Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Designer Dresses

It is virtually unheard of but this is my second blog post of the day!

Just in case I give the impression that all I do these days is sit and knit I would like to redress the balance by reporting some of my other projects - that are still Martha related but involve getting out my lovely Benina sewing machine and the good old ironing board and iron. Consequently I need a decent chunk of time to make it worth while getting set up and that is something I'm a bit short on.

A sample for a college assignment

Detail of embroidery

When I was studying for my degree in Textile and Surface Design I had to complete a fashion module. As I was a mature student (very mature!) I chose to work on children's fashion as I felt I was much more knowledgeable about this market than other areas and went on to design several dresses on the theme of "creatures that visit the garden". I loved every minute of it from dying fabrics, appliqueing motifs and embroidering details before making up the garment fronts. As a result I was awarded a Madeira Scholarship for this work!
When I was given some lovely needle cord from my neice I dragged the samples out from their folder to act as inspiration for a pinefore I planned to make for Martha using this fabric. The samples happened to be the right size for her - much to the frustration of my daughter who would have liked the whole dress and not just the front.
I set to work using an ancient pattern but adding my own twist to it.

The Construction Process






The Fun Bit

Fabric Paints, Buttons and Embroidery

Martha wearing grandma's creation.


  1. Mavis you really are a very clever lady! Am so impressed at your dressmaking skills, wish I had some. Jayne x

  2. Thanks Jayne, coming from you that is a real compliment.
    I used to do a lot when I was a teenager and then when Lynsey was little. When she went to university she needed prom type dresses and she was also bridesmaid about 7 times so I made the dresses as well as for her own bridesmaids. So you see I've had plenty of practice!

  3. I remember that project well Mavis & I am inspired by your creativity. I must find some time to dust off my Binena too!