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Worsted Wool Long Pinafore Dress

navy blue small check worsted wool pinafore dress made using vogue 7975 and simplicity 2247

Lucy did that dressmaker superpower thing of combining two patterns to make something greater than the sum of its parts. The top of this fabulous worsted wool pinafore is Vogue V7975 pattern with Simplicity 2247 for the skirt. The top was also modified so the middle of the front part of the top consist of two pieces which overlap. It’s like “double breasted”. It’s fully lined. She spent some time to make it right. For the skirt Lucy needed to make adjustments to match up the seams of the panels to the top.  

This worsted wool is super fine and has a wonderful drape, making a pinafore dress is perfect as it means it spends far less time at the cleaners.

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Green Ovals Jersey Dress with Overlay

green and blue oval spotty print viscose and elastane dress with overlay

Teresa made this dress using our viscose and elastane lightweight jersey and it is beautiful.

She sent us this message: Really pleased with this comfortable, useful dress.  Made with another of your gorgeous fabrics.
The pattern is an old one but maybe there is another similar out there. (Simplicity 8070)
With the patterned fabric it is difficult to see the overlay on the front skirt but in wear it shows with movement. I underlined the body of the dress with one of your tricot knit linings.

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Gingko Leaf Print Cotton Lawn Shirtdress

gingko leaf print cotton lawn shirt dress

Chrissie made this beautiful Vogue 8903 shirt dress using our gingko leaf print pima cotton lawn. This lawn is super silky weave similar to a Liberty tana lawn and the prints are of an excellent quality. The only modification Chrissie made was adding in-seam pockets (who doesn’t want pockets?). It’s a super dress that is belted in for extra shape.

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Neon Crepe Ruffle Dress

neon moss crepe ruffle dress

Do not adjust your screen! Shockingly bright neon moss crepe made up beautifully as a ruffle dress by Malin who initially planned it to be a skirt lining – but all best laid plans and all that – It turned into this. Made over the duration of two evenings as a last minute party dress. It’s fabulous. Malin had lots of lovely comments. And she definitely stood out!

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Olive Green Suedette Shirtdress

olive green suedette shirt dress

This dress looks a million dollars and so well executed Katie is rightly proud of her make (and we are so proud of her).
She used a tried and tested pattern ….vogue 8903 and added a cuff. She said she “had to hand sew the collar stand down as it was too much of a challenge getting all those layers through my domestic machine. Really pleased with this and will wear it to death!”

The fabric is a super soft and washable suedette with a bit of stretch in it ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

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Blue Floral Georgette Skirt & Top Faux Dress

blue floral georgette matching top and skirt dress

Q) What’s more useful than a non-iron super drapey and flattering floaty dress?
A) A non-iron super drapey top and skirt that looks like a dress!
The beauty is the versatility with wardrobe options a plenty. This ‘dress’ is made in a lovely heavy polyester georgette (georgette is a very light fabric so heavy is a relative term here). All self drafted because Emma is a clever chick.

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Pink Wool Crepe Dress with Sleeves

deep fuchsia pink wool crepe

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

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Turquoise Fit and Flare Floral Dress

turquoise fit and flare floral print viscose dress

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.

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Embroidered Tulle Posh Frock

embroidered tulle posh frock

Karen made this fabulous embroidered tulle with 3-D flowers into a posh frock to die for. The pattern is Simplicity 1606 made for a strictly come dancing ball.

She says: Thank you for the great fabric Turquoise crepe worked well as a base for the tule. Used the scalloped edge around neck, sleeve and hem

It’s Fabulous Karen!

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Ponte Roma Long Sleeve Sheath Dress

Ponte Roma long sleeved sheath dress

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?!)

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Banana Print Cotton Poplin Dress

banana print cotton poplin shirt dress

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. 

banana print cotton poplin shirt dress (back view)
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Ivory Silk Taffeta and Chiffon Wedding Dress

ivory taffeta and chiffon wedding dress

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.

ivory taffeta and chiffon wedding dress
ivory silk taffeta and chiffon wedding dress
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Silk Mix Penny Spot Brocade Skirt Suit

Teal and ivory penny spot silk mix brocade

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 🙂

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Heavily Embroidered Viscose Crepe Coat

Metallic Embroidered Viscose Evening Coat

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.

