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The dresses are arriving

The dresses are arriving

Hi Brides

Remember the trunk show I held back in July? The dresses are arriving!
This is particularly exciting for these brides because, until the designs were officially released in January, all they had were a few photographs of the dress taken on the day they tried them on.
They’ve all been in this week to try them on and fine tune the fittings - here are some sneak peaks!
 

Inexperienced alterations

Inexperienced alterations

Last week I received a text message from a bride who was a mere 12 days out from her wedding.

She had collected her dress from another boutique, after her final fitting, and was beside herself with worry because the dress still did not fit.
This poor bride had been sold a dress with with wide shoulder straps under the impression that the seamstress could change the dress to be ‘off the shoulder’. Unfortunately this just isn’t the case - off the shoulder dresses need a lot of built-in structure to keep the bodice up without the support of the straps. All the seamstress did was sew a seam to reorientate the straps sideways. Ugh, another example of the difference between a factory style seamstress and someone who has worked in made-to-measure and is familiar with drafting patterns.
I was too busy to take on another dress, but I passed along the number of a seamstress I have worked with before.
Glynis ran the dress in on the front and side panels, which helped hold the dress closer to the body. She also ran the side seams in on the skirt, which gave the dress a little more shape. Glynis also told me that the bride was a long term follower of my Facebook account and regretting getting caught up in the moment and purchasing a dress from somewhere else.
THIS is why I don’t pressure my brides to make an immediate decision!

Connie xo

 

Undecided between two stores

Undecided between two stores

This bride was undecided and couldn’t choose between a dress I had in stock and a dress she had tried on at another boutique. She explained that both dresses were very similar and she just wasn’t sure which one she liked more.

She mentioned she had a photo of the other dress, and I asked if I could see it. After seeing the pic, I said I would take a photograph of the back of my dress on her…we put the two side by side and it was plain to see which dress was the better choice!
This is another perfect example of how small design details can make a big impact on the overall finish of a dress.

Connie xo

 

Factory Error

Factory Error

Recently, I was pinning a bride during her first fitting, and I was having a little trouble getting the bodice right.

Being very petite, this bride had ordered a size 7 dress, as per her measurements. The dress fit beautifully across her waist and hips but the shoulders were cut so wide that the edges were falling off down her arms. This was causing me a lot of concern, because the bodice was intricately beaded and difficult to perform alterations on.
I could tell that the bride was also getting worried about the bodice, and when she stopped me to ask if the sleeves were meant to fall down, this confirmed it for me!
I asked her to take the dress off and put on a shop robe. While she was getting changed, I found the size 10 sample on my racks.

 

It was clear to see that the two dresses were the same size!
Together we took photographs and videos of the two dresses and I called the designer. I explained that I suspected an error had occurred and sent through an email with the pics as evidence.
I reassured my bride that I would get to the bottom of the issue and find a resolution. The designer arranged for the dress to be couriered back to the factory and it was confirmed that an error had been made.
The designer fixed the sizing issue - and we all know that factory workers are just human after all - and the dress fits much better.
When I was talking to the designer about it, she said ‘wow, Connie, you have a good eye!’ I explained that it was my history as a made-to-measure seamstress that allowed me to pick up on these things. I’ve had three pattern errors from three different designers in the time I’ve been selling off the rack. If these brides had gone to a boutique without an in-house seamstress they would have spent thousands of dollars on a dress that never had a hope of fitting correctly.

Connie xo

 

Expensive Alterations from Sydney

Expensive Alterations from Sydney

Hello Brides,

A friend recently sent me text asking my advice. She knew that I didn’t do alterations for anyone but my own brides, but her sister had bought a dress for $900 at a warehouse sale in Sydney, which needed the hem taking up. The warehouse sale didn’t offer alterations, and her sister had called a few places to get quotes for her dress - one came back at $850!
WOW! If I charged that for a hem I would only need to do one hem a week!
I told my friend that I did think that was unreasonable, and suggested different ways she could resolve her hem issue.
Brides - when you buy a dress, whether it is on sale or full price, please ask for alteration costs as it might surprise you. And keep in mind that there are many boutiques that don’t have their own in-house seamstresses.

Connie xo

 

Developing second thoughts

Developing second thoughts

I recently had a bride that developed serious second thoughts when her dress arrived. She was concerned that she looked boxy, that she felt too restricted and that she didn’t like the covered back or revealing panels at the waist. She was quite upset, because she had previously looked everywhere for a dress, and this was the closest she had come to finding the right one, but she still didn’t feel that it was right for her relaxed Palm Cove wedding.

I explained that I can use my sewing skills to change the styling of the dress and that she just needed to get her thoughts together (she was panicking) and send me an email with some photos or ideas of what she would like.

