Dressmaker Jilly’s stitch in time

Jilly Cornthwaite
Jilly Cornthwaite

IT all started with a red dress - as a young girl, Jilly Cornthwaite was the envy at parties, wearing beautiful dresses, hand-made by her mother.

Remembering a red tafetta dress that was her favourite, the 23-year-old was spurred on to follow in her mum’s footsteps and has launched her own children’s clothing range - Keksiä Kids, based at her home, a farm in Ashton.

She said: “I remember being made a beautiful dress for a friend’s birthday party.

“It was red taffeta with pleated tartan ribbon around the edge of the collar, little black buttons down the front and a huge bow on the back.

“I asked to wear it everywhere I went. I never wanted to take it off.

“The personal touch, fun, creativity and individuality in the clothes we wear are vital components that seem to get lost in mass produced fashion.

“I was the only child in the world with that dress and I loved it.”

The former Deanery High School pupil, who has a first class honours degree in fashion design with Leeds College, set the business up in spring 2012, creating bespoke outfits for babies, girls and boys.

Jilly added: “I have always loved fashion and most of my family have a background in fashion and clothing, especially with my mum making my party dresses, so it seemed the obvious route to go down.

“I began designing menswear, but then I wanted to set something up for myself.

“I started making clothes for my friend’s children and then set up a Facebook page and then it snowballed when I launched online.

“I got amazing help from Love Wigan, who profiled my business online, and I used local people to create my website, with photography by Will Fisher and Wigan film maker Matthew Woods created a video for me.”

Jilly now aims to expand her range, with occasional wear, flower girl dresses and outfits suitable for a vintage wedding.

She added: “It is lovely to give children the opportunity to wear something that has been made specifically for them.

“They can choose the style and fabrics.

“I can also make clothes to measure too.

“Our handmade children’s clothes are classic, timeless and ready to survive some serious play. Everything we create is designed, pattern cut, produced and sold from our farm in Lancashire.

“I love creating so if anyone sees anything on the website that they love, but would like it to be made slightly different, we can do that,”

To look at Jilly’s designs visit www.keksiakids.com