A Dress Called Vanessa

I first met Mike from the Seamstress of Bloomsbury a few years back, when we interviewed him for The Vintage News (watch at 3mins 12sec in). The Seamstress of Bloomsbury produce beautiful reproduction vintage-style clothing, each created from authentic original patterns & designs. So you can enjoy all the aesthetics of the 1940’s, with all the perks of the 2010’s – machine washable, brand new pristine fabric, no one has worn it before you – you get the idea. As much as I love true vintage clothing, sometimes the negatives outweigh the positives – *remembers that time when an original 1940’s housedress literally fell apart*.

 The brand also has a charming history; back in 1939 a young girl, Lillian Wells – aged a mere fourteen years, was apprenticed to a Bloomsbury dressmaker. She subsequently spent years as a seamstress in this area; earning her the title of  ‘The Seamstress of Bloomsbury’. The brand have revived Lillian’s original works and patterns; presenting them to vintage-loving aficionados of today’s times.

Their current range boasts tea dresses, blouses, cardigans, skirts and more. I fell in love with the Vanessa dress, but I must admit, the 1942 dress and the Pearl jacket also made my heart skip a beat.

So today, I present to you – The Vanessa Dress!

The fabric is a lovely crepe de chine which moves and hangs beautifully. I chose the Navy Floral version, however there are an additional 3 different fabric designs to choose from. I found the print so eye-catching and wonderfully authentic, love it! When the dress arrived I gave it a little going-over with the iron – now, I am thoroughly used to ironing many different fabrics (being a seamstress myself), but for those of you that are not so hot with the iron, I advise to have your iron on a low/medium setting, get a large piece of pure cotton fabric, place OVER the dress THEN iron. This protects the fabric from heat damage, but still enables you to iron successfully.

The fit seems to run true-to-size, I am currently a UK 6, so I ordered the UK 8 (the smallest size), and it fits as expected.

There are lots of exquisite small details which make this dress special – the crushed rose petal packet hanging from the swing-tag, the little poppers hand sewn carefully on the centre-front placket, the self-fabric belt buckle and the thoughtful inclusion of a spare button.

I am so excited to see what wonderful designs the Seamstress of Bloomsbury produce next, I have already seen some behind the scenes shots on their social media to whet my appetite!

Shop the Vanessa dress here.

Mike kindly provided me the Vanessa dress at a discounted price, however all views expressed are my own and reflect my honest opinions.

Until next time dears!

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10 thoughts on “A Dress Called Vanessa

  1. Porcelina says:

    This dress is so great on you!! I’m a big fan of SOB, as you can probably tell from some of my recent posts. I wore the Lisa dress in tartan recently and fell in love with it completely!

    This was a really good choice for you, and I love the hat and shoes you put with it. x

  2. Maja Ćorić says:

    Yet another great choice in wardrobe, darling gal!
    A funny thing: ever since I was a kid, my grandma and my mom have always used the “plain” iron (believe me: I am not planning on swithing to “steam” iron any time soon), and the rule always was the same: use your CLOTH between your iron and your delicate garment… mostly when doing firt time pleat-work. 🙂


  3. Jenny Frances says:

    Hi Marija, Yes, I am always so careful with the iron! I know how painfully easy it can be to ruin a garment with one ill-fated encounter with the iron. Glad I’m not the only one who uses the cloth method 🙂 xxx

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