Mrs Bee Vintage dressmaker and tutor
Is my alter-ego, she designs and creates the vintage inspired garments of your dreams which you are unable to find anywhere else.. but she can also teach you how to make you own.
Before reading on you may like to know that I am Ramsgate Kent UK based .
Who I am
I am a very experienced costume and fashion pattern cutting and sewing turor , but I'm also maker and designer of Vintage inspired garments.
Although I studied costume design and making at university my passion is for vintage fashions . I cannot remember when I haven't been Interested in vintage clothing and fashions but it was before it was called 'Vintage' ...old, second hand and hand-me-downs the usual terminology used back then, sustainable fashion is todays terminoligy.
As a very young teenager I used to trawl the second hand shops and jumble sales to find 40s and 50s clothes to wear . ( and today young women ar trawling the shops to find original 70's to wear ) I never liked to wear the same as everyone else, so if I did buy something from the high street I would always customize it within my limitations.
I left school at 15 with no exams and not many sewing skills ( I was diagnosed dyslexic at 50 !!) I became a hair dressing apprentice in the Kings road, Chelsea and wore the most fabulous vintage to work, oh how I wish I'd kept it all.
I taught myself as many crafts as I could process whilst my children were small and then went to university when they went to school.
I graduated from London college of Fashion-University of the Arts London with an HND in Theatrical costume design which went on to be the much renowned BA (hons ) in Costume performance it is now , after a couple of years freelancing as a costume maker, working on TV, West end theatre productions and films such as 'Golden Eye' and 'Mary Shelley's Frankenstein' and creating and teaching sewing workshops in John Lewis in Oxford Street,
I was asked back to London College of Fashion (UAL) to become the Senior costume technician , teaching the technical side of costume on the MA and BA (hons) Costume for performance courses .
Within that role I graduated with a Post Grad certificate in Higher Education.(P.G.C.E)
all of the above anabled me to continue working on garment / costume production in my professional practice or along side the 1000's costume and 3D effects students I have taught to sew and pattern cut over the years, It is the most amazing feeling seeing them out in the Fashion or performance world as professionals .
After 23 years I have taken early retirement from that technical role as I have decided to consentrate on 'Mrs Bee' and I hope to take my creative practice to a whole new level.
I have started a Pop up sewing school based in Ramsgate and have been enjoying teaching small socially distanced groups in The Home Front tea rooms I am in talks with another couple of venues to enable groups of stitchers to come learn with me at a time that suits them.
I am lucky enough to be sponsered by Janome UK sewing machine and have 4 beautiful machine to teach with,
check out my Sewing tuition page and follow the links for more information
I have opened a vintage stall at the petticoat lane emporium in Ramsgate which is going well selling mid century fashion and vintage haberdashery.
although I havent given up on UAL altogether and I am now the Associate Costume lecturer for the 'Internationl preperation for fashion' (IPF) course .
The picture on the right is of me wearing vintage of course :) collecting a 'White square award' in 2013 for outstanding teaching, voted for by the students themselves, it was a great honour and a very special moment in my career.
then 2 years later I was very lucky to receive a 'Highly Commended' teaching award for Outstanding Teaching...It's good to know that I am appreciated by my students at London College of Fashion within the University of the Arts, London.
I was one of the vintage sewing experts in the Ch 4's vintage fashion TV show This old thing with Dawn O' Porter,
this was a 6 week TV series on wearing and up-cycling vintage garments... I continued to work with Dawn on her fabulous fashion label 'BOB by Dawn O' Porter' as her Design consultant.
I continue to freelance for film and TV ...one of my favorite commisions was to work on the outstandingly dark and wonderful
BBC's 40's/50's drama 'The Outcast' restoring and altering all the original garments for the peinciple actors.
Teaching and creation for me , comes many forms
In the summer of 2017 I had the privilege of spending time at the Zataari refugee camp in Jordan, working along side Prof Helen Storey on the 'love coat' project , teaching the young women 'TIGER girls' how to sew and create garments for themselves and others using up cycled and donated fabrics. It was a difficult and inspiring time and I hope I made a difference.
I am often asks for comments on the history and techniques of vintage and contemporary sewing techniques for magazines such as Sew mag All of the above informs my knowledge period ,vintage and contemporary clothing and leads to the design and creation of my beautiful, bespoke garments, these special pieces are created for the most discerning clients who haven't found what they're looking for in original vintage or mass produced retro garments.
Getting in touch
If you think I can help you in some way with any thing related to my skills then please get in touch through my contact link.
If you are looking for a beautifully bespoke vintage inspired garment then again get in touch through my contact page.
During our initial consultation we will talk about your design ideas and fabric choices, as we do , hopefully we will get to build a good dressmaker/client relationship. I believe it is very important that we hit it off, as having a garment made for you is a very personal and expensive service. If all goes well and you would like to commission a garment from me then we will arrange a second meeting ,where I will take a full set of measurements, agree the garment design and look at fabrics samples (Fabrics chosen can be a large factor in the final cost and aesthetic of your garment) together we will create a schedule for fittings and delivery of your bespoke vintage inspired garment.
at this point we will talk about estimated cost
* Please do not expect a garment that is hand crafted especially for you to be a cheaper alternative to the high street or designer shops*
A 30% deposit will be required at this point
My prices are for works carried out and does not include the fabrics and notions
All patterns that I create will remain my property.
and although I can of course create something similar to an image you may have found on the internet, I will not copy another designers creation . I can use it as a reference to create something unique to you and with that I will not create another one the same to keep your design exclusive.
The time, expertise and care when creating a bespoke garment is the same in a day dress as it is a wedding dress and as such is an investment.
I am able to use pieces from my large stash of vintage fabrics and notions, which would be added to the total cost
Vintage restorations and alterations and up-cycles are a particular passion of mine can be taken on and executed to a very high standard .
I care very much about what I do and my clients definitely believe I am worth the investment of time and money. So if your interested in having something very special made just for you.
please do use my contact form to get in touch for a chat.
I am really looking forward to hearing from you soon
Love Mrs Bee X