ABOUT ENGLISH COUTURE

English Couture was originally set up to provide the home dressmaker with quality products not available on the domestic market. I still continue to do this today. Some of the products are exclusive to us including Fusible Interfacings & our own Point Presser & Clapper, which is made here in Leicestershire by an expert craftsman. I brought together the products & the courses under one roof some years ago, so, now you can get the complete package in one go. Whether you are shopping & booking courses online, in person at the Syston shop or attending one of the many dressmaking & tailoring courses available, I try to maintain the highest standards I can. So you get the best service & expert advice possible.


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POPULAR COURSES

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Advanced Bra Making

Advanced Bra Making, once you have done the Bra Making...
Six-Day-Tailoring

Ladies Professional Tailoring Six Day Course

Ladies Professional Tailoring Six Day Course is a tailoring course,...
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Advanced Bra Making

Advanced Bra Making, once you have done the Bra Making...

FEATURED PRODUCTS

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Point Presser & Clapper ECP3

£32.99
Point Presser & Clapper The Point Presser & Clapper or...
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Supersoft Superior ECC19 Fusible Interfacing

£6.70
Supersoft Superior fusible interfacing is our most popular fusible interfacing....
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Fine Sheer Fusible ECC21 Fusible Interfacing

£6.99
Fine Sheer fusible is a lightweight fusible interfacing which doesn’t...
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Swimwear Elastic – 6mm – 8mm ECL32

£0.39
Swimwear Elastic. These are waterproof elastics suitable for swimwear.  Also,...
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Terrific Tailored Trouser DVD ECC86

£17.50
Terrific Tailored Trouser DVD The Terrific Tailored Trouser DVD will...
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Bra Maker’s Manual ECB01

£39.99£69.99
Bra Makers Manual. Volume one includes tips on fitting and...
Coat Padding Small

Padded Coat Fabric ECF226

£9.99 m
Padded Coat Fabric. This fabric is perfect for making winter...
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Gift Card

£10.00£100.00

LATEST BLOGS

Hibernation

Here we are in hibernation again. I prefer the word hibernation as it sounds a lot cosier than lockdown. I’m trying to do some sewing again. For some time, I’ve been desperate for some new sweatshirt type garments, just for changing into at night when the day is done. A long time ago I made some hand painted sweatshirts. Ever since I’ve been wearing these sweatshirts, first of all over jeans, then for the gym and now for putting on at night. The paintings have faded a bit, but the fabric has now gone into holes, good job no one sees me! When I was making these sweatshirts, there was a factory in Leicester who made the fabric and matching ribbing. I used to go over there and buy fabric at around £3 per mtr. Of course, this factory has closed now and getting quality sweatshirt fabric is almost impossible. So, I went to a storage box I have stashed away, which contains all the left over bits of the fabric. Most of the pieces are not really big enough to make anything, but if you put your mind to it, you can create almost anything. I thought that the box only contained sweatshirt fabric but discovered that there are a few more things in there as well. More pieces of lingerie fabric and other bits and pieces not on the official stash list. Oooops!! In last months Burda magazine there was a lovely sweatshirt garment which appealed to me. Of course, there wasn’t enough of one piece to make the whole garment, but I found a piece of navy and white stripe, along with a plain piece of navy blue. The plain piece was big enough for the back of the sweatshirt and the stripe was enough to do the sleeves, but neither was big enough to cut out the front. The plain one was long enough but not wide enough, so I cut the outside of the piece as far as I could. Then I cut a long strip of the striped fabric going horizontally, (this was the shape left over from a previous project). This left me a bit short at the bottom with no fabric left  going the right way. So, I turned the fabric around and joined  it to the strip with the stripes going vertically, this created a design feature for the front of the sweatshirt. I then just joined the strip to the rest of the plain front and cut the neckline and bottom in line with the pattern. The left over bits and pieces formed the collar cuffs and bottom edge. I tried the sweatshirt out last night, it is very cosy and warm, so much so that I fell asleep within half an hour!! I have found a piece of red stretch velvet in the box which I’m sure would make the body of another one, I wonder what I can find to go with it? Try to keep sane at this time by sewing as much as you can.

