Julie needed a ‘posh frock’ for a winter wedding and wool crepe fitted the bill nicely. Wool crepe will tailor so beautifully and is a joy to work with. It is warm in the cold and cool in the heat so a perfect choice for those occasions when you are half outside in the freezing cold and then indoors with the fires blazing.
The dress is lined in Venezia lining – a breathable anti-static lining that is soft and drapey like the crepe
Marion looking superb in this dress made for her by Dawn of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead). The abstract stripey print on this fine wool crepe is perfect for the asymmetric lines of this dress. (Pattern developed by Hardy and Hooper). The dress is lined in Venezia (as all lovely dresses should be)
Jane (who used to come to classes back when we did classes) made this fab fit and flare floral print dress for a family wedding. The fabric is somewhat stretchy which made aspects of this dress tricky but with patience and perseverance she got there (we are always available for advice when needed). It is lined in Venezia which helped a lot in making the dress behave itself. Venezia is so soft and breathable it is perfect for lining summery dresses that would otherwise lose their shape. Even the pale colours are perfectly opaque.
Peacocks have inspired print designers for centuries and here we have yet another rendition made up beautifully by Sarah into this fabulous and easy to wear gathered floaty viscose dress. Finished with superfine bias binding and narrow velvet ribbon.
Karen here with her brilliant subtle tile print Ponte di Roma dress with long sleeves (and a sneak peek into her sewing room!), such a useful, versatile, brilliant, classic dress for any occasion. It’s fab. We love it. The Pattern is the Sew Over It Zoe Dress
The fabulous and lovely Ros here wearing a super psychedelic print poly crepe (unlined) dress using Burda pattern 6363 – it was lengthened at the waist by 2” and she says it is the comfiest loveliest thing to wear 😍😍😍
This is Jenny wearing her extra long sleeved McCalls M7531 dress made in rococco print posh ponte roma jersey. It’s a very simple pattern (Jenny’s words) . She is usually a 10 – 12 and for this pattern was a medium. Surprisingly she didn’t need to shave anything off the the hips which is an alteration she normally does (snake hips!). This probably means us more endowed in the hip department will need to add.
Jenny chose not to have a seam down the back, as with jersey there is absolutely no need, so cut the back on the fabric fold also having straightened the pattern to match the front . As it was a beginner pattern she ignored some of the directions (e.g double stitch the seams) and made the sleeves extra long goth style.
It came out good ! Very warm dress for a winter occasion. Pretty good on the lumps and bumps also (Ed. Jenny, WHAT lumps and bumps?!)
Wendy from @glowskincaredevon made this fabulous pinafore / shift dress in the pea-green trouser weight stretch cord (9536 on the website), it is lined in Venezia (which is the best lining in the whole world) and #ithaspockets ! We love ❤️ ❤️. ❤️ Wendy is busy keeping our hands soft with her amazing hand made skin creams – we recommend 👍
Jane made this parrot and glitter print cotton jersey dress up for Miaow using McCall’s 5135. Jane lengthened the top and narrowed down the side seams (because Miaow is a string bean), she also added some gather to the neck.
Jane made this fabulous shirtdress for Miaow using tencel denim and the Ottobre spring 13 pattern. It is topstitched with pink silk thread and because life is too short to turn rouleau loops Jane used a denim herringbone tape
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.
This is Marion wearing the dress made for her by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead), the fabric is a lovely poppy print stretch cotton sateen which is a super weight for the summer months, and lined in Venezia
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.
Susie the amazing sewing-on-the-side-of-harping self-drafted this linen dress in heavy washed Damiel linen. Dress up dress down – such a versatile and lovely dress. You can see many more of her creativities on Instagram
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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’.
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.
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 😊
Julie made up this super jacquard jersey into a three quarter sleeve dress and is really pleased with it (as are we!). The pattern is self drafted and works brilliantly with this stable jersey that behaves much like a ponte roma jersey does (although this is a lighter/looser weave).
Clair teaching in Sunny Spain wearing this beautiful Black British pure worsted wool pinafore dress, the pattern is self-drafted and the pleats were a dream to press. She says it’s too good for work but she’s always worn lovely clothes to work (she used to work for us and we can verify she always wore lovely clothes then).
