Tuesday, 12 January 2016

MOB style 'results'; a request for help as I need to interview a small business person/professional dressmaker for my course

I posted a number of pictures of me in various outfits and received a few online opinions. I took these photos to my sewing classes and got opinions from everyone there. The first is a sewing bee at which the average age is probably around my age. The second is my college course where I'm the oldest, probably.  These comments are relevant to the opinions gathered. 

dress 4

One dress, number 6, was a Marmite dress. Some (including my course tutor,  who felt it was very flattering), picked it out as their favourite. It's the one of all of these I don't feel good in. My husband likes it,  I can wear it, but I wouldn't choose to. Others immediately pointed to it and said ‘not that one’. Otherwise it simply wasn't included in choices made.

dress 6

Dress 4 gleaned most votes. This is probably my favourite. I've made the image a lot larger to allow the tucks at (R) shoulder and (R)waist to be seen

dress 4 - enalrge

Dress 5 was extremely popular but a bit Marmite-like too!

My course tutor loved this,  though I think that could be more to do with me having some attitude in the photo,  something she's trying to encourage in my sketchbook.  Others said they might like the dress if I wasn't standing in ‘that funny way’! It was pointed out to me that dress 4 has slightly cutaway shoulders which I hadn't noticed.

There was an age issue with the older ladies in their 70s preferring the dresses with the longer length and somewhat more flare, while some of the younger opined that these dresses had to be shorter or longer than the length these are - just not right, although my youngest daughter did like dress 1 and at the length it was.  

Dress 8 was a very popular style though many loved the style but didn't like the fabric and my daughter said it looked too casual,  although she too loved the shape.

dress 8

Dress 9 was popular and included in many choices across age groups. It fitted well. At first, that is.

dress 9

The RTW outfit I tried on was popular too.


Other issues:
  • There was a comment that most of my necklines were very similar.
  • They also felt I suited this neckline
  • A couple of ladies, including the tutor in my sewing bee, preferred the slightly lower and wider neckline of 3 and 8, feeling that 4 was too high. Personally, I prefer the higher. Perhaps an in between length will result!
  • Two older ladies picked the V neck Viyella dress but others specifically said the neckline was not the most flattering for me. Interestingly, I always used to love a V neckline when i was younger. I just seem to have moved away from them, though not deliberately.
  • Length - knee length by a large majority
  • A couple felt dress 9 was a bit old fashioned; I think this goes along with Marianne’s view that the skirt would need to be narrowed. My future son in law chose this as one of his favourites. He and Helen had similar choices. My husband and I both like this one.
  • You can see for yourself from the comments on my post what was voted for by those who were kind enough to comment.
  • There was a definite feeling, and I agreed, that I needed a sleeve.
  • One woman on my course had brought in an image of a dress she thought would be good for me. The photo was taken of the dress on her mother, a skilled dressmaker, who is probably older than me by just a few years.  The dress relied on the fabric quality and some subtle shaping. It had a cowl neck. It was nice but she agreed that this type of dress doesn't work with a jacket. She did ask did I really need a jacket.

Do I need a jacket?
I believe so.
The wedding is in the frozen north (!) at the start of June. The weather could be pleasant and warm - last year on the day it was a beautiful sunny day 16°C. That's very cold for my southerner future sil and most of the wedding guests and probably too chilly to want to be in a sleeveless or short sleeved dress outdoors for photos.
The weather could be much colder and it could be raining.
So I feel I want a jacket more for warmth than style though of course that's important  too.
  • The jacket can be plain or lace. Plain, that is solid dupion silk or a lace outer layer, over the silk or a finer layer.
  • I'll have a look at all of my jacket patterns
  • I'm thinking princess seams or cardigan style.
  • I have a new Knipmode pattern and the Morris blazer new to me.
  • I have a number of jacket patterns,  many of which are not suitable,  I feel
  • I need to look through all my jacket patterns some of which came free with a magazine s
I haven’t absolutely decided on a dress style, by the way.  Dress 4/5 and dress 9 are the frontrunners of these styles. Dress 9 has the advantage for me that I have already made it and have further altered the pattern since I made it. I'd need to draft a sleeve. Of course, my tutor might not find that ‘acceptable’ for the course if I haven’t made the pattern from scratch, but that doesn't stop me making the dress. I could also make a version similar to 4 with cobalt crepe which would probably work with the slightly more draped elements of that dress. We’ll see. I have to really ration my time.