Teaching Under Covid Rules

I am managing to teach at the moment with a few changes to normal. To keep in line with government rules we all have to stay 2mtrs apart. This can cause a few problems when you are teaching sewing skills. I have re-arranged the workroom so that the workstations are measured at 2mtrs apart. Those of you who have attended my courses before will know that I usually have all the tables placed together but for the time being I have moved the tables into the four corners of the room, two placed together. This means that I can only have a maximum of 4 students on any of the courses. But I can, at least keep on running the courses. Which has been a relief to some of my students, meaning they can get out for the day and forget what is going on in the rest of the world. If we need to get closer together than 2mtrs, for demonstration purposes or if you need me to do a fitting, we both need to wear face masks. It will only be for the duration of the fitting or demo, but it will keep us all safe. I am sanitising the room as much as I can. This means me getting in early on course days. Sanitiser is available in both the workroom and the shop whenever you need it. My sandwich lady is now back and functioning as usual, so if you want to treat yourself to lunch you can. If you feel safer bringing your own food, that’s fine too. Tea and coffee is available as usual, but again, if you want to bring your own mugs or drinks, that’s fine. If you want to shop in the shop before, at lunchtime or after the course finishes, we will need to wear a face mask, but you are welcome to browse for as long as you like. We have had some interesting fabric in the shop, so it is worth having a look. I will accept cash or card as payment. I have the technology to wash my hands after I’ve handled the money, so it’s no problem. Ladies who have been on the courses have said how safe they feel on the courses. One even said that she felt like she had been on a spa day after being cooped up for so long. I will be doing my dates for next year in November as usual, they will be up on the website as soon as they are available. The brochure will be out in January. With the situation as it is at the moment, I’m getting a lot of swopping and changing as people find they can’t attend the courses. So, I’m running a list of names to come to courses at the last minute. If you want to book a course and find that it is full on the website, it is worth letting me know that you are interested in attending and I will let you know if a place becomes available. I have already had several places filled using this system. I’m hoping, like the rest of the country, that this won’t last for long and as soon as I can, the numbers will be back up to normal student levels. Until then, I hope you will bear with me if you can’t come to the course you want to. I’m hoping to see as many of you as possible soon, so you can enjoy your own dressmaker’s spa day out.

Lockdown Post 6

Lockdown Blog 6 It’s been a while since my last blog post. I haven’t really been doing anything that would interest any sewers out there. I’ve been doing what most of the country or even world has been doing whilst we can’t go out. Sorting out drawers, cubby holes & rooms. I’ve also decorated a spare bedroom which is now a hobbies room & made some curtains. (the most boring sewing job ever)!! Last week, I just had to get back to some proper sewing. As you can see, I made a pair of cut off trousers for Wendy. These trousers are the latest instalment of a saga which started about 4 years ago. It started with a trip to one of my wholesalers. It’s always fatal for me to visit in person, as I always come away with something, I want rather than supplies for the shop. This particular company always had ends of rolls of fabric by the checkout. This trip, I found a pack with around 3.5mtrs of pale mint green poly/cotton with a small white spot on it. Wendy was with me and she immediately pick it up bagging it for a pair of pyjamas. Fast forward a couple of years, I was preparing to go to the NEC and had decided to demonstrate the techniques for making shirts. I cut out several shirts to make on the stand. I needed another shirt but had no suitable fabric in the stash other than this piece of mint cotton, so Wendy decided that a mint green shirt would be just what she needed. This of course, left some fabric over but not enough to make another shirt. We dressmakers have a thing about not wasting fabric, so this piece of fabric was a bit of a pain. By chance, I bought a bulk buy of lace pieces for the shop. Amongst the pieces there was a pale green piece, and it matched the fabric beautifully. So, I made another short sleeved shirt, using the lace for the sleeves and yokes of the shirt. The pattern for this shirt has its own story of recycling, it’s too long a tale to go into now. So, Wendy got two shirts for the price of one. But that left some lace, left over from the second shirt. She wore the shirt down to the shop a couple of weeks ago and discovered that the coool wool we have in the shop  matched the shirt. So, she bought enough to do the trousers. I used up some of the left over lace for trimming the bottoms. So, three garments stemming from one piece of original fabric and the leftovers. That should be it, but wait, I think that there may be enough of the lace left over from the trousers to make a pair of knickers. The lengths we go to, so we don’t waste fabric!

Lockdown Blog 5

I’m not getting on very well with getting down to doing my sewing. I am busy with all the orders coming in for English Couture. Thank you if you have placed your order with me. I’m also doing lots of research into doing online courses & that’s taking up more time than I would like. So, sewing keeps getting moved down the list of things to do. I have managed to finish my brown jeans. I used the brown stretch denim we have in the shop. I am really pleased with the way they fit. A good advert for making toiles & doing the long boring job of fitting before you start a project. I made this pattern for jeans about two years ago & now I just cut the pattern out now & make up the jeans. I don’t need to mess about trying them on. As you can see from the photos, I did some embroidery on the back pockets. This is an old disc I bought a long time ago. It is supposed to be standalone lace panels, but I think it works very well as an ordinary embroidery. I had forgotten about it, until I started to sort out my embroidery designs. This is another thing that’s keeping me from sewing. Suddenly, I’ve got the bug for sorting out things. It’s very weird for me to do this sort of thing but quite interesting. Also, on the photo’s you can see the inside of the jeans. I like to make jeans as lightweight as possible. On the inside of the pockets I use a piece of bleached calico or cotton. On the waistband, I only use the denim on the front side of the band, on the inside, I use up all my leftover pieces of cotton. It makes a lovely detail, uses up the leftover fabric & makes the waistband lightweight, so it doesn’t feel bulky around the middle. This cotton fabric is a piece of Paul smith cotton, we had in the shop a long time ago, I made Wendy a shirt out of it. I can’t wait to wear them, maybe next weekend, if I’m not doing painting or gardening jobs!

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