Layercake Sizing and Story and Fabric Care

Layercake Sizing

Layercake garments are easy-wear and ideal for layering. They are not meant to be closely fitted. We make most of our garments in 4 sizes, ranging from 0 to 3, with some styles also in a size 3 petite version for size 3's of 5'4" or less.
Please look at the grid below to see which body measurements we believe are best suited to our Layercake sizes.
In the end, it comes down to personal preference. Once you know which Layercake size you take, choosing new garments becomes easy. When in doubt, do give us a call or come see us, either at our Studio or at one of the shows we do in different parts of the UK in the course of the year; it won't surprise you to hear that we love playing dress-up and helping you personalise your own Layercake look!

 Layercake size
(dresses, smocks)
Bust measurement
(garment) cm/in
Recommended bust
(body) cm/in

UK standard

0 95/38 80/32 - 90/36 6 - 12
1 112/44 90/36 - 107/42 12 - 16
2 127/50 107/42 - 122/48 16 - 20
3 / 3petite 140/55 122/48 - 135/53 20 - 26

Layercake Story
Layercake is a growing collection of favourite work-wear (hard-working garments). It was created in 2010, responding to customers wanting to buy the clothes I (Linda) was wearing on the stand at the wool and craft shows I exhibited at. The collection has steadily grown from there, driven by my personal style of dressing and general dismay with profit-led brands. Once I made the first Smocks to sell, it was clear that I wasn't the only one who gets turned off by most of what (and how) the fashion industry offers. I hate finding an interesting top at a store and, having had a think about it, returning to buy a couple of weeks later only to find that the entire collection has changed. Or that, if it is still available, it just doesn't feel right, it doesn't seem to suit me. Something is missing. Just the right alchemy of cut, fabric and fit.

That alchemy is the core of Layercake, it is what makes it truly different. It drives the Layercake tag-line, which is EVERY-BODY-HAPPY. By offering great pieces that stand the test of time in terms of quality and style. Blending in with the endlessly varying personalities of its wearers. Making them feel comfortable, confident and at ease. We have enough on our minds to have to worry about how we need to carry our bodies to make our clothes look good. Nobody should have to conform to their clothes, it should be the other way around: your clothes need to confirm to you! Layercake garments do exactly that. I cannot tell you how often we hear a contented sigh coming from a smiling bod in front of the mirror with the words: "now THIS is ME!"

Our customers keep returning to tell us that they don't ever get as many compliments on their looks as when they wear Layercake. That is Layercake alchemy at work, making you feel great. And when you feel great, you look great.
Layercake Pinstripes Group

Most of the garments are made by Andrea at our Studio in Surrey. At times we have difficulty keeping up with demand so if your choice of shape, colour and size shows as "unavailable", then it will take between 1 and 3 weeks to get an order out to you, either because we are at an exhibition or your garment is in a production queue.

It also means we occasionally run out of one of our standard colours. We try to stay on top of that but it does happen that an out of stock fabric creeps up on us. If that happens, I don't block orders for that colour in time and you end up placing an order that we cannot fulfil in the usual 1-3 weeks. If that happens, I will always contact you to give you notice and offer alternatives in case the longer waiting time is not acceptable.

We pride ourselves on our high standard of workmanship and customer service, so we will keep you updated on unforeseen delays and always aim to fulfil to your wishes.

Layercake Cut Fabric

Our Linen
Linen is made up of fibres of the flax plant. It is one of the world's strongest textiles and most sustainable fashion choices, creating zero waste as every part of the plant is used (for textiles and food). A field of flax needs only rainwater to grow, so no irrigation, nor GMO's and it produces only 1/4 of the carbon of other crops (like cotton). It is also high-yielding; one hectare (10,000 sq.m, about the size of a football field) produces enough fibre to produce 4,000 Layercake garments.

Our linen is all European grown, yarn-dyed and woven especially for us, then boil-washed to pre-shrink it. So we dictate the colours, the weight, the quality and the design. Good quality linen is an investment. Its durability and strength allow it to become softer over time. It does not stretch, so your garments will retain their shape as they soften around the edges for that coveted relaxed linen look.

It is an outdate belief that linen is a Summer fabric, because it draws heat away from the body in Summer, absorbing excess moisture from the skin. However, it is also a natural insulator, providing warmth when it is needed and offering the perfect base for a layered look, trapping air between the layers to keep you cozy year-round.

Bespoke Service
We can accommodate special requests for amended sizing: longer, shorter, bust darts, an inch taken out or added here or there....garments made like this are not part of a production run (like the pieces shown in the picture above are). A single garment-make explodes the production costs. We currently charge £30 per garment for these "specials", which is charged on top of the standard price (e.g. a "special" Smock will cost £169.00 instead of £139.00). This extra charge is purely to absorb the extra hours spent creating your specially sized garment. If we make a personalised pattern for you, we will keep this in our pattern archive, so a special garment can be repeated without having to retake your measurements.

Layercake patterns
We are often asked if we sell patterns for our garments. I have considered this at length and I hope you understand my answer:
The reason Layercake garments are both effective and flattering is because we put a lot of thought and consideration into the combination of their shape and the specific fabrics we choose to make them in. We see so many examples of garments (both home-made as well as store-bought) that are made using an unfortunate combination of cut, fabric and fit. Making EVERY-BODY-HAPPY requires a bit of Layercake alchemy: achieving that perfect threesome of cut AND fabric AND fit. This is what makes Layercake garments special. So, however difficult I find it to decline the requests (because we understand the motivation behind them!), I will respectfully continue to do so.

Fabric Care

All Layercakes have washing labels sewn into them, usually in the left side-seam.

Layercake Linen: All our linen is pre-shrunk, unless stated otherwise. This means your linen Layercakes can be washed in the machine at 40º C and either line-dried or machine-dried. If you machine-dry them and take them out of the dryer as soon as it finishes (i.e. before the garments cool down) and hang them up straightaway, you will not have to iron them.
Layercake Wool: I always recommend washing wool as little as possible. Wool Layercakes tend not to be worn next to the skin and can be kept going for a long time before a wash is really necessary. Any spills etc can most easily be removed by spot-cleaning with some water and a cloth.
That is not at all to say they cannot be washed. I recommend hand-washing wool Layercakes, because the wool cycles of different washing machines are so different from each other. You know your washing machine best, but if in doubt, stick with hand-washing. There are a number of brands (I sell Soak, see HERE) that can be added to the hand-washing water, then add the garment, wet it thoroughly and then just let it sit for however long suits you (hours is no problem!). Then take the garment out of the water, no rinse necessary, and put it dripping wet in the washing machine for a short spin cycle. Then hang to dry. As per the washing label, Wool Layercakes can also be dry-cleaned.