orchard and March Hare Studios is the barn with the double shutter doors.  Come in and say hello!

As well as samples of the garments we make, we have ready to wear and fabrics available to purchase plus some haberdashery supplies.  The studio is usually open Monday to Thursday between 10am and 4pm and by appointment at other times.

Onwards into the New Year – 2016 is nearly here!

 Frocks, Harebell, Ready To Wear, Wednesday March  Comments Off on Onwards into the New Year – 2016 is nearly here!
Dec 272015
 

It’s been quite a year, to say the least.  Weddings, bridesmaids, ladies who “don’t wear dresses” wanting dresses for weddings and discovering that, actually, they look amazing and that dresses are – and should be – fun.

Times move on and the new studio at St Mellion is almost finished, working is already happening there and the first frocks in the new children’s line, Harebell, have been made.  The very first one, “Gracie” sold within hours of being shown online and it’s a most appropriate home, too.

Three retro dresses on bustforms.

“Gracie” in tulip print.

And here it is, proudly modelled by the muse who inspired its creation!

Meet Grace!

Meet Grace!

Grace first came into the Looe shop, The March Hare, when she was a tiny tot in a pushchair.  She didn’t speak, just looked around with huge eyes, taking in everything as her mother, Krystal, had a lovely time looking in beautiful in a variety of frocks.  Over the years, Grace has grown up (and up and up!) into a beautiful, self-assured young lady, who knows exactly what she wants and likes and somehow, with her love of vintage and retro styles and classic dresses, she’s always the inspiration behind the Harebell line.  It was obvious that the first frock should be named after her, because it was the basic design that was created for her two years ago.  The frock has various options (sleeves, necklines, sash/waist ties, skirt length and fabrics) but it’s the same frock and looks wonderful.

Small girl in cream frock with apple print

Grace modelling her “appley dappley” Gracie frock, with sweetheart neckline and no sleeves.

Grace spotted the Wednesday March Ready To Wear line in Lovely Lane, Looe, back in the summer – nothing gets past this young lady! – and was adamant that she wanted something in the apple print.  Despite my slight misgivings as to the size of the print on a small person, Grace proved once again that she has a great eye for design as it works wonderfully.  A round necked, short sleeved version of the dress is almost finished in a black background version of this apple print.  Don’t tell Grace, though, as it isn’t her size…

No doubt Grace will continue to inspire the Harebell line as she grows up.  Apparently, this week she has been glued to the movie “White Christmas” (Miss Wednesday’s favourite!) and has a long list of designs she needs to discuss!

It’s wonderful when customers become friends.  Krystal owns the actual frock pictured on the WM business cards and profile pictures.  Hopefully both mother and daughter will be inspiring things for years to come.

Happy New Year 2016!  Here’s to new premises, new frocks, new friends and even more fun.  Stick around, we have a party to plan!

Oct 252015
 

I know, I know, the Witterings have been few and far between over the summer and it’s been a whole 2 months since the last one.  Rest assured, there’s been quite a lot going on behind the scenes and developments are now fast and furious.

For a while, I have been looking for the best way to continue with my business, bearing in mind the wholesale slaughter of the retro scene with mass-produced, ethically-dubious rubbish and the resulting customer base who hold no truck with sustainability, paying a proper price for a well-crafted product or even individuality, just demanding more and more for less and less.   I’ve also been looking for new premises, which have more space for work and stock and for a way of carrying on when the musical part of my life threatens to take over, as it is increasingly doing.  No complaints about that part, but it does complicate things slightly when I’m away so much.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, I found this.

Stone barn workshop with blue painted double doors.

The Doorway to Heaven…?

I wasn’t expecting to find my absolute dream studio when I just did an idle Google search but closer inspection revealed almost* everything I ever wanted inside…

151021 Mezzanine

The legal stuff is ongoing but hopefully it shouldn’t be too long before I have some really, really exciting news to share with you.  Watch this space!

* * * * *

 

*  Plenty of space, good lighting, sunshine, a mezzanine for my office, room for an enormous cutting table, rails, ready to wear stock, supplies, etc.  Only downside is that the “kitchen” is little more than a sink and a couple of cupboards.  We’ve found space for the Tassimo but have no idea where to put the fridge.  And we’re going to need a fridge.  I’m not having another workshop with warm tonic and no ice for the G&Ts.  But there are plug points everywhere so we’ll work it out.

What’s that?  Did I say, “we”?  Oh yes.  So I did…

May 102015
 

Regular readers will know how strongly Miss Wednesday feels on ethical matters, such as food and garments production, living wages, decent living and working conditions, etc.  She can blather on about such things until the chickens give up asking for corn and fall asleep with sheer boredom.  Just recently, we’ve had Fashion Revolution Day, marking two years since the ghastly factory collapse at Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, which killed 1133 workers (24th April 2013) and calling on people to think about and instrument a change in global fashion supply chains.

