It all started at Truro College in 2012 ………………………………… As part of my second year of my commercial Fashion Foundation Degree, I decided to make a collection of bright coloured alternative clothing, and it for once turned out a success! I made 3 items – 2 dresses and a skirt out of fun colourful and children’s fabrics. I was really pleased with the results! As part of my uni brief I also had to set up promotion for my items and name the brand etc, so I set up a Facebook page and came up with the name, I made a few bags to sell on Etsy and got a great response. I then completed a photoshoot with a local model and a photographer from the college of the 3 dresses that I had made, I posted the pictures on here and also to some blogs and had people enquiring to buy things. I also had these 3 garments advertised as part of the college exhibition, I left out over 100 business cards with a link to my Facebook page and within 2 days they had all gone so I had to drop off more!

Me making accessories in my studio

I went from there, people wanted to buy bits and order them specially (starting with friends and people I knew) and then moving on to people all around the world.

The Silly Old Sea Dog highlights so far include winning a stand in the ASOS competition for graduates at Clothes Show Live 2013 (and we have attended every year since), receiving local, national and international press, attending Paris Plus Size Fashion week, having Hayley Hasselhoff wear one of our dresses on the catwalk and appearing in the UK TV advert for Etsy.

Behind the Scenes on our Christmas 2015 shoot at Bodmin Railway for Vintage Life Magazine, with model Megan and Models Tian and Liam working the snow machine
Behind the Scenes on our Christmas 2015 shoot at Bodmin Railway for Vintage Life Magazine, with model Megan and Models Tian and Liam working the snow machine

Since 2019, rather than stock everything, most of our garments are made in short campaigns. We run a campaign for around 2-4 weeks, where dresses and accessories can be ordered to your bespoke requirements. We then send the orders to our small factory in Scotland where they are made and shipped to you. We use all pieces of the fabric to save waste – dresses are made first and then accessories such as hair bows and socks from the remnants. Any very small leftovers are then sent to a lady who makes them into patchwork quilts for charity.

Everything about our dresses is designed to be top quality. They are made to last and be enjoyed for years to come. The fabric is all 100% cotton, which means they can be washed, tumble dried and ironed. The zips are all YKK, our dresses are lined in spotty 100% cotton fabric and have deep concealed side pockets. The sizes have been made to fit real women, we use fit models of all sizes to test our patterns before they are graded. Our factory in Scotland cut out all our patterns by hand, they are then sewn on machines by our skilled seamstresses, many which have worked at the family run factory for over 20 years. All of our staff are paid fairly for the work that they do, and protected by EU laws, which makes our finished dresses sustainable and ethical. Our ethics are at the heart of our business, along with quality beautiful dresses that make you feel fabulous and stand out from the crowd!

George cutting dresses in our factory

In addition to our ethics on UK production, we are also strong advocates of the body positive movement. Our dresses are available to buy in UK sizes 6-28 and we always strive to use models of different sizes in our campaigns to show how our products can look on every body type, regardless whether you’re an 8 or an 18!

We are proud advocates of body positivity!

Our campaign method allows you to order sizes 6-28, to order a dress with a long or short skirt and to order a dress with or without sleeves. So, you get exactly what you want.

Linda sewing dresses in our factory

If you would like to meet us, please do come and meet us at one of the many events we are attending across the UK – you can find a list of them here:

Alison x

Me working in my studio
Studio - Behind the Scenes
Studio – Behind the Scenes

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