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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.

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Floral Embroidered Silk Organza Halter-Neck Wedding Dress

black and white silk organza halter-neck wedding dress

Sue looking STUNNING in Greece getting married, wearing the dress she made using fabulous embroidered silk organza.  Sue slightly amended the Vogue Original pattern so she could make best use of the scalloped edge, removing part of the lining to allow for 180” of skirt material being gathered into 27” (few sleepless nights there) but all in all, it was the best possible fabric choice she could have made.

black and white silk organza halter-neck wedding dress

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Turquoise Mermaid Blue Sequinned Dress

Turquoise sequinned tulle dress

Jane made this sequinned tulle dress for her grandchildren Kitcat and Miaow (they share). The armholes are bound in lightweight satin bias binding, the hem is taken up with turquoise lycra binding and the neck has a plain mandarin collar made from cotton jersey so the scratchy sequin factor is minimised. This dress makes all the grown-ups exclaim “I WANT ONE!”.

Turquoise sequinned tulle dress detail Turquoise sequinned tulle dress

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Red Scuba Jersey Chado Ralph Rucci Dress

Jacoba triumphant in her Chado Ralph Rucci dress made up in red scuba jersey, she said it’s been great to do some sewing again. The (minor) changes made to the pattern were raising the front slit by 2 inches, omitting the front panel pockets (didn’t want the extra bulk), and also slightly changing the curve on the shoulders. She said the jersey was remarkably good fabric to work with. Huzzah for that top-stitiching!

red scuba jersey Chado Ralph Rucci dress
red scuba jersey Chado Ralph Rucci dress

V1317 Chado Ralph Rucci dress pattern from Vogue
V1317 Chado Ralph Rucci dress pattern from Vogue

 

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Purple Stretch Cotton Piqué Panelled Shift Dress

Bess was looking at this purple piqué for well over a year before she decided she was able to wear purple, and is rather loving the extra colour in her wardrobe. The pattern is a long tried and tested pattern she took from a Jaeger dress (seen here in many guises). This time it is unlined and piped in green satin around the neck and has green bias binding inside the hem (just in case anyone should look inside.

Despite the close fit no zip is necessary – she just wiggles in.

 

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Cream Daisy Lace Maternity Dress with Pink Yoke

Clair made this cream daisy lace maternity dress with pink linen viscose yoke for Rosie for a Scottish high summer (ha ha) wedding… on the morning of the party! The toile had been sorted out previously (see pic below in embroidered linen and viscose). The pattern is a 80’s /90’s vintage McCall’s pattern found on Ebay.

embroidered linen and viscose maternity dress
embroidered linen and viscose maternity dress

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Silk Posh Frock

pposh silk satin frock with fitted jacket

Rowena being a very glam Mother of the Groom in her black and magenta abstract print silk satin flared dress and matching dupion silk fitted jacket. She was a busy bee as she also made her hat and bag plus grooms men’s cravats and hankies. Also her daughter in law’s lace gown (which she beaded!) her veil and headdress.

Blimey! Now she is off to do some gardening. 

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Black Guipure Lace Dress with Cream Silk Lining

Bess wearing black circles lace dress holding a glass of bubbly

Bess enjoying a glass of bubbly wearing her black guipure lace dress which was lined in cream silk rep suiting. The pattern is her very basic dress block that only has bust darts and a centre back seam for shape. It’s tricky to tell in this photo but the lining is 3″ shorter leaving the scalloped edge unlined. Also unseen is the perfectly matched centre back seam (You’ll have to trust me on this one).

The lining and the lace are made up separately and joined at the neck with a vibrant turquoise satin bias binding. There’s no zip- it just chucks over the head.

 

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Sequinned Dress for a little Angel

sequinned dress singing little angel

Kitcat singing us all Christmas carols in her sequinned dress made by Jane. It is lined in heavy tricot and the armholes and neck are bound with jersey binding.

You get fabulous movement with this sequinned fabric as each sequin is black on one side and silver on the other, so every move is exaggerated with the movement of the sequin. They are surprisingly easy to sew -just snip them out of the seam allowance so you don’t need to sew through them.

You can find various sequinned fabrics HERE

1926
black and silver sequinned fabric

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Feather Trimmed Red Guipure Lace Coat (squawking obligatory)

Red guipure lace coat with feather trim

Bess in her not-very-over-the-top coat at all made using red guipure lace and 6″ feather trim.

The coat was prepared ever so slowly making sure the spots matched and everything would line up properly and then it was izzywhizzied together on the overlocker in about 3 minutes.

Then the feather trim was hand sewn on (Bess’s fingers are still calloused from the needle – that trim has got sticky stuff inside the satin binding (that stop the feathers falling out), it’s not nice to sew!

Then the feather trim was un-picked and sewn on all over again not so tight in an effort to make it hang straight in the middle. It’s almost there, Bess weighed up further hand sewing and the possibility of losing her fingers with her OCD of straight edges and the fingers won.

Then the front edge and neck were bound in fold-over petersham binding which magically saved the jacket from being a bit ‘crafty’ (in the derogatory way) and Bess wore it to her baby step-sister’s wedding.

Also seen: bag made from offcuts of leather and a London bus e-plate. As you do.

red circle design guipure lace
red circle design guipure lace

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Navy Corded Lace Shrug

Navy corded lace shrug with scalloped edges

Debbie modelling her shrug made using navy corded lace with scalloped edges.  She was very pleased with it as it really updated a dress she had had for a long time.  She drafted the pattern using a short sleeved shrug she already had as a pattern. Debbie had to do a bit of juggling with the scallops and hand stitching so that they would go around the curves but was glad with the finished effect. It turned out a little tight across the back and around the armholes but wasn’t a problem when it was worn for a posh event as was still able to dance in it!

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Duck Egg Silk Damask Ralph Rucci for Vogue Dress

silk damask Ralph Rucci Dress

Suzanne from Cyprus celebrating her son’s wedding (he’s the one holding the flowers) wearing Silk Damask made up in a v-neck flared dress by Ralph Rucci for Vogue (V1381). This pattern is not simple – there are quilted yokes and bands, an attached belt with some tricky rouleau to tie it together —all in a fabric that doesn’t easily yield. It took her a while but it was very much worth it.

We love this photo. Such fun.

 

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Blue Floral Stretch Cotton Sateen Shift with Cap Sleeves

floral stretch cotton sateen shift dress with cap sleeves

Jane at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition flaunting her floral stretch cotton sateen dress. The pattern comes from her block -which if you look at flat on the table looks absolutely barmy but fits her fabulously so don’t argue- Symmetrical, she is not!

The dress is lined in Venezia and there is a concealed zip up the back.

Matching shoes: model’s own.

floral stretch cotton sateen shift dress with cap sleeves
floral stretch cotton sateen shift dress with cap sleeves

 

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Sea Green Stretch Pique Pleated Dress

sea green stretch cotton piqué pleated dress

Helen made this fabulous pleated dress for an afternoon tea get-together in London. She’d had a bit of a slump before this with a couple of disastrous projects and this put a proper smile back on her face (yay!). She used sea green stretch cotton pique with daisy trim decorating the hem. The pattern is McCall’s 6953 which we’ve seen made up in a variety of fabrics and on a variety of body shapes and always looks good. The Bodice is lined in Venezia lining.

 

sea green stretch cotton piqué pleated dress
sea green stretch cotton piqué pleated dress