Journal

Follow the creative journey of the Moorland design..

drafting patterns for walking skirt

During the making of ‘The Moorland’ riding skirt, I had the idea that it would be great if you could get a wax cotton walking skirt.

Myself and my partner love to go camping and walking and are not put of by the weather. My partner has some water proof trousers but I don’t as I hate the idea of wrestling my muddy boots off to then peel off wet trousers. The idea of the skirt was much more appealing. The skirt would have a similar design and concept to ‘The Moorland’ a wrap around waxed cotton skirt that I could simply pop on and off over what ever Im wearing and hang it up easily to dry when I was finished.

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Titan Splashing

This was photo-shoot No4.

I was excited about this shoot for a few reasons; one being, I love moorland, especially Dartmoor. Two, it was going to be the first time having two models and to see the Navy and Vintage brown side by side. And finally, it was the first shoot where a model already owned her skirt, so we would get to see it once the wax cotton has been – broken in. It is one of the things I love about wax cotton is how it becomes more supple and soft as it is worn.

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Sapphire riding on the road

For our 3rd shoot, we were up in North Wales in a breathtaking location on the edge of Halkyn Mountain.

My Photographer for this shoot was the extremely talented, Martha Lily photographer. I was excited to work with Martha as I had been following her Instagram account for a while, as she offers super photography tips and, I had been trying to improve my skills. So I was looking forward to meeting her in person.

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Galloping horse

After the fun we had doing our original photo shoot, I wanted to organize a new shoot but using a new model, new horse and new photographer. I wanted to offer the opportunity for some of you guys to be involved and so I put up a post on social media asking if any one would like to model with there horses. It was lovely to have such a big response, but I then had the task of picking.

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The official photo shoot was coming up; I had everything crossed that the weather would be kinder this time.

I booked two full days to give us a greater chance of good weather, hoping to get the shots I needed for the launch of my website.
Celine, my friend was flying down from Glasgow to model for me. Avril would be my photographer and I was going to direct and be on horse duties. The Nouvelle Habit branded clothing had arrived and looked stunning thanks to Team Equestrian

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On the morning of our test run I washed Jester from head to toe, much to Jesters disgruntlement. I carefully wrapped him up and hoped that I had done enough to keep him clean in the January Mud! The location was at Kate’s (my lovely yard owner’s) house, which was a 10min hack up the road. As we set off, a thick cloud of drizzle rolled in over us… Not ideal.

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I was really stuck on this for a long time; I had my business name but the inspiration for my logo just wasn’t there.

After being given a book on symbols, signs and visual codes by my dad the idea came to create my own Coat of Arms. I spent the next few days reading as much as I could on Heraldry and the meaning of colours, animals and flowers to help me create one that I felt would represent my business and me.

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After a few silly mistakes (entirely a product of my excitement and enthusiasm) jumping in and doing, the first short version was complete.

As I had hoped, it behaved in the same way as the long version but something still wasn’t quite right… the length! Having spent so much time contemplating the issue, coming up against the same snag, I realized that I needed to take a different approach. Just the one length, a ‘midway’ skirt, eureka!

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Christmas was coming and I had successfully joined the Princes Trust ‘Explore Enterprise Course’.

I was feeling really ready to embrace every aspect of my business venture, from marketing and selling, even down to the accounting! I was hungry to learn as much as I could and with prototype No8 ready to sew. I was as excited as a child might be on Christmas morning.

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I’m lucky I have a
super supportive mum and dad, both willing to listen to my crazy ideas, give me
advice and most importantly, let me follow my heart.

During the
prototype stage I had been bombarding them with photographs and filling their
inboxes with questions. Taking them with me on the roller coaster of emotions
that I was going though every day! From elation to devastation, my parents
experienced it all too.

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My ‘Hobby Horse’ was fantastic for cosmetic fixes but as a rider I knew the importance of live tests. Moving in the skirt while mounted, the drape of the fabric and the range of movement the rider would have, the way my design behaved in every kind of weather. These were all crucial aspects of the product in my mind’s eye and I was determined to get them right.

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Before starting prototype No4 I realized that I really needed some form of horse at home. Making a garment that’s intended to be worn on a horse is tricky when you haven’t got one at your studio to sit on to try things out. Where there is a will, there’s a way. I had a large wooden saddle stand made especially for the job. I set up the ‘Tailor’s Hobby Horse’ in my living room with my saddle.

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