It’s one of our favourite times of year, announcing our competition winners! Last term was all about couture techniques and our students really pushed the boat out! So many of them got stuck in making their projects that extra little bit special, not just rushing to finish, they added extra details to really make them couture and special. 

At the end of last term the LHD team nominated a shortlist of people we thought really challenged themselves. Our competitions are never based on natural ability or ‘prettiness’ It’s a competition against yourself not the others around you.  Even a six year old could have a go at being a couturier for a day!

 The competitions then are decided with the help of an outside industry judge – and we are very lucky to welcome one of themost sought after British Designers in the bespoke couture market  ELSPETH GIBSON!!!

She was blown away by what she saw and could not believe how young some of the students were and by the challenges students took on!

 Here is the shortlist! Are you on it?!

  1. – Halloween dress with invisible zip and fitted bodiceruby-sat-ff1-and-india-wed-ff2
  2. – Jacket with fitted sleeves
  3. – Rucksack with decorative stitching and zipliorahjanholsandterm
  4. – Poncho for herself and mum with hemming and fur finishevafabrexmashols
  5. – Cardigan shrug with fitted sleeves.iotue1
  6. – Shrug jacket for mum with bindingelainesat3
  7. – cape jacket with lining and binding finishhoney-sat-1
  8. –Lined floral dress with invisible zipyan-tue-10
  9. – Smocked crop toptatjiana-thurs-ff2
  10. – Jacket with Hong-Kong finishsynne-adult-hong-king-finish
  11. – Open back top with jersey binding and waistbandzoe-thurs-2
  12. – Hand embroidered topeviesat2
  13. – Lace-up bodicelexi-vand-clarke-couture
  14. – Vintage skirt with buttonholes and lace finishgus-sat-1
  15. – Poncho with placket, hood and fur finishnicole-sat-ff1
  16. – Victorian dress with lace finish and scarfleila-wed-ff2

17. – Group effort ponchos with Hong-Kong finish and waistcoats with sequin fabric and prick-stitch hemming.


And here are the WINNERS!!!!

Elsbeth said ‘ this was so incredibly hard to decide, all projects are so impressive if one understands how much time and effort goes into an well-finished bespoke design! I can’t believe how young and brave these youngsters are!’


LHD teachers say: ‘Well done to all students who took part, you should be proud! We can’t wait to see this term’s ‘Athleisure wear competition’ getting off the ground!”

First Prize

H 14 Years – Camouflaged Cape Jacket



LHD teachers say:

H has been a student in our courses for many years now starting when she was not even 10 years old. Her work shows a dedication to details and she displays remarkable patience to see projects through to the finish at a high level of quality!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

It looks very fresh and complete. The way the lining has been put in with the bias finish is remarkable. It looks a professional piece!


N 13yrs – Poncho with Fur Finish

LHD teachers say:

This was only the first term with us for N but it did not take long for her to show her love and interest in design and eagerness to learn the skills to put her ideas into reality. We would love for more students to give prepared projects their individual twist or design from scratch!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

This is a very creative garment. She has obviously thought ‘outside the box’ by adding placket and fur finished hood and pom-poms. It is very pleasing to the eye and looks very saleable.


L – Rucksack 9yrs old


LHD teachers say:

She started Little Hands when she was 6 yrs old! Three years later she made a rucksack that looks as if it has been bought in a shop! We are so proud of her. We love the way she takes on challenges and sticks to things even if the going gets tough – super resilient!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

It looks as if a lot of work has gone into it with great attention to detail. To be able to put a zip in and assemble so many different pieces is remarkable for someone so young.


Runner-up prizes:

  • E 17 yrs. – hand-embroidered t-shirt


LHD teachers say:

E really is an ‘Old Hand’ having come for years to our classes. She has developed a strong sense of her own style and is not afraid to divert from mainstream and design and do her own thing! We particularly like her ability to look at existing clothes and upcycle them to give them her own twist!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

A lot of attention has been paid to the process of the embroidery. It is really interesting to focus on such a detail and not a whole garment.
A 11 yrs.– vintage skirt


LHD teachers say:

In our opinion this is A’s most accomplished project so far showing a clear progress in accuracy and more technical finishes e.g. buttonholes and waistband. We also like the care she has taken with the lace detail!

Judge Elsbeth Gibson says:

To be able to work out buttonholes and button-stands, add the lace trim, match different fabrics, is recommendable. It looks so well finished and has a lovely drape to it.