People Profile: Made to Wear

Hayley Nye, Tailoress & Fitness Body Scanner

I was born in 1985 in Tunbridge Wells and my family moved to this area to build their own house near Milford, when I was 5. I have one younger brother. Unfortunately, my father was made redundant soon after we moved. He found another job quickly doing motor fleet insurance, but it was quite tricky for them to complete the building work on the house, as funds were limited. My mother didn’t like shopping, and I remember being dressed in ‘hand me downs’ and I often felt really awkward and dreaded mufti days at school. However, I distinctly remember the time she made me a dress for my aunt’s wedding, when I was about 3, which I absolutely loved. She chose all the little details like the pretty bows on the sleeves. She put such care into making it and I felt great when I wore it and people commented on how pretty it was. I loved it! That feeling has never left me.

The Pantiles, Tunbridge Wells, © Chris Whippet

As a young child I badly injured my coccyx and neck. I struggled with pain and awful headaches. A nurse that visited the school noticed I was walking very inwards, and I had to see an orthopaedic specialist to stretch, strengthen and learn how to walk better. I also saw a physiotherapist as so much was too tight or locked up, and managed to correct everything up to my neck. When I had a growth spurt at junior school I was pain paralysed from the neck down. I went to open my bedroom door in the morning and there was the sound like an airplane door opening and just so much pain as muscles on my left went into such bad spasm they ripped up and off those on my right, which dropped my right side an inch and a half and the vertebra across on the nerves. It happened 3 more times really badly when I was growing quickly and then a lot just went hard and apparently there is a lot of scar tissue. I couldn’t write quickly enough in my final Law or Biology A-level exams because of the pain, and can really sympathise with anyone suffering from structural pain. I have a lifetime experience of it and understand how problem areas affect other parts of the body, that people shouldn’t wait till old age before having a good look at how their biomechanics are, and that its best to do before starting any new fitness regime because it will identify things like one leg being longer than another that will cause back pain running, and how to even up stance and posture to prevent injuries. I have also tried so many different treatments and local specialists I know who to recommend if I feel an individual would benefit from further help.

The new shop premises set in Smithbrook Kilns

When I was 13, I got a Saturday job in Godalming which allowed me to buy my own clothes and to start going out. Quite often I spent Sundays with friends shopping and trying on clothes. I was a bit fuller in figure than my friends and was quite self-conscious about my arms, legs and tummy. I would make very careful choices before purchasing anything and quickly realised how certain styles flattered far more than others, and which things suited different friends’ shapes and styles. I really enjoyed finding clothes to fit and made adjustments to improve them so that I’d feel comfortable and confident.

On one of these shopping trips I was invited to join a sales team that was taking over a cool Italian fashion brand Sasch alongside Topshop, Jane Norman and many others in Debenhams Guildford. I worked Sundays and Thursday evenings at GIANT in House of Fraser, before working mainly for Jacques Vert – which was brilliant at making capsule collections with complementary colours that suited a variety of women’s shapes and sizes. Many women prefer short sleeves instead of no sleeves, and a cut of jackets to give good shape or lighter options with pretty details to flow over the body gracefully. I remember a few mothers of brides or grooms progressing from dreading the event to being over the moon when they found something they loved and felt great in! They would beam with happiness.  It’s my favourite moment when I’ve helped people and create outfits that give them joy and provide that ‘Wow’ factor! 

The restored 1930s Art Deco wardrobes displaying thoughtfully made garment covers and bespoke hangers to keep clients finished garments at their best

I did Fine Art (Art) and Textiles at Godalming College and went on to study at Central St Martin’s School of Art in London. Unfortunately, the Head of Foundation there was so impressed by my portfolio she prevented me from specialising in Fashion, even though I was accepted by the Fashion tutors.  She forced me to complete the course doing Textiles which was her specialism. I see fabrics in 4D and textiles is a real strength of mine but what I really love is the whole architectural form of textiles becoming a wearable piece that fits or flows around the body, making the wearer feel amazing and wows others.

I made lots of friends while studying in London and soon put on fashion shows that packed out the top nightclubs. I met a great friend and wonderful mentor at London Fashion Weekend and helped at trade and brand events and meetings in Paris, Milan, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Ideas I gave others did really well and often the items I made would yield enquiries from others asking me to make them something. I went on to do my fashion degree at Ravensbourne and subsequently did a creative pattern cutting course and combined this with my own way of pattern cutting, ditching the normal method.

