Monday, 30 March 2015

April's Competition

WIN A £250 voucher to spend at 

Darcey in Lewes & Heathfield!

Darcey is an East Sussex based independent fashion retailer with boutiques in both Lewes and Heathfield, plus an online store Launched in 2008, Darcey offers a fantastic shopping experience which combines the best of customer service with an inspirational selection of clothing and accessories from UK, European and international designers.

Darcey’s focused selection of gorgeous women’s clothing and accessories includes the latest fashion-forward pieces that are the foundation of timeless wardrobe staples. With over forty brands in stock, reflecting Darcey’s distinctive casual style, well known names such as NYDJ, Masai, Cut Loose and Sandwich sit alongside a handpicked collection of unique and independent designers. Darcey offers stylish, wearable clothing spanning wardrobe basics through to key investment pieces.

Be inspired by regular style features and seasonal updates, where Darcey will help you to build outfits which reflect the season’s key looks and accessories. All these opportunities are created through social media updates and via Darcey’s dedicated team who are always on-hand to give free style and personal shopping advice in the two boutiques and by telephone or email.

To enter this months competition, fill in the form below!

As a small and growing business, Darcey really appreciate your custom, locally or from afar, so every time you shop you will be rewarded through their Loyalty Scheme where you will be entitled to a free gift voucher as you accumulate loyalty points. You will also receive early notification of discounts and events, as well as useful styling tips and competitions.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Interiors Inspiration

  Shades of Indigo  

Embracing the imperfect is something Mark and Sally of award winning homeware store Baileys Home, have developed impeccably. Their use of vintage fabrics and time worn colours, create beautifully unusual and modern interiors. 

Naturally derived colours also sit well with the hues found in industrial materials: This downstairs cloakroom has an original Victorian basin and taps. The towel warmer hanging on the ultramarine polished plaster walls, is made from old copper plumbing pipes.

Natural dyes are often mistakenly associated with a dull, washed out appearance. But plant derived indigo is a rich opulent shade of blue, that can transform an interior into an inky haze. Old utility and work clothes that have been battered and patched up over the year, make distinguished objects to display in any home. Try tie dying some old throws, or even kitchen cloths.

Stacking throws, and vintage textiles is a beautiful way of displaying pieces collected over the years. Here they have been laid out on an old patisserie stand.

This sofa and antique chair have been reupholstered in 1970s denim and backed with a bold 19th century stripe.

Antiques dealer Katherine Pole specialises in French textiles, a fact that is very clear on a visit to her North London home, which is packed with her fabric finds. Katherine says she was sold on the place the moment she saw the peeling wallpaper upstairs, which was half stripped away to reveal the mottled plaster beneath. The abundance of textiles, many of them patched and frayed, makes a significant contribution to the feeling of a well-lived-in home, adding warmth, colour, pattern and texture all in one go.

'Imperfect Home' by Mark and Sally Bailey is published by Ryland Peters and Small
Photographs: Debi Treloar

Get started at for some inspiration!

Friday, 20 March 2015

International Happiness Day

  What makes team WT happy  

Today is International Happiness Day! So we asked 

ourselves what makes us really happy...

Lucy, our Editor-

Walking my dog Percy makes me happy, or doing the gardening, and having a glass of wine at the end of a busy week. 

Helen, the Editorial Assistant-

Dancing and getting a new brightly coloured lipstick to add to my collection.

Elen, the Sales Director for the team-

Cuddles with my dog Milo make me happy!

Megan, our  E-Commerce Assistant-

Spring time! But only when it's sunny. Galaxy counters as well...they're my favourite!

Fiona, the Wealden Fairs Events Organiser-

Sunshine! But I love snow and fresh frosty mornings too.

Sarah, our Accounts Goddess-

Long, light summer evenings. I love it when we leave work and it's still light outside!

Ros, the Proof Reading Expert-

Short and sweet: flowers.

Anthony, Design Wizard-

When I get home from work, my family all give me a hug! That makes me really happy.

Rob, our other Design Wizard-

Wildlife and animals. Specifically squirrels and bunnies. 

Phoebe, our mini Design Wizard-

Seeing my boyfriend Tommy always makes me happy. so does pizza!

Becky, the sales dream-

My little Harrison's cheeky smile!

Lisa, our other sales dream-

My husband.

