Mary-Alice Dalton
It is a joy to get out of the studio every now and then to present my work to the public, or to watch first-time visitors walk into the new Children’s Couture showroom. The reaction is always the same; true amazement at the colorful variety of styles I have to offer, the details I integrate into the Collections, and respect for the quality work I produce. Obviously, I enjoy the accolades and it is precisely these compliments that provide the inspiration to create my line of apparel and accessories, not to mention the glorious fabrics I am surrounded by each and every day.

I’ve been eyeing your work for years, promising myself that if my daughter ever had a girl, I would buy one of your creations. She did ... and I did.
Children’s Couture Customer-New Hampshire

We seem to forget that couture is craft
Coco Chanel

I consider the fabrics my paintbrush, the designs my canvas, and it’s my job to meld the two into one, creating an art piece that is easy and fun for an infant, child or young lady to wear, but also one that an adult will enjoy and value for generations to come. To achieve this goal, I focus on the classic line of style, as well as proportion, and effectively incorporate traditional dressmaking and couture construction techniques into each and every piece. In today’s rush of a world, these methods of construction are widely ignored and misunderstood. Couture methods are not tedious and time-consuming, rather these time-honored techniques are a satisfying skill of hand and eye, which result in a piece to be truly admired from the inside and out.

“Your craftsmanship is amazing. I live in New York where there are a lot of children’s clothing shops, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Children’s Couture Customer- New York City

“Clothes should be as interesting on the inside as on the outside. Even if you enjoy it totally alone, it’s important.”
Geoffrey Beene

Color is another important factor in the Children’s Couture line, whether it is the bright contemporary prints or the classic motifs reminiscent of a vintage era. Yet, I prefer to combine only two or three prints in one piece and occasionally, I favor just one print at a time. Though this goes against the trend in today’s retail offerings for children, I feel that a refined color palette produces a piece that allows all elements to shine, creating a classic sense of style with truly a contemporary edge.

“You have an eye for color that’s to die for!”
Children’s Couture Customer-Boston Floral Designer

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
Yves St. Laurent

My work is my passion and it is a proud moment when I learn that a Children’s Couture piece has become a child’s best friend and part of her family’s history. Every August at the League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair, the one show I do per year, I see previous customers who are eager to show me their photographs and share their stories. Or, often I see teenagers in my booth, admiring various apparel items or accessory pieces and whispering to each other. Eventually they turn to me and say, with great pride, that they wore my dresses when they were little and how they were passed down from sibling to sibling, cousin to cousin, friend to friend. Mission accomplie!


Early Years
Born in Waco, Texas, I grew up in suburban Washington, DC; my high school playground at the time, where I lived until going off to college, and where I returned after graduation, commuting to New York City to look for work in the apparel field.

And Life Goes On
No, not New York City, but the Lakes Region of New Hampshire became my home, where I opened a woman’s couture dressmaking and tailoring studio. After 25 years of working solely in women’s wear, I ventured into the world of children’s fashions, due to my desire for more creative freedom with the use of fabrics and color, and as an avenue that would allow my love of design and “the detail” to thrive and flourish.

In 2001, I introduced the Children’s Couture line of fine apparel and accessories for infants to young ladies. The line has grown over the years, and I am looking forward to the new and exciting ventures that await within the coming year. So please stay tuned and learn how you can become part of the Children’s Couture community.

University of Connecticut, Bachelor of Science Degree, Apparel Design and Fine Arts

Professional Organizations
League of New Hampshire Craftsmen

  • Juried Craftsmen, 1980 - present
  • Chairman and Exhibition Designer, Gallery 205, 2006 – 2009
  • Exhibition Coordinator, Members Juried Exhibition, 2006 – 2007

Professional Association of Custom Clothiers, 1989 – 1996

Master Gardener Program, 1998 – 2001


2012 SHOWS
It’s been busy at the Children’s Couture Showroom & MadCouture Fabric Shop so I have decided to “stay put” and give all my attention and energy to creating a wonderful shopping experience for returning and new customers alike.

The Showroom and Shop are fully stocked with the quality infant to preteen apparel and accessories you’ve come to love, plus hundreds of bolts of fabrics to delight your senses.  Quilters and home-sewers take notice; you will be in 7th heaven!

Bring your family and friends and make it a Couture Day, or ... stop by for a quick trip and peek, or ... have a seat and relax for a bit.  Light beverages are always available and during the summer months, we are air-conditioned for your shopping comfort.  Before you leave with your purchases, be sure to take a stroll around our “compound” and see what’s growing in our numerous gardens (and maybe what isn’t).  Then if the seasons "fits",  be sure to cut a zinnia bouquet to take home with you ... a small “thank-you” for coming by.

I guarantee you will not be disappointed
I look forward to seeing you soon ... Mary-Alice

Thursday, Friday and Saturday 10am - 5pm

If a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday works better for you, just give me (Mary-Alice) a quick call at 603-524-8801, or email me.  I'm always here so any day that works for you is fine with me!

MadCouture Fabric Shop is now open within the Children’s Couture Showroom and our fabulous fabrics are available for your quilting and home-sewing needs. Premium quality cotton prints and solids arrive monthly from America’s leading cotton manufacturers’ so be sure to stop by and see what’s new in our traditional and contemporary print collections. The reviews have been “awesome”!  Can't get to the Shop?  Never fear, as all of the fabrics are available for purchase online via the Fabrics Page.


Become part of the Children’s Couture online community. Children’s Couture Facebook Page


WMUR-TV, NH CHRONICLE, February 23, 2012 – Children’s Couture

YANKEE MAGAZINE, July/August 2011 – New England's Finest

BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE – Boston Globe Magazine, June 23 2007– The Find




Yankee Magazine
Founded in 1935 and based in Dublin, New Hampshire, Yankee Magazine is the only publication devoted to New England through its coverage of travel, home, food, and features. Their product review column, "New England's Finest," highlights items designed and created by New England’s finest artists and craftsmen.

New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism
The official website of the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism for shopping and activities, arts and entertainment, places to stay and things to do within the state.

Suzanne Connor
Original Wall Hangings, Fiber Sculpture, Upscale Table Linens & Unique Home Accessories

Window Dressings of New Hampshire
Ann Marie Finn, Allied ASID
- “My mission is to remove the paralysis of window treatment decision making and substitute an enjoyment with the process.”

Free Spirit Fabrics
A leading American manufacturer of premium quality cottons. The Children’s Couture Showroom and website feature a wide selection of Free Spirit Fabrics for all of your home sewing and quilting needs.

Michael Miller Fabrics
A leading American manufacturer of premium quality cottons. The Children’s Couture Showroom and website feature a wide selection of Michael Miller fabrics for all of your home sewing and quilting needs.

The NH Humane Society
The NH Humane Society is a private non-profit organization that was founded in 1900. As one of the largest and oldest humane societies in NH, they provide care for more than 1300 animals every year and offer a variety of programs and services for the Lakes Region of NH.