The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury is so much a part of Mondo Kaos that we use the 'nickname' Bloomsbury in everyday speech. As you can tell from the name, it is a British vintage style clothing brand, and the brand has its origins in London's Bloomsbury. It is a sweet story about a skilled seamstress in London, who has been immortalized in this brand's philosophy, and not least in the many beautiful designs.

Original vintage designs with modern fit

The brand saw the light of day in 2012, and we opened our eyes to the brand in 2014, when we fell in love with the authentic vintage style, and the beautiful and flattering models, which we were convinced should only be found in Mondo Kaos' range.
We still love the clothes from The Seamstress of Bloomsbury because of the high quality and great fit of the clothes, and of course also because of the brand's focus on original vintage designs. But how do you achieve that authenticity in pattern and design?

The original 'Seamstress'

The story goes back to 1939, when a young woman named Lilian Wells was apprenticed to one of British high society's leading tailors. Lilian showed great talent for both designing and sewing, and it wasn't long before she had become a household name in the higher social strata both at home and abroad - so well known that she was given the nickname 'The Seamstress of Bloomsbury'.

Mike Stephens, who is the owner, designer and brain/heart behind The Seamstress of Bloomsbury, got to know Lilian as a young man. Mike was already in the fashion industry with a successful company of his own, and through his producers at the time he got to know Lilian as she was their consultant on difficult patterns and garment construction.

Mike visited the factory when he knew she was there, so he could listen to her inexhaustible knowledge of clothes and tailoring. The two eventually became close friends, and when Lilian passed away 12 years ago, she left all the many vintage patterns, mainly from the 1940s , to Mike. However, there was still no concrete plan to use these. But that was soon to change.

Shirts from the Seamstress of Bloomsbury

Although Bloomsbury have their main focus on the beautiful dresses many of them in the original vintage 1940s designs from Lilian Wells herself, they also have a range of wonderful shirts which are perfect for both skirts and trousers , and depending on whether you want a more contemporary look or 'walk the line' and wear 100% vintage style.

Eva shirt with tie bow in blue
Vintage shirt with tie bow in cream
Vintage shirt blouse in red

Classic long-sleeved shirts

There is the very classic long-sleeved Bonnie, with lapel collar and small shoulder pleats that give the nice vintage flow. If you want even more vintage style, there is the beautiful long-sleeved shirt Eva, which, in addition to nice stitching (smock) at the shoulders, also has a beautiful tie bow at the front, which gives the shirt a very feminine vintage look.

Short sleeve vintage style shirts

The short-sleeved models Jive and Judy are super popular and can really be styled with and with everything. We had long loved Jive, which, however, was best for women with smaller breasts, so we were delighted when the brand designed Judy, which with small calves and a V-neck is perfect for women with larger breasts.

Vintage shirt with polka dots
Red vintage shirt
1950s shirt in black

the man behind 'The Seamstress of Bloomsbury'

Not least due to the knowledge of tailoring, pattern construction, textiles etc. that Lilian passed on to Mike, he worked for many years with high street fashion, where he very successfully delivered designs to giants such as Top Shop, Miss Selfrige and H & M.
About 11 years ago, Mike sold his then company and through a vintage enthusiast and hat designer, Mike became acquainted with London's swing and Tea-dance dance environment a few years later. He decided it was time to translate his knowledge of the making of the classic 40s cuts into dresses .

Focus on the 1940s

The brand The Seamstress of Bloomsbury focuses on the style from the 1940s , as the many beautiful vintage patterns and cuts that Mike inherited from Lilian originate from that time. Due to the knowledge she passed on to Mike, he decided it would be fun to create authentic reproductions of the old dresses for the dance community.

Modern with vintage style

The 1940s is in many ways ideal and suits both the vintage style and our modern society. During the war, everything was rationed, so everything superfluous was cut away. Pockets, collars, width, length; everything had certain restrictions that had to be observed. This means that designs from the 1940s with few tools are feminine but also simple in expression, which fits in just as well in 2021 as in 1941.

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury comes to be

Lilian's beautiful designs were brought back to life in the early 2010s and in 2012 Mike started the brand which he named after Lilian; The Seamstress of Bloomsbury . The first collection was modest and was made in 3 sizes and 4 colors for a small handful of customers, mostly from the London dance scene.

The inspiration for the vintage dresses

To start with, he was a one-man company, but today he has 7 employees in the office and warehouse, and numerous production sites in the UK, Europe and Asia, and today Mike sells both Lilian's and his own beautiful vintage designs to stores worldwide over.

Mike can still find the ideas for the beautiful designs in Lilian's models, but in addition he loves to delve into the fashion of the 30s and 40s , e.g. to vintage festivals, museums and then in the swing dance environment which he still sees as an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

Dresses from The Seamstress of Bloomsbury

As we have heard, the beautiful dresses from The Seamstress of Bloomsbury are inspired by the flourishing dance scene around the dances of the 1930s and 1940s. This means that most of the dresses have great freedom of movement. For example, we have the super popular wrap dress Peggy , which is both flattering and fits perfectly in any vintage wardrobe.

News from Bloomsbury

In addition, we have received two new designs that we are very excited about. Pip and Eve.

Eva is the dress version of the very popular Eva tie bow shirt, while Pip has lots of beautiful vintage details, and beautiful pearl print illusion on the sleeves and collar. We have had the Pip dress made in green exclusively for our Mondo Ladies.

We are sure that among the beautiful Seamstress of Bloomsbury dresses there is (at least) one favorite for all our customers.

News from Bloomsbury Pip

Eva dress from Seamstress of Bloomsbury with pussy bow
Green dress in 40s style from Bloomsbury
Black dress from seamstress of bloomsbury

Crepe de Chine and authentic vintage print

Bloomsbury is the brand that cares about the details, and they certainly do that when it comes to the fabric and the beautiful unique prints and patterns.
The fabric is viscose in a beautiful Crepe de Chine which is soft and has the most beautiful fall, so it really flatters the figure. The print is always made with the greatest love for the authentic style, so that everything blends into a larger unit. Whether it's feminine flower bouquets that have just the right vintage colors, or the seductive dot pattern with new moon detail, you just know that the design is just right and fits the style perfectly.

Bloomsbury wrap dress

A tribute to Lilian

After many years in the fashion industry, Mike today feels the greatest joy and gratitude in keeping the tradition of The Seamstress of Bloomsbury alive.

Mike decided to call the brand The Seamstress of Bloomsbury as a tribute to Lilian, whose constant advice and guidance led to his success in the clothing industry.

Every single piece of clothing from The Seamstress of Bloomsbury contains a small tribute to the 1940s and not least to Lilian, the original Seamstress of Bloomsbury.

If you want to try the beautiful models from the brand, we are ready to answer your questions, and we look forward to guiding you in the store. Of course, 'Bloomsbury', like all our other beautiful clothes, is also available in the webshop. It might be your first 'Bloomsbury' - but certainly not your last.

Best wishes

Team Mondo Kaos ❤

Read more:

vintage, retro, repro?

Vintage, retro or repro?

The story of inclusive fashion and plus sise

Inclusive model or plus size?

The history of the swing dress

All about the swing dress

PS Do you want to hear more about when we hold new events, start sales, competitions, get new products, etc.

Then sign up for the newsletter below: