Victorian Inspired Prom Dress

One of my favourite things about being a bespoke dressmaker is some of the unusual requests that clients come to me with and how that allows me to get creative with styles I have never done before.


Bryony came to me wanting a Prom Dress based on the Victorian Style that she loved so much, inspired by an Episode of Doctor Who.


In a consultation with Bryony we discussed what elements of the style were essential to her and how we could work that into a dress for her prom.


To get the look she wanted Bryony wore a corset and hooped underskirt and we designed a high neckline with puffed long sleeves and a bustle style built into the jacket.

Bryony was over the moon with her prom dress.

Should you wish your dress dreams become a reality, please call me on 07957 437001 to book a free consultation.

Crafternoon in Aid of Mind – Learn to make your own customised canvas tote bag

How to make your own customised canvas tote bag


The Crafternoon raised £75 for Mind

What you need:

  • 1m x 0.5m of calico – I bought mine from
  • 2m x 25mm cotton webbing tape
  • Natural thread
  • Fabric paints to decorate

1m x 0.5m calico folded in half


With the wrong sides together, sew seams down both sides, 5mm from the edge


Press your seams open, then turn your bag inside out and press the seam flat.


Then stitch down each side, 7mm from the edge. This will enclose the first seam you made, neatly creating French Seams


Press your bag and fold 1cm in from the top to the inside of your bag and press.


Pin and stitch your webbing tape to the inside of the top of the bag attaching the straps 13cms from the side seams. Stitch both the top and bottom of the webbing.


Turn your back the right way round, press your seams and you are ready to decorate


The Finished Articles


Crafternooners with their bags


Crafternooners with their bags


Man Bag


Shop till u drop bag


All the completed bags




Ethical Fashion & Me

Something happened to me last year – I started to care about who made my clothes and how they were treated. The catalyst for this was The True Cost documentary, which I watched on Netflix one evening when Gary was out. He came home to find that I had fundamentally changed the way I thought about fashion.

Fashion has always been my thing, I graduated in 1999 from the Surrey Institute of Art & Design with a degree in Fashion Design and had mostly worked in Fashion retail since then. I developed a serious shopping habit while at uni and I had an eye for quirky and unsual pieces that I could style up. More recently a lack of disposable income had meant that the shopping sprees became less and less and I would be more likely to be wearing supermarket clothing or the cheaper end of the High Street, such as Primark or H&M. Opting for the lower quality fast fashion option to keep my wardrobe stocked up.

Call me naive, but I just hadn’t really considered what went into making these clothes and how they could make them so cheap. Then I watched The True Cost and my eyes were opened. I could no longer stand by and be an ignorant consumer of fast fashion, knowing the human and enviromental cost of producing much of our clothing.

Since that date I have honestly not purchased any “fast fashion”.

I even made the majority of the Christmas presents we gave. Others were sourced at local craft fairs from designer/makers, and others were DIY kits for making your own crafts. (I will admit that the kids presents were mostly still plastic tat, but I’m working to change that for next year!)

I realised that with my skill set and background (20+ years of designing and dressmaking), the best contribution I could make to ethical fashion was to make my own clothes and to teach others around me how to make their own clothes too.

Should you wish to learn how to make your own clothes, please call me on 07957 437001, email me or contact me through Facebook

Watch the trailer for The True Cost here or see the full fim on Netflix.

Focus – My word for 2016

Each new year, for the past few years, instead of a New Years Resolution I have set myself a word of intention for the year.

The word of 2014 was LOVE and in April 2014 I found the love of my life, Gary. That’s a pretty impressive result from just setting my intention with a single word.

The word of 2015 was BALANCE and I believe a achieved a more balanced life. My attitude to food, excercise and health became more balanced as I tried to do both for health and not just to look a certain way. My home and work life also became more balanced as Gary’s work life was more in tune with my own. In fact Gary started work at the same company as me and although we don’t usually work in the same office we regularly have to speak as part of the natural course of business.

And the word of 2016 is FOCUS. Focus on my goals, to acheiving my dreams, to take control of my life and live it exactly how I want it.

I intend to start monthly BagLadyBird – Learn to Sew workshops and one to one dressmaking lessons, as well as the building on the existing bespoke dressmaking service I offer.

If you would like to work with me in any of these ways, please contact me by email telephone on 07957 437001 or on my Facebook Page

Alison xx