Meet The Maker: Dressing Gowns
Watch The Second Episode of the 'Meet The Maker' Series Here.
The dressing gown can be traced as far back as the 17th century where they were worn informally for breakfasts and other occasions before getting dressed. Often quilted to provide extra warmth they were made from a variety of fabrics from wool to silk.
The elaborate dressing gowns of times gone by are few and far between being replaced by towelling or fleeced renditions only to be worn for walking unwillingly from the bedroom to the bathroom before work in morning. However, there are a select few who revel in the charm of a traditional, hand made dressing gown for perusing around the house on a Sunday morning and Budd are one of the few shops in St James' and Mayfair that can offer silk, wool and cotton gowns that are all handmade in England.
We took a visit to meet our gown maker Linda who hand makes all of our gowns in her home in Bromley. Linda has been making gowns for 44 years, nearly 40 of those have been for Budd. Beginning her career at the infamous brand Sulka of Bond Street where she learnt her trade on the job (after doing studying at school and college). During her long spanning career she has made gowns for numerous brands as well as for film and stage at one point having a team of seamstresses behind her.
But let's get down to the nitty gritty of gown making. It takes a minimum of 5 hours to make a gown, from cutting, making to hand finishing. But this does not take into account checks or stripes where this process can be much longer as each gown has to be cut individually to ensure the pattern on the fabric is all aligned. This applies to the Fox Flannel gowns Linda was in the process of making when we visited.
What has been her most peculiar request? A boxing gown for her brother, the sleeves had to be much larger than a standard dressing gown to allow for the boxing gloves. More recently? A rather outlandish Jockey Colours inspired gown by request from a customer.
But it's not all about gown making you know, in her spare time Linda enjoys card making and has some rather impressive designs.
Watch our short film of Linda in action here.