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Buying from a bridal seamstress

Buying from a bridal seamstress

Hi Brides.

We had a bit of a state of emergency in the boutique a few weeks ago. I had a bride who had ordered a custom design gown - a design from a designer with a bunch of agreed-upon changes made at the cutting stage. She came in for her fitting to see what alterations to bust and hem-length would need to be done, and we could both immediately see that the dress was significantly too big for her. Her weight loss had been minimal since ordering the dress (she didn’t need to lose weight!) but I thought I had better take her measurements and compare them to the measurements I had recorded and provided to the designer. Yes, just as I thought, only an inch off her waist and and inch and a half off her hips - not enough to impact the dress sizing this dramatically.

I could tell we were both getting worried at this stage, so I suggested we hold the size 12 dress up against a size 14 we had in the store. Lo and behold, it had been cut at a size 14! No wonder it was so big.

I took photos and videos and immediately contacted the designer - her wedding was just five weeks away. At first the designer hinted at grading the dress - this is where you recut the dress from the existing fabric, running it in here and there, to ‘make it fit’. It’s never going to give a perfect fit. I refused to consider that and express shipped the dress that afternoon so that they could confirm that it was, in fact, incorrect.

The got to making the new dress immediately, and with a bit of trust in the couriers, we were able to have it ready *just* in time for her wedding! It was very stressful for both my bride and myself, because I really hate seeing my brides upset.

Now that it’s all sorted, I can definitely sit back and say that yes, we are all human and it was just a mistake in the cutting room. The designers were very helpful in getting it remade in time. But what DOES worry me is if I hadn’t been a seamstress in my former life, there’s every chance that the mistake wouldn’t have been picked up on and the bride’s weightloss would have been to blame for the poorly fitting gown. Definitely make sure you know what and who you are buying from before you commit all that money!

Connie xo

 

No need to wait

No need to wait

Hi Brides

One thing that seems to be very common in the bridal industry is the idea of having to wait such a long time for the dress of your dreams or the one that fits you. As a lot of my gowns are imported from Europe,and local designers,these dresses I have in store at Accapella Bridal ready to be purchased off the rack or for budget concise I have a sale rack These gowns are hand selected by me, so whether your wedding is in two years, two months, or two weeks, you can be assured they are of the highest quality and that you will not be compromising on design.After 28 years of fitting gowns for brides, I can help you choose a gown that will be the perfect fit in every way. Looking forward to seeing you soon,Connie xx

 

curvy bust

curvy bust

Hello Brides-to-be,
This gorgeous size 22 bride loved this dress, however she felt that the neckline was too low for her curvy bust and she felt uncertain about having her arms uncovered.
We ordered extra lace when she purchased the dress, with the plan to extend the shoulder to a nice little cap sleeve.
Her dress arrived - the pictured Essense of Australia fitted A-line dress. She came in for an early fitting, and confessed to me that she really didn’t want her arms uncovered at all.
This wasn’t a problem! I first created set-in sleeves from some sample tulle I had in the boutique. This allowed us to make sure the pattern for the sleeves worked with the original armholes on the dress. Once we had that finessed, I cut the new sleeves from nude tulle and hand-applied lace to the areas that the bride wanted more coverage. I then used reverse lace to mirror the same design on the other arm. The sleeves were finished off with loops and buttons, and look like a part of the original dress!
The before and after photos show what a difference a simple change like a pair of sleeves can make. The bride looks lovely.
 

BoHo Style Madi Lane

BoHo Style Madi Lane

Hi Brides!
Boho is making a stylish comeback!
Introducing Madi Lane with boho inspired new designs into my Boutique. These gowns will be relaxed, stylish, modern and of course made from the high-end fabrics, laces and beading that this designer is known for. Best of all, their intention is to have dresses at all the price points, so that brides can be sure to find something within their budget.
Would you be interested in boho inspired gowns? .

 

Connie xo

 

New arrivals

New arrivals

Hi Gorgeous Girls!

The first of the new collections from my shopping spree in Barcelona has arrived!

Lanesta and Armonia are Ukraine designs and are a really wonderful blend of euro styling and more non-traditional cuts.

 

The dresses are affordable and the fabrics and embellishments are of excellent quality. They are infinitely modifiable, and...wait for it...the turnaround time is just a mere six weeks from ordering! This is fantastic news for pregnant brides, girls who change their minds and last minute weight loss plans!

 

The dresses range from $1890 - $2700 but from now until the end of July I will offer a further 10% off any dresses purchased from this collection.

 

Call or message me to book in for your consultation.

