Sewing your own clothes takes time and effort and skill. Why not choose to cultivate the practice with beautiful cloth and well crafted tools that enhance the pleasure and bring joy!
I grew up watching my mother sewing and knitting and I learned to sew the odd apron and ‘A’ line skirt at school. As a teenager I would go to the market on a Saturday afternoon, buy whatever cloth I could afford and turn it into something to wear on Saturday night. All the way through university I sewed, often making garments for friends, and on buying my first house I made the blinds, cushions and bed covers. But then my career took over and I stopped. Twenty years in a London-based job left me with no time at all. In 2015 a house renovation project reignited my creativity, I started sewing again and I haven’t paused for breath since.
All that sewing and wear testing taught me what I like, what weights work best for our climate, what feels nice to the touch, what drapes well and what holds structure. You have no idea what’s right until you’ve worked with a cloth a few times and lived with it as a garment.
A devotion to linen led to a homewares brand called Home Trousseau. It was sourcing the cloth for our bed, bath and table linens that led me to the weavers and dyers of cloth for dressmaking and then, of course, With This Cloth had to happen. As with homewares, so with dressmaking fabrics. I wanted cloth grown, woven and finished in Europe.
I started talking to buyers and sellers from all over the world, talking timelines and minimums, pricing and delivery. I went to France, Belgium, Ireland and Lithuania to meet the weavers at their factories, looking for mills I could trust to provide beautiful cloth that would last a lifetime, and mills who were honest about the origin of their materials. Face to face meetings are so important for good relationships and much better than endless emails. They meet you, they learn about what your needs are. You learn about their production processes and timelines. You ask endless questions and you begin to narrow your focus.
Bit by bit, I found what I wanted. It is, of course, cloth I want to sew with. Cloth with a depth of colour, a heavier weight, an interesting linen blend with texture and nuance in the shade. Colours that work with all skin tones, cool and warm. Some are limited edition and some we will stock all year round.
Thanks for stopping by!