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 probably hear 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 got our eyes open for the brand in 2014, where we fell in love with the authentic vintage style, and the beautiful and flattering models that we were convinced should just be found in Mondo Kaos' range.
We're still just crazy about the clothes off The Seamstress of Bloomsbury due to the high quality of the clothes and fantastic fit, and of course also due to 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 Britain's leading high society tailors. Lilian showed great talent for both designing and sewing, and it was not long before she became a household name in the higher social strata at home and abroad - so well known that she was nicknamed '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 business with successful own company, and through his then producers, he got to know Lilian as she was their advisor for difficult patterns and clothing designs.

Mike visited the factory when he knew she was there so he could listen to her inexhaustible knowledge of clothing and cutting. The two gradually became close friends, and Lilian left at her death 12 years ago, all the many vintage patterns, mainly from 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

Though 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 number of wonderful ones shirts which are perfect for both skirt og pants, and depending on whether you want a more contemporary look or 'go the line' and wear 100% vintage style. 

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


Classic long-sleeved shirts

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

Short-sleeved vintage style shirts

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

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

the men behind 'The Seamstress of Bloomsbury'

Not least because of the knowledge about cutting, pattern construction, textiles, etc., which Lilian passed on to Mike, he worked for many years with high street fashion, where he 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 scene a few years later. He decided that it was time for his knowledge of the making of the classics 40s cut should be converted into dresses

Focus on the 1940s 

The fire The Seamstress of Bloomsbury has a focus on style from 1940s as the many beautiful vintage patterns and cuts that Mike inherited from Lilian date from that time. Pga. the knowledge she passed on to Mike, he decided it would be fun to create authentic reproductions of the old dresses to the dance environment.   

Modern with vintage style

1940are in many ways ideal and fit both the vintage style and our modern society. During the war, there was rationing on everything so that 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 means are feminine but also simple in expression, which fits in just as well in 2021 as in 1941.

The Seamstress of Bloomsbury is created

Lilian's beautiful designs were brought to life again in the early 2010s and in 2012 Mike started the brand 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 London's dance scene. 

The inspiration for the vintage dresses

To begin 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 Lilians and his own beautiful vintage designs to stores around the world. over.  

The ideas for the beautiful designs Mike can still find in Lilian's models, but in addition he loves to dive down 30s and 40s mode, i.a. to vintage festivals, museums and so 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, they are beautiful dresses from The Seamstress of Bloomsbury inspired by the booming dance environment 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 one turn-on dress Peggy which is both flattering and fits perfectly in any vintage wardrobe. 


News from Bloomsbury 

In addition, we have got two new designs home which we are very excited about. Pip and Eva. 

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

We are sure that among the beautiful Seamstress of Bloomsbury dresses is (at least) a 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 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 in the greatest love of the authentic style, so everything goes up into one larger unit. Whether it is feminine floral bouquets that have 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 turn on dress

A tribute to Lilian

After many years in the fashion industry, Mike today feels the greatest joy and gratitude by keeping the tradition around 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 to not least to Lilian, the original Seamstress of Bloomsbury.


If you have the urge 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 may be your first 'Bloomsbury' - but certainly not the last.

Best wishes

Team Mondo Kaos ❤

Read more:

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Vintage, retro or repro?


The story of inclusive fashion and plus sise

Including model or plus size?


The history of the swing dress

All about the swing dress


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