Hawthorne & Heaney and ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’ Waistcoat

Most people will be familiar with the endearing Beatrix Potter story of ‘The Tailor of Gloucester’ but one man is taking his interest further and having his own version of the Mayor’s waistcoat made. Under the meticulous cutting skills of the Henry Poole tailors and with a little help from ourselves on the embroidery, his interest will soon be a reality.

TTOG book

‘One bitter cold day near Christmas-time the tailor began to make a coat- a coat of cherry-coloured corded silk embroidered pansies and roses, and a cream coloured satin waistcoat- trimmed with gauze and green worsted chenille- for the Mayor of Gloucester.’

TTOG pg 34

Much like the mice in the story, we have been busily working away on this project, translating the illustrations from the book into a draft, to be read as embroidery.

TTOG draft 2TTOG draft detail-2

Using a combination of silk and chenille, the pieces have been embroidered as per the drafts to create a acurate interpretation of the images in the story. The heavier flower motifs sit around the edge of the pattern, whilst the centre is filled with a trellis like design.

TTOG overallTTOG flower detailTTOG weave detail TTOG pocket detail

All the details have been taken into consideration, such is the level of commitment to the precision of this piece. For example the buttons which you can see being embroidered below, these unlike the buttonholes, are not described in the story or illustrations so we had to provide a little creative licence on what they might have looked like. They are all lined up so that they can all be worked on simulaniouly to ensure consistency. For each set of buttons, each colour is worked through that part of all the buttons before moving onto the next. Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 14.44.22 Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 14.44.38 IMG_6015

This has been a really exciting and challenging project to work on as it is so well know, and with that comes a big responsibility to do it justice, but we are really pleased with the results so far and can’t wait to see it all made up.

But upon the table- oh joy! the tailor gave a shout- there, where he had left plain cuttings of silk- there lay the most beautifullest coat and embroidered satin waistcoat that ever were worn by a Mayor of Gloucester. There were roses and pansies upon the facings of the coat; and the waistcoat was worked with poppies and cornflowers.

Everything was finished except just one single cherry-coloured button-hole, and where that button-hole was wanting there was pinned a scrap of paper with these words- in little teeny weeny writing- ”No more twist”.’


Hawthorne & Heaney watches Modern Times: Welcome to Mayfair

It’s only every now and then that a programme comes on to television that really gets us excited, but we couldn’t help but be curious to see what the producers at the BBC would make of our little patch of London, Mayfair. On the 15th Feb, Modern Times: Welcome to Mayfair aired on BBC2 showing the social diversity that exists in Mayfair and the variety of businesses and lives it sustains. So it was with baited breath that we watched to see some of our friends and colleagues as they featured in the show as ‘the craftspeople who keep the wealthy in their finery’.

gold skull slippers

GJ Cleverley’s the Shoe maker made a significant appearance, demonstration that people are still making bespoke items in the heart of Mayfair, in the workshop above the shop, Burlington Arcade. They make all sort of bespoke shoes including these slippers which feature some of our Goldwork embroidery.

Screen shot 2014-07-15 at 12.42.59

There was also an addition from Keith Levett of Henry Poole who does their Livery Tailoring

livery tailoringYou might even catch a glimpse of our Director, Claire in the artisan’s meeting if you have a keen eye. For us, it is great to see the focus being given to the independent businesses and championing the craftsman’s trades. It is clear to see from talking to any crafts person that we are all passionate about keeping our craft alive and growing.


Hawthorne & Heaney at London Craft Week

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.12.34

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 16.30.03

2015 sees the launch of London’s newest industry festival, London Craft Week. Bringing together ancient arts with new talent in this week long festival which is founded on the ethos of making. From Glass blowers to Tailors and of course Embroiderers, united to show off their wares and skills.

“London has long had a Fashion Week and a Design Festival. From 2015, it will have the equivalent for the craft sector: London Craft Week. Featuring the artistic flair, painstaking skills and raw talent of exceptional craftsmanship and, as a result, attracting an ever-increasing quality and volume of collectors and customers.” Guy Salter, Chairman of London Craft Week

Click here for more details about how to get involved with London Craft Week

Today was the Launch event in anticipation for the week so here is a couple of photos from The Artworkers Guild with our Mayfair based friends:

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.18.39

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.23.51

Keith Levett of Henry Poole, Livery Tailor

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.18.47

Rachel Sydney and Kathryn Sargent of Kathryn Sargent Bespoke Tailoring 

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 11.18.27

Patrick Grant of Norton and Sons  and Etautz

If you’d like to see us in action, we will be live monogramming during Kathryn Sargent’s cutting demonstration on 7th May 10-5 click here for details 

Hawthorne & Heaney on Gold work

Here in the H&H studio we have fallen head over heels back in love with Gold work.  After having this lovely piece framed which was on show at the Henry Poole Exhibition at the Bowes Museum, we can;t get enough of this amazing technique.   The series starts with the rubbing (far left) taken from a Privy councillors coatee. This was then turned into a clear trace of the original pattern from which an embroidery draft can be created (centre). The far right image is that of the part finished embroidery showing the various layers that build together to make the final effect of the gold work.

 goldwork frame

frock coat goldwork

Now Spring/Summer 2015 fashion weeks have officially come to a close, we couldn’t help but notice some the the gold  and metal work details popping up. We can always trust that Dolce and Gabbana will display luxurious gold work inspired pieces and this season, they did not fail us.



Dior took a more subtle approach, applying this tradition technique in the details of their long length jackets, bringing a lady like edge to these masculine shape inspired pieces.



If you find yourself interested to know more about this historical technique there is a Beginners Goldwork course at The London Embroidery School starting next Wednesday, so don’t wait to secure your place. You can also find examples of Hawthorne & Heaney’s use of Goldwork in the portfolio of our website:

ANTI-and-PRO-goldwork-embroidery-for-SIBLINGHawthorne & Heaney for Sibling