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
Carole wearing this super cool and breezy navy and white viscose lawn printed dress using McCall’s pattern 7189
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.
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? ❤️ ❤️ ❤️
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!
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.
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 😉
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’.
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 😊
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 ❤️❤️❤️!
Jane wearing her superb self drafted shift dress made up in Japanese nani IRO printed linen. Lined in Venezia and piped with fine satin (self made) piping.
Isn’t it fabulous? And we ❤ the shoes too!
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).
Daiga here again in this super flattering and beautiful bluebell velour stretchy dress.
Daiga sent us this the details of the Knip Mode dress she was planning to make enquiring if the blue crepe viscose jersey she liked was suitable. I think the answer is a resounding YES, definitely!
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).
Moira sent us this pic of her wearing this amazing hot pink and acid yellow rose print stretch cotton sateen shift dress made from the Wendy Ward’s “The Beginner’s Guide to Dressmaking” Book. Isn’t it fabulous?
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 wonderful Julie cheering up a decidedly grey day with this amazing parrot print heavy cotton canvas made up into the Kwik Sew K4097 dress.
We love it. We love it!
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.
Marion wearing her mauve and blue geometric print cotton needlecord shift dress with short sleeves and princess seams. made and designed by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead)
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. 👍
Marion wearing this great animal print stretch cotton sateen dress with asymmetric zip detailing and shawl collar. Made and designed by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead).
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.
Patricia working in the shop wearing her fabulous cut and super comfy long sleeve ponte roma dress. (Pattern cut herself)
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!
White Broderie Anglaise embroidered cotton dress made by Jane for Lulu using Vogue pattern 1942 (discontinued). IT is trimmed with turquoise blue satin bias, soft cotton bias and piping around the neck, and lined in cotton voile.
Aiste made this most fabulous green peacock print cotton and elastane jersey made up with black ribbing on the neck and cuffs (cut on the fly – as is Aiste’s speciality)
Marion in this super fresh blue and multicolour print cotton needlecord short sleeve dress made and designed by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead)
Marion wearing her super dress made with brown and yellow geometric floral print cotton babycord, there are clever princess seams that are piped and curve out to the side seams below the waist, which is a very flattering design feature. Made and designed by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead)
Sandra visiting the shop on a super sunny day wearing her light and breezy navy polka dot viscose shirtwaister dress.
The pattern is McCall’s 6891 and has various length and sleeve options. I suspect every girl needs one of these dresses, right?
Madeleine overjoyed with her butterfly print viscose halterneck dress made by Granny, Alisa. The Pattern is ‘learn to sew’ McCall’s 7589 as Alisa has had time out from sewing and needed to ease herself in gently, she was back for more fabric the following week so I think it worked!
Jacoba in red roses on black and white polka dot print stretch cotton sateen dress. We’ve said this before and we shall say it again, Stretch Cotton Sateen is a girl’s best friend when it comes to shift dresses. You can look smart AND be comfortable! 👍 😀
This is Sophie who has a degree in Costume Design and keeps turning up at the shop with friends and family working out what she will make next. She is quite an inspiration.
The pattern was drafted herself and is using a cotton brocade which is heavy enough to hold shape but drapey enough to swing and not stick out.
Frances made up this fabulous silver grey stretch brocade shift dress for her sister who was needing an outfit for her son’s wedding – she didn’t want anyone else to turn up wearing the same dress! She knew what she wanted and was delighted with the result (Obv!)
The pattern was copied from a dress that was bought a long time ago and made a few minor changes to the shape at the back, a toile was fitted first.
It is lined in Venezia but there is no interfacing as the fabric was weighty enough to hold its shape. as a bonus she says it was really easy to cut and sew.
Well, Frances, we think you made an exceptional Mother of the Bride Outfit for your sister right there! Well Done! 👏
Aiste self-drafted this dress and made it up in ponte jersey with yellow contrast asymmetric sleeves.
It’s very cool, and looks different everytime she moves 🙂
The pattern is Vogue V1410 which has a wrap front rather than a front opening. The whole point of dressmaking is making exactly what you want* so of course these details are for us to alter!
*when I say we dressmake to get exactly what we want I mean within reason. We cannot alter patterns to remove a middle-age spread, or dropped shoulders, or [enter personal body hang-up here]. But we can dressmake to disguise these things.
Lauren made this amazing kimono sleeved coat for her final year degree show using pink felted wool coating. It’s tied together through oversized eyelets, has an extended hem at the back and an embellished shawl collar. Soooo beautiful!
Marion looking fabulous in her peacock blue abstract print short sleeve stretch cotton sateen dress made and designed by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead)
Julie at her daughter’s graduation wearing the navy lace shift dress she made with fuchsia pink lining (the Champagne was made in France). This looks like a very simple dress that is easy to make but as with many simple things, the devil is in the detail and Julie has become an expert on fitting dresses beautifully to her curves. Beware: Once you take the time to do this you will never be able to buy shop bought again.
Aiste playing with jersey again here with a jacquard weave heavy wool mix knit. The pattern was taken (and modified) from a purchased top.
The fit is fabulous – this is why we love jersey! and the asymmetric cut makes it interesting from all angles.
Kitcat in the shop for the holidays wearing her elasticated waist viscose dress made by Jane using Burda pattern 9367 (age 9). Jersey bias was used for the elastic casing and was set lower so the fabric blouses up. a drawstring was added to the front and the same jersey bias was used to case the armholes and neck.
Pauline looking smart and fabulous in wool challis using the classic sleeved shift dress from McCall’s (2401). The dress is lined in Venezia.
Belt, Shoes and Smile Pauline’s own.
Marion wearing her lovely blue and yellow geometric print stretch cotton sateen shift dress made and designed by Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead).