The Creation Of A Masterpiece

The Creation Of A Masterpiece

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The lace trimmed Velvet gown is a very special garment to us. A sophisticated eye, and a deep knowledge of period fashion and garment construction has been key when designing. The process of development of the dress has been fascinating and its astounding to see what we have been able to create, particularly as our inspiration was photography from the garments from 1930's, 40's and 50's.

The Lace Trimmed Velvet Gown

Before any sewing took place, I spent many hours drafting patterns, looking at fabric samples, construction techniques, and lace samples. In all the process took almost 6 months. Actual construction of the dress took a four-person team at our atelier. Master patterns for the Lace Trimmed Velvet Gown are dated 2018. 

We are absolutely ecstatic with the outcome of the Lace trimmed Velvet gown. This dress was one of our couture complex designs and sewn using the finest sewing techniques and delicate finishes.  


One thing we wanted to enhance this already gorgeous ensemble was to have gorgeous lace.  Lace is a centuries old way to display wealth and a traditional decoration for dress up clothes. During the 18th century, lace was used to decorate every imaginable part of a garment!  Most lace available today is machine made and we looked no further than Cluny Lace. Cluny lace is the only one factory left in Nottingham making lace to original vintage designs on antique lace looms. 

The Cluny Lace family business has been passed down to eight and ninth generations of the Mason family in textiles and maintained the same underpinning value throughout its unique history. 

Cluny Lace, Nottingham’s ninth-generation Leaver’s Lace manufacturer have worked with famous fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Burberry and Gucci. In 2012 they supplied the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace with lace to create Princess Catherine Middleton’s Royal Lace Appliqué for her veil and shoes and princess Diana’s before that.

Selecting lace for the Lace Trimmed Velvet dress was a detailed task and the Cluny Lace featured on the Lace Trimmed Velvet Gown is from a collection of hundreds of lace patterns built up throughout the last one hundred and fifty years.


We contacted lovely Kate at Cluny lace in search for laces to match. Each sample from Cluny lace was carefully studied before a selection was made. Finding lace that matched or blended with the fabric and silhouette was the first challenge. We selected the FC53 1.7cm lace white that has one straight border and one scalloped edge with a central motif repeat. When it arrived, it was the perfect match!

The lace on the Velvet Gown Collar and Cuffs is intricate and the lace is gathered by traditional methods. Edging lace has one heading (straight edge) and one scalloped side. On the straight edge of the lace there are several threads called the “heading”. These threads serve as pull threads for lace shaping. Before we started to shape the lacing, we made sure the lace had a good pull thread and the Cluny lace had several good pull threads, therefore if we broke the first one, we could pull another! To gather the lace, we pulled one the heading threads and adjusted the gathers evenly. 

All stages of manufacturing processes continue to take place in their own factory built around the turn of the century to hold the specialised lace machines, situated on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire in the heart of the United Kingdom.

 Having an ethically manufactured business and working with British manufacturers like Cluny Lace is such a strong personal value for us at Ira & Isla Baby and Kids.  

The finishes of the Lace Trimmed Velvet Gown are of exceptional quality, which can of course be achieved in Portugal or in the far east India or China for example, but we are determined to achieve this in Britain and work with British manufacturers. 

 I believe that I’d rather not have a brand at all, than do so in a way that compromises our core values at Ira & Isla Baby and Kids.