Friday, 17 February 2017


It is always fantastic to find a new range or brand of clothing which we love and which works for both of us, since we have very different body shapes, and also different tastes in clothes.

Anne C here, and it was my very great pleasure to be introduced to a new Yorkshire designer, Sarah Lewis, who recently quit her job to do something which she loves - to design clothes.  While not quite a baby boomer herself, she has a wealth of experience behind her in the design trade - from running a market stall in Cape Town, South Africa to designing period costumes for the theatre.

She began sewing at 16 without any formal training, but initially did not have the confidence to pursue tailoring as a career option. Inspired by the bright and beautiful African fabrics, she studied at Glasgow School of Art and completed a degree in textile design.

She didn't immediately take up a career in fashion but eventually - eager to learn garment construction and more advanced skills - she trained for a further year with teachers and professional tailors – including with our friend Gill at the Yorkshire School of Sewing, who has previously featured on our blog and Instagram – and at the Northern College of Costume in York.

“I have been really lucky to have Les the tailor who has a lifetime of experience and is the main person the theatres outsource to nationally, and Clyde who teaches tailoring at Huddersfield University as my mentors. Because of Clyde there is now a community of young people working to preserve the knowledge of tailoring which sadly, is a dying art.”

Sarah decided to follow her heart, and inspired by her time in the theatre, has a particular passion for those eras where womens' clothes were beautifully tailored, and fabric was traditionally natural - so has opted for luxurious cashmere, super-soft alpaca, and lovely Scottish tweeds. 

She is pictured above with her lovely Mum, Mary (who claims to be 70 but we don't believe her!) who made us very welcome with lashings of tea and biscuits when we visited Sarah's workshop near York.

Sarah's first collection is winter coats, but she is planning to move into tailored garments, with a mix and match range of jackets, skirts and pants suits, aimed at a more discerning customer.  Her coats are all beautifully lined with satin, and carefully finished with specially chosen buttons, sourced from a traditional Yorkshire company which made its name during the local textile boom before the second world war.

We thought it would be fun to spend a day modelling and trying on coats – and give us something fabulous to aspire to!

Sarah is wearing “Christine” a light brown double breasted Scottish Highland wool tweed mix coat with a drop waist. This oversized-style coat has fitted sleeves and side pockets with a nod to Sarah’s 1920s “flapper” inspiration. It has gold lining in 100% satin acetate. Mary is showcasing a beautifully soft 100% felted wool coat appropriately named after her - in cinnamon, with a dropped sleeve, patch pockets and wonderfully large collar which can be left open or fastened up snuggly on cooler days. 

Then it was our turn to get our hands on these beautiful coats and try out the best ones for our own style.

All the coats are named after Sarah's family members, and Anne H is wearing Louise, a lovely Italian cashmere swing coat in a deep berry shade, with a large collar, loose sleeve and welt pockets.  The length is perfect for Anne's height, and is a lovely contrast to her hair. Notice the beautiful lilac/pink satin lining when she twirls!

Anne C is wearing Ella, a lovely mauve swing coat with dropped sleeves, welt pockets and large collar which can be left open or fastened up for cooler days. The 100% wool angora mix has a super soft feel and a raspberry iridescent lining in 100% shot satin acetate.

Anne H (above and below) is wearing Maya, another swing coat with loose fitted sleeves, welt pockets and large collar in stone-coloured wool herringbone mix tweed, with gold lining in satin acetate.

Anne C is wearing Michelle, which is a shorter coat – so better for Anne’s height - with a shawl collar and pockets in the side seam.  The herringbone tweed mix is grey with a satin lining in air force blue.

Finally, Anne H is wearing her personal favourite - a simple ginger “Thea” oversized, double breasted coat with deep collar and optional tie belt. Slightly tulip-shaped with dropped sleeves and welt pockets, it is 100% pure cashmere with a beautiful sheen. The gold lining is 100% satin acetate.

We will be showcasing more of Sarah’s beautiful designs in the coming weeks with a range of transitional coats and occasion jackets, when we hope the weather will be a little warmer!
Sarah's website is (Current collection is mostly in sizes12/14 but some are generously proportioned.  Sarah can adjust length of hemlines and sleeves for a more bespoke order).


  1. What FABULOUS coats - each and every one!!

    1. They are gorgeous, Anne (another Anne!!!) - so beautifully soft and easy to wear either over jeans or a work suit!

  2. What a lovely day with two lovely women. Thank you for being such great models for my coats. You wear them with such style. You both look fabulous! Sarah x

    1. Thank you Sarah, our pleasure - it's the coats which steal the show - they're gorgeous!


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