Who doesn’t need a dress made up in the colour of a summer sky? This dress is BOUND to put you in a good mood, it is the Kay Unger for Vogue V1353 shown on the packet in a cotton sateen but works beautifully in a heavy washed linen. Made by Janet who is a brilliant dressmaker and we love everything she puts her hands to. She has lined it with Venezia.
Janet made this fabulous loose fit cardigan using a washable cotton and wool blend jumper knit WITH POCKETS! the pattern is Simplicity 8468 redrafted to lose the collar and get a closer (less coat like) fit
Getting 100% Cotton Jersey for t-shirts is harder than it should be, then we get too many metres in one colour so Bess painted a load of this cream with flicks of a paint brush with fabric paint, and then made this T-shirt for her sister Lulu. The pattern is an ancient Vogue Elements hoody pattern V9926 (we still have an out-of-print copy if you would like one)
This is Marion wearing the fabulous bold green and red overlaid spot print stretch cotton sateen wrap dress made for her by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead), the flash of red inside the wrap lining is just fabulous.
Carole wearing this super cool and breezy navy and white viscose lawn printed dress using McCall’s pattern 7189
Bess made this red selvedge denim mini skirt to replace the one she had lived in since 2008. Someone had the audacity to suggest Bess shouldn’t wear mini skirts after 40 at which point she scoffed.
It is a near miracle that the skirt was ever completed due to Bess trying out a new pattern that did not remotely fit (why oh why do we not make a toile first?), and red selvedge denim, as glorious as it is, is not the round peg to force into a square hole.
Anyway, several bodges later the skirt was born. The treated to an abundance of purchased embroidery patches and some hand embroidered lettering.
She then attacked the denim with several sheets of sandpaper to prematurely age it in a bid to make it like her old one. Not very eco but the pain of breaking in raw denim was too much. It truly is fab denim that wears beautifully (naturally and with sandpaper!)
Bess wanted a lightweight but warm jacket so used grey herringbone cotton poly and elastane -it’s a medium weight, the sort that would make lightweight chino type trousers, then she quilted silk crepe de chine (in the brightest coral colour possible) to wool wadding. The results are a super snuggly jacket that feels like you are putting on a duvet (if you ever wondered what the definition of hygge is, this jacket is it)
Whilst the outer fabric is not waterproof it is a tight enough weave to not get wet through in a brief shower.
The pattern is the Kelly Anorak by Closet Case Patterns, the instructions and drafting is simply brilliant. Bess shortened it and hacked the collar and hood pieces to enable both (the hood folds away into the collar)
Alice’s further adventures in bananas here with a cotton poplin dress (McCall’s McCalls 6696 view A). She made quite a few alterations to the pattern –
Changed the back bodice to get rid of the gathers at the yoke and added darts at the waist.
The front bodice was a bit too big in an 8 which is the smallest pattern size so pinched out the excess on the toile and re-drew the pattern which resulted in making the neckline smaller so the collar and collar band also had to be resized.
Trimmed about half an inch off the collar long edge to make it neater.
It sounds worse than it was in practice!
She decided to gather and line the skirt rather than pleat it and omitted the side seam pockets. This is the second dress she’s made for Lizby in this pattern which makes the adjustments worth the effort!
The fabric was a dream to work with and Lizby is delighted with the finished results.
Alice made this banana print sweatshirting into a hoody for her bananaphile daughter, Lizby. The pattern is Style Arc Josie, the only changes she made was to line the hood with a contrast ochre jersey and to omit the drawstring around the hem.
Sooooo much fun 😊
Pamela with her Grainline Studio Willow Tank Dress made using a multicolour floral print stretch cotton sateen, is there anything more useful in the heat than a tank dress? ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Pamela here in the fabulous textured cloqué jersey top made using the Style Arc Fran top (her tried and tested pattern). It’s so good when you get your TNT pattern sorted and can make it up in all sorts of things.
