After the success of the 2018 block of couture workshops and London tour, Thomas is working on an itenary for spring/summer 2020 to include classes and field trips to London and Paris.
Please see the 2018 schedule below for your reference, it was attended by a truly International group of students from the USA, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, Canada, China and the United Kingdom.
Should you wish to express interest in the 2020 itenary, please drop us an email and we shall update you with more details as they become available.
This module is our Couture Tailoring course and encompasses all the techniques as covered in our publication “Vintage Couture Tailoring” which many sewers are familiar with.
The style of tailoring you will be exploring is technically a slightly more relaxed ladies version of traditional Gents tailoring, as practised by the best tailors in the world. You will be learning the fundamental elements of tailoring, which include employing loose interfacings in the construction, as opposed to fusibles.
You will learn to appreciate the benefits of using different types of canvas to include hair and linen, as well as utilising stays and padding. A rarely taught subject, this course also covers ironwork, which is shaping fabric panels by stretching and shrinking the cloth to fit it to individual physiques.
Over the 5 days you will be building a half jacket made from English flannel from scratch, starting with tailor tacking through to applying embroidered buttonholes and hand felling lining in at the end. The finished piece will be an invaluable reference tool to all your future tailoring.
Module 2 is dedicated to the exploration of London’s wonderful educational resources on Bespoke Tailoring and Haute Couture. The places on this module are limited to 10.
Guided by Thomas as a well connected expert on the subjects, you will be able to gain exclusive access to a hidden world of artisanship shrouded by mystique. You will be visiting the sacred workrooms in Savile Row, the undoubted bastion of bespoke tailoring and sartorial excellence in the world, as well as the finest shirtmakers, hatters and shoemakers in nearby St. James’ where they have been based for centuries.
You will see behind the scenes examples of world class museum collections and even have a private viewing of crème de la crème vintage Haute Couture and costumes at a specialised auction house.
One day takes us out to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath, where you wil be given a private tour of the collection of the world famous Costume Museum of Bath. There will also be a private viewing with close up examination of selected garments from the archives with an opportunity to study construction details.
On the eve of the start day of this module, which is Sunday 13th May, there is a high tea at “The Delauney”, so that participants can get to know each other if they haved not taken part in week one. This is included and part of the cost of the week.
We will ask Linton Tweeds of Carlisle to send us their latest collection for your perusal during tea. Any fabric can be ordered from them the following day, so that it can be delived during the week.
We are starting the tour with a visit to The Brompton Oratory in South Kensington, England’s second highest Catholic church build in the Baroque style. Here in the sacristy we will be shown examples of church’s breathtaking museum quality collection of copes and other vestments from the 17th to 19th century.
The exquisitely embroidered vestments are still in regular circulation during mass and feasts. During this private visit, you will have a chance to marvel at the stunningly beautiful details of different embroidery techniques executed in silk, gold and silver thread.
After having lunch in a nearby restaurant, we will visit the Victoria & Albert Museum, a world renowned museum of applied arts with a breathtaking collection of costume. Behind the scenes and away from the crowds, we will be shown a collection of period costumes in the archives to study close up and inside out.
All admissions and lunch is included.
This morning we are given a private viewing of at the fashion department at the Museum of London, which has an amazing and important collection of historical dress, to include some extremely rare mediaeval pieces.
After lunch, we will spend the afternoon with a tour round the ancient embroidery house of Hand & Lock in London’s West End. Hand & Lock was established in 1767 and they are Europe’s pre-eminent embroidery atelier specialising in military and ceremonial goldwork embroidery, tambour beading, silk shading, monogramming and other couture embellishments.
There should be enough time to hop on the underground and visit the amazing Alladin’s cave of fabric at Joel & Sons and Jason’s, near Edware Road. Their choice of high quality couture fabrics, be it printed Italian silk, French lace and guipure or other beautiful cloth is astonishing, but be warned: you might need to have your credit card limit extended prior to this visit!
All admissions and lunch is included.
Today will take us out of London by private coach to the beautiful Georgian city of Bath. We will depart early and have a short stopover at the ancient and quintessentially English village Castle Combe in the Cotswolds on the way.
Once arrived in Bath mid day, we will have our lunch at the magnificent Pump Room in close proximity of the Roman baths and Bath Abbey. The Pump Room restaurant, which is regarded as the social heart of Bath for over two centuries, is the most elegant place to fortify yourself and the food is accompanied by classical live music entertainment. We will then walk up to the beautiful Royal Crescent to admire the exquisite 18th century architecture of this city.
Close by is the world famous Costume Museum of Bath at the Assembly Rooms, where we will be given a tour of the permanent exhibition of spectacular historical dress and haute couture, as well as a private show and tell of selected highlights of the collection.
After taking tea in one of the quaint tea rooms, we shall make our journey back to the capital of England.
Included are all private transfers from our central London meeting point by luxury air-conditioned coach to Bath and back. Luncheon and afternoon tea is also included, as well as the admissions and viewings at the Fashion Museum of Bath.
Today we will be visiting the world famous Savile Row in London’s elegant Mayfair and the old established Gentlemens outfitters in nearby St. James’ This study day will focus on Bespoke English Tailoring for which “The Row” has been known for nearly 300 years.