Bespoke collar bars, tie bars and lapel pins can also be made – price on request

Judges that visited the Fashion Universities to decide who would show at Graduate Fashion Week went crazy over my final collection! They jumped out of their seats to feel the fabric combinations and marvelled at the form, movement, panels and never-seen-before details. They said it was the most strong and powerful collection they had ever seen and the most sophisticated pattern cutting. 

I decided to specialise in made to measure, bespoke and couture garments. Nothing feels better than having clothes that fit and drape beautifully across your body, especially when choosing fabrics you’re attracted to and special details that delight! Also knowing a garment has been made ethically, with skill, love and care, and conscientiously avoiding the fast fashion trends that promote waste of resources, use terrible chemicals, wasted energy, pollution and forced labour in many parts of the world. To encourage a better revolution in fashion is really important.

A perfectly fitted garment in the right material, always feels good against your body

Going on to set up my own label after graduating I was incredibly frustrated to discover most manufacturers wouldn’t supply fabric unless it was bought in huge quantities. This means the large discounts given on substantial orders, encourage brands to over-buy and create a horrifying amount of waste. I noticed many clothes in the shops were poorly made and customers couldn’t find things to fit whether they were buying high street or designer brands and there were many sales to clear the large stock. The Spanish brands have successfully taken over the Arcadia’s longer body brands on the high street, but still no one is completely symmetrical and most people don’t fit standard sizes.

MADE-TO-WEAR may sound obvious as the clothes are made to be worn, but when you realise that 75% of clothes are burnt or go to landfill the core ethos of the brand becomes apparent. It’s also a play on words between made-to-measure and ready-to-wear. I am working to develop software that will also help clients visualise garments before they are made and speed up pattern cutting. 

Getting the correct body fit and fabrics to match is key

Meeting clients, getting to know them and their needs is something I relish. I’m intuitive and recommend new ideas to clients. I always listen to what they like and notice which fabrics pop out at them or they are drawn to. I love working with people and enjoy seeing them have fun as they choose linings, pipings and other special little details such as a Milanese button hole. Often people don’t realise how much choice there is! It’s one reason to have a consultation with options and quotes given, and then another booking for measuring and finalising materials and style details, before placing an order.

As a perfectionist with big plans for the future, I decided to invest in a body scanner. For tailoring it allows me to observe and understand a person’s body shape so I can pattern cut garments to fit and drape around them beautifully. The cut is exceptional. For example, if a person has a shoulder that slopes forward, I know how to allow extra fabric, and in some cases add extra shoulder padding, so it is barely noticed with superb comfort for the person to wear and move around in, and the drape of the rest of the jacket has the perfect foundation. People don’t have to have a body scan if they’re not keen. I can take body measurements from try-on items or be guided by items they have already. The try-on clothes or garments people bring can help me see where they wear their trousers for example and which length they like etc. The body scanner is also a fantastic thing for people to do for themselves.

Chris and Hayley trying out the 3D scanner
Chris with his marathon medal

My favourite part of what I do is seeing the WOW when a person first tries on the item that has been specially made for them, fits fantastically, and knowing they are going to shine wearing it. I love it when photos or messages about how great they felt and how much they enjoyed wearing their items come in too! One special photo I have framed and on display, it makes me happy to see it every day.

It took almost 5 years for my trademark to be finalised and during that time I juggled other fashion related jobs, taught myself photography and print design, nannied children part-time, looked after my nan with dementia, helped my dyslexic mum with her dissertation and Art degree, and went to a gym to exercise and rehabilitate my body as much as I could alongside seeing specialists. I was often asked to make shirts and jackets for athletic guys at the gym. They often found it difficult to buy clothes to fit over their biceps. If they found a jacket that fitted their biceps it was too big everywhere else so they felt like a kid trying on their Dad’s jacket!  Or if it fitted around their shoulders and chest they’d look like the incredible hulk about to rip open the sleeve seams! I discovered how fortunate we are to still have fantastic woollen mills in the UK and along with some other shirt, velvet, denim and chino fabric manufacturers, they are happy to sell smaller quantities that makes made-to-measure menswear garments possible. I have subsequently made contacts with top couture houses and luxury brands to purchase end of roll fabrics so I can offer womenswear too, with the best quality, cut and price. I am also happy to sell fabric to others.

