Thursday, 4 December 2014

Thank You and Happy Christmas!

It's been ages, I know.

I just want to let you all know that even though I don't post on here much I'm still beavering away making fabulous wedding dresses for lovely clients, and designing and making new ones for my collection too!

This year has been amazing! Bookings have gone up far more than I ever expected and as a result, something had to give, and that was social networking. I realise it's not the done thing these days, but I can't often find the time to post things, and I'm not the best at remembering to photograph what I'm making, because again, there's not enough time or space to do so.

I was discussing this with one of my new clients the other day, and she was very encouraging, she said "All people want to find out is that you're a nice person and that they like your work and how you come across." That was kind, and as a person who 'worries', it was a calming thing to hear.

So, as a result of this upturn, I now have an assistant, Lindsay, who's fingers are featured in the picture above, working on a festive coloured wedding dress!

I want to thank everyone who has booked with me, come to visit me, enquired, or just glanced my way and gone elsewhere this year. It's been brilliant. And for those of you who have booked me to make your wedding dress, I am so happy and pleased that you have done so, I really do appreciate it.

Have a peaceful Christmas break and best wishes for 2015. XXX

Friday, 25 April 2014

March Work in Progress

I'm not posting much as you can see. Too much going on at the moment - blossom blooming, garden demolition, designing and sewing.

I've finished the dress I was talking about in my previous posts. Its turned out similar, yet different, from my original sketch, as is often the case. I've named it 'Sylvie' and it will go into my Collection once it's been priced up. It is made of silk chiffon and silk satin backed crepe, so it's lovely, flowing and soft. The ivory trims are Guipure lace in ivory. It's a wee bit Abigail's Party but I like that! This dress can be made in many, many colours, as well as all ivory, if you like.

Guipure lace is big news at the moment for wedding dresses. Most of the gown bookings I've taken so far for this year that include lace will use Guipure lace. 

The other big news is that work on my studio has started! I can't wait for it to be finished, naturally. It hasn't been easy because I love my garden, in particular the part that the studio will sit on! Luckily I have an allotment that I can use to heel in some plants in order to (hopefully) save them. But there have been some sacrifices, which has been hard. Although small, I made this garden from scratch and to pull out plants that were lovingly put in a few years back did make me weep a bit! Still, it will be good in the end, and I can replant. So alongside dresses, there will be some pics of mud and bricks as well!

Monday, 3 March 2014

February: A Real Wedding & Work in Progress

What has happened to February?? (See last paragraph below.)

Here are some lovely images of one of my brides, Emily, who got married in the New Year. I think she looks great! So happy, and her dress fits her so well! :-) Emily's photos were taken by Ben Bull. Emily is wearing Gaia dress which is a design from my collection. It's the last one I shall make in this particular lace as sadly it's no longer easily available. However, plans are afoot for a new version of this dress using a different lace.

I've been working on the dress from the sketch in my last post (see above). It's almost complete now. As usually happens, I've changed some of the features a bit as the work progresses. I'm in love with the colour - very cool-sky-ish. What do you think? I'm into designing some dresses that aren't ivory at the moment. I was listening to All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville-West while working on this dress, so perhaps the story will inspire a name for the dress!

Plus working on some exciting ideas for some more coloured dresses. Yes, orangey shades currently float my boat. I'm still thinking about that one... is it nice? It is in my mind...but hope to have something to show you soon!

Finally, if you're into confetti, here are some ideas for you.

(Apologies - this post was scheduled to go out on 3rd March but the schedule thing on Blogger did not work.)

Friday, 7 February 2014

Another new dress

Alongside customer toiles for summer weddings, I have started another dress for my collection. This is a very rough sketch of it; more the 'feel' of the dress than what it will end up exactly looking like, as is usually the case with most designs. I can't wait to show you when its complete.

I can't remember if I posted about this, but I have started a Pinterest board for ideas for early spring wedding flowers. You can see it here. I am becoming a teensy bit addicted to Pinterest - there's such a lot of lovely and inspiring images on there. Not the best thing for overcoming time management issues!

Have a good weekend.

Friday, 17 January 2014

New Lace & Organza Wedding Dress - Fallon

This is 'Fallon', a new wedding dress to go in my current gown Collection. I finished it just before the Christmas break.