Tell us what makes you happy in the comments below, or tweet us @wealdentimes

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

The March Issue

  Meet the Maker  

Designer Frances Tobin decided to combine her love for fabric and fashion to create some of the most stylish dress making patterns available, and The Maker's Atelier was born. She now runs dressmaking courses, day workshops and unique making experiences from her Brighton studio. We were lucky enough to interview her and discover how she built the brand.

How did The Maker’s Atelier evolve?  

I’ve been making clothes since I was young and always knew I would work with fabric and fashion. I trained as a fashion textile designer specializing in knitwear at Brighton and then the Royal College of Art. This led to a career working as a fashion and knitwear designer for brands in Italy, the US and here in the UK – including Les Copains, Gucci, French Connection, Esprit, Warehouse and the Arcadia Group brands. But throughout my career I have always continued to make my own clothes; the making process inspires the designer in me and vice versa. Over the years lots of people have commented and asked me about my clothes but it hadn’t occurred to me to publish my own patterns. Then one day I was buying fabric in Ditto, Brighton, when Gill the owner suggested it to me. I thought here’s an opportunity to combine my making knowledge with everything I’ve learnt from the fashion industry, to create the most stylish patterns.

Where do you draw your inspiration from and how do you come up with your design concepts?

I’m influenced by lots of things especially films, exhibitions and travel. I also follow all the catwalk shows, some key fashion bloggers and I buy a ridiculous amount of style magazines. From all of these influences I edit ruthlessly, creating an ever-changing mood board. This is how I’ve always worked.

What type of fabrics do you like to work with? 

I like to keep a very open mind when looking for fabrics, as I’ve found that when I’m looking for something too specific I can miss out on something unexpected and more interesting. I love fabrics with a great handle – how a fabric feels and falls is really important to me; it defines what I’m going to make. I buy a lot of jerseys, stretch fabrics and modern technical fabrics. For this spring / summer I’m also using different weights of linen.

Where do you source them? 

My favourite fabric shops are listed on my website, I particularly love Cloth House in London’s Berwick Street. But I find fabrics all over the place, including vintage finds from shops and fairs.

Do you have a favourite pattern and why?

I wear all of my styles but my favourite has to be the stretch version of The Maker’s Atelier Ultimate Pencil Skirt – it’s a great fit and I always feel good in it.

What’s your signature style? 

I think it’s quite pared back and unfussy, but co-ordinated. I like the fabric to do the work and tend to wear only one colour at a time. I’ll often accessorize with lots of big bangles, or statement shoes.
How important has it been for you to create a ‘brand’? 

It has been really important – I wanted The Maker’s Atelier to be a memorable and pleasurable experience for my customers – a luxury brand where every purchase is special. So I spent a lot of time visualizing the look of the brand and making sure that every element, even down to the woven labels that come in each pattern are true to that vision.

Is there a designer that you particularly admire?

Alber Elbaz at Lanvin for his beautiful use of fabric and enduring style.

What’s next for The Maker’s Atelier? 

The next set of patterns is in development and hopefully they will be ready in the next two months or so.

Do you attend other courses? If so, what’s been your favourite? 

I often attend courses to update my IT skills but the most inspirational course was spending two weeks with Carreducker in London making bespoke handmade leather shoes – this took my making skills to another level, I couldn’t believe that I could make my own bespoke shoes in two weeks, it gave me a real sense of achievement. It also inspired me in the creation of my courses that everyone should enjoy their experience and create a beautiful garment beyond their expectations.

For more information on The Maker’s Atelier courses, and to buy patterns call 

0844 414 8718 and see

  Paper Pattern  

WT's editorial team Helen and Lucy spent a crafty afternoon sewing The Maker's Atelier Unlined Raw- Edged Coat and Drawstring- Neck Dress and loved the results...

It arrived beautifully packaged and after buying the fabric and finishings, we couldn't wait to get to work.


The instructions were clear and concise, making the pattern so easy to follow and construct.

Lucy decided on a light grey jersey, giving the dress a beautiful drape, and a vibrant yellow felt was Helen's choice, with matching buttons. 

After the last finishing touches, we were done!

We loved making these fabulous garments up, so a huge thank you to The Maker's Atelier for the opportunity. If you fancy a new dress making project then just pop to their website above!

To keep up to date with what we're doing here at the Wealden Times follow us on Bloglovin and our Social Media sites!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Spring Time Spritz

  We smell delicious...  

The WT editorial office have been sent this stunning scent from Jo Malone. It smells like sunshine and rainbows, we're in love!

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