Jill is a brilliant dressmaker who doesn’t usually get to sew for herself so it is extra special when she comes in wearing something me-made. Made up in classic navy wool Melton coating with frog fastening and spotty viscose lining. Beautiful.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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).
Lis made this amazing trench coat using worsted wool suiting. She lined it with floral print cotton lawn wine red lining fabric for the sleeves to make to easy to slip on and off. It sewed up beautifully and Lis loves wearing it. 😊
The pattern is Jack from Ready to Sew
you can find Lis on Instagram as @threadstaylors
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 😂)
Catharine made this delightful coat for her daughter, she said she doesn’t normally send in photos but has had so many compliments about this coat she decided she really ought to share.
Sarah out on the river with her amazing technicolour stripe tweed coat. Belted, and lined in vivid turquoise lining (you will just have to take our word for it there). 😍
Here we have Melody with her dusky purple coat made up beautifully and lined in psychedelic digital print poly satin. The pattern is the Clare Coat from Closet Case patterns. Melody said the printed pattern is not the best but their site has a brilliant tutorial for making it. It comes as a zipped version and a version with large press studs but she changed it to have self cover ones done with the lining.
Check the lining! Continue reading Dusky Purple Wool Melton Coat with Psychedelic Lining
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).
Emma sent us this pic of her brilliant jacket and trousers combo using an ex designer tweedy wool flannel check for the jacket with leather accents, and worsted wool for the trousers. She cuts the patterns herself (our customers are clever aren’t they?)
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!
The pattern is Very Easy Vogue 8699 from the 1970’s, (see picture). She made the coat a bit longer and wider than the pattern instructed. It’s a simple and straight-forward construction, but a bit unusual as no interfacing at all is used. The most special feature, in our opinion, is the contrast lining that shows on lapels, pockets, belt and sleeve bands. She used a light-weight worsted wool fabric for the lining. There is topstitching around the front and along the raglan sleeve seams.
The lovely Wendy with her plummy pink shawl collar jacket-weight wool Melton coat. It is super soft and lightweight, the lightness is continued with wool wadding in the collar and front facing. It is lined in jacquard coat lining, and there are tailored shoulder pads to add shape and help with the structure. There were a few telephone calls during the making of this coat over advice for what to use and where, it was worth all the deliberation, we think this coat is going to get a lot of wear over the coming years 🙂
The pattern is Katherine Tilton for Butterick B5960
The wool wading worked very well. The collar and front facing are both interfaced with it. Quite an interesting construction with the collar, front and front facing in one piece (for each side) with a dart to form the collar. I tried various things in the hem, including the wool wading, but it seemed to need more weight so I used a 3” strip of the hair canvas in the end which worked well. I have quite narrow, sloping shoulders so I had to give the shoulders/top of sleeves more structure with shoulder pads and sleeve heads which looked a lot better on me. I also hand sewed the lining hem to the coat with a jump pleat rather than leaving it loose as the pattern suggested.
This bottle green wool crepe coat with wine red cape was made by Catherine Davis as a remake of an original stage coat worn by Roy Wood (from Wizard & Electric Light Orchestra). Time was limited and decisions over the colours had to be done on the telephone which is not something we recommend but Catherine was very pleased.
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.
From the South of France we have the wonderfully gifted teacher, Brigitte, in her new skirt made out of pink and grey check wool tweed and Chantal in her black and white spotty heavy cotton and acrylic knit top. Bernie (not pictured) lets them look at her Cloth Club fabrics and they all add their orders to hers.
Bess on top of the South Devon Cliffs wearing her fabulous pink tweed jacket that was made by Jane a couple of Birthday’s ago and still going strong.
The lining is chartreuse satin lining on the sleeves and multicolour chevron printed cotton (quilting weight) for the body. The collar and facings are red jumbo corduroy because Bess didn’t want the tweed against her skin.
The design is an old burda fur jacket pattern -somewhat altered! Fur coat patterns are dead easy because they tend to have very boxy simple cuts.
This is basically a remake of a pink denim jacket Bess made earlier – but suitable for the winter. Even the buttons are the same.
Bess made this skirt on a bit of a whim – the wool challis had been in her stash for some time (if you have ever worn wool challis you will understand why she stashes it). The petals mysteriously turned up in her handbag the morning after a somewhat riotous wedding and have been hoarded ever since. And so the skirt was born, with no idea if A) the wool was washable and B) the petals would leak colour if it was washed.
The skirt was made in an evening, the a-line pattern is an ancient Burda start pattern (3198) that has long since discontinued although Burda 8237 is pretty similar (if you get rid of the waistband), or if you lengthen 6682 (both super easy alterations). The skirt is lined in Venezia and lightweight knit interfacing was used on the facing. Bess did the thing she always tells her customers not to do- she cut the lining the same size as the skirt and it ended up pulling and being too small. The wool challis has quite a lot of give in it, the lining doesn’t so you should always cut the lining a fraction bigger to allow for the ease, so the lining had to be chopped out and raised to allow the room. It’s a little short but if she doesn’t tell anyone they will never know 😉
Finally she attached the petals by first arranging them by eye with pins and then sewing a single line of stitching down the middle of each petal.
