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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!  

example of how two strapless dresses fit on the one body shape

example of how two strapless dresses fit on the one body shape

This is a fantastic example of how two strapless dresses fit on the one body shape - one flatters her figure much more than the other.

Sometimes brides come in to the boutique and say they have tried on strapless/mermaid/lace/ballgown and that the style doesn’t suit them. I always ask them to reconsider, because there are finer details to why a dress doesn’t suit someone - it might be the lace placement, the structure, the neckline or another key element of design.
This bride is a size 12 and the dresses are constructed of different types of lace and are by two different designers. The left flatters the bride’s shape better but in saying that, I have seen the right flatter other women with different shaped bodies. It’s definitely not just about the size.

Connie xo

 

Alteration am I working on this week

Alteration am I working on this week

What alteration am I working on this week?

This week I am creating a lining that will go underneath a sheer illusion back. Why, you ask? Well, my bride loved the dress but I felt that the sheer illusion tulle wouldn’t provide enough support for her larger bust nor hide a bra. The piece that I have created will disguise her bra band and is boned to offer additional support.
The first photo shows the sheer back without the insert, the second shows it during the creation stage, and the third shows it completed. Stay tuned for before and after photos in the coming weeks.

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!
 

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