Dress Making, Pattern Cutting – A Noble Art

Dress Making in Canterbury


Dress makers, Pattern Cutters, Designers, and Textile Designers (et al) are people with nimble fingers and agile minds, transforming visions into innovative stories, through a combination of style and dexterity.

Equipped with heaps of expertise, monumental perseverance, and plenty of patience their multi-skill base remains unmatched by the several professions. Of course , they are beyond measure and in today’s buzz word, they are described as ‘Creators’. Rightfully so, since constructing ideas into beautiful and functional garments is Creation.


But it hasn’t always been like this, they have been understated, yet survived the derision aimed from those so ignorant of  the profession and what it entailed, who summed them up, and their proffession, in  negative labels and a charechitured light:  The Dress maker, as the ‘frail little old lady, bent over a Singer sewing machine’, – and the tailor, ‘the frail little old man, with measuring tape around his neck, wearing round glasses, and a balding head’. – I’m not going to mention the spinster on the spindle, spinning yarn.

But now, today, in the 21st Century, they are rightfully hailed as Icons and an inspiration to all. Their cloths are objects of dreams, desired by the many, and  worn by kings and queens. To most they remain  out of reach.

And now that their recognition and status is acknowledged, these talented creators and constructers may reap what the have sewn,  about which I am particularly happy.

The concept of death rows, and withering labels, ‘the frail old lady……’  and the frail little old man,  have been removed from total usage by The Seamstress, and the Master Tailor which is much better fitting, I think. Even though in essence, a label remains unattractive, in this case, at least it’s positive, and I like the phrases and the sounds they make (The Seamstress, and the Master Tailor)

Kaftan Sensuality v Gothic SublimityKaftan Sensuality v Gothic SublimityPhototastic-24_03_2016_1233d1af-7a45-4067-96c7-fcee93c9b17b


  1. When I was a little kid some 60 years ago, there was a little old lady who lived up the street who could make anything out of cloth. Working partly by hand, partly with a foot-treadle Singer, she made a lot of money. She had a word-of-mouth reputation which took her some forty years to create – no Internet, no eBay, no Craig’s List. When I was 12 I paid her ten dollars to make me a grey denim pullover shirt and she did. (Ten bucks was a lot of money back then) It fit perfectly and it never wore out because I outgrew it when I was fifteen. She died suddenly at the age of 86 and left everything to her kids. But she was amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How wonderful. Her reputation, skill, and the quality of her work obviously justified the high price you paid. Wow, 10 dollars 60 years ago, must have been a gross amount of money, you must have been very, very wealthy! Many thanks for your snippet.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. When I was in home ec class in what we used to call “Junior High” I made some dresses for myself. I even started out on an sewing machine operated by a foot pedal – no electricity! Wow, that sounds ancient, but it was just in around 1969 or 70. It was fun. Probably good for my hand/eye coordination. Thanks for the memories!


    1. You know, When I was in primary school I joined a sewing class and I made a pencil skirt. I realised then that I disliked sewing and didn’t have the patience. Ironically, years later I would have a fashion label and produced goods for wholesale and retail. It was then that I had my second realisation that the skill was no small matter, and regretted not having continued with it at school. I had lots of respect for those who worked with me, and learnt much from them. My view about sewing changed then. Of course, I returned to college but didn’t complete the pattern cutting course I enrolled on, because the business was too demanding. Thank you for your comment.


    2. Off the point, but I am reminded of this joke: you’ve had enough coffee when you can thread a sewing machine while it’s running. Sorry, couldn’t resist. I like the mental image, especially if it was done in home ec class. I can see the horrified look in Miss Hornby’s face, and the predictable, “Take this note to the office.” Our home ec teacher was not known for her sense of humor, I think she had had it surgically removed. As I said, off the topic…

      Liked by 2 people

      1. All that coffee 🍵. I can smell the aroma…and fancy a pot, not a cup🏆, right now. By 6am I would have crossed the channel to Calais without stopping, for a bit of French toast.


      2. Hhhaaaa Funny you.x . My friend said to me the other day, ” You ran through my mind. Your legs must be tired”
        Everyone seems to be up tonight-what’s going on. Are we all waiting for Santa- hold on, the soot is falling from my chimney, I think he’s climbing down. Quick douse the fire! I’ve just had a thought, perhaps the next medical breakthrough, from which Miss Horny, oops Hornby, could be the first to benefit, surgically implanted humour. X

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The Reverend Billy Graham, needing sleep, addressing one of his “Crusades” in New York in 1975: “I just flew in from Miami, and boy! My arms are tired!”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hahahahaha! “Want to become a stand up comedian? Here’s your chance: new medical breakthrough, surgically implanted humour. For an extra fee you can get a programmable implant that allows you make jokes in 50 different ethnicities and elicit guaranteed genuine laughs. View the video on Youtube…”

        Liked by 1 person

      5. @ Lily von Valley and Sha’Tara: Reverend Graham forgot to have coffee before he left Miami, is what. And, ethnic jokes? Hoo boy, do I ever have an ethnic joke!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So one day, God is sitting on his throne and he’s happy. Michael comes along and says, “Chief, I’m sorry to bother you, but……” And God says, “Come on, out with it!” Michael clears his throat and says, “Well, down there……down there, things are getting pretty bad.” God looks at him, annoyed by this petty interruption. “And?” “Well…….I think you oughta go down there and see for yourself.” Thoroughly pissed off by now, God gets off his throne and appears in Rome. He sees a man sitting at the curb, crying his eyes out. Sitting next to him, he quietly asks, “What’s wrong?” The man looks at him and says, “Ah! Ah! The Mafia, they killa my famiglia! Ah! Ah!” God realizes that Michael wasn’t kidding around and says, “Listen. You may not believe this, but I’m God, come down to ease the woes of my children. If you just ask me, I’ll set thing right!” The man looks at him imploringly and says, “Please, God, help me!” Immediately, the man’s family runs up to him; seems there was some confusion as to just who the Mafia killed. Pleased with himself, God next appears in Harlem. And there is a man sitting on the curb, crying like a baby. God sits next to him and asks, “What’s wrong?” The man bawls out, “Mah woman runned off wfth mah Cadillac an mah welfare check!” God tells the fellow the same thing, and immediately a Cadillac pulls up by them, and the woman driving says, “Willy, get in, I jess went the store!” Knowing he’s on a roll, God next appears in Slobovia. Sure enough – there’s a man sitting at the curb, crying with all of his might. God asks him, “What’s wrong?” The man replies, “I am Slobovian!” God looks on in horror and shock, and then begins crying also, saying, Oh, NOOOO!”


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