Here is Lesley’s latest shirt to be added to the collection. The wool challis drapes so well, it was a good choice for a warm winter shirt. She added detail on the pocket with a couple of Thermofax Screen prints and the buttons were sewn on with orange thread just to add a bit of warmth to the look of the garment.
Julia (apologising for the quality of the photos) wearing her navy wool jersey cover up using Burda 6850. She was really pleased with both the weight and drape of the fabric. This is a really nice simple Autumn cover-up!
Amanda made this fabulous cape using British cardigan jacket type tweed. You can find Amanda on Facebook as Fascin8 Millinery and on Instagram as Amanda587.
Amanda made this fabulous cape using British Shetland style Tweed. You can find Amanda on Facebook as Fascin8 Millinery and on Instagram as Amanda587.
Carolyn sent us this picture of the skirt she made from the lovely wool tweed fabric she bought from us. The full cost including thread, zip, lining and material came to under £35. Difficult to beat that on quality and price from any department store! Next project is in the planning stage… Another trip to Totnes shortly.
Emma sent in a pic of the winter coat she made – She bought the fabric AGES ago (her words- all of five months – that’s not ages in our book) as she thought it would take a while to make this coat. And it was indeed quite time consuming!
The outer is wool/polyamide melton coating, and the lining is turquoise blue acetate lining. There is some hair canvas in there too 🙂
She used a vintage 1950s pattern.
She thanks the girls at Stone Fabrics for getting the choice of fabrics right – we sent me loads of samples and Bess answered about 1000 questions she had!
She’s now deciding on her next challenge…
Here it is on the back. How cool is that?
Lizzy with her boiled wool circular skirt. Lizzy has a paper pattern phobia and so usually just wings it. Luckily circular skirts are easier to wing than patterns so here we have a completed project and a proud owner 🙂
The boiled wool is quite stretchy so the waist came out bigger than anticipated. She has used cotton rib jersey as a yoke and then tied it in with plaited velvet ribbons to make a tail.
She then embroidered beads onto the ‘Lion’*… as you do.
*Lizzy is completely convinced there is a lion hiding in the print (hence why she beaded him). Lizzy swears she has never taken drugs.
Anastasia modelling her fabulous fitted jacket made using Burdastyle magazine pattern 112b (from 3/2015). This fabric is jacket weight wool mix with cashmere soft tweed that looks super in such a well fitting little jacket.
This jacket was made last May and Anastasia has worn it a LOT through Scotland’s not-so hot summer!
Marlene visiting the shop in her fabulous light weight wool mix boiled wool skirt. She used her standard a-line skirt pattern but had to take it in a bit due to the stretch in the fabric. Then she finished the hem with bias binding after trying (and failing) to hand stitch the hem. It’s unlined and is a superb, versatile and easy skirt.
Bess used her 5 and 8 year old niece’s fabulous drawings as inspiration for the embellishment on this wool tweed A-Line skirt. First she used white fabric paint and then embroidered using a heavy thread and added beads and sequins. It was all done by hand as the tweed is quite a loose weave and she was concerned machine embroidery would make it too stiff (certainly the kind of embroidery Bess has the patience for!).
It is lined in Venezia lining – turned on the lining with no waistband and bound with an ottoman (heavy) bias binding. Strips of Iron on interfacing tape were used to reinforce the back of the areas where the belt loops go. The concealed zip was moved from the back seam to the side so the back could be cut on the fold also. You rarely get any shaping on the back seam so if you have enough fabric to do this (it invariably takes extra on an a-line skirt) you can without brainache.
Bess is very fickle but this is her absolute favourite skirt at the moment.
Holly made this tangerine orange cotton wool and viscose mix bouclé heavy knit from LG as part of a Plymouth College of Art Fashion project to make a ‘skirt’ and cape as part of her university project. The not so practical skirt has large pockets – the entire front and back panels, braces to hold it up and metal boning through the top to hold the shape! It was inspired by Cornish China Clay and they held a fashion show at the eden project to help raise money for the people and gardens charity.
It’s nuts. I want one.
Tracey (in French France) made this fabulous boxy cardigan jacket using the wool and cotton Laurent Garigue bouclé knit. She quilted it by hand (as per tradition) to black Venezia lining and used lead weighted piping on the hem to make it hang nicely.
Angie made this fabulous coating weight wool mix up into this oh so cozy cape. The edges are bound in wool-look fold-over binding (which has been mitred on the corners beautifully).