Connie xo

 

GETTING MARRIED FROM JANUARY 2020 ONWARDS

GETTING MARRIED FROM JANUARY 2020 ONWARDS

Hi Brides, it’s THAT time again!
What time? TRUNK SHOW TIME!
THIS IS FOR ALL BRIDES GETTING MARRIED FROM JANUARY 2020 ONWARDS!
WHAT: The Accapella Bridal Martina Liana and Essense of Australia Trunk Show
WHEN: JULY 12th -14th
WHERE: Accapella Bridal Boutique, Wollongong

 

 

Got to the Trunk Show Tab on our website to book your appointment.
This is your chance to see what designs I will be stocking in 2020. It also helps me to choose my stock because seeing it on ‘normal’ brides (rather than models) allows me to choose the best designs for real-life.
I’m excited to have Martina Liana designs being showcased as they have a new designer on the team.
Connie
 

WARNING Don't buy too early

WARNING Don't buy too early

WARNING!!!!
This bride came to one of my Trunk Shows last year, where I mentioned to her that it was still far too early to buy her dress. I told her that she had until this time next year to decide - that time is now closing in.
However, the bride was excited about being engaged, and bought her dress from another boutique that didn’t warn her of the perils of early dress purchase.
She has now had second thoughts about whether the design suits her figure.
She contacted me after seeing that I was holding an end of season sale, and came in for a consult. As I was doing the consultation, she explained that she had bought a dress but wasn’t as sure about it any more. I smiled and asked if she bought it a while ago, and she admitted she had.
She detailed the dress design to me, and as soon as she said ‘frills’ I thought to myself about how much that would visually shorten her. Don’t get me wrong - frills are GORGEOUS - but on a shorter size 18, it will just make your figure look stumpy.
I took a photo of her in my $500 Sale dress and we compared the dresses side by side. It’s easy to see what dress is a better option for my bride.
I said to her ‘don’t you follow me on facebook?! Haven’t you read all the blog posts I’ve made about this exact situation?!’ She laughed and said ‘I’ve made exactly the same mistake!’
Alls well that ends well, though. She’s found a dress that makes her look 10 kilos lighter and for only $500!
Connie xo
 

AUTUMN SALE

AUTUMN SALE

AUTUMN SALE!
Brides, it’s that time of the year again - when I discount my discontinued stock to make way for new designs that arrive just prior to Spring.
This is the perfect chance for brides on a budget to secure a well structured and high quality gown. All my sample gowns are well cared for and cleaned, and ready for any needed alterations to fit you perfectly.
Dresses come in all shapes and designs and are sized from 6 - 18
Best of all, brides...there’s nothing over $500!
Call the boutique to make an appointment to view the range.

Ending 25th May 2019

Connie xo

 

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Well, that’s a wrap for Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week!

It was one of the biggest expos held this year, with a large number of exhibitors displaying their collections across two vast halls. I had quite a few pre-booked appointments this year - before I left I checked out all the designers and spent a lot of time looking at their websites and photographed collections to determine what I was missing in my boutique, what I was personally drawn to, and what stood out as more unique and less commercial looking.
Surprisingly, some of the photos looked great but seeing them in real life made me think ‘Wow, that’s it? That’s a little disappointing!’ It goes to show brides, when you come in with all the photos on your phone, they don’t necessarily look like that in real life.
Also, I was happy to be meeting the designers and so pleased with how accepting they were with changing some of my sample dress purchases - adding boning, removing ‘sparkle tulle’ and improving finishes to a level I would approve of for my gowns. In all honesty, they probably thought, ‘OH GOD, she’s impossible!’ but I explained I need to be happy with my the product I am selling, as I’m also selling my seamstress experience and knowledge. A fair few commented that they knew this already by reviewing my website when I enquired about an appointment.
Overall, it was a really successful and enjoyable trip, albeit so busy. I hope you guys enjoyed the overload of sneaky peeks on my news feed.

Connie xo

 

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2019

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week 2019

I am starting to prepare to go to Barcelona for Bridal Fashion week at the end of the month. It is time that I start to look at what I’m missing in my store so that I have an idea of what gowns I would like to buy while I am over there.
When I first started the boutique in 2012 I bravely chose to stock a wonderful international designer that had very unique but beautiful designs. The gowns all had sheer bodices, and at that stage many of the brides that came for a consult had never seen a sheer bodice, and couldn’t get their head around wearing ‘so little’ in public. Sheer bodices had been EVERYWHERE on the international bridal catwalk that year, but I ended up having to sell them at a discount price to the more outrageous brides that wanted something different to the usual bridal gown. In 2015 the trend finally hit in Australia and all the brides started to ask after this sheer design detail! I’m not sure if it’s because of our more isolated location, or just how the market works, but in Australia, we are so delayed in when we receive designs. We are also not as confident to wear a gown that is different to the dresses that are popular at that time. Many brides come into my store with photos of friends on their phone, saying ‘I’d like something similar...’ It’s very different in Europe, where brides are constantly trying to out-do each other with wilder designs!
There was more variety when I did made to measure, all those years ago. I would get that ‘different’ bride, wanting a red or black dress, extravagant collars and sleeves, trains metres in length... Brides were confident and eager to wear something unique.
So, if I suggest you try on a dress that is a design that you haven’t seen before, give it a whirl. If it looks great, all the more reason to wear it! Be your own style and stand out from all the other brides.
 

