About Sheila

After completing my training at Cambridge School of Art and London College of Fashion, I embarked on a professional career based on my interest in fabrics and the crafting of materials into artefacts and clothing.  

I was employed in my first freelance position as a Costume Maker for the television series 'Spitting Image', a job which continued for a further six years, alongside other freelance work in the film and television industry.

For a substantial part of my career, I freelanced for 'Jim Henson's Creature Shop' (the London base of the Jim Henson Company), working on a wide variety of Film and TV projects including 'Farscape', 'The Flintstones', 'Muppet Treasure Island', '101 Dalmatians', and 'Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'.

For more than 20 years my freelance career has brought work on projects which have ranged from feature film work, to making more conventional costumes for opera singers and ballet dancers for the stage.  Commissions for the Stage include costumes for English National Ballet, Scottish Ballet and the Royal Opera House.

Since moving to Scotland, I have set up my own studio and designed this collection of bags, purses and textiles which I hand-make to order alongside my freelance costume work. 

About the Bags and Purses

The designs featured in my 2017 collection include clutch bags with my own botanical designs which have been digitally printed for me, and silk purses with embroidered, beaded or Swarovski crystal trims and organza flowers.

The silk I have selected to use for the main outer body of all the smaller purses is a handwoven dupion, which is available in a choice of vibrant jewel colours or softer,more neutral shades.  Whilst possessing the lustre and depth of colour which is characteristic of silk, it is a feature of dupion to have a slubbed, textured surface, rather than the even weave of, for example, a spun silk or silk satin.  If you are a UK customer, you can request up to five small dupion silk samples for the purses that you are interested in before you place an order.  There is a small charge for this service of £3.95, which includes P&P.   

 If you would like to order silk fabric samples, please email me at enquiries@sheilahallatt.co.uk and let me know which purse styles you are interested in, and which of the colourways you would like samples for.  

Designing the Bags and Purses

My interest in costume and textiles of all descriptions has led to the collection of many vintage bags and purses, bought from vintage fairs, markets and antique shops. 


My work as a Costume Designer and Maker has also provided me with a huge selection of fabrics, and embroidered and beaded textiles.  These items, together with an extensive library of costume and textile books provide a wealth of reference material, which I am constantly looking through when I start to design a collection.

For instance, my ‘Ballet’ purse design (centre) was inspired by two of the vintage purses I have collected.  The first is a Victorian black velvet purse – I really like the shape and size of it, and the method of construction, whereby the velvet is gathered onto a half-moon shaped yoke.  The second is a vintage purse given to me by my mother.  The vivid colour on the inside of the front flap, and the dense overall pattern of the embroidery are the influences here.   The resulting ‘Ballet’ purse is designed for the contemporary market, and uses modern materials, but still preserves a romantic, vintage look to it.


Here is a small selection of some of the comments from my customers:

The purses have just arrived and they look even more fantastic than I had imagined!  It was so exciting opening up the box and seeing them inside.  My only regret is not ordering one for myself!   Claire, Glasgow

I have received my purse today and it is beautiful. I am so pleased with it, it is dainty and so well made.  Lynn, Doncaster

Just to let you know I received my purse this morning.  Thank you so much for making it as requested - I love the monogram and my "something blue" in the lining.  I can't wait to show it off on my special day in Vegas!  Thanks for making a unique wedding purse that I will cherish forever.  Jessica, Llanelli