Firstly, I found out exactly what was wanted by my client. Together we worked out a design and I did a sketch of the dress.
Fabrics were chosen from the huge range of laces, silks, and satins that I had on rolls or in sample books.
I then quoted for fabrics and making up charge, including all fittings and adjustments with no hidden costs. We also worked out a plan for measuring, fitting dates and when the dress is to be picked up.
Some people liked to provide their own fabric. They bought silk from their travels from China and India and brought them back for me to make up, or they bought something when out shopping locally or from the internet.
I preferred shoes and underwear to be purchased before I took any measurements, as I needed to know the skirt length and that the bust and neck lines were in the correct place!
Next stage was to make a mock up (toile) dress in cotton. This is a great way to make sure that the dress fits perfectly and the style lines are all in the right place. This became the pattern for the dress. At this stage lace, motifs or any other detail were placed onto the toile to see what they looked like on the finished dress.
The dress was then cut and made in fabric. There were normally at least two more fittings before the dress was finished.
I made all dresses in my workshop and fittings were done in my studio.
I also made to measure brides maids dresses, prom dresses, mother of the bride and groom outfits and evening wear.
Sabine's dress was made in silk duchess satin and fully lined in silk. Beautiful lace was overlaid on the bodice with see through lace sleeves. The skirt was cut in seven panels with a full length train.
Nicola's dress was made and fitted on her first in cotton to give a perfect fit. The silk bodice was fully boned and covered in beautiful soft beaded lace. The back bodice had tiny loops and silk lacing to give it some delicate detail.
Alex wanted a special dress to go with her fab Matthew Williamson belt. Plunging, but decent neckline, low back, and shaped in on the body. Alex's idea of teaming it up with a belt really made a great design into a stunning one!
Esther had a full length duchess satin dress with train. The skirt was covered with a layer of fine soft chiffon. Gess wore a camisole top in matching green silk with a Macramé lace insert at the front. Her sleeveless jacket and trousers were made in fully lined Duchess satin.
Lara wanted a beautiful light weight floaty dress with a train that could be hitched up so that she could go onto the beach for photos and also dance in the evening. The whole dress was made in a soft peach skin crepe, covered with chiffon.
I still alter many wedding dresses. Today many designer dresses are bought on eBay at a fraction of the original cost and brides bring them to me for alterations to suit. This picture shows a lace up back that I put in a bodice that was too small.
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