I have now been working at LIBBY for two weeks -- hasn't that flown by?! Here's what happened this week:
Unpicked all the under-snaps on the jackets for some uniform orders so that they could be made bigger. It looks as though the under-snaps were placed too far from the edge anyway.
Checked the sizing of the jacket by measuring it and comparing it with the pattern specs.
Took an order from Shopify account and packed it.
The sample garments for SS15 came in time for me to steam them and for Emily to take them to show to a magazine.
Helped take the jackets down to the car via the loading bay lift.
I sketched designs for the AW15 collection, based on Libby’s secret Pinterest board. I couldn’t log into that account, even with the password that was on the dropbox document, so I had to use her computer (we use only Macs). I am quite surprised how much designing I get to do; I didn’t think I would be given so responsible a task as an intern, but it gives me something nice to do.
Made tea frequently.
Today I did the book-keeping, entering purchases into the online system called “Xero”. Libby showed me how, and I was glad I had a diploma in book-keeping.
Jenny, the designer came. We spent nearly all day discussing the samples-disasters and what we could do to ameliorate them. She agreed with some of my suggestions about the Stanhope dress.
I went to the Post Office and sent a parcel to America. It cost £15.15 sign-for and tracked. This was more than we charged the customer for shipping (£12), but considerably less than the quote from the courier (£22.22 or so).
I helped Libby’s Mum bring garments and fabric up via the loading bay lift.
I started sewing the buttons onto the Ottery Dresses, and designed a dress idea.
Libby told me that Jenny was impressed with my pattern cutting. 😊
We went to the factory. The sample cutter says that I can come in for a day to see how things are done, but we have to make sure that this is okay with the boss.
We visited a leather supplier and chose and purchased samples fabric for the Brompton dress. We took the one we’re using as inspiration, and a swatch card from GH Leathers (who supply this supplier but are too far away for convenience) to get the right samples.
Given how late it was by the time we were finished, Libby dropped me off at Chelsea Bridge and I walked back to the studio (she went to dinner at friends’). I took the wrong exit the roundabout, but found my way back through Battersea Park and then took the correct exit.
I arrived at the workplace but didn’t know how to get through the gates. I realised that I needed to touch my electronic key fob to the intercom box and the gate started to open. Then it stopped and I assumed it was locked. I was wondering what to do, when a man on the other side of them who was about to drive out got out of his car and smiling kindly, said in what sounded like a Polish accent, “Needs a man,” and opened the gate. He got back into his car and drove through the gateway. I went to the studio. I got my things, washed some cups, and left.
I was going to get the Richmond tube home, but found that I had -5p credit on my Oyster card and the Queenstown Road ticket office was closed so I had to go to the Battersea Park station and top-up. I went home from there.
Libby was late to the Studio because she had to go and pick up the jackets from the factory. After I had checked the company emails and orders, emailed me asking me to phone her mobile. She had left the studio phones on call re-direct so when she called the studio, her mobile took the call, which meant that she was calling herself. I called her and she asked me to cancel the call re-direct (which I did) and she gave me instructions to sketch some designs for the Farley dress, which was less-than-satisfactory in its samples.
I sketched designs until I ran out of paper on my desk (which is a cardboard table that an elephant can stand on and not break!), working on instructions Libby had given my on the phone, to have a simple bodice with a waistline seam; narrow, chiffon sleeves with a baby hem; CB zip; the same skirt as on the Farley dress; a boat neckline. She liked some of my designs and some features like chiffon-layered shoulder sections.
She had also given me instructions as to packing a large order.
Packed three dresses and sent to The Times for the Sunday Style supplement. I printed out an address label (which surprised Libby), and gave the parcel to the courier when he arrived.
Sewed poppers onto jackets, but only got two jackets done because I worked partially on the stand and that is evidently not how I work best.
Took three parcels to the Post Office just before closing time.
Went home via Richmond tube.
Went to work via Richmond and Waterloo. According to the CityMapper app, this will knock about forty percent off my travel costs. It is also evidently a much less crowded trip to work.
Spent nearly the entire day sewing poppers on and taking up sleeve hems. We delivered the jackets and were glad to be free of them after a stressful week with them. The final three (which aren’t needed until Monday) will be sewn by Gayle, one of Libby’s freelance seamstresses, over the weekend. Libby was exceptionally delighted that it was Friday.
On the way to delivering the jackets, Libby asked me what I would do this weekend, and when I told her she was excited for me that I had a Skype interview for another work placement and offered me a reference. She was also very excited when I told her I would be enquiring about going to the Savile Row Training Academy in Leeds and asked (jokingly, I think) if I would come back and work for her full-time when I had finished it. (Wouldn’t that be great?!)
Libby dropped me off at West Kensington Tube Station and I went home from there. I'm getting the hang of this TFL thing now. :)
I have only one photo today because there was no time to take any more.
Today I had a Skype interview with Wayside Flower of Bridlington to see if I could get an internship there (I did). I have been looking into accommodation in Bridlington, and it turns out that I don't need it. I can take my bike and the train to and from Bridlington and save a considerable amount of money (£235.49 -- I worked it all out). I could save even more if I get a railcard, but I can't get that until I get home and get my passport information. I won't be starting this internship until January, so I will get some time at home, and hopefully, get to help out at the Bike Hub. :) I am so looking forward to getting back on my own dear bike.
My thoughts on London: I think I might live here, or near here, one day. I feel like I fit in quite well with middle to upper class people, what with evidently sounding posh, and liking their way of life. I think I am upper-middle class in just about all but money (I'm not being big-headed, really). The Surrey accent is also very nice. :) If I lived here permanently I would definitely have my bike and use that to get about as much as possible.
One thing I have found is that I can live quite easily on my own, so Mum will have no need to worry if I have to move away for work or university. I also don't need (or particularly want) a television. All my favourite shows are so old that people have put them on YouTube, or they are available on DVD. On Sundays I practise a bit of cooking to increase my skill (which is woefully basic). Last Sunday I made fried eggs on toast. Don't laugh. Everything needs to be learnt if you've never done it before. And have you tried finding instructions for scrambled eggs that don't look like purée? It's so difficult!
My appetite has increased as I've been working five days a week. I must be eating at least twice as much as before (I ate a whole 400g tin of spaghetti with four slices of toast for lunch today!). I've been eating sometimes half a packet of chocolate digestives in a day; two sandwiches for lunch; a banana; four roast potatoes or a fair portion of chips with chicken pie, pizza or 2-4 fish fingers for dinner; for breakfast I have Shreddies and a glass of milk; and I've been eating a fair amount of chocolate, but if anything I've lost weight, which is not a good thing for me. I don't get much exercise, unless you count trying not to fall over on the Tube (which is really good for your legs!). I hover around 7 stone, often going below it, and I really ought to be at least 7st 3lb. I wonder if I just have very lightweight bones and muscles?
Well, I'm off to put dinner on. Pizza and roast potatoes tonight! :)
Until next week,