The Art of Reproducing Royal Garments

Reproducing vintage baby and children’s clothes is one of our specialties here at Martha Pullen Co. It all started many years when Martha Pullen first discovered antique baby clothes along London’s Portobello Road and set out on a journey to learn how to recreate the garments’ gorgeous heirloom techniques. Of course, we’ve created our own versions of countless vintage garments since those days! Some of my favorites have been those inspired by England’s Royal Family featured in our book Sewing for a Royal Baby.


Flowers for Princess Anne floral version

When Amelia Johanson, our former associate editor of Sew Beautiful, was researching for that book, she came across a photo of siblings Princess Anne and Prince Charles that Royal Photographer Marcus Adams took in April 1954. The photo inspired Amelia to draft a reproduction of Princess Anne’s darling dress – a waisted floral design that appeared to be organdy and had flutter sleeves, a square neckline, a tiny self-fabric ruffle edging, a double-ruffle hem and ribbon sash. She created her version first in a floral voile and then made an heirloom batiste version from the same pattern. The pattern, size 6, was featured in our August/September 2014 edition of Sew Beautiful and we have just released special limited edition kits for both the floral and heirloom versions. The Floral Kit is made in a beautiful Herbert Pink Floral Print cotton fabric from the Stiles Collection of Liberty Lifestyle Art Fabrics, while the Heirloom Kit is made in white Imperial batiste.


Flowers for Princess Anne heirloom version

You can find more royal sewing inspiration in Sewing for a Royal Baby. Royal reproductions in the book include Princess Margaret Rose – a remake of a smocked dress 2-year-old Princess Margaret Rose wore in 1934 for a portrait with her 6-year-old sister Princess Elizabeth. The reproduction designed by Janet Gilbert features a double-scalloped hem and an original smocking plate. There is also Laurie Anderson’s reproduction of Prince William’s Red Suit that the young prince wore to meet little bother Prince Harry for the first time. Prince George recently wore an outfit very similar to this English smocked shirt with matching red shorts to Princess Charlotte’s christening. Of course, the book also includes Connie Palmer’s magnificent version of the Royal Christening Gown. Inspired by the actual elaborate gown generations of British royal babies have been christened in, Connie’s version includes elegant machine embroidery motifs, gathered strips of netting and a silk satin sashing. Her version also includes a unique bodice effect using a wide gathered netting ruffle at the neckline.

If you’d like to join us live and in-person to create some royal attire, check out Connie Palmer’s Royal Confections School: All the Proper Details, which will be part of our School of Art Fashion Boutique in Fredericksburg, VA Sept. 28-30! In this class, you can take your pick between making a captivating christening gown or a charming child’s dress. Click here to learn more about all five classes you can choose from!

Don’t forget that we are bringing back our Serger I Online Licensing Course August 31! We will teach you everything you ever wanted to know about sergers in this online course, and you’ll receive a ready-to-teach curriculum of 20+ serger projects.

We pray for the men and women serving our nation in harm’s way, and for all of you.

Much Love to You All & May God Bless,
Kathy McMakin