My Sew Style Hero: Tanya Hughes

Tanya gingham


Hey, Sewcialists! I have been enjoying this series and seeing who and what inspires others. I am excited and honored to share with you that Tanya Hughes of Mrs. Hughes is one of my Sew Style Heros. Her style is just awesome! She has this vintage style that spans from the 1920s up through the 1970s. I just cannot handle all the awesome makes she has. She has also made some amazing costumes! Her 1920’s Egyptian dress is one of my favorite makes of hers!


…And then there is her embroidery…oh my gosh…her embroidery! I was dying over her California Poppy Blouse when I first saw it and I still am. She hand embroidered these poppies! Can you believe it? Her stitches are so darn perfect. I wish I could embroider like this, but I am not there yet. If I was, I surely would have made an embroidered garment, but since I cannot I went with something that is completely different from my norm.

I really love her plaid and her floral 1950’s shirtdresses. Tanya has a way of picking fabrics and prints that go so perfectly with the patterns she is stitching up. She wears a lot of bright vibrant colors sewn up into garments that are the perfect nod to a bygone era but still fit perfectly in the modern day. I spent a lot of time searching for fabrics for this project and was so pleased with my finds. I had this amazing orange/gray/navy plaid that I was going to use, but then my husband claimed it for himself. It’s okay though because at the same time I got the plaid I also picked up this gorgeous Bright Pink and Deep Sage Rose Floral on Black Rayon Gauze from Cali Fabrics.

M7242 A front

I spent just as much time picking out my pattern. I ended up using McCall’s 7242 in view A.  I picked this pattern because when paired with the floral I think it has that retro vibe that Tanya so effortlessly achieves.  Also, I have made quite a few other shirtdresses with more structure that I wanted something with a little more lightweight drape to it. I typically make dresses that have fitted bodices that accentuate my curves. This dress is the opposite of that. It has elastic in the waist to gather it and give a looser fit in the bodice.

M7242 A pockets

I love floral prints, but this kind of floral is so outside of my style comfort zone. It is normally one I would skip right over. I am all about trying something new for this theme. It is taking me a bit to get used to on me though, but I think it looks so pretty. I am really glad that I gave it a shot though because I love this dress. It also has sleeves which are not a normal summer dress choice I make. I tend to go for sleeveless dresses since I get so hot in the summer, but this lightweight rayon gauze works with sleeves.

M7242 A back

M7242 A front

M7242 A glasses

Now I am off to go practice my hand embroidery so I can emulate her embroidered garments next time!

Do you have any Sew Style Heros? What have you made inspired by them?

Sarah also blogs at Musings of a Seamstress or you can find her on Instagram to see more of her sewing/travel/cooking adventures.