Very easy dress to sew! I took it to a 1.5CM seam allowance as it looked to big on me with 1CM seam allowance. I made up the size 12 and I’m a very decent size 12 with curves. I wore the dress without the sleeve cuffs and unhemmed to see how it felt and loved it. Then sewed the cuffs and put them on and now matter how I folded/ basted them into place they didn’t sit right and wanted to drag down the simple sleeve design. It really messed with the look of the sleeves and the dress. I unpicked the cuffs and hemmed the sleeves. Dress looks great! Love the bell shape on the bottom. Very comfy. And I didn’t stick to block colours because I love patterns too much. Finished photo here:
Press and media about Lorenza the label.
Having one thriving career is enough to keep most busy and productive, but some women want more.
These three Melbourne women have launched successful businesses on the side while juggling full time jobs, and they’re reaping the rewards of creative fulfilment.
Thankfully, they have shared an insight into how they got started with a side hustle, the challenges they faced along the way and some of the benefits of doing more than one job.
If you’re looking to start a side hustle and need some advice to get started, read on.
Link to full article on She Defined: http://shedefined.com.au/career/meet-3-melbourne-women-side-hustles/
Very excited to announce I've been invited to take part in this years Virgin Australian Fashion Festival. I'll be showcasing in the Fashion Advocate's runway celebrating Australian made fashion.
The Fashion Advocate Runway: 11 March 2017, 6.30pm
You can read all about it here: http://vamff.com.au/event/the-fashion-advocate-runway/
"The Fashion Advocate Runway is a celebration of Australian made fashion and unique style. Bringing together independent labels from around Australia, The Fashion Advocate Runway will showcase the cool, the quirky and the quintessential look of Australian fashion, as well as promoting local production and ethical manufacturing.
Claire Goldsworthy is the editor of The Fashion Advocate, a Melbourne-based magazine and blog dedicated to Australian fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Her motto, ‘buy less, choose well, shop local’ stems from her aspiration to create a liberal and dynamic future for the Australian fashion industry. By promoting ‘slow fashion’, Australian made fashion, ethical and sustainable fashion, Claire is determined to develop a market that Australian fashion designers can thrive in, instead of struggle in."
Read Claris Goldsworthy's blog about the show here: VAMFF highlight: The Fashion Advocate Australian made runway: http://www.thefashionadvocate.com/single-post/2017/01/10/2017-VAMFF-highlight-The-Fashion-Advocate-Australian-made-runway
And you can buy tickets here:
Interview with Shortpress after winning one of their small business grants.
Kultivate winners’ series: cutting it with Lorenza The Label
No matter what stunts supermarket chains try to pull to lure us through their doors, there will always be people who walk right past on course for the independent grocer. And they’ll happily pay more for the privilege. But this isn’t done in vain, nor is it [always] intended to be a middle finger to domineering conglomerates; it’s because they value quality. There might not be many of these types of consumer, but there’s enough of them, and Lorenza Doyle knows it. Doyle also knows that while Australia has recently seen large clothing chains like Topman, H&M and Uniqlo land on its shores, their cheap, mass produced offerings – just like the supermarket chains – simply don’t ‘cut it' for all of us. Excuse the unavoidable pun.
For Doyle it’s all about quality and individuality – that’s why she launched her Melbourne-based clothing business, Lorenza The Label. With a passion for sewing and ten years’ experience in the graphic design industry, she’s the perfect candidate to bring said individuality and quality to the fashion space – and so far, so good.
Doyle speaks to ShortPress about some of the ‘whys’ and the ‘hows’ of her journey so far:
Describe the ‘moment of inspiration’ that led you to start Lorenza The Label?
“It was quite a while ago when I think about it. Back in 1999 living in Perth, I spent $120 on a skirt from Atlas clothing in Fremantle that did one of a kind garments in sizes eight to fourteen, thinking no-one else will have this skirt. I wore it to a festival and saw another girl wearing it and felt immediately annoyed and like I'd wasted my money.