 

Over a couple of fittings, we worked together to change her dress into her Dream Dress!
1. I added a 4cm waistband so that there was no skin showing through the reveal panels.
2. I ran in the underskirt which removed a lot of the volume.
3. I shaped the front lace to angle towards the centreline so that the dress gave the illusion of being less boxy.
4. I removed the lace illusion back and added shoestring straps.
As you can see in the before and after pics, these four small changes made a very big difference to the overall dress.
She confessed at her second fitting that a colleague had told her that I came highly recommended and that ‘if Connie can’t fix it for you, no one can!’ Luckily I came through with the goods, and this bride left the boutique tonight jumping up and down with happiness and saying to me ‘I love it! You did a fantastic job.’
I said thank you for trusting me!

Connie xo

 

I tried on the dress for a bride

I tried on the dress for a bride

Hi Brides.

I frequently have brides ask me if I try on the new dress styles as they come into the store…and I always reply that I don’t.
Until my recent Trunk Show, that is!
I had a bride who loved one of the dresses that were on show, but she couldn’t fit into it to see how it would sit when on. I held the dress against her and made her try on another dress in the same style, but it just didn’t convince her.
She looked at me and shyly asked if I would try it on for her! I laughed and explained that I was 50 years old and I might put her off the dress if I try it on. She insisted, so on it went.
I have to admit that I felt great in that dress! The structure tucked any wobbly bits in and I felt like I looked great. I asked Glynis to take a photo for me as I wanted to keep it - now I know what brides mean when they get that ‘this is IT’ moment!
The bride said ‘if you look THAT good, I am sold!’.
The dress straps can also be worn off the shoulder.

 

Connie xo

 

My Daughter's special occasion dress

My Daughter's special occasion dress

As a seamstress, I have made many of my daughter’s special occasion dresses - I sewed her christening dress when she was just a tiny babe, her Holy Communion and Confirmation dresses, and immeasurable dresses for parties and dances.  

This bride’s grandmothers

This bride’s grandmothers

Destination Weddings 
There are many reasons why a bride and groom decide to get married overseas. Unfortunately, there are often important family members who are too old or unwell to travel, and who therefore miss out on attending the big day.
This bride’s grandmothers weren’t able to travel overseas because of their health, so she invited them to her final fitting. This way they could see what she looked like in her dress, and she could have some photos taken with these special women. One of her grandmothers is 98 years old and had to escape her nursing home for the day!
It was a treat to host such special moments in the boutique.

 

Connie xo

 

Lower priced line that doesn’t scream ‘I’m Cheap’.

Lower priced line that doesn’t scream ‘I’m Cheap’.

Hi Future Brides!

One of the key reasons I travel to Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week is to select some great plus-sized styles, a few unique pieces that wont make it into other local stores, and a lower priced line that doesn’t scream ‘I’m Cheap’.
I am happy to have found all of the above, and have ordered a few pieces of bridal wear between $1600-2000. You can see a few of these pieces in the attached photos, and they should be arriving in late September if you would like to come into the boutique to inspect them in person.
I am really excited about these dresses, especially at such fantastic prices!

 

Connie xo

 

Selling a dress three sizes too big

Selling a dress three sizes too big

Hi Brides,

I usually baulk at selling a dress three sizes too big; however, this bride had neither time nor budget on her side.
Fortunately, this dress was priced well under $1000 and the style was suited to a youthful bride, and with a few tweaks we were able to recreate the dress within her timeframe and budget.
There were two key changes made to the design of the dress:
I first removed the top tier of the skirt - this reduced the overall impact of the voluminous skirt, an important change considering how slender she was.
I then ran the dress in along the back zipper - primarily to reduce the size of the bodice - however, this also changed the design of the back of the bodice from a v-shape to a straight back, increasing the support of the weighty skirt on her petite frame.
I try to only recommend drastic changes like this to dresses that are already significantly reduced in price, because these alterations can be very costly. Although I do have to admit it can be very fulfilling to use my creativity to remake a dress that was otherwise ‘old’ stock!

 

Connie xo

 

Lost more weight than expected

Lost more weight than expected

Hi Brides to Be.

This plus-sized bride lost more weight than what she expected to, meaning her ordered dress was two sizes too big!
Alterations were even more extreme because I had to alter it to fit both her large bust and tiny waist.
I also created a bodice piece using boned crepe fabric. This allowed her to wear a bra and provided extra support. Shortening the sleeves to the level of the waist band also worked to better balance the figure.
She looks lovely and the photos show just how flattering a deep-v looks on her!

Lillian West 6422

Connie xo

 

​ALTERATION OF THE WEEK Hiding her Bra

​ALTERATION OF THE WEEK Hiding her Bra

ALTERATION OF THE WEEK

This week's bride chose a lace dress with a deep v-neckline. It was incredibly flattering to her figure and her large bust; however, we were left with the conundrum of hiding her bra.
We spent some time trying to find a solution: it's hard to find larger cup bras in a plunge design, and adding more lace to the bodice meant that the neckline was no longer as magically flattering.
But then I discovered a solution! I added some matching lace to the front of her bra, disguising it and incorporating it into the design of the dress. It was a fantastic result and the bride was very happy.

Connie xo

 

Recommendations

Recommendations

Brides, I feel so honoured when you come in on recommendations!  

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