Student work, Recycling, Draping & other Experimental cutting.


It doesn’t matter what the clothes are, they can all be recycled! This pair of spotty knitted trousers were ‘upcycled’ to make a fantastic ‘NEW’ top..


You can even upcycle a Feather Filled, Ski Jacket although it wasn’t the easiest thing I’ve ever done!  This is the original Ski Jacket . Front and back. 


Frankie, who the jacket was for, urgently needed a jacket for when he visited Sierra Nevada. He is an English Bulldog with a 36″ chest so I decided to make a ‘TOILE’ (first sample in muslin/calico) to ensure the fit was good…. His pal Rusty wasn’t such a problem as he was much smaller and more in proportion.

Once I decided the TOILE would work, I had to cut the pattern out of the jacket. I wanted to keep as many of the original features as possible. Cutting was a bit of a problem as you have to sew 2 rows of stitching, around the pattern shape, before you cut it out. If you don’t do that, the feathers get EVERYWHERE!! 



I’m pleased to say that all worked out well and you can see the boys below in Sierra Nevada earlier this year. 



Carmen has now left us to study Fashion full time in the UK and we wish her nothing but success!

Whilst she was here, she was a prolific sewer with quite a few professional looking garments and outfits under her belt. She made all the patterns in class and also sewed them all herself. Some of them are here…

A 1950’s inspired dress with embroidered collar. She was approached by a lady when she was visiting the V&A whilst wearing it. The woman asked her where she’d ‘BOUGHT her dress. Carmen told her she’d MADE it and the woman didn’t believe her… and left in disgust! (I can think of no higher accolade  Carmen!!)


Previous garments include a 50’s, circular, taffeta skirt & this organdi & silver top.


Carmen’s asymmetrical opening jacket and matching skirt with hip yoke pockets.


Below is Elaine with her wrap, jabot frill skirt. The frill is actually cut in a ‘circle’. She is holding the actual pattern piece she drafted to create this effect.

You also use this curved pattern piece to create a jabot on a top as below…


Louise is a student who joined the sewing classes for a  different reason. They were to to help augment her skills for entering professional competitions for makeup. See Below

luisa main

Luisa has a love of Professional Makeup and recently entered a competition in Malaga. Contestants were required to show makeup for a Haute Couture theme and Luisa came to class to develop an outfit that would enhance the makeup and give a fully professional and cohesive look. We made a bustle skirt with train, Jabot frills and cuffs and fabric ‘boot covers. The resulting look was FABULOUS as you can see here. Hardly surprising that she claimed FIRST PRIZE!!

haute 2


A very productive class today with Luisa who came to class with two bat wing jumpers from Zara. One in black and one in a mink colour. They had a lovely super soft feel and she wasn’t sure what to do with them both……..I suggested sewing them both together , hem to hem, in a mirror image, cutting off the neck of the lower one to give a shaped hem. Luisa did this and then added a hem for the newly emerged ‘dress’ and now she has something truly unique! AND…It looks FABULOUS!! It can be worn in so many different ways!! Pulled up…pulled down lower. The only piece left over can be use as a belt, draped, asymmetrical waistcoat or a tabard. Have a look – and let me know what you think ..


One side is a colour woven check….. and the other side is a pigment printed ‘Tie-Dye’.

The opening is false since the shirt is to have the option to be worn with either of the sides facing out as the ‘right side’.




Satin sheath dress with over layer of matching lace by one of our regular students.


  Also a very nice jersey and organza dress by the same student.

black2 black3                                                —————————–

Bethan, experimenting with ‘subtraction cutting’ on the stand

 BET STRIPED TOPa STRIPE TOP 1a                                                ————————-

                            Student Katie shows us the back of her finished ‘Bodice Toile’.




Another example of experimental ‘subtraction’ cutting which gives a very unusual look when combined with the crispness of the ‘crinkle’ taffeta.

crinkle acrinkleb


“Recycling, Draping & Repairing”

Student Meryl has been working on her draping and bucket pocket dress. Looking  great Meryl! Pop back to see it again as the  finished item will be posted at a later date.

Work in progress!

Work in progress!


                             More recycling ideas here from our classes:                                                    Take one dinner jacket and for the first experiment….and try it as a skirt!! 480316_dj        skirt jacket1

       For the second experiment…    Take the same dinner jacket and turn it upside down!!   Which one do you prefer? Skirt or hooded jacket?

550001jacket dj2    562245jacket dj


“Don’t DESpair…. REpair!”   You can see  the whole repairing procedure on our BLOG page but here are two of the photos of the finished item- a pair of chambray shorts – …..front ……and…… back..

A 2pairs1F backdenfin


Waist cincher showing recycling from a pair of mens trousers               Recycling...from full length 'A' line skirt to short elasticated waist with rufflle.             Th finished skirt after the recycling. Student’s work also shows recycling. This ‘waist cincher’ was re-cut from a pair of men’s tweed trousers. The long skirt shown, again from a  recycling class, was made in to a short one, with the excess fabric gathered in to ‘rosettes’ around an elasticated waist. The original beaded jumper which is to be recycled in to the skirt.           The finished recycled set. Wrapped shrug and beaded, lined skirt. Recycling knitwear:- A Lambswool and angora beaded jumper and an edge to edge cardigan which were recycled and re-cut  into wrapped shrug and a skirt. The skirt was also lined and a small bow was made to make a feature fastening on the shrug.


Previous student’s work shown here to demonstrate the level of expertise and professionalism that can be expected to have been achieved at the end of the course.