Dumfries Lady Wins Prestigious Cosplay Dressmaker Award

Penny Mcwilliams, a retired community dentist from Dumfries, is the winner of the Cosplay category of the Sew Magazine Dressmaker of the Year 2020.

Other categories in the competition included Vintage, Upcycling, Children’s Wear, Occasion and Everyday, and the Overall Winner was Laura Carter with a ravishing girl’s party dress.

The Cosplay category was a new category for the competition in 2020, and attracted a high number of entries. Her prizes as one of the category winner include a Brother Innov-is A50 machine worth £349, a £100 Hobbycraft voucher, and a pair of ICHF Creative Craft Show tickets.

Penny’s winning 18th century gown was made for a visit to the 2019 Venice Carnival, and she says

‘I have always been fascinated by these elaborate period gowns, so having a try at making one was definitely on my Bucket List. Even now I am not sure if I decided to make the gown to go to the Venice Carnival, or went to Venice as an excuse to make the gown! It was quite a long job, but definitely worth it, as I had a wonderful time.
To be sure it would look the way I wanted, I ordered some digitally printed silk fabrics from the Spoonflower website, and used some vintage hand-made bobbin lace for the trim, so in all, I guess that it must have cost about £350-£400 for the materials.
I was amazed to be one of the finalists, because I am a messy sewer and one glance at the ‘wrong’ side of my dressmaking projects always looks quite chaotic, so it was wonderful to be the Cosplay winner, and I feel very proud.
All sorts of handi-crafts have helped a lot of people during the past year, with so much time at home, and I have found time to complete several dressmaking and embroidery projects that I would not otherwise have been able to fit in. I volunteer in the wardrobe department with the Theatre Royal Guild of Players in Dumfries, and since the second lockdown started we have not been able to meet at all, although during the summer and autumn we were able to catch up with a lot of behind the scenes tasks at the theatre, even when there are no productions.
I am also a member of the Dumfries & District Embroiderers Guild and I certainly miss the weekly meetings, although we have gone onto Zoom for regular workshops, classes and get-togethers, like so many groups. But making even fairly simple things is very satisfying, so I suggest everyone gives it a go ’

More details of all the winning entries for Dressmaker of the Year are in the March edition of Sew magazine, which is available now from supermarkets, and includes ideas for home crafts and toys as well as dressmaking.


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