I'm often asked how I name my dresses, and I'm sure I was listening to The Archers at the time, which is why I named the dress Fallon. (Fallon is/was a character in The Archers.) Mainly because at the time I was wondering what had happened to Fallon? Does anyone know where she's gone? I'm not so much of a regular listener these past years, so perhaps she's no longer in it...anyway, she was conspicuous by her absence while her namesake was under construction.

Back to Fallon - the wedding dress. It's made from ivory Dupion silk, overlaid with gold and ivory lace on the bodice, and has a silk skirt overlaid with draped silk Organza. There is a concealed zip underneath those covered buttons, and the bodice is fully boned inside.

The Organza overlay on the skirt is designed to be slightly asymetric and to swirl around the skirt to be hitched up at the side. See below.

Fallon can be tried on and ordered as a made to measure gown. This sample is approximately size 14. If you would like more info, just drop me an email or comment below.

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Drafting wedding dress patterns

It's good to be back at work and to get back into a routine again.

This week I started work on a pattern for a wedding gown for one of my new brides. Often, to the outsider, the making of the patterns can be forgotten in this process, but after taking measurements, it's the first thing that happens!

Initial draft to measurements

I enjoy making patterns, it feels quite old-fashioned (and probably is) in this day and age, to be drafting a pattern using paper and pencil. But that is what I do for each and every person I make something for. Whether that be a simple shift dress or an elaborate bridal gown.

Adding shaping and style lines

This goes some way towards what I term 'Bespoke'. 'Couture' also comes into it, but I shy away from that word because I think it is often misused within the bridal industry. (Things are called Couture when they are anything but...) In my opinion, it is having something designed and made for you, however simple, that is made to your specifications and wholly and completely made and finished for you, from scratch. Often using a lot of hand work, draping, hand-sewing and finishing.

About an hour or so later.

This is the bit that is sometimes misunderstood. I don't make up a dress for you and then alter it; I make the patterns. I don't use commercial patterns. This is what gives you a design that fits you well. So when you come for a fitting, the toile (prototype) you are wearing has been made using a handmade pattern drafted to your measurements.

What you see above is the draft. It isn't cut up, but remains a point of referral. The individual pattern pieces are then traced off from the draft as below.

About 2.5 hours later

The pattern is only the beginning though, and by no means a fixed entity.

Laura, if you're reading, this is the start of your dress!

Friday, 3 January 2014

New Year, New Stuff!

Happy New Year! I hope that whoever and wherever you are, you had a peaceful Christmas break.

Our Christmas was a relatively quiet one, with much resurrection of old fashioned games, such as Happy Families and Pick-Up-Sticks, which was great fun and what we all needed I think. Who knew that a tube of wooden sticks could be so much fun?! And muddy winter walks. One of our favourite places to walk is Ickworth House, and the pictures below are from there, but I forgot my camera so these are from a previous January. It looked the same, only with even more mud this year!

Anyway, I really wanted to thank all my brides and dress customers who have worked with me during 2013. THANK YOU so much for putting up with my somewhat erratic diary at certain points during the year, you really have been spendid!

It was a challenging year because we became parents by adoption, for the first (and likely last) time, and as a natural consequence my workload was reduced so I could concentrate on being a mum. Or rather, concentrate on becoming a mum as it was a baptism of fire to go from a relatively free and easy couple to being parents of a fully functioning, school attending, bright spark of a 6 year old! It still feels strange to call myself a mum, although to hear myself called 'mummy' no longer has me looking around for someone else, when its me that's being called!

Now things have settled down, this year I'm back to concentrating on my business again, and getting used to blending work and family life. So, the blog will be changing in posting style, more new gowns are being designed and made for my Collection, my new website has been launched, and all being well, a new studio will be built for me to work in and for you to come and visit me in when you enquire about having a wedding dress made or come for gown fittings! I'm so excited about this - I can't wait for the studio! What bliss to leave the house again everyday! If only for 10 steps...!

I will leave you with one more new thing: I have opened an Etsy shop! Borne out of a year of little free time and much change, and the desire to keep making things and creatively ticking over, combined with people asking me why I don't sell more of the accessories I make for my brides! (Answer - not sure - I don't have a shop front - hey, now I do!!!) I hope you like what's in it. Please do go and have a look. It's mainly wedding accessories, but not all. I shall keep adding to it over the year.

Happy New Year to you all and Best Wishes for 2014! :-)