Even more recently, we in Britain had a General Election.  (Oh gawd, not more political bollocks…)  Well, no.  No political bollocks here, not really.  Because, frankly, it’s done and dusted.  For whatever reasons, the people of Britain made their choices and elected a government.  Job done.  And now we have to sit back and let that government get on with creating the country we want.  Don’t we?

Er, no.  No, we don’t.  We all have the power to influence our society.  Every single one of us.  With every single pound we spend.  And with pretty much every action we take.

Life for some is good.  Life for some is harder.  Life for others is unbelievably difficult and accessing help can be an uphill struggle, not always achievable.  We hear so much about “benefit bunnies”, layabouts, shirkers, etc.  But nobody wants to have to go to a food bank in order to be able to put food on the table for their family.  Nobody.  But in an economic climate such as this, where jobs are hard to come by and living wages a mere dream, they are becoming increasingly important.

So, spare a thought for the people who have no choice but to use them.  When you’re shopping, maybe stick a couple of things in your basket that you can pop into the food bank’s collection basket in your local bank, church or community centre.  You will be making a bigger difference than the pound or less it costs you to do this.

And when you do that shopping, how do you feel doing it locally?  Proper locally?  When you spend money in local shops (not branches of national chains), you’re supporting local people.  Not just the proprietors of those shops but the wider community.

For example, the beautiful Lovely Lane emporiums in Polperro and Looe – more news on this in a minute – stock my Ready To Wear range.  So you can actually try and buy Wednesday March clothing in a shop again.  How lovely!  Now, should you choose to purchase some of that clothing (or any of the other locally-produced goods in the shop), who do you think benefits?  Well, Sharon, the proprietor of those shops, me, the other producers, obviously.  But Sharon employs local people in her shops, because although she’s an amazing businesswoman, she can’t be in more than one place at once, so needs people to help her.  People she pays to man the shops for her when she’s off sourcing stock and doing the hundred and more things you have to do when you have a shop. Employment!  Yes, she’s creating employment, giving local people money and opportunities and keeping them out of the Jobcentre and Foodbanks.  And both Sharon and her employees spend money locally, in other local shops and businesses, creating more opportunities for expansion, employment and wealth locally.  I spend my money as locally as possible, doing the same as I’m sure do the other suppliers.  And when our money stays local – or at least in this country – it goes further.  We make our economy work for us, rather than bolstering up multinational firms who, frankly, don’t give a monkeys about any of us as long as they and their shareholders get big, fat payoffs.   Surely that’s an easy way to make a difference?

And, because this is supposed to be a blog about frocks, here’s a picture of one.

 

Sundress in blue and white seashell print fabric

‘Anna’ tie shoulder sundress

The original Lovely Lane store is moving from West Looe to Higher Market Street in East Looe and will be opening on Saturday 16th May 2015!  Exciting or what?  And yes, the tie-shoulder sundress pictured above is one of the garments that will be available for purchase there.  Form an orderly queue, please.

Miss Wednesday’s Favourite Month

 Frocks, Ready To Wear, The Petticoat Club, Wednesday March  Comments Off on Miss Wednesday’s Favourite Month
Mar 012015
 

Goodness, it’s St David’s Day already, ushering in Miss Wednesday’s favourite month.  Well, it would have to be, wouldn’t it?  She was born on a Wednesday in March, after all.  And Miss Jane makes the first of her handful of annual visits to Looe this month, so the top tier of the Petticoat Club all get together for what used to be known as The March Hare’s Staff Christmas Party.  Back in the days when it was just Miss Wednesday and Miss Jane and Derek at Papa Nino’s only had to find two leftover crackers.  Now, of course, they require six of them, together with crackers, party poppers and rather a lot of Prosecco.

March is also a favourite of Miss Wednesday for another reason.  She starts to feel properly springy in March and, along with desperately wanting to be on the Cote d’Azur, begins to break out both her cherished older designs and any new frocks she’s designed over the winter months.  This year sees some lovely new fabrics waiting to be made up into the designs that are still in her head (quite a few one-way prints requiring different skirts) and some cute new frocks for the Ready To Wear collection, which will be in Lovely Lane in Polperro for Easter.   Some are already there, although not this one yet.  Soon.  Hopefully this week!

1950s style sundress with tie straps in peach shell print fabric

This is Anna, the latest RTW frock. Cute as a button, huh?

Larger view of 1950s style sundress in peach shell print

A slightly larger view of Anna. Note the ties on the shoulders, making her adjustable…

Anna is almost complete now and will retail at £75 in sizes S, M, L and XL.  And then it’s on with the next design.  Which Miss Wednesday has almost worked out in her head.  Almost…

If you’re wanting a new spring or summer frock, especially a made to measure one, don’t leave it too long before having a chat with Miss Wednesday and placing your order.  Things are busy at the workshop already and this year has the added entertainment of some musical commitments with The Changing Room so Miss W won’t be available at all at Easter, as the band’s off to Ireland to represent Cornwall at the Pan Celtic Festival in Derry.  It’s all go!