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The bride showed great trust in me.

The bride showed great trust in me.

Hi Future Brides,

This story is one where the bride showed great trust in me!
The bride in question came to view some dresses just before my recent trip to Barcelona. The day before I left, she sent me a photograph of a dress she had tried on in another store - she had loved the style of the dress but wasn't happy with the quality and its lack of beading. She indicated that she would rather buy from me, and was wondering if I had anything similar. I explained that I currently didn't have anything similar but that I was about to leave for Barcelona and would keep an eye out for her.
A few days later I was at the Justin Alexander launch waiting for the 2017 Collection to appear on the catwalk. While I was waiting, I was going through the sketches they provide in a little booklet. I noticed one dress was similar to what this bride wanted, and WOW! when it appeared on the catwalk I JUST KNEW.
The next day I rushed to the Justin Alexander stand and, taking as many photographs as they would let me, asked if the model would try the dress on again for me.
I messaged my bride and said 'I have found the dress!'
She came in for an appointment the minute I got back and I showed her all of the photos and explained how the dress would fit her. I told her that I knew it was a risk buying a dress that she hadn't tried on or seen, but that if the style was what she liked, this dress had the beading and was of the quality she was looking for. I told her 'I feel in my heart that this dress is YOUR dress.'
Her dress arrived today and with so much excitement and nervousness, she tried it on. And YES! she loves it! It looks just as perfect as it would if I had made it from scratch for her.
Connie xo
 

Mother of the Bride brought a dress online

Mother of the Bride brought a dress online

The mother of one of my brides called me in a fluster the other day - she had ordered her ‘mother of the bride’ dress online but the dress she received looked nothing like the one in the picture!

I explained that it frequently cost more to alter these online failures than it does to purchase them in the first place…but she had already had a beautiful matching hat made by a milliner and she really wanted to wear that hat! I agreed to see what I could do with the dress, and we met in June.
The dress she received was uneven, covered in cheap beading, not as sheer in the neckline or sleeves, and lacked the scalloped finish to the neckline. In addition to this, the back V did not meet and the dress really wasn’t anything at all like the one in the photograph.
To make the most of a bad situation, I unpicked the cheap plastic bling and altered the fit of the shoulders and sleeves. At least now the dress actually fit.
Here is the sales photograph, and a before and after in my boutique. The lesson to take away from this experience is that these online stores never deliver on their promises.
Connie xo
 

Snow by Annasul Y Video

Snow by Annasul Y Video

Last week I had the pleasure of meeting a mother of one of my brides. She commented that she thought my dresses were very reasonably priced for the quality, and that by looking at my Facebook page, website and shop, she had expected me to be much more expensive. 

Second Thoughts

Second Thoughts

Hi girls! This bride called the other day to ask if her dress had arrived…I was excited to tell her ‘Yes!’, although I quickly realised that she didn’t share my excitement - Oh No.

I asked her what was wrong, and she admitted that she was starting to have second thoughts about the dress that she had chosen. Luckily, ‘making the sale’ isn’t the highest priority in my boutique, so I invited her in to try the dress on again and discuss any concerns that she had.
She was very nervous when she arrived at her appointment. She tried on her dress and became quite upset, despite her mother reassuring her of how beautiful she looked in the dress. It turns out that she had been looking at strapless dresses online, and was worried that the dress she had chosen wasn’t as flattering as a strapless would be.
Just as she was getting ready to leave, she asked if she could try on a strapless dress - I was more than happy for her to do this, and I suggested we take photos so that we could compare the dresses side by side.
The bride was very surprised to find that her original dress was actually more slimming than the strapless dress she tried on! She left feeling reassured and rang me the next day to thank me for being so patient and to reiterate that she was happy with her dress choice…I simply replied ‘No more looking online!’
Connie xox
 

Saying Goodbye

Saying Goodbye

When I was twenty-two, my parents bought me my first industrial sewing machine. It has made many beautiful bride, bridesmaid, mother-of-the-bride and flower-girl outfits.

It has always been faithful, and has always done a beautiful job...but after 28 years it has decided to call it a day; had it looked at by the sewing machine man and he said it's worn out and doesn't have long to go.
Very emotional as today I say goodbye to an old friend and hello to a new machine.

