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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
 

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!
 

Dangers of not buying the right size.

Dangers of not buying the right size.

This bride bought her dress with the intention of losing weight. A new medical condition meant that things didn’t quite work out as we had both hoped. As her wedding got closer I was emailing her to see where she was at and if I could assist at all. I was getting anxious about how much time we had left, so I asked her if could purchase the satin and lace which I would need to alter her dress. At this late stage it was too late to order a bigger size.  

Tropical Wedding

Tropical Wedding

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.

 

Connie xo

 

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
 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Bride buying her second wedding dress

Bride buying her second wedding dress

Hi Brides,
I had another bride in buying her second dress this week. She wasn’t happy with the choice she made with her first dress even after the alterations were completed.
She loves Martina Liana gowns and sent me an email saying her wedding was only four weeks away, and did I think I could help?
She came in before I left for Barcelona and narrowed her selection down to two dresses straight off the rack. I suggested she take some time to think about it because the boutique was going to be closed and no one would buy them in the interim. She would have time to process it all and ensure she was making the right decision this time around. It would also give her time to break the news to her mum!
These are the two dresses she was deliberating over. They are both lovely dresses but one definitely suits this bride's figure more than the other. She has a rectangle shaped body and the style on the right utilises a diagonal design on the bodice and, along with the v neckline, draws the eye downwards to give this bride a waist.
Her mum was happy for her daughter, despite this being her second dress. I don’t have a photo of the first dress as it was at the alterations place, but I can see why her mum was pleased she had finally found a dress she loved!
 

Should you bring your fiancé in to see the dress,

Should you bring your fiancé in to see the dress,

Good morning Brides!

I’ve had a few brides wanting to bring their fiancé in to see their dress, or to take a photo so they can show them at home. I always encourage them to keep their dresses a surprise, because you will never get that photo of the look on his face as you walk down the aisle and he sees how beautiful you look for the first time. A few brides worry that their future husband won’t like their dress - but I’ve been in this business for 28 years and I have never heard of a groom saying "STOP THE WEDDING, I DON’T LIKE THE DRESS!” lol!
What are your thoughts, brides? Keep it a secret or tell?
Connie xo
 

Felt pressured into buying

Felt pressured into buying

Today I met a bride for the second time. I met her quite a while ago, when it was too far out from her wedding to buy her dress. I had told her to come back closer to her wedding, but when we were discussing the details of her big day during the consultation part of her appointment, she admitted that it was only ELEVEN days before her wedding date!

The bride explained that she did already have a dress; however she was concerned about the fit and the way the dress made her feel. She purchased it from another local boutique and felt that she had been pushed into buying a dress that was too large and not necessarily the best for her shape. Even after multiple fittings, the dress still didn’t sit nicely.
She tried on two dresses that I had in her size, and as soon as she put the first dress on, she turned to her friend and said, ‘See, look how nice this looks. It fits and sits so much better.’
I explained that I wasn’t a fan of the brand that she had bought as I disagreed with the structure and cuts they used in their designs, but that I looked at the dresses from a dress-maker’s point of view…and that surely there was a reason she had bought the dress in the first place. She cringed and admitted that she had felt pressured into buying it and that now all she had was a dress that made her feel frumpy. She tried to balance it out by saying that she wasn’t the kind of bride who was ‘all about the dress’, but when I questioned why she couldn’t wear her original dress if she didn’t really care she admitted that she just couldn’t move forward with the idea of wearing a dress that she wasn’t going to feel nice in for the whole day.
Her friend cut to the chase - “The new dress looks much better than what you were going to wear. Just buy it!”
And so she did. I am looking forward to seeing pics of her big day!
Connie xo
 

Bride has a straight and slender figure

Bride has a straight and slender figure

Hi Brides,

The bride has a straight and slender figure with little waist definition. A shape that can be just as difficult to dress as any of the others.
She was looking for a simple dress with a low back, and loved those aspects of the dress she chose, but we were both concerned that it did not give her any shape.
I suggested we add some of my left-over lace from my made-to-measure days, to draw attention away from the waist and up to the bust area.
We selected this detailed eyelash lace which also softened the overall look of the dress.
I always encourage my brides to choose dresses that draw attention to their assets and away from the areas they feel less confident of. This alteration is a great example of how a simple tweak can make a huge difference!
Connie xo
 

Wedding Dress SALE

Wedding Dress SALE

~SALE~

Hi Brides,
It’s time for another sale!
All discontinued gowns are now 50-80% off. Come into the boutique and secure yourself a bargain!
Connie xo
 

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