The Dressmaker’s Companion is the work of patternmaker and sewing teacher Elizabeth Haywood. Liz has translated her 20 years of industry experience into 3,000 detailed illustrations and step-by-step sewing and fitting instructions. There are tips on the usual staples found in any good compendium but it’s Liz’s trouble shooting and generosity in sharing tricks of the trade that make this 420 page book a must have. Other features include templates for various shoulder pads, a pressing mitt and tailors ham, along with an extensive glossary. To sample Liz’s work visit her blog (there are some free downloads!). In short, this book has plenty for the novice or seasoned dressmaker…and would be a terrific gift that will prove to be a lifelong sewing companion. Currently in store only.
Linen is an ancient friend dating to 4000BC, when in Egypt it symbolised light and purity. No wonder, since it allows the skin to breathe. On a hot day linen draws perspiration away from the skin and dries quickly, so you never get fabric sticking. In winter, heavy weight linens layered with wool add warmth without generating electrostatic shocks. Sure this comes for the price of creasing. However, linen's other virtues - natural, sustainable, unisex, dyeable, comes in tissue and canvas weight, is versatile and a treat to sew - make this old friend worth reviving.
Embroider or appliqué on mid to heavy weight linens.
Simple designs with small details - pleats, cotton lace anglaise & coloured thread.
Mix different weight linens. Tissue weight top with heavy bottoms.
Uber cool linen menswear...shirts & drawstring pants.
Silk faille: strong, smooth, gentle lustre, good body and easy drape...fabric fit for a queen. In the 30s through to the 50s, silk faille was a designer’s fabric of choice. Timeless and versatile, silk faille still rules contemporary fashion.
Madeleine Vionnet, 1932, pink silk faille. Source: The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology NY).
Lanvin Castillo, 1950, black silk faille. Source: The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology NY).
Carolina Herrera Silk faille shirt & skirt. Chanel silk faille sporty jacket with ruffle.
Rosie Assoulin, navy silk faille bow-back top. Rosie Assoulin, silk faille top & skirt
Stuck for a Xmas present idea? Purchase a gift voucher! Available online and in store.
All said, with the Silly Season upon us, some Hollywood Glamour wouldn't be out of place...1970's Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture, Balmain Spring 2017.