Judy from the Cloth Club wearing her lovely wool challis dress made for a family wedding. She used a Simplicity Lisette pattern and said the fabric sewed up like a dream!
This is Jacoba wearing her woven Italian Designer jacket, she said, “I am very pleased with it even if it is a little wide on the shoulders. I used Vogue 8933 but changed how the collar fastened at the end. It was too high for me in the original style despite my long neck so I just let the fabric go where it wanted to fold over- it seems to work and I have had huge compliments from all :-). I love the huge wooden poppers. It does lend itself to being worn solely with black – bright even by my standards!!”
This Italian Designer is a woven fabric with more stability than the knitted, it lends itself well to this type of jacket where you have no fiddly pockets, or such like.
Find more Italian Designer fabrics HERE
Nikki with her boiled wool loose swing jacket made a wool mix boiled wool and batik printed bias binding around all edges.
The boiled wool is excellent for these loose style unlined jackets as they are virtually the same either side so look nice when it swings back.
Caroline from Munkispanner showing us her shift dress made from bird eye check worsted wool made for Riverside. Love the welt pockets!
Caroline from Munkispanner showing us her shift dress made from burgundy worsted wool mix made for Qatar Airlines. Love the welt pockets!
Carole from our Cloth club made up this fab black and white coat utilising the reverse for contrast collar, pockets and facings. This was her first attempt as a coat and proof that everyone should try it!
Pattern is Vouge V8933 which was selected for it’s simple shape and the use of snaps rather than buttons. Carole’s version is a bit larger than the original design as she wanted a big snuggly coat to wear over a chunky jumper in the winter. The fabric is #4275 and I made use of both sides. She thanks the staff who suggested 3491 as a lining and also advised her to use organza to line the front which worked really well.
Brown wool coat made by Lesley (Twice!)
“I thought you might like to see the before and after of my coat. The photo below is using a vintage vogue pattern which just looked so bad on that I only wore it twice. So 2 years on, not wanting to waste the the fabric and with help from Jane I have just finished the coat pictured (above) and I am over the moon with it. The second pattern is Katherine Tilton Butterick B5960.”
This is proof that it is worth persevering with a project that hasn’t gone exactly how you had anticipated.
Carole from our cloth club wearing her lightweight wool melton jacket using McCalls pattern M5668 which she chose due to their being no buttonholes and only the sleeves are lined. (Carole thinks she is a novice but we think she undersells herself).
Pink and Red double-sided wool and cotton jumper with heart elbow patches. Made by Bess.
This jersey is 50:50 wool and cotton with one side (red) being wool and the other side (pink) being cotton which means you can not only choose what colour to show but also what fibre to have against your skin. It’s fab.
Bess wearing a Laurent Garigue fine red wool panelled dress with giant rickrack sewn around the neck, worn over red and white polka dot printed jersey raglan sleeved t-shirt.
The red wool comes with an organza trim down one selvedge, which Bess dutifully ignored (she did think she *might* use it on the hem, but Bess doesn’t feel comfortable in anything resembling a frill), it is possibly criminal to ignore what is essentially the wow factor of the fabric, but she has saved it and may well use it on something else in the future. The wool is fine and gorgeous – a kind of Varuna/Challis, and will be suitable to wear throughout the year.
The giant rickrack needed to be hand sewn so it would lay correctly; a slightly tedious operation (Bess likes to sew QUICKLY), but well worth it.
The dress is lined in a cotton and silk voile, so it is ever so light, but surprisingly warm.
There’s no zip-it just chucks over the head.
Fabrics and Notions:
Red Laurent Garigue wool with silk organza pleated trim #3513,
Giant turquoise rickrack,
Fuchsia Pink Silk and Cotton voile lining. (Pattern: Bess’s own).
Red polka dot viscose and elastane jersey, Pattern: Marcy Tilton for Vogue #8636 (lengthened sleeves and altered collar)
Jane wearing her neat little check skirt with kick pleat split in the back. You can’t tell by this photo but those checks match PERFECTLY (as if Jane would not match her checks). Turned on the Venezia lining with velvet piping on the waist
Fabrics and Notions:
Pattern: McCall’s M3830
Aubergine boiled wool coat with double covered buttons made by Diana. The fabric made up beautifully in the easy pattern. Just right for the cold weather!
Fabrics and Notions:
Aubergine Boiled Wool #3228
Pattern: Issey Miyake for Vogue 1320
Dolly wearing Alpaca and wool mix bouclé cardigan jacket with bluebell blue wool crepe A-Line skirt. To stabilise the loose weave of the jacket Jane mounted it on to cotton muslin before sewing. Made by Jane for Kath.
Fabrics and Notions:
Alpaca wool and acrylic cardigan jacket type tweed/knit #3197
Cotton Muslin (interlining)
Ivory silk double crepe (lining)
Blue satin bias binding (piping)
Blue lacquered coconut buttons