Hawthorne & Heaney at The BTBA Summer Party 18

A warm mid summer evening has become the mark of the BTBA Summer Party and this year’s do was no exception. The very best dressed of London’s tailoring community congregated on Friday evening in the gorgeous Merchant Taylors’ Hall to mark the occasion.

The party includes the presentation to those who have earned their Savile Row Bespoke Cutting diploma such as Kathryn Sargent’s Alistair Nimmo, whom we must congratulate along with the others who earned their certificates.

The Hawthorne & Heaney team were there to enjoy the celebrations and spread the love for embroidery. It was great to see everyone, but if you missed us, pop by to the studio and say hello!


Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project

In the studio we like to continue to challenge ourselves and push to create something new with our skills, so at the end of last year, we set ourselves a bit of a challenge to create a dress to wear to the BTBA Festival Dinner in February.

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Like with all create processes, it started with some sketching and sampling to decide what style we were going to go for.

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We look at both hand embroidery and machine embroidery options, and given the time scale, decided it was best to go for a machine embroidery design which combined a few of our favourite techniques.Using an exisitng pattern, we tweeted the patternt to better fit the design and the body on which it would fit by toiling with the help of our intern Jessica.




Once we were happy with the pattern, we construced the skirt and began applying the embroidery to the flat skirt and top panels.




Along side the main production we also produced some technical samples to deal and test some of the more tricky aspect of this piece, for example, doing a test to insert a sip to see how close to the embroidery we could go because of the stifness of the backing supporting the fabric and the height of the padding under the stitches.


Once all the embroidery was finished, it all went back to Jessica to make it up.




Stop by our blog again soon to see the finished piece…

Design/Embroidery by Natasha Searls-Punter and Pattern Cutting/Toiling by Jessica Eykel at the Hawthorne & Heaney Studio

Hawthorne & Heaney at the BTBA


At the start of July each year the Benevolent Tailors’ Beneficiary Association Summer Ball comes knocking stylishly on London’s door and Hawthorne & Heaney was there this year to answer it’s call. The Summer Ball is the more informal of the two annual BTBA Balls, one might think that there would not be that much to see on a sartorial front; however this is not the case. As a meeting of the majority of Savile Row and its associates it is a great place to show off your wears with the cream of London’s Tailoring Community present.DSC_0019


The event is held at the beautiful Merchant Taylors’ Hall and guests include Tailors, Cutters, Fabric Merchants and of course Embroiderers as we were there!


The BTBA hosts these events in order to raise money to aid and award grants when necessary to anyone who has worked in British tailoring at any level for a period of ten years or more. It was formed from a merger of the British tailoring industry’s two oldest and most revered charities – the Master Tailors’ Benevolent Association (est. 1887) and the Tailors’ Benevolent Institute (est. 1861). It is also a great opportunity to celebrate the tailors who are moving up into a new stage of their careers as they receive their awards from Savile Row Bespoke.


Here are a few pictures to give you a flavour of the evening.

DSC_0248Kathryn Sargent, Chris Kerr and Andy Varnava

We can’t wait for the Winter Ball to come around so we can do it all again.



Hawthorne and Heaney at the Golden Shears 2015

This time of year, one of the most prestigious awards for young aspiring tailors is awarded. As a steward of the Bespoke Tailors Benelovent Association, our director Claire Barrett attended this years event.  

The prize is awarded to the student who is considered to have produced the best tailored outfit with consideration given to fit, style and suitability. The students featured are all practising in the industry currently as the award has a particular emphasis on learning within the industry. The most respected and skilled tailors judge the competition, headed up by Chairman of the judges, Robert J Bright; with Jonathan Becker, Alan Bennett, Joe Morgan, Kathryn Sargent and Brigette Stepputtis as technical judges. These esteemed tailors represent the best the industry has to offer, working for companies such as Davis & Sons, Chittleborough & Morgan and Vivienne Westwood. Assisting the technical judges were the guest judges which, this year, comprised of Jodie Kidd, David Gandy, Betty Jackson CBE, Jennifer Saunders and Lord Grade of Yarmouth CBE.

25 outfits were presented from which the three prizes were awarded.  Joe Holsgrove won the 2015 Golden Shears with Dionne Reeves taking the Silver Shears and Nuriya Kabirova winning the Rising Star award.  It is truly exciting to see the work of the future tailors, our congratulations to the winners, we can’t wait to see what next years competitors will produce.

Hawthorne & Heaney supports the BTBA

BTBA table cloth

Around this time of year, the Bespoke Tailors’ Benevolent Association meet to hold their inaugural festival dinner and Auction to raise funds to support the trade. The BTBA was established when two charities; the Master Tailors’ Benevolent Association (est. 1887) and the Tailors’ Benevolent Institute (est. 1861) merged together. Beneficiaries include tailors, woollen merchants and those from associated trades and suppliers.

Our Director Claire Barrett was there this year to represent Hawthorne & Heaney and assist in the smooth running of the evening as a new steward. A special acknowledgement to should be made to Geoff Wheeler of Dugdale Bros. & Co. who was this years Appeal Chairman and gave the address.  As we share an office with the Dugdales gentlemen, we can assure Geoff that all his rehearsals were well worth it for a job well done.

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The BTBA relies on the generosity of the business and individuals which it supports so Hawthorne & Heaney were very proud to have contributed to the BTBA’s head table, table cloth. Dugales provided the Navy Barathea for the cloth itself and Hawthorne & Heaney donated the hand embroidered Gold Cut Work Crest.

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The Gold Cut Work is quite a laborious process involving the design being fully padded and prepared before the decorative gold can be introduced. This can be seen on the left of the images above  with the padding exposed, and on the right the cut work application.PO - BT-1974 (8)

All this preparation gives the embroidery a very rich effect by elevating the embroidery from the surface of the cloth. Once the piece is fully filled and symmetrical, all will agree that the effect is quite striking.

PO - BT-1974 - final image  (1)Hawthorne & Heaney also donated the raffle and collection bags which were circulating during the night which sported a much smaller machine embroidered crest onto Navy velvet. BTBA bags