I started out writing an FAQ page for how to order a custom wedding dress, and ended up with this big long informercial-type essay. What can I say, I was in the mood to promote myself! I usually hate doing that. So this will be on a separate page for new visitors to read, but I wanted to post it here so that blog readers see it as well.
Do you only work with Sydney clients?
No, of course not! Obviously if you are in Sydney or able to get to Sydney, it makes it a lot easier for us to meet in person and do fittings, but I work with international customers as well. I'll ask for lots of measurements, details and photos so I can get a really good idea of your size, and if you're still not sure, I can post a calico toile for you to try on before I start work on your dress.
What the hell is a toile?
It's a quick version of a dress made in cheaper fabric. I make these for various reasons: to test that the pattern pieces fit together properly; to work out sizing issues before I start on the main dress; and to give you an idea of how the style will look on you. Most wedding dresses require at least two toiles, sometimes three or four. This is all included in the final price of your dress.
Who does the pattern making/cutting/sewing/beading/embroidery work?
I do all of that. It really is just little ol' me in the studio and your dress is designed and made from start to finish by me, right here in Sydney. OK, sometimes my mum helps with veil orders.
Can I write about you on my blog?
Yes! I get most of my business through word of mouth so I LOVE it when people share what I'm doing with their friends & followers. Feel free to use anything you find on my site (as long as it links back to here) or email me for hi res photos and/or extra information.
Can I come and visit you to try on samples?
Sure! I'm still a few years off opening a proper shop front but you're welcome to come to my home studio to try things on or chat about a custom order. Just email me and we'll set something up.
What if I freak out and change my mind after ordering a wedding dress?
Email me straight away and see where I'm up to with it. Chances are it won't be too late to change the design, although it might cost you a bit more for the extra time or if I need to buy more fabric.
You're pretty new at this. Do you know what you're doing?
I'm relatively new to the bridal business but I've been sewing and making clothes my whole life. I have a degree in fashion design and I've worked in the fashion industry. Don't worry, I've got this.
How long does it take to make a dress?
How long do we have? Basically, I'll get it finished and delivered to you a month before your wedding date. If that's a year away, then yay! We have heaps of time to really work on making your dress amazing. If it's two weeks away, well, I'd better sew quickly! I'll always let you know if what you want isn't possible in the timeframe available, but it doesn't hurt to ask. You might be surprised at how quickly I can make your dress dreams happen.
OK, so if you can make a dress in a week, why do I have to wait till a month before the wedding to get my dress? I want it now!
A lot of brides lose or gain weight leading up to the wedding - whether it's due to stress, dieting, exercise or too many pre-wedding dinners at the pub (me). It's best to do your final fitting close to the wedding date. That said, if you really want it by a certain date, I can make that happen for you.
How much is this going to cost?
I work with a wide range of budgets. Custom wedding dresses start from around $500 for a very basic style and can go up to $3000+ for more complicated designs. The prices are based on cost of materials and time spent working on the project. We will agree on the final cost early on in the project and I will stick to that budget - I would never turn around and tell you that you need to pay more, unless you wish to change the design halfway through.
My ready-to-wear samples are cheaper as they are often made from surplus materials and are made to fit my mannequin (Australian size 10), which saves a lot of time on pattern making and fitting.
I have a tiny budget and don't fit your sample size. Is there anything you can do for me?
As much as I love coming up with new designs for every bride (it's my favourite thing about custom bridal!), it's easier and faster for me to recreate an existing design. So why not have a look at my past work and see if there's anything that interests you? I could make your own version in your size, and I can find a nice fabric that will keep the costs down for you. Beading can add a lot to the cost, but using lace or textured fabric can be a nice way to add interest to a design without getting too expensive.
Do you make men's wedding attire?
I make ties and bow-ties for men. I also have some basic training in tailoring, so I am able to make suits and shirts if you really want me to. Having said that, I respect that tailoring is an art which takes years to master, and is best done by those who specialise in it.
Do you only do vintage inspired stuff?
Vintage and retro wedding dresses are my favourite thing to work on, but it's not all I do. I'm a highly skilled and experienced dressmaker with an open mind, so I'm happy to work on any project you can dream up. In fact, I even made a giant list of the things I'm willing & able to do:
- I can design a custom wedding dress for you
- Make the exact dress you've been dreaming of all your life
- I make short wedding dresses
- Wedding dresses with sleeves
- Coloured wedding dresses
- Wedding dresses in a rush
- Dresses for pregnant brides
- Wedding dresses with cats on them
- Wedding dresses with birds on them
- Any kind of wedding dress you can dream up!
- I can make a dress using your own vintage or heirloom fabric
- Design bridesmaid dresses that go with your wedding dress and fit your bridesmaids' individual personalities
- Replicate a vintage dress
- Replicate your mother‘s wedding dress in a style that would suit you
- Alter or redesign a vintage wedding dress
- Use part of your mother's wedding dress on your own dress (and restore your mother's dress)
- Make flower girl dresses
- Make grooms and groomsmen ties - or bow ties! pocket squares too
- Make a veil to match your dress
- Wedding clutches
- Pretty robes to get ready in
- Make a beaded sash to go with your wedding dress
- Make your garter
- Design and make cover ups for church ceremonies
- Recreate your favourite royal wedding dress or movie wedding dress - I'd love to do an accurate Disney princess wedding dress!
- Design a convertible wedding dress - How about a long ceremony gown that converts into a cocktail dress for dancing?
- Two brides? No problem - I'll work with you both to design your dream wedding outfits and make sure they won't clash - and that neither of you need to find out what the other is wearing before the big day!
- Destination wedding or elopement? I can make a wedding dress that will travel well.
- Winter wedding? let's talk about wedding capes and warm wedding dresses!
So... why not just put your mind at ease and let me dress your whole wedding party?
If you're detail oriented, I love that and am open to as much input as you want. If you can't make a decision to save your life, leave it with me and I'll sort out everything!
What you get when you work with me:
- Online consultation - I love using Pinterest's secret boards feature, but if you're not into Pinterest, we can work in whichever way suits you
- In person consultation - come on over and let's talk about wedding dresses! Look through my magazines and books, bring any pictures you have, try on my samples. If you've sent me pictures and measurements in advance, I can even have a toile ready for you to try on at your first consultation
- All ideas considered. Nothing is too crazy. I love crazy!
- Minimum three fittings for local customers - toile fit, second toile fit, and final fit. Depending on the dress style and time frame, extra fittings may be required.
- All shopping done for you - I won't send you out to buy fabrics all by yourself. But if you want me to use fabric you already have, I can do that too
- Constant open communication - email or text me at any time during the project with any questions you have.
- Total confidentiality - I love sharing what I'm working on on Instagram but I never show a whole wedding dress before the wedding. It's totally up to you how much I share of your project as it's happening.
- Hand finishing - I want the inside of the dress to be just as beautiful as the outside
- Personalised brand label with your names and wedding date
- An exquisite, one of a kind, beautifully constructed wedding dress that has been made with love just for you.
How do we make this happen?
Email me at email@example.com with three essential pieces of information - what you want, your budget, and your wedding date. I can't wait to hear from you.