“At that point I was already sewing simple skirts and jackets and making screen-printed tee-shirts. But I knew I had a long way to go to improve my sewing skills to the point they’d pass for professional and sell. Fast-forward ten years and I'm incredibly good at sewing now!”
What’s the toughest challenge you’ve experienced?
“Money, Isn't everyone's money?! I resigned from a job I was unhappy in and ended up in debt, but this gave me the gift of time to create my first collection. I’d never have had the clarity and mindset to do this whilst in such a stressful work environment each and every day. Leaving that job was the best decision I ever made.”
Do you have any myths to dispel about entrepreneurialism?
“Starting a small business in Australia is easy! Especially compared to other countries. It took me a few hours of filling out forms, a credit card and some moments of ‘am I really going ahead with this?’ I had a registered business name, an ABN, a web domain – the lot. There's nothing stopping you starting your own business. You need Google, a Mastercard and some real tenacity. Oh and a great accountant who gives you advice on the order in which to do things.”
What’s been the biggest surprise on your journey so far?
“Nothing has really surprised me. As I do have a design background which exponentially helped me every step of the way, I haven’t had to pay someone to do my branding, website, sample making or pattern making. I've done it all myself. I also grew up in a home that ran a small business so possibly a lot of things that come naturally to me may not for everyone else.
“I was aware of costs, thoroughly researched and spoke to as many people in and outside the fashion industry. I really knew what I was in for. I listened with an open mind and also listened to a lot of negativity, which I always pushed to the back of my mind. People who aren’t doing what they want with their lives can be real negative Nancy’s about yours.
“I also used friends as sounding boards asking for their feedback on everything from marketing to pricing and took it on board as I do with my current job when listening to clients every day.
“Never think you know everything. Even after sewing for ten years and studying for two including a year of couture dress making. I recently watched six hours of sewing lessons from the US and it taught me more industry techniques than I'd ever learned studying and has cut down my production times.”
If you had to start over again, what would you do differently?
“Not faff about so much and make excuses. Put yourself out there sooner rather than later. A lot of people said things after I’d launched like ‘well that took you long enough to do’ or ‘what took you so long?’ and I had to acknowledge that and say ‘yes this did take me a long time to do! And also a lot of hard work!’”
What motivates you – daily?
“Coming home and seeing my industrial sewing machine, honestly I love it. When I see it, all I want to do is sew. As well as the lovely comments on social media, accolades from friends and colleagues and having people from the fashion industry say they can't believe I did everything myself; or that the construction on a skirt was the best sewing they’d seen in seventy years. That's the stuff that really makes me think this is what I'm good at and this is what I'm meant to be doing.”
How do you feel when you think of the future?
“That this is a slow build sort of business. It's not going to happen overnight; people are too used to paying $15 for a top from H&M and don't understand the time and effort that goes into making a custom fit, bespoke designed garment. But then there are people who actually do... and they are my clients.
“I realise that client base will take time to grow and I've still got years to build my reputation and brand.”
First published on Shortpress, Kultivate Winners Series. http://www.shortpress.com.au/kultivate-winners-series-cutting-it-with-lorenza-the-label
Originally published June 2013 on Elephant Journal
Date a girl who can sew because she knows it takes patience, structure and care to make something beautiful—whether it be clothes, cakes, or a relationship. She knows it takes hard work and dedication to make something of a high quality, for it to be long-lasting and to stand the test of time.
She knows that for friendships, relationships and fixing broken hearts and hems a Made In China approach won’t do.
Date a girl who can sew because she’s good with her hands, her gentle hands—she can thread a needle through a hole you can’t see, she can move fabric through pieces of metal you don’t understand and she can make an outfit out of fabric you were pretty sure were curtains five seconds ago. Date a girl who can sew because she knows it takes patience, structure and care to make something beautiful—whether it be clothes, cakes, or a relationship. She knows it takes hard work and dedication to make something of a high quality, for it to be long-lasting and to stand the test of time.
