14th May – Wedding fair

I have been invited to show my makes at an up coming wedding fair in Henley-upon-Thames. This will be the first time I have shown my work at anything other than local fairs and championship dog shows.

Over the last few years I have seen an increasing rise in requests for bespoke dog items especially designed for weddings. It isn’t something I even thought about before. Dogs at wedding? Well dressed dogs at weddings? I have received a few photos back from customers who have taken their dogs to weddings, but I never really thought about developing a line especially for them.

Time has been short. From being asked if I would like to attend and the actual day was less than 4wks. I have been known to be in a ‘design and development’ stage for several years. Would it even be possible to develop a line of accessories for dogs at weddings? Could I design an outfit that looked smart and sophisticated rather than something that wouldn’t look out of place in Las Vegas?

My first thoughts were of bow ties and matching collars and leads. I make 3 different types of collars and leads so I have made up ‘sets’ to offer on the day, but I wanted something new for my first wedding fair.

Of course Harris Tweed would have to be part of the theme. And one of the items of clothing mostly associated with Harris Tweed is menswear; and in particular, jackets and waistcoats. Teddy very kindly posed for a few of my ‘mistakes’ until I came up with a design that I was happy with. I shall make 4 Harris Tweed waistcoats and bowties for the wedding fair. They are fully lined with hand stitched buttons down the front. The pocket is usable, I plan on adding a little ribbon on the inside so the pocket can be used to carry the rings.

I’m not sure I’m ready for a wedding fair. And I’m sure I will think of a thousand things to make a dog for a wedding. I’m hoping my customers have a rough idea what they are wanting, because I really will make anything for them for their special day.

9 days before we go live I am feeling a little stressed!!









Spring is in the air!

The sun is a welcome relief to the wet and windy weather we have been having. I am definitely a sun person. I love it. You wont hear me saying ‘oh it’s too hot’, the warmer the better. BUT only in the summer. I have no wish to go find the sun all year round, I like our changing seasons. Give me snowdrops and daffodils in Spring, warm sunny days in the Summer, the changing colours of Autumn and the cold of Winter (with a little snow thrown in occasionally).

Today Tallulah is sunning herself on the decking. I have been watching her all morning. Scouting around and finding the warmest spot. Then jumping up to chase the pigeons, who are much bigger than her. No idea what she would do if she actually caught one. tallulah060417

Teddy has stayed in, with the occasional trip outside to also chase the pigeons. What is it with dogs and chasing birds? Sunday we went for a walk by the river as it was another gorgeous day and Tallulah thought it would be a good idea to chase geese. I wouldn’t have blamed them for having a go back. But honestly Tallulah, they roughly weigh around 6.5kg and you are only 1.8kg.

I’ve been working hard on a few commissions. Some will take longer to do than others. Sometimes my designing process leads me into new territory and I have to learn a new skill. One of my commissions is for a bespoke Harris Tweed strap, redesigning my guitar strap. As always, I have underestimated how much a small change in design can increase the time frame. Luckily for me my customer doesn’t need these until the end of this month, giving my plenty of time to finalise the design before making them up.

Happy Spring



Liberty of London

It is widely assumed that people who like art are experts on the great masters and painting in general. It is also widely assumed that people who make things with fabric know all about needlework. It is also widely assumed that dog lovers know all there is to know about dogs….But as an art lover, seamstress and dog owner I can, with hand on heart, say I know nothing about fabric, art history or dog anatomy!

I will explain.

My education is somewhat lacking. School life wasn’t great, I hated it. I spent most of my time daydreaming and wishing I was somewhere else or avoiding my brother and the wrath that the teachers bestowed on me just because I was his sister. He was a little terror and still is! I also found out in later life, that I am slightly dyslexic. Not enough for it to be a huge problem though as I passed my 7 CSE (equivalent to GCSE today). But I really struggle sometimes with sentence construction and spelling and even numbers can be problematic. Sitting exams was a nightmare because I often failed to understand what was being asked. However I’m not disadvantaged by my lack of comprehension, although still to this day I cannot tell my left from my right. If I am driving and being given instructions they have to be given to me well in advance, springing a left turn on me at the last moment will not guarantee my actually going that way! But I did pass my driving test first time…yeh! Go me! He was a very understanding instructor who didn’t penalise me for going the wrong way because I indicated the way I went.

‘I know what I like’ has been a constant thread throughout my life. As I look around my lounge we have a very eclectic room. Oak parquet flooring, faux leather beanbag, a habitat coffee table, mismatched pictures in different frames, sculptures and bamboo lampshades. And I love every bit of it and I can recall where each piece was bought. The same goes for fabric. I can’t tell you what the difference is between poplin and linen, or silk and taffeta, but I do know what I like. Liberty tana lawn fabric has the feel of silk. It’s soft to the touch and drapes beautifully. It comes in so many stunning colours. Every shade you can think of and then some. Timeless designs. Why did it take me so long to appreciate such gorgeous fabric…probably the cost and lack of inspiration. Liberty fabric is iconic, it’s flowery and pretty and not me at all. I see Liberty fabric adorning very tall willowy women walking down the Embankment on a sunny day … I’m short, under height by about 4ft, and in my youth I had bright orange hair and freckles. But I so love this fabric and, I might be being a little dense here, because I’ve only ever thought of Liberty fabric as clothing. Oh how wrong can a person be.

I don’t claim to be an expert seamstress as I’m still learning. I don’t always use the correct terminology or use the right tools. But when I am happy with something I’ve made you will see that and not the trial and error mistakes I’ve made on the way.

This fabulous fabric arrived on my door step today… will it be a bag? A bow tie? A lead? A coat? Who knows! Watch this space…


The Tailored Hound

Welcome to The Tailored Hounds first Blog.

I am more of a creative than a writer but I will try to give you some interesting snippets in to my life and love of sewing and creating beautiful and useful things.

I have always made things. I have this weird ability to take a 3D object (like a dress) and ‘take it apart’ in my head and then take that image in my head and draw a pattern from it. As a child I loved doing jigsaw puzzles. I think this is where my ‘talent’ comes from. My daughter hates it when I get the puzzles out, as I am able to easily pick out the pieces that fit: much to her frustration! She would often hide pieces so she could put the last piece in. I am slightly dyslexic and struggle constructing sentences and don’t get me started on spelling, thankfully computers nowadays have a spell check!

This is probably why I like making things. To feed this appetite I have for putting things together. Figuring out the puzzles in my head. Making things that are practical and useful. I get slightly frustrated with things that don’t have a purpose, like scrabble pictures and hanging dust collectors…but I think that will be a whole new blog on its own!

My love of making things extends across a wide range including: DIY: Gardening: Drawing: Sewing: Crocheting: Woodwork: Painting: Embroidery: Card making: Jewellery and anything new that comes along and I find interesting. So watch this space for some of my more unusual hobbyies.

I am Dawn Colgan, designer: Maker: Creative: slightly too short for my weight (I should be 8ft 9”) and owner of The Tailored Hound. x