The hunt for the elusive fayre dress

A few weeks ago when ITV visited us I had just started making the dress I planned to wear for The British Family Fayre. It went together relatively easily and I was pretty chuffed, until I put it on. I must admit I was really not impressed by the silhouette it created even with a puffy petticoat added. The fit just wasn’t right.


I like this one from Alexander King but it is a little expensive

If you have ever tried making clothes for someone, part of the crucial stage is that of fitting the garment to the person who’ll wear it. That is nearly impossible to do on yourself  as the garment moves as you do, making it cumbersome to be able to pin yourself in. Safe to say that having tried it on with various combinations of underwear and over wear it was consigned to the top of the clothes pile in our bedroom.


I also like this one from Closet Clothing but I worry that, without seeing it, it may not be special enough… but the price is right.

So, now the hunt begins for THE dress for possibly the second biggest day of my life so far, closely behind my wedding. One of the issues is that I can’t at the moment find somewhere that I can go and try dresses on, as most of our British options are online only.  This means buying blind and hoping, which, with less than 2 weeks to go, is far from ideal. Another issue is that with James’ recent redundancy, money is rather tight so the stunning dresses from Alexandra King are just too much of a stretch for just one day’s wear. Today I have found an online shop called whose dresses will be a great addition to my work wardrobe, but I worry that they are not quite special enough for what I am looking for our very public event.

I suppose that this is a rather unashamed cry for help to anyone who might be able to be the  dress designer for the day. With TV crews and the nations press descending on us in just 11 days time is incredibly tight but I’m praying that there is someone who might be able to make a perfect suggestion.

– Emily


  1. Ann rogers says

    Nothing in the store you mention that you could DO UP? To make it special enough.

  2. Your dressmaking attempt reminds me of a certain oven glove I made in my 1st year at secondary school, the similarities are startling. My dressmaking skills are not good… I hope you find something. X

  3. Although I have no advice about a dress designer, (sorry!) I can advise a make-your-own-manequin for the future….although I’m not sure if Duct tape is UK made?!

  4. Paula loves vintage 45 says

    Have you tried genuine vintage dresses from quality vintage or retro traders… Many of these dresses are British made, factory or be it homemade, and you’ll generally get a one off. I’m sure you’ve mentioned in previous blogs your penchant for vintage attire…there must be some fantastic shops in your region…mind you I have found many of the high end or Hollywood glamour 40s or 50s vintage clothing to be of American origin.

  5. Suzy batters says

    Hire something? I found this online which is near you.


    Unit E36 Farwig Lane, Bromley, BR1 3RB – (Big Yellow Self Storage Co.)

    Please ring to make an appointment

    Tel / Fax: 020 8466 9010

    Mobile: 07802 717714 If I am not able to answer your call, please leave a message. I check my voice mail regularly and will ring you back as soon as convenie


  6. Suzy batters says

    Emily, check out lady vintage in london!

    from their vebsie ……..”From June 2013 we have put plans in place to make 90% of Lady Vintage dresses in the heart of London, with the aim of making it 100% within the coming months. We strongly believe in supporting British Businesses and British Workers. We are proud that our dresses will be made in the UK’s capital and proud that we are able to provide work for many people in our country, supporting our economy, especially in these difficult times. We are now able to liaise directly with the workers, and oversee quality control ourselves – which means that LadyVintage Dresses are going to be higher quality than ever! Our turnaround time for dresses will also be cut dramatically, meaning more amazing Lady Vintage dresses, more frequently! We believe that we are pioneers in this field, by being able to make our garments in London and maintain our affordable prices. With your support we can keep Lady Vintage in London and help boost London’s clothing manufacturing industry.”

  7. little miss thrift says

    I’d highly recommend Vivien of Holloway for gorgeous vintage style clothing. The garments are made in the UK (although not sure about the fabric, but the company is super helpful), are great quality, and hold excellent resale value.

  8. I wish I had seen this when you posted it. – I woud have made a dress for you for future reference. Hope you found a dress!

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