Trevor here with his first ever t-shirt made by his own fair hands, the pattern is Simplicity 8613 and he used a cotton and elastane jersey, he’s (rightly so) very pleased 😊
Tina made this fabulous Como Cardi by Style Arc Patterns using the chunky but stable wool-mix jumper knit, she loved it so much she made two others (different colours) straight away (madness!)
We love ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
Julie in Dubai wearing her fabulous Nani iRo japanese printed linen wrap dress which was a somewhat troublesome make due to accidentally overlocking a hole in the front panel and having to recut.. but she got there in the end!
Jane made this amazing military style jacket from two different brocades and a piqué textured jacket weight wool. The pattern is Vogue 7975 with some major/minor adaptations to make it more military looking (the pattern is classic Chanel style jacket). It is lined in fabulous electric blue silk seersucker satin.
Miaow chose her fabric for Granny (Jane) to make up as a pinafore, the pink trimming and top-stitching was a surprise (she loves it).
The pattern comes from Ottobre magazine issue 29 spring 2013
*EDIT* 9 months after making it Miaow says this is still her favourite dress. Win!!!
Marion on a cruise in Nova Scotia wearing the most fabulous lemon print on stretch cotton sateen. The dress was made by Dawn at Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead), Dawn has been making Marion’s dresses a while and they are always stunning.
The superstar Ilse made these jeans at school (I wish they had let me make jeans at school!) and we love this bold stripe cotton twill in these loose fit jeans. The Pattern is the Merchant and Mills Heroine Jeans, their teacher Jane Norris is now teaching freelance which is a great thing for those of us who need a bit of help but a sad loss for those students.
Bess downloaded the free pattern from Alice and Co at the V&A Museum in a flash and made up this Mary Quant dress with little to no alterations (unheard of for her- she nearly died of shock), the pocket took the longest and this was the second go as the first one looked like a fried egg! She used bondaweb to applique the daisy and slowed down her normal sewing speed in the hope she could sew accurately (more or less!). The black is a fabulous piqué weave viscose (very similar to a viscose twill) and the collar and daisy is a lightweight linen (probably not the ideal fabric as it frays like the devil but the colours were right and it more-or-less worked so don’t knock it!
A super flattering and comfortable dress here in monotone print cloqué jersey with a fit and flare dress pattern. Made by Jacoba who has been sewing up our fabrics so long she even has her own tag 😉
This is Carole wearing this super loose-weave cotton shirt using the Butterick 6070 which she has used several times as the buttonholes are hidden behind the placket. Great if your buttonholes have the occasional wobble!
This cotton is super soft with a gauzey jacquard type weave (unusual), it resists creasing and is great to wear in the hot weather as the drape tends to hold it off the body.
The lovely Celia sent us this pic of her wearing her p blouse using a spotty print silk chiffon blouse, the pattern is Vogue 1385, and she says was technically straightforward as it consisted of only 5 pattern pieces. However, the neckline tucks were very time consuming as the dart markings were on the facings as well as the main pattern pieces and the two had to be aligned exactly. Very fiddly!
Worth the effort Celia- beautiful Blouse, thanks for sharing!
Bess made this black and white tweed up into a coat using a tried and tested Claire Shaeffer Vogue pattern 7467 (now discontinued) which is a jacket pattern so there were a fair few alterations to do. The tweed is very soft and lightweight (it feels like cashmere) so Bess blocked it onto silk crepeline organza to stabilise it. The lining is a mix of a floral print viscose crepe (used at the upper back and pockets), and then a cupro and silk blend heavy habotai for the rest. She had great fun choosing the buttons and loves the little sparkly one on the inside, and hand sewed the gimp braid all the way round on each and every loop (that’s dedication, that is).
This coat was made on a weekend retreat, the side effect of intensive sewing like that is the brain does have a habit of disengaging from time to time, hence how the button holes on one of the sleeve vents are going sideways (DOH!). After an initial ohmygodwhatamigoingtodo moment Bess decided to just go with them and now rather likes their asymmetry.
