About Mary-Jane

Mary-Jane eating a cookie and drinking tea

My love of dressmaking developed from watching my Mother as she made most of my dresses and always made one in miniature for my dolls.

I learned the basics at school. Then became professionally trained at Lucie Clayton’s of Kensington, in the art of design, pattern cutting, dressmaking and tailoring.

MJ’s Dressmaking opened in 1984 in my hometown of Feltham Middlesex, offering the same comprehensive service as today.

I can remember the first wedding dress I made as if it were yesterday. The dress was designed by the bride herself, using several magazine cuttings for inspiration. The bodice was embellished with rows of lace trim and hundreds of tiny white pearls. My lovely bride then proceeded to lose over a stone in weight and the dress needed to be altered just weeks before the wedding day. Not something I would recommend to any bride. But all was well.

I advertised in Vogue and attracted a diverse range of clients including an Arabian princess. I have made everything from day-wear for a drag queen and some crazy fancy dress costumes for a fancy dress hire shop. I have changed a traditional sari into an evening dress with a matching bag. I have made many different styles of wedding dress including one with trousers and another with a full-length coat.

I take excellent care of my brides and have been known to accompany her to shop for accessories and bridesmaids dresses, as well as to help with suggestions to decorate the reception venue. And to my absolute delight, I usually get invited to the wedding as well.

I am an expert at invisible repairs but am just as happy to make a feature of that huge hole in your jeans. I have always made my own clothes and have re-styled many vintage or charity shop garments. I have done everything from making skirts out of trousers to turning a beloved pair of jeans into a waistcoat.

Today Mary-Jane’s Originals offer the same wide range of services but we are also developing a new service to provide workshops and tutorials to learn how to do all the above for yourself. So now I can make it for you or teach you how to make it yourself. Or would you like to take up trousers and skirts yourself? Perhaps you love to buy clothes from ebay or charity shops and they always need that little adjustment. Well I can show you how to tackle all your sewing pains. I also run workshops in local venues. Or how about hosting one in your own home? Invite some like-minded friends round to your house and you could learn free of charge.

Please look at some of the suggestions or phone and discuss your requirements.

Some nice things people have said about me and my work

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Thanks very much! I really enjoyed myself and will be back for more.

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Rachel, from Taunton UK
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You are a star MJ - thank you so much for your hard work!

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Janice, from Taunton UK