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

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...
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Speed Tailoring the Michelle Pye Way

Two days to be introduced to Speed Tailoring. You will...
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The Sewing Guide That Helps You to Sew Like a Professional

The Sewing Guide course will help you to update your...
Black-white-bra-knicks-close-up-Bra-Making-Weekend-Briefl

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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Bra Maker’s Manual ECB01

£69.99
Bra Makers Manual. Volume one includes tips on fitting and...
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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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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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Gift Card

£10.00£100.00
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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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Fine Sheer Fusible ECC21 Fusible Interfacing

£6.99
Fine Sheer fusible is a lightweight fusible interfacing which doesn’t...
Coat Padding Small

Padded Coat Fabric ECF226

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

LATEST BLOGS

Tying Up Loose Ends

I have just realised that between this blog and my newsletter I have left a few loose ends. Photos I promised to post after projects were finished. So, here is the catch up so you can see what I’ve been doing. Just after Christmas I started to make a shirt using the beautiful grey stretch satin. I did post a photo of the collar as it was being constructed. I was very pleased with the collar, as this sort of fabric is not easy to construct a collar usually. I used the new stretch interfacing on it, and it turned out well. Here is a photo of the finished shirt. I haven’t worn it yet I’m waiting until I start teaching again to give it its’ first outing. The second project I mentioned was a denim dress. I love wearing dresses during the Summer and decided that a winter weight dress would be nice. I chose the black stretch denim to make it in. There was a lot of pieces to the pattern, but it all went together very well. I particularly like the pocket details on the bodice. I have worn this dress to go down to the shop to send out the orders. It is very comfortable. Now, I’m working on some bits and pieces for my bedroom. I recently wallpapered it and now the soft furnishings need renewing. I’m waiting for the fabric to come in for the curtains, but I’ve managed to get some sheeting to make bed linen. I’ve made a fitted sheet which actually fits the bed! The quilt cover I wanted to make involved painting panels with the same pattern as the wallpaper. When I got out my fabric paints, I discovered that they had gone hard. When I tried to replace them, I discovered that the company no longer exists. So, I’ve had to use another brand. They are not quite as good as the original paints, but I think I can live with them. This is the first panel I’ve done. This is a project which is going to take time. Once that’s done, I’ve only got the curtains, a bedhead a light shade and a stool to cover, and the room will be finished. I guess that’s me sorted for a couple of weeks!

Using up my Lingerie Fabric Stash

I decided a couple of weeks ago that I needed to make some new lingerie. I opened my lingerie drawer and almost everything seemed to be the same grey/beige colour. That’s one of the problems with making your own lingerie, it doesn’t wear out in the same way as the shop bought stuff. The fabric is still good, but the colour has faded. Great idea, new lingerie always makes me feel good. It doesn’t matter what you are wearing on the outside if you know you have beautiful lingerie on it really makes you feel special. I have been collecting pieces of lingerie fabric of all shapes sizes and colours for over 20 years. A long time before I had English Couture. The last time I sorted it out, I went out and bought a couple of the storage boxes which go under the bed. I then had to go out again and buy another two, so I could house all the fabric!  This still left a couple of carrier bags over. This time I have sorted the pieces out, into colours, well I had to start somewhere. I left out the pieces that I fancied working on first. Some of these pieces of fabric came from a contact who had worked in the lingerie industry and sold off some of her samples. There are still some fantastic pieces from her, along with some odd pieces which came from a factory I bought a lot of stock from when they closed down. I always finish up with the odd dirty pieces from the ends of the rolls when they come into the shop. I can’t bear to throw them away until I’ve tried washing them first. With all the sorting out done it was time to start cutting out. I think my favourite fabric is the one with embroidered butterflies on it, (you can see this fabric on the knickers picture) I only have a small amount of this left now. It was a piece I bought from a supplier who only had this one piece in stock. I tried to get a roll for the shop but it wasn’t available.  A few of the small pieces of plain fabric make great linings for the bras, leaving more of the really special fabric for the main pieces of the bras and knickers. Of course, when it came to the trimmings, I had a lovely time matching up the colours for the lace, strapping and elastic etc. There was a few bits missing but I know a great shop that filled in the missing bits. One of the garments I’ve been meaning to make for a while is a vest like garment with built in padding on the shoulders. I have one of these to wear underneath a big, knitted dress, that I quite often wear in the shop. It gives me a bit more shape in the shoulders and adds another layer of clothing to keep me warm. It is a very lightweight garment as well, so doesn’t add bulk. I have also cut one of these out. To date I have made a couple of bras, and 3 pairs of knickers that match. I have got a few more things cut out as well. My aim is to use enough of the fabric up, that I can empty the carrier bags into the storage boxes. I don’t think I need to ever buy any more lingerie fabric in my life but don’t tempt me, I know, the next beautiful piece that arrives in the shop will somehow find its way into my stash!

