Aug 2020
Aug 2020
20 Jun
Dressmaker of the Year 2019 the winners revealed!

Over 2,400 Sew readers entered our annual Dressmaker of the Year competition, so it was no surprise that our judges had a difficult time crowning the winners! But after hours of deliberation and a few cups of tea later, the stellar panel reached a verdict for the five category winners: Children’s Wear, Occasion, Vintage, Everyday and Upcycling, as well as an overall champion. So without further ado, 2019’s Dressmaker of the Year is…

Overall Winner: Darlene Nutbeam

Darlene’s beautiful blue dress, which was lovingly made for her granddaughter, came in first place! It was Darlene’s daughter who encouraged her to enter the competition: “She suggested that I enter Dressmaker of the Year, and the two free patterns was certainly an incentive, too. She told me that if I got shortlisted I may have to send it in to be judged, so my granddaughter might not have the frock in time for Easter. I told her that I didn’t think that was going to happen – of course, I had to eat my words!”

Children’s Wear Winner: Clair Foskett

The Sew team often see Clair’s beautiful makes when she shares them on Facebook, but it was a pink dress made for her daughter Florence that won the Children’s Wear category. “The inspiration for the outfit came from my four daughters. They love all things twirly and girly, and like most youngsters, they also like anything to do with fairies and unicorns. I enjoy searching through fabrics with my girls; the older ones even pick out materials for themselves now.”

Occasion Winner: Karen Honey

This next winner was perhaps under the most pressure when it came to sewing her entry, as she made her daughter’s wedding dress! “Getting the email to say I’d been shortlisted was just amazing – I rang my daughter, Gemma, and told her straight away.” reveals Karen. “Then when I was told I’d won the Occasion category my heart was pounding – I’m so chuffed and overwhelmed!”

Vintage Winner: Patsy Punchard

Talented dressmaker Patsy is a well-deserved winner for our Vintage category with her gorgeous green frock. “Vintage wear is definitely my comfort zone. I love the natural fabrics, prints, shoes, hats and rich colours from bygone eras. I’ve always been massively influenced by 1940s clothes, probably because my grandmother was very stylish and wore beautiful pearls and brooches. I think it’s also because I like the simple styles and the ‘make do and mend’ attitude.”

Everyday Winner: Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth picked up Sew magazine simply because she liked the bonus blouse pattern on the front, then she stumbled across our Dressmaker of the Year competition: “My lovely husband encouraged me to enter – he was the one who suggested I put forward my Chinese-inspired jacket. The inspiration for the piece derived from a trip to Yunnan Province in Western China, where I visited an artisan indigo workshop. I bought some material there and decided to make it into the padded jacket.”

Upcycling Winner: Marlies Witjes

Sew’s Upcycling category winner spent a long time on her stunning jacket. “To make the coat, I sourced three garments in a local thrift shop. The blazer was the most expensive at €9 – I left it in the shop the first time I saw it, but I regretted it immediately and hurried back the next day!” laughs Marlies. “It took me a long time to create the piece because I had to make design choices like which garments would go well together, then I had to decide which fabrics would go where.”

To read the full interview with our superb dressmakers, pick up a copy of Sew’s July issue from all major supermarkets! Or click here to purchase the magazine online, and here to buy a digital copy.

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