Fit3D body scanner, great for everyone to check their health and biomechanics for all ages, 16 to over 60

I decided to buy a Fit3D proscanner body scanner. It is the best on the market for health and fitness and is the only one teamed with renowned DEXA – that has superior health data to give the most accurate and relevant results. It’s balance, 3D image and posture reports are ground-breaking and really help identify any areas to work on whether an athlete or not. It utilises the same technology as a facial recognition camera in a phone, so there’s no health concerns while being scanned. It is so beneficial to people that it just made sense to offer Fitness Body Scans as well as MADE-TO-WEAR, especially after my experience with structural pain, to help other people on their wellness journey. When they report they are no longer suffering pain or having to go back to chiropractors, physios etc it is just the best news!

Fittings for both men and women, covering any style

Each scan gives: 

  • 360 degree image of your body
  • a chart of measurements
  • body fat percentage with fat mass and lean tissue breakdown
  • basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn at rest in a day and often quite an eye opener for petite people)
  • a balance report
  • a supreme posture report that combines to give a good biomechanics assessment
  • wellness score
  • free Fit3D account and app where you can view your scan and results, and share your data with training coaches, physiotherapists etc, who find the reports a valuable tool 
  • many comparison features to keep you motivated as you track your progress.

Scans are recommended every 4-6 weeks when you are on a fitness journey, and it’s great to see how quickly improvements are made.

I was one of the winners at Epsom Style Awards in a couture dress I made myself

With the information provided by Fitness Body Scans, you gain a better understanding of your body and track your progress over time. Whether trying to lose weight, gain muscle, or simply maintain an optimal fitness level, rehabilitate fully from injuries, prevent further injuries, treat the root cause of structural pain – the Fit3D body scanning technology can help you achieve your goals. It is great for everyone from age 16 and up, and whether obese or anorexic – it will guide you to being at your healthiest.

A body scan appointment can be booked at  The scan takes less than 2 minutes but the full half hour appointment gives time for the results to be processed and explained. It’s £40 for a scan, less if buying a package, and free if having a fitting for a garment. For anyone interested in having a garment made, it is best to let me know your requirements. I then offer a free consultation where I supply the right fabric and trim books and provide advice and quotes. It is good to be wearing or bring clothes you will wear with the item so the full composition of the ensemble can be taken in to account, and any shirts/blouses, shoes and underwear you’re likely to wear with the item, with the body scan as well, everything helps to make sure the garment will be perfect.

Musician Ed Forbes in his new black-tie suit made by Hayley at MADE-TO-WEAR – he loved the fit, said ‘I had so many compliments, everyone loved it! Fits like a glove!’

There is great value in buying made to measure clothes, having a garment that fits well and is crafted with love, feels exceptional and looks superb. I am careful to construct them in a way that gives the internal structure and architecture to fit, flow and withstand the test of time. They are not cheap synthetic shells which is what most fast fashion has become, and don’t require lots of shapewear underneath as they don’t show every lump or bump because they’re made properly. I never use polyester linings which is what most suits bought off the peg have, as they don’t breathe and can be uncomfortable. I use quality outer fabrics, like ethical wools that are warmer, better wearing, breathable and naturally anti-bacterial and anti-microbial. Inner sweat pads, reinforced crotches and trousers lined at the front and back when required, are all included.

It makes sense to have clothes made from fabrics that you have a connection with and that you will enjoy wearing. Whether you’re doing a big presentation at work, going on a date or to a wedding, knowing your outfit is sorted gives great peace of mind and lets you take on whatever is ahead with comfort, confidence and satisfaction.

The shop at Smithbrook Kilns in a beautiful setting

Everyone should come and have a Fitness Body Scan. Some say they would like to but want to lose some weight beforehand. But that’s completely the wrong way round! The sooner you have a scan, the sooner you can correct problem areas and avoid injury, and have a good baseline to see how much progress you have made by the next scan. It’s motivating and rewarding as you see wellness improve!

‘MADE-TO-WEAR’ and ‘Fitness Body Scans’ opened at Smithbrook Kilns, near Cranleigh this year. It’s a beautiful environment, with free parking for customers, a nice café and other complimentary businesses like wonderful jewellers, a florist and milliner Virna. It is so nice to be in a place where you meet the artisans and have a truly knowledgeable and bespoke service. The word ‘meraki’ comes to mind which means something done with one’s soul, with creativity, effort and a lot of love. That definitely applies to the businesses at Smithbrook Kilns.

If you’re considering having a fitness body scan don’t delay and book today! 

telephone: 01483 277068 or email

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