Fabric Bargains on the Website.

Just before the lockdown in November I had a delivery of fabric pieces in the shop. These pieces are usually snapped up by my students in the shop. I don’t normally put them on to the website as it takes so much time to do it, but, as I’m not teaching at the moment, I decided to put some of them on to the site. The picture shows just one of them. These fabrics are beautiful mainly pure wool fabrics. The length of each piece is on the site and I haven’t any more or less of this fabric. You will have to buy the piece if you want the fabric. Most of the pieces are around 2mtrs in length, so, there should be enough to make a jacket, coat or skirt on each piece. I could send out a sample of the fabric if necessary, but the piece will remain on the website and I only have one piece of each fabric. So, if it sells before you get the sample, I’m sorry. The cost of each piece is on the website but because they are only pieces the price is reduced, from the normal cost for pure wool. For the time being these are the only pieces I’m putting onto the website to see how they go, if there is a big demand for them, I will put on more. So, if you fancy grabbing a bargain this week, go ahead and order now. Once the piece is gone that’s it.

Happy New Year.

Happy New Year to everyone out there. I know we are in lockdown again but look on the brightside, more time to sew, more time to plan the garden and we don’t have to go out in the cold weather, it looks like we are in for some very cold weather, in some parts of Leicestershire this morning it was snowing quite heavily. (Not here in Syston of course!) I have, yet again made the same New Year resolution as I have for the last 20 odd years. Use up my fabric stash and not buy any more fabric!!! What a stupid resolution to make, I’m obviously not going to keep it. Although last year I did use up about 10 pieces from the stash, the only problem is I bought quite a few new ones which didn’t make it into the stash book!!! Maybe I should use my free time to update the stash book? No, get some sewing done! I, like most of you out there, buy fabric which I either like the colour or the feel of. It’s only when I get it home that I start to think about how I’m going to make it up. This happened when I got the new silky feel polyester satin in the shop just before Christmas. I had received a sample card of this fabric from the company I bought it from a few months ago and love the feel of it. When the stock arrived I just had to have some of both colours. I thought it would look great under my suits when I’m teaching. I have been sorting out all the Burda patterns I have drafted from the monthly books I get and came across this pattern, from 2007. I have made this shirt several times but always from a stretch cotton. The silky satin is quite a different challenge. So, I set to, and cut the shirt out. It was very well behaved considering how fine the fabric is, but the challenge was how to interface it without making it too stiff. You may remember me telling you about some new stretch fusible interfacing which we had in stock in December. Although I had tried this interfacing out on lots of scraps of different stretch fabrics before we had it in stock I hadn’t made a garment using it. So this was my chance. I like to start with the difficult bits first, so, I opted for the lightweight version of the stretch interfacing and I fused it to both sides of the collar, before making it up. I find this interfacing really easy to apply using the techniques in my video for applying fusible interfacings. It sticks very quickly, and stays stuck, no matter how much you stretch the fabric. The points of the collar turned very easily, this can be a difficult task with such sharp points. The collar  looks really good, this interfacing has added enough body to give the fabric some shape without losing the softness which first attracted me to it. Now, all I have to do is make the rest of the shirt up!! I’ll post a picture once it’s all done.

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