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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The Sewing Guide That Helps You to Sew Like a Professional

The Sewing Guide course will help you to update your...
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Speed Tailoring the Michelle Pye Way

Two days to be introduced to Speed Tailoring. You will...

FEATURED PRODUCTS

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Point Presser & Clapper ECP3

£32.99
Point Presser & Clapper The Point Presser & Clapper or...
Coat Padding Small

Padded Coat Fabric ECF226

£9.99 m
Padded Coat Fabric. This fabric is perfect for making winter...
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Bra Maker’s Manual ECB01

£39.99£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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Fine Sheer Fusible ECC21 Fusible Interfacing

£6.99
Fine Sheer fusible is a lightweight fusible interfacing which doesn’t...
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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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Supersoft Superior ECC19 Fusible Interfacing

£6.70
Supersoft Superior fusible interfacing is our most popular fusible interfacing....

LATEST BLOGS

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!

Lockdown Blog 4

Lockdown Blog 4. I have managed to finish this Summer top. This fabric has been kicking around in my stash forever. As with most of the fabric in the stash it has a story. The fabric is a lightweight pure cotton batik. I was given this piece of fabric about 25years ago by an elderly lady who I was making some clothes for. She had bought this fabric in Africa several years before she gave it to me. She had decided that the fabric was too bright for her as her hair colouring had faded. She made me promise to make it up and not leave it in the stash. I, of course, swore that I would make it up. I’ve always felt really guilty for not using it. So, now I can relax. I’m not sure if the lady is still around but I’m sure she would be delighted to know that I have made it up. Anyway, to get back to the top. The fabric is very lightweight, and you can see through it, it also creases as soon as you look at it. So, problem number one was what to do to make the fabric suitable to make up. I did first of all wonder whether to just get a piece of cotton lawn and interline it, but the cotton lawn made the fabric a bit too stiff. I also needed to make the fabric, so I couldn’t see through it. Fusible interfacing had to be the answer. After laying the fabric over different weights of the interfacing, I decided to use Fine sheer Fusible. Once all the pieces had been cut out, I cut the interfacing exactly the same. Then before I started any sewing, I fused all the pieces. The fabric immediately became just what I needed for the job. The added bonus with interfacing the whole garment is, that you have a second layer to stitch all the hems to, this means no stitches to be seen on the right side. The pattern was one that I had saved from the monthly Burda magazines. It’s a very simple design and didn’t take very much making up. I really like the detail on the yoke piece. I think it will be a very useful top, once the Summer weather returns.

Lockdown Blog 3

This is a very strange world we are living in. I’m still managing to get down to the shop once every week- day to send out the orders coming in via the website. The rest of the time I’m working from home. It has been very busy on the orders front, so I’ve not had much time to think about sewing. This week, the only thing I managed to make was a pair of slippers. From the book I found in my workroom. As you can see from the picture, they have turned out quite well. I love wearing these sort of soft slippers around the house, they can go in the wash when they get dirty unlike conventional slippers. You can’t of course, go outside in them, but slippers were never made to go out in! I am intending to make some more & get a bit more creative with them. I blame my next door neighbour for having to make the slippers. A couple of weeks ago I was cleaning the windows in my conservatory, a job which usually takes most of the morning. My next door neighbour poked her head over the fence to say, did I want to borrow her Karcher window vacumn. I love gadgets, so jumped at the chance to play. It was something we had looked at but restrained ourselves, as we buy gadgets & then don’t use them. It was amazing the windows were done in a very short time & looked better than I’ve manged to do them. So, I had to have one for myself. It has arrived & I set to work cleaning the windows in my workroom at home. This didn’t take very long & I hung up the clean net curtain & was very pleased with myself. Then as I mentioned in the last blog post, I looked at the bookshelf at the side of the window, it hadn’t been sorted or cleaned for longer than I’m prepared to admit. So, I set to work & cleared the whole thing. This was when I found the slipper book. Slippers, of course don’t take very much fabric & so I thought I would go through my leftover bit basket to find something suitable. I finished up about an hour later with a big bag of fabric which would make slippers. I also threw out a lot of bits which shouldn’t have been kept in the first place. See all this trouble just because I tried out a new gadget! There was one other thing I’ve finished this week & that was a jumper I’ve been knitting since last Autumn. It won’t do me any good at the moment as it is a jumper with a polo neckline ready for the Winter. Oh well, at least I’ll be prepared. You may remember in the last blog I mentioned finding a jacket pattern that I had drafted sometime ago. I made the toile for it, when I came to do the fitting, I realised that I didn’t actually like the style of the jacket at all. I could have done some tweaks to the pattern to make it fit, but it wouldn’t have made it any better. So, I threw the pattern & the toile in the bin. You may say what a waste of time & effort. I don’t think so, yes, it took time to draft the pattern & make the toile, but I would really have been angry if I’d cut straight into my beautiful wool & cashmere suiting, I was intending to make the jacket from. I’m hoping to get some sewing done over the weekend. I’m going to do what I have to do when I’m working properly & set aside the time. I really thought I might get a lot of sewing done during this lockdown!

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