For the course, I have to ‘interview’ (could be by email etc) someone who runs a small business, preferably mother of the bride type, I think. I don’t know anybody. Does anybody know someone who might be willing to answer a couple of questions? Or know of an article or blog someone might have produced? This comes about because adult education funding is dependent on working opportunities and seems set on thinking that everyone wants to set up a business. Any small dressmaking business would do, I think. Naturally, I have no plans whatsoever to move in this direction!


  1. I own a custom bridal/ MOB business and would be happy to help. I'm based in the US so I don't know if that fits your requirements.
    I will be visiting northern England and Edinburgh next month. Any advice for how cold it might be? Thanks.

    1. Thank you. I have replied but that is presumably to your email address, I think, as my reply hasn't appeared here! I'll check later a it was just a few minutes ago.

    2. My reply still hasn't appeared. Thank you for your kind offer, which I'd love to take up. I thought I had your email address but can't find it - would you send me your email address to amcclure@talk21.com and I'll resend my reply about weather and send the questions for the course. I love your blog, incidentally and am sure I will find your tutorials very helpful when I come to start sewing lace, silk etc - I've that to look forward to! I very much appreciate the time you take to comment on my posts and to make your blog so helpful - I don't often comment as I haven't tried out your techniques as yet. All to come and your tutorials are a very valuable resource. Thank you.

    3. Thank you, Mary. I have now sent my original response and the course questions to your email address, which you gave me previously. Looks as though I sent to a 'no-reply' address. Best wishes. Anne

  2. Sorry to be so slow to join the fascinating discussion. So, in my view, the two dresses that work the best are 4 and 5. Why is that? They both make you look slimmer and younger. Your figure is pretty good Anne and so long as you pick a strong colour/bold design you will pull this off. I would choose a strong colour say blue, red or shocking pink, and consider a jacket that has this colour in but with a large print. Sleeveless is great. It is also slimming because the overall silhouette is longer without the sleeves. The jacket is there if you are cold and June is almost always warm even in the North. A fabric with a bit of stretch would be good, and keep the hem slim. A bolder younger look please not a traditional MoB.

    1. Thanks, Kate. I have a bright cobalt dupion silk and have just bought a blue floral stretch cotton sateen for my alternative dress. I'll be making fairly plain sheaths. Blue probably like 9 but pegged skirt. Floral 5 shape but no contrast panel. (I suppose floral could make the jacket you mention but I was thinking solid cobalt dupion or possibly cobalt lace - I raised possibility of solid dress and patterned jacket but wasn't sure)
      I think a lot of MOB stuff is -well not to my taste. I'm not sure my designed look will necessarily be bolder and younger though.(I'd like it to be) Maybe I need to think about a floral jacket after all!! Hmm. Pattern suggestions? My floral sateen goes well with both of the silks I have.

  3. Oh dear, what a choice. I am afraid I cannot offer an opinion here, as there are so many factors to consider, including what everyone else is wearing, the wedding venue, what type of reception and what time of day and so on. I also think that other people tend to give opinions based on what they like, which may not be right for you. I like the idea of a floral jacket over the silk. Perhaps quietly sleep on the ideas for a day or two - the answer may come :)

    1. Thank you, Sarah Liz. For me, the key issue was colour. My outfit will pick out the blue in David's kilt. The bridesmaids' dresses will match/tone with the groom's tie.
      It's a late spring/early summer afternoon church wedding with the reception (sit down meal in marquee) and ceilidh (in country house) out in the country.
      I reckon I have all the fabrics, barring lining, underlining etc, that I need - I'm certainly not going to buy any more, so I'll have a play around. Nurture my creative side! And hopefully come to a decision.

  4. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.http://www.virtualvoyage.edu.in/course/fashion-design-college/

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