Classic Couture

Two frocks for wedding celebrations were begun at workshops this week.  Using the same vintage, very full-skirted pattern, two very different fabrics have been selected.

A collaborative effort for a bride – one is an elegant slub silk (under wraps until the big day).

The other is a colourful ‘tea rose print’ using some recycled fabric donated by Sew-in-Company’s friend in Eastbourne.

Photos of the finished garments to follow!


Christmas Workshops

There were three jolly sew-days during the festive season – alas I had neglected to remember the third and was still slumbering when my sewers rang the doorbell!

The ‘multicoloured dream gown’, white blouse, toy bag and Sebastian’s quilt all made progress.

… and two elephants and a simple back-pack were created.

October Activities

A month of minor projects:

  • binding the frayed edge of a much-loved cashmere coat with fine leather (a nightmare to source from Canada incurring tariffs and PO handling fees);
  • a half-term sew day in two parts, in the morning, a knitting class and progress on Sebastian’s quilt – the afternoon mainly planning projects – a padded toy bag and a blouse made from a car-boot-sourced white cotton sheet;

    Knitting lesson

  • creating spooky, silver-starred Halloween aprons with pockets to distribute treats + updating the fabric bags for a ‘feel what’s in the bag’ challenge for FRRL;
  • turning a pair of trousers (originally cropped c. 1997 for a Morley School, Kentwell day) into Victorian breaches (by adding black velvet bands) and covering the football image on a cap to create a John Kemp Starley costume for another Morley history day.

    John Kemp Starley, Inventor of the modern bicycle

    ….. and a pair of funky culottes!

The combination of navy and black and shiny pocket edging was necessitated by shortage of fabric – the elasticated back of the grey stripy version of the pattern was replaced by darts to avoid the potato sack look.

Celebration ‘Weskits’

To celebrate some successful ventures, a fabric incorporating the business logos was designed and printed in silk.

Begun at a ‘Weskit-workshop-Sunday’ at which a companion ‘peacock’ waistcoat lining was set out.

Following fittings and adjustments to the pattern –

….. the commission did not take long to complete.

(And there is sufficient fabric left over for some underwear (which ended up as leisure pants.)

Tie Project Completed

March 1st seemed like a good day to plan a project using a donation from Eastbourne of a large bag of stunning silk ties, bought at auction, to make a ‘house coat’.

Choosing which ties to use was fun – but there was competition for the prettiest ones (work on a smaller size gown has begun)!

None of the experimental configurations quite worked – but inserting some dark strips provided a good contrast and, as the ties were simply joined, only the sleeves of the garment needed lining.

Despite the large range of ties to choose from (including top designers and chain stores), many did not chime with my colour theme and charity shops in Norwich, Shelford and Cambridge enjoyed my custom  – for pure silk ties, I paid from 99 p to £3.99.  Sourcing suitable complementary fabrics to complete the garment was also a challenge – some were found in the family ‘stockroom’ but a trip to Goldhawke Road in Shepherd’s bush (see April post) was necessary.

So, the final garment (which weighs a ton), cost around £60 in materials – but is certainly unique!


Perfect Summer Wedding

A beautiful bride (the ideal groom), five lovely bridesmaids – a perfect creative opportunity.

One steamy Sunday in June,Sew-in-company helped m-o-b, bride and a bridesmaid assemble the bridesmaids’ gowns – the pattern came from an old Anne Ladbury book (previously seen here) .

Sid performed an inspection and approved! 

So did the bride’s team!

Finally, one bridesmaid (wearing Ghost with altered sash to improve fit) and her mother wearing Sew-in-company jumpsuit and bespoke hat (thank you Helen) …




… with m-o-b and everyone’s favourite Granny in her favourite wedding outfit with her grandson in his!