Karen came to the shop wearing this brilliant blossom print Japanese cotton shift dress, she made it using the Tilly and the Buttons Françoise pattern, it has been lengthened and a with bit of tweaking to the french darts (hardly visible in this fabric) this has become a firm favourite in Karen’s wardrobe. This cotton has a great weight to it that barely creases, doesn’t shrink (and so pre-washing shouldn’t be necessary) and is loose enough weave to remain cool and breezy.
The lovely Sandra here modelling her navy blue needlecord/babycord cotton shirtwaister with matching classic marble effect buttons. The pattern is McCall’s 4769. She is really please (as she should be) and has had a lot of wear out of it 😊).
Petra sent us this pic of her dress made up using spotty silk twill from LG. You will notice the spots are arranged inline rather than offset which makes them a super finnickity to match but she did it really well.
She said: A week ago I googled dress fabric shops in the uk and came across an article in The Guardian titled 10 best fabric shops in the uk. I looked at your website and found exactly the fabric I wanted. It came on the Monday and now I have a dress to wear for a wedding! Thank you for you friendly and professional service. I will definitely look at your shop for other fabric.
I know we always say this but is there anything out there better and more versatile than a wool crepe? Here we have Bernie (from French France) at her son’s wedding (in the UK) wearing this lovely shift dress expertly fitted by Bernie’s teacher Brigitte. The pattern was out of the Burda magazine (and they clearly remembered to add seam allowances 😂)
This is Christine’s Granddaughter Georgia, who was nearly 5. She’d just been to stay, and as soon as her parents had dropped her off she wanted to ‘do sewing – a hat and a dress!’
They found a lovely free bucket hat pattern online – from Oliver + s – a PDF, a first for Christine but very easy, and sewed up nicely. Then they found a New Look G205 pattern for the dress.
Everything made up really nicely in the seaweed print cotton. Christine was thinking of ric-rac, but as soon as Georgia saw the daisy trim she fell in love with it. As you can see, she loves her dress, and thinks it’s very good for twirling in! The hems are sewn with a daisy stitch to match the trim.
We have been looking at this stretch cotton sateen multicolour stripe for a while thinking “something FANTASTIC could be made out of this”, and here we have the proof. Marion, with her dress made and designed by the clever stick Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead). We love the chevron detailing on the back, and the perfectly matched seams. This kind of attention to detail really pays off. 👍
Pamela sent us this photo after a season of wearing this self proclaimed favourite dress made up from her stash of heavy linen. Aside from the generally pleasing aesthetics of a colour block dress you get to do some quality stash busting. Win/Win! For the best results use like fabrics (weight/drape) and make sure they are colour fast for the cleaning. It’s a good idea to use those colour catcher sheets you put in the machine as a precaution.
She made it up again in Green (which we love) but the yellow remains the favourite.
The lovely Anne here in full glory doing the Mother of the Bride thing wearing this statement tulip print poly twill taffeta dress and classic wool crepe bolero jacket.
Anne had help matching the tulips at a sewing class in Bath (the pattern is Vogue 8997). The wool crepe in the bright pink for the jacket was lovely to work with and drapes well (the pattern is Burda 8997).
Penney made up this dress for her daughter Rosie using silver satin and overlaid on the bodice with silver guipure lace, originally the plan was to have the lace all over but they opted (quite rightly, we think) to stick to just the bodice, even though Penney had already matched up all the pieces (doh!). The pattern is made up from two other patterns – Vogue 2913 (one of Penneys from the eighties) and Vogue 8076. She used used a full toile to fit it and amend. Rosie was very specific about what she wanted as teenagers do best!
To use our fast and efficient swatch service please read the guidelines HERE
Allow 10% shrinkage for all your washable natural fibres (including viscose). Wash before making up in the same manner as you would with subsequent washes (including drying methods).
Jerseys and fabrics liable to mis-shape should be dried flat, or in a cool tumble dryer.
Most fabrics should be pressed before cutting.
If in doubt about care instructions please CONTACT US