The Brand Edit: Esme Young

Image Credit: BBC/Love Productions/James Stack

The Great British Sewing Bee is for its tenth series in a matter of days, and naturally, we can’t think of anything else. To fill the Sewing Bee void in our lives we’ve been delving into pattern inspiration for Sewing Bee judge, Esme Young. Put simply, she’s a style icon and therefore deserves her very own brand edit. We have so many requests for pattern matches for what she wears so we have shopped the site for patterns with Esme vibes.

We have plenty to browse so grab a cuppa and a bag of mini cheddars (if you read this article you will know why they are essential!) and get comfy for the Esme Young brand edit…

If I had to pick one garment synonymous with Esme Young, it would be a shirt dress. This classic style is always jazzed up with a subtle detail – Esme doesn’t do boring. Whether it be a pleat here, or a bit of volume there, there is always something to appreciate in Esme’s frocks. I’ve picked a few that deliver delightful details here and there fitting for our icon. Don’t forget, a statement necklace is a must!

  1. Named Silmu Shirt and Shirt Dress
  2. Merchant & Mills Cawley Dress
  3. Style Arc Emerson Woven Dress
  4. The Assembly Line Shirt Dress
  5. Fibre Mood Phyllis Dress

Another staple in Esme’s wardrobe is a simple one – the shift dress. As with all her clothes, Esme doesn’t do plain Jane’s, so everything has a wonderful detail. Whether that be to add structure or soften, the intricate pattern-cutting techniques elevate her dresses. Again, these dresses are almost exclusively finished off with a striking necklace. I had delved into our shift dress sewing patterns searching for those delightful details, and I think I’ve come up trumps!

  1. Sew Over it Zoe Dress
  2. Merchant & Mills Trapeze Dress
  3. The Maker’s Atelier V-Neck Shift Dress
  4. Fibre Mood Debra Dress
  5. The Maker’s Atelier Day Dress

Esme loves a jazzy jacket, and there was no finer example of this than the one she wore on the Christmas 2023 special. It’s a stylish way to dress up a pair of chic black trousers and it screams ‘creative soul’. Fabrication is everything for this look, so shop for a woven jaquard or sparkly sequin number. We’ve seen Esme rock a bomber jacket once or twice, so that’s a good place to start.

  1. Notches Rava Sweater and Jacket
  2. Tessuti Fabrics Lyon Jacket
  3. The Maker’s Atelier Sport-Luxe Bomber Jacket
  4. The Assembly Line Cropped Jacket
  5. The Maker’s Atelier Utility Jacket
  6. Trend Patterns TPC27 Puff Back Jacket

Trousers and a fun top is another Esme special so I really wanted to include some cool-cut trews in this round-up. You’ll see Esme wearing black trousers with details that make them sing. The pleats, the fall of the leg – it’s all so stylish. Here are my picks for achieving the home-sewn snazzy slacks look…

  1. Style Arc Twig Woven Pant
  2. The Assembly Line Culottes
  3. The Assembly Line Classic Trouser
  4. Fibre Mood Bernie Trousers
  5. Bella Loves Patterns Billy Trousers
  6. Merchant & Mills Pegs Trousers

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but you’ll find that even Esme’s tops have a little twist. Their simple silhouettes are offset by a splash of something a little special and unexpected. I had a lot of fun digging through our patterns to find a selection of styles that mimic the shapes she tends to go for, combined with a little flourish of clever cutting.

  1. Atelier Jupe Emma Blouse
  2. The Maker’s Atelier The Atelier Shirt
  3. Fibre Mood Nova Top
  4. In the Folds Sawtell Top
  5. Notches Billy Top and Dress
  6. The Assembly Line Long Sleeve Tunic

I found this picture of Esme and I am obsessed with this outfit. The colour clash is so striking and it shows just how versatile skirts can be. Esme opts for skimming styles with a little structure to them – and again shows the powers of a pleat. I found some skirt sewing patterns that I feel really emulate Esme’s style.

  1. Tessuti Fabrics Mahlia Skirt
  2. Fibre Mood Maddie Skirt
  3. The Assembly Line Asymmetric Midi Skirt
  4. Lenaline Patterns Katya Skirt
  5. The Assembly Line Tulip Skirt

While going down the rabbit hole, I found some great things to watch and read that I thought you might like.

  1. Esme Young – Audible Sessions
  2. Guardian interview
  3. A Night with Esme Young – Interviewed by Joe Lycett
  4. Life Behind the Seams by Esme Young

And if podcasts are your thing, you might like these:

  1. That’s Not My Age – Esme Young
  2. This is a Token – Alex Monroe (jeweller) – Esme Young
  3. Grazia Life Advice – Esme Young

Finally, I’ll leave you with last year’s Esme-focused blog post. This time, we shared sewing patterns for recreating garments based on Esme Young’s outfits. Enjoy!

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1 thought on “The Brand Edit: Esme Young

  1. Fabulous!

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