A dressmaker and designer from Timperley has launched her first collection of vintage-inspired loungewear, sleepwear and lingerie.
Victoria Clegg, 34, has designed and made every single piece by hand, working long hours in order to fit in her passion alongside a full-time job in higher education health enterprise.
She is now hoping the range – available to buy now on the Victoria Seraphina website – will prove a success to allow her to concentrate on dressmaking full-time.
“It’s always been a passion,” said Victoria, who got her first sewing machine at 18. “I’ve made things for people in the past but this is the first time I’ve designed a mainstream collection. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Victoria’s creations are the definition of handmade, starting with an idea and progressing through a sketch, a miniature scale pattern, a draft pattern and then the actual creation.
“Some pieces can take up to 15 hours to complete,” she said, “there is a lot of effort and love that goes into them.”
Her primary inspiration is derived from the 1930s and 40s and the golden age of Hollywood glamour, when stars like Katharine Hepburn, Greta Garbo and Lana Turner were the epitome of style.
“I want these pieces to be investment, special pieces for people,” she added. “They’re all made from luxury fabrics – silk, silk satin, organza, lace. There’s no cotton or lycra, it’s all luxury material. Like in the 30s and 40s, there are a lot of fluid shapes.”
She said a big motivation for designing her own clothes was that it was becoming so much harder to find what she wanted on the high street.
“There’s a lot of fast fashion around at the moment which has its place, but I think some people are losing interest in that. I want something more special.”
She said there was something in her collection for women of all ages, and that she also has a bridal range and would take commissions for bespoke garments.
Originally from Worsley, Victoria lives with Timperley-born boyfriend Mike, a project co-ordinator.
She has a first class degree in psychology from Manchester University and is a trained cognitive behavioural therapist.
After deciding to take her hobby to the next level, she completed a diploma in pattern construction at Manchester College and now teaches sewing and dressmaking courses at Manchester Metropolitan University in Stockport.
Her ambition in the future is to have her own shop, so that customers can browse through the collection in person.
“My intention is to keep the handmade factor but increase the size of the collection and the number of places it is available,” she said.
“I have put a lot of effort into this business and building up the collection. I want to provide customers with something special, something that isn’t available anywhere else. I have lots of exciting plans for future collections and I can’t wait to turn these ideas into reality”.
Visit the Victoria Seraphina website here. Victoria will also be holding a launch event at The Con Club on Greenwood Street in Altrincham on Thursday 19th October from 7pm, where she will be talking about her creative journey and inspirations and showing samples from her collection. Tickets are available at www.victoriaseraphina.com/events.