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Showing my age

Showing my age

Hi brides, here’s another story showing my age!

I was fitting a bride during the Trunk Show and her mum asked if I had ever lived in Figtree. I had...I actually had a workshop downstairs in my mother’s house when I still lived at home!
The bride’s surname was familiar, and I remember doing a bridal party many many years ago with the same name. I remember the dresses were a dusty pale pink in duchess satin, and the photo sent to me by the new bride confirmed they were just as I recalled.
I made this little girl a beautiful flower dress, and now I am helping her find the wedding dress of her dreams!

 

Connie xo

 

Boutique Appointments

Boutique Appointments

Hi Brides!

I often get asked why I only make 45 mins appointments instead of the usual 60 min length. There are two key reasons:
The first is that I believe trying on too many dresses only serves to overwhelm the bride. In the first five minutes of the appointment, I am able to determine what dresses you should try on by speaking to you about the styles you are drawn to, and by assessing your body shape and the style of wedding you are having. That skill in itself means that I can very quickly knock out the dresses that just won't be appropriate for you and your wedding. Some brides still express a little bit of doubt when I explain this reason - they feel that I might limit them and they might miss out on a dress that would have been perfect...but did you know that you have enough time in 45 minutes to try on ELEVEN dresses?!
The second main reason is that, over the years, I have found that 45 minutes is the perfect length of time for appointments with ME. Don't forget that when you visit my boutique, you are having a consult with me on your OWN. I am not tending to other clients, and you are the only one in the store. You will never have to wait for a change-room or a dress to be free. You will have my undivided attention, and frequently I also have my 'shop girl', Emilia, in to assist with hanging up discarded dresses. Many other boutiques book several clients at once, so even if you have a single sales assistant attending to you, you are still required to wait for a change-room to become available.
We decided last Saturday to test this theory, just to make sure I was still living up to industry standards. I made my 'first consult' 9am appointment for 60 mins, and put away my watch. As the appointment came to a close and I was farewelling the bride and her mother, I glanced at the time and we had taken 45 mins exactly! I asked the bride if she had felt rushed at all, or if she wished she could have tried on more dresses, and her response to both was a firm 'No'.
I have been in the industry for my whole career, please have a little trust in me!
Connie xo
 

Don't forget to bring your wedding shoes and your wedding bra

Don't forget to bring your wedding shoes and your wedding bra

Have you already bought your dress from me and now coming in for a your alterations fitting? Don't forget to bring your wedding shoes and your wedding bra!

I can't pin up a hem without the right shoes, unfortunately. 'Near enough' is just not good enough for me, so we'll need to reschedule if you forget or haven't bought them yet.
Connie xo
 

​The Dilemma

​The Dilemma

The Dilemma...

How many people should you bring dress shopping?
Made to measure was easy - it was you, the mother of the bride, and the bridesmaids. It was already pre-decided because these women were the ones getting dresses made for them! Oftentimes even the bridal party wasn't present when the bride was getting her dress made; the dress would be a surprise for EVERYONE on the day!
But times have changed, and I see a lot of people come and go through the boutique. One mother recently commented that her other daughter arrived at her consult with a whole entourage of guests, and by the time they visited a few stores and she had heard a dozen different opinions on every dress, she wasn't even sure WHAT she wanted. In the end, the ended up regretting her dress purchase.
Well, the younger sister is getting married now, and this time around it is just her and her mother coming in dress shopping. Her mother said "I will be honest with her - because what mother doesn't want her daughter to look fabulous and be happy on her wedding day?"
What are your thoughts on this? Are you going to surprise everyone or did you bring support along to your fittings?
Connie
 

sleeves in the late 80's

sleeves in the late 80's

Remember how we all had points in our sleeves in the late 80's? Well, they're back! They've been given a streamlined, modern twist and they are showing up all over the catwalks and industry shows.

The mother of this bride laughed "I had this same lace peak sleeve on my dress back when I got married!"

 

Connie xo

 

​Alteration of the Week Design Changes

​Alteration of the Week Design Changes

Alteration of the Week - Design Changes

This bride wanted an on-trend 'cold shoulder' neckline. This design detail combines a high neckline and sleeves with cut-outs over the shoulder and is a great way of showing off a shapely upper body.
I don't have anything like this in the boutique, but I mentioned to the bride that Martina Liana designers are happy to do custom design changes with enough notice. I knew the bride had missed the main cut off date for this, with her wedding being held in July, but thought she may have made it with enough time to pay the express fee. We tried a few dresses on and decided that the Martina Liana 948 was the best option for such a significant alteration.
I called the Martina Liana head office while my bride was in-store; unfortunately she had *just* missed the cut off for the express fee. I spent a little bit of time troubleshooting the issue with the designers and they suggested that I take on the customisation myself! What a great idea! The designer sent extra lace and tulle for me to use when creating the sleeves and, because the dress was already racer-back, the customisation went smoothly.
1.I removed some of the lace detail from the front and back of the bodice to create a sharper edge
2.Removed swirl appliqué from the back illusion tulle
3.Added sleeve to bodice underneath the arm
4.Left sleeve trim at the bottom in swirl design with a downward peak at the back of the wrist
Check out the before and after photos; they are AMAZING!!! The bride is happy, so I am happy. This is why I don’t do alterations for brides that haven't bought their dresses from my boutique - by dedicating myself to my own girls, I can have enough time to take on larger alteration projects like this one!

