I love fabrics and I love hand sewing too. I kept seeing historical outfits and thinking I can make that! Tunred out not to be so easy though. I fell in love with the 18th Century look from Pirates to Jane Austen, and started making dresses for sale in 2010. Since then I’ve learned soooo much about the shapes, the patterns, the styles, the decoration and the making. I’ve had to research and develop patterns for the entire range of underpinnins in order to make the frocks look right.
Finding the correct fabric and trimmings is the hardest part, and I sometimes leave things plain for the new owner to decorate , rather than spoil it with a bit of ployester ribbon. I love to use vintage or antiques trims where I can, they’re getting harder to find but it makes a huge difference to the finished item.
I’ve also met a huge online community of similar costume nuts, and I’m amazed at the wealth of knowledge, expertise and generously shared resources out there.
Its my aim to make somethign completely by hand – its the only way to get the look 100% – but historically seamstresses were never well paid and I don’t think I’ll be offering these for sale. I do take pride in the fact that there is no visible machine stiching on the outside of my garments – andi find that the hand finishing adds so much to the authentic look. I’m also struggling to remember that not everyone wore ballgowns all the time – and intend to to make some more everyday items in good plain linen and wool.
I love what I do and I’d like to thank all my customers ,past and future for enabling me to keep doing it.