Vintage seamstress recreating 1940s wartime clothing

Ilkley, England



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About williamandtilda

Sales 2
On Etsy since 2020

If clothes could talk, what would they say?

At William and Tilda, I offer a specialist seamstress service inspired by the past. Old family photos from the 1940s sparked an interest in the era and the clothes my grandmother wore in those photos.

My aim is to recreate these iconic pieces of design and to discover the stories behind the ordinary lives of the women who wore them.

Taking inspiration from the Utility and ‘make do and mend’ schemes, I hope to inspire women to buy pieces they really love, learn how to care for and repair them, and allow them to go on to tell their own stories.

A lifelong passion for sewing and textiles are at the heart of William and Tilda. Techniques handed down by grandparents; an exquisite button collection belonging to my great grandmother; a family owned vintage pattern collection and some hilarious knitting books from the 40’s. Invaluable industry experience garnered from my godmother, a couture seamstress who worked for Catherine Walker, a royal favourite, along with a childhood spent sewing with my step-mother, all combine to influence the William and Tilda style.

These influences are stitched into every garment I make. Along with experience from a formal training in fashion design, followed by over 15 years working in the costume departments of the BBC and a host of independent companies. Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some amazing people, both on and off screen.

And who could forget William and Tilda themselves, my daughter and her faithful, slightly shabby, favourite bear. Without whom there would simply be no William and Tilda!

Shop members

  • Becky Davies-Downes


    At W&T, I recreate women's clothing from 1940s wartime Britain. Each garment is handcrafted to order by me in my home workroom. This means in true 'make do and mend' style, nothing is used or produced unnecessarily.

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Last updated on 02 Sep, 2020
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