Fashion Design Blog

  • Harriet Goodings

Updated: Feb 20, 2020

I remember when Mabel was two weeks old, a milk slug with that oxytocin inducing newborn smell and then me, barely washed, hungry and not the foggiest idea which day it was desperately trying to navigate feed times whilst rinsing the pharmacy of infant Gaviscon.



With baby fed, changed and wrapped like a beautifully formed burrito I hastily typed into Google the very question all new parents seek the answer to ‘when does baby sleep through the night ‘. The words written in bold jumped out of my overly lit screen, six months to never. Sigh. I glanced at my dozing offspring and back at my screen and announced my new wave of tiredness to my (very) modest Insta following. I was so grateful to be directed to a baby book, which I instantly Amazon primed and we had ourselves a brand new routine.



It changed everything! Because as soon as your child arrives your life is now milk comas, poo-splosions sleep deprivation and a bit of colic for good measure. So at least with a routine you can rein in some level of control (I’m saying that very loosely). Twenty months on and I can confirm Mabel can sleep a solid 10hours at night (except when she’s unwell). She’s an early riser, it was 4am starts for a long time and we’re now between 5 and 6 am so there’s progress.



The reason a routine was so important to us was of course the sanity of two sleep-deprived parents but also because I want to be able to work around Mabel by freelancing. Being able to work flexibly is really the only option that works. My hope is that employers will see that mums are super multi-taskers (I once saw a women in Aldi breastfeeding a child in one arm and packing the shopping with the other).



My work day is now usually broken into three sections rather that one 8-5 stint but it works for us. Everyday is a balance and there’s no perfect routine but my professional experience, be it trend forecasting, design details or tech packs haven't changed.

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  • Harriet Goodings

Updated: Feb 16, 2020


I wanted to talk a bit about my work experience placements and how they have shaped my view of the fashion industry today.


At twenty years old, and after it has been drilled into the class just how much competition there is especially in womenswear design, it’s advised to start interning as soon as you can. This means working for free whilst gaining first hand experience in a variety of tasks such as: hand embroidery, fabric cutting, toiling, popping to Paris to collect a sample, tea making, dog walking, running errands, hair dying - you get the gist. All sorts. So as summer approached I had applied to a few relatively young brands that were showing at LFW and emailed in the hope I would get a response.


I was accepted for a two-week placement in the run up to fashion week with the hours being 9am til late. Based in the London Borough of Bromley, somewhere way beyond my tree lined comfort zone. I was extremely lucky to be able stay with a uni friend and her Italian grandparents (THE sweetest people), I returned late one night and her grandfather was worried I would be hungry so he made me pasta with homemade sauce – still the very best I've ever tasted, I was so grateful.


The first day I turned up I was petrified, I felt way out of my depth and the pattern-cutting table looked like intricate surgery. It was the top floor of a semi-detached house, full to the brim with samples, fabric and patterns. Apart from a quick hand-shake introduction I didn’t actually see the designer that much, we were in the back room with much less natural light.


I was tasked with cutting shiny black goat fur, and there is a knack to cutting fur in general. Turn it upside down (fur faced down) and only cut through the skin, not the fur. You’re left with a much more natural edge. Not that I’m a fur wearer, but that’s just a technique I picked up.

I do remember wishing that smartphones and google maps had properly taken off at this point, as there were many errands to be run.

As a dedicated tea drinker, the over-riding smell of coffee was foreign to me. I’d managed to convince a fellow intern of junior level to kindly show me how to use a caffetiere, in my mind I was a barista by the end of the week. Little did I know just how much I would be relying on the caffeinated beverage for years to come.



My second internship was with a Norwich based bespoke tailors (a sister company to a Savile Row based brand). I remember taking in my CV and calling them a number of times, their response was along the lines of.. ‘we’re not sure we’ll have anything for you to do here’ and they were probably right.


Aside from having zero skill in bespoke tailoring I reeled off my now improved tea and coffee making abilities as well as threading a needle and providing some much needed updates in youth culture (the average age was 70). It wasn’t about being able to make anything at all. I just wanted to be with the studio environment and be able to observe their craft.

I can’t speak highly enough of the wonderful staff, they were so fine tuned in everything tailoring and I often just watched in awe of how fast they could baste a jacket or insert a sleeve. Unfortunately they are no longer open as the owner retired and it’s quite a niche skill and the employees all moved on but it was such a privilege being a part of their team for a short time.


My advice, if you ever find that you have a spare moment between tasks, make coffee or clean something and you will always be appreciated.

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  • Harriet Goodings

Why I Refocused My Creative Attention

woman-and-dog-at-desk

I can’t express enough how much I love(d) Edition 12, a brand dedicated to dog collars and leashes designed for the discerning pup and owner. Beautifully crafted with attention to detail and all the ‘cool pups’ wearing them.


I had made minimal investments financially, spending only on materials, tools and images and making savings by producing/designing/running the company in house (I had an intern to help with producing orders for a short time). This was my ‘side-hustle’ alongside working full-time so it’s probably clear that throwing a baby into the mix was going to shake things up a bit.


Edition 12 got to a stage of needing some investment in manufacturing to be able to compete with the rapidly growing pet industry. It was at this point that my priorities changed and ultimately changing my business plan was the best thing to do.


The two biggest mistakes I made:


1. Opened a Ltd company instead of sole trader.

I think I originally done this because you pay less tax and if the company went bust the debt would belong to the company and not me. This is tripe, if you borrow money, lenders are going to want it back so I was mis-informed at this point. In order to change to sole trader, I would have had to close the company and re-open as a sole-trader. Ltd companies also pay corporation tax and have more paperwork so it’s worth checking which option is best suited to your company.


2. There’s a certain amount of trial and error:

but it doesn’t mean you have to reinvent the wheel. If it doesn’t work, move on quickly. Progress is progress and you will always learn something.


Inevitably, design is my biggest passion, be it dog clothing, womenswear, kidswear or activewear. I love the challenge of creating a garment that makes a difference to the wearer in how it makes them feel. What I love about freelancing (aswell as the variety and flexibility) is that I only need my laptop and a tape measure and can work with brands all over the world. I’m so grateful to have a ‘skill’ that allows me to do this.


I would never discourage anyone from pursuing their dream business as it's the ultimate way to learn, but always do your research.


Click the link below to view Edition 12's brand pack

https://www.harrietgoodings.com/dog-collar-leash-design


Do you have a pet wear brand or are thinking of producing pet products - I would love to discuss your ideas!




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