She knows that for friendships, relationships and fixing broken hearts and hems a Made In China approach won’t do.
Date a girl who can sew because she’s good with her hands, her gentle hands—she can thread a needle through a hole you can’t see, she can move fabric through pieces of metal you don’t understand and she can make an outfit out of fabric you were pretty sure were curtains five seconds ago.
Date a girl who can sew because she’ll have creativity and passion for something other than her job, her nails and her hair. She won’t rant at you for hours when she gets home from work about her infuriating boss because she knows that to switch off, all she has to do is sew.
Date a girl who can sew because when she’s sewing she’s quiet, she won’t bother you. You can watch sports, drink beer and stare at your laptop. She won’t hover and bother and ask questions, because a girl who can sew is more interested in sewing.
This girl will have an understanding of machinery and oil and odd man-things like that. She won’t bang it with a hammer or high-heel and expect it to work.
Date a girl who can sew because she won’t waste her money—or your money, for that matter—on overpriced clothes. She knows how much clothing and fabric is worth. She won’t spend $400 on a cotton shift dress because it’s fashionable, she’ll buy cotton for $4 and make one herself.
(She’ll spend money on silk though—ohh yes. Still a fraction of what the high street would be ripping you off by though, so let her go nuts.)
You’ll be amazed at the things she can fix with a needle and thread or an industrial sewing machine: backpacks, sleeping bags, any sort of pocket with a hole, golf bags, gym bags, leather handbags…hell, if you can stick a needle through it, she can fix it.
She’ll know how to read instructions and have a methodical approach to getting something done. She understands instructions and knows how to follow them to end up with well-made, finished product.
Date a girl who can sew because she’ll wear pretty dresses she’s made herself that no other girl will ever be wearing. You can proudly say “She made that herself!” when you’ve had nine drinks and are having a proud boyfriend moment.
She’ll have the gift of listening and sewing at the same time. This is different to watching television and listening—when you sew you really can put 99% of your attention to listening, as everything else you’re doing with your hands and eyes, and you don’t need to think about it: peddle up, peddle down, pins out, foot up. Plus, she’s not rotting her mind watching useless crap on television like the Biggest Loser or the Voice because instead she’s doing something useful and creative.
Date a girl who can sew because knows how to get blood out of clothes. From that many pin pricks. So go to town, Dexter.
Date a girl who can sew because you’ll never hear her complaining about clothes in the shops not fitting her—she can already make anything she wants in the colour, fabric and exact size and fit for herself. Which means she’ll always be wearing clothes that fit amazingly and look tailored to fit.
She won’t go fascinator or hat crazy at Spring Racing Carnival and spend a small fortune on feathers and fluff. She can make her headwear from leftover fabric and the base pieces that cost 50 cents from Lincraft.
You need a pocket square to match her? Not a problem.
And when you get married, don’t worry about the dress; don’t worry about paying $4,000 for it, either. She’ll make it herself, or enlist the help of her sewing teacher or know the exact person she wants to make it. Bridesmaid dresses? Easy. She can whip them up cheaper than the Bali versions and she won’t be using dance time satin because she already knows how god-awful it looks in the photos.
Date a girl who can sew because your children will always have the best school dress-up day outfits, birthday dresses, dance costumes, Halloween, Christmas, drama, musical costumes or whatever it is your child wants. And never mind growing out of it—tear up the fabric and recycle for next years, Kermit becomes Shrek and so on.
Date a girl who can sew because she can teach your children and your grandchildren the joy of sewing, the art of creating something, and she might just be teaching the next Alex Perry.
She can put the spark of creativity in their minds and show them how to use their hands for more than iPads and PlayStations. She’ll teach them to make something that they’ll love, be proud of and remember the time spent building and creating for years to come.
Date a girl who can sew because she’ll be patient, smart and sew, sew awesome.
Originally published June 2013 on Elephant Journal: