Silly Old Sea Dog

Top shop for gifts in the UK.

A buyer bought a gift from this shop and gave it a 5-star review!

sillyoldseadog is taking a short break


Note from shop owner we are closed now until the autumn.

Thank you for your support and see you then!

Alison x

Note from shop owner

Last updated on 04 Aug, 2022

we are closed now until the autumn.

Thank you for your support and see you then!

Alison x

Alison Ballard

Contact shop owner

Alison Ballard


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars

About sillyoldseadog

Sales 2,424
On Etsy since 2012

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Silly Old Sea Dog - The Story

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!
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.

I am inspired by lots of things, I would say that my main inspiration is the fabrics that I choose, the colours are the focus of my design. I basically buy fabric that I like and think ‘oooh I want that!’ I love vintage clothing, especially the silhouettes of the 1950s and these shapes can be seen throughout my collection, the glamour, femininity and tailoring of this era is an inspiration in itself. I enjoy looking at vintage and handmade items in vintage stores and online. I much prefer buying handmade or items made in England, I feel that the personality of these items has a far greater satisfaction than buying something from the high street which has been made in a mass produced Asian factory setting and that can basically be brought in a similar form from a number of shops. Having something made in small quantities is individual to the wearer and creates excitement and your own image.

All Silly Old Sea Dog items are passionately designed and made in the UK, we do not produce overseas. Items are all designed and sampled from my studio in Newquay, before heading to our small factory in Scotland where they are made into all sizes and ready to sell.

Our sizes stocked are between a UK 6 and 24. All of our garments are made from 100% cotton and why not add a petticoat to give your circular skirt a wow factor?

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 6-24 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!

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.

In addition to running Silly Old sea Dog, I am also a writer and Stylist for Vintage Life Magazine - the UK's largest mag for vintage enthusiasts - I produce a monthly piece for them styling a number of shoots from across the eras. I have also appeared on UK TV on 2015's series of ITV's dating show - Take Me Out with Paddy McGuinness.

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

Alison x

Shop members

  • Alison Ballard


    Hi, I'm Alison of Silly Old Sea Dog. I started SOSD in 2012 as part of my university assignment and it has grown from there to what it is today. I design all of the dresses from my home in Newquay, Cornwall and they are made right here in the UK.

  • Patricia Ballard


    Hi, I'm Pat (Alison's Mum), I make all of the headbands and bows in our hair accessory range and also help out at Vintage Fairs and events which we attend.

Production partners

  • Our Partner Factory

    Scotland, United Kingdom

    Our partner factory in Scotland produce our clothing to a very high standard, we are proud that our items are made in the UK. The factory have been producing garments for over 30 years and employ a small team of locally based seamstresses.

Shop policies

More information

Last updated on 11 May, 2022
Frequently asked questions
Coronavirus Deliveries

Coronavirus - We will currently remain open during the Coronavirus. During this time I will only be visiting the Post Office once a week on a Wednesday to take your orders. Royal Mail service may also be disrupted, so please allow extra time for deliveries to be made (especially overseas) and be patient. 

Please note that orders placed in November and December can take longer to arrive than normal as the Post Office are busier than at other times of year. Please be patient when awaiting arrival of parcels, and if in doubt, place your order on a faster shipping option / Next Day Delivery.

Christmas Delivery Times 2021

My shop is based in the UK, items are taking longer to ship with the pandemic, recommended last post dates for Christmas are:

24th November – Overseas Standard
3rd December – Overseas Fast Shipping
9th December – Kitchenware's, Hollys Pet Collection and Wreaths for UK as made to order
17th December – UK standard
22nd December – UK next day delivery

**These are just a rough guide - I can never 100% guarantee delivery on time - please order early to avoid disappointment

I will be closed from the end of the day 22nd Dec – 4th January 2022.

Seller details