It is a glorious coat to wear, light yet warm and often gets comments. Bess admits now that it was worth the hard work!
Here we have Tom and Zoe celebrating their special day with Zoe wearing the most spectacular dress made by Diane. The main dress is silk taffeta with pleated chiffon added to the skirt and a beaded tulle jacket. We love the way the dress floats in the wind. The jacket and headpiece is Simplicity 8364 and the dress is from Diane & Zoe’s imaginations. Simply Stunning.
This is the very talented Asaka who made up this beautiful cream wool coating and contrast wool tweed into an a-line skirt, the pattern is from www.couleure.jp and we have booked Asaka to help us translate those mind bending but cleverly cut Japanese patterns!
The lovely Bernie from French France made this amazing silk mix brocade up in a fitted skirt suit for a family wedding, both the patterns are tried and tested, they originally came out of the Burda sewing magazines- the dress from March 2001 and the jacket from sometime in 2012. Isn’t she fabulous? Here we have proof that style never goes out of fashion 🙂
The hat was made for her using a scrap of the brocade in a local hat shop in Pézenas. Perfection 🙂
This is the wonderful Antonia wearing her Merchant and Mills Curlew dress made up in wonderful sandwashed Modal Jersey, it was so successful she made one up for her mum too!
This silky jersey has a wonderful drape and not too much stretch so is great for the customer who is not sure if jersey is their thing… just watch out as that lesser stretch means you cannot ease sleeves in the way you can cheat with a normal stretchier jersey.
This is the beautiful and talented Anna who made her wonderful self drafted jacket using a heavy worsted twill weave suiting . Cavalry twill is a superb fabric to use as jackets, the tight dense weave is good at repelling wind and rain, and the weight is perfect to allow for precise tailoring.
Sarah from the blog Wanderstitch made this glorious coat out of the red leopard print patterned wool and alpaca coating and we suggest you head over to her blog for an entertaining and extremely informative read. In Brief this is the ‘Le 809’ from DP Studio which is a coat with an incorporated gillet, she used our animal textured wool and alpaca coating for the project and we hope you agree she got some stunning results.
The amazing Janet made this Peter Pan collar coat for one of her clients in a viscose crepe that has been heavily embellished with metallic thread – so whilst the fabric base has drape the embroidery has stiffened it all up and Janet has shown some serious skills by getting it all to seam together beautifully. Finished off beautifully with covered buttons with gold rims.
Bess was covetting those Gucci wide leg trousers spotted on the interweb for AGES and then eventually gave in and made herself some. Never mind the fact the Gucci ones would never have fitted these have saved her a small fortune (which she can spend on more fabric). The pattern is Burda 6613, the wool is a stretch worsted (97% Wool 3% Elastane) and the trim is H0511.
Bess made this hoody from an old Burda pattern on the day before going off to a festival and realising she had nothing warm for the evenings. Being somewhat busy she got up a bit early and made it before breakfast – even though it was a pattern she hadn’t used before (needed to be cut out)/there were patch pockets that needed to go on evenly/stripes to match/zip to be inserted. We would like to say it was Bess’s skillz as a dressmaker but most of the credit needs to go to this lovely double wool jersey that behaved soooo nicely.
Miaow made these space print cotton jersey pyjamas with a little help from Granny (Jane). Hardly any help really, Mia pinned out the pattern onto the fabric, cut them out, overlocked them together and even made ‘Arfur’ the rabbit a matching nightshirt and nightcap. The only thing Jane did was hem them (which she did because they needed to be done TONIGHT and Miaow didn’t have time).
Miaow is 8. When she grows up she wants to be an astronaut.
The pattern is McCall’s M7499 (discontinued but similar things are available).
Miaow very pleased indeed with the viscose piqué playsuit granny made her (Jane). The print is huge and you barely get a toucan across that waif-like chest but it looks fabulous, don’t you think? Mia thinks so!