We will be given exclusive access to workrooms of selected tailoring houses on the row, not normally open to the public unless you are a politely asking client, paying from $8000 for having a suit made for you. You will learn about the century old craft, hear anecdodes about the rich and famous clientele and be able to admire the beautifully made coats and uniforms in various stages of construction.
The tour will include visiting the beautiful showrooms and workrooms of Royal military and civilian tailors Gieves & Hawkes, where you can see cutters at work, Winston Churchills shirtmakers Harvie & Hudson, shoemakers John Lobb and hatters James Lock who have been on the premises since the 1660s.
The tour will last 3 hours. We are now surely ready for lunch, which we will be having at “The Wolseley”, a restaurant located in a very grand former car showroom in Piccadilly vis a vis from the Ritz Hotel.
In the afternoon we will be exploring Soho’s amazing range of silk shops, trimmings places and visit some specialised fabric agents. We shall also pop into the beautiful neo-Tudor Edwardian department store Liberty, which is famous for its printed fabrics. It also has an lovely small department with a beautifully curated selection of vintage garments and accessories.
Included are the guided tour and all admissions, as well as your lunch.
Today we are visting the Fashion Museum in Bermondsey, where we are shown selected pieces from the archives. The fashion museum is located in London’s very ancient area of SE1, which has many historic associations with the leather and wool trade as well as hat manufacturing. Today the street is home to many arty shops, galleries and quirky cafes and eateries. After the museum visit, we are having our lunch in one of the trendy restaurants.
Around the corner is Kerry Taylor’s auction house, where, in the afternoon, we will be given exclusive access to have a peep behind the scenes of the forthcoming “Passion for Fashion” auction in June. Most of the lots should already be at the auction house to be admired.
Kerry Taylor’s bi-annual “Passion for Fashion” auction features amazing museum quality historic dress, original fashion sketches, furs, antique laces, luxury accessories (such as Hermes alligator Birkin or Kelly bags and Chanel jewellery), and the most beautiful vintage Haute Couture from Worth to Balmain comes up for sale at this amazing treasure house.
Some of her 2017 auctions highlights were two near match Lesage embroidered Schiaparelli velvet jackets from the late 30s (coming up in the same auction), several dresses that had belonged to the late HRH Diana Princess of Wales, the wardrobe of a South American socialite who most of her life had dressed in Lanvin and two spectacular runway dresses by John Galliano for Dior.Previous auctions have included the cristening gown of King Charles II, original Bakst design costumes from the Ballet Russes, singer Bjorks amazing Alexander McQueen stage dresses…
Admissions, lunch and an auction catalogue (subject to availability at the time) is included.
Marking the garment, ironworking, preparation of the inner canvas construction, closing dart and side seam, mounting shell fabric and canvas together, pad stitching of the lapels, finishing the outer edge and break line with stays.
Application of a double jetted pocket, closing the back seams, interfacing the hem.
Making and applying a traditional padded tailored collar, finishing facings and gorge seam
Making and inserting a properly tailored 2 piece sleeve, using the appropriate interfacings
Making and fitting of lining, application of handmade buttonhole
This module is suitable for anybody who has previous sewing experience and who is proficient in hand and machine sewing. It is most beneficial to students who have had some previous experience in dressmaking and soft tailoring to include the techniques of making a Chanel style jacket. It is not recommended to sewing beginners.
Since the course might be found challenging to some sewers with more limited experience, it has been extended by a day to our normal timescale to allow ample time to explore tailoring at a slightly more leisurely pace.
This module is taught at Thomas’ beautiful atelier from 10 am to 5 pm with an hour for lunch. The price is £950 and includes all high quality fabrics, notions and professional materials as needed for the project. The student number is limited to 5, subject to confirmation.
Students who complete this module may go straight to module 3 to apply the techniques they have learned to their very own tailoring project, or they may wish to include the educational module 2 of week two.
Maximum student number is 10
The Tailoring workshop is a six day school where students work on their own tailoring project under the expert guidance of Thomas at every step.
If you have had previous experience in Tailoring or have done Thomas’s introduction to tailoring course, you can now progress onto applying those techniques to your own garment, be it a jacket or coat.
You may already have learned how to make a classic style jacket, but how do you apply these to a unique design that you also want to fit like a glove? As there are many styles and hundreds of fabric types, you may also need help in choosing the right interfacing, possibly benefit from changing your pattern to have your facings grown on, explore alternative pocket or design details to suit your personalised garment.
Although traditional tailoring techniques can only fully be utilised on woollen fabrics, it is possible to tailor fabrics made from other fibers such as silk, linen or mixtures to include Linton tweeds. Thomas can give advice on what fabric would be most suitable for your individual design project prior to the workshop or even assist in buying cloth, buttons and other notions when exploring London’s amazing fabric resources the week before if you are taking part in module 2.
The workshop is taught at a large studio space. It is abundant with natural light through windows and equipped with several sewing machines, tailoring tools and ironing equipment, a selection of different size dress stands and ample space for working and cutting for each participant with individual tables.
The workshop will start on Day 1 with fitting of the individual toiles the student has to prepare from their own pattern.
The workshop will run from 10 am to 5.30 pm, with an hour for lunch and short breaks for morning coffee and afternoon tea to keep up your stamina.
The student has to bring their own fabric, lining and buttons. Interfacings and other notions such as canvas, organza, pads etc. may be purchased during the class upon advice from Thomas. For a jacket this will be around £25.
To express interest in future education please send us a message through this contact form