 

Connie xo

 

Don't spending a significant amount on alterations

Don't spending a significant amount on alterations

Hey brides…Here is perfect example of how a sale dress can still be The One, with minimal alterations! The dress was $900 off my sale rack, and only required letting out at the hips…I think this bride looks AMAZING.  

Bridal Seamstress with clear vision for the bride

Bridal Seamstress with clear vision for the bride

Hi Brides-to-be,This bride originally came to the boutique expecting to purchase a lace dress; however, after trying on a few she discovered the lace finish just wasn’t for her. She asked if I had any dresses that were simple in design and made from a less showy fabric. I knew I had a plain satin strapless dress that was fitted to the hips and possessed design lines that would flatter her pear shape. The bride loved how the dress made her feel, but wasn’t sold on the shiny satin finish.

I searched through the design files of Martina Liana, as I knew that this designer frequently uses silks instead of satins, and favours the clean lines of the original design. I came across a Martina Liana 626 that was made in silk zibeline - I said to the bride “I know I don’t have this dress for you to try on, but if you can trust me, I believe it will work even better for your body shape than the one you have on!”

 

Reasons:
* The bodice neckline was shaped to a dramatic V, which draws attention away from the hips.
* The dress was fitted to a lower point on the thighs, which would further narrow the eye downwards away from her hips.
* I removed the netting from the underskirt, which reduced how full it was, minimising the ‘mermaid look’.
* Made in a lustrous silk, the fabric was very luxe, without being too overbearing - I am a fabric snob, and I cannot help but love, love, LOVE silk!
After thinking about it for a few weeks, the bride stopped by to let me know she was going to go with the dress! I threw in a plain lace veil to compliment the dress’ simplicity.
The photographs depict the one she originally tried on, and the Martina Liana that she bought.

 

Connie xo

 

​Alteration of the Week.Lillian West 6387

​Alteration of the Week.Lillian West 6387

Alteration of the Week.This Lillian West 6387 was already a very flattering dress on my size 20 bride - it was structured and gave her a lovely shape. However, it was a little stronger around the neckline than she preferred. To counteract this, I opened up the neckline into a more soft V-neck, ran in the sleeves to better show off her shapely upper arms, and removed the unnecessary bling from the belt. The bride was very happy with how these few adjustments changed the whole feel of the dress! 

How you look compared to everyday clothing

How you look compared to everyday clothing

It is always wonderful to compare how plus sized brides look (and feel!) in their dress versus how they look in their everyday clothes. It is amazing what a well structured and fitting gown can do for your body shape!

 

Bridal Alterations for a size 26

Bridal Alterations for a size 26

Hi Brides to Be, Unfortunately, I don’t have a before photo of this alteration - however it has been such a transformation that I wanted to share it with you anyway. This bride is wearing an Essense of Australia dress D1662 with a Justin Alexander belt.This bride is a size 26 across the hips and torso, however she is two sizes smaller across her shoulders and bust. This meant that the neckline was too wide and the sleeves kept falling off her shoulders. It gaped at the front, and was so wide that she lost the effect of the V neckline at the back.When the bride was arrived for her first fitting, she saw the look of concentration on my face and said ‘Connie, you look worried!”. I replied that I wasn’t worried - I was just working out the best way to alter the dress!

 

When I am faced with challenging alterations, I always revert back to my old made-to-measure processes…I had to work out how I would draft a pattern for this bride if I were to make her a dress from scratch.To fix the issue, I painstakingly cut the lace strap along a pattern line, and reattached it at centre back. I then re-appliqued it so that the finish was seamless. I then ran in the bodice at front bust, and re-appliqued the lace at the front where it reattached. The dress sat beautifully and I was able to add in the 3/4 sleeves she had requested.The alterations to this dress were made to measure and fit her body just as closely as something bespoke. I believe that - if the seamstress did not have a good grasp on pattern drafting - this alteration wouldn’t have worked. The usual fix of running a dress in at the side seams would not have given this bride a perfect fit.

