Hot! The “1950s Horrockses” dress from May 2011

The Facts:

Fabric: cotton bought from
Pattern: Free download from V and A museum in London based on a dress in their collection, graded up by me
Year: 1950s
Notions: zip, hook and eye
Time to complete: 17 hours
First worn: To the London sewweekly meet in May 2011
Wear again? Yes, to the street party I am organising in June to mark the Jubilee (Queen Elizabeth II has reigned for 60 years this year!). Not on a day to day basis!

Total price: £22


Name & Location: Charlotte Tilley, Lincolnshire, England


How long have you been sewing: Recently, seriously, with my own sewing machine, about a year. As a teenager I made a couple of things on my Mother’s machine, but I am not counting the dreadful too-tight on purpose pencil skirt I made when I was 15.

Why did you want to commit to The Sew Weekly Challenge: Last year I made about thirty items and completed 22 sewweekly challenges. I did alot more as  part of the community (with a purpose and a deadline) than I would have on my own!

What do you love most about sewing garments:The planning stages, research, finding fabric. Going to my sewing class. That “yes! I did it!” moment

What do you hate most about sewing garments: Preparing the pattern and cutting out the fabric

What do you want to accomplish this year with regard to the challenge: To improve my sewing. To gain new skills and to make a jacket and a pair of trousers

Your biggest non-sewing goal of 2012: to finally lose some weight so I can enjoy the clothes I make more

What are your favorite sewing/fashion blogs: Apart from, obviously, there are loads, but top are,,,,,



Charlotte Tilley

Charlotte Tilley sewed a dress in 1988 on her mother's machine. Then nothing for over 20 years. She came out of hibernation to sew along with sewweekly for the last year. She has learnt alot, but has a long long way to go.....


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  1. Lovely! I like the fabric quite a bit.

    Every time I see “Horrockses” I read “horcrux”… as in the curse from Harry Potter.

  2. Glad to see you have signed up here. I always enjoy your take on the theme and I loved your Horrocks dress (and wished I had the time to make my own)

  3. Thanks Jen, I must admit it was only after some serious thought that I signed up…. glad I did now ;0)

  4. Glad you’re here Charlotte – don’t feel so lonely now!

  5. What a lovely frock! I look forward to seeing your work over the year :D :D

  6. Thanks Amanda, I’ll try not to disappoint you tooooooo much ;0)

  7. This dress was drop dead gorgeous… Xx

  8. Thank you for a reminder of the V&A pattern that I’m sure I bookmarked somewhere and sometime, and then forgot about.

    • No worries – but it does come with a health warning! I only managed it with help from my sewing teacher and it only comes in small and medium sizes, not a large size like me ;0)

  9. I agree with “I did alot more as part of the community (with a purpose and a deadline) than I would have on my own!” I totally get that!

  10. Hi charlotte – great to see some familiar faces here – I have missed all you lovely ladies (although I have been following you all throughout the year. I love this dress – I think it is my favourite.

  11. Charolette,
    This dress is amazing.. And girl wearing it is too.. SO proud of how far you have come this year.Happy Sewing 2012.

  12. Awwww my favorite dress of all time! And a big hello Charlotte!