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Nani IRO printed Linen Karl Lagerfield for Vogue Dress

nani IRO print linen from Kokka made up using Vogue 1412 Karl Lagerfield sewing pattern

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’.

nani IRO print linen from Kokka made up using Vogue 1412 Karl Lagerfield sewing pattern





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White Broderie Anglaise Dress

White Broderie Anglaise dress from Burda magazine 06/2018

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 😊

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Red and Cream Spotty Silk Twill Shift Dress

red and cream spotty silk twill shift dress

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.  

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Multicolour Stripe Stretch Cotton Dress

multicolour stripe pattern dress

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. 👍

multicolour stripe pattern dress - back chevron detail multicolour stripe pattern dress

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Tulip Print Shift Dress with Wool Crepe Bolero Jacket

tulip statement print poly twill taffeta shift dress and wool crepe bolero jacket

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).

tulip statement print poly twill taffeta shift dress and wool crepe bolero jacket


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Silver Satin Prom Dress with Guipure Lace

silver satin prom dress with guipure lace

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!

silver guipure lace and satin prom dress

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Silver Stretch Brocade Fitted Shift Dress

Silver Stretch Brocade Fitted Shift Dress

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! 👏


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Raspberry Heavy Washed Linen for Mother-of-the-Groom Dress

Raspberry Heavy Washed Linen for Mother-of-the-Groom Dress

Here is Andy (the Mother of the Groom) wearing a fabulous raspberry heavy washed linen dress made for her by Anna Ash of  I ❤️ Sewing .

raspberry heavy washed linen Lynn Mizono dress

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!Vogue V1410 Lynn Mizono dress pattern

*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.

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Blue Cotton Lace Shift Dress with Sleeves

Blue Cotton Lace Shift Dress

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.


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Floral Cotton Drill Dress with Cut-Out Detail on Back

floral cotton drill dress with cut out detail on back

Marion here wearing this super fitted stretch drill dress with lovely cut out detail on the back. She cheats by getting the uber talented Dawn Hooper of Hardy and Hooper (Maidenhead) to design and make it up for her (I must say if I had a Dawn I would too).

There is a danger with not-so-good designers to make ‘funeral clothes’ -clothes that look great on the front but are plain and boring on the back (you don’t need the back to look pretty if you are lying in a coffin). When we look at ourselves we rarely see our behinds (hoorah for that I say!) but other people do so it’s good to make it look pretty.

floral cotton drill dress with cut out detail on back
look at the pretty cut-out back!


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Grey Bouclé Tufted Tweed Dress with Velvet Gimp Trim

Jane made this “Channel” inspired dress using a LG tufted bouclé mixed fibre tweed for her daughter Lulu. The pattern is a discontinued Mizrahi vogue pattern that has been altered by adding a sleeve.

The whole dress was quilted to purple silk habotai lining – Jane cut all the pieces bigger and recut after the quilting was done (because the quilting tends to draw the pieces smaller), then a few more lines of quilting were added near the seams once it was sewn. Jane trimmed the neckline and pockets with velvet gimp braid.

tufted bouclé tweed channel dress


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Red, Blue and Yellow Princess Dress

super woman princess dress

Bess was supposed to be making a princess dress for her niece Eloise but it kind of mutated into a Wonder Woman dress instead. This is what happens when you sew with no real idea of what you are making! The skirt is made up of many layers of tulle with a Venezia lining, the bodice is yellow viscose jersey that was a bit thin for the job so was interlined with a cotton jersey, and then appliqued with a piece of sequinned fabric. There is elastic in the waist and sleeves to draw it in and red plastic snap fasteners on the back bodice.

The skirt was made without a pattern (gather the tulle until it is 7″ bigger than the waist), the bodice was pinched off a bridesmaid dress -long since discontinued and certainly not intended for floppy jersey. The worst bit was sewing the heart on straight…. or getting the bulk of the tulle onto the bodice (it had to be ripped apart and regathered with pleats as just gathering was too bulky with all the layers). Despite the moments of GAAAHHHHH! WHAT AM I DOING! it was a great fun make.


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Pink Tutu with Sequins

pink tulle tutu with sequins

Bess made this pink tutu for her niece Amélie (who is 16 months) for Christmas, numerous layers of tulle were gathered and pleated (there is a few layers of cream underneath), and then fitted to a silk dupion waistband and drawn in with elastic. Then, Christmas being Christmas and the bling level needing to be raised Bess added beads and sequins to the waist.

Bess used the formula of gathering the tulle to 7″ bigger than waist measurement which worked okay but for a skirt this small 5″ is probably enough.