 

Connie xo

 

​ALTERATION OF THE WEEK. This bride to be lost over 25 kilos

​ALTERATION OF THE WEEK. This bride to be lost over 25 kilos

ALTERATION OF THE WEEK. This bride to be lost over 25 kilos in the time between ordering her dress and her final fitting! You can see from the first photograph that the dress is hanging off her and does nothing for her new figure.

A few alterations in the right places and the dress is once again perfect - the bride can now showcase her weightless achievements!

 

Connie xo

 

beautiful handiwork

beautiful handiwork

My recent Accapella bride Allana asked if I would mind sewing this into the petticoat of her dress. Her mother-in-law had hand embroidered it with their names and the date of their wedding. Such beautiful handiwork is very time consuming and is a very special addition to a very special dress! 

Mothers Day

Mothers Day

Hi Brides to Be,As most of you know, I run my business on my own; however, there is one important person that does so much behind-the-scenes…

My beautiful mother!
Without her, I would not be able to put in the hours that I do. Here she is, dropping off home-made pumpkin soup, focaccia and biscuits - something she frequently does to help me out. It is a relief to know that I can work until 6pm and still have a meal on the table for my husband and children.
I love you, mum, and I am so grateful for everything you do.
Happy Mothers’ Day to all the mums out there, and especially to my brides who are sharing their first Mothers’ Day as a mother, instead of just a daughter.
Much love,
Connie. xo
 

Pregnant bride

Pregnant bride

Hi Brides to be,I don’t usually brag…but in this case I just have to!

This bride first came to visit me when she was 21 weeks pregnant. It was time to order her wedding dress, and we were in a bit of a quandary! I took her measurements and I could see that, despite the bump, she was very petite in both size and shape. The bride found a dress that she loved, and I decided on the size to order. Before I did, the bride questioned if it was a bad idea to order a dress while she was still pregnant. I thought about it a little, and re-took her measurements, and stated ‘Yes. I'm confident I am ordering the size I think you will be when you have the baby.’
A few months later the bride visited again - this time with her baby in her arms! She tried on the dress and it fitted perfectly…it didn’t even need any alterations!
I said to her ‘Gee, I am good!’ She agrees.

 

Connie xo

 

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week

Hi Accapella Brides,
I am off to Barcelona Bridal Fashion Week - and I couldn’t be more excited!
It will be so much fun to select my 2017 collection, and the event allows me to look for new designers to add to my collection, or new and unique styles to offer you. For me, it is important that I am able to provide my clients with a selection of dresses that stand out from the other boutique offerings, both locally and regionally. I will be paying specific attention to innovative plus-sized designs, and will post photos while I am there.
Accapella Bridal will be closed from 27th April - 4th May 2016.
I will endeavour to return all urgent email communication, otherwise will reply to your enquiries when I return.

 

Connie xo


 

strapless wedding dress that stays up

strapless wedding dress that stays up

It is common for me to hear the Mother-of-the-Bride suggest that their daughter not consider any strapless dresses because they have memories of so many brides fiddling and adjusting the bodice of their dress all day and night.My response to this limitation is that the success of a strapless bodice is always dependent on the bride’s bust size, the structure of the dress, and the skill of the seamstress who fitted the dress. As a seamstress, it is always really important to ensure the bride has a full range of motion without any movement of the bodice. I make them do a little dance and raise their arms above their head to make sure all is secure.  

memories of loved ones

memories of loved ones

I’ve spoken before about how special it can be to have something to remind us of our loved ones as we walk down the aisle. This bride had lost her grandfather; however she kept him close on her big day by having a piece of his shirt sewn into her dress, in the shape of a heart. I encourage all my brides to think about how they can incorporate little touches to personalise their dresses for their wedding day. 

alterations for a short size 12 bride

alterations for a short size 12 bride

Alteration of the Week. As soon as my bride tried on this size 12 dress, she felt that it was ‘right’. However, I could see that hemming the dress to the bride’s height would leave her with a dress that was too ‘busy’ for her petite frame. To counteract this, we agreed upon removing some of the tulle - running it in at the side seams to reduce the fullness of the skirt. I further balanced the overall proportions by changing the shape of the sleeves. This has allowed the detail at the décolletage to shine! 

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