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  • This photo shows my Auntie wearing a satin dress that she designed and made herself.

    She was my mother’s older sister. This is how my mother described her:

    "Ray trained to be a fashion designer at the Regent Street Polytechnic in the 1930s. She was so skilled she would drape some fabric on you, to see how the material flowed and cut it out on you.

    We always had beautiful dresses to wear, it hardly cost us anything, just the material from Petticoat Lane.

    My father set her up in a shop front with a workroom at the back where all the sewing machines were kept. Ray did at the cutting and designing.

    Me and my other sister Ann did all the making up. At first we were doing work wholesale, making dresses and blouses for various firms in Aldgate. Then we started doing private dressmaking for friends. We would do wedding orders – bride’s dress, bride’s mother’s dress- working until twelve o’clock at night.

    I remember my wedding dress it was the beginning of the war, 1940, but you were still able to get goods from before the war; for 30 shillings. And because Ray was such a keen cutter, she was able to design a very beautiful dress. I did all the machining and she did all the beading on it.”
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