Posts Tagged ‘Splendid Stitches’

Slow Care: Top seamstresses and vintage restoration queens

Posted in Wardrobe Care on Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Do you have a habit of having your clothes altered? I know I do! I have three aunts who are amazing seamstresses, and since I was very young, I have asked them to work on my clothes (sometimes in ways they didn’t understand, like when I was a teenager and I was asking for really whacky stuff!).       So I developed this totally personal vision for my clothes, concocting transformations in my mind not just to salvage, fix or adjust, but to completely transform too – yes, I was upcycling way before I had ever heard of the term, or of upcycling designers!

In recent years, it’s been more about great fit for the clothes I buy (I often shop directly from designers, or at sample sales – so often it’s a case of snapping up a bargain even though the fit is not 100%, knowing I can rely on great alterations) – or adapting some gems from my Mum’s 70s and 80s wardrobe. But I don’t live at home any more, and can no longer rely on my aunts. So I’ve set out on a quest for a great London-based seamstress/alteration specialists – and it’s been surprisingly hard! However, I have found some really reliable people, whose names I’ll now share with you: believe me, it’s a great deal of time, effort and money this post is going to save you!

Someone who knows to what extent I tend to alter my clothes is Nanna Sandom of Splendid Stitches: last year, she revised practically half of my summer wardrobe! Including this 80s pure silk dress passed on by my Mum:

She also did a marvellous job of adapting this wonderful pure silk, hand-painted original Japanese kimono, which I wore at last year’s Observer Ethical Awards (grainy iphone picture!) – or the Orla Kiely for People Tree dress, which was the last one left at the PT sample sale, and was a size 16! (worn for last year’s Fashion Night Out at Atelier Tammam)

Nanna Sandom is not just great at alterations though: she is first and foremost a vintage specialist – have a look at the Gallery on her website to see what she can do. However, Nanna won’t be available for new commissions until the autumn – but luckily I have more names in my contacts list.

Another vintage specialist is Jo Poole of The Dress Doctor, a costumier whose clients include the Shakespeare’s Globe, the National Theatre, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake and the Disney Channel. Jo will even travel to your home to go through your wardrobe with you and provide alteration advice, and even an express, on site service.

If, however, you want to learn to be able to work on your clothes yourself, I also have a great contact for you: someone whose sewing teaching talent is so highly recognised, that she was asked to consult for BBC’s The Great British Sewing Bee! Claire-Louise Hardie is The Thrifty Stitcher: she can be found in the costume departments of the most famous West End theatres, but she also runs classes for you to learn how to fix, alter or even make your own clothes. (pictures courtesy of Cotton and Sunshine and Hackney Citizen)

You can also try the workshops at Here Today Here Tomorrow, Dalston’s sustainable fashion store+studio and hub for textile creativity – or sign up to The Good Wardrobe, an online style-sharing community listing services that prolong the life of your wardrobe, and pledge to skill-share, adhering to the Sew It Forward initiative.

Have you got more names to add to this list? Who’s your go-to alteration specialist? Let’s share knowledge and tips!


Rewardrobe styling at Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out event!

Posted in Rewardrobe Events, Shopping on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

It’s Vogue’s Fashion’s Night Out! The hottest international fashion event, just ahead of London Fashion Week, and Rewardrobe have been invited to style the warm-up party, at Atelier Tammam.

I have the pleasure to invite all my readers to a relaxed evening of style, beauty, music and sustainable shopping. I will be offering taster styling sessions, so if you’ve been curious about what a Rewardrobe consultation could do for you, this is the perfect occasion to meet me in person and ask me all the questions you want.

Atelier Tammam will be hosting the ultimate Fashion Night Out warm-up event on Thursday September 6th. Starting at 5pm, the party will boast a list of services essential to add last-minute perfection and finishes to such a special night’s outfit, as well as drinks, nibbles and music to keep guests entertained while they browse the sustainable accessories especially selected for the evening, and have their hair and make-up done.

Atelier Tammam was recently opened in the heart of Bloomsbury, at 5 Hasting Street, a central location near the British Library and St. Pancras, which also retains the charm of a more intimate setting. Guests are invited to start their FNO itinerary there, before collecting their gift of vouchers worth over £150 and catching the convenient shuttle services Green Tomato Cars are providing to the FNO hotspots of Covent Garden or Bond Street.

While at Atelier Tammam, guests will enjoy styling advice by Rewardrobe, last minute alterations by Nanna Sandom of Splendid Stitches, and hair and make up touch-up sessions (vintage and modern options) by Mark Alexander and Kitty Vintage at Suedey Salon next door to the Atelier.

The evening will naturally have music entertainment with live performances and a soundtrack provided by Broken Hearts DJs, complimentary vegan cocktails featuring Sailor Jerry’s Rum, and nibbles by guilt-free PopChips and Conscious Chocolates.

But this is first and foremost a fashion evening, so Atelier Tammam have selected a range of conscious accessories for guests to discover. They will display the Atelier’s own Lucina Puro by Tammam luxury silk accessories collection, lingerie by Who Made Your Pants? and one-of-a-kind jewellery creations by Linnie McLarty. All topped off with a dab of natural scent from The Perfume Garden.

I would be delighted if you wanted to join me on this special night. And if you’d like to book a mini-consultation, please do so here: http://ateliertammamfno.simplybook.me/index/about