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.

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand EmbroideryHawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

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

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand EmbroideryHawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

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.

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

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

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

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.

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

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

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

Hawthorne & Heaney on our Dress Making Project London Hand Embroidery

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