Bridal Appointments

Bridal Appointments

Good morning, Brides,
I've had a bit of confusion over appointments the last few weeks. As most of you know, your consultation at Accapella Bridal Boutique is by appointment only. This allows me to offer you my full and undivided attention, gives you the privacy to try on dresses you wouldn't otherwise feel comfortable with, and gives you the full 'run' of the shop floor. I work this way because it benefits YOU. Unlike many bridal stores, I do not require a deposit for your appointment time, as I do not wish you to feel pressured to rebate that cost against a dress if I don't have any styles you like.
Mid-week appointments are easy to get, and I don't confirm these by email or text. If you need to cancel last minute, that's fine - I always have alterations to do during the week.
Saturday appointments are confirmed via text message on the Thursday or Friday immediately prior to your appointment. There is a long waitlist of brides eager to secure those appointments that become available or remain unconfirmed by 7pm on Friday night.
If you have confirmed 'yes' and a true emergency arises and you are not able to make your appointment, please let me know as early as possible so that I may pass your appointment onto one of our local waitlisted brides. Those brides who simply do not turn up and make no attempt to contact the store (before OR after their allotted appointment time) will need to make subsequent appointments for the less in-demand weekday availabilities.
 

Something special about small businesses

Something special about small businesses

There is something really special about small businesses.
I met a lovely bride the other day. She tried a dress on - loved it - and then decided she’d better try on a few more, just in case.
But time an again, she came back to that first dress!
Her mum said, “it’s a bit like my wedding dress story! I saw a gown in the dress shop window, but the sales assistant wouldn’t take it down so I could try it on. She told me to come back the following week when the display was due to be changed. I went back, and I STILL loved the dress.’
Her daughter couldn’t believe that she was denied the right to try on the dress. Her mother and I had a good laugh - can you imagine telling a bride these days that she couldn’t try on something in stock?!
Social media is a really great tool - I can use it to pass on my advice and to easily let you know when I have sales and Trunk Shows. But it is also a burden - it is too easy for clients to leave ‘keyboard warrior’ negative reviews without needing to actual deal with issues face to face. Imagine the fallout if I told a bride to come back next week because I couldn’t ruin my display just for her.
Let’s work together to use social media to its full potential as a positive business tool. I’m always answering messages and emails late at night and early in the morning, and I do my very best to provide after hours appointments when necessary. Social media, text messages and emails make this possible!
 

Essense of Australia Mikado gown

Essense of Australia Mikado gown

So excited about this Essense of Australia Mikado gown! This lovely woman is a bridal size 24 and has a DD cup bust. She already dresses beautifully and embraces her curvaceous figure. I love the asymmetrical pleats on this bodice - they are very flattering to the waist and bust and accentuate her womanly shape while still draping gently. The fabric choice and internal structure means the bride can get away without a bra, so she can keep the spaghetti straps that make this dress so modern and sexy. The skirt has a single sewn pleat on each side, which again allows the fabric to drape gently across the tummy area. Although it’s a simple design, in this case less is definitely more as the structure and simplicity is what makes this dress perfect.  

Tropical destination wedding

Tropical destination wedding

Alteration of the week
This bride had a tropical destination wedding She didn’t want a formal wedding gown but still wanted to feel like a bride. As with most destination weddings, her dress had to be lightweight and cool, travel well without creasing too much, and suit the more casual themed wedding venue.
This dress was perfect. The cotton lace is much cooler in the heat compared to synthetic fibres, and is more robust for travelling. The dress is only lightly lined, and the style more suited to a casual reception.
The only issue was that the bride's hips are quite narrow and her torso short - this meant that the bodice seam was falling underneath her hip-line and the bottom half of the dress looked like a sack. To rectify this I raised the skirt of the dress at the bottom of the bodice, bringing the line up and adding in a stronger curve to the horizontal seam. This meant the gathered section of the skirt flared at the hips, and the seam created a visual illusion of curves.

 

Dress is a design by Besides Couture. These dresses are beautiful budget options, and are all under $2000.

 

Connie

 

loss of a daughter

loss of a daughter

January is always a busy month for bridal stores. Many brides are starting their dress search after getting engaged over Christmas, while others are finalising their choices, ready for their 2019 weddings.
I’ve been speaking to a lot of my brides lately, and I’ve got to say how privileged I feel to have had the opportunity to work as a made to measure seamstress in my early bridal couture career. This experience didn’t just give me a great grounding in the skills needed to be a successful seamstress, it also allowed me to participate in the Big Day with my clients - traditionally, the seamstress attended the morning of the wedding to deliver the gown and dress the bride and her bridesmaids and flower girls.
These were usually very traditional affairs, and one thing that always stood out for me was the bride’s packed suitcase standing in the hall, waiting for the driver to take her to her new husband, waiting at the church.
This suitcase symbolised many things. The loss of a daughter who had rarely slept away from home, the loss of a sister - and sometimes the little sister’s excitement at finally having her own room! And the beginning of a new, grown-up life with her loved one. Bittersweet.
My modern brides can’t imagine a time when they may have been going off to marry a man they had never lived with. But their mothers and grandmothers still remember!
 

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