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Jan 09

No Likey No Lighty! Behind the Scenes at Take Me Out – Show 1

I was lucky enough to be chosen out of 10,000 girls to appear on the 2015 series of Take Me Out.

I applied in July 2014, and was short-listed for an audition in Bristol in August. I was nervous to attend the audition, but I wore a dress that I had made out of a pair of Jurassic Park curtains and the ladies at the audition said they loved it!

After the audition, I awaited to hear if I had made it through to the next stage, and a couple of days later I found out I had, from here I had to fill out a questionnaire all about myself, my job, hobbies and embarrassing stories (which my friends were more than happy to remind me of!)

I then found out in October that I had been accepted to be on the show, and was going to be one of Paddy’s Flirty 30 – in the original line up of girls.

In November I headed to Kent where filming was to take place and where was to be my home for the next up to 2 weeks (well until fingers crossed I got a date!) I was nervous as I was about to meet all of the other girls, none who I had ever met before, but as I arrived I soon discovered that everyone was lovely and all of the girls were a little bit nervous, but equally excited.

Rehearsals started the next day, where some of the guys that worked on the show stepped in to play the part of the boys coming down the lift and we got to meet Paddy McGuinness. It was so much fun and we all had a great time, even if we did come up with some silly answers to why we had left our light on!

The next day I got to meet my Make Up Artist and Hairdresser for the duration of the show – Sarah Burrows who is Make Up artist to a number of celebrities including Tess Daley and Sarah Harding and Mitch Lumsden who is hairdresser to the team at Strictly Come Dancing. Wow – by the time they had finished with me I looked amazing, I have never looked or felt so good!

Luckily the wardrobe team liked my look and all of the dresses that I had brought along from the Silly Old Sea Dog Autumn/Winter Collection to wear on the show! So throughout filming I was able to wear Silly Old Sea Dog dresses, belts and hair accessories.

Here is my Look from show 1, aired on 3rd January 2015:

My dress is:



Shoes: Carvella, by Kurt Geiger

Watch a snippet of Show one here with me having a hug with Paddy and contestant Ashley.

The guys we had on show 1 were Ashley, Scott, Steve and Craig – I left my light on for a couple of them, but it got switched off! Oh well there’s always next week!

Keep watching on Saturday’s at 8.30pm on ITV to see if I get a date to Fernando’s!


Oct 20

Behind the Scenes on our Autumn/Winter Shoot

I found the location of our Autumn/Winter shoot when attending the Bovey Tracey Contemporary Craft Fair a couple of years ago. Next door to the fair I stumbled upon the most amazing photoshoot location – The Jolly Roger!

Here they supply 3D models to shops, restaurants and other commercial premises and they have a fab range of dinosaurs outside, which I absolutely adore!

I always try to find interesting locations for our photoshoots, which suit and reflect the fun attitude of Silly Old Sea Dog and I though the location was perfect! Although studio shots often work well and you don’t have to rely on the weather, I always find them a bit boring and samey, location is certainly more fun! And we are lucky in Devon and Cornwall to have some great photoshoot locations.

I enlisted the help of Lisa Parkinson from Kernow Dream Photography  to take the photo’s. Lisa and I have worked together on a few previous occasions and have formed a great friendship alongside working together for shoots. Although Lisa mainly photographs weddings, she enjoys the fun challenge of fashion shoots as well and we always have a great time on our shoots.

I had met Laura Elston from Laura Elston Freelance  at Crikey its Vintage events in Exeter earlier in the year, as Laura often prepares the models for the Crikey catwalk shows as well as offering make overs at the events. Laura also really wanted to be involved with the shoot and on the day did a great job with the girls hair and make up – so much so that I have now purchased some heated rollers for my own hair after witnessing the wonders they can help to create (admittedly my attempts are no where near as good as Laura’s professional work).

Finally I enlisted the help of models Jodie, Poppy and Sharron. I always try to get a selection of models with different looks and of different dress sizes as I think it is always better to buy when you can relate to the model wearing the outfit – personally I always find this hard when buying from major High Street retailers as they often just use size 6/8 models and as a size 12/14 I always think I like something but never have any idea how its going to look on me!

I try my best to have a range of girls between the sizes I stock of 6 – 28 to model as this is more realistic to you buying the product.

On the day we had a lovely welcome from the team at the Jolly Roger, who helped to make us all feel very welcome, and we had a little help from their two doggy residents! The Labrador who clearly befriended us as we had Custard Creams with our tea!

We went with a glamorous look for the make up and a vintage inspired look for the hair. The dresses are always a mixture of prints and colour, but we had no problem at The Jolly Roger matching each dress to a location within the building as they have everything from animals to Christmas to under the sea models.

The dresses with 3/4 length sleeves are a new look for this season, I have added them to the collection as I have had many requests from all of you to have dresses with sleeves, so I hope you like them!

Here are some images from behind the scenes, all of the dresses and skirts seen will be available to buy on here by the end of October, I have included some silly photos and out-takes from the day – check out the one of Jodie with the poodle, this made me giggle!

Now my only decision is which dress to keep for myself!!! The problem is I like them all!

Alison x


Mar 17

Plus Size Collection Lauching 21st March 2014

Behind the Scenes of our Plus Size Clothing Shoot.

Our Plus Size collection is launching on Friday 21st March 2014!

I have been working on the patterns for the collection since the beginning of 2014 as it has been a dream to be able to offer our dresses and skirts in a full collection of sizes from 6 – 28. The new collection brings 2 of our most popular dress styles and our circular and pencil skirts into plus sizing.

Once the collection was ready, I enlisted the help of local photographer Emma Griffin to help take the photos of the collection. I found the most awesome setting for the shoot – a home in Hayle, Cornwall owned by Chris, who over the years has collected an array of vintage cars, motorcycles, buses, skateboards, surfboards and even an aeroplane. Around the premises there is also a large collection of memorabilia including tins, furnishings and signs and the sites itself is set over 3 wooden structures and a caravan, Chris has even built his own beach!

I hope that you really like the photos which we took at this fabulous location! All of these items will be avaiable to buy from 21st March in sizes 6 – 28, as well as a large number of our current products being offered up to a 28 too.


Photos: Emma Griffin / Griffin Photography Models: Sally Murfin, Naomi Bosworth and Steffani Benton Hair: Megan Piekarz Make Up: Sally Orchard and Stacey Cremin Clothing: Silly Old Sea Dog

Alison x