Real Work: What I Used to do – My Life as a Fashion Designer and Dress Maker

Author: Boho

Real Work

Today I am kicking off a new feature on the blog where I look back at the past and focus on jobs that we used to do. I am asking you to email in with a job that you used to do that is completely different to what you do now, just to show how your life has changed. Maybe you’re now in a high-flying job after working for your self? maybe you’re now in a creative job after working for a big corporation, what ever the story I want to hear from you!

I thought I’d start the ball rolling and share with you one of my past jobs! My life as a Fashion Designer/Dress maker. Between 1998 – 2003  I worked for myself under my own fashion label ‘LOUD’.




3 After finishing University in 1994 with a degree in Creative Arts, I went onto get my first proper job as a Theatrical Costumier where I worked making patterns, sewing and altering costumes for many national productions. With a few random jobs thrown in between in 1998 I decided I would set my own fashion label up and off I went!

At this point in my life I lived in Nottingham, and I started off  working from home in my spare bedroom. I started making tailor-made outfits for people, through a shop in Leicester. I then put my own collections together, selling them to small boutiques across the country. I specialised in club wear, being a big clubber at the time it was a natural progression. Things took off and I moved into a studio in the lace market in Nottingham. Here people would come and have outfits designed and made, mainly going out stuff for the weekend, clubwear, evening wear and special occasion wear. I also did alternations and I then moved on to get bigger commitions for night clubs making costumes for dancers, as well as uniforms. I also managed to get a few DJs on my client list.

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Things were good, I was really busy and managed to get a team of seamstresses that I used to subcontract work out to for the bigger bulk orders. However things changed as the fashions changed. People stopped getting so dressed up to go out, they stopped wanting dresses for the weekend and wanted tops to go with jeans instead. I started making more ball dresses for students and outfits for older ladies. I knew things had to stop when the majority of the orders I was getting in was evening and bridal wear. something (ironically) I had absolutely no interest in. I loved club wear, the high fashion, the quick turnover was what I  thrived on, wedding dresses were a whole different story and not something I wished to carry in with.



So coupled with a recent split from my Ex Fiance, I decided that things needed to change so I packed up shop and got a new job in fashion recruitment! For a few months I carried on making bits and bobs for people at home, along with things for myself, but with the pressure of my full-time job I found I needed to stop completely. I sold my industrial machines and bought a little domestic one instead.

11 logo2

In all honestly I hardly ever sew  now, I have kept all my patterns and some fabric, but I never get the time to get it all out. It’s a skill I hope I will use again sometime in the future, I’d love my own little sewing room in our future house, a little creative haven! However I love my job now so I have no regrets! I’m proud that I used to do it and I had a blast in the process!


  • So what about you? I’d love to hear your story. If you would like to share your career story then email me [email protected]


Other things you may love:

  1. Philippa | It's Nice Out

    Wow how about that! I remember the days of scouring Hockley and the Silver Arcade for the perfect spandex number to wear at Deluxe, fancy you being at the centre of it all! What an interesting read. I work as a fashion graphic designer, and have done for the last 10 years. Its strange when you do a job (as you did) that so many would die for then when you become quite fatigued with it, a lot of people don’t really understand. I’m looking forward to seeing where my photography and love of the outdoors is going to take me over the coming 10 years!

  2. Catherine at eyecapture Photography

    How nice to know all that! I reckon that you will get your sewing urge back. I don’t know how to sew and wish I knew a little at least. There’s so much beautiful fabric around that I often think it’s a shame (for me!) that I can’t do anything creative with it that befits a 40+ year old rather than a 10 year old!


Please leave your comment

We reserve the right to remove any comment that we feel is distasteful, rude, hurtful or inappropriate, so please be nice. Please be mindful of other people's feelings. If you have a problem with any of the content please contact me directly.

Thank you xx