 

Connie xo
 

​Alterations Before and After

​Alterations Before and After

Alterations Before and After

The number of comments that my alteration 'before and after' pics generate just goes to show how beneficial it is for brides to see how alterations take place in real time, on real brides.
This dress is the LM 2839B LM by Lusan Mandongus. It has a straight cut skirt lining topped with an A-line lace overlay, which simultaneously creates a sleek hourglass shape with a soft 'flowy' touch. The bride was specifically looking for a dress with a high neckline and a low cut back.
Being a shorter bride with a typical apple shape, the detail at the satin pleated waist band worked well to accentuate her waistline and soften the fall across her hips. Being a winter wedding, the bride preferred sleeves, so I ordered extra lace and added 3/4 sleeves.
To provide bust support, I removed the back fastening of her bra and sewed the cups and side structures into the dress.
Connie xo
 

2019 Beside Couture Release

2019 Beside Couture Release

Hi Brides-to-Be,

Just letting you know that the 2019 release of Besides Couture by Gemy has arrived in the boutique.
I absolutely love this collection - it is an affordable was to buy designer gowns for under $2000. There is just no reason to purchase cheap and ill-fitting gowns online when you can buy quality like this instore. These dresses have the correct internal structures for their individual designs, and they are perfect examples of professional tailoring.
I am the only stockist of this range in New South Wales. Because of this, you are getting a unique design rather than a commercialised 'cheap' dress.
It can be our little secret how much you actually paid!
Connie xo
 

Time for a Holiday

Time for a Holiday

For the first time in the six years since I have owned Accapella Bridal, I am going to Europe for a holiday rather than for a trip to a bridal show! I am excited but oh so nervous...I already know that I will find it hard to switch off from my shop as it is my pride and passion.

I will be away from the 22nd July until the 11th August. During that time, the lovely Glynis will be minding the store (by appointment only) and managing my emails. Glynis has been a seamstress for over 25 years and has also owned her own bridal store. She is very experienced and knows all about sizing, alterations and styling! I trust Glynis with everything and hope that she can help you out while I am on my break.
Saturday appointments will be temporarily increased to 60 mins, and if you need to book in, please do so by calling the store on 42252188. Alternatively, you can also contact Glynis directly on 0427703277. My work mobile will be switched off while I am overseas.
Standby for lots of holiday snaps!

 

Connie xo

 

Level of Professionalism

Level of Professionalism

Hi Connie it is Amelia Hollis here I just wanted to say thank you so much for your level of professionalism and for helping me find the dress of my absolute dreams!! Everyone has raved about the dress and I felt like an absolute princess wearing it on the best day of my life😊 thank you again and I have been raving about you and will be recommending you to everyone 😊 I will send you through some photos of the wedding at the church and Milton Park xox 

Preview 2019 Collections

Preview 2019 Collections

Have you booked a spot for this year’s Martina Liana and Essense of Australia Trunk show? There’s only a few appointments left for Saturday July 14th. and Friday has sold out!

This bride purchased her dress from last year’s trunk show. She sent me a few photos and an email thanking me for the opportunity to view the collection early...she was very happy with her dress! She looks STUNNING in her Martina Liana gown!

Call the boutique today to book a time to view the collection - this will be your only chance for a preview before their release in January 2019!

0413493970

Connie xo

 

 

 

Trunk Show experience

Trunk Show experience

I'm slowly getting all of my Trunk Show brides in for their fittings. I always ask them their thoughts on the Trunk Show experience - overall they have all loved it and recommend it as a way to find that special something in a dress. It was a very successful weekend for myself and for my brides!

It's still ages away, but I am having another Trunk Show in July of this year. I've decided to host a third day this year, to cope with demand. The show will be held at the boutique on the 13th, 14th and 15th of July.

Are you interested in coming to the Trunk Show? Make an appointment to see me in the coming months so that you can have a preview of the dresses currently in the boutique - that means that when the Trunk Show comes around, you will know what you like, what you are looking for, and if there is anything in-store that you are already liking. Otherwise, the pressure of committing to a Trunk Show dress on the day can be overwhelming if you haven't previously determined what you do and don't like, especially considering there are about 60 new release dresses being showcased on the day!

 

Concerns with the look of the hips area

Concerns with the look of the hips area

Alteration of the Week - size 14 Essense of Australia 2332

This bride loved that her dress had a plain crepe fabric skirt and wasn’t all lace, but she had concerns about how her hips and thigh area looked without the ‘disguise’ of lace to hide the lumps and bumps.
The corded lace of the bodice much heavier than most laces, and is a good design point for this problem - the heavier texture brings the attention to the upper body and away from the skirt.
To further soften the bride’s areas of concern, I appliquéd extra lace to the hip area of the skirt. This covers the side seams, smooths the fall of the fabric over the hip and softens the middle of the skirt front. It’s fortuitous that designers allow you to order extra matching lace when you buy their dresses, as it frequently comes in handy during these types of alterations.
In addition to this, I made a few slight alterations to the fit - I let out the skirt to give it a little more movement, and I ran the bodice in so that it fit better.
These before and after shots were only taken two weeks apart, and no weight was lost during that time. These alterations have definitely worked to make the bride look thinner in the after photo - it’s amazing what a correctly fitting dress can do!
Connie xo
 

Blast from the past

Blast from the past

Here’s another blast from the past!

Made in silk duchess satin, this gown had a popular boat neckline with set in sleeves and a shoulder pad insert giving the bride that square look. The beaded shoulders and neckline were topped off with a classic bow at the back waist. The train was bagged through the length for extra volume and decorated with beaded cut outs and a beaded tassel which I handmade...just the thought of the hours I spent beading this dress makes me anxious!
Back in the day you put your bridesmaids in dresses that had a similar concept to the bride (duchess satin and shoulder pads here) and YES, everyone wore those matching covered shoes!
Check out the headpiece - faux flowers have come a long way in 20 years, but the overall design is still similar to the floral crowns that are so popular at the moment.
Connie xo
 

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