The pattern came out of the Burda magazine (06/2018)
The lovely Sian here visiting all the way from Australia* wearing her lovely red cotton voile shirt dress that she made with her purchases from her last visit. The pattern is Burda 6353 (lengthened in the skirt), it’s lined in an equally fine cotton lawn to keep the lightness and coolness. (and it is very cool 😎)
*I don’t think Sian travels 10,000 miles just to see us.
Jane made up this old Karl Lagerfield pattern FINALLY after it lurking in the pattern drawer for nearly 20 years. The Linen is the Japanese designer nani IRO for Kokka. Jane had a bit of tweaking to get it right – too small on the bust but massive everywhere else – such as life goes with a pattern for the first time, but having been altered it is now PERFECT 😊
It’s got pockets!
It is lined in Venezia faced with extra light interfacing and there is a concealed zip up the back. The pattern is Vogue 1412 (long since discontinued but possibly available second hand).
Rudi the Siamese cat has to be in the photo too. Even if he didn’t get his ‘best side’.
Miaow on the beach wearing the the big beachy hoody Jane made for her. The pattern is McCall’s 7044 (Jane extended the length). A twin needle was used for the hems, all the seams were done in a jiffy on the overlocker.
Kitcat (age 11) made this viscose jersey skirt more or less all by herself. We would say she is clever but don’t want to be accused of favouritism 😉.
No pattern used, just a circle and a straight elasticated waistband 😊
This is Joy who came by the shop wearing this fabulous outfit of chartreuse geometric print viscose lawn blouse (New Look K6471) with a turquoise coloured denim skirt (the Arielle by Tilly and the Buttons). ❤️❤️❤️
Bess made up this sleeveless shirt using a fabulous eye print poplin cotton. The pattern is taken and amended from an old White Stuff shirt, the buttons are wiggly eye buttons but how long they will last is debatable as she keeps ironing over them!
As the poplin is very stable and Bess wanted the shirt as light as possible no interfacing was used apart from down the front placket so the button holes would be stabilised.
Whilst Bess lined up the front and back when cutting out no attempt was made to match the pattern. It actually does match where the yoke meets the back piece but that was an accident.
When we received the email entitled ‘a pair of strawberry tarts’ we weren’t quite sure what we were opening. 🙀
This is Rachel and Rachel wearing their matching strawberry print cotton and elastane jersey t-shirts along with wolfy the dog (whippet the whippet was locked outside after rolling in fox excrement).
This is possibly our favourite catwalk photo EVER ❤️❤️❤️
Rachel doesn’t believe that kids prints should be solely for kids. Here she is in her self drafted quilting cotton dress printed in sugar plum fairies.. and frogs… and things. 😊
Jane made this lovely pineapple print yellow seersucker sundress for Mioaw, she chose the fabric herself which has proved a good move as she has lived in it all summer (YAYYYY!). The pattern is Burda 9417.
Martine made this lovely printed needlecord dress up for her 9 year old granddaughter in dressmaking classes in the South of France. We ❤️!
Bess nearly didn’t make this white cotton broderie anglaise dress because she was worried about cursing the summer but in the end decided 2018 sunshine was a dead-cert. Yayyy for proper summers! The pattern came out of the June 2018 Burda magazine, it’s supposed to have wing type things over the armholes but Bess decided to not do them <s>because she couldn’t understand the instructions</s> because she decided they were overkill.
The dress is lined in white cotton lawn with a splash of red in the piping around the neck. Bess’s favourite bit is the POCKETS 😊
Bess couldn’t resist this dichroic glass mirror in Amsterdam for a selfie of her rainbow print viscose T-Shirt (pattern drafted from a fallen apart Great Plains linen T-Shirt). The neck is bound with the same jersey and a stay tape is inserted on the shoulder seam to keep it stable.
Photobomb of Kitcat was unavoidable.
This is Braenna wearing her self drafted yellow linen circular skirt dress; made all on her own in the summer holidays. Isn’t she amazing? We ❤️❤️❤️!
Rachel in her brilliant space travel print t-shirt using a self drafted pattern. The neck is bound with the same jersey cut binding. 😍😍😍