Welcome to Ivy Leaf Creations

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Ivy Leaf Creations is a high end unique boutique offering unique designs with vintage flair along with a modern twist.
All our garments are designed from scratch, crafted by hand and tailored to the highest quality. The individual attention each garment receives ensuresthat not only will you look like a princess at the ball, you will feel like one too!

Quality over quantity

Many years of working with all kinds of fabrics, within a variety of experience such as, theatre, dance, costume design, tailoring, couture, pret a porter and soft furnishings, have left me in the advantageous position of understanding how certain fabrics ‘work’ with others,that is, how a certain texture, weave, weight etc can compliment and enhance a corresponding piece, as in a lining, resulting in a professional, finished product of quality.

Unfortunately, if care isn’t taken in choosing quality materials, then the end result is a garment, a stage curtain, a blind, of a poor standard, made with inferior fabrics that look, feel and are, cheap in every way. It is a false economy to buy inexpensive fabrics to make inexpensive garments. They won’t last as long and will probably look like a washed out dish cloth after the first wash. The old adage ‘ you gets what you pays for’ is very true of the rag trade.

I am very opposed to the modern concept of a disposable culture. I don’t want to contribute in anyway to the already wasteful, commonly held belief that clothes are only meant to last a few weeks, that is, a season and then need to be thrown away to make way for the next lot.
Bearing all that in mind, therefore, I’d like to briefly outline what fabrics I’ve chosen to create my clothes out of and why.

Materials

Firstly, with the exception of some of the bridal wear, all my special occasion dresses for little girls are made from cotton poplin. Poplin, also known as Tabinet, derives from the 15th century Papelino, made in Avignon, France in the 1400s and from the French Papelaine fabric, originally made from silk. Poplins can be woven in combination with several other fibres, eg., silk and cotton, but all of the poplins I use are 100% cotton. It is a very durable fabric, washes well, can withstand quite a stressful life, vital where little people are concerned, is soft to the touch (gets softer with wear wear) and is weighty enough to drape nicely where it has to, but also lends itself beautifully to full gathers, godets and flounces. In short, perfect for the prettiest of little dresses and skirts.

All my dresses and skirts are fully lined, either with a self fabric lined bodice, or a full bodice and underskirt/petticoat in Habotai silk lining. Habotai is a traditional silk lining originating in Japan but now also woven in China. It is the lining of choice in couture and haute couture garments. This is because silk habotai is the lightest lining, it breathes and is able to adjust to body temperature, thus being cool in the summer and adding warmth in the winter. It is a pleasure to sew and produces a lovely finish, unlike the less expensive linings, such as polyester and acetate, found in many ready to wear garments on the High Street, which are prone to pulling, snagging and have a tendency to ‘travel’ in unwanted directions (independent of cut) due to an indefinite and/or seriously out of sync grain.

I use a lot of tulle in the making of my occasional wear, and indeed virtually always in my own evening dresses and bridal wear for grown ups that I am sometimes commissioned to design and create. Again, like my other mainstay materials, it originates from France, with Paris being the first to use it in very early ballet costumes. As well as making fabulous tutus, tulle is also used extensively for brides’ veiling and to give a garment a frothy, floaty look. Tulle is a very fine, light netting which is often starched to provide a little more stiffness. (as with all finishes on fabrics straight from the manufacturer, the ‘sizing’ will deplete with laundering) That is why garments will feel softer after washing. Tulle, on the other hand will retain its form and still perform its function,when as in the case of being stitched onto the underskirted linings of my frocks, of providing fullness, shape and stickyoutness – just what every girl, whatever their age, wants in say, one of my full circle twirly skirts!

A button of authenticity

I try to use ribbons in my work as often as the design will tastefully allow. I think using either satin or velvet ribbons on a special dress or petticoat adds charm and is an extra detail which speaks to the quality of the work. Every Ivy Leaf creation will have somewhere in its folds a ribbon bow and little button to vouch for its authenticity, a made by Shirene symbol, as opposed to any sewn in label, laser printed image or other such tags.


Read some testimonials below:

Customer Phil Owens
I just wanted to express my sincere thanks for the lovely clothes you made for our nieces. They were perfect party dresses and I know they will love wearing them. The detailing was far superior to anything I could have bought on the high street and well worth every penny.