Why this dress?

I’ve spent a long time sewing, and a long time being ill, and between the two I seem to have been on an endless search for The Perfect Dress. One that was comfortable, soft enough not to chafe my skin, loose enough not to cause me stomach pains, easy to wear and style in a variety of different ways… I can’t count the number of sewing patterns I’ve both bought and drafted, and the number of dresses I’ve given away after wearing them only once or twice. After a great deal of trial and error (okay, mostly error!) I suddenly realised that I’d been making the perfect dress all along. A self-drafted, square-necked, loose fitting dress, that I’ve sewn in lengths ranging from a short top, all the way down to the floor. I’ve also made many versions for my niece, who wears them often. So… the search ends here!

I make one dress. I make it in sizes from age 1 year to women’s UK size 28. Every single dress is made one at a time, by hand, by me. If you need any customisations in terms of length, size or fabric choice, I can probably make it happen for you. Just ask: claire@eternalmagpie.com.

Why this fabric?

By making my own dresses, I’ve chosen to step off the never ending merry-go-round of fast fashion shopping. This dress is slow, thoughtful fashion personified, and I wanted that to be reflected in the fabrics as well as in the style.

I try to choose fabrics that have been hand made, often in small communities, in order to support other artisans around the world. This might be handwoven organic cotton from India, it might be Irish linen, or it might be Harris Tweed from the Outer Hebrides.

I do include some mass-produced novelty fabrics and some beautiful Liberty prints, simply because people like them, and I do need to make a living! But I try to source as much independently-produced and ethically-created fabric as I can.

How much?!

One of the most important things I can do as a small independent maker is to ensure that everybody involved in my supply chain, including myself, is paid a fair wage. This makes my costs higher than those of other businesses whose primary concern is their bottom line.

I’m a very small producer (a micro business, if you like), and as a result I don’t consume nearly enough fabric in order to be able to purchase it in large quantities at wholesale prices. I shop around and I take advantage of sales when I can, but for the most part I pay full retail prices for my fabric and other materials, because I have to.

What size do I need? 

Have a look at the size charts

Sizes range from age 1 year, to women's size 28. 

Some of these size ranges overlap.

The Young Adult sizes are designed for a smaller bust and narrower hip than the similar Adult sizes. Fuller Figure sizes are designed to be more generous in the bust.

If you have a smaller bust, you can safely go down a size. If your bust is larger, choose the next size up. 

These dresses are designed to be extremely loose-fitting, so there is a great range of flexibility between sizes!