Step Out in Style

ARDutch Dressmaking is the sole trading company of Debby Addison-Robbe, based in Billericay, Essex, UK.

“You are considered the Fairy Godmother of garments!”  

About Me

ARDutch Dressmaking is the sole trading company of Debby Addison-Robbe, based in Billericay, Essex, UK.

At the age of 3, I started playing with needle and thread. At 6 I destroyed toy sewing machines, by trying to sew fabrics instead of paper. I then went on to sewing on my mother’s old and tired Leeuwenstein machine.

To this day I am amazed I did not loose a finger! At the age of 12, I got my own first sewing machine. The best gift ever. At the age of 18, my first machine got upgraded to a Bernina, which is still with me to this day.

Dressmaking is definitely in my heritage and blood. After many tailors and dressmakers before me in my family tree, I gained 2 dressmaking diploma’s Costumière and Coupeuse and a degree in BA (hons) Fashion Design, continuing the heritage. 

My Back Story Portfolio

Isla's Angels Gallery

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Angel gowns created by using donated wedding gowns to the charity.   These angel gowns will be donated to hospitals once finished. 
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Millinery, 2001

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Hat making course done by Dutch designer and milliner Eva Mols.
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Macbeth, Tomahawk Theatre, Oxford, 2005

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Costume Design work experience. Working for Theatre Group Tomahawk in Oxford. Macbeth was shown at the Burton Taylor Theatre in Oxford.
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Young Designer of the Year 2004 Award, Finalist

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One of 10 national finalists, at the Clotheshow Live, Birmingham. The brief was by the National Lottery and the design contained all kinds of lucky items. For example the jacket collar is shaped like a horse shoe.
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Coupeuse

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Coupeuse diploma, studied at Modevak-en Tekenschool; mevr van Iersel-Nouwens, Tilburg, the Netherlands. Please note, this is under construction, I will add images over time to give an impression of the course.
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Costumière

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Costumière diploma, studied at Modevak-en Tekenschool; Mevr van Iersel-Nouwens, Tilburg, the Netherlands. Please note, this is under construction, more images shall be added over time to give an impression of the course
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FAQs

I get this question a lot, what do I take on exactly, or what can I do. I do repairs and alterations on anything that can be fixed or altered of course. I work on prom, bridal and daywear items.  

I also work for small companies/brands. This can range from being asked to pattern cut and/or sample items. Or I get asked to do piecework, which means I put the items together and then ship them off for checking and then these go on to being sold. My work ranges from the smallest jobs to as big a job I can personally take on. I am not a factory of course, but I can get patterns and the toile done, to then be passed on to a small factory to continue producing the items in the amounts needed.  

After finishing high school, I studied at the Modevaken Tekenschool, owned by Mrs van Iersel-Nouwens in the Netherlands, where I’m from, for 5 years. It took me 2 years to get ready for my first exams and earn my Costumière diploma and then another 2.5 years to get ready for my next exams, to earn my Coupeuse diploma. The last 6 months there, I made a half scale wedding gown, got taught design and history of costume. When finishing here, I moved to England and studied BA (hons) Fashion Design with the de Montfort University. Next to my studies I also did courses for fun in hat making for example, by hat designer Eva Mols. Pushing shapes into felt domes on wooden blocks and I have a Detex: Fashion Advisor certificate (Dutch certificate). I did this via a home study course, finishing with a 2 day exam, regarding retail, fashion styles, knowledge of commodities in short.  

Of course you can! If you find yourself stuck on a project, feel free to ask if I can help you. There is nothing worse, than feeling like you’re going round in circles, when at times a pair of fresh eyes can see exactly what needs doing. It could be I don’t have the answer for you either, but at times, even just having someone else there, can be just what you need! Ask away!  

I can sew of course, I do drawing (technical drawings of clothing for example), embroider, appliqué, quilt, crochet, Richelieu (open embroidery), basically quite a range. During my dressmaking studies, this was part of the requirements to learn before I could do my exams and earn my diploma.  

Knitting. That is the one craft I never got the hang off. I had to knit a Jungle as part of my studies and I managed to do it, but it’s not something I can say the penny has dropped with, as like the other crafts. I have knitted after that, but not much.